Child Protection and Duty to Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures (Youth Project)
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Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) – Emma Jacquest
Designated Deputy Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) – Sophie Murphy
Effective date: Nov 2019
Key contact: CEO – Emma Jacquest
Number of pages: 8
Review date: Nov 2020
1. Child Protection and Duty to Vulnerable Adults Policy Statement
This policy applies to all staff, including managers, Board of Trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers or anyone working on behalf of Tarner Community Project (TCP)
TCP believes that children, young people and vulnerable adults have the right to protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation and that the wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults must be a paramount consideration when providing services.
TCP will ensure that trustees, staff and volunteers learn about the emerging issues of e-Safety, domestic violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, children who live away from home or go missing, child sexual exploitation, race and racism and extremism
Within the framework of the law staff and volunteer workers are obliged to have an important role in the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse, namely: physical, sexual and emotional and that of neglect.
TCP is committed to ensuring that all staff are able to provide an environment where children/young people/vulnerable adults are safe at all times.
TCP will ensure that all activities provided for children/young people/vulnerable adults are appropriate to the age and needs of all children, young people and vulnerable adults participating.
The TCP Child Protection and Duty to Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures apply to all children, young people and vulnerable adults regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or religion.
Children, young people and vulnerable adults will be made aware of the policy in ways that are appropriate to their age, situation or ability.
Child protection training will be offered to all staff and volunteers and will be compulsory for frontline staff.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, as amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015. It is an offence to fail to protect a girl from the risk of FGM and requires specified professionals to report known cases of FGM in under 18s to the police. However, the Trust carries the general responsibility to report cases of FGM, in line with wider safeguarding frameworks. If any staff or volunteers become aware of FGM being carried out on a girl under 18 years old, they should share this information with their line manager and the TCP DPO.
The Prevent Duty refers to the prevention of people “from being drawn into terrorism”, including supporting extremist ideas. TCP will empower staff and volunteers to be alert in changes in children’s behaviour, which could indicate they may be in need of help or protection. If any concerns do arise, staff and volunteers must share this information with their line manager and the TCP DPO.
If staff or volunteers have concerns, however minor, of any issue relating to a child/young person /vulnerable adult that arouses suspicion; they have a duty to bring those concerns to the attention of their named line manager and the named Designated Protection Officer (DPO) – to be confirmed.
It is the duty of all staff to ensure that adult volunteers are aware of our policy and follow its guidelines. Groups and volunteers must fully understand that TCP may withdraw support if these guidelines are not adhered to.
TCP recognises that some children/young people/vulnerable adults are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues. Working in partnership with children, young people, vulnerable adults, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting people’s welfare.
TCP delivers sexual health advice and contraception to children and young people in the course of its work in communities. When offering these services to people aged between 13 and 16 without parental consent, workers will follow the ‘Fraser Guidelines’* to assess the competence of the young people and their ability to comprehend the consequences of their choices.
These criteria are fulfilled when it can be demonstrated that:
• The young person understands the worker’s advice
• The worker cannot persuade the young person to inform their parent or allow the doctor to inform the parents that he or she is seeking contraceptive advice
• The young person is very likely to begin or continue having intercourse with or without contraceptive treatment
• Unless they receive contraceptive advice or treatment, the young person's physical or mental health or both are likely to suffer
• The young person's best interests require the worker to give contraceptive advice, treatment or both without parental consent
*The guidance was outlined by Lord Fraser in 1985 in the House of Lords' ruling in the case of Victoria Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Health Authority and Department of Health and Social Security.
For the purposes of this policy document, ‘child’ or ‘young person’ refers to people under the age of 18 or up to 21 with certain special educational needs. The Children
Act 1989 covers all children under the age of eighteen.
For the purposes of this policy document, ‘vulnerable adult’ refers to a person who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of themselves, or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.
People with learning disabilities, mental health problems, older people and people with disability or impairment are included within this definition, particularly when their situation is complicated by additional factors, such as physical frailty or chronic illness, sensory impairment, challenging behaviour, drug or alcohol problems, social or emotional problems, poverty or homelessness.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children/young people/ vulnerable adults, namely:
• Children Act 1989
• United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991
• Data Protection Act 1998
• Care Standards Act 2000
• Sexual Offences Act 2003
• Children Act 2004
• Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
• “Prevent Duty” in Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
• Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, as amended by Serious Crime Act 2015
• Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children
3. Safer Recruitment and Employment
Disclosure & Barring Service (formerly Criminal Records Bureau) checks will be carried out on all people working with children and no unsupervised access to children will be permitted until this process has been completed. Copies of checks will be kept safely in a locked drawer alongside records of incidents.
TCP will comply with all specifications relating to the ‘Independent Safeguarding Authority’s’ guidelines on ‘vetting and barring’ procedures.
TCP is committed to the use of safer recruitment training.
4. Safeguarding procedures for all outings and activities run by groups and individuals that TCP supports:-
There should be a minimum of two adults present, three if there are more than 16 children/young people/vulnerable adults.
All children under 10 years of age should be accompanied by their parent/guardian.
4.3 Before an outing or activity TCP staff will consider the possible risks including factors relating to additional needs of the children, young people or vulnerable adults.
At the beginning of the outing, there will be a discussion with the children, young people or vulnerable adults about safety.
All children without parents present must have completed a registration form. The group leader must check any special needs and inform other adults if appropriate.
A First Aid Kit, accident book and mobile phone must be available.
Permission must be sought and received for photos and videos to be taken of under 16s. Those 16 or over can consent for themselves. Photos and videos of children will be stored and used in compliance with TCP’s Data Protection Policy and Social Media Policy.
