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LIVE- Intimate Care Policy

Co-op Academy Glebe

Intimate Care Policy

Academy Owner:

Holly Green

Governor Owner:

Kay Price

Policy Date:

7 December 2022

Review Date:

December 2023



‘Intimate care may be defined as an activity required to meet the personal care needs of each individual child in partnership with the parent, carer and the child.’

At Co-op Academy Glebe this may occur on a regular basis or during a one-off incident.  

Co-op Academy Glebe is committed to ensuring that all staff responsible for the intimate care of children will undertake their duties in a professional manner at all times. We recognise that there is a need to treat all our children with respect when intimate care is given. No child should be attended to in a way that causes distress or pain and adults and staff must be sensitive to each child’s individual needs.  

Intimate care is any care which involves one of the following:  

  1. Assisting a child to change his/her clothes.  
  2. Changing or washing a child who has soiled him/herself.  
  3. Assisting with toileting issues.  
  4. Supervising a child involved in intimate self-care.  
  5. Providing first aid assistance.  
  6. Providing comfort to an upset or distressed child,  
  7. Feeding a child.  
  8. Providing oral care to a child.  
  9. Assisting a child who requires a specific medical procedure and who is not able to carry this out unaided. *  

( * In the case of a specific procedure only a person suitably trained and assessed as competent should undertake the procedure, (e.g. the administration of rectal diazepam.) Parents have the responsibility to advise the school of any known intimate care needs relating to their child)  

The following are the fundamental principles of intimate care upon which our policy guidelines are based:  

  1. Every child has a right to be safe;  
  2. Every child has the right to personal privacy;  
  3. Every child has the right to be valued as an individual;  
  4. Every child has the right to be treated with dignity and respect;  
  5. All children have the right to be involved and consulted in their own intimate care to the best of their abilities;  
  6. All children have the right to express their views on their own intimate care and to have their views taken into account;  
  7. Every child has the right to have levels of intimate care that are appropriate and consistent.  

Assisting a child to change his / her clothes   

On occasions an individual child may require some assistance with changing if, for example, he/she has an accident at the toilet, gets wet outside, or has vomit on his/her clothes etc. Staff will always encourage children to attempt undressing and dressing unaided. However, if assistance is required this will be given. Staff will always ensure that they have a colleague in attendance when supporting dressing/undressing and will always give the child the opportunity to change in private, unless the child is in such distress that it is not possible to do so.  

Changing a child who has soiled him/herself   

  • If a child soils him/herself in school a professional judgement will be made whether it is appropriate to change the child in school, or request the parent/carer to collect the child for changing. In either circumstance the child’s needs are paramount and he/she should be comforted and reassured throughout. The following guidelines outline our procedures but we will also seek to make age-appropriate responses.  
  • The child will be given the opportunity to change his/her underwear in private and carry out this process themselves.  
  • School will have a supply of wipes, clean underwear and spare uniform for this purpose.  
  • If a child is not able to complete this task unaided, school staff will assist the child. There will be 2 members of staff present and staff will ensure the child has as much privacy and dignity as possible whilst changing takes place.  
  • Staff will ensure the child is happy with who is changing him/her.  
  • Staff will be responsive to any distress shown.  
  • Staff will follow hygiene procedures. They will wear protective disposable gloves and seal any soiled clothing in a plastic bag for return to parents.  


Changing Nappies   

Some children may attend Co-op Academy Glebe wearing nappies or pull ups. Staff will, where necessary assist a child/change a nappy. Nappies will be changed in an appropriate place, usually the classroom toilet. An age appropriate changing table is available. The member of staff changing a nappy will always inform another member of staff that they are changing a child and the door to the toilet will remain open.  

Parents/carers are asked to provide nappies, wipes and nappy sacks which should be kept in a named bag on the child’s peg. The school does also keep a small stock of wipes. The soiled nappy will be placed in nappy sack and put in the bin in the toilet. This will be emptied daily.  

Parents will be informed if a nappy has been changed.  

