safeguarding policy

Keeping Our Children and Young People Safe

Adult at Risk, children, and young people Safeguarding Policy

1. Introduction

Safeguarding is an important element of all our work with adults, children, and young
people. No Whispers has a duty and responsibility to ensure staff make arrangements to
safeguard and promote the welfare of adults, children, and young people.
Legislation and guidance relevant to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of adults,
children and young people includes:
The Children and Social Work Act (2017), The Children Act 1989 and 2004, Working
together to safeguard children (2015), No Secrets (2000), The Crime and Disorder Act
(1998), The Health and Social Care Act (2008) and the Care Act (2014)

2. Scope of the policy

The policy is to be used by any worker or volunteer working directly with children and
young people, and Adults at Risk, in the course of their work for No Whispers.
The policy applies to anyone who we may work with including Adult at Risk, children, and
young people.
This policy is reviewed, endorsed, and approved by the board of Directors annually, or
when legislation changes.

 

3. Who is a Child, Young Person, Adult at Risk?

Legally a child is anyone under the age of 18 years.
An Adult at Risk is someone aged 18 years or over “who is or may be in need of
community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is
or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself
against significant harm or exploitation’ (Department of Health, No Secrets, 2000).

4. Purpose of this Policy and Procedure

This policy and procedures set out how No Whispers will implement safeguarding
procedures for Adults at Risk, children, and young people who encounter staff and
volunteers as part of the work of No Whispers.
No Whispers is committed to devising and implementing action to ensure everyone in the
Company accepts their responsibilities for safeguarding Adults at Risk, children, and young
people. This means following procedures to protect them and report and concerns about
their welfare to the appropriate authorities.

This policy helps us to achieve this by:

• Supporting us to safeguard Adults at Risk, children, and young people
• Ensuring we all work to the same policy and procedure
• Making sure we are accountable for what we do
• Being clear what roles and responsibilities, we all have in safeguarding
• Identifying what staff can expect from the organisation to help them work effectively

This policy is informed by and supports our organisational purpose and is how we comply
with local Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk policies and procedures in the areas
where we operate.

5. Objectives of Policy

We will achieve the outcome by having these things in place:
• Safe organisational ethos
• Safe environment
• Safe processes for working with service users
• Safe collection and use of information, and ways of communicating
• Safe staff

6. Principles

In support of these objectives, No Whispers is committed to the following principle
To achieve a safe ethos, we will
• Promote the safety of Adults at Risk, children, and young people in all our work.
• Support the spirit and practice of No Whispers safeguarding ethos.
• Treat all Adults at Risk, children, and young people fairly in being able to access services which
meet their needs, regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or beliefs.

To achieve a safe environment, we will

• Ensure the welfare and safety of Adults at Risk, children and young people is paramount in
all our activities.
• Listen to service users and take account of what they tell us in making decisions about them
• Take all reasonable steps to protect service users from harm, discrimination, and degrading
treatment
• Practice with respect for children’s rights, wishes and feelings

• Regularly assess and review safety risks which arise from premises, activities, equipment,
and travel arrangements, as outlined in the organisation’s Health and Safety Policy

To achieve safe processes, we will

• Take all suspicions and allegations of abuse, from inside or outside the organisation,
seriously, and respond to them promptly and appropriately
• Be clear about everyone’s roles and responsibilities
• Implement safeguarding procedures that are compliant with the expectations of the
safeguarding arrangements in the areas where we operate
• Have in place clear arrangements for how we would respond to concerns about how we
implement safeguarding in practice within the organisation

To achieve safe information, we will

• Be clear with service users how the things they tell us will be used
• Publish our Safeguarding policy on our website
• Communicate promptly and clearly within No Whispers and with external agencies, and
follow the requirements of information sharing protocols in the localities in which we operate
• Keep good records of our work with service users and of our management of staff’s work
• Hold service users’ information with care, and use it for agreed purposes only

To achieve safe staff, we will

• Recruit Directors, staff, and volunteers with regard to their suitability for work with adults,
children and young people including use of enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks
• Provide Directors, staff and volunteers with guidance and training in their safeguarding role,
and ensure they have access to our policies and procedures
• Make sure everyone always has access to advice on safeguarding in the course of their work
• Be clear with everyone what their individual role and responsibility is in safeguarding

