The safety of children and vulnerable adults is of paramount importance. High profile cases of abuse of children and vulnerable adults highlight the importance of vigilance. New forms of abuse such as internet grooming, financial abuse 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 and:
Receiving a service or participating in an activity targeted at older people, people with disabilities or with physical or mental health conditions
The Mainstream Group 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:
Any incidence or alleged incidence of abuse whatever the nature must be immediately reported to the Line Manager or Director of the Area concerned. In the event of this not being possible you should report your concerns directly to your Designated Safeguarding Lead.
In all cases the Line Manager or Director of the Area concerned will put in place preventative measures to stop any possible abuse from continuing, and in consultation with the designated Safeguarding Lead, 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 (MF296 & MF313) and stored securely in line with the Secure Storage Policy and be accessible only to those who need access as part of action taken to resolve a complaint.
The objective of Mainstream is to ensure all disclosures made at Mainstream Group are controlled and dealt with immediately. Disclosures may be made in person, via a third party or through the observation of behaviour and/or general conversation.
Safeguarding and Promoting Welfare
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults is defined for the purpose of this policy is: protecting children and vulnerable adults from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s and vulnerable adults health or development; ensuring that children and vulnerable adults progress in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children and vulnerable adults to have the best outcomes.
Children includes everyone under the age of 18 years
Where a child is suffering harm, or is likely to do so, Mainstream Group staff must take action to protect the child. Action must also be taken to promote the welfare of a child and vulnerable adults in need of additional support, even if they are not suffering harm or are at immediate risk.
Everyone who comes into contact with children and vulnerable adults and their families has a role to play in safeguarding. Mainstream Group employees are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help to children and vulnerable adults, to prevent concerns escalating. Mainstream Group and its staff form part of the wider safeguarding system. Mainstream Group and its staff will work with, where required, the Local Authority Designated Safeguarding Officer (LADO), social care, the Police, health services and any other services to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and protect them from harm.
What to look out for
All Mainstream Group staff must be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect so that they are able to identify cases of children and vulnerable adults who may be in need of help or protection.
Mainstream Group staff members must adopt and maintain an attitude of
“it could happen here”
where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare, staff members must always act in the interests of the child and vulnerable adults, notifying the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately.
In The Event of Disclosure or Concern.
Staff member with concerns
If a Mainstream Group staff member has concerns about a child or vulnerable adult they should raise these with their Line Manager or Director of the area concerned. This also includes situations of abuse which may involve staff members. The Line Manager or Director of the area concerned will discuss the concern with the Designated Safeguarding Lead who will usually decide whether to make a referral to children’s social care, the Local Designated Safeguarding Officer (LADO) or the Police if a crime has been committed. It is important to note that any staff member can refer their concerns to the Local Designated Safeguarding Officer (LADO) or the Police directly.
If at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child or vulnerable adult a referral will be made to the children’s or vulnerable adult’s social care and/or police immediately. Anybody can make a referral. If the situation does not appear to be improving the staff member with concerns must press for re-consideration. Concerns will always lead to help for the individual concerned at some point.
Action when a child or vulnerable adult has suffered or is likely to suffer harm
Anybody can make a referral
A form of maltreatment of a child or vulnerable adult. Somebody may abuse or neglect an individual by inflicting harm, or by failing to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. All personnel at Mainstream Group have a legal, moral and contractual responsibility to ensure this does not happen. In the unlikely event an incident occurs the member of staff involved or witnessing the abuse will report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately.
A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in an individual.
The persistent emotional maltreatment of an individual such as to cause severe and adverse effects on an individual’s emotional development. It may involve conveying they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the individual opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on them. These may include interactions that are beyond an individual’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the abused participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing individuals frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of others. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of the maltreatment of individuals, although it may occur alone.
Involves forcing or enticing a child or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the individual is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving the abused in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging individuals to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can children.
The persistent failure to meet basic, physical and/or psychological needs likely to result in the serious impairment of the individual’s health or development. Neglect may also occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
For further information on the above please contact your Line Manager, Director of the area concerned or the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
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