Safeguarding Policy and Protocols
Safeguarding Policy and Protocol Rev 30.11.20
Absolute Specialists (AS) Accredited practitioners provide a safe environment for all its people and clients, with particular reference to young people (anyone aged under 18) and vulnerable adults.
In identifying clients, with particular reference to young people and vulnerable adults, who are suffering or likely to suffer harm, we take appropriate action to ensure they stay safe and have the best possible outcomes.
We also recognise that anyone may become vulnerable at some stage in their life. They may require extra support in the face of difficult situations such as ill health, bereavement, divorce, loss of income, or other challenges.
All AS accredited practitioners who come into regular contact with young people and adults receive checks and training appropriate to their level of role and responsibility, as we recognise that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone should play their full part in keeping children, young people and vulnerable adults safe.
We should feel confident that we can report all matters of a safeguarding nature to the designated safeguarding lead, to be dealt with swiftly and securely, and with the safety and wellbeing of the client in mind at all times. AS strives to embed a culture whereby everyone has a clear understanding of safeguarding and child protection regarding abuse and neglect in all forms; including how to identify, respond and report. This also includes knowledge of the process for allegations against professionals.
Key aspects of Safeguarding covered by this policy:
- Client health, safety and wellbeing
- Child protection including missing children
- Protection of adults at risk
- Bullying, harassment and discrimination including racial abuse
- Abuse and neglect
- Domestic violence
- Safety from sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and forced marriage
- Alcohol, drug and substance misuse
- E-safety including all aspects of electronic communication
- Financial exploitation
- Protecting people from radicalisation and extremism
Review of this Policy
This policy will be reviewed by the Director and safeguarding lead on at least an annual basis. Where necessary the policy will be reviewed at more frequent intervals. This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the
- Children Acts 1989 and 2004;
- The Education Act 2011, and in line with the government publication:
- ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’ the statutory guidance.
- ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education or Working Together to Safeguard
- Children (2018)’ and the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures.
Aims and Scope of this Policy
The aim of this policy is to give a clear statement of AS’s approach to Safeguarding including;
- The roles and responsibilities of everyone in the prevention and report of abuse.
- The associated policies and procedures in place which support this aim.
- How AS will embed the principles of Safeguarding through their associated policies and procedures.
This policy provides a framework, and it is recognised that specific additional service delivery may require additional guidelines and procedures.
Roles and Responsibilities
We expect everyone, to have read, understood and adhere to this policy as well as related policies and procedures.
AS director and safeguarding lead take full and final responsibility for;
- Ensuring that everyone is fully aware of this policy.
- Ensuring that we meet all our legal responsibilities.
- Ensuring that we are continuously updating our practices with the most recent information and guidance
Designated Safeguarding Lead
The designated lead will be responsible for
- Undertaking training and keeping updated on Safeguarding issues.
- Be the first point of contact for advice and support if a Safeguarding issue occurs.
- Having knowledge of reporting procedures for incidents should they occur.
- Form appropriate links to Local Authority Safeguarding Boards and ensure AS’s reporting procedures are aligned.
- Take the lead in terms of reporting issues relating to Prevent and disclosures of all types including Female Genital Mutilation to the relevant authority.
- If early help is appropriate the DSL (or person nominated by the DSL) will take the lead liaising with other agencies, unless or until another appropriate agency takes the lead.
It is not the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead or AS to decide whether abuse has taken place or not. The responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead is to ensure that concerns are shared with the relevant authorities and that appropriate action taken.
All AS accredited practitioners who may come into contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults will be subject to the full range of standard pre-employment checks. Including;
- DBS Checks
Induction and Training for AS accredited practitioners
AS practitioners are responsible for all aspects of their employment, training, development, equal treatment, health and safety and their responsibility to others, including safeguarding and must hold appropriate insurance.
Safeguarding is a standing item for all team meetings and supervision sessions, ensuring that issues are proactively discussed and considered on a regular basis.
Specific Actions to prevent and address incidents and disclosures
The increasing use of internet as a means of communication and learning creates an increased risk of safeguarding issues, which include but are not restricted to, grooming for sexual exploitation or radicalisation purposes, cyber bullying and personal identity theft. We must ensure that when promoting the use of the internet, we also ensure that young people and vulnerable adults are able to understand and use security measures which will enable them to understand the level of threat being posed and to take measures which will prevent harm to themselves and others.
