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Safeguarding Policy

  • This policy sets out how Resolve will carry out its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
  • The safeguarding policy applies to all staff (teaching and non-teaching), volunteers, temporary and supply staff working in the education provision.

Resolve operates within the legal framework that applies to the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The term “children” refers to everyone up to 18 years of age and up to 24 years of age for those with learning difficulties and disabilities. The term “vulnerable adult” refers to any person over the age of 18 who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of:

• mental health
• disability
• age or illness and who is unable to take care of themselves
• unable to protect themselves against significant harm or serious exploitation

It is our intention to extend this commitment to the safeguarding and well-being of all our learners, children, young people or adults, full-time, part-time, at our training venues.

1.Policy Statement:

Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults is everyone’s responsibility. We all have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for learners.

We all have a responsibility to identify any learners who might need extra help or are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm and to take appropriate and timely action

The welfare of our learners is our paramount concern. We make every effort to provide a safe and welcoming environment underpinned by a culture of openness where both young people and adults feel secure, able to talk and believe they are being listened to.

The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children, young people & vulnerable adults are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, all learners:

  • have a positive and enjoyable experience of learning at Resolve in a safe environment
  • are protected from abuse whilst participating in learning with Resolve.

Resolve acknowledges that some children, young people & vulnerable adults, including those with a disability or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.

As part of our safeguarding policy Resolve will:

  • promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of young people
  • ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to young people & vulnerable adults
  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern
  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely store
  • prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals
  • ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation.

The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in Resolve. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.

2.Purpose & Objectives

It is Resolve’s policy to ensure that guidelines, procedures, training and personal support are in place so that staff and learners can confidently identify and respond appropriately to concerns relating to the safety of children, young people & vulnerable adults.

Resolve will ensure that designated personnel will be available to assist staff who identify concerns and that all concerns will be treated seriously.

No matter what the source of the information, Resolve will adopt the following procedure to ensure consistency. The procedure will consist of three steps:

  • Information gathering
  • Analysis
  • Action

Resolve will ensure that all concerns about children, young people & vulnerable adults are recorded accurately and where possible in the language given by the source of the concern. It will be stored securely and in line with the Company archiving policy.

3.Coverage and Scope

This policy applies to the support of children and young people up to their 18th birthday as defined by the Children Act 1989 (and 2004). For those young people reaching their 18th birthday who need continuing services and support, this can be extended to their 25th birthday.
 
In the context of working in Further Education, where the majority of individuals are over the age of 16, it is important to recognise that whilst the law allows consensual sexual activity at the age of 16, if the child requires help and support the lawful nature of the activity does not stop intervention. Examples of this may be:

  • Children who despite their legal age are vulnerable because of disability;
  • Children in relationships with much older individuals or individuals in a position of authority and trust
  • Children who may be at risk of sexual abuse or exploitation;
  • Children who are parents;
  • Children whose emotional needs mean they are unlikely to be able to protect themselves despite their legal age.
     

Definitions

The Company adopts the definition of harm as laid down by the Department of Health as follows:

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, institution or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or by adults or another child or children.

Physical Abuse: - This may involve 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 or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.

Emotional Abuse: - This is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child that can cause severe long lasting effects on a young person’s emotional development. It may involve, for instance, conveying to a young person that they are worthless, unloved and inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. 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 in participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It might involve serious bullying causing children frequently to feel 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, though it may occur alone.

Sexual Abuse: - This involves forcing or enticing a young person to take part in sexual activities/ child sexual exploitation, including prostitution/ human trafficking, whether or not the young person is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities such as involving young people in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or encouraging young people to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Neglect: - This is the persistent failure to meet a young person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs which is likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born neglect is failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a young person from physical or emotional harm or danger, failing to ensure adequate supervision, including the use of inadequate care-takers, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It can also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a young person’s basic emotional needs.