7. What is Child Abuse or Neglect?

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a
child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Abuse means a child’s rights and
needs are not being met as defined in The Children’s Act 2004 and the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Children may be abused in a family or in an
institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.
Abuse may occur through the actions of an adult or adults, or another child or children.
Where a child is disabled, injuries or behavioural symptoms may mistakenly be attributed to
his/her disability rather than the abuse. Similarly, where a child is black or from a minority
ethnic group, aggressive behaviour, emotional and behavioural problems, and educational
difficulties may be wrongly attributed to racial stereotypes, rather than abuse. Cultural and
religious beliefs should not be used to justify hurting a child. Safeguards for all children and
young people are the same regardless of disability or ethnicity.

Physical Abuse
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, or scalding,
drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also
be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces or
causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after. This situation is called Induced
Fabrication Illness by a Carer (formerly known as Munchausen’s by proxy).

Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe
and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve
conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar
as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally
inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children
frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.
Witnessing the harm of another person, such as in the case of domestic violence, is a form of
emotional abuse. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a
child, though it may occur alone.

Sexual Abuse & Sexual Exploitation
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual
activities, including sexual exploitation, whether or not the child is aware of what is
happening, and whether it is for money or reward or not. The activities may involve physical
contact, including penetrative contact (e.g., rape and buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They
may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in seeing or receiving or sending
sexually suggestive emails or text-messages, or inappropriate behaviour in Internet chat
rooms, involving children looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material of
watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Neglect
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs,
likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may
occur as a result of maternal substance abuse during pregnancy. Once a child is born, neglect
may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter, and clothing, failing to
protect a child from physical harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including
the use of inadequate caregivers, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care
or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional
needs.
Abuse of Disabled Children
Disabled children are at increased risk of abuse and those with multiple disabilities are at
even more significant risk both of abuse and neglect. Parents of disabled children may
experience multiple stresses. This group of children may be particularly vulnerable to abuse
for a number of reasons including:
• Having fewer social contacts than other children
• Receiving intimate personal care from a larger number of carers
• Having an impaired capacity to understand what they are experiencing is abuse or to
challenge the abuser
• Having communication difficulties resulting in difficulties in telling people what is happening
• Being reluctant to complain for fear of losing services
• Being particularly vulnerable to bullying or intimidation
• Being more vulnerable to abuse by peers than other children

Disability is defined as:
• A major physical impairment, severe illness and/or a moderate to severe learning difficulty •
An ongoing high level of dependency on others for personal care and the meeting of other
basic needs

Bullying
Bullying may be defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of
time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. It can take many forms, but
the three main types are physical (e.g., hitting, kicking, theft), verbal (e.g., racist, or
homophobic remarks, threats, name calling) and emotional (e.g., isolating an individual from
the activities and social acceptance of their peer group). There is increasing use of new
technologies as a tool for bullying and such incidents should be taken seriously.

Self-Harming Behaviour
Children and young people who harm or attempt to harm themselves should be taken
seriously. The self-harming behaviour in itself may cause impairment of the child’s health or
development and in some circumstances present significant harm or the risk of significant
harm. Self-harming behaviour may also arise alongside eating disorders and/or drug misuse.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female genital mutilation is a collective term for procedures that include the removal of part
or all of the external female genitalia for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons. The
practice is medically unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious physical and mental
health consequences both at the time and in later life. The procedure is typically performed
on girls of 4 – 13 years but may be performed on new born babies or on young women. FGM
can result in death.
FGM is a criminal offence (Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 2003). Under the act it is an
offence to arrange, procure, aid, or abet female genital mutilation. Parents/carers may be
liable under this act. It is also an offence to allow the procedure to be undertaken in another
country. Where agencies become aware that a girl is at risk of FGM a referral should be made
to Children’s Social Care
Domestic Violence as Abuse
Domestic Violence is defined by the Home Office as: ‘Any incident of threatening behaviour,
violence, or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults
who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
This includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities such as so
called ‘honour killings’.
The term domestic violence is used to include any form of physical, sexual, or emotional
abuse between people in a close relationship. It can take a number of forms such as physical
assault, sexual abuse, rape, threats, and intimidation. It may be accompanied by other kinds
of intimidation such as degradation, mental and verbal abuse, humiliation, deprivation,
systematic criticism, and belittling. The term domestic violence includes the term domestic
abuse
Forced Marriage
A forced marriage is one that is conducted without the full consent of both parties and where
duress is a factor. Forced marriage can amount to sexual and emotional abuse and put
children or adults at risk of physical abuse. In circumstances where there are concerns that
someone is at imminent risk of a forced marriage urgent referrals should be made to
Children’s Adults’ Social Care. In the case of a young person at risk of forced marriage it is
likely that an initial discussion with the parent, carer or other community member may
significantly increase the level of risk to the young person.

