Safeguarding Policy for Children and Vulnerable Adults
Table of Contents
Safeguarding Policy for Children
2. Appointment of Personnel
3. Team Leaders’ Responsibilities
4. Procedures for all Leaders including Safeguarding Concerns
5. Transport Procedures
6. Additional Measures for Outings and Camps
Appendix 1 – DfE Guidance for Information on Use of Reasonable Force
Safeguarding Policy for Vulnerable Adults
2. Adults at Risk
3. Abuse of Adults
4. Procedures if Abuse of an Adult is Suspected or Disclosed
5. Good Practice
Appendix 1 – Statutory Principles for Safeguarding Adults
(The Care Act 2014 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 14
This Policy will be reviewed annually. Next review: March 2024
SAFEGUARDING POLICY FOR CHILDREN
Our Youth Work MissionAs a local church we seek to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with children and young people. To this end we hold a Sunday Club and crèche on Sundays and various weekly activities including Friday Club, Youth Group & Toddler Group. These take place on our premises and at Rendlesham Primary School. In addition, special activities such as parties, outings and a children’s holiday club are also held on our premises and occasionally elsewhere, such as village halls.
As part of its mission, the Church is committed to:
• Valuing, listening to and respecting children and young people as well as promoting their welfare and protection.
• Safe recruitment, supervision and training for all the children's/youth workers within the church.
• Adopting a procedure for dealing with concerns about possible abuse.
• Encouraging and supporting parents/carers.
• Supporting those affected by abuse in the church.
• Maintaining good links with the statutory childcare authorities and other similar organisations.
Our PolicyIn carrying out its mission the Church takes seriously its responsibility to ensure that all children are kept safe, and activities take place in a safe environment and with a high regard to protection and welfare of the children.
All Church activities come under the jurisdiction of the Church Elders and are regulated by this Policy:
The purpose of this Policy is to respond to current practices and recommendations following the publication of the Children Act 1989.
2. Appointment of Personnel
2.1 Each activity has a Team Leader who is approved by the church members on the
recommendation of the Church Elders.
2.2 To assist the Team Leader, other Leaders are appointed by the Church Elders for each activity.
2.3 Team Leaders will not recruit Leaders, even for temporary cover, without first obtaining approval from an elder.
Henceforth “Leaders” refers to all Team Leaders and all other Leaders of groups
2.4 All Leaders must be Church members who are at least 18 years of age, who have proved themselves both spiritually and practically to be suitable for the role to which they are appointed. Church members between the ages of 16 and 18 may be appointed as assistants but will not be left in sole charge of children. With regard to the Crèche which runs during part of the Sunday morning service, parents who are not Church members may be involved as helpers in Crèche. If they are regularly involved, they will be subject to the requirements of 2.5 below.
2.5 Prospective Leaders will be asked to complete the worker application form (SP/001) and will be required to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If the DBS reveals a conviction or similar matter the Church Elders will consider whether or not the appointment should be made. No person with a history involving child related offences will be allowed to undertake any role associated with the children’s work of the Church, nor be present at children’s meetings.
2.6 On occasions the Church Elders may agree that members of other churches of like beliefs may be invited as helpers for a specific project or activity. A recommendation from the leadership of their church will be required together with a satisfactory DBS Disclosure.
2.7 If any Leader behaves in an irresponsible manner, the Leaders will suspend them from their duties pending further investigation.
3. Team Leaders’ Responsibilities
3.1 Team Leaders will ensure that they have adequate numbers of leaders present at every meeting to maintain order. A ratio of one Leader to every ten children is recommended with a minimum of two Leaders present per session. A lower ratio may be permitted where parents are present, although parents must not assume the responsibilities of appointed personnel. The Team Leader will consult with a Church Elder if the minimum team level cannot be maintained or if the proportion of male and female team members is not appropriate to the age and sex of the children. For “off premises events” a Risk Assessment must be completed, and the following minimum team helper / children ratios applied:
for children aged 4 and under 1 to 6
for children aged 5 or 6 1 to 10
for children aged 7 to 10 1 to 15
for children aged 11 to 18 1 to 20
- these are the minimum ratios recommended by the DfE).
(see also Section 6).
3.2 Team Leaders will ensure that on-site activities comply with the Building Risk Assessment. If not, a separate Risk Assessment must be completed.
3.3 Written details of all children attending the activity will be recorded which will include: Home Address; Contact Name and Telephone Number in case of emergency. Specific Health Problems will also be recorded.
3.4 A register of children present on each occasion will be kept, together with the names of the Leaders on duty.
3.5 All behaviour incidents will be recorded on form (SP/002) and stored in the locked box kept at each premises. Any accidents or injuries will be recorded in the Accident Book kept at each premises. These entries are to be made on the day of the event.
