Child and Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding Policy
- Our Commitment
- Contact Details for Designated Person
- Procedure to Report Safeguarding Concerns
- How do I deal with the disclosure or allegation?
- A nagging doubt or low-level concern.
- Appendix 1 – Definitions and Types of Abuse
- Appendix 2 – Safe Working Practice Guidelines
The Green Backyard (GBY) takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
This Policy applies to all GBY “staff”, which includes our employees, volunteers, Trustees and contractors whether they are working for the charity on site or representing the charity off site. It is
designed to protect all staff and visitors to the site, and those involved in our charity’s work. “Work” includes undertaking day to day activities on site and specific activities such as education delivery (including those delivered online) and events.
Where the GBY is hosting a booked group or partner organisation, we will expect them to have safeguarding policies and procedures of their own and to work to the same standard as the GBY. The Green Backyard will co-operate with partner organisations and booked groups to ensure that safeguarding standards are maintained throughout all activities taking place at GBY.
The GBY has a statutory and moral duty to ensure that we safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and vulnerable adults working or volunteering for the charity, or visiting our site or our off site activities.
- Everyone, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, has the right to equal protection from all types of harm and abuse.
- All staff are responsible for the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults by following the procedures laid down in this policy.
- All staff have a duty to maintain the highest standards of professional behaviour and confidentiality when dealing with children and vulnerable adults and personal and sensitive
issues relating to these groups.
- All staff have a duty to identify and support people who may be vulnerable to being drawn into violent extremist activity (Preventing Violent Extremism/ Prevent strategy) and young people,
especially girls who may be forced to marry or be subject to “honour-based violence”. (Forced Marriage & Honour-based Violence).
- GBY has a zero tolerance policy to instances of abuse and other harmful behaviour affecting visitors or staff.
- All staff have a duty to be alert to any suspicions, nagging doubts or allegations raised with regard to the safety and welfare of children or vulnerable adults and to refer to or seek advice from the Designated Persons for Safeguarding.
- The Designated Persons will share information about concerns or allegations with statutory agencies, involving parents/ carers appropriately.
Throughout these policies and procedures, reference is made to “children and young people and vulnerable adults”. The terms “children” and “young people” are used to mean “those under the age
of 18”. GBY recognises that some adults are also vulnerable to abuse. A vulnerable adult is someone aged 18 years or over who has, or may need someone to assist in caring for them because of a
mental disability, age or illness and is unable to protect themselves against harm or exploitation.
Chair of The Green Backyard, Vanessa Pool
Tel: 07729 479292
All complaints, disclosures, allegations or suspicions of abuse or any significant concerns about a child or vulnerable adult must be taken seriously and reported to a Designated Person as soon as
possible or within 24 hours. The Safeguarding report form should be used.
If the Designated Person is not available, staff should report to a member of the GBY Board of Trustees.
In emergency situations, seek any necessary medical attention. If a crime may have been committed, the concern, suspicion or allegation should be reported to the Police or NSPCC.
Our Designated Person may also contact:
Tel: 01733 863713
Lead Officer Adult Protection
Tel: 01733 746634
If a child or vulnerable adult tells a member of staff about possible abuse:
- Ensure that the victim of the alleged abuse is safe.
- Ensure that any necessary emergency medical treatment is arranged.
- Ensure that no forensic evidence is disturbed, lost or destroyed. If it is felt that a crime has been or may be committed, the Police should be contacted.
- Listen carefully and stay calm.
- Do not put words into the child’s or vulnerable adult’s mouth or ask leading or closed questions or judge or condemn the alleged abuser.
- Note the main points carefully, including any key phrases used and record the date, time, place, what the child / vulnerable adult said, did and your questions etc.
- Do not discuss the allegation of abuse with the alleged perpetrator.
- Reassure the person that by telling you, they have done the right thing.
- Inform the child or vulnerable adult that you must pass the information on, that only those that need to know about it will be told and that only relevant information will be passed on. Inform them of to whom you will report the matter. If a child says they will tell you only if you promise not to pass on the information, explain that this is not possible – even if this means they refuse to say any more.
- Even in the case of no consent for reporting being gained, if the concern, suspicion or allegation of possible abuse is serious and risks being continued or happening to others, then the information should still be reported to the relevant contact.
Staff should not investigate concerns or allegations themselves, but should report them immediately to the Designated Person using the reporting form.
Sometimes, things that seem to be insignificant or trivial at the time, turn out to be vital pieces of information later.
Examples could be a child or vulnerable adult whose behaviour has changed, or who seems preoccupied or unable to concentrate; who looks obviously unwell or has injuries
If there has been no specific incident or information, try to identify what is really making you feel worried. Follow the same reporting procedure using the reporting form.
It is not possible to guarantee to a child or vulnerable adult that a disclosure of abuse will be kept confidential. It is possible to guarantee that any information/notes will be kept in a confidential
location with strictly limited access.
Parents / Carers will be consulted, if appropriate, and their consent obtained before any referral is made about their child to any other agency under local “children in need” procedures. With older
young people, it may be appropriate to act on their consent alone. However, even if asked to do so, staff cannot guarantee to consult parents or carers first, or to keep children’s or vulnerable adults’ concerns confidential, if referral must be made to the appropriate agencies in order to safeguard the child’s or vulnerable adult’s welfare.
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
Abuse can occur anywhere – at home; at work; at college; in care homes, public places or in the community. The person causing the abuse could be a paid or unpaid carer, a professional person,
someone who visits regularly, or a neighbour, friend or relative.