Domestic Violence: - Prolonged and/or regular exposure to domestic violence can have a serious impact on a young person’s development and emotional well-being, despite the best efforts of the parent who may be the victim, to protect the young person. Young people’s exposure to parental conflict, even where actual violence is not present can lead to serious anxiety and distress. Young people are like to show signs of stress because of domestic violence. This may result in behavioural problems, depression, and a tendency to aggression or withdrawal.

Bullying: Staff should also be mindful of the threat of bullying. Young people are vulnerable to bullying, which is deliberately hurtful and harmful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time from which it is difficult to defend themselves. It can take many forms but the three main types are:

Physical – (For example, hitting, kicking, theft, extortion)

Verbal – (For example, racist or homophobic remarks, threats, name-calling)

Emotional – (For example, isolating an individual from the activities and social acceptance of other young people).
 
The damage inflicted by bullying must not be under-estimated; it can cause considerable distress, affect the young person’s health and development and cause significant harm. Therefore, staff should also report suspicions or allegations regarding bullying to their line manager who must investigate and possibly invoke the Child Protection procedures.

FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)

According to the NHS, FGM is ‘also known as "female circumcision" or "cutting", and by other terms such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others. FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts. It is illegal in the UK and is child abuse. It's very painful and can seriously harm the health of women and girls. It can also cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health problems.’ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/female-genital-mutilation-fgm/

All staff receive full training on FGM.

Prevent Duty

Prevent duty training is mandatory for all staff at Resolve. This includes information on radicalisation, extremism and the signs of this taking place with the young people we support and work with.

Prevent duty outlines how to recognise the signs of this taking place, and who to contact to prevent radicalisation. More detail can be found in the companies Prevent Policy.

The wider concept of safeguarding

All staff members working at Resolve must also take into consideration the wider concept of safeguarding, and understand that we must safeguard individuals from:

  • Child sexual exploitation (CSE) (Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2015)- last updated February 2019)
  • Child criminal exploitation (CCE) (Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2015)- last updated February 2019)
  • Extremism and radicalisation (Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.)
  • Mutilation- Burning, tattooing, physical punishment for cultural or religious practices (Serious Crime Act 2015)
  • Online safety/Cyber bullying/ Grooming
  • Child on child sexual violence (Sexual Offences Act 2003- renewed 2012)
  • Forced Marriage (The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014)
  • Sexual Harassment or sexting (Equality Act 2010)
  • ‘Upskirting’ (Voyeurism Offences Act 2019)
  • Domestic Violence (Domestic abuse Bill 2019)
  • Hate crime (Equality Act 2010)
  • Modern slavery/ trafficking (Modern slavery act 2014- Updated 2019)
  • Children’s Mental health and wellbeing, and healthy relationships

Staff are responsible for reporting any of these concerns to the designated safeguarding officer immediately, and discussions regarding any concerns are also held at each assessor/ tutor monthly 121 meetings.

4.Policy expectations

All members of staff working within Resolve in whatever role will be accountable to this policy, and have a responsibility to take seriously all concerns that come to their attention. The member of staff identifying the concern will, as a matter of professional duty, pass that concern onto the appropriate named members of staff within the related procedures.

All employees will engage with this policy during induction and be encouraged to activity promote the policy and themes throughout their daily working activity.
 

Learners or children, who have concerns about other children or the behaviour of adults towards them, can use this policy to ensure that they are taken seriously.

Placement providers and subcontractors must be informed about this policy and deal with any concerns reported to them in line with this policy by contacting the designated member of staff.

Given the company’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of its learners, information will be given to staff and learners at induction and in the relevant literature, to outline that commitment. This information must emphasise:

  • The legal obligations of the company and of individuals
  • The importance of learner and staff concerns being taken seriously
  • The need for concerns and action taken to be recorded
  • The rules associated with confidentiality and disclosure
  • That parents may have to be consulted unless this will cause further harm to the child
  • How staff are supported in implementing the procedures

It is recognised that Resolve has many diverse groups of learners eg learners with learning difficulties or those who have English as their second language, and the application of this policy will need to be sensitive to their differing needs.
 