The Team Leader will ensure that one team member on duty is competent in First Aid.
Where possible, when food is being prepared or cooked, a holder of a Food & Hygiene Certificate will be consulted.
Team Leaders are responsible for ensuring that other Leaders understand and carry out the requirements of the Safeguarding Policy.
4. Procedures for All Leaders including Safeguarding concerns
4.1 All Leaders will co-operate with the Team Leader in the full implementation of the requirements of the Safeguarding Policy.
Children will be supervised at all times whilst they are on the premises and at the end of the session Leaders will ensure that all children are either collected by a parent or known representative or taken home by Leaders of appropriate gender.
4.3 Leaders will avoid being alone with children in a place where they cannot be seen. If personnel do find themselves alone with a child, unnecessary physical contact must be avoided.
Leaders will assist the Team Leader in maintaining discipline to ensure that an acceptable standard of behaviour is maintained. Where a child is persistently disruptive a plan of action will be agreed with the Team Leader to deal with the situation. It may also be appropriate to involve the child’s parents or legal guardian.
If it is necessary to ban a child for misbehaviour the reason and details will be recorded on form (SP/002) and the parents or legal guardian informed. Only the Team Leader is authorised to ban a child for misbehaviour.
In situations where physical restraint or reasonable force is necessary, minimum force will be used and there will be two Leaders present. See Appendix 1 for extra DfE Guidance for information on use of reasonable force and complete form (SP/004).
4.7 If a Leader has a safeguarding concern, they will inform the DSL. Recording of the concern should be made on form (SP/003) and in accordance with Section 4.9.
If a Leader suspects that a colleague is behaving in an inappropriate way towards a child, their concern must be reported to the DSL / Alternate DSL immediately and a Church Elder informed.
4.9 Responding to concerns
Any safeguarding concerns will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL):
Charys Rushbrook – Telephone 01394 809691
If this person is not available report to the Alternate DSL:
Jess Tricker – Telephone 01394 548304
In cases of disclosure from a child it is important to: -
· Keep calm
· Reassure the child
· Be clear that you cannot keep secret anything that would need to be shared with others, for the child’s safety
· Ask only open questions, not leading questions
· Record the concerns detailing what you were told quoting the exact words of the child where possible.
· This record should be written in pen and signed with the date and time.
· No Leader should share the information or disclosure with anyone, including the parents of the child concerned, other than the DSL and/or Customer First/ police.
The Designated safeguarding Lead (DSL) will refer all disclosures where a child is considered to be at risk in any way to Customer First on the number below: -
Public Line – 0808 800 4005
If you would like to discuss whether or not a referral is required, please call the Professional Consultation Line on 03456 061 499 to speak with a Senior Social Worker.
If concerns are of a serious nature and indicate a child is in immediate risk, the Police will be contacted by the leader or DSL.
How to respond to concerns or allegations concerning a leader.
Any allegation made against a leader will be taken seriously and will be referred to the DSL (or alternate, if allegation concerns the DSL) who will then refer to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) where appropriate.
LADO Contact Details: 0300 123 2044
5. Transport Procedures
5.1 Drivers providing transport will have a full driving licence and valid insurance.
5.2 Drivers of Church minibuses will be 25 years of age or above and have obtained permission to drive the minibus from the Church Elders.
5.3 The driver is responsible for obtaining the permission of the parent or legal guardian before bringing a child to the Church premises and will ensure that a contact name and address is recorded.
5.4 A second adult in addition to the driver will be present in the minibus.
5.5 Each child will occupy only one seat and a seat belt will be worn.
5.6 Once children are in a vehicle it will not be left unattended.
5.7 The driver is responsible for the safety of passengers and the vehicle whilst it is in use.
5.8 Children may be transported in Leader’s cars with the parents’ permission. There must be more than one leader in the car when transporting one child.
6. Additional Measures for Activities taking place away from the Church premises (including Outings or Camps)
6.1 When activities take place away from Church premises, parents will be advised of the details and written consent obtained. Parents or legal guardians will be advised of the time that their child is expected to arrive home if this is later than normal.
6.2 When the activity involves being away overnight, care will be taken with regard to sleeping arrangements to ensure that separate facilities are available for boys and girls. An adequate number of male and female team helpers, appropriate to the age and sex of the children, will be on hand to supervise these arrangements.
6.3 All the provisions of this Safeguarding Policy will apply in full to all activities taking place away from Church premises.
Appendix 1 – DfE Guidance for Information on Use of Reasonable Force
The following is taken from the DfE Use of reasonable force: Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies July 2013
School staff have a power to use force and lawful use of the power will provide a defence to any related criminal prosecution or other legal action.
Suspension should not be an automatic response when a member of staff has been accused of using excessive force.
Senior school leaders should support their staff when they use this power.
Who can use reasonable force?
