One Big Family Policies
One Big Family
Helping the Homeless
Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
Policy and Procedures
Remember it is not up to you to decide if abuse has taken place, that is the role of local Social Care Services, HOWEVER it is up to you to report ANY concerns to the Safeguarding Lead or Deputy.
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One Big Family – Helping the Homeless makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe.
One Big Family – Helping the Homeless comes into contact with children and / or vulnerable adults through the following activities: outreach work, soup kitchens, food bank as well as advocacy and support work. The types of contact with children and / or vulnerable adults will be regulated and /or controlled.
This policy seeks to ensure that One Big Family – Helping the Homeless undertakes its responsibilities with regard to protection of children and / or vulnerable adults and will respond to concerns appropriately. The policy establishes a framework to support trustees and volunteers in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations.
Safeguarding means protecting a child or vulnerable 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 and neglect, while at the same time making sure that the child/ vulnerable 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 children and vulnerable adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.
Organisations should always promote children and vulnerable adults’ wellbeing in their safeguarding arrangements. People have complex lives and being safe is only one of the things they want for themselves. Professionals should work with the person(s) involved to establish what being safe means to them and how that can best be achieved. Professional and other staff should not be advocating ‘safety’ measures that do not take into account of individual well-being, as defined in Section 1 of the Care Act
(The Care Act 2014: www.gov.uk/guidance/care-and-support-statutory-guidance/safeguarding)
The following six key principles should underpin all safeguarding work:
1. Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent
2. Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs
3. Proportionality – The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
4. Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need
5. Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse
6. Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
Making safeguarding personal should be at the heart of any safeguarding decisions. In addition to these principles it is important that all in the organisations take a broad community approach to establishing safeguarding arrangements. It is vital that all organisations recognise that safeguarding arrangements are there to protect individuals. We all have different preferences, histories, circumstances and life-styles, which need to be considered. One Big Family - Helping the Homeless cannot make the decision around disclosed or suspected abuse this is the role of the local social care services team or the police. ALWAYS refer to your designated safeguarding lead immediately or if unavailable to social care/police directly.
Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children and / or vulnerable adults wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.
A child is under the age of 18 (as defined in the United Nations convention on the Rights of a Child).
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. 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
· Is newly released from prison
Abuse is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture. It can take a number of forms, including the following:
· Physical abuse such as: hitting, pushing, pinching, shaking, misuse of medication, scalding, inappropriate restraint, hair-pulling.
· Sexual abuse such as: rape or sexual assault; sexual acts to which the adult at risk has not or could not have consented, or to which they were pressurised into consenting or encouraging people to watch inappropriate materials.
· Psychological or emotional abuse such as: threats of harm or abandonment; deprivation of social or any other form of contact; humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, or harassment; verbal abuse; prevention from receiving services or support.
· Financial or material abuse such as: theft; fraud or exploitation; pressure in connection with wills, property, or inheritance; misuse of property, possessions or benefits.
· Neglect or acts of omission such as: ignoring medical or physical care needs; preventing access to health, social care, or educational services; withholding the necessities of life, such as food, drink, or heating.
· Discriminatory abuse such as that based upon a person's race, sexuality, or disability; any other forms of harassment or slurs.
· Domestic violence - all forms of abuse can be experienced in a family setting by a partner, family member, or with someone with whom there is a relationship.
· Institutional abuse and poor practice - disrespect and unethical practice, ill treatment and professional misconduct.
· Self-Neglect such as: neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviors such as hoarding.
In respect of safeguarding individuals from radicalisation, One Big Family - Helping the Homeless works to the Prevent element of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy, and would seek external support for anyone they suspected of being radicalised to the Channel Programme. This programme aims to work with the individual to address their specific vulnerabilities, prevent them becoming further radicalised and possibly entering the criminal justice system because of their actions. It is recognised that radicalisation can occur to an individual from any section of society and is not particular to any racial, ethnic or social group. It is further recognised that in many instances the process of radicalisation is essentially one of grooming by others.
4. Responsibilities and Implementation
All trustees and volunteers have responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures.
We expect all trustees and volunteers to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.
