Our safeguarding policy
This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of Tonbridge Welcomes Refugees (TWR).
The purpose of this policy is:
- to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults who receive services from TWR. This includes the children of adults who use our service
- to provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding.
TWR believes that a child, young person or vulnerable adult should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all our beneficiaries and to keep them safe. We are committed to practise in a way that protects them.
1. POLICY STATEMENT
TWR recognises the importance of its support services to families, children, young people and adults and its particular responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of those who are vulnerable or at risk.
This requires us to:
- Listen to, value, encourage and support those we work with
- Provide clear internal procedures for identifying and dealing with concerns about possible abuse, and ensure their implementation
- Provide effective management for staff, students and volunteers through supervision, support and training
- Adopt a code of conduct for staff
- Recruit Safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- Develop and maintain effective information sharing with statutory services and other agencies, involve children and parents as appropriate
- Any allegation or concern about abuse must be responded to
- All work undertaken by TWR will be subject to continuous risk assessment.
- All services will have a named person responsible for overseeing safeguarding within that service.
- Any concern for the welfare of a child must be discussed with the appropriate project manager without delay.
TWR believes that the welfare of children is paramount and that ALL children have the right to protection from abuse, regardless of their age, culture, disability, gender, racial origin, language, religious belief or sexual orientation. A child for the purposes of this policy, as defined by the Children Act 1989 & 2004, is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.
TWR is committed to training all staff, students and volunteers in this policy and procedure and code of behaviour, as part of the induction process.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Trustees.
2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:
- Children Act 1989
- United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Sexual Offences Act 2003
- Children Act 2004
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
- Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children
3. TONBRIDGE WELCOMES REFUGEES’ ACCOUNTABILITIES FRAMEWORK
Safeguarding is the responsibility of us all. Appendix 1 provides an accountabilities framework for staff.
Staff, students and volunteers are expected to consult the appropriate project manager when they have any concerns for the welfare of a beneficiary. These project managers will consult with the Trustees in supervision and/or when necessary.
If a staff member has concerns about the attitudes and/or behaviours of a TWR colleague or volunteer, they have a duty to comply with TWR’s Whistleblowing policy and procedures.
4. OTHER TONBRIDGE WELCOMES REFUGEES POLICIES
All staff involved with safeguarding and child protection work, need to bear in mind the other organisational policies which support their work and provide guidance:
- Diversity and Equality
- Whistle blowing
- Sharing information and confidentiality
- Lone working
- Health and Safety
- Safe Recruitment
Please get in touch to receive copies of these documents.
5. SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN PROCEDURES
The purpose of these procedures is to ensure a speedy and effective response for dealing with concerns about the well-being of young people or vulnerable adults using the services offered by TWR.
Adherence to these procedures is mandatory for all TWR volunteers and beneficiaries. All new volunteers at TWR will be made aware of this policy and procedures through the induction process.
All volunteers on TWR’s mentoring or teaching programme should complete the e-learning Child Protection Awareness and Protection of Vulnerable Adults courses during their induction period.
All TWR volunteers will be expected to comply with TWR’s policies and procedures.
Safeguarding will be considered at each meeting of Trustees and project meetings as a standing agenda item.
A.1 Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
This is defined as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing the impairment of children’s health and development
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
Taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013).
A.2 Children in Need
Children, as listed within s17 of the Children Act 1989, whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health or development will be significantly impaired without the provision of services by a local authority. This includes disabled children.
A.3 Significant Harm
Some children are in need because they are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. The Children Act 1989 introduces the concept of significant harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children. It places a duty on Children’s Social Care to make enquiries to decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the welfare of a child who is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.
There are no absolute criteria for significant harm. Sometimes a single traumatic event may constitute significant harm e.g. a violent assault. More often, significant harm is a compilation of significant events both acute and long standing, which interrupt, change or damage a child’s physical or psychological development. It is the corrosiveness of long term emotional, physical, sexual abuse or neglect, which causes impairment to the extent of constituting significant harm.
B. WHAT IS ABUSE AND 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. Children may be abused in a family or an institution or a community setting, by those known to them, or by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children, or by witnessing the abuse of another person. The abuse and neglect of children takes place in all sectors of our community.
B.1 Physical abuse
A form of abuse which may include: hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or, otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent/carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
B.2 Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve:
- Conveying to the child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
- It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
- It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on a child. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.
- It may also involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.