In order to properly assess concerns and take appropriate action it will be necessary to discuss concerns with colleagues and other relevant staff within the company or other related organisations. Legislation makes it clear that it is acceptable to exchange information as long as the information is accurate, adequate, relevant, not excessive, has the necessary consents and is in line with the legal duty to prevent harm to children. This will also comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (The Data Protection Act 2018). 

5. Organisation and Responsibility

To ensure the implementation of this policy, the following key members of staff have been identified to assist in the process of assessment and decision making.

The Designated Staff

  • Jacky Ellison, Head of Learning & Development (Head of L&D) and Claire Wakefield, Apprenticeship Programme Lead, are responsible for: supporting and assisting staff and learners who are reporting concerns about learners; liaising with and making referrals to, Children & Young People’s Departments as appropriate.
  • The Designated safeguarding officers are responsible for: supporting and assisting staff or learners making referrals; receiving and processing concerns related to the behaviour of staff; vetting of staff including undertaking DBS checks; developing the Staff Code of Conduct.
  • Line Managers/ Directors need to be aware of this policy as all or any staff can consult with them in confidence for advice about how to proceed.
  • All teaching and support staff, visitors and contractors, or other operators working on the company site are responsible for taking any concern or disclosure about the safety of young people seriously and reporting their concerns as per the procedure.
  • All staff must have relevant training for safeguarding and Prevent in their induction as on ingoing basis throughout their employment. This is supported and monitored by Jacky Ellison (Head of Learning & Development).

Reporting procedure

All staff, volunteers and others working in direct contact with learners must be alert to the signs of abuse. Anyone who suspects that abuse is taking place inside or outside of Resolve, or to whom a learner discloses issues relating to safeguarding, should contact one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers immediately.

The Designated Safeguarding Officers are:
Jacky Ellison. Head of Learning & Development. Tel: 0161 260 0281 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Claire Wakefield. Apprenticeship programme Lead. Tel: 0161 260 0281 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Staff who are not Designated Safeguarding Officers, but who are approached with concerns about a child or vulnerable adult, must bring the concerns raised to the attention of a Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately.

All staff to whom a learner discloses issues that may be related to safeguarding must keep written records of concerns. Such records must be kept securely, separate from the main learner files and in locked locations.

The Designated Safeguarding Officers will develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with any enquires regarding child or vulnerable adult protection matters, including attendance at case conferences.

Communication and Promotion of the Policy

Staff

The policy is communicated to staff as part of the recruitment process, during induction and throughout the course of the employee's employment with Resolve. We have a full Safer Recruitment process in place which includes Enhanced DBS checks and right to work checks. Safeguarding & Prevent is part of regular apprentice/learner review sessions and assessment planning sessions and hot topics on Safeguarding & Prevent are shared with staff on a regular basis by our Designated Safeguarding Lead. Staff are able to access the up-to-date Safeguarding and Prevent Policy through the staff handbook. Staff are required to undertake mandatory CPD training on joining the organisation on Safeguarding, Prevent and Equality & Diversity and are required to take part in regular refresher sessions to keep their knowledge up to date. This is monitored by the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Apprentices/Learners

The policy is communicated to apprentices/learners as part of the enrolment/induction process and throughout the duration of their learning programme with us. The policy is shared with learners through the learner handbook which also sets out how learners can get additional support for safeguarding, prevent or general wellbeing issues. This is made available as part of the induction session and is available at all times through their e-portfolio on our Aptem system. Safeguarding, Prevent and wellbeing is an integral part of the apprentice/learner review process where learner understanding is checked and reinforced regularly, this includes a check on learner understanding of how they can report concerns and who their designated safeguarding lead is. Safeguarding and Prevent are embedded into sessions via hot topics. Learners also sign up to a commitment on Safeguarding and Prevent as part of their commitment to the programme and learner code of conduct.

Employers

The policy is communicated to employers through the due diligence/induction process and commitment to the programme. Employers are involved in the regular progress reviews with their apprentices/learners where safeguarding, prevent and wellbeing are reviewed.

