Date of Policy: 01/10/2020
The policy will be reviewed every 12 months (as a minimum)
Review Date: 01/10/2021
Safeguarding Roles and Responsibilities
Designated Safeguarding Officers:
Designated Safeguarding Officer Contact Details:
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer:
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer Contact Details:
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. VES acknowledges the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice that reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice requirements. All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
This policy applies to all internal staff and candidates and will be widely promoted and be mandatory for everyone involved in VES. Failure to comply with this policy and the company’s safeguarding procedures may result in disciplinary action being taken, including termination of employment and/or contract.
All candidates placed by VES are expected to familiarise themselves with arrangements for safeguarding children in the organisation where they are placed and to have a clear understanding regarding abuse and neglect in all forms; including how to identify, respond and report.
Here at VES we expect all staff, and candidates to follow and promote good practice in safeguarding. To do so, they should:
Our Commitment to Safeguarding
This policy is designed to meet the above principled by ensuring that:
Relevant Legislation and Guidance
The principal legislation and guidance governing this policy is:
This policy should be read in conjunction with our other relevant safeguarding policies, such as:
The role of the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
The role of DSO includes:
According to the Children Act 1989, a ‘child’ is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital or in custody in the secure estate for children and young people, does not change his or her status or entitlement to services or protection under current legislation.
In this policy, the terms ‘child’ and ‘young person’, or ‘children’ and ‘young people’, are used interchangeably to refer to any individual under the age of 18.
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.
The Children Act 1989 defines ‘harm’ as “ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development”. ‘Development’ means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development; ‘health’ means physical or mental health; and ‘ill-treatment’ includes sexual abuse and forms of ill-treatment which are not physical. As a result of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, the definition of harm also includes “impairment suffered by hearing or seeing the ill-treatment of another”
Abuse may be perpetrated by an individual from the child’s school, community, family, those in a position of trust or another child.
All staff should be aware that children can abuse other children (often referred to as peer on peer abuse). This is most likely to include but may not be limited to: bullying (including cyberbullying), physical abuse, sexual violence, sexual harassment, up-skirting, sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
Child abuse can be one of four different categories as set put in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018):
Physical Abuse: Physical abuse is a form of abuse which 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: The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a 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 children. These may include interactions that are beyond a 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 involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber 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: 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 (e.g. rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, 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.
Neglect: 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 child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
For detailed guidance on the signs which may indicate abuse and neglect see What to do if you’re worried your child is being abused (2015).
Recruitment and Selection Process
VES is also committed to protecting children through a careful recruitment and selection process (Safer Recruitment), a Whistleblowing Policy and guidance on appropriate behaviour (Code of Conduct). These policies should be read alongside this policy.
VES’ rigorous procedures, following ASPCo’s Compliance+ process ensures that any candidate found to have a history of unacceptable conduct or practice, will not be placed.
Responding to Safeguarding Concerns
All staff have a responsibility to protect children. This includes:
All candidates working through VES are expected to keep children safe by:
Dealing with allegations of abuse made against candidates
All candidates placed on assignment are responsible for supporting safe behaviour and have responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, such as the Code of Conduct.
In accordance with Working Together (2018) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020), where an organisation has received an allegation that a volunteer, supply staff or member of staff who works with children has:
A referral should be sent to the LADO within one working day, giving as much detail as possible.
Details regarding allegations, including who will take responsibility for this once a candidate is placed, are set out in VES’ Allegation Policy which should be read alongside this policy.
Duty to make a referral to the DBS
Where there is evidence that anyone has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child, there is a legal duty on VES to report that person to the Disclosure and Barring Service using their guidance available here. The DBS has statutory authority to bar a person from working in regulated activity with children in the UK.
A referral to the DBS will also be made if the person resigns prior to an investigation being carried out or reaching its conclusion. If the accused person resigns, or ceases to provide their services, this should not prevent an allegation being followed up in accordance with this guidance.
VES will not make any compromise/settlement agreement in the case of a person deemed unsuitable to work with children. Any such agreement which contained a condition of not referring the case to the DBS would constitute a criminal offence.
Anyone who is concerned about a child’s welfare or who believes that a child may be at risk of abuse should pass any information to the DBS or other appropriate authority as soon as possible and no longer than 24 hours after the initial concern
Candidates may find it difficult to raise concerns about colleagues, managers, people in placement or concerning how safeguarding concerns are responded to within a setting. VES has a specific Whistleblowing Policy which encourages candidates to raise concerns and also provides details of outside organisations that candidates can approach for support and advice. VES aims to have an open and honest culture where safeguarding is responded to effectively, and both staff and candidates feel safe, supported and able to voice any concerns that they have in the knowledge that they will be responded to.
VES will make clients and candidates aware of the Safeguarding Policy through the following means:
All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors must be aware that they have a professional duty to share information with other recruitment firms in order to safeguard children. The public interest in safeguarding children may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need to know basis only, as judged by VES.
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