Intimate care is one of the following:
- supporting a pupil with dressing/undressing
- providing comfort or support for a distressed pupil
- assisting a pupil requiring medical care, who is not able to carry this out unaided
- cleaning a pupil who has had a toileting accident, nose bleed or who has vomited
- assisting girls who have needs due to menstruation
Sometimes it will be necessary for staff to aid a child in getting dressed or undressed, particularly in Early Years. Staff members encourage children to attempt undressing and dressing unaided.
Children, particularly children in EYFS, may seek physical comfort from staff. Where children require physical support, staff are aware that physical contact must be kept to a minimum and be child-initiated. When comforting a child or giving reassurance, the member of staff’s hands should always be seen and a child should not be positioned close to a member of staff’s body which could be regarded as intimate. If physical contact is deemed to be appropriate, staff must provide care which is suitable to the age, gender and situation of the child.
Intimate care for a toileting accident is only given to a child after the parents have given permission for staff to clean and change the child. Parents who have children in the EYFS or with medical needs may sign a permission form so that the Early Years staff can clean and change their child if required.
If a parent does not give consent, the school will contact the parents or other emergency contact giving specific details about the necessity for cleaning the child. If the parents/carers or emergency contact is able to come within a few minutes, the child is comforted and kept away from the other children to preserve dignity until the parent arrives. Children are not left on their own whilst waiting for a parent to arrive, an adult will stay with them, giving comfort and reassurance The child will be dressed at all times and never left partially clothed.
If a parent/carer or emergency contact cannot attend, the school seeks to gain verbal consent from parents/carers for staff to clean and change the child. This permission will be sought on each occasion that the child has a toileting accident. If the parents and emergency contacts cannot be contacted, the Head Teacher will be consulted. If put in an impossible situation where the wellbeing of a child is at risk, staff act appropriately and may need to come into some level of physical contact in order to aid the child.
When touching a child, staff are always aware of the possibility of invading a child’s privacy and respect the child’s wishes and feelings. If a child needs to be cleaned, staff will make sure that:
- protective gloves are worn
- the procedure is discussed in a friendly and reassuring way with the child throughout the process
- the child is encouraged to care for him/herself as far as possible
- physical contact is kept to the minimum possible to carry out the necessary cleaning.
- privacy is given appropriate to the child’s age and the situation
- all spills of vomit, blood or excrement are wiped up and flushed down the toilet
- any soiling that can be, is flushed down the toilet
- soiled clothing is put in a plastic bag, unwashed, and sent home with the child
All cases of intimate care regarding an incident where staff have assisted a pupil requiring medical care or who have cleaned a pupil who has had a toileting accident, nose bleed or who has vomited are logged in the First Aid / Intimate Care Log Book. A date, time and brief description of events including any views expressed by the child are noted and signed by the person delivering the intimate care. A note is sent home to inform parents.
There is an obligation on local authorities to ensure that staff who have substantial, unsupervised access to children undergo police checks. All staff at Stratford-sub-Castle Primary School are DBS checked on application and cannot undertake tasks within school until all checks are completed satisfactorily. The CRB’s aim is to help organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable to work with children or other vulnerable members of society. Personal and professional references are also required and unsuitable candidates are not permitted to work within the school. All those working with children are closely supervised throughout a probationary period and are only to be allowed unsupervised access to children once this has been completed to the Headteacher’s satisfaction.
It is not appropriate for volunteers to carry out intimate care procedures. Students should only do so under the supervision of a trained member of staff, following consultation with the student’s college supervisors and the Headteacher.
If it is necessary for a child to receive medicine during the school day, parents must give written permission and discuss their child’s needs with the Headteacher (see Medication for Pupils below)
For the Intimate Care Policy and other relevant policies, go to the Policies section of the website.