Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding of Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy

Guidelines for Staff

Child Protection

Abuse happens to young people and adults of both sexes, at all ages and in all cultures, religions and social classes and both to young people and adults with and without disabilities. 

All children and young people under the age of 18 are covered by the Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 and the Education Act of 2002 in relation to Child Protection.

A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited.  This may include a person who:

  • Is elderly or frail
  • Has a mental illness including dementia
  • Has a physical or sensory disability
  • Has a learning disability
  • Has a severe physical illness
  • Misuses substances
  • Is homeless

Code of Behaviour for all NETS Limited Staff

People working at NETS Limited must always observe the following requirements where young people or similarly vulnerable people are concerned.

You should always:

  • Uphold the spirit and specific provisions of the Statement of Policy and these Guidelines
  • Do your best to behave in an open and friendly manner, but avoid being over-familiar in word or action
  • In so far as is possible, avoid situations in which you are alone with a young person or similarly a vulnerable person. If necessary, move to a place where you can both be seen by other colleagues or other adults
  • If a young person or vulnerable adult is hurt or distressed, do your best to comfort or reassure them without compromising their dignity or doing anything to discredit your own behaviour
  • Try to avoid any physical contact or behaviour that could be unwelcome or misconstrued. Physical touch should only be in response to a young person’s or vulnerable adults need and should respect their age and individual stage of development, It may be appropriate to hold a young person’s hand, to put a comforting arm around their shoulder or carry them – for instance, if they have fallen.

However, you should first explain what you have in mind and ask directly if that is what they want.  Otherwise, it may be unwelcomed or misinterpreted

  • Where you have to rely on your own judgement, always treat the young persons or vulnerable adults’ welfare as paramount

Contact with unaccompanied Young Person/Vulnerable Adult

Try to avoid situations where you are alone with a young person or vulnerable adult, especially anywhere you are unlikely to be seen or heard.  This is as much to protect yourself from suspicion as to protect the young person.

If you can’t avoid being alone with a young person or vulnerable adult, you should take prudent precautions:

  • Try to move with the young person to a place where there are other people
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact
  • If you do have to touch the young person, make sure you get their agreement beforehand, and try not to be over-familiar
  • If you find a young person or vulnerable adult in distress, do your best to comfort and re-assure them without compromising their dignity or privacy. Again, it may help to distract them while you take practical steps to help them but be careful that what you do is openly in their best interests

What is Abuse?

Child Abuse is defined as:

Neglect

the persistent or severe neglect of a young person or vulnerable adult               

Physical injury

actual or likely physical injury

Sexual abuse                           

actual or likely sexual exploitation of a young person or vulnerable adult                                                                

Emotional Abuse                      

persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection

Domestic Abuse

any violent or abusive behaviour – whether physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, verbal or financial

 

Bullying          

defined as behaviour that is deliberately hurtful or aggressive, repeated over a period of time and which is difficult for victims to defend themselves against the three main types of bullying which are, physical, verbal and indirect

Cyber Bullying

the use of mobile phones, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to harass, threaten or intimidate someone and can includes making threats, sending provocative insults or racial or ethnic slurs, sexual orientation bullying , attempting to infect the victims’ computer with a virus and flooding an e-mail inbox with messages.

Adult abuse is defined as:

Physical abuse

includes unnecessary physical handling and inappropriate use of drugs/medicines

Sexual abuse                             

includes rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the young person or vulnerable adult has not consented

Psychological abuse                  

includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from service or supportive networks

Financial or material abuse        

includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills

Neglect and acts of omission

Includes ignoring or withholding medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition, clothing and heating

Discriminator abuse

Includes racist, sexist, or other forms that are based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, or similar treatment 

Domestic Abuse

the main characteristics of domestic abuse is that the behaviour is intentional and is calculated to exercise power and control within a relationship – examples

Forced marriage

Children and young people can be subjected to domestic abuses perpetrated in order to force them into marriage or to ‘punish’ him/her for ‘bringing dishonour on the family’.   Forced marriage is defined as:

  • One or both spouses do not consent to the marriage or consent is extracted under duress.

Possible Indicators of Child Abuse

  • Self-harm
  • Excessively nervous behaviour such as rocking or hair twisting.
  • Low self-esteem
  • Evidence of social withdrawal
  • Drug abuse
  • Hysterical fits, faints, etc.

Reporting Procedures

If a member of staff suspects that abuse may have occurred, then they should inform the designated Safeguarding Lead and or the safeguarding Officer who is responsible for the protection of young people and vulnerable adults.  The staff member should make a written record of their suspicions (using Appendix 1) and discuss the situation with the designated Safeguarding Lead and or the safeguarding Officer who should then carry out a risk assessment. It may be necessary to contact the local Social Services Team.

