Zest Child Safeguarding Policy Summary
This policy applies to all paid and voluntary staff, volunteers, Trustees, students, agency staff or anyone else working on behalf of the Zest.
Zest have adopted the following principles in relation to Child Protection:
- The welfare and safety of the Child is paramount.
- Anyone under the age of 18 is considered as a child for the purpose of this policy.
- All children – whatever their age, cultures, disability, gender, racial origin, language and/or religious beliefs have the right to protection from abuse.
- All allegations and suspicions of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. They will not be ignored.
- Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting the child’s welfare
The purpose of this policy is to:
- Provide protection to the children who receive Zest’s services, including the children of staff and volunteers.
- Provide staff, volunteers and others working within Zest with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.
We will ensure that all those working within Zest:
- Understand their personal responsibility for protecting and safeguarding the children with whom they work.
- Is able to take appropriate action if there are suggestions that a child is being abused.
- Is informed and able to respond in a helpful manner to children who allege or discloses that abuse is happening.
- Takes steps to minimize opportunities for misunderstandings.
Zest will endeavour to safeguard children by:
- Listening to, valuing and respecting them
- Adopting and enforcing appropriate Child Protection guidelines and procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
- Recruiting all staff and volunteers safely ensuring all necessary checks are made.
- Ensuring that, where we work with partners, they have appropriate and effective child protection policies and procedures in place.
- Ensuring effective management of staff and volunteers through induction, supervision, support and training.
- Ensuring that Zest staff, volunteers and trustees undertake appropriate Child Protection training within the first year of their involvement with Zest.
- Appointing a minimum of two Designated Child Protection Managers (DCPM) with relevant expertise from Zest to respond to concerns, and collate Child Protection data.
- Having an appointed trustee to support with child protection and safeguarding
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
- Ensuring that all appropriate recording and monitoring systems are in place and that information about concerns is shared with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
- Ensuring that all users, workers and Zest members are aware of Zest’s policies and procedures, and the role of the Designated Child Protection Managers.
- Evaluating and reviewing these policies and procedures every 2 years or when significant changes to legislation require it.
Designated Child Protection Managers (DCPM)
Zest will appoint 2 senior members of staff who will be the Designated Child Protection Managers (DCPM).
The role of the DCPM is to:
- Receive and record information from staff, volunteers, children or parents and carers who have child protection concerns.
- Assess the information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information about the matter as appropriate.
- Consult initially with a statutory child protection agency such as Specialist Children’s Services or Safeguarding Services, or the NSPCC Help lines to test out any doubts or uncertainty about the concerns as soon as possible.
- Where allegation do not involve parents/carers, liaise with and inform parents/carers
- Make a formal referral to a statutory child protection agency or the police without delay.
- Liaise with and support partner organisations in responding to concerns raised by Zest during work carried out with or for another organisation, where it has been agreed that the other organisation will take forward the concerns.
It is not the role of the designated child protection person to decide whether a child has been abused or not, this is the responsibility of Children’s Specialist Services/Safeguarding Services, or the NSPCC.
The designated managers should be aware of the local statutory child protection network, the role of the Sheffield Safeguarding Children’s Board and local child protection procedures.
They should have the relevant contact numbers and addresses of local statutory agencies.
They will undertake the SSCB approved basic Child Protection training and multi-agency training.
The designated child protection managers for Zest are:
In addition, a representative from the trustee board is designated as Safeguarding/Child protection lead.
Procedure for responding to Causes for Concern or Allegations of Abuse
Listening to the Child
If a child says that he or she is being abused or provides information that suggests that they are abused, the person receiving the information should:
- Be calm and reassure the child. Let them know at the earliest opportunity that you will need to share the information with others. Do not make promises you cannot keep.