All members of school staff have a legal power to use reasonable force.
This power applies to any member of staff at the school. It can also apply to people whom the headteacher has temporarily put in charge of pupils such as unpaid volunteers or parents accompanying students on a school organised visit.
When can reasonable force be used?
Reasonable force can be used to prevent pupils from hurting themselves or others, from damaging property, or from causing disorder.
In a school, force is used for two main purposes – to control pupils or to restrain them.
The decision on whether or not to physically intervene is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and should always depend on the individual circumstances. 2Section 93, Education and Inspections Act 2006 4
The following list is not exhaustive but provides some examples of situations where reasonable force can and cannot be used.
What is reasonable force?
The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by most teachers at some point in their career that involve a degree of physical contact with pupils.
Force is usually used either to control or restrain. This can range from guiding a pupil to safety by the arm through to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a student needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury.
‘Reasonable in the circumstances’ means using no more force than is needed.
As mentioned above, schools generally use force to control pupils and to restrain them. Control means either passive physical contact, such as standing between pupils or blocking a pupil's path, or active physical contact such as leading a pupil by the arm out of a classroom.
Restraint means to hold back physically or to bring a pupil under control. It is typically used in more extreme circumstances, for example when two pupils are fighting and refuse to separate without physical intervention.
School staff should always try to avoid acting in a way that might cause injury, but in extreme cases it may not always be possible to avoid injuring the pupil.
Schools can use reasonable force to:
remove disruptive children from the classroom where they have refused to follow an instruction to do so;
prevent a pupil behaving in a way that disrupts a school event or a school trip or visit;
prevent a pupil leaving the classroom where allowing the pupil to leave would risk their safety or lead to behaviour that disrupts the behaviour of others;
prevent a pupil from attacking a member of staff or another pupil, or to stop a fight in the playground; and
restrain a pupil at risk of harming themselves through physical outbursts.
use force as a punishment – it is always unlawful to use force as a punishment.
SAFEGUARDING POLICY FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
1.1 The Church is committed to encouraging an environment where all people, and especially those who may be at risk for any reason, are able to be involved in church activities in safety.
1.2 The Church takes seriously its safeguarding obligations and responsibilities and is committed to:
Promoting the wellbeing of all adults who have some involvement with the ministries and activities of the Church.
Safeguarding vulnerable adults.
Preventing abuse of vulnerable adults and reporting any abuse that we discover or suspect.
Equipping church workers and members to be alert to the abuse of adults and aware of their duty to report any suspected abuse or neglect.
Promoting safe practice by those in positions of trust.
Recruiting with care all church workers involved in any pastoral role and using the enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for all pastoral staff and church members who have regular contact with vulnerable adults.
Supporting, resourcing, training and regularly reviewing those who interact with vulnerable adults.
Adhering to the guidance and principles of the Care Act 2014 on the Safeguarding of adults and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 when appropriate (see Appendix 1).
Recognising our duty to work together with the local authority and police and other agencies seek their advice when necessary.
Supporting anyone who has suffered abuse by offering or arranging sensitive and informed pastoral care, including support to make a complaint if so desired.
1.3 The Church has a designated Safeguarding Lead to safeguard vulnerable adults entering or using our Church premises who may be at risk of abuse or neglect, and to ensure the implementation of this policy.
1.4 All people within the church who work with adults who may be at risk of abuse or neglect will read and agree to abide by this Safeguarding Policy and attend occasional training.
1.5 The Trustee with particular responsibility for adult safeguarding is David Rushbrook.
2. Adults at Risk
2.1 Safeguarding means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It requires individuals and organisations to work together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the person’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. We recognise that people sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.
2.2 We recognise that there are different levels of vulnerability and that everyone may be regarded as vulnerable at some time in their lives. However, for the purposes of this document, a vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who needs care and support (whether that is being provided or not by others) and who is not able to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
2.3 Adults at risk may be:
A person whose health or usual function is compromised;
A person with a physical disability, a learning difficulty or a sensory impairment;
Someone with mental health needs, including dementia or a personality disorder;
A person with a long-term health condition;
Someone who misuses substances or alcohol to the extent that it affects their ability to manage day-to-day living; or
· A person with reduced independence including those who do not speak English as their first language.
2.4 Issues of capacity and consent are key elements in the safeguarding of vulnerable adults. Capacity refers to the ability to make and understand a decision, act, or transaction. However, there remains a fundamental duty to balance the person’s right to autonomy with their need for protection. The law assumes that adults are able to make their own decisions unless proved otherwise.
3. Abuse of Adults
3.1 There are many ways in which adults can be abused:
Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse for those in family or close relationships, as well as so called ‘honour’ based violence.
Sexual abuse – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one-off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice.
Neglect or acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding
Spiritual Abuse – misuse of authority within a church setting; intrusive healing and deliverance ministries; the denial of the expression of their Christian faith.
