Table of contents

 

1. Policy Statement

DEBRA is committed to promoting the welfare of, and safeguarding, all children, young people and adults at risk with whom we come into contact during our work.

We believe that all children, young people and adults at risk have an equal right to protection from abuse, regardless of their age, race, religion, ability, gender, language, background or sexual identity; we consider the welfare of the child, young person or vulnerable adult to be of paramount importance.

We will take every reasonable step to ensure that children, young people and adults at risk are protected in our working environment and that beneficiaries of DEBRA are protected whilst being supported by the charity.

All reported allegations of abuse will be taken seriously, investigated thoroughly and appropriately reported by trained personnel, recognising the sensitivity of safeguarding issues as well as the importance of confidentiality and data protection.

We commit to ensuring that all employees, trustees and volunteers are sufficiently informed about safeguarding to speak up and report suspicions of abuse, and we expect all employees, trustees as well as any volunteers who have supervisory responsibilities to have read, understood and adhere to this policy and related procedures.

DEBRA’s Safeguarding Policy requires staff to follow the ‘ABC’ approach:

  1. Accept that it is your responsibility – be aware.
  2. Be knowledgeable – do your online training.
  3. Contact the DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead),
    or, if unavailable, a DSO (Designated Safeguarding Officer)
    by phone – 07979 6839836, or email: [email protected]

Note of abbreviations used in this document:

  1. The ‘Disclosure and Barring Service’ (used in England) is abbreviated to ‘DBS’; the equivalent in Scotland, ‘Protection of Vulnerable Groups’ is abbreviated to ‘PVG’.
  2. Designated Safeguarding Officer is abbreviated to ‘DSO’, and Designated Safeguarding Lead is abbreviated to ‘DSL’.

 

2. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. Protect children, young people and adults at risk who are beneficiaries of DEBRA (receiving support/care/guidance), or who work with DEBRA on a paid or voluntary basis and may be regarded as vulnerable adults or aged under 18;
  2. Inform all staff of the principles that guide DEBRA’s approach to safeguarding’;
  3. State DEBRA’s commitment to providing adequate safeguarding training to all employees, trustees and volunteers;
  4. Ensure that DEBRA complies with safeguarding legislation, observes best practice in this area, and monitors the instances reported in order to update the policy appropriately and maintain its relevance.

 

3. Related Documents

  • Statement of Main Terms of Employment (SMTE).
  • Employee Handbook (includes Equal Opportunities policy, Grievance and
  • Disciplinary policies, Whistleblowing policy, Professional Boundaries policy, Social Media Policy, Workplace Etiquette, Personal Harassment and Anti-Bullying policy
  • References policy; Appraisals/Reviews policy, Confidentiality policy.
  • Recruitment & Selection policy.
  • DBS Policy.
  • Induction policy.
  • General Data Protection Regulations.
  • Complaints & Compliments policy.
  • Community Support Team Referrals policy.
  • Lone Working policy.
  • Health & Safety policy.
  • Major Incident Reporting policy.
  • Crisis Management policy.

 

4. Documentation

Form SP1 - ‘Concern about a potential safeguarding issue’ – appendix 1;

Form SP2 - ‘Concern received by the DSL (or DSO) and action taken’ – appendix 2;

 

5. Responsibilities

  1. It is the responsibility of all employees, trustees and volunteers to undertake the training provided in safeguarding, to be aware of the procedures to be followed if they are concerned that a child or adults at risk is being abused, and to immediately refer any child or vulnerable adult protection concerns to the DEBRA DSL or relevant DSO, or alternative authority. (see appendix 3)
  2. DEBRA has a team of trained DSOs and a DSL to coordinate safeguarding activities. It is the responsibility of the DSL (or DSO in his/her absence) to report suspected abuse or risk of abuse to the appropriate authority/professional. (It is DEBRA’s practice for a DSO to discuss any concerns with the DSL or another DSO prior to reporting, unless the DSL/DSOs are unavailable and an immediate risk has been identified).
  3. The DSL is responsible for leading safeguarding within the organisation, and reporting the findings of the Quarterly Safeguarding Committee to the SMT, and indirectly to the trustees.

 

6. Guidance

DEBRA recognises that:

  • The welfare of the child and adults at risk is paramount, as enshrined in the Care Act 2014, and therefore DEBRA ensures that tasks are planned and carried out with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults.
  • All children and adults, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse. DEBRA has a zero tolerance approach to any form of potentially harmful behaviour.
  • Some children and adults are at risk because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs, physical ability and other issues.
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, adults, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting the welfare of young people.
  • Safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone and therefore all staff and volunteers must be aware of the safeguarding policy and associated procedures, and undertake appropriate training.
  • Appropriate action will be taken immeadiately where it is believed a child or vulnerable adult may be at risk or it is alleged that a child or an adult at risk is suspected of being abused.
  • Safeguarding is a term which is broader than ‘child and vulnerable adult protection’ and relates to the action taken to promote the welfare of children and adults and protect them from harm.
  • Safeguarding is defined in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’ as:
    a) protecting children from maltreatment;
    b) preventing impairment of childrens’ health and development;
    c) ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
    d) taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
  • Safeguarding is defined for adults at risk in the ‘Care Act 2014’ as:
    a) Preventing abuse or neglect.

 

7. Safeguarding reporting procedure

Safeguarding means protecting the health, wellbeing and human rights of children and adults at risk, enabling them to live safely, free from abuse and neglect. We all have a responsibility to ensure that we look after all those who we meet at DEBRA, colleagues, volunteers, members, customers, doners and stakeholders.

If you have concerns about the wellbeing of anyone you meet through your role at DEBRA and you feel there may be a safeguarding issue, please report it straight away following the procedure set out below.

The above procedure should be followed regardless of what level or designation an individual is within DEBRA. A high level of confidentiality will always be maintained, and emails sent to the [email protected] email address can only be viewed by a small group of specially trained individuals. All forms and documentation that is submitted will be stored in a secure folder that can only be accessed by members of the Safeguarding working group. In line with Child Protection and Adult safeguarding legislation documents and email will be retained for up to 7 years.

 

8. Training

As a minimum, all employees and trustees are required to undertake the online training about safeguarding, provided by DEBRA, details of which are issued to individuals by the H&S Manager. Failure to complete this mandatory training within the specified timescale constitutes misconduct and disciplinary action will be initiated. Once the initial training has been undertaken a refresher module must be completed every 12 months.

Volunteers will receive training from their manager via a “toolbox talk” induction and will have a refresher session every year. Training completion will be monitored and tracked on the HR IT system.

For the majority of staff, this level of training is deemed to be sufficient, but enhanced safeguarding training will be provided for members of staff whose work constitutes a ‘regulated activity’, such as providing care/support/guidance to any of the charity’s beneficiaries, who may be regarded as vulnerable adults or children. As above, if provided, this training must be undertaken within the specified timescale, and failure to comply will ultimately lead to disciplinary action; recognising the importance of safeguarding, the disciplinary sanction in such instances will be dismissal.

 

Appendix

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