Safeguarding Policy for Children and Young People
This policy will:
Give the partnership a Safeguarding Statement
Show the clear commitment of the senior management to Safeguarding through commissioning and provision
Give everyone within the organisation an understanding of their responsibilities
State who to talk to about Safeguarding, and who has overall responsibility for Safeguarding
Provide a procedure for disclosure of abuse, both to staff and volunteers and non-staff and volunteers
Provide a procedure for the storage of parent/carer information
State arrangements for how we work with other organisations
Provide a glossary of definitions at the end of the document
We believe that Safeguarding is paramount. It is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind. We value and respect every child and young person and will endeavour always to listen to them and respond appropriately to safeguard them. We will provide staff and volunteers with guidance to follow when they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing harm or be at risk of harm, or when someone makes a disclosure of abuse. We both have a family ethos where we look after one another, support and encourage. Within this we want to have a culture that enables issues about Safeguarding and the welfare of young people to be discussed openly.
This safeguarding policy is centered around the key principles:
Always see the child first
Never do nothing
Do with, not to, others
Do the simple things better
Have conversations, build relationships
Outcomes not input
Commitment of Senior Management
The senior management have a commitment to safeguarding through
a) Making sure all relevant staff have a DBS check
b) Making sure all volunteers have a DBS check if necessary for their role And
c) Making sure all staff and volunteers working with young people have read this document, are aware of our Safeguarding policy, know who to contact with concerns around Safeguarding and if someone makes a disclosure and that they are clear about their responsibilities with regard to Safeguarding. A risk assessment for each activity will be carried out by a designated person.
Every volunteer, intern, apprentice and member of staff has a duty of care to the young people we work with, and to one another. Recognising child abuse is not easy and it is not the responsibility of staff and volunteers to decide whether abuse has taken place. It is, however, their responsibility to be alert and to act if they have a concern or if they believe a child or young person is at risk of abuse or neglect. If it is suspected that a young person is a victim of any form of abuse it is the staff or volunteer’s responsibility to report this to the designated senior manager with responsibility for Safeguarding. This is the CEO whose contact details are available below.
Who to talk to with concerns about Safeguarding
Michael Sani CEO has ultimate responsibility for Safeguarding within Play Verto Global Ltd as is recognised as the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Mike can be contacted on 07931 464865 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Sani is responsible for our in house training and keeping on top of best practice in the field and answering any queries relating to safeguarding. If the safeguarding issue concerns someone named please contact Gaia Ines Fasso on 07967 709893 or via email email@example.com
In case of emergency where you believe a young person is at immediate risk, always contact the emergency services.
How we work with other organisations
We are aware of the importance of sharing the responsibility of Safeguarding with those who we work with. When working with other organisations, we will ensure these organisations are provided with our Safeguarding policies. We will also make sure we have a copy of their policy.
Social Media and Young People
At times, it may be appropriate to communicate directly with young people via social media. At no time should any private messages or messages deemed as offensive be sent between staff and young people engaged in our programmes. Staff or associated staff should not add under 16 year olds to social media. If over 16, staff are still reminded of their commitment to safeguarding young people and should conduct themselves in a professional manner.
For any social media communication with under 18s, a ‘chaperone’ should be brought into the messages to ensure there is transparency in messaging. No young people should be added to staff’s personal Snapchat accounts for risk of inappropriate messaging.
Where you see something on social media regarding a young person who we currently work with, you must follow the safeguarding policy and highlight the issue to the safeguarding officer. Again, if you have immediate concerns, contact the police directly and then make a disclosure.
Office Space and Young People Under 16
When working within our premises no staff should be working one on one with a Young Person aged under 16 year old. If that is the case the staff member should go to a suitable public place such as the reception area. If there are more people set to arrive at the premises ask the young person to wait downstairs until the rest of the group arrives. This does not apply to young people over 16 years old.
When young people aged 16 or under are engaged in activities where we are the leading organisation then we must get parental consent for anyone aged under 16. This is the responsibility of the project lead.
It is important to have details of parents/carers. We store this information in accordance with the Data Protection Act. We remove information at regular periods as per our Data Protection Policy.
Only the fact that there was a disclosure on a given date should be shared and not the actual disclosure itself. It may only be accessed for this purpose the safeguarding officer will spot check the last date accessed if needed.
