A Father’s Child Services CIC (AFCS CIC):
AFCS CIC SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE POLICY
2.0 Policy Statement
3.0 Legislative and policy context
4.0 How safeguarding duties will be carried out
5.0 Scope of this policy
6.0 Other issues
7.0 Appendix one
8.0 Appendix Two
1.0 Get Help
9.0 Appendix Three– Incident Report x 2 pages
10.1 Appendix 4 – Body map separate document
11.0 Version Control
It is expected that the existence of this policy, and in particular the limits of confidentiality, will be made clear to all staff and volunteers.
All staff and volunteers must be given a copy of this policy and be asked to sign a statement that they have received it, read and understood it, within one week of their employment beginning.
To protect the Service User’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
• To set out the key arrangements and systems A Father’s Child Services CIC has in place for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of adults at risk, and to ensure compliance with local policies and procedures.
• To have a clear, well-publicised policy of zero-tolerance of abuse within A Father’s Child Services CIC
• To support A Father’s Child Services CIC in meeting the following Key Lines of Enquiry:
|Key Questions||Key Line of Enquiry (KLOE)|
|SAFE||S1: How do systems, processes and practices keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse?|
|SAFE||S2: How are risks to people assessed and their safety monitored and managed so they are supported to stay safe and their freedom is respected?|
|EFFECTIVE||E2: How does the service make sure that staff have the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care, support and service provision?|
|EFFECTIVE||E7: Is consent to care and treatment always sought in line with legislation and guidance?|
2 POLICY STATEMENT
AFCS CIC (the Company) is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all young people participating in its programmes and to promoting a protective culture at every level of the organisation.
The Company recognises that it has a duty to ensure that it carries out all its functions with regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. (Children Act, 2004, Section 11).
The Company recognises this duty in relation to all young people regardless of age, colour, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religious belief, social class, sex, sexual orientation or disability.
3 LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY CONTEXT
This Policy is underpinned by the following legislation:
The Children Act, 1989; The Children Act, 2004; The Protection of Children Act, 1999; The Data Protection Act, 1984 and 1998; The Human Rights Act, 1998; The Equality Act 2006/2010.
This Policy is underpinned by the following guidance:
Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2006; What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused, 2003. Keeping Children Safe In Education (KCSIE)
4 HOW SAFEGUARDING DUTIES WILL BE CARRIED OUT
STAFF MUST NOT INVESTIGATE ANY ALLEGATIONS – IF A NAMED LEAD PERSON FOR CHILD PROTECTION FOR THE COMMISSIONING AGENCY CANNOT BE IMMEDIATELY INVOLVED. THE PERSON INVOLVED MUST NOT BE INCLUDED IN ANY SUCH CONVERSATIONS.
STAFF MUST RECORD WHAT THE CHILD SAYS, ANY QUESTIONS ASKED AND VERBATIM RESPONSES USING THE PROFORMA AT APPENDIX 3 (.
ANY POTENTIAL INVESTIGATION MAY BE COMPROMISED IF STAFF START TO INVESTIGATE THE ALLEGATION. THIS MUST BE HANDED TO THE LOCAL AUTHORITY WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IT IS AND THEY WILL REFER TO THE POLICE IF NECESSARY.
The Company expects that all staff and volunteers will adhere to the Safeguarding Procedures of the commissioning agency. (Commissioning will mean the Agency that we have received the contract from.)
This will include:
- How to report and record concerns.
- When the boundaries of confidentiality should be observed and when they should be broken in the young person’s own interests.
The Company has its own policy about confidentiality, which is likely to be in line with that of the commissioning agency. Where there are differences, the policy of the commissioning agency will apply, or we revert to tender agreements.
The named lead person from the commissioning agency should be consulted in any situation where concerns are raised. They will be responsible for following their own procedures and making any referrals. It is not the responsibility of the Company to make referrals to other agencies, such as the police.
In the absence of a reporting format provided by the commissioning agency, the reporting proforma provided at the end of this policy will apply and should be used in all instances.
Volunteers and staff will be briefed about the appropriate actions to be taken to comply with the Commissioning Agency’s procedures in the event of concerns arising outside of scheduled children/youth activities.
The Company has a named person for safeguarding children. The named person will be whoever holds the post of “Director of Children’s Services”. All staff will be made aware that concerns should be reported to the named person. All staff will be made aware of whom to report concerns to in the absence of the named person.