- It may involve bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children to feel frequently frightened or in danger or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child although it may occur alone.
B.3 Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse involves:
- Forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
- The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.
- This may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at or in the production of sexual images or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).
- Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
- The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical, and/or, psychological needs is likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur in pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment).
- Failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, or
- A failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
B.5 Complex forms of abuse
Organised or multiple abuse
- Abuse involving one or more perpetrators and a number of related or unrelated abused children and young people.
- In some cases perpetrators act with others to abuse children, in others they act alone or they may use an institutional framework or a position of authority to access and groom children for abuse.
- Organised and multiple abuse occur both as part of a network of abuse across family or community, and within institutions such as residential homes or schools.
- Organised and multiple abuse can be a feature of Female Genital Mutilation, Child trafficking, Child Sexual Exploitation and other forms of sexual abuse
B.6 New technologies and abuse
This can involve:
- Abuse through bullying and intimidation using texting and mobile phones.
- Exposure to inappropriate materials via internet sites and games e.g. violence, sex etc.
- Predators meeting children online through social networking sites.
B.7 Child Sexual Exploitation
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse. It occurs where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for amongst other things, money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection or status. Consent is irrelevant, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with a person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.
B.8 Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non medical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and hence interferes with the natural function of girls’ and women’s bodies. The practice causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth also causing dangers to the child. Carrying out FGM procedures or failing to protect a child from any associated procedures, is a criminal offence.
B.9 Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence Honour Based Violence (HBV)
Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence Honour Based Violence (HBV) is a term used to describe violence committed within the context of the immediate or extended family, motivated by a perceived need to restore standing within the community, which is presumed to have been lost through the behaviour of the victim. Most victims of HBV are women or girls, although men and boys may also be at risk.
Women and girls may be perceived to ‘lose honour’ through expressions of autonomy, particularly if this autonomy occurs within the area of sexuality and/or choosing to not enter into a marriage that has been arranged for them or is favoured by family members.
Men may be targeted either by the family of a woman who they are believed to have ‘dishonoured’, in which case both parties may be at risk, or by their own family if they are believed to be homosexual.
C. CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE CONSIDERED PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO ABUSE
There are some children living in circumstances which may make them particularly vulnerable to abuse such as:
- All children deemed Children in Need
- Those living away from home in public or private care e.g. foster care, residential care, boarding schools, hospitals, prisons etc.
- Disabled children
- Children whose behaviour indicates a lack of parental control
- Children living within households where there is domestic abuse
- Children of substance misusing, mentally ill or learning disabled parents
- Children living in families where there are extreme religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs
- Children living in temporary accommodation
- Children who go missing
- Newly arrived or transient families
- Unaccompanied asylum seeking children
- Child victims of trafficking
D. ALERTING SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ABUSE
There are a variety of ways that somebody in TWR may become aware of the actual or likely occurrence of abuse of a child. These include:
- A child might tell them.
- Someone else might report that a child has told them or that they strongly believe that a child has been or is being abused.
- A child might show some signs of physical injury for which there appears to be no satisfactory explanation .
- A child’s behaviour may indicate to them that it is likely that she or he is being abused.
- Something in the behaviour of one of the workers or young person, or in the way that a worker or young person relates to a child, alerts them or makes them feel uncomfortable in some way.
- Observing one child abusing another.
Whenever anyone has concern that a child may be at risk of abuse they should follow TWR’s Safeguarding Procedures.
Most children do have accidental injuries occasionally e.g. when falling or playing with other children. Such injuries might include bruising to the knees, shins, arms, elbows, or if falling onto the face, nose, forehead cut lip etc.
However, there are injuries which are hardly ever caused accidentally and also warning signs which may indicate sexual, emotional abuse or neglect. The following is not an exhaustive list. It is designed to draw attention to the fact that a child might be being harmed in some way and in need of protection.
