Safeguarding Policy

NWT: Safeguarding Policy and Guidelines

Last Reviewed : – 18 March 2021

NWT Safeguarding Officer
Matthew Perring
Contact him by email via this link

Contents 


Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy statement is:

  • to protect children and young people who uses the services of the Norfolk Wherry Trust. This includes the children of adults who use our services.
  • to protect adults at risk who volunteer for, or use the services of, the Norfolk Wherry Trust.
  • to provide parents, carers and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding.
  • to make sure that the actions of anyone involved in work carried out by or for the organisation are transparent and safeguard and promote the welfare of all young people and adults at risk.

Principles

Every one who volunteers with theTrust and everyone who has services from or who interacts with the Trust has a right to be treated with respect and decency. Everyone expects to be to be safe.  The Trust addresses those concerns for everyone via it’s policies and procedures, its operations and its risk assessments. However there are some people who need additional protections. These are children and adults at risk.

Responsibilities

This policy statement applies to anyone volunteering on behalf of the Norfolk Wherry Trust.

The Trust has a designated Safeguarding Officer. They provide a single point of contact for all safeguarding issues. If they are not available the Chairman or any other Trustee will deputise. Each volunteer should know the name of the Safeguarding Officer.

The Trust has one set of overall principles and responsibilities for safeguarding.  However there are differences in approach to safeguard children and adults. This is reflected in different the legal framework between children and adults at risk, so they are detailed separately.

As all positions of trust in the Trust cover both children and adults at risk, there is no practical difference between the Trust’s obligations to report any concerns with volunteers in positions of trust.

Awareness of policy and procedures 

This document must be made known to all volunteers.

A copy of this document must be: 

  • published on the Trust’s website 
  • displayed at base 
  • made available in alternative formats upon request.

If you do not understand how this Policy affects you or have any other questions regarding the Policy or Guidelines please contact the designated Safeguarding Officer. 

This Policy applies to everyone working on behalf of the Trust, in whatever role. All new volunteers must be made aware of the document and crew notified of any changes to the document.

The responsibilities of the Safeguarding Officer is as follows: 

  • to advise and act upon all suspicions, belief or evidence of abuse reported to him/ her.  
  • to raise safeguarding alerts with the external agencies. 
  • to be the first point of contact with the external agencies in respect of safeguarding matters. 
  • to monitor the keeping, confidentiality and storage of records relating to reports of abuse.

Safer recruitment of volunteers 

 We will screen all crew in order to deter those who might abuse young people or adults. 

To that end:

  • the Trust will ask all crew to confirm on their annual return whether there are any facts that, if known, that might prevent them being suitable, or being perceived by others as suitable, to safeguard children and adults at risk.
  • a criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to staying on the crew list, although any past record of proven abuse will result in an automatic bar.

Duty to follow good practice guidelines 

All volunteers:

  • must read this document and understand how the policies and guidelines are applied in practice.
  • have a role in preventing abuse occurring and for taking action when any concerns arise in accordance with this Policy and the Guidelines.
  • should know the identity of the Safeguarding Officer.
  • should be aware of the guidance on recognising abuse.

The Trust will:

  • ensure that staff and volunteers are aware of this policy and are adequately trained.
  • notify the appropriate agencies if abuse is suspected.
  • cooperate with other agencies and the local authority in safeguarding investigations.
  • ensure that this policy is kept up to date.

Part 1: Safeguarding Children

Legal framework

This section has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England. A summary of the key legislation and guidance is available from www.nspcc.org.uk/childprotection  

Introduction

The Trust believes that:

  • children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind.
  • we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them.

