Safeguarding of Children and/or Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures
Stronger Relationships makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe.
Stronger Relationships may come into contact with vulnerable children and adults through the following activities: Coaching, Facilitation, Training and Project work.
This policy seeks to ensure that Stronger Relationships undertakes its responsibilities with regard to vulnerable children and adults and will respond to concerns appropriately.
The policy establishes a framework to support all those who, through Stronger Relationships, are brought into contact with children and/or vulnerable adults, in any capacity.
The principal pieces of legislation governing the safeguarding of children/vulnerable adults are:
- The Children Act 1989, 2004
- Equality Act 2010
- Children and Families Act 2014
- The United Nations convention on the Rights of the Child 1992
- The Human Rights Act 1998
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
- The Children and Social Work Act 2017
- The Education Act 2002
- The Mental Capacity Act
- (MCA) 2005
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Care Standards Act 2000
- Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
- Mental Health Act 1983, 2007, 2017
- NHS and Community Care Act 1990
- Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
- Care Act 2014
Definition of Abuse
Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children and vulnerable adults wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise. Abuse is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture.
It can take a number of forms, including the following:
- Physical abuse
- Domestic violence or abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological or emotional abuse
- Financial or material abuse
- Modern slavery
- Discriminatory abuse
- Organisational or institutional abuse
- Neglect or acts of omission
Definition of a Child: A child is under the age of 18 (as defined in the United Nations convention on the Rights of a Child).
Definition of a Vulnerable Adult: A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited. This may include a person who:
- Is elderly and frail
- Has a mental health condition, including dementia
- Has a physical or sensory disability
- Has a learning disability
- Has a severe physical illness
- Is a substance misuser
- Is homeless
Everyone working with or for Stronger Relationships, in any capacity, has a responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures as stated in this Policy.
Everyone must promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and positively involve people in developing safe practices.
Clearly, any person working with or for Stronger Relationships is forbidden to abuse any child/vulnerable adult in any way.
You are expected to:
- Respect the wishes of a child/vulnerable adult as you would any other adult – this means you must not impose yourself on them.
- Take all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of any child/vulnerable adult in contact with Stronger Relationships.
- Remember that children and some vulnerable adults may regard you as a role model and ensure your behaviour, language, gestures etc. are appropriate and above reproach.
- Be aware of and continuously alert to Safeguarding procedures in relation to the work you do.
- Prevent any other person from putting any child/vulnerable adult in a situation in which there is a significant risk to their health and safety.
- Take appropriate action if you become aware of anyone abusing a child/vulnerable adult.
- Report any evidence or reasonable suspicion that a child/vulnerable adult has been abused whether by a child or an adult.
Activities where children/vulnerable adults are accompanied
Where a non-Stronger Relationships person e.g. parent, teacher or other group leader accompanies a child/vulnerable adult or leads a group, the primary responsibility for the children/vulnerable adult remains with that person.
Stronger Relationships staff should nonetheless use this Policy as the basis for their action and any advice they offer. They should not agree to anything, which contravenes this Policy.
If, due to illness or another unexpected event, a Stronger Relationships member is left in charge of a child or group then they should act in accordance with this Policy.
Occasional assistance provided by people who haven’t been through the Disclosure process
This will only happen IF the group is led by a parent, teacher or other group leader or member of Stronger Relationships who has the necessary Disclosure checks. The person leading the activities must be the one to allocate tasks and make relevant decisions.
The person without Disclosure checks should use this Policy as the basis for their action and any advice they offer. They should not agree to anything, which contravenes this Policy.
If you suspect abuse
Be prompt, calm, assured and professional. Keep any details strictly confidential and share only on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Do: Always listen carefully, make a note of what has happened or what you are worried about and tell the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or other, as below).
Do not: Confront the person you think is responsible for the abuse, destroy the evidence or start to investigate the situation.
The process outlined below details the stages involved in raising and reporting safeguarding concerns at Stronger Relationships.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead for Stronger Relationships
Andrea Rippon (DBS Certificate Number: 001102439882, expires 12.12.25)
Phone: 07814 735970
Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS) OR Adult Social Services
0344 800 8020
999 – emergency
101 – non-urgent
Stronger Relationships recognises its duty to report concerns or allegations against anyone within Stronger Relationships, whether made by someone in the Company or by a professional from another organisation. The process for raising and dealing with allegations is as follows:
- Report any concerns to the Safeguarding Lead.