The Safeguarding Lead within One Big Family – Helping the Homeless is Elizabeth Shaw. Together with One Big Family – Helping the Homeless’ trustees, Elizabeth Shaw will ensure:
· An appropriate safeguarding policy is in place, regularly monitored and reviewed
· The policy and procedures are accessible to and implemented by all trustees and volunteers
· Trustees and volunteers have access to appropriate training and information, and are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they have concerns that a child or vulnerable adult at risk may be experiencing, or has experienced abuse, neglect or radicalization
· Concerns are responded to seriously, swiftly and appropriately, and clearly recorded
· Any referrals to social services are followed up on and the issues have been addressed
· The utmost need for confidentiality is reinforced and that trustees and volunteers are adhering to good practice with regard to confidentiality and security
· Trustees and volunteers are provided with effective supervision and appropriate support
· That sufficient resources (time and money) are allocated to ensure the policy can be effectively implemented
· Trustees and volunteers are recruited safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
· Services are managed in a way that promotes the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and prevents abuse
· One Big Family – Helping the Homeless keeps up to date with local arrangements for safeguarding, and develops and maintains effective links with relevant agencies
The scope of this policy is broad ranging and in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies and procedures within the organisation. These include:
· Confidentiality Policy
· Data Protection Policy
One Big Family - Helping the Homeless
One Big Family - Helping the Homeless provide essential items and support to people who are homeless or facing financial hardship. These procedures have been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of anybody who accesses our service.
The procedures recognise that abuse can be a difficult subject for volunteers to deal with. One Big Family – Helping the Homeless is committed to the belief that the protection of children and vulnerable adults at risk from harm and abuse is everybody’s responsibility and the aim of these procedures is to ensure that all trustees and volunteers act appropriately in responding to any concerns.
1. Preventing abuse
One Big Family - Helping the Homeless is committed to putting in place safeguards and measures to reduce the likelihood of abuse taking place within the services it offers and that all those involved within One Big Family - Helping the Homeless will be treated with respect. It aims to promote the rights of all people to live free from abuse and coercion.
One Big Family - Helping the Homeless is committed to ensuring adequate training on safeguarding children and adults at risk is provided for trustees and volunteers, and that appropriate DBS (disclosure and barring) checks are undertaken for all trustees as well as key volunteers.
One Big Family - Helping the Homeless is committed to ensuring that all trustees and volunteers undertake training to gain a basic awareness of signs and symptoms of abuse. One Big Family - Helping the Homeless will ensure that the Safeguarding Lead, other trustees and volunteers have access to training around safeguarding.
2. Safeguarding Lead
One Big Family - Helping the Homeless has appointed Elizabeth Shaw as its Safeguarding Lead. She is responsible for dealing with any safeguarding concerns. In her absence, a deputy will always be available to consult with. Trustees or volunteers should contact the relevant local authority or the police in an emergency.
3. Responding to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse
One Big Family - Helping the Homeless recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse, neglect or radicalisation. It also acknowledges that taking action in cases abuse is never easy.
How to respond if you receive an allegation:
Reassure the person concerned
Listen to what they are saying
Record what you have been told/witnessed as soon as possible
Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief
Tell them that the information will be treated seriously
Don’t start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions
Don’t promise to keep it a secret
If you witness abuse or abuse has just taken place the priorities will be:
To call an ambulance if required
To call the police if a crime has been committed
To preserve evidence
To keep yourself, volunteers and service users safe
To inform the Safeguarding Lead (or deputy) in your organisation
To record what happened in our concerns log where safeguarding concerns will be recorded
All situations of abuse or alleged abuse will be discussed with the Safeguarding Lead. If a trustee or volunteer feels unable to raise this concern with the Safeguarding Lead (or they are implicated in the abuse) then concerns can be raised with the deputy or directly with the local authorities. This stage is called the alert.
Usually, consent will be sought from the service user/ alleged victim before information about them is shared with another agency – such as raising a safeguarding alert with the local authorities. However, where a person is in danger, a child is at risk or a crime has been committed, then a decision may be taken to pass information to another agency without the service user’s consent. The service user will be told that this will happen. If the individual experiencing abuse does not have the capacity to consent, a referral may be made without that person’s consent, in their best interests. Again, the service user will be informed that this is happening.
The Safeguarding Lead will take advice at the above stage from the local council and/or other relevant authority, such as the Police.
4. Raising a Safeguarding Alert
The process outlined below gives an overview of the stages involved in raising and reporting safeguarding concerns at One Big Family – Helping the Homeless:
Suspected or actual abuse
Immediate threat or crime committed?
Contact Police or Emergency Services
Inform Safeguarding Lead. In their absence, inform Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Alert made to relevant local authority/ police
The local council/ police will then decide if the safeguarding process should be instigated or if other support/services are appropriate. Feedback will be given to the person who raised the safeguarding alert.