The named person will take responsibility for co-ordination of information within the organisation and liaison with the commissioning agency and/or with relevant statutory agencies.
AFCS CIC will demonstrate its commitment to safeguarding the welfare of young people attending any of its programmes, or those of incubated organisations or groups, by providing induction and ongoing training and staff development.
This will include:
- How to recognise and identify possible signs of abuse in young people
- How to deal appropriately with a young person who is making a disclosure about
- Their own or another young person’s abuse.
- (Refer to the Appendix to this Policy entitled “Practice Guidance”).
The Company employs safe recruitment practices with regard to:
- Job description and publicity.
- Recruitment and selection.
- Interview practice.
- References and verification of identity.
- Disclosure & Barring checks (DBS).
- Procedures in respect of declared convictions.
AFCS CIC will take seriously any allegation made by a young person. If an allegation concerns the behaviour of a member of staff or a volunteer employed by the Company, the commissioning agency will be immediately notified, and prompt action taken.
A written notification will be given to the commissioning agency of the allegation and actions taken, within two working days.
See also the company’s guidance on “whistle blowing”, Creating a Safe Working Environment for Raising Concerns.
Part 2 – the management of safeguarding
This is for headteachers, designated safeguarding lead (DSL) teams and governors.
Multi-agency working (68-75)
*** key Information AFCS CIC staff members need to be aware of are:
Changes to this section are to clarify the expectations for all agencies, including schools, in the context of the phasing out of local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs). Specifically, that:
The new safeguarding partners and child death review partner arrangements must be in place by 29 September 2019
Your school should be aware of and follow these new local arrangements – this includes your senior leadership team, DSL and governing board
As a reminder, your 3 safeguarding partners are:
Local authority (LA)
Clinical commissioning group within the LA
Chief office of police within the LA
Reference to new relationships, health and sex education (89)
Under the context of ‘Opportunities to teach safeguarding’ there’s now text explaining that the following subjects will be mandatory from September 2020:
Relationships education (for all primary schools)
Relationships and sex education (for all secondary schools)
Health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools)
For more information about these new requirements, go to our relationships, health and sex education 2020 resource hub.
Maintained school governors (173-174)
The guidance now clarifies that:
- Maintained schools should carry out section 128 checks on their governors
- Associate members don’t need to have an enhanced DBS check
- Read more about section 128 checks.
AFCS CIC will carry these Section 128 checks out on any volunteers and Board Members that we recruit, where we deem necessary.
There’s now a link to new DfE guidance on teaching online safety in schools which AFCS CIC will be familiar with and encourage the learning of children and young people that we support.
You can find the details in the below link:
5 SCOPE OF THIS POLICY
This policy applies to all staff and volunteers who come into contact with young people participating in its programmes, or those of incubated organisations or groups, in whatever capacity.
The Children Act, 1989 defines a child as “a person under the age of eighteen”. This policy therefore applies to all young persons under 18. However, the principles of this policy should also be considered for those young people above the age of 18 years, who are considered vulnerable.
6 OTHER ISSUES
Co-operating with safeguarding enquiries
Safeguarding enquiries are carried out by the Social Services Department and the Police, or another statutory agency/the commissioning organisation. Staff are expected to co-operate with these enquiries failure to comply with any investigation will be subject to Disciplinary con.
It will be expected that all government guidance is adhered to and local policies are updated accordingly and appropriate signage and social distancing is available on site for staff and visitors to see.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the AFCS CIC Covis-19 Policy and it’s appropriate risk assessment for staff and BAME colleagues, and the AFCS CIC Safeguarding Adults Policy.
If suspicion falls on a member of the Company’s staff
If an allegation is made about a member of staff, this will be referred to the Social Services Department or commissioning agency who will make enquiries. This will be linked to the company’s disciplinary procedure.
It will often be necessary to suspend the staff member from involvement in any contact with children on behalf of the company with immediate effect. This action is intended to safeguard the welfare of children and does not assume the guilt of the staff member.
The staff member will be given suitable sources of support.
When suspicion falls on a staff member, there are three possible outcomes:
- It may be proved to the company’s satisfaction that the staff member has abused one or more children, or
- It may be proved to the company’s satisfaction that the staff member is not guilty of abuse, or
- The enquiries may be inconclusive, leaving suspicion, but no proof about the staff member’s behaviour.