Procedure for Making a Disclosure
The Disclosure Form can be obtained by asking Michael Sani
If a child or young person reveals to you an incident that indicates abuse then the volunteer or staff member should:
Keep calm and listen, accept what they are hearing, reassure the child or young person, and make clear that this cannot be kept a secret.
Avoid asking any leading questions, or statements.
Reassure the child or young person and offer support and understanding
Make notes indicating name, address of the child or young person, and the name of the person against which the complaint is being made and name of any witness if appropriate. Ensure that statements are made in the language used by the person making the disclosure. Sign, date, and keep in a confidential file
Complete the disclosure or suspicion of disclosure form and pass on to designated person for child protection
Respect the confidentiality of everyone involved keeping the matters restricted to only those who need to know.
Once disclosure has taken place then the volunteer or staff member should:
Make sure that there is adequate provision for the child’s or young person’s privacy
Refer the incident to the designated Safeguarding lead if in schools or the designated person in Play Verto Global Ltd. The allegation will then be referred to the Social Services and Children’s Services for their investigation.
All records taken by the staff member or volunteer should be passed to the relevant designated person
Play Verto Global Ltd will organise a time to discuss and debrief internally
For out of office hours, you should contact the Emergency Duty Team and then report it as soon as possible to the Safeguarding officer.
Procedure for Reporting a flag.
If a staff member notices a change in regular circumstance or behaviour in a young person or becomes aware of minor incidents that could allude toward a safeguarding issue the staff member must log the incident following the same disclosure process forementioned. Highlighting the “flag section of the Disclosure form”
Following disclosure the staff member or volunteer may be asked to support the child or young person by reassuring them that it was not their fault. Tolerance and care should be shown to children and young people who may be not used to expressing their emotions in a healthy way and may be actively demanding, self-destructive or withdrawn.
Procedure for Making a Disclosure against a member of staff
The Board of Directors of both organisations and the person responsible for Safeguarding within the organisation will investigate any complaint by, or with regard to, a child or young person against a member of staff or volunteer. We will seek professional advice at the earliest possible time.
This will be issued to all volunteers and staff members when they commence their duties within the schools or placement. This outlines the importance of confidentiality and in what circumstances disclosure takes place. All volunteers or members of staff on their first meeting with the child/children or young people must outline confidentiality.
Glossary of Definitions
Safeguarding - Protect children from maltreatment
Child - Anyone who has not reached his or her 18th Birthday
Young People - Anyone who has reached their 18th Birthday, before they turn 25
Abuse & Neglect - are all forms of maltreatment of a child or young person. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child or young person by inflicting harm, or failing to act to prevent harm.
Children or young people may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger (via internet). An adult/adults or another child or young person may abuse them.
Staff - People paid by Play Verto Global Ltd on an on-going or self-employed basis
Volunteers - People who work with us to deliver activity on a voluntary basis
Neglect - the persistent failure to meet a child’s or young people basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s or young person’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
Protect a child or young person from physical and emotional harm or danger;
Ensure adequate supervision (including inadequate care-givers); or
Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
May also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Recognising Neglect – This can be difficult to recognise and physical signs may include constant hunger, dirty, being consistently underweight or inappropriate dressed for the conditions. The young person may also indicate that they have very few friends and are left unsupervised.
Physical - May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocation, or otherwise causing physical harm. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child or young person.
Recognising Physical Abuse – Unexplained bruises, marks, burns or scolds or bite marks. Changes in behaviour may include fear of parents being contacted, aggressive behaviour, flinching, depression or withdrawn behaviour.
Sexual Abuse - Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child or young person is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing> they may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children to look at, or in the production of, sexual images. Watching sexual activities, encouraging children and young people to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including the internet).
Recognising Sexual Abuse – Sudden changes in behaviour, running away from home, sexual knowledge beyond their age or development level, eating problems, self-harming, saying they have secrets or are not allowed to have friends.
Emotional Abuse - Is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects of the child’s or young person’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or involved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person> it may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another; serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children and young people. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment, though it may occur alone.
Recognising Emotional Abuse – Anxious behaviour, fear of making mistakes, self-harm, fears of parents being approached.
This list is just a guide and it is important to remember that young people will exhibit some of these indicators at some time and the presence of one or more should not be taken as proof that abuse is occurring. When disclosure is made, it is important for volunteers and staff to know the correct procedure.