Safeguarding policy

Safeguarding vulnerable adults and child protection policy

 

Introduction and principles

As an organisation of people who aim to empower refugees to rebuild their lives in the UK and fulfil their potential, we commit ourselves to preventing abuse, and to nurturing, protecting and safeguarding children and young people and protecting vulnerable adults; this commitment includes respect and care for our staff and volunteers.

  • We recognise that our work with children and young people and vulnerable adults is the   responsibility of all members of our Management Committee/individual trustees, employed staff and volunteers.

  • WRP aims to build a culture of listening to children and vulnerable adults and respecting them as equal members of society.

  • We accept that the safety of any child and vulnerable adults is more important than our loyalty to friends, family or carers of the child.

  • The safety of the vulnerable child or adult is more important than the aims or goals of WRP but also not inconsistent with our mission of empowering and supporting people to fulfil their potential.

  • Within the capabilities and mission of the organisation, we wish to support parents and carers who have a responsibility for vulnerable adults or children.

WRP is committed to following good practice guidelines and legislative requirements relating to protecting vulnerable adults and child safeguarding and protection, which at times will or may include sharing information with relevant protection agencies to ensure vulnerable adults and children are safe from harm.To the best of our knowledge and based on advice from knowledgeable sources, this policy and procedures meets the requirements in the relevant Government documents .


Procedures


Staff or volunteers must make a verbal or written report of any concerns regarding vulnerable adult or child protection, including perceptions that a private fostering arrangement may exist, in confidence, and at the earliest possible time, directly to WRP’s nominated person (.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .). A verbal report must be followed by a written report. Written reports must give the vulnerable adult’s or child’s name, date and time of incident and a full description of events and relevant observations. It must be signed and dated by the witness and the nominated person receiving the report, who will confirm the details with the witness before signing the report. It is important that as much information as possible is given to assist in the assessment process.
Where concern about a safeguarding issue is reported to the nominated person, on behalf of WRP, s/he should discuss the action to be taken with the parents/carers, if appropriate. This will include whether to seek help from other agencies in order to enable a vulnerable adult, child or their family receive services. Normally, such referral will only be done where the vulnerable adult, child and / or parent / carer agree.
 

Board of Trustees has appointed .   .   .   .   . as the nominated person with specific responsibility for all safeguarding and vulnerable adult and child protection issues. The role of the nominated person is detailed below.

WRP will have clear lines of accountability for safeguarding and protecting vulnerable adults and children.

1.  All staff will report to directly to the nominated person on any matters of concern or requests for information or training, regardless of normal line management channels.
2.  The nominated person reports directly to the Chair of WRP’s Board of Directors on safeguarding and protection matters. The nominated person will record and reports concerns to the relevant staff member at Buckinghamshire County Council.
 

WRP will plan activities in order to minimise situations where the abuse of vulnerable adults or children may occur. This includes seeking to maintain a minimum staff of 2 at any one time in activities where vulnerable adults or children are involved, and seeking a ratio of no fewer than 2 staff to every 7 vulnerable adults or children. Staff are encouraged not to spend time alone with any vulnerable adult or child unless it is absolutely necessary and if that is necessary, the staff member should let another member of staff know what they are doing.

WRP undertakes to exercise proper care in the selection, appointment and support of those    working with vulnerable adults or children in our organisation, whether paid or as a volunteer. WRP aims to have safe recruitment and employment practices for all staff and volunteers to ensure as far as possible the safety of vulnerable adults or children who are in contact with WRP activities. By January 2017 or sooner, the following practices will all be in place:

  • Having a code of conduct for all volunteers and members

  • Having job descriptions and application forms for all staff or freelance posts

  • Asking applicants to self disclose any convictions they may have had in the past

  • Interviewing in ways that are appropriate to explore applicants’ experience of working with vulnerable adults or children if they are likely to come into contact with vulnerable adults or children

  • Taking up references

  • Seeking and confirming as far as possible explanations for any unexplained gaps in employment – taking note of the reality of many migrants’ and refugees lives in which there are often many gaps in employment or difficulties in seeking confirmation

  • Checking references for authenticity

  • Ensuring all staff who are likely to come into contact with vulnerable adults or children have current DBS checks .

  • Having probationary periods for all staff and volunteers. Once staff have been appointed, WRP will, amongst other measures:

  • Through induction and other processes, ensure staff and volunteers are informed about WRP policy and procedures.

  • Ensure staff and volunteers feel competent, confident and supported to carry out their responsibilities under this policy.

  • Ensure regular supervision of staff and volunteers to include monitoring their practices and compliance with the organisation’s policy and procedures.

  • Where occasional volunteers or visitors are attending the group who may not have been DBS enhanced checked, staff must make sure that these visitors are not unsupervised with vulnerable adults or children.

  • Encourage vulnerable adults or parents or children to make complaints or raise a grievance should they believe they have been subject to discriminatory, abusive or inappropriate treatment through procedures outlined in our complaints policy.