If a member of staff has been told about the abuse in confidence, they should attempt to gain the consent of the learner to make a referral to another agency.  However, the gaining of the consent is not essential in order for information to be passed on.

Consideration needs to be given to:

  • The scale of the abuse
  • The risk of harm to others
  • The capacity of the learner to understand the issues of abuse and consent

If there is any doubt about whether or not to report an issue to Social Services then it should be reported.

In emergency situations (e.g. where there is a risk of recurrence or severe physical injury) where immediate action is needed to safeguard the health and safety of the individual, or anyone else who may be at risk, the emergency services must be contacted.

Key Points:

  • All complaints or allegations must be taken seriously
  • Promises of secrecy must never be given
  • NETS Limited will maintain confidentiality
  • Where the complaint/allegation comes from the young person/vulnerable adult, questioning should only be used to confirm what is being said, not to question the validity of what is being said
  • Never use leading questions when ascertaining the facts
  • A full record of any conversations should be kept and should include:
  • The date, time and place of where the suspected abuse took place
  • The name of the member of staff reporting the incident
  • The name of the complainant and, where different, the name of the young person/ vulnerable adult who has allegedly been abused
  • The nature of the alleged abuse
  • The description of any injuries
  • The account which has been given of the allegation
  • Any suspicion, allegation or incident of abuse must be reported to NETS Limited designated person as soon as possible and in any event within 2 hours

A member of staff must NEVER discuss concerns with a parent in the first instance

Allegation about a member of staff should immediately be reported to the Managing Director.

Use of the Internet and other technology including photography and mobile phones

Due to the potential misuse of photographic and video/camera/mobile phone data, the following procedures are to be implemented in permitting photography to take place or video/digital camera etc to be used in certain situation.

Always ensure that you are aware of the policy underpinning the taking of and use of material within the building/open spaces where you intend to take images, please be aware of the number of requirements that are identified through this policy for your own safety and the safety of young people and vulnerable adults.

Photos and images taken by NETS Limited will be kept and stored on file for up to 5 years.

Always ensure:

  • You obtain permission to use any media equipment or other device to take pictures at premises or facility used, other than NETS Limited premises
  • Permission must be in written form, given by an authorised or designated person and they are aware of the reasons for the taking of images and how they are to be used

(Appendix 2 Consent Form for the use of Cameras and other Image Recorders)

  • Cross reference the photographs with a code and not names and addresses, and never keep stored images with names and addresses attached or together
  • Make it clear to the parent or guardian why you are taking the photos/video and their use; how they will be stored and making it clear that the photos/video will not be used for any other purposes other than that of course work or the promotion of NETS Limited
  • Abide by the parental wishes. If a parent or guardian does not wish their young person or vulnerable adult to be shown in an image, then this wish must be respected
  • Report any suspected misuse of/stolen images to the designated Safeguarding Lead and or the safeguarding Officer immediately
  • Ensure that all web images have the consent of parent and guardians for the reason they are being used
  • Images must not be passed electronically to a third party who has not been identified to the parent or guardian as a third party involved in the original usage of the material. If unsure, ask for guidance from the designated Safeguarding Lead and or the safeguarding Officer

Responsibilities

This policy is designed to ensure that you are equipped with the knowledge to enable you to follow NETS Limited Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy.

All members of staff have a responsibility to be aware of this policy and to report any suspicions that they might have concerning abuse of young people and vulnerable adults.

NETS Limited has a designated Safeguarding Lead and a safeguarding Officer who is responsible for safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults. They are responsible for “championing” this issue at all levels within the company.

The Role of the Designated Officer

To provide information and guidance on safeguarding welfare issues, and to support managers and staff in dealing with any suggestion of misconduct or need for expert advice.  Everyone working or applying to work for NETS Limited is made aware of our Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy.  Furthermore, these guidelines are issued to all staff and other people who are likely to have contact with young people and vulnerable adults as part of their work with us.

DBS Checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with young people and vulnerable adults, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

All newly recruited or existing staff who will have contact with young people or vulnerable adults will be DBS checked.  The Designated Safeguarding Lead and or the safeguarding Officer will be responsible for arranging checks to be made.

Further information and guidance can be sought from the following:

Children England Positively Safe:  a guide to developing safeguarding practices

www.childrenengland.org.uk/resources

Every Child Matters: is a shared programme of change to improve outcomes for all children and young people

www.everychildmatters.gov.uk

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

www.nspcc.org.uk

No Secrets – Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

www.dh.gov.uk

The Independent Safeguarding Authority

www.isa-gov.org.uk

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