DBS/RIGHT TO WORK Disclosure Policy and Procedure:

We adhere to strict government legislation following the procedures as outlined by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) which states:

  • Any person barred from working with children and vulnerable adults is breaking the law if they work or volunteer, or try to work or volunteer with those groups. An organisation which knowingly employs someone who is barred to work with these groups will also be breaking the law.
  • Resolve abide by the legislative requirements (as stated by DBS) that if we (an organisation) work with children, young people or vulnerable adults and dismiss a member of staff because they have harmed a child, young person or vulnerable adult, or would have done so if they had not left, will by law inform the Disclosure and Barring Service.

In the instance of a disclosure that does not involve a person barred with said groups the following process will be adhered to:

  • Head of L & D will be notified immediately.
  • Head of L & D will liaise with the CEO, to confidentially discuss the issues raised
  • Head of L & D will confidentially discuss with the individual the issues raised.
  • A confidential record of discussion will be kept and held securely.
  • The situation will be monitored on an on-going basis for a reasonable period of time as advised and arranged by Head of L & D
  • In the result of an incident in relation to the individual, the staff disciplinary procedure will be implemented by Head of L & D to address the incident/issues.
  • Head of L & D and in consultation with the CEO will be responsible for all matters relating to disclosure issues and any subsequent suspension or termination of contract relating to the individuals(s) employment at Resolve.

We carry out right to work checks as part of our overall safer recruitment process

Reporting and Dealing with Allegations of Abuse against Members of Staff:

We recognise that an allegation of abuse made against a member of staff may be made for a variety of reasons and the facts of the allegation may or may not be true. It is therefore imperative when dealing with an allegation that an open mind is maintained and the investigations are thorough and not subject to delay.

We recognise:

  • The welfare of the individual is the paramount concern.
  • Making hasty or ill-informed decisions in connection with a member of staff can irreparably damage an individual’s reputation, confidence and career. Therefore, those dealing with such allegations within the organisation will do so with sensitivity and will act in a careful, measured way.

Receiving an allegation from a child, young person or vulnerable adult:

A member of staff who receives an allegation about another member of staff should report the allegation immediately to their line manager, unless the line manager is the person to whom the allegation is made.

In this case the report should be made to Head of L & D and/ or the Lead Designated Safeguarding Officer.  

The Line Manager (or lead designated person) should obtain written details of the allegation from the person who received it; this must be signed and dated. Then written details should be countersigned and dated by the Line Manager (or designated person).

Information should be recorded on: times, dates, locations and names of potential witnesses.

Initial Assessment by the Line Manager (or lead designated person)

The Line Manager (or lead designated person) should make an initial assessment of the allegation, consulting with the Safeguarding Officer with lead responsibility.

Where the allegation is considered to be either a potential criminal act or indicates that the young person/vulnerable adult has suffered, is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, the matter should be reported immediately to the police/social services. All allegations against people who work with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults which meet the following specific criteria should be reported by the employer within one working day to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) via the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

  • Staff who have behaved in a way that has harmed a child, young person or vulnerable adult
  • Staff who have possibly committed a criminal offence related to a child, young person or vulnerable adult
  • Staff who have behaved towards a child/children, young person/s and vulnerable adult/s in a way that indicates that he/she is unsuitable to work with children

It is important that the Line Manager (or lead designated person) does not investigate the allegation. The initial assessment should be on the basis of the information received and is a decision whether or not the allegation warrants further investigation.

Other potential outcomes are:

  • The allegation represents inappropriate behaviour or poor practice by the member of staff and is neither potentially a crime or a cause of significant harm to the child, young person or vulnerable adult (low level concern). The matter therefore will be addressed in accordance with internal disciplinary procedures
  • Low Level Concerns - The term ‘low-level’ concern does not mean that it is insignificant. A low-level concern is any concern – no matter how small, and even if no more than causing a sense of unease or a ‘nagging doubt’ - that an adult working in or on behalf of Resolve may have acted in a way that:
    • is inconsistent with the staff code of conduct, including inappropriate conduct outside of work; and
    • does not meet the allegations threshold or is otherwise not considered serious enough to consider a referral to the LADO

Examples of such behaviour could include, but are not limited to:

  • being over friendly with children;
  • having favourites;
  • taking photographs of children on their mobile phone;
  • engaging with a child on a one-to-one basis in a secluded area or behind a closed door; or,
  • using inappropriate sexualised, intimidating or offensive language.