D.1 Physical Indicators
Some types of bruises are often associated with non-accidental injury:
- Hand slap marks
- Marks from an implement
- Pinch or grab marks
- Grip marks on a baby (could indicate severe shaking )
- Bruised eyes (particularly when no other bruising to forehead)
- Any bruising on babies Other Injuries Sometimes children are injured accidentally by not having been provided with a safe environment, such accidents could for example include scalding, fractures and poisoning. But some types of injury are less likely to be accidental such as:
- Burns inside the mouth, inside of the arm and on genitals
- Some cigarette burns or burns with another object
- Scalds particularly on the feet and ankles
- Bite marks
- Evidence of old or repeated fractures
- Cuts to mouth or tongue
- Female genital mutilation (FGM)
D.2 Sexual abuse
- Bruising to breasts, buttocks, lower abdomen, thighs and genital or rectal areas which could indicate sexual abuse
- Injuries, bleeding or soreness to genital or rectal areas
- Persistent vulva reddening and or discharge
- Repeated urinary tract infections
- Pseudo- mature or sexually explicit behaviours
- Continual open masturbation or aggressive sexual play with peers
D.3 Signs of Neglect
A neglected child may show signs by being:
- Underweight or obese
- Often dirty and smelly
- Poorly and/or inappropriately clothed
- Often hungry
- Unduly solemn and unresponsive
- Under stimulated and not reaching developmental milestones
- Poor impulse control
- Inability to form relationships
- Neglecting a child’s need for love, care, warmth, security and stimulation will affect their emotional and physical development over time. Some children may be left unattended without suitable arrangements for their care or with adults who for some reason (e.g. alcohol or drug misuse) are unable to be fully responsible for the child’s care.
D.4 Behavioural Indicators
Children who are being neglected or abused often also have behavioural difficulties. Any signs should always be looked at in conjunction with other information about a child and their family circumstances. Behaviour may be a starting point for further assessment. Indicators might include:
- Overly compliant or watchful attitude
- Acting out aggressive behaviour, severe tantrums
- Child only appearing happy in school, or is kept away from school
- Child isolated in school and without friends
- Child unable to trust anyone
- Tummy pains with no medical explanation
- Eating problems
- Sleep disorders
- Frightened child, overly anxious, frozen
- Child self harming
- Constantly running away from home
- Child showing signs of depression, anxiety, withdrawal etc.
D.5 Other Factors
There may be other indicators which could make someone concerned about the risk of abuse or neglect of a child such as:>
- A history of a parents’ abuse in childhood whether physical, emotional sexual or neglect
- A history of family breakdown, separations or disrupted care
- Parental isolation and lack of support
- Parental mental ill health, learning difficulties or disability which may impact negatively on a parents’ perception of the child or ability to provide care
- Parental drug, alcohol or substance misuse
- History of transient or violent partners and exposure to domestic abuse
- History of criminal behaviour and imprisonment and in particular a conviction of a schedule 1 offence
- Parent lacking awareness of a child’s development and needs
- Parents who hold extreme religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs
- Inconsistent adults within the household or rapidly changing adult relationships
- Chaotic families
- History of social services involvement or children being ‘looked after children’ Remember: It is not your responsibility to decide whether a child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm. This is the duty of Children’s Social Care, the Police or the NSPCC. Discuss any concerns with your project manager, and follow the safeguarding procedures.
E. WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE WELFARE OF A CHILD
(see Appendix 3 for What to do if you have concerns about a child).
Remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. If a child shows signs that s/he is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, the first consideration must always be whether the child is in imminent danger or requires urgent medical attention. If so, the safety of the child and/or access to suitable medical treatment, need to be secured as a first priority.
If the child is in danger, keep the child with you and contact the Police. If the child requires medical attention call an ambulance and then inform your manager. Children’s Social Care will need to be informed and a decision will need to be made, by the professionals involved at this stage, as to the timing and who will be responsible for informing the family of the situation.
If no such action is required, the volunteer must discuss his/her concerns immediately with their project manager or the Trustees. If you have any doubts about this decision, remember you can always, without necessarily identifying the child, consult with Children’s Social Care (via the children’s services consultation line or duty team), your Local Safeguarding Children Board or the NSPCC.
F. INFORMATION SHARING & CONFIDENTIALITY
It is important that concerns about children and young people are shared, as it is only when all the pieces of information are put together that a full picture of the situation can be obtained and proper judgements made. A key factor in serious case reviews has been a failure to record information, to share it, to understand the significance of the information shared and to take appropriate action in relation to known or suspected abuse or neglect.
It is critical that all volunteers working with children and young people are in no doubt that where they have a reasonable cause to suspect that a child or young person may be suffering or may be at risk of suffering significant harm, they should discuss those concerns with their project manager and make a referral to Children’s Social Care.
- ensure that volunteers explain to children, young people and their families when first accessing a service, how and why information will be held and may, on occasions, be shared;
- provide clear systems, standards and protocols for information sharing;
- provide training on information sharing and confidentiality for its staff;.
