Reach Support CIC is fully committed to Safeguarding, and we believe that everyone has a right to feel safe. This policy sets out our expectations of safeguarding at Reach Support CIC and applies to everyone involved with Reach Support CIC. We all share a responsibility for promoting and protecting the safety and welfare of children, young people and adults at risk and encourage any person who has a safeguarding concern to contact our Designated Safeguarding Person as outlined in this policy.
Aims of the Policy
The aims of this policy are to:
- Outline our commitment & expectations
- Promote the highest safeguarding standards
- Ensure there are effective measures in place to assess the suitability of staff & partners
- Ensure that staff are clear about what constitutes appropriate behaviour & professional boundaries
- Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility
- Everyone has the right to be protected from abuse, mistreatment, & exploitation
- We strive to create a culture & environment where everyone is empowered to protect themselves & others
- We actively promote working together to ensure all children, young people & adults at risk are safeguarded
- We have robust & transparent governance arrangements for safeguarding
Evaluation & Review
We will regularly assess the implementation and effectiveness of this policy annually, or whenever there are changes in legislation, government or statutory guidance, personal changes within the organisation or after managing a safeguarding concern.
Our designated person holds operational responsibility for Safeguarding.
Our designated person is Wendy Sartain
Relationships of Trust
Those who have responsibility for & authority or influence over children, young people & adults at risk are in relationships of trust in relation to those children, young people & adults at risk in their care (for example, learners on our courses).
A relationship of trust can be described as one in which one party has power & influence over the other by virtue of their work or the nature of the activity. It is vital for all those in such positions of responsibility to understand the power they may have over those in their care and the responsibility they must exercise consequently.
All our staff who are perceived to be in a relationship of trust are informed of their inherent power & are bound by our behaviour guidelines set out in this Policy.
Staff are expected to ensure that the safety & welfare of children, young people & adults at risk is the primary consideration where no policy, rules or guidelines exist.
Staff have a responsibility to maintain confidence in their suitability to work with children, young people & adults at risk. Behaviour & actions that would lead any reasonable person to question motivation, intentions, and suitability to work with children, young people & adults at risk must be avoided.
Staff are expected to:
- Familiarise themselves with this Policy
- Know who the Designated Persons are & how to contact them
- Ensure the safety of children, young people & adults at risk at all times
- Always act in the best interests of children, young people & adults at risk
- Build balanced relationships with children, young people & adults at risk based on mutual trust
- Always maintain appropriate and professional boundaries
- Treat all children, young people, & adults at risk equally, with respect, dignity, and fairness
- Ensure that the same professional standards are applied regardless of ethnic origin, colour, nationality, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability
- Respect the views, wishes and feelings of children, young people, & adults at risk
- Recognise the developmental needs of children/young people & capacity of children, young people & adults at risk
- Help maintain an ethos whereby colleagues, partners, children, young people & adults at risk & their parents/carers feel able to express any concerns comfortably & safe in the knowledge that effective action will be taken as appropriate
- Promote an environment where poor practice is challenged and reported
- Ensure that any concerns or allegations pertaining to the safety and/or welfare of children, young people & adults at risk are recorded & acted upon in accordance with this Policy
- Encourage & demonstrate consistent high standards of behaviour & understand the types of behaviour that may call into question their suitability to work with children, young people, & adults at risk
- Be aware that behaviour outside of work time may impact upon their suitability to work with children, young people & adults at risk
- Be aware that breaches of the law and this Policy may result in criminal and/or disciplinary action being taken against them.
Staff should never:
- Use their position of power and influence to intimidate
- Use their position of power and influence to intimidate, threaten, coerce, exploit, or undermine children, young people, & adults at risk
- Use their status and standing to form or promote inappropriate relationships. Professional boundaries must be maintained at all times
- Use their position to gain access to information relating to children, young people, & adults at risk for their own or others’ advantage. Such information should only be used or shared to protect children, young people, & adults at risk & to meet their needs
- Carry out their duties whilst under the influence of alcohol, solvents or drugs
Dealing with a Disclosure
Staff should always be supervised by a member of the commissioning organisation when working with children, young people, & adults at risk & therefore disclosures should be managed in line with that organisation’s Safeguarding Policy.