The Trust recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount.
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues.
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

The Trust:

  • seeks to create a safe and welcoming environment, where people can have fun and develop their skills; and where we treat everyone with respect and celebrate their achievements.
  • actively seeks to ensure that all its voyages and activities are run to the highest possible safety standards. 
  • believes that living a life free from abuse is a fundamental right of every person.
  • recognises its responsibility to safeguard young people from the risk of and / or actual abuse. 
  • acknowledges that when abuse does occur, it needs to be dealt with swiftly, effectively and in ways that are proportionate to the concerns raised. 
  • recognises that safeguarding young people from the risk of and / or actual abuse is the responsibility of everyone, not just those who work with them.
  • recognises that an effective approach to safeguarding requires 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 individual’s wellbeing is promoted including having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action.

Immediate Action to ensure Safety 

Immediate action may be necessary at any stage in involvement with children and families. 

IN ALL CASES IT IS VITAL TO TAKE WHATEVER ACTION IS NEEDED TO SAFEGUARD THE CHILD OR CHILDREN CONCERNED i.e: 

  • if emergency medical attention is required onshore this can be secured by calling an ambulance (dial 999) or taking a child to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. If sailing, the skipper should contact emergency services via the coastguard.
  • if a child is in immediate danger the police should be contacted (dial 999) as they alone have the power to remove a child immediately if protection is necessary, via their powers to use Police Protection. 

Duty to report abuse and to take appropriate steps  

We do not tolerate, and we must safeguard children from, abuse. The Trust believes that no child should ever experience neglect or abuse of any kind. We and those working with or for us have a responsibility to promote the welfare of the young and vulnerable and keep them safe. We are committed to practise in a way that protects them.

  • anyone who suspects abuse has a duty to act on it immediately by taking the steps set out in this document
  • If necessary, we will take appropriate steps to protect the young person. 
  • we expect and require transparency and the reporting of concerns. 
  • all Trust volunteers must act as a whistle-blower whenever there is a suspicion of abuse by a colleague by ensuring concerns are passed on as a matter of urgency in the way set out in the Guidelines.
  • any report of concerns about abuse will be taken seriously and must be looked into in a fair, reasonable and proportionate manner. 
  • disclosure of historical abuse or current abuse must be reported by taking the steps set out in this document. 

Organisational safeguards

For these reasons we have:-

  • a clear line of accountability within the organisation for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
  • recruitment and management procedures that take account of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
  • safe working practice guidance for operating Albion which volunteers have read and understood.
  • risk assessments for school/educational visits
  • guidelines on the role of the Safeguarding Officer
  • arrangements to ensure that the Safeguarding Officer undertakes appropriate training to equip them to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
  • arrangements to ensure that, all volunteers who work with children are made aware of these policies and procedures. 

Recognition of Abuse or Neglect 

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.  This can include contact by social media or other electronic means as well as physical contact.

The organisation should know how to recognise and act upon indicators of abuse or potential abuse involving children and where there are concerns about a child’s welfare. There is an expected responsibility for all members of the organisation to respond to any suspected or actual abuse of a child in accordance with these procedures.

It is good practice to be as open and honest as possible with parents/carers about any concerns unless 

  • the concern relates to the parents/carers themselves or 
  • where contacting parents/carers would place a child, yourself or others at immediate risk

These decisions should not be taken in isolation. Consult with the Safeguarding Officer.

What to do if Children talk to you about abuse or neglect

It is recognised that a child may seek you out to share information about abuse or neglect, or talk spontaneously individually or in groups when you are present. In these situations YOU MUST:

  • listen carefully to the child. DO NOT directly question the child.
  • give the child time and attention.
  • allow the child  to give a spontaneous account; do not stop a child who is freely recalling significant events.
  • make an accurate record of the information you have been given taking care to record the timing, setting and people present, the child’s presentation as well as what was said. Do not throw this away as it may later be needed as evidence.
  • use the child’s own words where possible.
  • explain that you cannot promise not to speak to others about the information they have shared – do not offer false confidentiality.
  • reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you and that they have not done anything wrong.
  • tell the child what you are going to do next and explain that you will need to get help to keep him/her safe.
  • DO NOT ask the child to repeat his or her account of events to anyone.

If you have a child protection concern

Because of your observations of, or information received you may become concerned about a child who has not spoken to you.