  • Encourage vulnerable adults or children, parents, staff and volunteers to make known any concerns they may have about WRP staff or volunteers (also called ‘whistle-blowing’). In accordance with guidance WRP will report any allegations (whether we think the allegation is true or not) to the relevant authorities in compliance with government guidance.

  • Make sure staff and volunteers are aware of the existence and definition of ‘private fostering’ and the obligation to report perceived ‘private fostering’ to the nominated person for further action in compliance with government guidance/legislation. Please also refer to WRP’s Equalities and Diversity Policy; Health and Safety Policy; Complaints procedure; Data Protection Statement.                                                                                                         


Responsibilities of WRP Trustees/Directors


The trustees have ultimate responsibility to ensure vulnerable adults or children in contact with WRP are safeguarded and protected from harm. Existing and new trustees must be made aware of these duties.
 

  • The trustees will nominate a person whose role will be to keep up to date with changes in policy and procedures and advise the management committee accordingly.
     

  • In the absence of the nominated person, the Chair will deputise in this role.

  • The trustees will ensure these WRP Vulnerable Adult and Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy and Procedures are known to, and carried out by all staff and volunteers.

  • The trustees are responsible for ensuring any allegations of abuse made against any member of WRP staff or volunteer connected to this group are reported following Government guidance/ legislation.

  • The trustees will review this policy and procedures annually in line with established practice to review all ‘primary’ policies annually.
     

Trustees are to ensure staff are supported to report, in confidence, any suspicions concerning the conduct of others in the organisation or the organisation itself (also known as ‘whistle blowing’). Where the trustees decide that such reports are made in good faith, the person reporting a suspicion will not be penalized even if the suspicion was subsequently unfounded.


Responsibilities of the nominated person


These responsibilities must be reflected in the Chairman’s Job description and any recruitment materials should the job become vacant.

  • To ensure that all staff and volunteers are familiar with WRP’s Vulnerable Adult and Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy and Procedures, including being fully aware of their responsibilities to report concerns and private fostering.

  • To keep records of any report of causes for concern in a safe and secure manner that ensures confidentiality.

  • To seek advice from appropriate support agencies if unsure about whether an incident should be reported or not. The first contact point is the relevant member of staff of Buckinghamshire Social Care Services. For a child protection issue phone First Response Team 01296 383962 or 0845 4600 001 (out of hours 0800 999 7677). For concern regarding adults contact Careline on 0800 137 915.

  • To organise appropriate staff induction/ training.

  • To keep records of those attending training courses which should be refreshed every 3 years

  • To support and advise other staff and volunteers.
     

  • To advise the trustees of their responsibilities in relation to changes.

  • To ensure the trustees review the Policy and procedures annually in line with established WRP practice in which ‘primary’ policies are reviewed annually.

  • To ensure the Chair is well enough informed to enable that person to deputise if the nominated person is absent e.g.. On annual leave.

  • To be the organisation’s ‘expert’ in safeguarding and vulnerable adults’ or child protection having adequate training in safeguarding, proportional to the situation of the organisation, and to keep training and knowledge of changes in legislation and key guidance up to date.

  • To gather and manage information relating to this policy and to safeguarding and protection generally, and make it accessible to all staff and volunteers, along with a copy of this organisation’s policy.

  • Responsibilities of staff and volunteers

  • These responsibilities must be reflected in staff and volunteer Job Descriptions and contracts or similar and any recruitment materials should posts become vacant.
     

  • To understand and follow WRP’s Vulnerable Adult and Child Safeguarding and Protection Policy and Procedures.

  • This policy approved by WRP Management Committee (Board of Trustees) on     March 2019       Due for Revision within 3 months of March 2020


Definitions of abuse

Child abuse is any action by another person - adult or child - that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention. Neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse.
An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. And it can increasingly happen on-line.

Unusual changes in behaviour may be due to child abuse:
withdrawn; suddenly behaves differently; anxious; clingy; depressed; aggressive; problems sleeping; eating disorders; wets the bed; soils clothes; takes risks; misses school; changes in eating habits; obsessive behaviour; nightmares; drugs; alcohol; self-harm; thoughts about suicide.

Adult abuse can happen to anyone who is over 18, who has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and; is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
Types of abuse may be one-off or multiple incidents, and affect one person or more. Repeated instances of poor care maybe an indication of more serious problems and of what we now describe as organisational abuse.

Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it.

It may be caused by anyone who has power over the person. The person responsible for the abuse is very often well known to the person being abused and could be; a spouse; partner; son; daughter; relative; friend; carer or neighbour; a paid carer or volunteer; a health worker; social care or other worker; another resident or service user; an occasional visitor or someone who is providing a service. It can be caused by a person deliberately intending to harm or neglect, failing to take the right action or through their ignorance. It can involve one or a number of people.

Adult abuse is when something is said or done to an adult at risk that makes them feel upset, hurt or frightened. Abuse is not always intentional but it causes harm so something should be done to stop it from happening again.

Abuse is any action that harms another person and includes the following:

Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence.

Sexual abuse – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.

Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

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