Internet Harm
Sexual exploitation (see above) also includes non-contact activities, such as involving children
in seeing or receiving or sending sexually suggestive emails or text-messages, or inappropriate
behaviour in Internet chat rooms, involving children looking at, or in the production of,
pornographic material of watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in
sexually inappropriate ways.
Trafficking
Children can be trafficked into, within and out of UK for many reasons and all different types
of exploitation. Trafficking is a form of child abuse and needs an appropriate safeguarding
response. Any child who is recruited, transported, transferred, harboured, or received for
exploitative reasons is considered to be a victim of trafficking, whether or not they have been
forced or deceived. This is because it is not considered possible for children in this situation to
give informed consent. Even when a child understands what has happened, they may still
appear to submit willingly to what they believe to be the will of their parents or
accompanying adult. It is important these children are protected too.
Children are trafficked for many reasons, including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude,
labour, benefit fraud, forced marriage, begging and involvement in criminal activity such as
pick pocketing, theft and working on cannabis farms. They are likely to be subjected to other
forms of abuse, as a means of coercing and controlling them.
Trafficking is carried out by individual adults and organised crime groups.

Sexual activity with child/young person under the age of 18, or living away from home
Consensual sexual activity involving a young person under 18 years is not always abusive, but
it may be. A child’s or young person’s ability to consent can be impaired due to lack of
freedom, capacity or choice; for example, because of an age/power imbalance; because it is
leading into sexual exploitation; because one person is in a position of trust with the other
(e.g., a teacher); where one person is vulnerable because of disability or capacity; where the
child/young person is in the care of another away from home. No child under the age of 13 or
under is able to consent to any sexual activity according to the Sexual Offences Act (2003).

Child Criminal Exploitation
Child Criminal Exploitation is common in ‘county lines’ and occurs where an individual or
group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a
child or young person under the age of 18. The victim may have been criminally exploited
even if the activity appears consensual. Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve
physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. Criminal exploitation of
children is broader than just county lines and includes for instance children forced to work on
cannabis farms or to commit theft.

 

8.What is abuse of an Adult at Risk?

Abuse is a violation of a person’s rights or dignity by someone else. It can be done by anyone
including relatives and family members, professional staff, paid care workers, volunteers,
other users of services, neighbours, friends and associates or strangers. There are many kinds
of abuse including:
Physical
This could be hitting, slapping, pushing, and kicking.
Sexual
This includes rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult at risk:
• has not consented
• could not consent
• was pressured into consenting
Emotional/Psychological
This could be:
• emotional abuse
• threats of harm or abandonment
• depriving the person of contact
• humiliating
• blaming
• controlling
• intimidating
• coercing
• harassing
• verbally abusing
• isolating
• withdrawing a person from services or support networks
Financial or material
This includes:
• theft
• fraud
• exploitation
• pressure in connection with wills, property, inheritance, or financial transactions
• misusing or misappropriating property, possessions, or benefits

Neglect or acts of omission
This includes:
• ignoring medical or physical care needs
• failing to provide access to appropriate health care, social care or education services
• misusing medication
• inadequate nutrition or heating
Discriminatory
This includes:
• racist behaviour
• sexist behaviour
• harassment based on a person’s ethnicity, race, culture, sexual orientation, age, or disability
• other forms of harassment, slurs, or similar treatment

9. Procedure for Making a Child Protection Referral (for a child under 18 years)

The process outlined below details the stages involved in raising and reporting safeguarding concerns
regarding work and interaction connected with No Whispers.

Communicate your concerns with your Designated safeguarding Lead.
Respond to the disclosure and report to the DSL within 24 hours

Take urgent action if the concern is an emergency or a crime
seek medical attention and contact the police.

Discuss with parents of child or with vulnerable person.
Obtain permission to make referral if safe and appropriate.