All circumstances will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the Director/s of the company, with guidance form the local authority and commissioning agencies involved. All final decisions will be communicated in writing in line with the company disciplinary procedures.
The Company will keep a register of names, addresses, next of kin and contact addresses and telephone numbers for emergencies.
Give parents, and where appropriate older children, a copy of a written statement which specifies the action which AFCS CIC will take in the event of a child becoming ill or being injured.
The Company will seek a signed agreement from the parents of each child to your obtaining any necessary medical treatment in an emergency. All information will be held in line with the current Data Protection requirements.
Practice Guidance for Safeguarding the Welfare of Young People
1. Identification of abuse.
Child abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child or young person. Somebody may abuse or neglect a young person either by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.
What is abuse?
Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by another person or persons. It may consist of a single act or repeated acts. This may be an act of neglect or an omission, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial transaction or sexual act to which he or she has not consented, or cannot legally consent to due to lacking capacity or because the law does not recognise that their age enables them to consent.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child or young person. Children and young people are subject to injuries as part of everyday life through play and day to day tasks, the challenge for workers is to differentiate accidental from non-accidental injuries.
Factors to consider in deciding whether a physical injury might be accidental or inflicted include:
- Where on the body is the injury? Accidental injuries tend to occur on parts of the body that protrude (e.g. shins, knees, hips, elbows, forearms and chin). Injuries to the neck, trunk, genital area, face and behind the ears merit further inquiry. (See AFCS CIC body map – Separate document).
- What shape is the injury? Be aware of linear injuries that may have been caused by an object such as a cane or belt. Some implements leave a clear outline. There may also be evidence of finger or handprints.
- Is the injury symmetrical? In other words, is it the same on both sides of the body? This may indicate a gripping and/or shaking injury.
Other factors to consider:
- Can the young person offer an explanation for the injury?
- Does the explanation seem plausible?
- Does the young person seem afraid or evasive about the injury?
- Is the young person trying to cover up the injury with clothing etc?
Emotional Abuse/Psychological Abuse
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a young person such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional development. This may include:
- Conveying to the young person that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate.
- Valuing the young person only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
- Imposing age or developmentally inappropriate expectations on the young person.
- Seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another.
- Serious bullying causing the young person to feel frightened or in danger.
- The exploitation or corruption of young people.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not they are aware of what is happening. This may include:
- Physical contact of a penetrative kind such as rape, buggery or oral sex.
- Physical contact of a non-penetrative kind such as masturbation of the young person.
- Non-contact activities such as involving young people in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic materials. It may also involve the young person watching sexual activities.
- Encouraging the young person to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a crime.
Child sexual exploitation, or CSE as it is often referred to, is a form of sexual abuse against a child or young person (under 18) by an adult. CSE is a criminal offence. Perpetrators use lots of different ways to groom their victims, including using social media via mobiles or online to gain the trust of a child or young person before emotionally and sexually abusing them for their own gain.
Violence, coercion and intimidation are common features. Exploitative relationships are characterised by the child or young person having little chance to seek help. In many cases their social and economic circumstances add to their emotional vulnerability.
A common feature of CSE is that the child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation.
The West Midlands Violence reduction Unit to raise aim to raise awareness of CSE and set out a definition of the term.
Visit https://westmidlands-vru.org/tackling-exploitation-abuse/ to access campaign information and resources, gain an insight of the warning signs, read real-life case studies and watch videos which help both adults and young people to be more alert to the risks.
Where children are of school age staff in schools are required to read a minimum of section 1 of Keeping Children Safe In Education (KCSIE) which can be found here:
AFCS CIC staff are required to read this section if working with children that are vulnerable and may be the subject of Grooming, Gang affiliation or any other activity that may place them at risk.
Up skirting is now a form of peer-on-peer abuse
It’s a criminal offence and is now listed in paragraph 27. (See The Key Support website)
Definition: up skirting is typically when a photograph is taken under a person’s clothing without them knowing, for sexual gratification or to cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.
