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Intimate Care Policy

Intimate Care


Policy details

  • Issue Number        2
  • Date Created        2017
  • Date Reviewed        October 2023
  • Date Approved        23rd November 2023
  • Next review date        November 2024
  • Policy Owner                Cheryl Stonehouse / SENCO



Introduction        2

Principles        2

Definition        3

Best Practice        3

Child Protection        4

Supporting Dressing/Undressing        5

Providing Comfort and Support        5

Physiotherapy        5

Medical Procedures        5

Monitoring & Review        6


This Policy exists to:

  • To safeguard the rights and promote the best interests of the children
  • To ensure children are treated with sensitivity and respect and in such a way that their experience of intimate care is a positive one
  • To safeguard adults required to operate in sensitive situations
  • To raise awareness and provide a clear procedure for intimate care
  • To inform parents/carers in how intimate care is administered
  • To ensure parents/carers are consulted in the intimate care of their children

Note: - References to ‘students’ throughout this policy includes all children and young people who receive education at this establishment


  1. The Governing Body will act in accordance with Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 to safeguard and promote the welfare of students at this academy.

  1. This academy takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people in its care.  

  1. Meeting a student’s intimate care needs is one aspect of safeguarding.  The Governing Body recognises its duties and responsibilities in relation to the Disability Discrimination Act which requires that any student with an impairment that affects his/her ability to carry out day-to-day activities must not be discriminated against.

  1. This intimate care policy should be read in conjunction with the academy policies as below (or similarly named): 
  1. safeguarding policy and child protection procedures
  2. staff code of conduct and guidance on safer working practice
  3. Administration of Medication Policy
  4. ‘whistle-blowing’ and allegations management policies
  5. health and safety policy and procedures
  6. Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy

  1. The Governing Body is committed to ensuring that all staff responsible for the intimate care of students will undertake their duties in a professional manner at all times.  It is acknowledged that these adults are in a position of great trust.

  1. We recognise that there is a need to treat all students, whatever their age, gender, disability, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation with respect and dignity when intimate care is given.  The child’s welfare is of paramount importance and his/her experience of intimate and personal care should be a positive one.  It is essential that every student is treated as an individual and that care is given gently and sensitively: no student should be attended to in a way that causes distress or pain.

  1. Staff will work in close partnership with parent/carers and other professionals to share information and provide continuity of care.

  1. Where students with complex and/or long term health conditions have a health care plan in place, the plan should, where relevant, take into account the principles and best practice guidance in this intimate care policy.

  1. Members of staff must be given the choice as to whether they are prepared to provide intimate care to students.

  1. All staff undertaking intimate care must be given appropriate training.

  1. This Intimate Care Policy has been developed to safeguard children and staff. It applies to everyone involved in the intimate care of children.


  1. Intimate care can be defined as any care which involves washing, touching or carrying out a procedure to intimate personal areas which most people usually carry out themselves but some students are unable to do because of their young age, physical difficulties or other special needs.  Examples include care associated with continence and menstrual management as well as more ordinary tasks such as help with washing, toileting or dressing.

  1. It also includes supervision of students involved in intimate self-care.

Best Practice 

  1. Students who require regular assistance with intimate care have written health care plans or intimate care plans agreed by staff, parents/carers and any other professionals actively involved, such as our academy health care administrator.  Ideally the plan should be agreed at a meeting at which all key staff and the student should be present wherever possible/appropriate.  These plans include a full risk assessment to address issues such as manual handling, personal safety of the child and the carer. Any historical concern is not included in the health care plan but is kept separately by the safeguarding lead.  The plan should be reviewed as necessary but at least annually.

  1. Where relevant, it is good practice to agree with the student and parents/carers appropriate terminology for private parts of the body and functions and this should be noted in the plan.

  1. Where a care plan is not in place, parents/carers will be contacted to seek permission to help their child with meeting intimate care needs (eg has had an ‘accident’ and wet or soiled him/herself).  It is recommended practice that information on intimate care should be treated as confidential and communicated in person by telephone or by sealed letter, not through the home/academy diary.

  1. Staff who provide intimate care are trained in Child Protection, personal care (e.g. health and safety training, manual handling) and are fully aware of best practice regarding infection control, including the need to wear disposable gloves and aprons where appropriate.

  1. Staff will be supported to adapt their practice in relation to the needs of individual students considering developmental changes such as the onset of puberty and menstruation.

  1. As an additional safeguard, staff involved in meeting intimate care needs will not usually be involved with the delivery of sex education to the same children, wherever possible.

  1. There is careful communication with each child who needs help with intimate care in line with their preferred means of communication (verbal, symbolic, etc.) to discuss their needs and preferences. Where the child is of an appropriate age and level of understanding permission should be sought before starting an intimate procedure. Staff who provide intimate care will speak to the student personally by name, explain what they are doing and communicate with the child in a way that reflects his/her age.

  1. All children will be supported to achieve the highest level of autonomy that is possible given their age and abilities. Staff will encourage each child to do as much for his/herself as possible.

  1. Every child's right to privacy will be respected. Careful consideration will be given to each child's situation to determine how many carers might need to be present when a child needs help with intimate care. Wherever possible, the student’s wishes and feelings will be sought and considered.

  1. It is not always practical for two members of staff to assist with an intimate procedure and also this does not take account of the child’s privacy. It is advisable, however, for a member of staff to inform another adult when they are going to assist a child with intimate care.

  1. Wherever possible, staff should care for a child of the same gender. However, in some circumstances this principle may need to be waived; Male members of staff should not normally provide routine intimate care (such as toileting, changing or bathing) for adolescent girls. This is safe working practice to protect children and to protect staff from allegations of abuse.

  1. The religious views and cultural values of families should be considered, particularly as they might affect certain practices or determine the gender of the carer.

  1. Adults who assist students with intimate care will be employees of the academy, not students or volunteers and therefore will have the usual range of safer recruitment checks, including enhanced DBS checks. All staff will be aware of the academy’s confidentiality policy. Sensitive information will be shared only with those who need to know.


Child Protection

The Governors and staff at Co-op Academy Failsworth recognise that children with special needs and disabilities are particularly vulnerable to all types of abuse. The academy’s child protection policy and inter agency child protection procedures will be accessible to staff and adhered to.

From a child protection perspective, it is acknowledged that intimate care involves risks for children and adults as it may involve staff touching private parts of a child’s body. It may be unrealistic to expect to eliminate these risks completely but, in this academy, best practice will be promoted and all adults will be encouraged to be vigilant at all times.

Where appropriate, all children will be taught personal safety skills carefully matched to their level of development and understanding.

Supporting Dressing/Undressing

Sometimes it will be necessary for staff to aid a child in getting dressed or undressed. Staff will always encourage children to attempt undressing and dressing unaided.

Providing Comfort and Support

Students may seek physical comfort from staff. Where children require support, staff will be aware that physical contact must be kept to a minimum and should 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.

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 that communicates that the touch, rather than the child, is unacceptable. If this persists, parents/carers will be notified.


Students who require physiotherapy whilst at the academy should have this carried out by a trained physiotherapist.  Alternatively, if agreed by the agencies involved and stated in the child’s Provision Map &/or Health Care Plan, a member of the academy staff undertakes part of the physiotherapy regime (such as assisting children with exercises), then the member of staff will use the required techniques as demonstrated by the physiotherapist and using any written guidance given by the professionals involved. This will be updated regularly. The physiotherapist will observe any member of staff applying the techniques. Under no circumstances will academy staff devise and carry out their own exercises or physiotherapy programmes. Any concerns about the regime or any failure in equipment should be reported to the physiotherapist.

Medical Procedures

Students with disabilities might require assistance with invasive or non-invasive medical procedures such as the administration of rectal medication, managing catheters or colostomy bags.  These procedures will be discussed with parents/carers, documented in the health care plan and will only be carried out by staff who have been trained to do so.

Any members of staff who administer first aid should be appropriately trained. If an examination of a child is required in an emergency aid situation it is advisable to have another adult present, with due regard to the child’s privacy and dignity.

Monitoring and Review

The SENCO will review this policy every 3 years, however changes may be made prior to the anniversary of the review if necessary.