Purpose and Background
Safety of children and vulnerable learners is a topic that is rarely out of the news. High profile cases of abuse of children and vulnerable adults highlight the importance of vigilance. New forms of abuse such as radicalisation, internet grooming, financial exploitation of older people and the extreme difficulties faced by young asylum seekers, mean our policies and procedures need to be continually reviewed to keep abreast of these developments.
The Children Act 1989 defines a ‘child’ as a person under the age of 18. The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 defines a ‘vulnerable adult’ as a person aged 18 and over who is:
- receiving a social care service,
- receiving a health service,
- living in sheltered accommodation,
- detained in custody or under a probation order,
- requiring assistance in the conduct of his/her affairs, or
- receiving a service or participating in an activity targeted at older people, people with disabilities or with physical or mental health conditions.
Solveway Ltd is fully committed to providing a working and learning environment that is free from abuse and harm. It will actively promote a free and safe culture within all of its work and learning environments by:
- clearly identifying and communicating the roles and responsibilities within the organisation for safeguarding;
- having clear audited procedures in place;
- training all staff in safeguarding procedures and by allocating sufficient resources to safeguarding; and
- applying zero tolerance to any form of abuse and harm.
We regularly keep up with the following legislation and statutory guidance and ensure all staff are aware of their current responsibilities to work towards and follow these policies:
- The Children Act 1989/2004
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2016
- Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2015
- Prevent Strategy June 2011
Roles and Responsibilities
- Ensure the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) has resources to provide adequate safeguarding measures.
- Provide leadership in ensuring the safety of Children and Vulnerable Adults.
- Review and approve the policy annually.
- Audit review each performance against safeguarding procedures.
- Ensure employers are aware of their responsibilities and Solveway’s role in safeguarding.
- Ensure all staff are competent to manage the safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults.
- Put in place a comprehensive training programme to ensure all staff are competent to undertake safeguarding duties.
- Ensure all staff have been thoroughly vetted prior to undertaking duties.
Designated Safeguarding Officer
- Review and update safeguarding procedures as required.
- Accurately record any safeguarding issues, seek additional guidance and signpost as required.
- Keep up–to-date with latest regulations and guidance.
- Promote safeguarding within the academy – staff and learners.
- Ensure learners sufficiently trained.
- Ultimate responsibility for Solveway’s safeguarding performance and capabilities.
- Ultimate escalation point in absence of other qualified staff.
- Ensure that the DSO is made aware of any children and vulnerable adults on their courses.
- Comply with policy and procedures.
- Promote a safe learning environment.
Operations Safeguarding Procedures
- Solveway Ltd recruitment procedures must be followed in the appointment of all staff.
- No new member of staff must be allowed to work with learners on their own until they have been fully vetted, including the completion of the DBS check.
- All new members of staff and learners will be assessed for safeguarding issues.
- Anyone identified as being vulnerable will undergo a Risk Assessment as per the Health and Safety procedures.
- As part of the initial advice and guidance session, all new learners will be shown the Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures documents. They will be asked if these policies apply to them and if so asked to complete a Vulnerable Adult Risk Assessment. All children and vulnerable adults will be given a copy of the policy and procedures.
- All children and vulnerable adults within the centre will be informed that the Designated Safeguarding Officer will be their nominated contact point for any concerns they may have regarding their safeguarding.
- The Designated Safeguarding Officer must keep a secure up to date record of all children and vulnerable adults either working in or learning in the centre. They should monitor their progress on a regular basis and check they are safe from abuse and harm whilst in the centre.
Any incidence or alleged incidence of abuse whatever the nature must be immediately reported to the DSO or Deputy DSO. In the event of this not being possible you should report your concerns directly to any member of Solveway staff. In all cases whoever receives your report should, without delay, having carefully recorded your testimony, pass the report to the designated DSO who will put in place preventative measures to stop any possible abuse from continuing, and in consultation with the Managing Director, put in place actions to resolve the issue in the long term.
When recording an alleged incidence of abuse, the record must be precise and use the words of the complainant. The record should use accurate quotation and should also, if appropriate, include factual observations about the physical and emotional state of the person sharing their concerns with you. The information must be recorded and stored securely, in line with the Confidentiality clause in the Staff Code of Conduct, and should be accessible only to those who need access as part of action taken to resolve a complaint or allegation (designated Safeguarding Person and deputy DSO).
Only the designated Safeguarding Person, in consultation with the Managing Director, can make a decision to refer a complaint or allegation, having gathered and examined all relevant testimony and information, to the Safeguarding Authority.
Types of Abuse
Staff are trained to look out for the following types of abuse:
- Physical Abuse
- Domestic Abuse
- Honor Based Violence
- Forced Marriage
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Sexual Abuse
- Psychological Abuse
- Financial Abuse
- Modern Slavery
- Discriminatory Abuse
- Organisational Abuse
- Neglect/Acts of Omission
- Wilful Neglect and Ill-Treatment
- Source of Risk (Abuser)
As a training provider, it is essential that our staff are able to identify young people who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and that they also know what to do when they are identified. We are also required to protect young people from the risk of radicalisation as part of our safeguarding duties in order to protect them from harm. This could be influence from within their family or external influences. In order to prevent the risk of radicalisation we also promote fundamental British values, enabling young people to challenge extremist views.
All staff receive training on their responsibilities under the Prevent duty at induction, which is regularly updated and re-enforced during their employment, through both internal and external training.
All learners receive training during their induction and this is reinforced with discussions during progress reviews and during naturally occurring opportunities in during training.