It is good practice to ask a child why they are upset or how a cut or bruise was caused, or respond to a child wanting to talk to you. This practice can help clarify vague concerns and result in appropriate action.

If you are concerned about a child you must share your concerns. Initially you should talk to one of the people designated as responsible for child protection within your organisation.

You should consult with your local Social Care Duty & Investigation Team in the area where the child and/or vulnerable adult resides, in the following circumstances:

  • when you remain unsure after internal consultation as to whether child protection concerns exist.
  • when there is disagreement as to whether child protection concerns exist.
  • when you are unable to consult promptly or at all with your designated internal contact for safeguarding
  • when the concerns relate to any member of the organising committee.

Consultation is not the same as making a referral but should enable a decision to be made as to whether a referral to Social Care or the Police should progress.

Ensure that you keep an accurate record of your concern(s) made at the time.

If making a referral to Social Care services, put your concerns in writing to the Social Care Duty & Investigation Team following the referral (within 48 hours).

Accurately record the action agreed or that no further action is to be taken and the reasons for this decision.


Part 2: Positions of Trust

Concerns

If you have information which suggests that a volunteer:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child or adult at risk.
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a child or adult at risk.
  • behaved towards a child/children and/or adult/s at risk in a way that indicated s/he is unsuitable to work with children and/or vulnerable adults

You should speak immediately with the Safeguarding Officer who has responsibility for managing allegations. If they are unavailable any Trustee. They will consult with/make a referral to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) via the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

If one of those people is implicated in the concerns you should discuss your concerns directly with the LADO at Norfolk County Council.

Confidentiality

The organisation should ensure that any records made in relation to a referral should be kept confidentially and in a secure place.

Information in relation to child protection concerns should be shared on a “need to know” basis.

However, the sharing of information is vital to child protection and, therefore, the issue of confidentiality is secondary to the need for protection.


Part 3: Safeguarding Adults at Risk

Introduction

Although the Trust has a general duty to ensure the welfare of all adults (and children) who volunteer with or use her services, there are also specific additional procedures to safeguard some adults in specific circumstances. From the Care Act 2014, ‘Adult safeguarding is working with adults with care and support needs to keep them safe from abuse or neglect’.

The Care Act 2014 makes it clear that abuse of adults links to circumstances rather than the characteristics of the people experiencing the harm.

Safeguarding duties apply to an adult who meets the following three key tests:

  • The adult has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and
  • The adult is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and
  • As a result of their care and support needs, the adult is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

Six key principles for Adult Safeguarding.

  1. Empowerment. People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and give informed consent.
  2. Prevention. It is better to take action before harm occurs.
  3. Proportionality. The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
  4. Protection. Support and representation for those in greatest need.
  5. Partnership. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
  6. Accountability. Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

These six principles should inform the ways in which the Trust works with adults.

How might abuse come to light?

  • Someone discloses abuse
  • Witness an event happening
  • Notice changes in behaviour
  • Notice physical indicators of abuse.

If someone tells you they are being or have been abused.

  • Stay calm and listen.
  • Be objective.
  • Empathise.
  • Take them seriously and offer support.
  • Keep them safe if necessary.
  • Make a written record of what you have been told, note the time and date.
  • Preserve any evidence.

What to do

  • Immediate risk – Call emergency services.
  • Contact the Trust’s  Safeguarding Officer.
  • The Safeguarding Lead will escalate to Norfolk County Council if appropriate by one of the following routes:
    • Norfolk County Council (Adult Social Services) on 0344 800 8020 (available 24 hours a day)
    • Or Email: SCCE@norfolk.gov.uk
  • The information required to report to Social Services are in the annex to this document.

What not to do:

  • Do not promise to keep secrets.
  • Do not ask investigative questions or make judgmental comments.
  • Do not use leading questions.
  • Destroy any evidence.
  • Do not confront the alleged abuser.
  • Do not make decisions on your own.

Raising a Safeguarding Adults Concern: Checklist

Tel: Norfolk Adult Social Care:  0344 800 80 20

There is a checklist (produced by the Norfolk Safe Guarding Adults Board) to assist you by having the right information when you are raising a safeguarding adult concern. It is often a stressful conversation and you may forget vital information when you make the call. Do not worry if you do not have all the information below. Concerns will always be considered even when some of this information is not available.

Click here or on image to view the checklist as a PDF document (opens in a new tab)

Raising a Safeguarding Adults Concern: Reminder

  • A safeguarding adult referral is about fuller consideration with multi-agency partners on the best way forward – the concern does NOT necessarily lead to a section 42 enquiry under formal safeguarding adults procedures. 
  • A safeguarding adult concern is about finding the best way to support the individual – it accesses wider multi-agency information, perspectives, skills and resources 
  • A safeguarding adult concern is about accountability, openness and transparency – it is about learning and improving care to the person concerned
  • A safeguarding adult concern is NOT about pre determining that neglect or abuse has occurred.  It is the start of seeking more information, finding out if something went wrong and then putting it right.

Appendix: Definitions

Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a young person or adult. Somebody may abuse a young person or adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Y oung persons or adults may be abused in a family or in a community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

Categories of Abuse.

The Care Act recognises 10 categories of abuse that may be experienced by adults.

  • Self-neglect This covers a wide range of behaviour, but it can be broadly defined as neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health, or surroundings. An example of self-neglect is behaviour such as hoarding.
  • Modern Slavery This encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, and domestic servitude.
  • Domestic Abuse This includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse perpetrated by anyone within a person’s family. It also includes so-called “honour” based violence.
  • Discriminatory Discrimination is abuse that centres on a difference or perceived difference, particularly with respect to race, gender, disability, or any of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act.
  • Organisational This includes neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting, such as a hospital or care home, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. Organisational abuse can range from one off incidents to ongoing ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
  • Physical This includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, restraint, and misuse of medication. It can also include inappropriate sanctions.
  • Sexual This includes 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.
  • Financial or Material This includes theft, fraud, internet scamming, and coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions. It can also include the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions, or benefits.
  • Neglect and Acts of Omission This includes ignoring medical or physical care needs and failing to provide access to appropriate health social care or educational services. It also includes the withdrawing of the necessities of life, including medication, adequate nutrition, and heating.
  • Emotional or Psychological This includes threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation, or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

Four Additional Types of Harm

There are four additional types of harm that are not included in The Care Act, but they are also relevant to safeguarding adults.

  • Cyber Bullying Cyber bullying occurs when someone repeatedly makes fun of another person online, or repeatedly picks on another person through emails or text messages. It can also involve using online forums with the intention of harming, damaging, humiliating, or isolating another person. It includes various different types of bullying, including racist bullying, homophobic bullying, or bullying related to special education needs and disabilities. The main difference is that, instead of the perpetrator carrying out the bullying face-to-face, they use technology as a means to do it.
  • Forced Marriage This is a term used to describe a marriage in which one or both of the parties are married without their consent or against their will. A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage, in which both parties consent to the assistance of a third party in identifying a spouse. The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 make it a criminal offence to force someone to marry.
  • Mate Crime A “mate crime” is when “vulnerable people are befriending by members of the community who go on to exploit and take advantage of them” (Safety Network Project, ARC). It may not be an illegal act, but it still has a negative effect on the individual. A mate crime is carried out by someone the adult knows, and it often happens in private. In recent years there have been a number of Serious Care Reviews relating to people with a learning disability who were seriously harmed, or even murdered, by people who purported to be their friend.
  • Radicalisation The aim of radicalisation is to inspire new recruits, embed extreme views and persuade vulnerable individuals to the legitimacy of a cause. This may be direct through a relationship, or through social media.

Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may involve failure to:

  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
  • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of suitable care-givers)
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
  • It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s and/or vulnerable adult basic emotional needs.

Significant harm means ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical); the impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health; and/ or the impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.

Young Person or Young People means anyone under the age of 18 (eighteen). 


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