5. Appropriate conduct and relationships with children/young people/vulnerable adults
Staff and volunteers should observe the following;
• Avoid initiating physical contact with children/young people/vulnerable adults.
• At the start of the relationship with the child/young person/vulnerable adult explain the appropriate physical boundaries (understanding that vulnerable adults may not always understand nor retain this information).
• Don’t initiate intrusive forms of play (e.g. tickling or rough and tumble), physical expression of emotion such as kissing or hugging or sexual contact.
• If physical contact is initiated by a child/young person/vulnerable adult, cease it as soon as possible without making them feel rejected. If it persists this should be brought to the attention of a senior member of staff.
• Unless to avoid immediate danger to the child/young person/vulnerable adult or others present, avoid any physical contact when alone with a child/young person/vulnerable adult.
• It is good practice for all staff to work alongside a colleague where possible as this helps to ensure the safety of children/young people/vulnerable adults and helps to protect staff and volunteers against false allegations.
• Avoid lending or borrowing money or property.
• Avoid giving or receiving significant gifts.
• Staff and volunteers must not take service users into their homes.
• Report all cases of physical contact which falls outside of the remit of the activity in which staff/volunteers are engaged, as these can be misinterpreted, not just if these are repeated.
TCP will accept gifts intended for a group, as opposed to individual staff and volunteers.
6. Responding to abuse, suspected abuse or disclosure
If any member of staff or a volunteer has concerns that a child, young person or vulnerable adult may be suffering from abuse in any form, they must inform their line manager or DPO immediately. If the DPO is unavailable, the line manager will take a lead and make sure all necessary steps are taken by the organisation and that the worker is fully supported.
If any member of staff or a volunteer has a concern regarding another staff member’s conduct with a child, young person or vulnerable adult they must communicate these concerns to their line manager or the TCP DPO immediately.
All staff should encourage adults and young people to report incidents themselves to the appropriate authorities and support them through this process. Line managers must support workers to do this.
7. If a child/young person/vulnerable adult discloses abuse:
Do treat any allegations extremely seriously and act at all times towards the child/young person/ vulnerable adult as if you believe what they are saying, irrespective of their level of development or communication
Do tell the child/young person/vulnerable adult that they were right to tell you
Do reassure them that they are not to blame
Do be honest about your own position, who you have to tell and why
Do tell the child/young person/vulnerable adult what you are doing, and when, and keep them up to date with what is happening
Do take further action – you may be the only person able to prevent further abuse – tell your immediate supervisor immediately
Do write down everything said and what action was taken (see guidelines for recording) – always state facts and not opinions
Do seek medical attention for the child/young person/vulnerable adult if necessary
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Don’t interrogate the child/young person/ vulnerable adult – it is not your job to carry out an investigation - this is the responsibility of the police and social services who have experience in this.
Don’t cast doubt on what the child/young person/ vulnerable adult has told you, don’t interrupt or change the subject.
Don’t say anything that might make the child/young person/ vulnerable adult feel responsible for the abuse.
Don’t keep it to yourself or act alone – make sure you tell your immediate supervisor and TCP’s nominated DPO immediately – they will take the lead in following up your concerns and seeking further advice.
Don’t Promise Confidentiality - Depending on the situation it may be your legal requirement to pass on information.
8. Guidelines for making confidential records of concerns
When a child/young person/ vulnerable adult protection concern arises, it is essential that somebody records what is said or seen and what action was taken. These records are extremely sensitive and should be kept in a locked cabinet or drawer. Access should be limited to only the nominated child protection officer and the line manager, the key to the locked cabinet is kept by the TCP Central Services Manager and will only be accessed by the DPO and line managers. These records may be shown to the police or social services and could be used as evidence in court, although this is rare.
A recording form for all incidents is attached to this policy. All workers with support from their line managers and the DPO should fill in these reports as fully and comprehensively as possible.
9. Taking Action
If the TCP DPO wishes to seek advice about whether to make a referral, or if they want to make a referral, they should contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) formerly the Advice, Contact and Assessment Service (ACAS) at
, or by telephone: 01273 290400.
The Local Authority will make a decision about the next course of action within 24 hours following discussion with the person making the referral and by liaising with other agencies as necessary. An investigation may then be initiated to determine whether there is ‘reasonable cause’ to suspect that a child is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm. Social Services will advise the Project DSL as soon as they can.
Other useful telephone numbers:
Sussex Police; 0845 60 70 or 999
Brighton & Hove Early Help Hub: 01273 292632
Childline: 0800 1111
Parent Plus: 0808 800 2222
NSPCC 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 800 5000
10. Community Groups’ Policy development
Groups with a specific responsibility around child/young people/ vulnerable adult care and/or providing children’s/young people/vulnerable adult’s services should be enabled to develop their own policy. Any community group providing child/young people/vulnerable adult care should develop their own policies in line with Ofsted and other relevant agencies. However, groups may operate under TCP’s policy until a time when they are able to adopt their own. Staff shall be supported through this by their line manager.
All staff and volunteers must be aware that any issues around suspected abuse are confidential. Incidents must not be discussed with anyone other than those staff and managers who are immediately involved with the investigation.
12. Use of the Complaints Procedure
Staff should ensure that the Complaints Procedure is explained to service users and parents/carers where appropriate, so that they are able to voice any concerns and complaints they may have.
This policy and its associated procedures should be reviewed and updated if there are any changes in legal requirements or every year from the date when last adopted in order to keep all trustees and staff informed.
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