However, should a member of staff receive a disclosure and either:
- There is no member of the commissioning organisation present or
- The staff member is of the view that the response of the commissioning organisation is inadequate then they should follow the guidelines set out below
If a child, young people and/or adult at risk discloses that he or she has been abused or is at risk of abuse, staff must ensure that the child, young person, or adult at risk’s immediate needs are met & prioritise their safety and protection from further abuse above all else. It is important to remember that, while it is a member of staff’s responsibility to be a supportive listener & to refer the information to the Designated Person or the CEOs in the absence of the Safeguarding Person, it is not their role to counsel the children, young people, & adults at risk or to investigate their claims. Staff are, however, expected to act in the best interests of children, young people, & adults at risk at all times.
This means that staff should:
- Ensure that the child, young people or adult at risk’s immediate needs are met and that the priority is their safety and protection from further risk of harm
- Allow the person disclosing to lead the discussion, to talk freely and at their own pace
- Listen and remember that their role is supportive rather than investigative
- Limit any questioning to the minimum necessary to seek clarification only
- Put their own feelings aside and avoid expressing their views on the matter
- Provide reassurance that the person disclosing is being taken seriously and that they are doing the right thing by disclosing
- Be mindful that if physical abuse has taken place, they may observe visible bruises and marks, however they should not ask them to remove or adjust their clothing to observe them
- Engage the person disclosing as far as possible about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation
- Explain to the person disclosing what action they will be taking and that they will support them through the process
- Always act in the best interests of children, young people & adults at risk & seek advice from the Designated Person (or the Director’s in his/her absence) if in any doubt about sharing information
- Where it is suspected that a crime has been committed, physical, forensic, & other evidence must be preserved, and consideration should be given to contacting the police as well as Children or Adult Services.
This means that staff should not:
- Make promises or promise confidentiality
- Seek details beyond those the person disclosing willingly discloses
- Document the conversation while the person is disclosing. This should be done as soon as possible after the disclosure has been made
- Ask leading questions
- Name behaviour and/or body parts in language different to that used by the person disclosing
- Give the impression that the person disclosing is to blame
- Approach the alleged abuser or person whose conduct there are concerns about
A disclosure is not the only way that Staff may be made aware of a safeguarding concern. Staff should immediately contact the Designated Person (or the Director’s in his/her absence) if they witness an incident or come upon information that causes concern or puts children, young people, & adults at risk at risk of harm.
Recording and Reporting Disclosures and other Safeguarding Concerns
All safeguarding concerns & disclosures must always be taken seriously, & every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned when dealing with a disclosure or a safeguarding concern. It is important to ensure that information is handled and disseminated on a ‘need to know basis’ only. Those who need to know are those who have a role to play in protecting the children, young people & adults at risk & others who may be at risk, for example:
- Designated Persons (those with specific operational responsibility for safeguarding)
- Statutory authorities (Police and Local Authorities)
- The DBS who helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with children, young people, & adults at risk
- Regulatory Bodies (such as sports or education’s governing bodies)
If necessary, any member of Staff may make a referral themselves directly to statutory authorities, particularly if they are concerned about children, young people, and adults at risk’s immediate safety, if they are having difficulty contacting the Designated Person (or the Director’s in his/her absence) if they are concerned that a disclosure or information about a safeguarding concern has not been acted upon appropriately. The Designated Person (or the Director’s in his/her absence) must be notified immediately after contacting a statutory authority or emergency services.
It is vital that clear and concise notes are made at the time of the concern or soon after a disclosure is made to support the completion of a more detailed record later.
A written record should include the following information wherever possible:
- The date & time of incident or disclosure, parties involved i.e. victim(s), the person(s) whose conduct there are concerns about, any witnesses, person(s) reporting the concern, person(s) to whom the concern was reported
- Factual information. Staff might convey their intuitive thoughts, but these should be recognised as such and should not form part of the record
- In the case of bruises or observed injuries, a body map (a drawing of a body outline, upon which the location of bruises/injuries can be indicated) can be completed
- The date & time of referring the information & to whom the information was referred
- Such records must be signed & dated by the individual recording the information.
- If more information is recalled at a later date, this should be added as an addendum.
The original record must not be changed.
W A Sartain
Review Date: December 2023