Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
Fizzypig Ltd (FP) makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe.
FP directors, volunteers, employees, members, self-employed contract workers and others representing FP (hereafter referred to as ‘personnel’) come into contact with children and/or vulnerable adults through classes, workshops, events and online projects.
This policy seeks to ensure that FP undertakes its responsibilities with regard to protection of children and/or vulnerable adults and will respond to concerns appropriately. The policy establishes a framework to support personnel in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations.
Although detailed, this policy is not intended to be comprehensive and as such does not attempt to deal with all the issues of working with children, young people and others who may be vulnerable. Instead it is intended as a practical guide for staff and volunteers involved with them.
The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are:
- Working together to safeguard Children 2010
- The Children Act 1989
- The Adoption and Children Act 2002:
- The Children act 2004
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Care Standards Act 2000
- Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
- The Police Act – CRB 1997
- Mental Health Act 1983
- NHS and Community Care Act 1990
- Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children and/or 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 by 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 (see Appendix 1 for detailed definitions and signs):
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Organised abuse
- Financial (or material) abuse
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 Vulnerable Adults: 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 illness including dementia
- Has a physical or sensory disability
- Has a learning disability
- Has a severe physical illness
- Is a substance misuser
- Is homeless
All personnel have responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures.
We expect all personnel to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices. (See Appendix 2 for FP code of behaviour)
Additional specific responsibilities
Directors have responsibility to ensure:
- The policy is in place and appropriate
- The policy is accessible
- The policy is implemented
- The policy is monitored and reviewed
- Liaison with and monitoring the Lead Officer
- Sufficient resources (time and money) are allocated to ensure that the policy can be effectively implemented
The Designated Lead Officer is: Wendy Lomas.
This person’s responsibilities are:
- Promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults
- Ensure personnel have access to appropriate training/information
- Receive concerns about safeguarding and respond to all seriously, swiftly and appropriately
- Keep up to date with local arrangements for safeguarding and Disclosure & Barring checks
- Take forward concerns about responses to the directors
- Implementation Stages
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:
- Health and Safety policy, including lone working procedures, mitigating all risks
- Equal Opportunities policy – ensuring safeguarding procedures are in line with this policy, in particular around discriminatory abuse and ensuring that the safeguarding policy and procedures are not discriminatory
- Data protection (how records are stored and access to those records)
Service delivery contracting and sub contracting
There will be systematic checking of safeguarding arrangements for tutors who run workshops and classes whose roles involve contact with children and/or vulnerable adults.
Disclosure and Barring checks
FP will maintain and review a list of roles/personnel across the organisation which involve contact with children/vulnerable adults, and will ensure that those personnel hold valid D&B checks where activities are regulated (see http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/r/regulated%20activity%20children%20full%20information%20ewni%20final%202012-06-01.pdf ) and also for unregulated activities at the directors discretion.
- Reporting (see Appendix 3 for a detailed procedure)
The process below details the stages involved in raising and reporting safeguarding concerns at FP.
Communicate your concerns with the FP Safeguarding Lead Officer
Seek medical attention for the vulnerable person if needed
Discuss with parents of child
or with vulnerable person.
Obtain permission to make referral if safe and appropriate
In consultation with the FP Safeguarding Lead Officer, make appropriate referral to the Local Authority Safeguarding Officer
Ensure that feedback from the Local Authority is received and their response recorded
- Allegations Management
FP recognises its duty to report concerns or allegations against its personnel within the organisation or by a professional from another organisation.
The process for raising and dealing with allegations is as follows:
- Any member of personnel is required to report any concerns in the first instance to the safeguarding lead officer, who will report to the board.
- Contact local authority for advice
- Follow the advice provided
The organisation will monitor the following Safeguarding aspects:
- D&B checks undertaken
- References applied for new personnel
- Monitoring whether concerns are being reported, what actions have been undertaken and whether the issue/problem has been resolved
- Checking that policies are up to date and relevant
- Reviewing the current reporting procedure in place
- Presence and action of designated lead officer responsible for safeguarding is in post
- Managing information
All personnel must be aware that they have 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 may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need to know basis only, as judged by the Lead Officer.
All personnel must be aware that they cannot promise children and/or vulnerable adults or their families/carers that they will keep information given to them confidentially.
- Communicating and reviewing the policy
FP will communicate awareness of the Safeguarding Policy through the following means:
- Copies of all policies will be emailed to all personnel new and old
- A list of policies will be posted on the website (www.fizzypig.org) and the documents will be available by email.
- All personnel will be reminded that they must confirm with this policy on a regular basis.
This policy will be reviewed by the board, every 3 years or when there are changes in legislation.
Issue number: 02 Revised and agreed by the Fizzypig Ltd board of directors: Mar 2014
Appendix 1: Categories of Abuse and Key Issues in Identifying Abuse
The definitions of abuse (with the exception of financial abuse which as yet does not have a legal definition in the UK) outlined below are taken from ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ Department of Health 1999.
Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.
We at Fizzypig Ltd feel these are useful definitions for both children and vulnerable adults and that the issues in identifying child abuse are also relevant when considering the situation of vulnerable people generally.
This may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child who they are looking after. This situation is commonly described using terms such as factitious illness by proxy, or Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy.
This is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless and unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape or buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production or, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failure to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Organised or multiple abuse may be defined as abuse involving one or more abuser and a number of related or non-related abused children and young people. The abusers concerned may be acting in concert to abuse children, sometimes acting in isolation, or may be using an institutional framework or position of authority to recruit children for abuse.
Organised and multiple abuse occur both as part of a network of abuse across a family or community, and within institutions such as residential homes or schools.
Financial or Material Abuse:
The misuse of a person’s funds and assets; obtaining property and funds without his/her knowledge and full consent, or in the case of an elderly person who is not competent, not in his/her best interests.
Financial or material abuse can involve the theft or misuse of a person’s money or property. It includes behaviours such as:
- Misusing a power of attorney,
- Persuading, tricking, or threatening the adult out of money, property, or possessions (and this includes attempts to do any of these);
- Cashing pension or other cheques without authorisation;
Use of the adult’s money for purposes other than what was intended by the adult.
Note: Children and vulnerable adults whose situations do not currently fit the above categories may also be at significant risk of harm. This could include situations where another child in the household has been harmed or the household contains a known child abuser.
Key Issues in Identifying Child Abuse
Child abuse can take place in a number of different settings, of which the following are examples:
- It is likely to occur most commonly where the young person knows the individual/s and is trusted. This can be a parent, carer, babysitter, sibling, relative, or friend of the child or of the family.
- The abuser is sometimes someone in authority such as a teacher, youth leader, children’s worker or church/mosque worker/leader.
- The abuser is sometimes a paedophile or other person who sets out to join organisations to obtain access to children.
Extreme care should be taken as misreading signs of abuse can result in significant harm or trauma to the child and their family. In general staff employed in the independent and voluntary sector will not have the expertise to diagnose child abuse but do have a responsibility to be alert and aware of the signs. However, just because a child exhibits one of the signs listed below, this does not mean that they have been abused. Nevertheless, the presence of one or more of the signs, or their repeated presence, might raise concerns and should be used as a prompt for discussion with the designated child protection employee, In their absence the matter should be brought to the attention of the Deputy without delay. However, where a child has made a direct allegation or there is clear evidence of a child suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm the matter should be referred immediately to the Social Services.
- Any injuries, bruises, bites, burns, fractures, etc, which are not consistent with the explanation given for them
- Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls, rough games, etc
- Injuries which appear to have been caused by a weapon e.g. Cuts, welts, etc
- Injuries which have not received medical attention
- Instances where children are kept away from the group inappropriately or without explanation
- Self-mutilation or self-harm e.g. Cutting, slashing, drug abuse
- Changes or regression in mood and behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clinging. Also depression/aggression
- Nervousness/inappropriate fear of particular adults e.g. Frozen watchfulness
- Sudden changes in behaviour e.g. Under-achievement or lack of concentration
- Inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults e.g. Excessive dependence
- Attention-seeking behaviour
- Persistent tiredness
- Wetting or soiling of bed or clothes by an older child
- Regular poor hygiene
- Persistent tiredness
- Inadequate clothing
- Excessive appetite
- Failure to thrive e.g. Poor weight gain
- Consistently being left alone and unsupervised
- Any direct disclosure made by a child concerning sexual abuse
- Child with excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and detailed knowledge of adult sexual behaviour, or who regularly engages in age inappropriate sexual play
- Preoccupation with sexual activity through words, play or drawing
- Child who is sexually provocative or seductive with adults
- Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home
- Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares, sometimes with overt or veiled sexual connotations
- Other emotional signs (see above) may be indicative of sexual or some other form of abuse
Appendix 2: Fizzypig Ltd Safeguarding Children/Vulnerable Adults Code of Behaviour
- treat all children, young people and vulnerable adults with respect
- provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow
- ensure that, whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children/young people/vulnerable adults or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others (NB we are aware that this is not always possible or appropriate depending on the group)
- respect a young person/vulnerable adult’s right to personal privacy and encourage young people and adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like
- remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned
- be aware that physical contact with a child/young person/vulnerable adult may be misinterpreted
- recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children, young people or vulnerable adults
- operate within Fizzypig Ltd principles, guidance and Safeguarding Children/Vulnerable Adults policy
- challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse to the Designated Lead Officer.