Prevent is a strategy which aims to prevent people from becoming radicalised or involved in extremist activity by acting on the early signs of radicalisation. This is covered in Safeguarding Training for practitioners at induction and will be repeated as and when required to more established practitioners. AS is committed to following the principles and practices of Prevent and as a result everyone is instructed to report any indications/signs of radicalisation to the Designated Safeguarding Lead for onward transmission to the proper authorities.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Forced Marriages
FGM and forced marriage are practices which whilst common in some cultures are illegal in this country. Practitioners receive training in these issues and in particular in how the intention to pursue these practices might be identified. Any and all instances of these practices, whether suspected or formally disclosed MUST be reported to the police for investigation. This is the case regardless of when the procedure/activity took place. Where practitioners require advice on whether or not an incident/declared practice might be indicative of FGM or forced marriage they should consult their supervisor and, if deemed necessary, inform the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
Peer to Peer Abuse
There is growing recognition that children can suffer significant harm, and abuse, at the hands of other children or young people. Not all incidents involving a children or young people can be regarded as peer to peer abuse. However, it may be appropriate to regard peer on peer behaviour as abusive if harm is caused if:
- It is identified there is a significant power imbalance between the young people involved this could be age, gender, social status within the group, intellectual ability, physical development and economic wealth. This list is not exhaustive.
- The person identified as the perpetrator has previous intelligence which is a cause for concern when related to this incident
- There is cause for concern about the intention, if the intention was intended to cause severe harm then this should be regarded as abusive.
- Teenage relationship abuse (physical and emotional)
- Sexual touching/harassment, sexual violence or assault
- Initiations or rituals
- Behaviours such as sexism or racism
- Physical abuse
Criminal exploitation known as ‘county lines’ is when gangs and organised crime networks exploit people to sell drugs. Often these children are made to travel across counties, and they use dedicated mobile phone ‘lines’ to supply drugs. This may be suspected where the following occurs:
- Changes in behaviour such as sexual, drug related or violent language you wouldn’t expect
- Unexplained absences
- New mobile phones, trainers, clothing or anything which seem out of character or is not explained
- Increased disruptive or aggressive behaviour
- Changes in behaviour such as becoming more confident in an aggressive or overpowering way to others.
Prevention of allegations of abuse:
The following actions should be taken by us all:
- Any and all requests from clients to link via social media sites (e.g. friendship requests on Facebook) MUST be ignored or declined.
- We should not approach clients whilst they are out socially either in evenings or at weekends. This is especially the case where alcohol is being consumed. Where there are concerns that a client who is under age is consuming alcohol, this should be addressed with them at their next session.
- Where clients are already friends with a practitioner, they must declare this to their supervisor. This is important as there may already be legitimate links that have been made on Facebook etc. These links do not need to be broken if they are disclosed, but may lead to disciplinary action if they are not. The supervisor will discuss whether any action needs to be taken to protect the company and the practitioner from any conflicts of interest that may arise from the pre-existing relationship.
Reporting Disclosures /Potential Safeguarding Concerns
It is our policy that any and all issues or concerns that practitioners have about a client or another AS member should be discussed with the supervisor who will decide whether to escalate it to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Where the Designated Safeguarding Lead agrees that the issue should be formally classed as a safeguarding incident/disclosure, they will take the responsibility for reporting the incident to the relevant authority.
In reporting the incident the Designated Safeguarding Officer will:
- Identify which authority/ies are most appropriate to be notified. This may be any combination of the Police, Social Services, Local Authority Designated Officer.
- If required contact these authorities and act on guidance given by these professionals
- Record the allegation/disclosure in the Safeguarding Log
- Present a report for the Board which includes action that has been taken (where appropriate) to prevent incidents happening in future, or training that might be required to ensure staff can deal more effectively with these situations.
AS’s Code of Conduct
AS accredited practitioners’ Code of Ethics sets out the expectations of everyone in our day to day work including respect, honesty, trust and communication.
Responsibility for enforcing this Code of Ethics lies with everybody.
When sharing information with other agencies considerations in regards to the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation must be made, if people are in doubt then they should speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare, and protect the safety of young people and adults.