This policy seeks to ensure that the Hipp!!Bones Charity (the “charity”) undertakes it’s responsibilities with regard to the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults who are members of the club, as well as young people who act as volunteers, and will respond to concerns appropriately. This policy establishes a framework for trustees, the management committee, staff and volunteers in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations in accordance with legislation such as the Children Act 2004, Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Equality Act 2010, Mental Capacity Act 2005, Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (part 5) as applies to Prevent and Channel, and in practice and policy directed by the Government’s publication Every Child Matters – Change for Children.
Hipp!!Bones works to:
Safeguard the welfare of the young people and vulnerable adults we work with, by protecting them from neglect, physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse as well as protection from harassment (including e safety) or coercion into criminal activities including those associated with terrorism (radicalisation).
- Support the creation of an environment where young people and vulnerable adults are listened to and are encouraged to talk about themselves, their lives and any concerns they may have.
- Create ‘Communication Passports’ to provide a person-centred approach to passing on key information about young people and vulnerable adults with complex communication difficulties who cannot easily speak for themselves; and support them to express themselves through augmentative and alternative communication, such as: PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), Proloquo2go, symbols etc.
Hipp!!Bones will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
Creating an environment where trust, acceptance and openness is promoted through valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
- Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks such as those included in the Disclosure and Barring Service are made.
- Reinforcing UK society’s rules and expectations of acceptable/appropriate behaviour/ communication through positive role modelling, information, advice and guidance as appropriate.
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with young people and vulnerable adults, parents, trustees, management committee members, staff and volunteers through knowledgeable and positive role modelling and training as appropriate.
- Following correct procedures when sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know and involving parents and young people appropriately.
- Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and open communication.
Hipp!!Bones recognises that children, young people and vulnerable adults may suffer abuse in different ways:
Physically: Any purposeful acts of violence causing injury.
Sexually: The exploitation of authority or power to involve a child in sexual gratification.
Emotionally: Emotional ill-treatment or rejection affecting emotional or behavioural development.
Neglect: Failure to provide a child with basic needs including access to adequate food, health care or education.
Financial: A violation of an individual’s rights relating to their financial affairs or assets.
Radicalisation: The process by which people come to support terrorism and violent extremism and, in some cases, then join terrorist groups.
Staff and volunteers will be vigilant in spotting the signs and symptoms of abuse that can include:
- Physical signs such as changes in appearance, injuries and marks,
- Stealing or hoarding food, poor hygiene, unattended physical or medical problems or being constantly tired,
- Displaying sexual behaviour which doesn’t seem appropriate for their age,
- Any changes in behaviour which may be uncharacteristic for the young person
- Information disclosed either directly or indirectly.
Hipp!!Bones recognises that some young people and vulnerable adults with additional needs and disabilities may require adult assistance with personal and/or intimate care:
Staff/volunteers may be required to physically assist or verbally prompt young people and vulnerable adults with personal and/or intimate care needs that they can’t undertake themselves.
Support given may include:
- administering oral emergency medication
- washing non intimate body parts
- prompting to go to the toilet
- changing/providing sanitary wear
- prompting when changing into/out of swimwear
- assisting a young person to manage their urinary and/or faecal incontinence
The nature, circumstances and context of such contact should comply with professional codes of practice or guidance and/or be part of a formally agreed Intimate Care Plan, which is regularly reviewed (see Personal and Intimate Care Policy).
Hipp!!Bones will respond to suspicions or allegations of abuse:
When a child, young person or vulnerable adult does disclose abuse, this needs to be taken very seriously. It is important that any disclosure is dealt with appropriately, both for the wellbeing of the young person; but also to ensure that your actions do not jeopardise any legal action against the abuser (see Dealing with Disclosures of Abuse Guidelines).
Following any low risk disclosure or initial concern of abuse:
- Staff/volunteers will offer support and guidance to the young person and ensure their current safety.
- Staff/volunteers will record concerns on ‘Safeguarding Concern’ form and pass the completed form to Jeni Green (Designated Safeguarding Lead) to make her aware of any potential for concern.
- Jeni Green (Designated Safeguarding Lead) will update staff/volunteers of the outcome of concerns raised.
Following any disclosure or concern for a young person or vulnerable adult in immediate danger the Youth Support Worker in Charge (Designated Safeguarding Lead) will contact:
- MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) 01202 228866 for all safeguarding concerns,
- Police Emergency 999 or non emergency number 101
Referrals to MASH/Social Care should be followed up in writing using the appropriate form. (Do not inform parents if there is a disclosure of abuse or concern about significant harm, unless agreed by MASH/Social Care). Call MASH/Social Care if you have not received the outcome of a referral within a reasonable time.