Abuse can be intentional, or unintentional because of lack of training or understanding.
The GBY recognises the following as definitions of abuse:
Physical abuse causes harm. It may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning or suffocating. It may be done deliberately or recklessly, or be the result of a deliberate failure to prevent injury occurring. It can also occur when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after.
Neglect and Acts of Omission
Neglect is the persistent or severe failure to meet a person’s basic physical and / or psychological needs. It will result in serious impairment of health or development. It may involve failure to
provide adequate food, clothing or shelter, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also involve neglect of, or inadequate response to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Sexual abuse involves a child, young person or vulnerable adult being forced or coerced into participating in or watching sexual activity. It is not necessary for the child to be aware that the
activity is sexual and the apparent consent of the child is irrelevant. The acts may involve physical contact including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may involve non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
Emotional or psychological abuse occurs where there is persistent emotional ill treatment or rejection. It causes severe and adverse effects on the child’s, young person’s or vulnerable adult’s
behaviour and emotional development, resulting in low self worth. It may involve conveying to children or vulnerable adults that they are worthless or unloved or valued only insofar as they meet
the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children or vulnerable adults. It may involve causing children / vulnerable adults
to feel frightened or in danger or the exploitation or corruption of children or vulnerable adults. Some level of emotional abuse is present in all forms of abuse.
Financial or Material Abuse
Financial or material abuse occurs where there is deliberate misappropriation of another’s possessions, money, valuables, property or inheritance. Forcing changes to a Will or Testament and
forced loans if dishonestly exacted or obtained under threat or duress are also examples of financial or material abuse. Another example would be taking a loan out under duress for another person.
Discriminatory abuse is motivated by oppressive or discriminatory attitudes towards a person’s disability, race, gender, age, religion, cultural background or sexual orientation and it may manifest
itself as unequal treatment, verbal abuse, inappropriate use of language, derogatory remarks, harassment and deliberate exclusion.
Institutional abuse can occur within an institution charged with the care of a person and can manifest itself as lack of respect for the individual being cared for, sub standard service, inappropriate use of Restrictive Physical Interventions, poor practice in intimate care and no account being taken of individual needs, culture, religion or ethnicity. The outcome of the behaviour must result in harm or risk of harm to include not only ill treatment, mental and physical but also the impairment of, or avoidable, deterioration in mental or physical health and physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.
Radicalisation is the process by which people come to support terrorism and violent extremism and, in some cases, then to participate in terrorist groups. There is no obvious profile of a person likely to become involved in extremism, or single indicator of when a person might move to adopt violence in support of extremist ideas. Potential diagnostic indicators may include use of inappropriate language, possession of violent extremist literature, behavioural changes and so on. If members of staff do have concerns about a young person, they should seek advice from the SO immediately.
A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.
Honour Crime and Honour based Violence
The terms “honour crime” or “honour based violence” or “izzat” embrace a variety of crimes of violence (mainly but not exclusively against women), including assault, imprisonment and murder,
where the person is being punished by their family or their community. They are being punished for actually, or allegedly, undermining what the family or community believes to be the correct code of behaviour. In transgressing this correct code of conduct, the person is perceived as having brought “shame” or dishonour” to the family or community.
When working with child or vulnerable adults for the GBY all staff are acting in a position of trust. “Staff” includes our employees, volunteers, Trustees and contractors whether they are working for the charity on site or representing the charity off site. It is important that staff are aware that they may be seen as role models by children and young people, and must act in an appropriate manner at all times.
When representing the GBY, our staff will:
- Operate within The Green Backyard’s principles and guidance and any specific procedures.
- Follow The Green Backyard’s child protection policy and procedures at all times.
- Listen to and respect children and vulnerable people at all times.
- Avoid favouritism
- Treat people fairly and without prejudice or discrimination.
- Value and take children’s and vulnerable people’s contributions seriously, actively involving them in planning activities wherever possible.
- Ensure any contact is appropriate and in relation to the work of the project.
- Always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory.
- Always ensure equipment is used safely and for its intended purpose.
- Provide examples of good conduct you wish people to follow.
- Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse.
- Ensure that whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children and vulnerable people or if this isn’t possible, that you are within sight or hearing of
- Be close to where others are working. If a child specifically asks for or needs some private time with you, ensure other staff should know where you and the child are.
- Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy.
- Encourage young people and adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like.
- Recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people.
In the course of representing the GBY, our staff will not:
- Patronise or treat children and young people as if they are silly.
- Allow allegations to go unreported.
- Develop inappropriate relationships such as contact with children and vulnerable people that is not a part of the work of The Green Backyard or agreed with the manager or leader.
- Conduct a sexual relationship with a child or vulnerable person or indulge in any form of sexual contact with a child or vulnerable person. Any such behaviour between an adult member of staff or volunteer and a child or vulnerable person using the services of The Green Backyard represents a serious breach of trust on the part of the staff member or volunteer and is not acceptable under any circumstances.
- Let children and vulnerable people have your personal contact details (mobile number or address).
- Make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of children and vulnerable people.
- Act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive.
- Make inappropriate promises, particularly in relation to confidentiality.
- Jump to conclusions about others without checking facts.
- Either exaggerate or trivialise any abuse issues.
- Rely on your reputation or that of the GBY to protect you.
Author: Sophie Easteal
Authorised By: Trustees (April 2020)