Child Protection and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults: Policy and Guidance
Definitions: A child in this policy is defined as anyone under the age of 18.
A Vulnerable Adult is defined in accordance with The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) Order 2002 as a person aged 18 or over who has a condition of the following type: (i) a substantial learning or physical disability; (ii) a physical or mental illness or mental disorder, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs; or (iii) a significant reduction in physical or mental capacity.
There is no legal definition of safeguarding. However, in this policy, any references to safeguarding are in keeping with the Government report in 2006, Making Safeguarding Everyone’s Business, in which there was a shift in emphasis from protecting children and vulnerable adults from harm, to preventing abuse and neglect in the first instance. Therefore safeguarding is defined here as both safeguarding and promoting welfare together, through: (i) protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from maltreatment (ii) preventing impairment of children, young people and vulnerable adults’ health and/or development; and (iii) ensuring that children and young people are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care to enable them to have optimum life chances such that they enter adulthood successfully.
SLV.Global believes that every young person and vulnerable adult has the right to be safe and that their welfare is paramount. This includes young people and vulnerable adults of any gender, ethnic background, sexuality or religion, or with any disability. It is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people and vulnerable adults and seeks to ensure that all of its services, staff and volunteers work to achieve the best outcomes for young people and vulnerable adults.
As safeguarding underpins all of the work of SLV.Global, it is essential that the work is carried out under a robust safeguarding policy framework. SLV.Global recognises that safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone, and therefore seeks to make safeguarding a priority throughout the organisation, as well as throughout the projects where we work.
To achieve success, SLV.Global will have clear lines of accountability for safeguarding throughout the organisation
set up effective performance management arrangements
set clear goals and monitor and review progress undertake regular annual reviews of its safeguarding processes and practices (including the Health and Safety Policy, Confidentiality Policy, Equal opportunities Policy and First Aid Policy)
Maintain the resources necessary to support this commitment; and provide training to staff at all levels of the organisation in applying safeguarding principles to every aspect of their work.
Internal training will be carried out for staff annually in how to best implement safeguarding policies and procedures. SLV.Global is committed to:
exercising proper care in the selection, appointment and support of those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults whether paid or voluntary
working in partnership with young people and vulnerable adults, valuing their contributions, while ensuring they are safe and protected while partaking in SLV.Global activities and programmes
working in partnership with parents and carers and offering support, encouragement and advice.
Working in partnership with other agencies who are concerned with the well-being of children, young people and vulnerable adults
Working with young people and vulnerable adults and including them in creating a safe environment where they can take part in development activities and consequently increase in confidence; and
Implementing and maintaining a process for dealing with concerns about possible abuse.
Policy and Guidance Document Content
The Policy sets out agreed processes in relation to the following areas:
1-2 The Roles and Appointment of Staff and Volunteers.
3 Codes of Conduct for Staff, Apprentices and Volunteers
4-6 Staff Supervision
1.The Roles and Appointment of Staff and Volunteers
1.1 The authority to appoint staff, apprentices and volunteers to organisation The ultimate responsibility for the appointment of staff and apprentices is held by SLV.Global. SLV.Global confirms its commitment to recruit all staff, apprentices and volunteers in accordance with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Code of Practice and legislative requirements.
1.2 Appointment procedures i. All paid positions should have a job description and a person specification. Voluntary jobs should have a volunteer’s agreement. ii. All prospective staff, apprentices and volunteers (hereafter referred to as the ‘applicant’) are required: to send in a curriculum vitae including previous experience and a personal statement, as well as completing an equal opportunities form that includes personal details and declaration of any criminal offences or allegations to provide details of 2 referees; and to agree that they will co-operate with an enhanced CRB disclosure and may be requested to complete an application form at this stage so that the procedure can be completed as soon as possible if appointed. Reluctance to do this will not prejudice the selection panel’s decision.
2. Recruitment and selection of volunteers
2.1 The procedure for the appointment of volunteers will involve: a telephone interview with a paid member of the SLV.Global team, who has undertaken a placement themselves.
2.2. Each volunteer signing a Volunteer Agreement with SLV.Global that makes reference to their roles and responsibilities.