- A written record of the concern will be completed and the Local Authority contacted for advice.
- Any advice will be followed because Stronger Relationships recognises its legal duty to report any concerns about unsafe practice by anyone in the organisation to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), according to the ISA referral guidance document.
If the concern is about the Safeguarding Lead, contact CADS, Adult Social Services or the Police directly, on the numbers listed above.
Everyone working with or for Stronger Relationships has a professional duty to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. The public interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults overrides confidentiality interests. If there is any doubt, guidance will be sought by the Designated Safeguarding Lead from CADS/Adult Social Services.
It is essential that everyone working with or for Stronger Relationships cannot promise children/vulnerable adults to keep secrets, if they involve anything that is or may be deemed to be a Safeguarding issue.
If you see or hear something that doesn’t feel right, say something
The scope of this Safeguarding Policy is broad ranging and in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies and procedures within the organisation. These include:
Appointment to a post, which involves regular, substantial or unaccompanied contact with children/vulnerable adults: All individuals appointed to posts which involve regular, substantial or unaccompanied contact with children/vulnerable adults will be subject to pre-appointment checks aimed at assuring Stronger Relationships of their suitability to work with children/vulnerable adults. This means the applicant will be asked to supply an up to date (refreshed every 3 years) Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and to supply 2 references.
Partnership Projects: This includes ensuring that any person working in partnership with Stronger Relationships provides an up to date DBS, as above.
Individuals awaiting receipt of DBS: Any person, whether a Stronger Relationships person or any other person, who is awaiting receipt of disclosure must be accompanied when they are dealing with children/vulnerable adults, until the Disclosure has been received.
Stronger Relationships will also aim to ensure safe recruitment through the following processes:
- Providing the following safeguarding statement in recruitment adverts or application details – recruitment is done in line with safe recruitment practices.
- Job or role descriptions for all roles involving contact with children and/or vulnerable adults and person specifications will contain reference to safeguarding responsibilities – An up to date DBS Check is required. It is a criminal offence for individuals barred by the ISA to work or apply to work with children or vulnerable adults in a wide range of posts
Communications and support for staff
Stronger Relationships commits resources for effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding.
Communications and discussion of safeguarding issues: Open discussion of child/vulnerable adult protection will be encouraged since this helps to make everyone more familiar with the issues involved. Opportunities for this will be in Project/Team meetings, one to one meetings (formal or informal) and Supervision, when it applies.
Support Mechanisms: We recognise that involvement in situations where there is risk or actual harm can be stressful for those reporting it. The mechanisms in place to offer support include:
- The person who has initiated protection concerns will be contacted by the Safeguarding Lead within 1 week.
- Debriefing will happen, so that they can reflect on the issues they have dealt with.
- Referrals to further support will be made, as appropriate e.g. signposting to counselling.
- The Safeguarding Lead will use the Supervision relationship for her support.
Professional boundaries are what define the limits of a relationship between a professional and a child/vulnerable adult. The following professional boundaries must be adhered to:
- Do not give gifts or receive gifts (including money) from children/vulnerable adults. (Gifts may be provided by the organisation as part of a planned activity.)
- A personal relationship with a child/vulnerable adult, who is a current service user, is not allowed. This includes relationships through social networking sites such as Facebook.
- Do not:
- Use abusive language.
- Respond to inappropriate behaviour/language.
- Use punishment or chastisement.
- Pass on a child/vulnerable adult’s personal contact details.
- Give personal contact details to a child/vulnerable adult.
- Take family members to a child/vulnerable adult’s home.
- Sell or buy items from a child/vulnerable adult.
- Accept responsibility for any valuables on behalf of a child/vulnerable adult.
- Borrow or lend money.
- Avoid personal relationships with a third party related to or known to the child/vulnerable adult.
- Do not accept gifts/rewards or hospitality from an organisation as an inducement for either doing/not doing something for them.
Stronger Relationships will monitor the following Safeguarding aspects:
- Ensuring there is always a Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- Monitoring concerns being reported and actioned.
- Checking that policies are up to date and relevant.
- Reviewing that procedures are in place and are being followed.
- DBS checks undertaken and up to date.
- Safe recruitment practices.
If you see or hear something that doesn’t feel right, say something