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Safeguarding Policy

What is Safeguarding?

 

Adult Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action.

*A definition of an Adult at Risk, the types of abuse that can occur and the procedure for reporting a safeguarding incident can be found in the document CLT Safeguarding Procedure”.

Prevent Strategy

Another aspect of safeguarding is the PREVENT duty, which requires the Education sector to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism", supporting terrorism or being drawn into non-violent extremism.

Scope of this Policy and Procedure

The aim of this policy is to ensure-

  • that Changing Lives Together outlines clear procedures, ensuring the safety of adults at risk.

  • that Trustees, staff and volunteers within Changing Lives Together are clear about their responsibilities and are trained adequately

  • that personal risk assessments for volunteers consider the need to safeguard adults at risk.

In our work with children / young people / adults who may be at risk due to age, illness or disability, Changing Lives Together will, at all times, endeavour to provide services and activities which minimise risk and are as safe as we can make them.

It must be recognised that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances. People have complex lives and being safe is only one of the things they want for themselves. Changing Lives Together will provide the adult at risk with opportunities and information but also respects the adult’s right to make choices for their own situation.  There may be times however when Changing Lives Together will need to pass on information or concerns to relevant parties.

We aim to protect our service users from harm or maltreatment, prevent the impairment of health or development, ensure the provision of safe and effective care, promote people’s life chances and ensure children enter adulthood successfully.

We will work in partnership with other local / national agencies to put in place appropriate procedures for reporting, making referrals, accessing training and specialist support, as and when required.

We will provide an induction programme for all new volunteers and staff, appropriate training to enable all personnel to undertake their roles safely and confidently, and ongoing training as benefits the personal and professional development of individuals and of our organisation.

 

As Changing Lives Together operate across three different local authorities ¹Cheshire West and Chester, ²Cheshire East and ³Warrington “CLT Safeguarding Procedure” includes contact information for each Safeguarding Board/ Social Care Team.

 

We will regularly review our recruitment procedures in response to changes in legislation and systems external to our organisation e.g. DBS and barring list checks

 

Changing Lives Together will seek to recruit using appropriate procedures, safeguards and checks which include (but are not limited to):

 

References

We will take up references for all paid posts prior to appointment.

Volunteers (dependent on the nature of the role) may be asked for a reference.

For both paid staff and volunteers, if no references are received within two weeks, a further request will be made, and a different referee may be provided If no reference then arrives the position cannot be taken.

 

DBS Checks

The DBS was created with the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The ISA was created to prevent unsuitable people from working with children and adults. The ISA had four statutory duties:

  • To maintain a list of individuals barred from engaging in regulated activity with children;

  • To maintain a list of individuals barred from engaging in regulated activity with adults;

  • To make well-informed and considered decisions about whether an individual should be included in one or both barred lists; and

  • To reach decisions as to whether to remove an individual from a barred list.

 

The DBS has responsibility for making barring decisions on the Children’s list and the Adults list, previously known as:

  • the PoCA list under the Protection of Children Act 1999,

  • the PoVA list under the Care Standards Act 2000,

  • List 99 under the Education Act 2002

 

Types of Disclosure and Barred List Checks

 

The different levels of criminal records check that the Changing Lives Together carries out, using a registered umbrella body, are:

 

  • Basic Disclosure

  • Standard DBS

  • Enhanced DBS check through the Disclosure & Barring Service

  • Enhanced DBS check with Children's Barred list check

  • Enhanced DBS check with Adult Barred list check

  • Enhanced DBS check with Children's and Adult Barred list check

 

We will assess any criminal record information that is disclosed in line with our data protection and equalities (treating ex-offenders fairly) policies.

 

All posts across Changing Lives Together will have an internal record to evaluate the role of each employee or volunteer to determine which level of check they’re eligible for.

 

If the applicant has made a false declaration on their application form, then Changing Lives Together will not be able to confirm the appointment.

 

If the disclosure certificate contains information that was not revealed by the applicant or additional information from the Police is received it will be necessary to hold a further discussion with the candidate and undertake a further review against any risk assessment before deciding to confirm or withdraw the offer of employment.

 

Existing employees, who have not been previously checked, (or their post requires a re-check) will have the opportunity to disclose any information that they had not previously submitted, prior to the DBS request. If they then fail to disclose and subsequently have an adverse disclosure result, the individual may be subject to disciplinary procedures and will need to discuss this with the Chief Executive Officer.

