This document outlines Blue Cabin’s policy on identifying and responding to concerns regarding the safeguarding and protection of children and young people, with a specific section on the protection of adults at risk. This policy, with the associated procedures, applies to all staff, session workers, volunteers, board members and anyone working on behalf of Blue Cabin.
The policy has been created in the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:
Children’s Act 1989
Children Act 2004
Working Together to Safeguard Children (Department for Education 2018)
Equality Act 2010
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
The Care Act 2014
For the purpose of this policy a child is defined as anyone under the age of 18. Although the legislative and policy base is different when responding to the safeguarding needs for adults, most of the principles and procedures for staff are the same as those for children and young people.
Within Blue Cabin the people listed below have special responsibility for safeguarding.
The Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) should be contacted in the first instance where any child protection issue arises or where a person suspects that a child or adult at risk is being subjected to abuse. They will determine the appropriate action to be taken, and notify the relevant local authority in accordance with relevant protocols if necessary. If the DSO is not available, either the lead trustee and additional trustee for Safeguarding should be contacted.
Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) – Operational
Jenny Young – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead Board Member for Safeguarding
Mark Dibble – email@example.com
Additional Board Member for Safeguarding
Adam Kent – firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Authority Emergency Duty Teams
If an incident requires immediate attention but is received out of office hours, the local authority Emergency Duty Team or the police should be contacted:
Gateshead – 0191 477 0844
South Tyneside – 0191 456 2093
North Tyneside – 0191 200 6800
Newcastle – 0191 278 7878
Durham – 03000 267 979
Northumberland – 0345 600 5252
Sunderland – 0191 520 5560
Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees – 01642 524552
Blue Cabin believes that everyone has the right to grow up in a safe and caring environment, which includes the right to protection from all types of abuse. They have the right to expect that adults in positions of responsibility do everything possible to uphold these rights. This policy aims to ensure that anyone participating in activities or events run by Blue Cabin will do so safely, with respect and understanding, and be free from any form of abuse.
Blue Cabin will take all reasonable steps to protect the rights, health and well-being of people who take part in any activities or events organised by the company. The exact definition of what is a reasonable level of care will be further defined in the risk assessment for an activity, and will vary according to the age of the children/young people involved, the circumstances (including length, intensity and location) of the activity or event and the extent to which it is a partnership with other agencies or schools. The additional vulnerability of some children and young people due to disability, neuro-diversity, communication needs, previous adverse experiences, exposure to discrimination, exclusion from positive opportunities by virtue of social or environmental factors will also be considered.
If any participants of Blue Cabin events have concerns about our safeguarding policy or procedures, we would encourage them to contact us to discuss this and we are committed to listening and responding accordingly.
There are three main elements within our Safeguarding Policy:
- Prevention through the development of safer recruitment and selection processes; the appointment of a designated safeguarding officer, deputy, and lead trustee for safeguarding; safeguarding risk assessment and risk management of all our activities involving children and young people, whether online or offline; induction and training programmes for our workforce; staff/volunteer management and supervision; clear codes of conduct for staff and young people; information sharing and empowerment of our children, young people and their parents/carers; the deliberate cultivation of a safeguarding culture in our organisation, so that everyone knows whom to speak to if they have a concern, and feels safe to do so.
- Protection by following agreed procedures and ensuring that we put in place robust procedures for responding to concerns about a child who may be at risk; ensuring that we develop and embed procedures for responding to concerns that a member of our workforce or another young person linked to Blue Cabin may present a risk to others; taking steps to check that our safeguarding procedures are followed and are effective in dealing with concerns that arise; regularly auditing and updating our safeguarding policies and procedures so that they remain fit for purpose; ensuring that we work actively and in partnership with children, young people, parents and carers and other organisations, including statutory authorities; ensuring that we have processes in place to escalate concerns within the relevant authorities if we take the view that they have not been fully investigated and/or that a child remains at risk; ensuring that our recording, information sharing and information storage procedures and processes are effective and compliant with our safeguarding responsibilities as well as duties under data protection legislation.