- provide advice and support around information sharing issues. Where there are safeguarding concerns information must always be shared. The Data Protection Act was not intended to prevent the sharing of this type of information. See Appendix 4 for Information Sharing Protocol.
G. DISCLOSURES AND MANAGING ALLEGATIONS
G.1 Disclosures of abuse If a child confides in a member of staff and discloses abuse
- The safety of the child is paramount
- Be calm, reassuring and honest
- Do not make promises which can’t be kept
- Do not interrogate the child, but listen carefully and gently clarify the facts, remain open in your manner and allow the child to continue at their own pace
- To tell the child what will happen next and with whom the information will be shared
- Consult with your project manager immediately
- Keep the child informed of what is happening and of any decisions made or actions taken
- Accurately record the incident immediately or as soon as you can but definitely within 24 hours If the child is in imminent danger then keep them safe and contact the Police and cooperate with the investigation. If the allegation involves a parent/carer or family member do not inform the family without first discussing the situation with Children’s Social Care or the Police. If the allegation does not involve a family member inform the parents with the agreement of Children’s Social Care and the Police. All volunteers are required to cooperate fully with any subsequent investigation or assessment.
G.2 Allegations against TWR volunteers working with children and young people
This section illustrates the statutory definition of allegations of this nature and how to respond. An allegation may relate to a person who works with children who has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
The criteria above apply to all volunteers working with children and young people. The allegation could be in relation to the treatment or behaviour of the individual’s own children. If you have concerns about a volunteer, even very close colleagues, you must bring this to the attention of your project manager. An allegation against a volunteer is different to a concern about the quality of practice or a complaint; however all of these must be relayed to your manager so that full consideration can be given to the nature of the allegation/concern. If the concern or allegation is about your project manager, please speak to the Trustees.
It is important that everyone in TWR is aware that the person who first encounters a case of alleged or suspected abuse is not responsible for deciding whether or not abuse has occurred. That is a task for the professional child protection agencies following a referral to them of any concerns.
H. RECORDING CONCERNS
It is imperative that any concerns about a child are accurately recorded as the matter could go on to case conference and/or legal proceedings. The record should include the context, a detailed account of the concerns, what was said or seen and by whom. It is important to record the actual words used by the child or the referrer. The record should indicate who was present, who was consulted, how any decisions were made and the reasoning behind them and by whom, and any actions taken. If a decision was made, to take no action, then the reasoning for that decision must also be recorded. All records must be clearly signed and dated.
I. A REFERRAL TO CHILDREN’S SOCIAL CARE
(see Appendix 3 (What to do if you have concerns about a child).
I.1 What to include
Some local authorities have their own specific referral form, others do not. Any referral to Children’s Social Care or the Police must include:
- Full name of the young person (check all names are spelt correctly).
- Age of child or young person (check date of birth is accurate).
- Parent’s name/s (check the surname of the parent is spelt correctly and that the person you think is the parent, really is. If they are not the parent, find out who they are and whether they are related to the child).
- Home address – including house number or name, and post code and telephone number if possible.
- Special circumstances e.g. community language, context of disclosure etc.
- What has prompted concern including dates & times etc.
- Any physical or behavioural signs need to be reported.
- Say whether you are passing on your own concerns or those of a third party, if so record the details and clarify between fact and opinion.
- Has the child/young person been spoken to? If so, by whom and what was said.
- Have the parents been contacted? If so, by whom and what was said.
- Has anybody been named as the alleged abuser, if so record details.
- Has anyone else been consulted? If so record the details. Remember to add your own name, position, contact details, time and date of referral and method by which referral was made. A referral should be countersigned by your line manager, whenever possible. Follow up in writing within 24 hours.
I.2 Information sharing and confidentiality
The legal principle that the welfare of the child is paramount means that the considerations of confidentiality which might apply in other situations in the organisation should not be allowed to override the right of children to be protected from harm. See Appendix 4 (Information Sharing Protocols and ECM guidance) and seek advice if you feel unsure about what should be shared.
I.3 When should the family be informed?
TWR, in consultation with Children’s Social Care and the Police, will always inform the parents of such a referral, unless sexual abuse is suspected or another form of abuse which could be covered up or evidence interfered with, or if it would endanger the child or others, or if it was felt that the family would flee. A judgement will need to be made by those involved at the time and the reason behind any decision clearly recorded.
J. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN THE CHILD PROTECTION PROCESS
Once Children’s Social Care receives a referral, they will need to determine within one working day, how they intend to proceed or whether they will take no further action, and they should inform the referrer of that decision.
If an assessment is required which identifies there are concerns for the child’s immediate safety, emergency action may be necessary to protect the child.
A strategy discussion would be held between LA Children’s Social Care, the Police and other agencies as appropriate. They would then make decisions about any immediate protective action and on information giving, especially to parents, having taken legal advice as necessary. If a decision is made to initiate an enquiry under section 47 of the Children Act 1989, a social worker will lead on the on-going assessment. Any assessment has to be proportionate and timely and will have to be completed within 45 working days. (see Working Together 2015 Chapter one assessing need and providing help).
If concerns are substantiated and there is a continuing risk to the child LA Children’s Social Care will convene a child protection conference within 15 days of the strategy discussion.
The child protection conference will determine whether the child is at continuing risk of significant harm in which case the child will be made subject of a Child Protection Plan and a core group established. The core group will be formed from professionals involved with the family plus family members. The core group must then meet within 10 working days to develop and implement the child protection plan and regularly thereafter. A Review Child Protection Conference must be held within 3 months of the initial conference and 6 monthly thereafter, until such time as there are no further concerns about harm and the child is no longer subject to a child protection plan.
Under section 47 of the Children Act 1989, only LA Children’s Social Care, the Police and NSPCC have statutory powers to investigate concerns that a child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm. However, other agencies, including TWR, may be required to contribute to strategy discussions, assessments, child protection conferences and core groups. Managers should ensure that their staff have the knowledge, skills and confidence to do so effectively and are offered appropriate training and support.
A CHILD IN NEED, BUT NO ACTUAL OR LIKELY SIGNIFICANT HARM
If an assessment concludes that the child is not suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, but is a Child in Need, Children’s Social Care will discuss with the child, family and other colleagues, as appropriate, what to do next. This may sometimes result in services being offered by Children’s Social Care and/or other agencies or it may be decided that an ongoing assessment may be required and Children’s Social Care will then coordinate the assessment which will help inform which services could help the family. A social worker, will then co-ordinate those services and review the outcomes for the child, until such time as the case can be closed.
Such services are delivered under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, this places a responsibility on Children’s Social Care to provide services to children in need but does not give them statutory powers to intervene in family life, against the wishes of the family.
K. NOTIFICATION OF A CHILD DEATH
When a member of staff becomes aware that:
- a child known to TWR has unexpectedly died or been seriously injured, or alternatively
- a child from the immediate locality of the service but unknown to the service has unexpectedly died or been seriously injured
- They must immediately notify their project manager and notify the emergency services.
The Trustees, having heard the detail of the case and any involvement we may have had, will advise as to whether the file should be secured. The Trustees will produce a response on behalf of the organisation, for use should there be any approach from the media. Any media requests should be referred to the Trustees.
Volunteers are expected to co-operate fully with any subsequent enquiries made by the Local Safeguarding Children Board or statutory agencies.
L. THE SUPERVISION OF SAFEGUARDING WORK
Supervision plays a critically important role both in our safeguarding work and in ensuring that TWR remains a safe organisation.
Regular supervision of good quality should be available to all volunteers to ensure proper accountability and best practice. The frequency of supervision should reflect the complexity of the work being undertaken together with the skills, knowledge and experience of the volunteer involved. Safeguarding must be discussed at each supervision session and risks for families regularly reviewed.
It is the shared responsibility of both supervisor and supervisee to establish a relationship within supervision which enables an honest and open discussion of any safeguarding concerns or issues which arise either directly from the work or within the work place. Supervision should be a creative process which may, on occasions, require the robust challenge of the views and/or practice of colleagues and on rare occasions, if differences cannot be resolved, the possible involvement of Trustees.
All volunteers to relevant programmes are introduced to ‘Safeguarding’ and their responsibilities in relation to it. In addition, all volunteers are required to undertake and all staff must also successfully complete the Child Protection Awareness and Protection of Vulnerable Adults (e-learning) courses.
Appendix 1: Safeguarding Accountability within Tonbridge Welcomes Refugees
Safeguarding is the responsibility of us all
Accountable for TWR and therefore all safeguarding within the organisation.
Receive regular reports on safeguarding.