New information on serious violent crime (29-30)
The new text says that all staff need to know the indicators that may signal those children are at risk from, or are involved with, serious violent crime. Including:
- Unexplained gifts/new possessions – these can indicate children have been approached by/involved with individuals associated with criminal networks/gangs
- Increased absence from school
- Change in friendship/relationships with others/groups
- Significant decline in performance
- Signs of self-harm/significant change in wellbeing
- Signs of assault/unexplained injuries
- Staff should also be aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to manage them.
Neglect or Acts of Omission
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the young person’s health or development.
This may include:
- Failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter.
- Exclusion from home or abandonment.
- Failing to protect a young person from physical and emotional harm or danger.
- Failure to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers).
- Failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
- Neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, basic emotional needs.
Modern Day Slavery
Trafficking; forced labour and domestic servitude
Through rigid regimes systematic poor care; poor organisational culture; lack of resources; denial of choice; lack of dignity and respect for service users.
Ill treatment or harassment based on person’s age, gender, sexuality, disability, religious beliefs, or ethnic group – disability hate crime.
Financial scams (in person, online, by post or telephone); theft; fraud; coercion over wills; misuse of someone’s money, property or other belongings without their agreement.
Controlling and coercive behavior, forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) or honour-based violence. May be physical but can also be Psychological.
Up skirting: –
Definition: up skirting is typically when a photograph is taken under a person’s clothing without them knowing, for sexual gratification or to cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.
2. Dealing with a young person who is making a disclosure
If a young person tells you that they, or another young person, are being harmed you MUST NOT INVESTIGATE. Where possible, you should involve the Safeguarding lead for the commissioning agency and/or AFCS CIC.
You must report concerns directly to the AFCS CIC Director of Children’s Services/DSL: Rochańa Kelly, Or the most senior person on site.
Tel: 0121 3894922/07731523297
In all instances, you should adhere to the following principles:
- Listen and take seriously what is being said.
- Be calm and reassuring.
- Do take the statements seriously
- Obtain sufficient information from the young person to inform what you need do next
- Explain to the young person what will happen next.
- Tell them that you will pass the information on to someone who can help.
- Avoid condemning the alleged abuser.
- Reassure the young person that he/she is not responsible for what has happened despite what they might have been told.
- Write down what has been said immediately afterwards using the young person’s own words as far as possible. Record what you said in response.
- Say thank you to them for their disclosure
- Do take care of yourself and work out how you are feeling
- Do tell the child or vulnerable adult that it is not their fault
- Do write down as soon as you can exactly what has been said (Quote their words)
- Do not make any promises about keeping the information secret.
- Do not express disbelief, however incredible the story appears.
- Don’t make assumptions about the young person’s feelings.
- Do not ask Leading Questions
- Let the person explain the situation themselves.
You can help by remembering TED
T – Tell me what you mean by that
E – Explain that to me
D – Describe that
The designated Safeguarding Lead will report concerns to the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership at:
Tel: 0121 303 1888 or via a secure email to: CASS@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk
Find out about Reporting Concerns here: http://www.lscpbirmingham.org.uk/
Source – Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2006 (H.M. Government)
Person In a Position of Trust
‘Position of trust’ is a legal term that refers to certain roles and settings where an adult has regular and direct contact with children. Examples of positions of trust include:
- Care workers
- Youth Justice workers
- Social workers
It’s against the law for someone in a position of trust to engage in sexual activity with a child in their care, even if that child is over the age of consent (16 or over).
There are many roles which are not legally defined as being positions of trust, such as swimming coaches, faith group leaders or people running community activities for children. This means it’s not currently against the law for people in these roles to have a sexual relationship with a 16 or 17-year-old in their care.
AFCS CIC provides support by roles which may fall into these categories and holds that any relation other than a professional one with service users is a breach of their contract.
AFCS CIC will discipline any and All staff members that breach the terms of their contract, and this could result in termination of your employment.
Overview of Legislation and Guidance in Relation to Safeguarding Children and Young People
The Children Act, 1989
The welfare principle. In all our actions in relation to a child, the child’s welfare is of “paramount consideration”. (Section 1 (1)).
Section 17. The Local Authority has a duty to provide a “range and level of services” to children “in need”.
Section 47. The Local Authority has a duty to make enquiries if they have “reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm”.
The Children Act, 2004
Section 11. The Local Authority and its partner agencies must make arrangements for ensuring that their functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
If the LA engages any other person or body to undertake work on their behalf, that other person or body also has to discharge their functions having regard to the need to safeguard and promote welfare.
Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2006
Sets out the way in which all organisations must work together, both statutory and non-statutory.
The role of the voluntary and private sectors is set out in paras 2.145 – 2.151. It states that organisations in these sectors “need to have the arrangements in place in the same way as the public sector and need to work effectively with LSCB’s”.
“Paid and volunteer staff need to be aware of the responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and how they should respond to child protection concerns…”.
The Care Act 2004
Defines safeguarding as protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. The acts set out a legal framework for how local authorities and other agencies should protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect.
The Care Act Birmingham
You can find out more about how Birmingham City Council implement The Care Act in Birmingham in the link below
You can download Fact Sheets about the Care Act on the Government Website here:
What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused, 2003
Paragraph 10. All Practitioners Working With Children And Families Should:
- Be familiar with and follow your organisation’s procedures and know who to contact to express concerns about a child’s welfare.
- Remember that an allegation of abuse or neglect may lead to a criminal investigation so don’t attempt to investigate the abuse.
- If you are responsible for making referrals, know who to contact in the statutory agencies.
- Refer any concerns about child abuse or neglect to social services or the police.
- Have an understanding of the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families.
- Refer to the Assessment Framework when making referrals to social care.
- See and speak to the child/young person when deciding what action to take.
- Communicate with the child/young person in a way that is appropriate to their age and understanding.
Record full information:
Always share concerns with your line manager and other professionals. Follow up concerns. Follow up ALL oral communications in writing.
1.0 Get Help
Birmingham Children’s Safeguarding Board
The Children’s Advice & Support Service: Tel: 0121 303 1888
Out of hours : 0121 675 4806
PO Box 17340
0121 464 2612
For Information on making a Referral:
Access a Report for Support here: Support/Referral Here
Every Child Matters
Is a major plank of central government social policy in relation to children and their families.
Five Outcomes: Being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, achieving economic wellbeing.
(Mental Health Services) Forward Thinking Birmingham 0-25: https://www.forwardthinkingbirmingham.org.uk/
Tel: 0300 300 0099 (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm)
Postal Address: 5th Floor, 1 Printing House Street, Birmingham, B4 6DF
Find all their locations here: https://www.forwardthinkingbirmingham.org.uk/contact-us
Youth Matters (2005).
Proposals designed to improve outcomes for 13 – 19 years olds.
More things to do:
- More opportunities to volunteer and make a contribution.
- Better information, advice and guidance.
- Better support.
Youth Matters – Next Steps
A major consultation with young people. The document sets out the vision for empowering young people “somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to”.
The NSPCC is an agency that can provide guidance and support to any adult person who has a concern about a child.
Tel: 0808 800 5000
Safeguarding strategy 2019 to 2025: Office of the Public Guardian
Please read this policy in conjunction with AFCS CIC On Call Policy, AFCS CIC Information and Communication Technology ICT Policy, Mobile Phone Policy, Anti Slavery Policy.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the organisational training delivered on Safeguarding CY&P and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults.
GUIDANCE NOTES FOR RECORDING CONCERNS & ALLEGATIONS
Staff and volunteers should use the Incident Form to record any concerns and allegations
- Only fill in the details you have, do not question the child
- Only complete if details are known.
- When completing details remember to remain calm and listen to the child. You may ask open questions to clarify a statement i.e. “How did that happen?”
- It is important to write down as far as you can remember the exact words that were used including your questions if any.
- Do not write up notes in presence of person disclosing. Where appropriate do be honest with the person disclosing, and inform them of what you will do next. Remember – DO NOT make promises to keep this information a secret.
- Do not investigate further to find this information. Only use it where it has been included in dialogue.
- It is important not to discuss serious concerns with anyone else other than the designated officer for child protection as this may jeopardise any investigation by the Police or Children’s Services.
- It is vital that consultation with the designated child protection officer takes place as soon as possible and records made.
- In the absence of the designated child protection person, delay must be avoided; consult with your line manager. However, this should not delay any referral to Children’s Services.
- Remember to sign, time & date all documents.
- Complete job/role title and contact number.
|APPENDIX 3: Incident Form Guidance only: Use the persons own words when completing and do not include personal opinions! Record accurately what has been said and use open questions to get the person to discuss the concerns in their OWN words.|
|Notes Of Conversation:|
Notes of Concern continued: