Safeguarding Policy

Aim of Policy

For the purposes of this Policy ForViva and group members are referred to as ‘the Group’.

This Policy aims to deliver safe working practices which identify safeguarding concerns and ensure appropriate action is taken in order to safeguard the wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults that reside in Group properties or who are engaged in services organised or delivered by the Group.

It is the responsibility of all individuals working for, or with the Group, including employees, contractors, agency staff, Board Members, volunteers and involved customers, to respond, in line with this Policy, to any concerns for customer welfare or suspected or actual abuse of a child or vulnerable adult.

Definitions

The following definitions are relevant to this Policy.

Child

Any person who has not attained the age of 18, regardless of the setting they are in or the service they receive.

Safeguarding children and young people and promoting their welfare is defined as:

· Protecting children from maltreatment.

· Preventing wherever possible impairment of children’s health or development.

· Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.

Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Child protection is defined as:

· Being part of safeguarding and promoting welfare.

· Work done to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

Domestic Abuse and Children

The issue of children living with domestic abuse is now recognised as a matter for concern in its own right by both Government and key children’s services agencies.

Vulnerable adult

Any person aged 18 years or over, who is, or may be, unable to take care of themselves or are unable to protect himself or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

Safeguarding adults is defined as:

· Protecting the rights of adults to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

· People and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect.

· People and organisations making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, taking fully into account their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action.

· Recognising that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances and therefore potential risks to their safety or wellbeing.

Domestic abuse and adults

Concern about an adult who is, or may be, experiencing domestic abuse does not fall under this Policy. Serious domestic abuse can be referred directly to MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference).

Policy

The Group recognises it has a statutory and moral duty to enable children and adults to live life free from abuse or neglect, as defined in the legal framework contained in the Care Act 2014 for Adults and Working together to safeguard children (2015).

The Group uses the six principles of safeguarding enshrined in the Care Act Statutory Guidance.

Empowerment

Presumption of person led decision and informed consent.

Prevention

It is better to take action before harm occurs.

Proportionality

Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risks presented.

Protection

Support and representation for those in greatest need.

Partnership

Local solutions through services working with the communities.

Accountability

Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

Local Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards have responsibility to hold Safeguarding Adult Reviews and Serious Case Reviews. Upon request, the Group will take part in these reviews via co-ordination from Senior Management and Designated Safeguarding Officers.

Local Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards have responsibility to hold Safeguarding Adult Reviews and Serious Case Reviews. Upon request, the Group will take part in these reviews via co-ordination from Senior Management and Designated Safeguarding Officers.

How the Policy will be delviered

Responsible Officers

Operational and strategic Responsible Officers (named within the safeguard procedures), will co-ordinate activity and provide training and guidance to employees on safeguarding and vulnerability issues.

Training

This Policy will be available to all employees and relevant employees will receive training to ensure they are aware of responsibilities around safeguarding. A variety of training methods will be provided internally as well as relevant courses available from local safeguarding boards.

Recruitment

The Group will ensure that recruitment and relevant organisational development procedures take account of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, where relevant. All appropriate frontline employees will be subject to the relevant Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and supervision and support will be used to assess and manage any risk issues relating to employees. Safeguarding will feature in job descriptions (reviewed regularly), person specifications and included in interview questions, where relevant. This will extend to vetting successful applicants, for example through references.

Reporting

The Group emphasises the responsibility of all employees to record and report safeguarding concerns promptly as detailed in safeguarding procedures. Employees and customers are supported to report safeguarding concerns via online safeguarding videos, posters and leaflets. Safeguarding concerns are discussed as part of supervision appropriate to the role.

If employees become aware that there are problems with the effective operation of this policy or associated procedures, they should report this to the Policy Owner. This feedback will be incorporated into the policy and procedural review process.

Further Resources and Legislation

This Policy reflects the statutory and legislative guidelines cited below. Employees may need to refer to this intelligence for further clarification or seek legal advice where necessary. Employees are advised to familiarise themselves with safeguarding policies and procedures in the local authority in which they work. Details of these can be found online, in Group procedures or via Designated Safeguarding Officers.

Key safeguarding legislation includes:

· The Children Act 1989 and 2004

· Working together to Safeguard Children 2015

· The Care Act 2014.

Monitoring Arrangements

All safeguarding alerts will be recorded on Group IT systems. Responsible Officers will compile statistical reports relating to all alerts.

The Group will monitor and report performance in compliance with this Policy:

· internal audits

· safeguarding system reports

· customer feedback

· management reports

Referrals and alerts will be subject to the Management Assurance Framework for audit purposes.


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