Staff should wear disposable gloves whilst changing a nappy. The changing area and mat should be cleaned after use. Hot water and soap is available to wash hands after the task has been completed Paper towels /hand dryers are available for drying hands.  

Supporting a child to apply Sun Cream 

During spells of hot weather it will be necessary that your child wears sun cream to protect themselves from sunburn. It is expected that children will have had sun cream applied in the morning before school. A named bottle of sun cream can be left in school for re-application on particularly hot days. Your child will be expected to apply this to themselves. There are occasions when a child may find this more difficult (particularly in the Early Years). In this circumstance we will assist your child by using a hand over hand approach to support your child with applying and rubbing in their sun cream. If a child has individual needs that would prevent them being independent in any way then the application of sun cream or other creams will be written into an individual care plan.  

Providing comfort or support to a child   

There are situations and circumstances where children seek physical comfort from staff (particularly children in Early Years). Where this happens staff need to be aware that any physical contact must be kept to a minimum. When comforting a child or giving reassurance, staff must ensure that at no time can the act be considered intimate. If physical contact is deemed to be appropriate, staff must provide care which is professionally appropriate to the age and context. If a child touches a member of staff in a way that makes him/her feel uncomfortable this can be gently but firmly discouraged in a way which communicates that the touch, rather than the child, is unacceptable. If a child touches a member of staff, as noted above, this should be discussed, in confidence with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Staff will follow guidance on the Use of Reasonable Force when using physical contact.  

Assisting a child who requires a specific medical procedure and who is not able to carry this out unaided.   

Our Supporting Children with Medical Needs Policy outlines arrangements for the management of the majority of medications in school. Parental permission must be given before any medication is dispensed in school  

A small number of children who have significant medical needs will have an Individual ‘Care Plan’. This Care Plan will be formulated by the relevant medical body. If required, school staff will receive appropriate training.  

Protecting children

All staff at Co-op Academy Glebe receive regular Safeguarding and Child Protection training and have read the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy. All staff adhere to the procedures and guidelines set out in this policy. If a member of staff, while supporting intimate care, is concerned about any physical changes to a child, such as marks, bruises, soreness etc, they will inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately. The Safeguarding policy will then be implemented.  

If a staff member has concerns about a colleague’s intimate care practice he or she must report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Principal immediately. The Safeguarding Policy will then be implemented.  

Young children and children with special educational needs can be especially vulnerable. Staff involved with their intimate care need to be particularly sensitive to their individual needs. Members of staff also need to be aware that some adults may use intimate care, as an opportunity to abuse children. It is important to bear in mind that some forms of assistance can be open to misinterpretation. Adhering to the following guidelines of good practice should safeguard both children and staff.  

  1. Involve the child in the intimate care. Try to encourage a child’s independence as far as possible in his or her intimate care. Where a situation renders a child fully dependent, talk about what is going to be done and, where possible, give choices. Check your practice by asking the child or parent about any preferences while carrying out the intimate care.  
  2. Treat every child with dignity and respect and ensure privacy appropriate to the child’s age and situation. Care should not be carried out by a member of staff working alone with a child.  
  3. Make sure practice in intimate care is consistent. As a child may have multiple carers a consistent approach to care is essential. Effective communication between all parties ensures that practice is consistent.  
  4. Be aware of your own limitations. Only carry out activities you understand and feel competent with. If in doubt, ask. Some procedures must only be carried out by members of staff who have been formally trained and assessed.  
  5. Promote positive self-esteem and body image. Confident, self-assured children who feel their bodies belong to them are less vulnerable to sexual abuse. The approach you take to intimate care can convey lots of messages to a child about their body worth. Your attitude to a child’s intimate care is important. Keeping in mind the child’s age, routine care can be both efficient and relaxed.  
  6. If you have any concerns you must report them. If you observe any unusual markings, discolouration or swelling report it immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. If a child is accidentally hurt during intimate care or misunderstands or misinterprets something, reassure the child, ensure their safety and report the incident immediately to the designated teacher. Report and record any unusual emotional or behavioural response by the child.