Medway Council: 01634 33 44 66 or 03000 41 91 91 (out of hours)
Safeguarding Alert Form: www.medway.gov.uk/downloads/file/1071/saf_form_oct-14_v3
Rest of Kent: 03000 41 61 61 or 03000 41 91 91 (out of hours)
Children/ Young People:
Medway Council: 01634 33 44 66 or 03000 41 91 91 (out of hours)
Rest of Kent: 03000 41 11 11 or 03000 41 91 91 (out of hours)
The Local Authority for the area where the abuse occurred has the responsibility to carry out the duties under Section 42 Care Act 2014
Westminster Social Services Safeguarding helpline: 020 7641 2176 or 020 7641 6000 (out of hours)
Kensington and Chelsea Social Services: 020 7361 3013 or 020 7373 2227 (out of hours)
Hammersmith and Fulham Social Services: 020 8753 4198 - Option 3 or 020 8748 8588 (out of hours)
Children/ Young People:
Westminster: 020 7641 4000
Hammersmith and Fulham: 020 8753 6610
Kensington and Chelsea: 020 7361 3013
Yorkshire – Kirklees Council
24 hours a day: 01484 414933
Children and Young People:
Office Hours: 01484 456 848
Out of Hours: 01484 414 933
5. Allegations Management
One Big Family - Helping the Homeless recognises its duty to report concerns or allegations against volunteers and trustees within the organisation or by a professional from another organisation. The process for raising and dealing with allegations is as follows:
1. Any volunteer or trustee is required to report any concerns in the first instance to the Safeguarding Lead or their deputy
2. A written record of the concern will be completed by the Safeguarding Lead / Deputy
3. The relevant local authority will be contacted for advice, which will then be followed
One Big Family – Helping the Homeless will ensure that any allegations made against trustees or volunteers will be dealt with swiftly. Where a trustee or volunteer is thought to have committed a criminal offence the police will be informed. If a crime has been witnessed the police should be contacted immediately.
The safety of the individual(s) concerned is paramount. A risk assessment must be undertaken immediately to assess the level of risk to all service users posed by the person alleged to have caused harm. This will include whether it is safe for them to continue in their role or any other role within the service whilst the investigation is undertaken. One Big Family - Helping the Homeless will liaise closely with the authorities during enquiries and in the ongoing management of any allegation.
6. Managing Information
One Big Family - Helping the Homeless is committed to maintaining confidentiality wherever possible and information around Safeguarding issues should be shared only with those who need to know. For further information, please see One Big Family - Helping the Homeless Confidentiality and Data Protection Policies.
All allegations/concerns should be recorded in our concerns log where safeguarding concerns will be recorded. The information should be factual and not based on opinions, record what the person tells you, what you have seen and witnessed.
The information that is recorded will be kept secure and will comply with the Data Protection Act. This information will be secured in a locked filing cabinet at the Charity’s registered address. Access to this information will be restricted to the Safeguarding Lead, deputy and trustees.
All trustees and volunteers must be aware that they have a professional duty to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. The public interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need to know basis only, as judged by the Safeguarding Lead. All trustees and volunteers must be aware that they cannot promise service users or their families/ carers that they will keep secrets.
7. Disseminating/Reviewing policy and procedures
The Policy and Procedure will be clearly communicated to trustees, volunteers and service users. The Safeguarding Lead will be responsible for ensuring that this is done.
The Safeguarding Policy and Procedures will be reviewed annually by the trustees. The Safeguarding Lead will be involved in this process and can recommend any changes in line with changes in legislation and reviews. The Safeguarding Lead will also ensure that any changes are clearly communicated to trustees and volunteers. It may be appropriate to involve service users in the review and service users will be informed of any significant changes
8. Linked Agendas
This policy has been has been developed in line with the principles of the Care Act 2014 as well as policies and procedures from the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board, The Medway Safeguarding Children Board, The Kent Safeguarding Children Board, The Kirklees Safeguarding Adults Board, The Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board, the London Safeguarding Adult Network and London Multi-Agency Adult Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.
9. Supporting Information
Domestic violence and abuse
Examples of domestic violence include psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional Abuse; as well as so called ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation. Many people think that domestic abuse is about intimate partners, or abuse of women by men, but it may also be caused by wider family members, and committed by women towards men and in same sex relationships, as made clear in the Home Office definition: “An incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse... by someone who is or has been an intimate partner or family member regardless of gender or sexuality”
Female Genital Mutilation
FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and hence interferes with the natural function of girls’ and women’s bodies. The practice causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth also causing dangers to the child.
Forced marriage is against the law and occurs when, one or both spouses do not consent to a marriage and some element of duress is involved. Duress might include both physical and/or emotional/psychological pressure. Forced marriage is recognised as an abuse against human rights and will also constitute abuse within the context of this Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedure if the person is also an adult at risk.
So-called 'honour-based violence’ is a crime or incident, which has or may have been, committed to protect or defend the perceived honour of the family and/or community.
Honour-based violence can take many forms, it is used to control behaviour within families to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Examples may include murder, fear of or actual forced marriage, domestic violence, sexual abuse, false imprisonment, threats to kill, assault, harassment and forced abortion. This list is not exhaustive.
Women are predominantly (but not exclusively) the victims and the violence is often committed with a degree of collusion from family members and/or the community.