Radicalisation – exploitation and pressure to be involved in terrorism for religious or political purposes e.g. far-right, Islamist
3.2 People who abuse may be relatives or other family members; neighbours; friends; carers; professional staff; volunteers; other service users; care practitioners; strangers; and people who deliberately exploit adults they perceive to be vulnerable. Within the church they may include church workers and members and others attending church activities.
4. Procedures if Abuse of an Adult is Suspected or Disclosed
4.1 If a church member or worker suspects that an adult is being, or is at risk of being, abused or neglected, they must take responsibility to act on their concerns. Not responding may be seen as act of abuse in itself.
4.2 Adults may find it difficult to disclose abuse and need support to tell their story. They should be listened to without leading questions or suggestions that may influence or confuse the story. The listener should not show shock or judgment.
4.3 If the person fulfils the criteria for being an adult at risk of abuse or neglect, or if they express suicidal thoughts, they should be informed that the information will have to be passed on as part of our duty of care, preferably with their consent (unless they lack the capacity to give this).
4.4 Careful notes must be kept, recording factual information and direct quotes where possible. Notes should be signed and dated and kept securely.
4.5 If the person is at immediate risk of harm or danger, the police and/or the local authority Adult Social Services team must be contacted. The Safeguarding Lead or, in their absence one of the Church Elders, should be informed as soon as possible.
4.6 If the person is not at immediate risk, the Safeguarding Lead should be informed in the first instance. They may make a referral to the Adults Social Services Team of the relevant local authority. If a criminal offence has occurred, the police will be informed.
4.7 Where the concern is about the quality of care provided by a nursing home, residential home, or domiciliary provider, the Care Quality Commission should be informed.
4.8 Families of the vulnerable adult should be informed of an allegation of abuse and the action being taken, unless the adult is able to give informed consent and does not want their family to be informed, or if the alleged perpetrator is a family member, or where a police investigation is likely, and the rules of evidence apply.
4.9 Pastoral care and support will be offered to the person who has disclosed the abuse or is at risk of abuse and neglect.
5. Good Practice
5.1 An assessment of need should be carried out by the Elders [DR1] and helpers for any vulnerable adults regularly attending services or other church activities. Su[SW2] pport should be provided to enable the vulnerable adult to participate in the activities as fully as possible and in safety.
5.2 Welcome Team Leaders and other Team Leaders running groups catering for adults should be made aware of vulnerable adults regularly attending church services or other meetings/activities so that they can inform other team members to ensure any necessary care and support is provided.
5.3 Contact details for particularly vulnerable adults will not be generally made available to the whole membership but rather will be kept by the Church Administrator. This information will be released to individuals only on the agreement of the Safeguarding Lead or Church Elders.
5.4 Unless appointed by a Power of Attorney agreement, where a church member is involved in any aspect of personal finance for a vulnerable adult connected to the church, they should ensure there is accountability. Another church member must be involved to ensure informed consent and to be aware of the decisions and actions taken on behalf of the vulnerable adult.
5.5 Those regularly providing transport to vulnerable adults will require an enhanced DBS check and should be physically able to provide any required assistance to the vulnerable adult.
APPENDIX 1 - STATUTORY PRINCIPLES FOR SAFEGUARDING ADULTS
The Care Act 2014
The Care Act is the first piece of legislation that puts Adult Safeguarding on a statutory basis. It came into force on 1 April 2015. Its key principles are:
Empowerment – people being supported and encouraged to make their own decision and informed consent.
Prevention – it is better to take action before harm occurs.
Proportionality – the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
Protection – support and representation for those in greatest need.
Partnership – local solutions through services working with their communities.
Communities (including the church) have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
Accountability – accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005
Some adults within the church or served by the church may have “an impairment of the mind or brain, or a disturbance affecting the way their mind or brain works”. If this means that the person is unable to make a decision at the time it needs to be made, they may be said to lack the mental capacity to do so. It must not be assumed that someone lacks mental capacity on the basis of their age, appearance, condition or an aspect of their behaviour.
The five key principles of the Mental Capacity Act are:
1. A presumption of capacity: Every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is proved otherwise. We cannot assume that someone cannot make a decision for themselves just because they have a particular medical condition or disability.
2. Individuals being supported to make their own decisions: Every effort must be made to encourage and support people to make the decision for themselves.
3. Unwise decisions: People have the right to make what others might regard as an unwise or eccentric decision. We cannot treat them as lacking capacity for that reason.
4. Best interests: Any action taken, or any decision made for, or on behalf of that person, must be made in his or her best interests.
5. Least restrictive option: Before any decisions are made or actions taken on behalf of the person, consideration must be given as to whether there is another way to effectively achieve the same purpose that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action.