Dealing with Disclosure of Abuse and Procedure for Reporting Wider Safeguarding & Wellbeing Concerns

If a child, young person or vulnerable adult tells you about possible abuse you must:

  • Listen carefully and stay calm, demonstrating concern and interest
  • Do not interview the individual, you must listen and carefully record what is said in their own words. Do not write your own interpretations down or make emotive comments.
  • Do not lead or probe with questions
  • Do not put words into the mouth of the individual making the disclosure/ the reporting of possible abuse.
  • Do not agree confidentiality
  • Reassure the individual that by telling you they have done the right thing and everything possible will be done to help.
  • Record the disclosure
  • Make a detailed note of the date, time, place and what the individual said, keep copies of notes taken and sign and date accordingly
  • Do not be judgemental
  • Do not make promises that can’t be kept (such as ‘this won’t happen to you again’).
  • Do not contact the alleged abuser
  • Do not gossip about the incident

Inform the reporting individual that you must pass the information on to the Designated Safeguarding Officer who will investigate the concern. Inform the individual to whom you will report the incident

Staff should not investigate concerns or allegations themselves but should report them immediately to the Designated Lead Safeguarding Officer using the Safeguarding Concerns form.

If there is a suspicion that abuse is taking place an individual MUST decide if there is an immediate risk and if so dial 999 for the Police or Ambulance as appropriate. If it is decided that the individual is not in any immediate danger then the incident MUST be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or deputy.

The incident and information of the person involved must not be discussed with the alleged perpetrator or provide any information about the person involved.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will investigate the safeguarding concerns and will utilise their expertise to determine whether the concern requires external support and as such will liaise with the appropriate external agencies to provide additional support and will ensure that the person raising the concern is updated accordingly in line with their role.

The Safeguarding Policy Flowchart is attached at Appendix 1.

Support for staff

Resolve is aware that safeguarding cases can be distressing and that staff who have been involved may find it helpful to talk about their experiences, in confidence, with the Lead Designated Safeguarding Officer or with a trained counsellor. Staff wishing to be referred for counselling should discuss this with their line manager.

6. Quality and Monitoring

It is Resolve’s policy to ensure that all staff are briefed during their induction, have access to regular training, and that designated personnel have regular contact with consultants and Local Authority Social Care Departments with to ensure that guidelines and procedures meet with nationally agreed recommendations.

The policies and procedures will be examined on an annual basis for accuracy and updated on a regular basis.

All staff will be notified of any changes and updates to this policy, and will be required to keep an updated CPD log including safeguarding updates.

Reporting cases to the disclosure & barring service (DBS)

Resolve has a duty to make reports and provide relevant information to the DBS where there are grounds for believing, following an investigation, that an individual is unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults, or may have committed misconduct. The responsibility for reporting cases to the DBS lies with the Lead Designated Safeguarding Officer

Resignations

If, during the course of an investigation relating to safeguarding, an employee tenders his or her resignation, or ceases to provide their services, Resolve is not prevented from following up an allegation in accordance with these procedures. Every effort will be made to reach a conclusion in cases relating to the welfare of children or vulnerable adults, including those where the person concerned refuses to co-operate with the process

Monitoring

The policy will be reviewed a year after development and then every two years, or in the following circumstances:

  • changes in legislation and/or government guidance
  • as a result of any other significant change or event.

Additional information:

This policy should be read in conjunction with:
• Online Safety Policy
• Prevent Policy

Appendix 1: Resolve Procedure for Reporting Safeguarding Concern

apendixA Safeguarding