Honour-based violence is a crime and should be reported to the police. If the person has needs for care and support, and is unable to protect themselves as a result, a safeguarding concern should be raised.
Modern Slavery can take many forms including the trafficking of people, forced labour, servitude and slavery. Any consent victims have given to their treatment will be irrelevant where they have been coerced, deceived or provided with payment or benefit to achieve that consent. The term ‘modern slavery’ captures a whole range of types of exploitation, many of which occur together.
These include but are not limited to:
· Sexual exploitation: This includes but is not limited to sexual exploitation and abuse, forced prostitution and the abuse of children for the production of child abuse images/videos. Whilst women and children make up the majority of victims, men can also be affected. Adults are coerced often under the threat of force, or other penalty.
· Domestic servitude: This involves a victim being forced to work, usually in private households, performing domestic chores and child care duties. Their freedom may be restricted and they may work long hours often for little pay or not pay, often sleeping where they work.
· Forced labour: Victims may be forced to work long hours for little or no pay in poor conditions under verbal or physical threats of violence to them or their families. It can happen in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, laying driveways, hospitality, food packaging, agriculture, maritime and beauty (nail bars).
· Criminal exploitation: This is the exploitation of a person to commit a crime, such a pick pocketing, shop-lifting, cannabis cultivation, drug trafficking and other similar activities
· Other forms of exploitation may include organ removal, forced begging, forced benefit fraud, forced marriage and illegal adoption.
Prevent agenda: exploitation by radicalisers who promote violence
The Government’s counter-terrorism strategy as defined in the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill 2015 known as CONTEST. Prevent is an element of this strategy. Prevent focuses on working with vulnerable individuals who may be at risk of being exploited by radicalisers and subsequently drawn into terrorist-related activity. Violent extremists may target vulnerable people and use charisma and persuasive rationale to attract people to their cause.
The Prevent strategy:
· responds to ideological challenge faced from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat faced from those who promote these views
· provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
· works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that need to be addressed.
Channel is a key element of the Prevent strategy. It is a multi-agency approach to protect people at risk from radicalisation. Channel uses existing collaboration between local authorities, statutory partners (such as the education and health sectors, social care services, children’s and youth services and offender management services, the police) and the local community to identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism; to assess the nature and extent of that risk; and to develop the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.
Channel is about safeguarding children and adults from being drawn into committing terrorist-related activity. It is about early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risk they face before illegality occurs. Incidents of exploitation by radicalisers who promote extreme ideas that could lead to violence should be reported to the police. If the person has needs for care and support, and is unable to protect themselves as a result, a safeguarding adults concern should also be raised.
Hate crime is taken to mean any crime where the perpetrator’s prejudice against any identifiable group of people is a factor in determining who is victimised.
Hate crime is a form of discriminatory abuse. Hate crimes happen because of hostility, prejudice or hatred of people due to:
· gender identity
· race, ethnicity or nationality
· religion or belief
· sexual orientation
It should be noted that this definition is based on the perception of the victim or anyone else and is not reliant on evidence. Apart from individually charged offences under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, local crime reduction partnerships can prioritise action where there is persistent anti-social behaviour that amounts to hate crime where appropriate.
The police and other organisations work together to ensure a robust, coordinated and timely response to situations where adults at risk become a target for hate crime. Coordinated action will aim to ensure that victims are offered support and protection and action is taken to identify and prosecute those responsible.
Hate crime should be reported to the police (on 101 or 999 if there is concerns that a person is at immediate risk). If the person has needs for care and support, and is unable to protect themselves as a result, a safeguarding concern should also be raised.
10. Specialist Contacts:
ChildLine: 0800 1111
Female Genital Mutilation: see the NSPCC’s FGM website for more information:
www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/female-genital-mutilation-fgm/ They also have a helpline: 0800 028 3550
Forced Marriage Unit website provides a wealth of information and guidance www.fco.gov.uk/forcedmarriage, together with a helpline: 020 7008 0151
Karma Nirvana is a UK registered charity that supports victims and survivors of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse. 0800 5999247 www.karmanirvana.org.uk
Modern Slavery Helpline: contact 0800 0121 700 or 020 7008 1500 (out of hours). See their website for further information: www.modernslavery.co.uk/who.html
National Domestic Violence Helpline is run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge. Contact on: 0808 2000 247 The Mens' Advice Line can be contacted on: 0808 801 0327.
PREVENT/ Channel: further information is available via the Government’s website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/channel-guidance
If you have concerns that an adult may be at risk of becoming a victim of radicalization or to make a referral, contact local police and ask to speak to the CHANNEL/ PREVENT Co-ordinator
Terrorism/ Hate Crime: additional information is available on the True Vision website: www.report-it.org.uk