 

All employees will be checked on appointment and any continuation, or variation, of employment will be subject to further DBS checks.

 

All DBS information will be kept in a secure location and will be kept separately from personnel files.

 

Volunteers & Placements

 

It is important that all volunteers & placements are treated fairly, are given clear expectations of their role within the organisation and are supported to fulfil that role.

 

All volunteer roles will be supported by a Volunteer manager.

 

Volunteers & placements will be treated equally alongside any paid staff, and all volunteers will be offered the same opportunities for advancement, responsibility, training and gaining qualifications and acknowledgement for their contribution to our organisation. In turn, our volunteers & placements as a representative of our organisation, sign a Volunteer Agreement to state that they will adhere to the Policies and Procedures of Changing Lives Together

 

Any volunteer & placements roles, which would be regulated activity if unsupervised, will be appropriately supervised in accordance with statutory guidance.

 

Safeguarding Officer

 

Changing Lives Together has appointed and named a Safeguarding Lead and a Safeguarding Officer to demonstrates our organisation’s commitment to safeguarding. They provide an important role in supporting service users and other workers.

 

Our appointed Safeguarding Lead is Holly Threlfall who is supported by Mike Jenkins as Safeguarding Officer. They will be available to all staff, volunteers and service users to speak to when they have any concerns, issues or complaints regarding the safety, well-being or conduct of service users, volunteers and staff.

 

The safeguarding Lead and Officers will have access to appropriate training to support them in these roles. They will liaise with appropriate local and national agencies, contribute to appropriate policies, maintain records and keep confidentiality, adhere to and promote this policy within the organisation, and support or provide access to support for individuals suffering harm or abuse.

 

Awareness of harm and abuse in our organisation

 

Harm is caused by accidents, deliberate abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, financial), neglect (deliberate or not) or factors such as bullying, prejudicial attitudes or a failure to enable a person to participate in activities that are open to most of their peers.

 

All incidents of harm to anyone involved in our service will require an appropriate response to reduce risks and improve our service.

 

Deliberate acts of harm (sexual, physical, emotional and financial) and neglect are abuses against the person and will incur disciplinary proceedings and require reports and referrals to social services, the police, other professional bodies and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) if in regulated activity.

 

Significant harm

 

Where there is risk of significant harm to our service users, volunteers or staff, the Safeguarding Lead & Officer are empowered to act accordingly:

 

  • To log all conversations regarding the issue

  • To sign and request signatures on reports and statements

  • Confidentially seek advice from expert sources

  • Share concerns (with consent where required and appropriate) internally with senior staff / Chair of the Board

  • Share concerns and make referrals to external agencies such as Social Services, the Police or NSPCC as appropriate to the circumstances

  • Make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service regarding staff or volunteers & placements in regulated activity whose conduct is harmful to service users and when they are removed from regulated activity

 

Confidentiality

 

All reports and logs (including personnel records) will be kept securely and confidentially according our data protection policy and confidentiality statement, or in line with DBS Code of Practice if appropriate, until or unless it is necessary to share this material with the agencies named above. Information will be shared on a “need-to-know” basis only.

 

Communication

 

We will communicate this policy to all staff, volunteers, service users and their families / carers, using appropriate methods, formats and language to get the essence across.

 

We support and encourage all service users, volunteers and staff to speak up and contact the named Safeguarding Officer or Lead where there is:

 

  • a concern (a worry, issue or doubt about practice or treatment of a service user or colleague, or their circumstances), or

  • a disclosure (information about a person at risk of or suffering from significant harm) or

  • an allegation (the possibility that a volunteer or staff member could cause harm to a person in their care)

 

Staff or volunteers & placements can report things that aren’t right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties, putting someone’s health and safety in danger or covering up wrongdoing. In the first instance they should speak with the Safeguarding Lead, Officer, or the trustee with appropriate responsibility.

 

We would prefer our volunteers, placements and personnel to use internal processes whenever possible to make a report as above, but this does not prevent them from making a report or referral to statutory agencies such Social Services or the Police, in their own right as a private individual.

 

We also support our staff or volunteers & placements to raise concerns or to disclose information, which they believe shows malpractice - whistle-blowing .

 

To encourage everyone involved in our organisation to understand that safeguarding is everybody’s business, we aim to provide information, discussion and training via Trustee’s meetings, one-to-one reviews/ appraisals, policy and procedures to reflect, review and to continue to learn and improve in our safeguarding responsibilities.

 

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