Ensure that safe recruitment practices are fully employed & that staff appointed have the necessary skills and supervisions in safeguarding appropriate to their role.
Accountable to the Trustees for safeguarding in projects and services.
Ensure safe recruitment practices are fully employed in the recruitment of both staff and volunteers and that they have the necessary skills and experience in safeguarding, appropriate to the role.
Line management responsibility for the safe delivery, quality and effectiveness of their project.
|Safeguarding Lead (Designated person)||
Report on the practice and management of safeguarding in their project.
Ensure that all files clearly identify where there are concerns for the welfare of a child and that files comply with organisational standards.
Ensure that safeguarding practice is regularly discussed in supervision to identify any training needs and is included within the staff appraisal process.
Ensure that there is a written Safeguarding Statement clearly displayed.
Accountable to the Trustees for the development of safeguarding within the organisation.
Review and update the TWR Safeguarding policy, procedures and standards.
Responsibility to establish and maintain effective relationships with other agencies locally in relation to safeguarding and to challenge when appropriate.
Responsible for developing and reviewing the Safeguarding Strategy.
|Front line Volunteers and Students||
Accountable to their project manager for safeguarding within their work.
Responsibility for the safe delivery, quality and effectiveness of the services they provide.
Are alert to safeguarding issues in all aspects of their work.
Keep accurate and timely records.
Remember that the welfare of the child is paramount and draw to the attention of line management any concerns they may have for the welfare of a child.
Undertake safeguarding training as required.
Appendix 2 National Legislation and Policy Frameworks
|Children Act (1989)||
Emphasises the importance of putting the child first whilst cooperating and sharing parental responsibilities.
Principles of working together and in partnership
Skills enhanced by multi agency learning
|Sexual Offences Act (2003)||
Sets out a new legal framework to protect children from sexual abuse, covers internet pornography, grooming & exploitation.
Puts restrictions on convicted sex offenders.
Internet Safety, successful prosecution in cases of grooming and safeguarding children from known sex offenders
|Children Act (2004)||
Emphasises reform within children services
New role of children commissioner for England
Duty of local authorities to promote
Culture of co-operation and working together between agencies and organisations
Development of common knowledge, skills and competences within the children’s workforce
|Education Act (2002)||
Emphasises duty to make arrangements for the safeguarding and promoting of the welfare of children
Promotes: Policies and procedures to safeguard children
Work in partnership with other agencies
Training and development
|Working Together to Safeguard Children: a guide to inter-agency working…. (2015)||
Streamlines previous guidance documents to clarify the responsibilities of professionals in safeguarding children and strengthens the focus away from processes and onto the needs of the child.It Includes:
Local Safeguarding Children Boards responsibilities Learning and improvement frameworks
|Promotes: Child’s needs paramount Information sharing Use of professional judgement Regular reviews of outcomes Individual agencies are responsible for ensuring staff competence & confidence to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities|
|Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014||Makes Forced Marriage a criminal act.||
Equality and informed choice for women and girls; and the prosecution of offenders
|Serious Crime Act 2015||Updating and clarifying the offence of child cruelty to make it explicit that it covers psychological suffering or injury as well as physical harm. (Section 66) • A new criminal offence of sexual communication with a child. • Amends existing sexual offences legislation so as to recognise children as victims rather than consenting participants • Extends the extra-territorial reach of female genital mutilation offences and providing anonymity to victims • A new offence of failing to protect a girl under 16 from the risk of female genital mutilation • A new duty on professionals to notify the police of acts of female genital mutilation. • A new offence criminalising repeated or continuous coercive or controlling behaviour perpetrated against an intimate partner or family member which has a serious effect on the victim.|
|Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015||Places the Prevent programme on a statutory footing. This means that from the 1st July 2015 every local authority (and other relevant ‘authorities’) will have a legal duty to, “when exercising its functions, have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This duty is conferred upon organisations commissioned by Local Authorities and any other ‘authority’ named in the Act. Places. Places a statutory duty on a range of organisations – including child care settings – to co-operate with local Channel arrangements/panels.||
Increased reporting of individuals at risk of radicalisation.
Multi-agency working when an individual is deemed to be at risk of radicalisation.
Appendix 3: What to do if you have concerns about a child
NSPCC Helpline 0800 028 0285
Kent Children Specialist Services 03000 411111/ Out of hours 03000 419191
Local Police child protection teams – In emergency dial 999
Appendix 4: Information Sharing Protocol