- Guidance Written Guidance, which supports our procedures is required reading by all who work for or on behalf of Blue Cabin.
The policy addresses issues relating to the potential abuse of children or young people by:
- Staff, contractors, volunteers or other persons engaged by the organisation
- Other young people
- Third parties
- Exposure to safeguarding risks – either online or offline – that are part of wider environmental factors or cultural factors present in a child’s life
It is essential that all Blue Cabin employees, volunteers and others working on behalf of Blue Cabin, familiarise themselves with the reporting procedures detailed in this policy, where they suspect child abuse, or a safeguarding issue is brought to their attention.
Categories of abuse
This policy covers four potential areas of abuse that a child or young person may encounter if they are being abused –
Physical abuse may include the actual or likely injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury or suffering to a child. Physical harm may be caused when a parent or carer deliberately causes ill health to a child they are looking after, or when they feign or falsify the symptoms of health or ill health in someone.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they might meet the needs of another person. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or involve the exploitation or corruption of children.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or adolescent to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, involving penetrative (e.g. rape and buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at or the production of pornographic activities or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the failure to protect a child from the exposure of any kind of danger and may include the failure to meet a child’s basic physical and or psychological needs. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, or the 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.
There are also other types of abuse such as Child Sexual Exploitation, Female Genital Mutilation, forced marriage, honour based violence, radicalisation, and living with multiple adversities that could include domestic abuse, parental mental health issues, and/or parental substance misuse.
Safeguarding adults at risk
Following amendments to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, adults are no longer deemed at risk because of their personal attributes, characteristics or abilities. An adult is considered ‘at risk’ if they receive a health, personal or social care service from a professional, or if they remain in the care of the local authority. Personal services would include, for example, help with financial matters, feeding, washing or dressing.
Government guidance in relation to adults is contained in the document The Care Act 2014 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23).
The Care Act statutory guidance defines adult safeguarding as:
‘Protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.’ (https://www.scie.org.uk/safeguarding/adults/introduction/what-is)
Blue Cabin will bring to the attention of the local authority social services, the police (if appropriate) and any other relevant bodies, any concerns in relation to safeguarding of adults at risk or allegations of abuse identified through any part of its work. Although the legislative and policy base is different when responding to the safeguarding needs for adults, most of the principles and procedures for staff are the same as those for children and young people and can therefore be applied in settings involving adults at risk.
1. Measures we take to help prevent abuse
In addition to good health & safety practice, there are a number of preventative measures that can be taken in order to promote effective safeguarding.
Roles and Responsibilities
All members of the Blue Cabin workforce are obliged to follow this policy and our code of conduct in order to maintain an environment that prevents exploitation and abuse, and which encourages reporting of breaches of this policy using the appropriate procedures. Some of our workforce have additional responsibilities for safeguarding:
Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
The DSO is responsible for taking the lead on:
- receiving, recording and responding to safeguarding concerns that a child or adult may be at risk of abuse;
- receiving, recording and responding to concerns or allegations that a staff member or volunteer at Blue Cabin may present a risk to children or adults;
- liaising with statutory child and adult protection agencies and ensuring referrals to these and other relevant authorities happen without delay;
- ensuring this policy is developed and reviewed every year or earlier if necessary;
- implementing this policy throughout the organisation;
- ensuring Blue Cabin workforce members receive and complete safeguarding training;
- ensuring Blue Cabin workforce members understand and are aware of this policy and know what to do if they have a concern about a child or adult at risk;
- ensuring children and adults at risk who are involved in activities at Blue Cabin and their parents/carers/families know who they can talk to if they have a welfare concern and
- understand what action the organisation will take in response;
- ensuring recording procedures are implemented and that records are stored and retained according to legal requirements and the organisation’s safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures;
- Working closely with the management team and safeguarding trustee to alert them to relevant concerns and allegations as necessary, and to ensure they are kept up to date with safeguarding issues and are fully informed of any concerns about organisational safeguarding and child protection practice;
- providing an annual report for the trustees on Blue Cabin safeguarding activity, issues, risks and developments required.
- work with partner agencies to review, reflect on and update safeguarding practices and policies in light of any emerging learning.
