Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
Say OK Limited Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
Say OK Limited makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe.
This policy seeks to ensure that Say OK Limited undertakes its responsibilities regarding protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults and will respond to concerns appropriately. The policy establishes a framework to support employed and self-employed staff in their practices and clarifies the company’s expectations.
The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are:
- Working together to safeguard Children 2010
- The Children Act 1989
- The Adoption and Children Act 2002:
- The Children act 2004
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Care Standards Act 2000
- Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
- The Police Act – CRB 1997
- Mental Health Act 1983
- NHS and Community Care Act 1990
- Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
- Mental Capacity Act 2005
Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the company to ensure the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.
Abuse is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture.
It can take a number of forms, including the following:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Domestic Violence
- Emotional abuse
- Modern Slavery
- Financial (or material) abuse
Definition of a child or young person: A child or a young person is under the age of 18 (as defined in the United Nations convention on the Rights of a Child).
Definition of a Vulnerable Adult: 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 and 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
All staff (employed or self-employed) have a responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures. We expect all staff (employed or self-employed) to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.
The scope of this Safeguarding Policy is broad ranging and in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies and procedures within the company. These include:
- Grievance & Disciplinary Procedures
- Health and Safety Policy
- Equal Opportunities Policy
- Data Protection
- Whistle blowing policy
- Confidentiality Policy
- Staff induction
- Staff Training
Say OK Limited ensures safe recruitment through the following processes:
- In training, our staff will be made aware of our connection in working with children, young people and vulnerable adults and will be expected to have a high level of understanding of how we work, if we feel the trainee does not understand no job offer will be made.
- Say OK Limited would never recruit a person without a cleared DBS check and we require proof of this as a pre-requisite to any employment.
- All staff must have an expected level of understanding before undertaking any work that includes children, young people and vulnerable adults. These is defined by safeguarding questions asked at interview stage.
Disclosure and Barring Service Checks (DBS)
DBS checks and their renewal dates must be proven by all staff before an individual can represent Say OK Limited. On renewal of an individual’s license they must legally disclose any changes in regards to convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings in which case the DBS Check would be suspended until further information was sought and they would be unable to work for us.
Communications, Training and Support
Say OK Limited commits resources for induction, training of staff (employed and self-employed), effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding.
Induction will include
- Discussion of the Safeguarding Policy and confirmation of understanding
- Ensure familiarity with reporting processes.
- Initial training on safeguarding.
- A probationary period
All staff who, through their role, are in contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults will have access to safeguarding training at an appropriate level.
Communications and discussions of safeguarding issues
Commitment to the following communication methods will ensure effective communication of safeguarding issues and practice:
- Staff meetings
- One to one meetings
- Staff understanding that they can speak to management anytime to raise concern
- Provision of a clear and effective reporting procedure which encourages reporting of concerns
- Encouraging open discussion
We recognise that involvement in situations where there is risk or actual harm can be stressful for staff concerned. The mechanisms in place to support staff include:
- Debriefing support for staff so that they can reflect on the issues they have dealt with
- Seeking further support, e.g. counseling
- Staff who have initiated protection concerns will be contact by a manager within a certain timescale
Professional boundaries are what define the limits of a relationship between a member of staff (employed or self-employed) and a client. They are a set of standards we agree to uphold that allows this necessary and sometimes close relationship to exist while ensuring the correct detachment is kept in place. Say OK Limited expects staff to protect the professional integrity of themselves and the company. The following professional boundaries must be adhered to:
- Giving and receiving gifts: Say OK Limited does not allow employed or self-employed staff to give gifts to or receive gifts from clients.
- Staff contact with user groups: personal relationships between member of staff (employed or self employed) and a client who is a current service user is prohibited. This includes relationships through social networking sites.
- Use of abusive language
- Response to inappropriate behavior / language
- Use of punishment or chastisement
- Passing on service users’ personal contact details
- Degree of accessibility to service users (e.g. not providing personal contact details)
- Taking family members to a client’s home
- Selling to or buying items from a service user
- Accepting responsibility for any valuables on behalf of a client
- Accepting money as a gift/ Borrowing money from or lending money to service users
- Personal relationships with a third party related to or known to service users
- Accepting gifts/ rewards or hospitality from organisation as an inducement for either doing/ not doing something in their official capacity
- Cautious or avoidance of personal contact with clients
The following policies also contain guidance on staff conduct:
- Computers and electronic communications
- Conduct and standards
- Disclosures and disclosures information
- Equal opportunities and diversity
- Harassment and bullying
- Public interest disclosure (whistle blowing)
- Social networking sites and blogs
If the professional boundaries and/or policies are breached this could result in disciplinary procedures or enactment of the allegation management procedures
The Prevent Agenda
Say OK Limited commit to work with the police to contribute to the prevention of terrorism. The definition of ‘vulnerable adult’ has been widened to include individuals who might be at risk of being radicalised. These individuals will be identified and referred to the regional Prevent team contacts for appropriate advice and support. Where there are signs that someone has been or is being drawn into terrorism, we are aware that these individuals should be referred to locally for support. We follow the standard observe, discuss, act, confirm and record approach to preventing terrorism and our staff are trained to report any concerns to their line manager immediately.
The process outlined below details the stages involved in raising and reporting safeguarding concerns at Say OK Limited.
Communicate your concerns with your immediate manager
Seek medical attention for the vulnerable person if needed
Your manager will pass on your concerns to the relevant authority
Your manager may ask you to write a statement of you concern
Say OK Limited recognises its duty to report concerns or allegations against its staff (employed or self employed) within the company or by a professional from another organisation.
The process for raising and dealing with allegations is as follows:
- Any member of staff (employed or self-employed) from Say OK Limited is required to report any concerns in the first instance to their manager.
- Manager will contact the relevant local authority for advice.
- Manager will follow the advice provided
Say OK Limited recognises its legal duty to report any concerns about unsafe practice by any of its employed or self-employed staff.
Say OK Limited will monitor the following Safeguarding aspects:
- Safe recruitment practices
- Individuals prove DBS checks have been undertaken and cleared
- Monitoring whether concerns are being reported and actioned
- Checking that policies are up to date and relevant
- Reviewing the current reporting procedure in place
- Presence and action of manager responsible for Safeguarding is in post
Information will be gathered, recorded and stored in accordance with the following policies:
- Data Protection Policy
- Confidentiality Policy
All staff must be aware that they have a professional duty to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults. The public interest in safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need to know basis only, as judged by the Manager. All staff must be aware that they cannot promise service users or their families/ carers that they will keep secrets.
Communicating and reviewing the policy
This policy will be given to self- employed staff and provided in a staff handbook for employed members of staff. This policy will be reviewed annually and when there are changes to the legislation.