VULNERABLE ADULT AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
We intend to create in our Centre an environment in which vulnerable adults and children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to. In order to achieve this we will:
1. Exclude known abusers
It will be made clear to applicants for posts within the Centre that an enhanced DBS check ( formerly known as CRB check) will have to be completed and that the centre is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. All applicants for work within the centre, whether voluntary or paid, will be interviewed before an appointment is made and will be asked to provide at least one reference. All such references will be followed up. In the case of applicants with unexplained gaps in their employment history, or who have moved rapidly from one job to another, explanations will be sought. All appointments, both paid and voluntary, will be subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the Centre is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children.
2. DBS checks ( formerly CRB checks)
All trustees, volunteers and staff working at the centre or delivering outreach workshops will complete an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check (formerly CRB). The disclosure number of the completed DBS check will be recorded by the centre manager and all individuals will be required to renew their DBS check every 3 years. DBS checks are transferable and Setpoint London East will accept DBS checks done within the last six months before the DBS check is required by Setpoint London East. The cost of the checks for staff, trustees and volunteers are to be borne by Setpoint London East.
3. Staff Training
Appropriate training opportunities will be offered to all involved in the Centre to ensure that they recognise the symptoms of possible physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. All volunteers and members of staff will be given a copy of this policy and be made aware of their duties and the procedures to be followed should they have any concerns about other members of staff or the children/vulnerable adults they come in contact with.
4. Prevent abuse by means of good practice
Adults will not be left alone for long periods with individual vulnerable adults/children or with small groups. An adult who needs to take a vulnerable adult/child aside - for example, for time out after behaviour which needs improvement- will leave the door ajar Adults who have not been DBS checked by us (see point 2.) will not take children unaccompanied to the toilet. Vulnerable adults/children will be encouraged to develop a sense of autonomy and independence through adult support in making choices and in finding names for their own feelings and acceptable ways to express them. This will enable them to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
5. Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse/radicalisation
Changes in behaviour/appearance will be investigated and reported as necessary. Any signs of radicalisation and extremist behaviour will also be treated as a safeguarding issue and should be reported in the same way. For children/vulnerable adults visiting the centre or participating in an outreach workshop as part of a school group the teacher in charge will be the first point of reference. For others that are not part of a school group parents will normally be the first point of reference, though suspicions that are not rapidly allayed will also be referred to the Social Services Department. Concerns about the behaviour of any volunteer or member of staff will be reported to the centre manager. Should there be concerns about the Centre Manager this will be reported to the Director All such suspicions and investigations will be kept confidential, shared only with those who need to know. The people most commonly involved will be the member of staff/group leader and centre manager.
6. Keep records
Whenever worrying changes are observed in behaviour, physical conditions or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be set up, quite separate from the usual on-going records of the children’s/school’s/vulnerable adult’s participation. The record will include, in addition to the name, school/address and age: dated observations, describing objectively the behaviour/appearance, without comment or interpretation: whenever possible, the exact words spoken by the child/vulnerable adult: the dated name and signature of the recorder. Such records will be kept in a separate file and will not be accessible to people other than the centre manager, group leader, director or other member of staff as appropriate.
7. Liase with other bodies
Confidential records kept on children/vulnerable adults about whom the Centre is anxious will be shared with the Social Service Department if the Centre feels that adequate explanations for the changes in the child’s condition have not been provided. Schools/Parents will be informed that the records will be shared with the authorities at the same time. Records will also be kept of the local NSPCC contact, or other contact(s) as appropriate.
8. Support families
The Soanes Centre will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between schools, families and the staff and volunteers employed by the centre. Where abuse at home is suspected, the Centre will continue to welcome the child/vulnerable adult and school/family while investigations proceed. Confidential records kept will be shared with the parents/school concerned With the proviso that the care and safety of the child/vulnerable adult must always be paramount, the Centre will do all in its power to support and work with those concerned.
9. Contact numbers
Advice about any concern about a child or other child protection matter can be sought from the VULNERABLE ADULT and CHILD PROTECTION ADVICE LINE, open Mon.-Fri 9am-5pm on Tel: 020- 7364 3444 or Fax: 020- 7364 3433.
To refer a case to TH Social Services please call:
Social Services Referrals Integrated Pathways Support Team
2 nd Floor Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London, E14 2BG`
Tel: 020- 7364 5606 or 7364 3859 or7364 5601 or 7362 2972