You must not:
- have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children/young people/vulnerable adults
- allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour
- make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children/young people/vulnerable adults
- jump to conclusions about others without checking facts
- either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues
- show favouritism to any individual
- rely on your good name or that of Fizzypig Ltd to protect you
- believe “it could never happen to me”
- take a chance when common sense, policy or practice suggests another more prudent approach.
You should give guidance and support to inexperienced helpers.
Appendix 3: Procedure for responding to alleged or suspected harm.
1.1 If a vulnerable person wants to talk about harm, it is essential that the member of personnel:
- Listens carefully to what the person says, keeping calm and looking at them directly;
- Lets them know that to help them someone else must be told;
- Reassures them that they are not to blame;
- Is aware that they may have been threatened;
- Does not push them for information;
- Reassures them that they are right to talk about it and what they say is accepted;
- Lets them know what will happen next and undertakes to let them know the outcome.
- If a person who may be vulnerable has talked about harm, or harm is suspected, the member of personnel must do three things:
- Decide whether the allegation involves FP personnel or whether it refers to a situation elsewhere in the persons life for which they are asking for support
- Write down accurately what the person has said
- Notify the Lead Safeguarding Officer, giving them the written information.
1.3 Where the alleged harm is taking place outside the FP workplace, a discussion should take place with the volunteer/member of staff etc about the support available to them from other services and how this can be accessed.
1.4 Where the Safeguarding Officer is unavailable, and in the unlikely event that the vulnerable person is in imminent danger, staff should contact the relevant authorities themselves. (To make a referral regarding a child contact Safeguarding Children Service 01452 583636: or if it is regarding a vulnerable adult contact the Adult Helpdesk on 01452 426868. They should then inform the CEO as soon as possible on their return.
1.5 Dealing with incidents of harm is difficult for any individual so personnel should not:
- Act alone;
- Start to investigate; or
- Make any assumptions about the persons involved.
1.6 Personnel involved in a disclosure of any kind may feel that they need to speak to a child care professional to reassure themselves that they have done the right thing. The NSPCC operates a 24 hour help line for anyone concerned about a child or young person. It is primarily for use by adults and can be used anonymously: 0800 800500.
1.7 Where it is suspected that personnel may be involved in the abuse, other personnel should let the Lead Officer know as soon as possible. The personnel should be immediately removed from access to vulnerable people, but be assured that no presumptions have been made and that the allegation will be fully investigated by the relevant authorities.
1.8 If gross misconduct is reasonably suspected, it may be appropriate to ask them not to attend any FP activities or property at all while the matter is under investigation (suspended on full pay if an employee). Once the relevant authorities’ enquiry has concluded, the Board should decide what further action is appropriate in conjunction with other relevant policies.
1.9 FP recognises its duty to refer to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), information about individuals working with children or vulnerable adults where they consider them to have caused harm or pose a risk of harm. There are two conditions which must be met in order to trigger a referral to the ISA.
- Where an employer withdraws permission for an individual to engage in regulated or controlled activity, or would have done so if that worker/volunteer had not resigned, retired, been made redundant or transferred to a position which is not regulated or controlled
- Where an individual has engaged in conduct seen as relevant by the ISA, has satisfied the ISA Harm Test, or received a caution or conviction for a relevant offence. There is detailed guidance on how and when to make a referral, including filling in a referral form in the ISA Referral Guidance Document.
- 0 Full and accurate notes must be written as soon as possible. Records should be as accurate as possible as they may be invaluable to the investigation and used as evidence in court.
2.1 When dealing with personal and emotive details of this nature, confidentiality must be maintained at all times since the allegations or suspicions may prove to be unfounded. Notes and records should be kept in a secure place and shared only with those who need to know about the incident or allegation.
2.3 No assumptions of guilt should be made unless and until an actual conviction has been obtained in the proceedings. Impartial contact will be maintained by a nominated staff member during this process.