OUR SAFEGUARDING RULES
Please read through our safeguarding rules to ensure you and our young people are protected at all times when engaging.
Please read to understand
The general rule is that it is every adults’ responsibility to safeguard the wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All Business Launchpad (BLP) staff who, during the course of their employment have direct or indirect contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults, or who have access to information about them, have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of these children, young people and vulnerable adults
It is important to both understand and anticipate that abuse can arouse strong emotions in individuals facing such a situation and not allow your feelings or the emotions of the individual to interfere with your judgement about any action to take.
There are many situations within which abuse and poor practice can occur. These include the home, school, community centres and the environment care or support is being offered to a young person or vulnerable adult.
There are persons who will actively seek employment or voluntary work with children or vulnerable adults in order to harm them. Everyone working in charities either in a paid or voluntary capacity, together with those working in affiliated organisations has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and promoting good practice.
A business counsellor, business coach, facilitator, outreach officer, youth ambassador or a volunteer may have regular contact with children and be a very important link in identifying cases where an individual may be at risk or in need.
When establishing guidelines, it is important to recognise that the organisation has both a moral and legal duty of care to ensure that when it is given responsibility for young people or vulnerable adults, it provides them with the highest possible standard of care.
It might be difficult to accept, but every child can be hurt, put at risk of harm or abused, regardless of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity. Safeguarding legislation and government guidance says that safeguarding means:
Protecting children from maltreatment
Preventing 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 and young people to have the best outcome
Crucially: “the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm – is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play.”
Working together to safeguard children (HM Government 2013)
The child/young person’s welfare is paramount, as is that of the vulnerable adult
All clients whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, or those pregnant or on maternity leave, have the right to be safeguarded from abuse
All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously; and responded to swiftly and appropriately
Working in partnership with children and their parents/carers is essential for the protection of the children.
BLP recognises the statutory responsibility of the social services department to ensure the welfare of children and vulnerable adult and is committed to working together with the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and the Local Safeguarding Adult Board (LSAB);
BLP is committed to the following:
The welfare of the child/Young Person is paramount
All children/young people, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, disability, religious belief and/or sexual identity should be able to participate in our programmes in a safe environment
Providing extra support/resources to children/young people with disability
Taking all reasonable steps to protect children from harm, discrimination and
degrading treatment and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings
All suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
It is NOT the responsibility of employees to make judgements about whether or not abuse is taking place. It is however their responsibility to identify poor practice and possible abuse and act if they have concerns about the welfare of the child, as explained in section 4. This section will help you identify what is meant by good practice and poor practice.
All personnel should adhere to the following principles and action:
- Always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets)
- Make the programme experience enjoyable: promote fairness, confront and deal with bullying
- Treat all young people equally and with respect and dignity
- Always put the welfare of the young person first
- Maintain a safe and appropriate distance with youngsters (e.g. it is not appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them)
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact with young people. Where any form of manual/physical support is required it should be provided openly and with the consent of the young person. Physical contact can be appropriate so long as it is neither intrusive nor disturbing
- Involve parents/carers wherever possible, e.g. where young people need to be supervised in changing rooms, encourage parents to take responsibility for their own child. If groups have to be supervised in changing rooms always ensure parents, coaches etc. work in pairs. NEVER allow an employee/volunteer to be alone in a changing room/toilet with a child
- Request written parental consent if staff are required to transport young people in their cars though no child should be on their own with an employee in a car/mini bus EVER – even if written consent is given
- If children are travelling with an adult(s) then they should ideally be in the back (together if more than one) and away from the adult
- Be an excellent role model, this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people
- Always give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
- Keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with details of any treatment given
The following are regarded as poor practice and should be avoided by all personnel:
- Unnecessarily spending excessive amounts of time alone with young people away from others
- Taking young people alone in a car on journeys, however short – should never happen
- Engaging in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
- Allowing or engaging in inappropriate touching of any form
- Allowing young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged
- Making sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun
- Reducing a young person to tears as a form of control
- Allowing allegations made by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
- Doing things of a personal nature that the young person can do for themselves
When a case arises where it is impractical/impossible to avoid certain situation e.g. transporting a young person in your car, the tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the parent/carer and the young person involved.
If during your care you accidentally hurt a young person, the young person seems distressed in any manner, or if the young person misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done, report any such incidents as soon as possible to another colleague and make a written note of it. Parents should also be informed of the incident.
Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. It often occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility and is an abuse of power or a breach of trust. Abuse can happen to a young person regardless of their age, gender, race or ability.
There are four main types of abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. The abuser may be a family member, someone the young person encounters in residential care or in the community, including sports and leisure activities. Any individual may abuse or neglect a young person directly, or may be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person harming the young person.
Abuse in all of its forms can affect a young person at any age. The effects can be so damaging that if not treated may follow the individual into adulthood
Here at BLP, we have a duty to safeguard children and young people with disabilities. All staff and volunteers working with disabled children are made aware that children and young people with disabilities may be more vulnerable to being abused.
Children and Young people with disabilities may be at increased risk of abuse through various factors such as stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, isolation
and a powerlessness to protect themselves or adequately communicate that abuse had occurred.
Physical Abuse: where adults physically hurt or injure a young person e.g. hitting, shaking, throwing, burning, biting etc. Giving young people alcohol or inappropriate drugs would also constitute child abuse. This category of abuse can also include when a parent/carer reports non-existent symptoms or illness or deliberately causes ill health in a young person they are looking after. This is called Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy.
Emotional Abuse: the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a young person, likely to cause severe and lasting adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve telling a young person they are useless, worthless, unloved, and inadequate or valued in terms of only meeting the needs of another person. It may feature expectations of young people that are not appropriate to their age or development. It may cause a young person to be frightened or in danger by being constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted which may make the young person frightened or withdrawn.
Ill treatment of children, whatever form it takes, will always feature a degree of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse in any setting may occur when the young person is constantly criticised, given negative feedback, expected to perform at levels that are above their capability. Other forms of emotional abuse could take the form of name calling and bullying.
Bullying may come from another young person or an adult. Bullying is defined as deliberate hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. There are three main types of bullying.
It may be physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, slapping), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, name calling, graffiti, threats, abusive text messages), emotional (e.g. tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, ignoring, isolating form the group), or sexual (e.g. unwanted physical contact or abusive comments)
Radicalisation occurs when someone starts to believe or support extreme views, and in some cases, then participates in terrorist groups or acts. It can be motivated by a range of factors, including ideologies, religious, political beliefs and prejudices against particular groups of people.
Neglect occurs when an adult fail to meet the young person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, to an extent that is likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development. For example, failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect from physical harm or danger, or failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Refusal to give love, affection and attention can also be a form of neglect. Neglect in sport could occur when a person does not keep the young person safe, or exposing them to undue cold/heat or unnecessary risk of injury.
Sexual Abuse occurs when adults (male and female) use children to meet their own sexual needs which include any sexual act. Showing young people pornography or talking to them in a sexually explicit manner are also forms of sexual abuse.
Female Genital Mutilation occurs when a female’s genitals are deliberately altered or removed for non-medical reasons but for cultural or other non- therapeutic reasons. This practice is extremely painful and has physical and mental health consequences both at the time and in later life. This can happen at different times in a girl (4-13 years) or woman’s life, including: when a bay is new-born, during childhood or as a teenager, just before marriage and during pregnancy.
Information should include the following:
The child/young person’s name, age and date of birth
The child/young person’s home address and telephone number
Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their concern or
The nature of the allegation, including dates, times and any other relevant
A description of any visible bruising or injury, location, size etc. Also any
indirect signs, such as behavioural changes
Details of witnesses to the incidents
The child/young person’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and
how any bruising/injuries occurred
Have the parents been told? If so what has been said?
Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details
Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record detail
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:
- The person to whom the abuse was disclosed or discovered
The parents of the child/young person
The person making the allegation
The CEO and Director of Operations of BLP
The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child)
Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser.
All information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws.
Disclosure of confidential information is permitted in exceptional circumstances
Confidential information should only be disclosed if you have consent. However, there are exceptions. The law permits the disclosure of confidential information where this is necessary to safeguard a child or children.
Disclosure of confidential information should be justifiable in each case, for instance to provide information to professionals from other agencies working with the child, and where possible and appropriate, the agreement of the person concerned should be obtained.
All staff and volunteer MUST inform the child and family of the circumstances in which information about them will be shared with others, and their consent to this sharing obtained.
Staff and volunteers should also make it clear that, in some situations, sharing information without consent could be justified – for e.g. to safeguard a child or adult at risk.