2.3 Each volunteer can submit a CRB certificate already held as long as the certificate has all the correct personal details and was issued not more than 12 months prior to the post starting date.
2.4 On appointment, the volunteer is provided with their responsibilities with reference to this Safeguarding Policy.
2.5 Youth Volunteers come to SLV.Global to be trained and gain experience as well as being young people themselves. SLV.Global is committed to ensuring the safety of both the young volunteers, young people and vulnerable adults attending the sessions.
3. Codes of Conduct for Staff and Volunteers
The Code of Conduct, outlined in advance of any payment being made to SLV.Global, applies to all SLV.Global staff and volunteers working with children, young people and vulnerable adults whether acting in a paid or unpaid capacity. This code includes, but is not limited to
Avoid unnecessary physical contact.
Avoid taking a young person alone in a vehicle on journeys, however short.
Unless circumstances make it impossible to comply, avoid taking a child or vulnerable adult to the toilet unless either (a) another adult is present or (b) another adult is aware (this may include a parent or group leader).
If you find you are in a situation where you are alone with a child, young person or vulnerable adult, wherever practicable make sure that others can clearly observe you.
Avoid close personal relationships with a child, young person or vulnerable adult in relation to whom they are in a position of trust
Never make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child, young person or vulnerable adult, even in fun, as this could be misinterpreted.
If a child, young person or vulnerable adult accuses a student or member of staff of abuse or inappropriate behaviour this should be reported immediately to the relevant person.
The duty to report applies equally to complaints or accusations of historic, and not just recent, abuse/inappropriate behaviour.
Recipients of any complaint or accusation from a child, young person or vulnerable adult, must listen without making or implying any judgement as to the truth of the complaint or accusation.
If a child, young person or vulnerable adult makes a complaint, or if there are other reasons for suspecting abuse, this should be reported immediately to a staff member.
All staff and volunteers should participate in the training available to support them in your work with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Staff and volunteers should remember that those who abuse children, young people and vulnerable adults can be of any age (even other children and vulnerable adults), gender, ethnic background or class, and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people to prevent appropriate action taking place.
Good practice includes valuing and respecting children, young people and vulnerable adults as individuals, and the adult modelling of appropriate conduct, which would exclude bullying, aggressive behaviour and discrimination in any form.
Those dealing with any allegations of abuse or misconduct should adhere to the principles set out in the policy.
Any information received should be acted upon sensitively, effectively and efficiently. Wherever possible, those making allegations should be given information about the outcome.
Although allegations should be reported only on a “need to know” basis, staff and volunteers making allegations need not be concerned that they will be breaching confidentiality or the Data Protection Act, as complying with the policy overrides such obligations.
If the person making the allegation feels they need counselling or other appropriate support from SLV.Global, they are encouraged to seek it.
4. Staff supervision
4.1 All staff and volunteers are expected to become familiar with the Safeguarding Policy.
4.2 It is the responsibility of SLV.Global to provide suitable training opportunities for staff and volunteers in regards to identifying and addressing child protection and vulnerable adult issues within SLV.Global projects.
5. Volunteer responsibilities
5.1 Volunteers must acknowledge their individual responsibility to bring matters of concern to the attention of senior management and/or relevant agencies. Although this can be difficult, this is particularly important where the welfare of young people or vulnerable adults may be at risk.
5.2 Even where volunteers do not feel able to express their concerns out of a feeling that this would be disloyal to colleagues or fear harassment or victimisation, this must never result in a child, young person or vulnerable adult continuing to be unnecessarily at risk and concerns should always be reported.
5.3 Reasons for whistleblowing Each individual involved in SLV.Global has responsibility for raising concerns about unacceptable practice or behaviour for the following reasons:
i. to prevent the problem worsening or widening
ii. to protect or reduce risks to others; and
iii. to prevent themselves from becoming implicated.
6.1 SLV.Global holds appropriate insurance for public liability and will ensure appropriate insurance policies are in place at any residential centres. Volunteers will be advised that they require their own travel insurance for the duration of their placement for the purposes of personal accident and personal property.