- work with partner agencies to assess and minimise any potential perceived risks.
The Blue Cabin DSO is:
In the absence of the DSO, either of the other Safeguarding Leads should be contacted.
Board of Trustees
The Trustees are ultimately responsible for ensuring that Blue Cabin workforce members are aware of the policy and are supported to implement and work in accordance with it, as well as creating a management culture that encourages a focus on safeguarding. The Blue Cabin Trustee Board holds ultimate accountability for this policy. They will:
- ensure safeguarding policies and procedures are in place and being followed;
- ensure there are checks to confirm staff are suitable to carry out their roles;
- ensure there is ongoing monitoring and review processes in place to check safeguards are being implemented in practice and that the controls in place are effective;
- actively promote a culture and environment whereby all staff are enabled to raise concerns and understand their safeguarding responsibilities;
- appoint a Safeguarding Trustee on the Board whose role is one of scrutiny, keeping up to date with the Charity Commission requirements for safeguarding and to support the DSO in assessing and managing safeguarding risks;
- ensure that serious incidents are reported to the Charity Commission for England and Wales;
support the Company Director in managing any safeguarding allegations against members of the workforce;
- ensure that Blue Cabin allocates sufficient resources, including trained staff and trustees, for the arrangements to safeguard and protect children and adults
The Lead Safeguarding Trustee is:
Embedding a culture of safeguarding
Safeguarding is an integral part of our organisation, and it is a priority that all staff members and freelance associates are equipped with the skills, knowledge and support that they need to ensure appropriate safeguarding measures are put in place and procedures adhered to.
We do this by having the following measures in place:
- A Safeguarding policy and procedure that are understood and followed by all staff and freelance associates.
- A clear and accessible list of people with responsibility for safeguarding within the organisation, including the Designated Safeguarding Office (DSO) and a deputy DSO, and contact numbers for out of hours provision.
- An assigned Trustee with lead responsibility for safeguarding at a Governance level.
- A designated Safeguarding page on our website, which contains information about how we deal with safeguarding issues along with a link to our Safeguarding Policy and associated paperwork.
- Ensuring staff and freelance associates have access to appropriate safeguarding training which is regularly updated.
- Embedding safeguarding into all areas of our recruitment processes.
- A code of conduct for all staff.
- A Safeguarding Working Group that meets regularly, ensuring any safeguarding incidents have been dealt with adequately and checking we are up-to-date with policy policy updates.
- An up to date physical Key Contact card, for all staff and freelance associates which contains contact details for the safeguarding team and links to the safeguarding pages on our website.
All members of Blue Cabin staff, trustees and volunteers will be asked to complete safeguarding training (such as the NSPCC’s Introduction to Safeguarding course) and advanced training will be provided to any staff who take on a lead safeguarding role. Contract staff and volunteers should be briefed on their first day (by the member of staff responsible for their placement) of the basic safeguarding issues that they should be aware of, and if required may attend a basic or advanced training session if deemed appropriate. All staff will be made aware of how to contact the designated safeguarding leads in the event of any queries or concerns.
Disclosure and Barring Service Checks (DBS)
All employees, contracted freelancers and volunteers working for Blue Cabin will be required to have an appropriate level DBS check. Full details on this can be found in our DBS Policy.
All offers of employment, freelance and voluntary work will be subject to the obtaining of two satisfactory references, one of which must be from the most recent employer.
2. Protection techniques
When working with children and young people, employees and other staff working on behalf of Blue Cabin should follow the Blue Cabin Code of Conduct in order to ensure the best protection to participants and themselves.
3. Guidance and procedures to follow where there is an incident or concern, or where a disclosure is made
Child abuse can cover a wide range of issues including neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse. All allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse will be treated seriously and with sensitivity. Where a child or young person makes a disclosure to a member of Blue Cabin staff or person working on behalf of Blue Cabin, it is essential that the disclosure is dealt with in the following way:
- Listen – let the individual explain what they are feeling
- Do not comment upon what has been said, or suggest alternative explanations
- The child/young person should feel that they are being believed
- Do not pass judgement
- Do not ask leading questions i.e. questions that need a “yes” or “no” answer. Ask open questions to establish exactly what was done and who did it for example “what happened next?”