- Discuss with the child who needs to be told about the situation
- Take what the child says seriously
- Ask questions only to clarify understanding of what the child has said. Do not interrogate the child
- Let the child know you understand what they have said and that you will act upon it
A safeguarding and crisis reporting form should be used to record the following information
- Name and address of child
- Age, date of birth
- Name and address of adults involved if known
- Date and time of the alleged incident
- Nature of injury or behaviour (with body map if appropriate)
- If the child arrived with an injury
- Childs explanation of what happened in their own words
- Adults explanation of what happened
- Date and time of the record
- Any questions that were asked
- Signature of person recording the incident
Information should be based only of facts. It should not include assumptions and should not refer to child abuse. Be aware that you may be required to give this information to a Social Worker, the Police or the Court at some future date.
Zest Safeguarding Policy (Protection of vulnerable adults) Summary
The characteristics of adult abuse can take a number of forms and cause victims to suffer pain, fear and distress reaching well beyond the time of the actual incident(s). Victims may be too afraid or embarrassed to raise any complaint. They may be reluctant or unable to discuss their concerns with other people or unsure who to trust or approach with their worries. There may be some situations where victims are unaware that they are being abused or have difficulty in communicating this information to others.
Aim of Policy
The aim of this policy is to ensure the safety of vulnerable adults by outlining clear procedures and ensuring that all staff members are clear about their responsibilities.
All members of staff have a responsibility to be aware of this policy and to report any suspicions that they might have concerning adult abuse. Zest has 2 nominated adult safeguarding people –Richard Tinsley who works in Zest for Work – his extension number is 237 and also Louise Wright who works in Zest for Health – her extension number is 224.
A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited, or at risk of abuse/harm.
This may include a person who:
- Is elderly and frail
- Has a mental illness including dementia
- Has a physical or sensory disability
- Has a learning disability
- Has a severe physical illness
- Is a substance misuser
- Is homeless
All those making a complaint, allegation, or expression of concern, whether staff, service, users, carers or members of the public should be reassured that:
- they will be taken seriously
- their comments will be treated confidentially but their concerns may need to be shared if they or others could be at significant risk
- they will be given support
If an allegation is made to a member of staff or there is a suspicion of abuse then the member of staff must inform their line manager and the adult safeguarding officer as soon as possible.
If a staff member has been told about the allegation of abuse in confidence, they should attempt to gain the consent of the person to make a referral to another agency. However, the gaining of the consent is not essential in order for information to be passed on. Consideration needs to be given to:
- The scale of the abuse
- The risk of harm to others
- The capacity of the victim to understand the issues of abuse and consent
If there is any doubt about whether or not to report an issue to Community Social Services then it should be reported.
In emergency situations (e.g. where there is the risk or occurrence or severe physical injury), where immediate action is needed to safeguard the health or safety of the individual or anyone else who may be at risk, the emergency services must be contacted.
Where a crime is taking place, has just occurred or is suspected, the police must be contacted immediately.
Recruitment and Training
Zest will ensure that all staff whose roles include working with vulnerable adults are carefully selected, screened, trained and supervised.
As part of the recruitment procedure, all newly appointed staff that have contact with vulnerable adults will be disclosure checked at a level appropriate to their role.
What to do in a Crisis?
If you or someone else is in immediate risk of serious harm or injury, you should call the emergency services by dialling 999.
If the situation is very serious and help is needed immediately, or in life threatening situations, the A & E department at the Northern General Hospital is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Liaison Psychiatry teams can provide assessments here.
If you think a person might be at risk of harming themselves:
Speak to your line manager and the Zest Adult Safeguarding officer (Richard Tinsley) who will then contact one or more of the following agencies/courses of action:
- Contact the persons’ GP surgery and ask to speak with a GP or practice manager.
- Contact the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) within working hours (Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm)
- Sheffield South West – 0114 2718654
- Sheffield South East – 0114 2716451
- Sheffield North – 0114 2716217
- Sheffield West – 0114 2716100 (area nearest to Zest)
- Ring the Adult Access team – 0114 2734908
- Raise concerns about care in hospitals, home care agencies and care homes to the Care Quality Commission on 0300 616 1616
- Contact the Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 808 2241
- Complete a Safeguarding Alert form as soon as possible to ensure an accurate record is retained.