If needed seek advice from the Children’s Social Care or Local Safeguarding Partnership for vulnerable
adults.

Complete the Local Authority Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Incident Report Form if required and

submit to the Local Authority within 24 hours of making a contact.

Ensure that feedback from the Local Authority is received and their response recorded.

10. Procedure for Making a Child Protection Referral – additional notes

Step One
A child/young person makes an allegation or raises concerns about abuse

Or

An allegation or concern is raised by someone about a child/young person
Listen to the concern – do not ask detailed questions at this stage
Believe the child/young person
Reassure them they have done the right thing by telling
Explain what you will need to do with the information, who you will tell, who you won’t tell,
when you will tell, what might happen

Step Two
Make an immediate record of the concern or allegation, include details of the referrer, any
alleged victim, any alleged perpetrator/s, date and time, how received (‘phone, text, email,
letter, in person)

Step Three
Discuss what immediate action to take with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or a colleague,
if s/he is not immediately available

Step Four
You, or the Designated Safeguarding Lead, will talk the referral through with: Duty Officer
within Children’s Social Care.
Follow up by emailing all details (see SG1 Form – Appendix 1 for requirements) to the agreed
social care officer recipient within 48 hrs of referral
SG1 must state which No Whispers worker and which Children’s Social Care Officer, have
agreed the referral

Step Five
Check that all actions have been taken and the SG1 Form is signed and complete

11. Adult at Risk Protection Referral Procedure (for a person over 18 years)

Step One
An Adult at Risk makes an allegation or raises concerns about abuse
Or
An allegation or concern is raised by someone about an Adult at Risk
Listen to the concern – do not ask detailed questions at this stage.
Believe the Adult at Risk & reassure them they have done the right thing by telling
Explain what you will need to do with the information, who you will tell, who you won’t tell,
when you will tell, what might happen
Step Two
Check the definition of an Adult at Risk and that this procedure applies
Make an immediate record of the concern or allegation, include details of the referrer, any
alleged victim, any alleged perpetrator/s, date and time, how received (‘phone, text, email,
letter, in person)
Step Three
Discuss what immediate action to take with one of the No Whispers Designated Safeguarding
Lead. If s/he is not immediately available, then discuss with a colleague if possible
Step Four
You, or the designated manager, will talk the referral through with:
Call the Duty Officer within Adults Social Care.
Follow up by emailing all details (see SG1Form – Appendix 1 for requirements) to the agreed
recipient within 48 hours of referral.
The form must say which No Whispers worker, and which Adult Social Services officer, have
agreed the referral
Step Five
Check that all actions have been taken and the SG1 Form is signed and complete

 

12. Recruitment of Directors, employees, and volunteers to work with young people

The procedures set out below apply to both paid staff and volunteers, including Directors, and
students.
Applicants for both paid staff and voluntary positions that involve significant access to children
and young people will complete an initial application form designed to extract information
about their past career, and to disclose any criminal record or other matter that has a bearing
on their suitability to work with children. Failure to disclose relevant information will result in
disciplinary action and possible dismissal. All Directors, staff, and volunteers in direct contact
with young people, and/or confidential information about them, will be subject to an enhanced
DBS check on recruitment.
At least two references will be taken up in relation to staff and volunteers, including, where
possible, at least one concerning previous work with children. Posts will be subject to
satisfactory clearance, and consent will be obtained from applicants to carry out Disclosures
through the DBS, or a check through the DBS online portal.
Please note, individuals registered on the DBS portal as volunteers, must undergo a new DBS
check if they are moving into a paid role. This will help to establish whether applicants have any
criminal convictions or other past behaviour that suggests they are unsuitable to work with
children. A new DBS will be completed – or online check carried out – every three-years.
Where a prospective employee, volunteer or Director does have a criminal record that does
not prevent them from working with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults or acting
in their particular role, their prospective line manager will have a discussion with them, and a
risk assessment will be carried out to ascertain their suitability for the position for which they
are applying. This assessment must be signed off by the DSL.
We recognise that the absence of any relevant Disclosure does not guarantee that the
individual is safe to work with children.
In line with the Data Protection Act 1998, all information received in relation to applicants will
be kept secure and treated with strict confidentiality.
The Board of Directors recognises that we could take all reasonable steps to assess the
suitability of a potential employee or volunteer to work with children, but that these do not
guarantee that an individual is safe to work with children and/or vulnerable adults. Therefore,
the Directors will ensure that appropriate management, supervision, and support systems are
in place to reduce any risk to vulnerable people.
After appointment, all staff and volunteers will be inducted and trained in local safeguarding
procedures and No Whispers policies.

13. Information Sharing Policy and Procedure

This section summarises the relevant requirements of No Whispers Confidentiality and
Information Sharing Policy and Procedures.
Consents to sharing information
Children and Young People
When working with children and young people, No Whispers will make it clear to children and
young people that they cannot offer unconditional confidentiality. Young people have a right
to be informed that their consent to share information will be sought in most cases, as well as
the kinds of circumstances when their consent may not be sought, or their refusal to give
consent may be overridden. In all cases where workers and volunteers feel that they have to
break confidentiality with the child/young person, they must inform the child/young person
and reassure them that their best interests will be maintained.
If a child/young person does not have sufficient capacity or understanding to consent to sharing
information, it should be sought from the parents/carers of the child, except if doing so would
increase to risk of harm to the child.
Parents/Carers
Information shared with safeguarding agencies on a need-to-know basis is not always
appropriate to share with parents and carers, and care should be taken not to share information
with parents and carers that is not consented to by the young person, unless not to do so would
be inconsistent with their safeguarding and welfare.
Adults at Risk
Information to be shared should only be that which is relevant to safeguard adults at risk. An
adult service user should normally consent to information sharing but this consent may be
overridden in certain circumstances, especially when there is a risk of harm, and the adult does
not have capacity to understand and consent, or there is crime. Guidance is to be found in the
relevant Local Safeguarding Board Adults at Risk procedure.

14. Roles and Responsibilities

This section describes the general roles and responsibilities held by Directors as part of the
organisation.
Directors
• Uphold the safeguarding ethos and purpose of the organisation
• Have a Director with lead responsibility for safeguarding
• Agree safeguarding policies and procedures and review these annually
• Satisfy themselves that policies and procedures are carried out
The Director lead for Safeguarding is Karen Livesey
Contact through email karen@no-whispers.co.uk

Staff working with young people
• Act upon concerns and allegations involving service users and safeguarding
• Report concerns and allegations according to these procedures to the No Whispers
Designated Safeguarding Lead and agree what No Whispers will do
• Act in a timely manner, taking account of the perceived level of risk, when the Designated
Safeguarding Lead or their Deputy is not available
• Record concerns, analysis of concerns, information, decisions, actions, clearly and promptly
and keeps a record on file
• Support safeguarding investigations or plans by sharing information appropriately
• Report safeguarding concerns to another agency’s safeguarding coordinator/s or
manager/s, when these arise in the course of participating in events and activities where
other agency professionals are the supervising workers (for example activities in settings such
as schools, play facilities, youth clubs, residential units, etc.)
• Report any concerns about safeguarding practice of a colleague or manager or Director to
the Designated Safeguarding Lead or one of the Directors

Volunteers/students
• Report concerns and allegations to their No Whispers contact and act upon the advice of
the designated Safeguarding Lead.
• Report concerns and allegations according to these procedures to the Designated
Safeguarding Lead and agrees what No Whispers will do.
• Act in a timely manner, taking account of the perceived level of risk, when the volunteer’s
supervisor, or Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy is not available.
• Record concerns, analysis of concerns, information, decisions, actions, clearly and promptly
and keeps a record on file
• Report any concerns about safeguarding practice of a colleague or manager or Director to
the Designated Safeguarding Lead or one of the Directors

Appendix 1:
SG1 Form: Required content for a safeguarding referral
To:
Agency:
Named worker:
Base/Address:
Tel number:

From:
Agency: No Whispers
Worker/Volunteer:
Address: 293 Dunkirk Lane, Leyland, Preston PR26 7SN
Tel number: 07713 129242

Subject: Safeguarding Referral
Name:
DOB/Age:
Address:
Ethnicity:

Reason for referral: Details:

Referral agreed with: This referral was discussed and agreed with:
Named worker:
Name of agency:
Date & Time:
Date sent: Time:
Please acknowledge receipt to the No Whispers contact as named above

Version One
Last Modified 12/11/21
Written by Karen Livesey DSL

Community Interest Company no. 12489454

karen@no-whispers.co.uk

07713 129242