- Do not promise that any particular course of action will be taken
- When a child or young person asks for secrecy they should be told sensitively that the employee has a duty to refer allegations to the appropriate people for their own sake. As a organisation Blue Cabin and its employees are legally obliged to inform the relevant authorities if they are aware of any abuse or possible abuse or risk of abuse towards a child or young person, and for this reason confidentiality can never be promised
- Do not rush the child – it may have taken them a great deal of thought and courage to make the disclosure
- Inform the child that you have a responsibility to inform the Designated Safeguarding Officer who has knowledge of how to deal with similar cases
What to do after a disclosure has been made to you
Once a disclosure has been made to you, make an immediate detailed and careful note of what has been described to you, using the participants’ words wherever possible.
Immediately inform the person responsible for safeguarding/child protection within the/organisation in which the activity or event is taking place (see contact details above). They will decide next steps based upon the evidence and information provided to them. Also complete an incident report form (Appendix 1) and inform Blue Cabin’s Designated Safeguarding Officer. Once a disclosure has been made a multi agency referral must be submitted within 24 hours to social services.
Record and maintain a record of the fact that you have made a referral to the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
What if I suspect a child is being abused?
A member of staff or person working on behalf of Blue Cabin who suspects that a child or young person is experiencing abuse should immediately inform Blue Cabin’s DSO (see above) or another member of the Safeguarding team if they are not immediately available. You should also complete an incident report form (Appendix 1) to ensure a careful record is made of any concern or relevant incidents. Appropriate action will be discussed, and Blue Cabin’s DSO will then inform the relevant Local Authority’s Safeguarding Office or out of hours Emergency Duty Team Member of the incident.
What if I suspect that an adult has engaged in inappropriate behaviour?
If you are concerned with a particular behaviour that you have witnessed or the overall behaviour of a person you should complete an incident report form (Appendix 1) and immediately inform the Designated Safeguarding Officer who, in conjunction with the relevant colleagues or appropriate member of staff in the school/organisation the event or activity is taking place in, will decide on the appropriate action to take. This may range from having a discussion with the person in question to conducting an investigation, which may lead to external parties (such as social services) being informed.
Inappropriate behaviour towards staff
If a member of staff or person working on behalf of Blue Cabin experiences inappropriate behaviour from children or young people, including approaches of a sexual or provocative nature this can be addressed by a response which is clearly discouraging without being insensitive, supported by strict adherence to the principles of openness outlined above, and by behaviour which consistently and visibly treats all children and young people equally. However, whenever a young person, adult at risk or member of staff:
- experiences inappropriate behaviour
- is hurt
- is distressed
- is involved in a misunderstanding of a potentially serious or personal nature
- is subject to any other incident deemed to be relevant to this policy
The incident should immediately be reported to:
- the Designated Safeguarding Officer, and
- the person responsible for safeguarding/child protection within the/organisation in which the activity or event is taking place
The details should be recorded, ensuring that neither the staff member, freelancer, volunteer or the child or young person is left unsupported in a vulnerable situation. The issue should be addressed with the child or young person and/or their carer or key adult where appropriate and an incident form (appendix 1) should be completed.
Allegations of abuse against members of staff
Any allegation of abuse against a member of staff, self-employed staff/contractors or person on behalf of Blue Cabin will be dealt with by following the Blue Cabin Procedure for managing an allegation against a staff member or volunteer.
Any member of staff, freelancer or volunteer working with children and young people may find themselves in the position of discovering or suspecting that a child or young person in their care is the victim of abuse. This can sometimes lead to difficult emotional pressures or apparent conflicts of interest. It may also cause a triggering effect on staff as individuals. Blue Cabin will ensure additional support is given to any staff member where this is requested which may include a referral to a third party counselling or therapeutic service if appropriate. Staff should contact Blue Cabin’s Designated Safeguarding Officer (or another member of the Blue Cabin Safeguarding Team if not available) should they find themselves in this situation.