Hipp!!Bones will maintain records and respect confidentiality:
Staff or volunteers will inform Jeni Green (Designated Safeguarding Lead) of any issues for concern and pass her a written record of any incidents or disclosures, which will be kept securely. If, due to the nature of the incident, it is not appropriate to involve the Designated Safeguarding Lead, staff, volunteers or young people and vulnerable adults can inform Serena Burgess (Deputy Safeguarding Lead) directly.
Hipp!!Bones acknowledges that the welfare of the individual is paramount:
Privacy and confidentiality will be respected where possible but if doing this leaves a young person or vulnerable adult at risk of harm, then the young person’s or vulnerable adult’s safety will always come first.
Disclosures of Abuse – Guidelines
Only a minority of young people or vulnerable adults actively disclose abuse. Most abuse is disclosed accidently or though observation of a young person’s or vulnerable adult’s behaviour (including any uncharacteristic changes to behaviour and emotional state), words and/or physical appearance.
Young people and vulnerable adults with a disability are particularly vulnerable; so, it’s essential that all staff and volunteers are observant and pay special attention to the above criteria, to promote the welfare of each individual member.
When a young person or vulnerable adult does disclose abuse, it needs to be taken very seriously. It is important that any disclosure is dealt with appropriately, both for the wellbeing of the young person, or vulnerable adult and to ensure that your actions do not jeopardise any legal action against the abuser.
There are many basic ‘rules’ that should be followed to ensure the safe handling of any disclosure of abuse from a young person, or vulnerable adult:
- Don’t panic.
- Remember that the safety and well-being of the young person or vulnerable adult comes before the interests of any other person.
- Listen to the young person, or vulnerable adult and accept what they say.
- Look at the young person or vulnerable adult directly, but do not appear shocked.
- Let them know that you need to tell someone else (they may not be ready to say anything else at the moment and this gives them choice and autonomy).
- Don’t seek help while the young person, or vulnerable adult is talking to you.
- Reassure them that they did the right thing by telling someone.
- Assure them that it is not their fault and you will do your best to help.
- Let them know what you are going to do next and that you will let them know what happens.
- Be aware that the young person, or vulnerable adult may have been threatened.
- Write down what the young person, or vulnerable adult says in their own words – record what you have seen and heard also.
- Make certain you distinguish between what the young person, or vulnerable adult said and the inferences you may have made. Accuracy is paramount in this stage of the procedure. Facts are essential, interpretations can confuse.
- Try not to ask questions as this could ‘lead’ the young person or vulnerable adult into saying something they don’t want to or may be problematic to police/MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) investigation.
- Tell the Youth Support Worker in Charge or the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)as soon as possible on the same day.
- Refer to MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) or the Police.
- After making the referral to MASH or the Police, look after yourself. If you feel you need to talk about what has happened, you can speak to the Youth Worker in Charge and/or Designated Safeguarding Lead/Deputy.
- The same action should be taken if the allegation is about abuse that has taken place in the past, as it will be important to find out if the person is still working with or has access to young people or vulnerable adults.
- Dealing with an allegation that a professional, staff member, foster carer or volunteer has abused a young person or vulnerable adult is difficult, but, must be taken seriously and dealt with carefully and fairly.
Things to say when a young person or vulnerable adult discloses
- Repeat the last few words in a questioning manner
- ‘I believe you’
- ‘I am going to try to help you’
- ‘I will help you’
- ‘I am glad that you told me’
- ‘You are not to blame’
Things not to say when a young person or vulnerable adult discloses
- ‘You should have told someone before’
- ‘I can’t believe it! I am shocked!’
- ‘Oh that explains a lot’
- ‘No not…he’s a friend of mine’
- ‘I won’t tell anyone else’
- ‘Why? How? When? Where? Who?’
Things to do
- Reassure the young person or vulnerable adult that it was right to tell you.
- Let them know what you are going to do next.
- Immediately seek help, in the first place from the Youth Worker in Charge or Designated Safeguarding Officer.
- Write down accurately what the young person or vulnerable adult has told you. Sign and date your notes. Keep all notes in a secure place for an indefinite period.
- Seek help for yourself if you feel you need support.
Things not to do
- Do not attempt to deal with the situation yourself.
- Do not formally interview the young person or vulnerable adult:
- Never ask leading questions.
- Never push for information or make assumptions.
- Only necessary relevant facts should be obtained, when clarification is needed.
- Do not make assumptions, offer alternative explanations or diminish the seriousness of the behaviour or alleged incidents.
- Do not keep the information to yourself or promise confidentiality.
- Do not take any action that might undermine any future investigation or disciplinary procedure, such as interviewing the alleged victim or potential witnesses, or informing the alleged perpetrator or parents or carers.
- Do not permit personal doubt to prevent you from reporting the allegation to the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
Sign Off on Policy
Name: Su Hunt Position: Chair
Signed: Date Adopted: