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Hackney Pirates

Adventures in Learning

Safeguarding Children & Young People at The Hackney Pirates

- Policy and Procedures 

 

Contents

 

  1. Policy Statement                                                                                            
  2. Person Responsible for Safeguarding                                                
  3. Definitions                                                                                                      
  4. Code of Conduct
  5. Disclosure Procedure
    1. What to do if someone makes a disclosure to a member of The Hackney Pirates staff, or a volunteer
    2. Checklist for reporting suspected abuse
    3. Reporting Safeguarding Concerns Flowchart
  6. Internal Enquiries and Suspension
  7. Whistleblowing policy
  8. Rights and Confidentiality
  9. Prevention, recruitment and training
    1. Requirements for staff members
    2. Requirements for volunteers
  10. Online Safeguarding
  11. Review procedures
  12. Useful contacts

 

 

 

1) Policy Statement

The purpose of this policy is:

• to protect children and young people who receive The Hackney Pirates’ services

• to provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.

The Hackney Pirates believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to ensuring that we practise in a way that protects them.

Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:

• Children Act 1989

• United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991

• Data Protection Act 1998

• Sexual Offences Act 2003

• Children Act 2004

• Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

• Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children.

 

We recognise that:

• the welfare of the child/young person is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989

• all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse

• some children are additionally vulnerable because of their level of dependency or their communication needs

• working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

 

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

• valuing, listening to and respecting them

• adopting child protection practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers

• developing and implementing an effective e-safety policy and related procedures

• providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training

• recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made

• sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers, to a level which is appropriate to the circumstances of their engagement with us

• sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately

 

Staff members should read this policy alongside the staff handbook on child protection, which is a separate document containing extra day-to-day procedures specifically for staff members. The staff handbook has been developed based on this policy document.

 

2) People responsible for safeguarding

 

  • The lead officer responsible for safeguarding at The Hackney Pirates is Director of Learning, Lily Eastwood (020 3327 1777).
  • In case of absence, the deputy officer responsible for safeguarding at The Hackney Pirates is Director Catriona Maclay (number as above).
  • The named responsible person has the following core areas of responsibility:
    • Develop appropriate policies and organisational practices to safeguard all children that the organisation has contact with
    • Receive and record information from anyone who has concerns
    • Assess the information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information when necessary
    • Consult initially with a statutory child protection agency, such as the local children’s social care teams (previously called social services ), or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 (or via text on 88858) to talk about any doubts or concerns
    • Make a formal referral when required to a statutory child protection agency or the police.
  • In case of any concerns about the welfare of a child, questions about this policy, or questions / concerns about keeping children safe at The Hackney Pirates should be directed to Lily Eastwood, or in her absence Catriona Maclay. Lily Eastwood and Catriona Maclay will follow up with the appropriate actions, as outlined in this policy.
  • All staff and volunteers at The Hackney Pirates have a responsibility to uphold this policy, and to inform the designated officers of any concerns.
  • A copy of this policy will be made available to all staff working at The Hackney Pirates during their Induction period. Revised copies of this policy will be circulated when they are produced.
  • An abridged copy of this policy shall be made available to all volunteers both before volunteer training, and after volunteer training. The abridged policy will include all information relevant to the volunteer role.

 

 

3) Definitions for this document

 

  • “Staff” - Anyone that is directly employed by The Hackney Pirates, is a project leader, or who has been contracted by The Hackney Pirates as a freelance individual or organisation to work with children and young people on projects delivered by The Hackney Pirates. These people have regular and ongoing contact with children.
  • “Volunteer” - Volunteers have semi-regular contact with children, through volunteering at sessions.
  • “Visitor” – Visitors are individuals who attend a session at The Hackney Pirates either as a guest, or as an observer. Visitors may come into contact with children but are always supervised throughout the course of their visit, and are never given any responsibility for working with children.
  • “Child/young person” - A person under the age of 18
  • “Abuse” - Abuse is the violation of an individual’s human rights. It can be a single act or repeated acts. It can be physical, sexual, or emotional. It also includes acts of neglect or an omission to act. In all forms of abuse there are elements of emotional abuse. Vulnerable adults may also suffer additional types of abuse such as being manipulated financially or being discriminated against. Other examples of abuse include inflicting physical harm such as hitting or misuse of medication, rape and sexual assault or exposure to sexual acts without informed consent, emotional abuse such as threats, humiliation and harassment, exploitation, ignoring medical or physical needs, withholding of necessities of life such as food or heating, witnessing domestic violence. Bullying is also a form of abuse by peers or a person more powerful than the victim. This list is not definitive.
  • “Physical Abuse” - This is abuse that causes physical harm to a young person as well as fabrication of symptoms of or deliberately causing ill health to a young person.
  • “Emotional Abuse” - Emotional abuse is an element of all forms of abuse. It is abuse that causes adverse effects on the young person’s emotional development, particularly from emotional ill-treatment of a young person.
  • “Sexual Abuse” - Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in or witness sexual activities, whether or not the young person is aware of what is happening.
  • “Neglect” – Neglect can occur when children do not have for example, adequate food, health care or education. They could suffer neglect when: any of their basic needs are not being met; they are left unsupervised in situations which represent possible dangers; they are left alone when it is inappropriate for their physical or emotional development.

 

 

4) Code of Conduct

 

 

All staff and volunteers will be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour to uphold good practice when working with young people. The following Code of Conduct illustrates principles The Hackney Pirates wishes to uphold when working with young people.

 

Conduct with young people

- Treat all young people with respect.

- Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.

- Do not initiate any physical contact with young person.

- If a young person initiates physical contact such as approaching you for a hug, deflect them if possible and remain side on to the young person.

- If a young person informs you of a problem/ disclosure, follow disclosure procedures immediately following the conversation. Even if there is no disclosure related to abuse, record the contact and report to the designated person responsible for safeguarding immediately following the conversations.

- Do not ask probing questions about a young person’s personal circumstances.

- If a young person has an accident the staff that are in loco parentis are responsible for administering first aid. Volunteers should inform staff of any accidents immediately.

- Maintain professional behaviour at all times.

- If you are at all concerned about a young person then follow disclosure procedures immediately following the conversation.

- Do not give young people lifts in your car.

- It is inappropriate for any staff member or volunteer to initiate contact with a young person outside of The Hackney Pirates’ projects, unless previously agreed with project leaders. If a young person initiates contact with you, you must immediately inform a staff member.

- Do not share personal details with a young person and if they share theirs with you, inform a staff member immediately.

- Do not wear inappropriate clothing

- Volunteers should not be alone with young people, and should not leave the room with a young person without explicit direction from a Hackney Pirates staff member.

 

Conduct around the Premises

- You are a role model for the children. Everything you do should reflect this.

- Do not smoke anywhere on the premises including in your vehicle.

- Do not smoke in front of young people.

- Alcohol should never be present while young people are on the premises.

- Recreational drugs should never be taken onto premises under any circumstances.

- No-one should consume alcohol before work or before volunteering.

- Prescribed drugs should be kept hidden and out of reach.

- Make sure language and conversation is appropriate.

- Report any accidents or breakages immediately.

 

Practices never to be allowed

The following should never be allowed:

- A volunteer to be alone with a child.

- Rough, physical or sexually provocative activities.

- Young people to be left unattended. A person who is ultimately responsible for the young people must always be present.

- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.

- Allow young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged.

- Make sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun.

- Reduce a young person to tears as a form of control.

- Allow allegations made by a young person to go unrecorded or not acted upon following procedure.

- Do things of a personal nature for young person.

 

 

5) Disclosure procedure

 

a) What to do if someone makes a disclosure to a member of The Hackney Pirates staff, or a volunteer

 

 It is possible that a young person who is suffering, or has suffered, abuse will disclose to a Hackney Pirates volunteer or member of staff. This is something that everyone should be prepared for and must handle carefully.

 

The following action should be taken:

- Remain calm and in control but don’t delay acting.

- Listen carefully to what is said. Allow the person to tell the story at their own pace and ask questions only for clarification. Don’t ask questions that suggest a particular answer.

- Don’t promise to “keep it a secret”. The first opportunity should be taken to say that this information will have to be shared with others. It should be made clear that only people who need to know will be told and they should be able to help.

- The young person should be reassured that they “did the right thing” in telling someone.

- The young person should be told what is going to happen next, i.e. that you are going to contact a The Hackney Pirates safeguarding officer.

- Notify The Hackney Pirates safeguarding officer immediately following the conversations. It is that person’s responsibility to liaise with relevant authorities, usually social services.

- As soon as possible, a note should be made of what was said, using the young person’s own words.

Note the date, time, any names that were involved or mentioned and who the information was given to. This should then be sent confidentially to The Hackney Pirates safeguarding officer that you initially reported to.

- Once a report has been made to a Hackney Pirates member of staff, don’t discuss the information with people outside of the organisation.

 

b) Checklist for reporting suspected abuse

 

Staff who are reporting suspected abuse should have this information to hand when reporting suspected abuse.

 

  • Name of young person.
  • Age.
  • Home address and home number (if known).
  • Are you reporting your own concerns or passing on those of somebody else? Give details.
  • Brief description of what has prompted the concerns: include dates, times etc, of any specific incidents.
  • Any physical signs? Behavioural signs? Indirect signs?
  • Have you spoken to the young person? If so, what was said?
  • Have you spoken to the parent(s)? If so, what was said?
  • Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser? If so, give details.
  • Have you consulted anybody else? Give details.
  • Your name and role.
  • To whom reported and date of reporting.

 

Staff members should follow up any referral by sending a copy of the notes that they have made following the conversation with the young person, using the young person’s own words. These can then be passed on to the appropriate organisations.

 

 

c) Reporting Safeguarding Concerns Flowchart

flowchart

 

 

6) Internal enquiries and suspension

 

In the event of an accusation of abuse being made against any member of The Hackney Pirates’ staff team or volunteer body, the individual accused will be automatically suspended pending further investigations. The temporary suspension of a member of staff in no way implies guilt or innocence. It is a measure intended to protect and reassure both staff and young people.

 

If an accusation is made against a member of staff:

 

The Hackney Pirates’ Disciplinary Committee (composed of The Hackney Pirates trustees together with relevant Hackney Pirates senior staff members, where appropriate) will assess all cases based upon available information. The member of staff against whom an accusation of abuse has been made will be summoned to an interview with the Disciplinary Committee as early as possible. They are entitled to be accompanied to this interview. Minutes will be taken of the interview. The task of the Disciplinary Committee is to decide whether or not the accused member of staff should be allowed to continue to work with young people. At all times the welfare of young people should be of paramount importance.

 

In all cases where the accusation of abuse is found to be true, the Disciplinary Committee will normally terminate the employment, contract or agreement with the individual. Lesser measures may be taken at the discretion of the Disciplinary Committee. This is an internal procedure and will be in addition to any external legal procedure necessitated by the relevant authorities.

 

 

If an accusation is made against a volunteer:

 

The situation will be assessed by the Hackney Pirates staff team, and the individual will be summoned to a meeting. They are entitled to be accompanied to this interview. Minutes will be taken of the interview. Advice about the next steps will be sought from the appropriate authorities following the interview. The task of the staff team is to decide whether or not the accused volunteer should be allowed to continue to work with young people. At all times the welfare of young people should be of paramount importance. In all cases where the accusation of abuse is found to be true, the staff team will dismiss the volunteer. Lesser measures may be taken at the staff team. This is an internal procedure and will be in addition to any external legal procedure necessitated by the relevant authorities.

 

 

7) Whistle-blowing Policy

 

What Is Whistleblowing? - Whistleblowing encourages and enables employees to raise serious concerns within the organisation rather than overlooking a problem or ‘blowing the whistle’ outside.

Employees are often the first to realise that there is something seriously wrong within the organisation. However, they may not express their concerns as they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues or to the organisation.

 

Our Organisation’s Commitments - The organisation is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability. In line with that commitment we expect employees, and others that we deal with, who have serious concerns about any aspect of the organisation’s work to come forward and voice those concerns.

 

Who Does The Policy Apply To? - The policy applies to all employees and volunteers, (including those designated as casual hours, temporary, agency, authorised volunteers or work experience), and those contractors working for the organisation on the premises. It also covers suppliers and those providing services under a contract with the organisation.

 

 

Policy Aims:

  • Provide avenues for you to raise concerns in confidence and receive feedback on any action taken.
  • Ensure that you receive a response to your concerns and that you are aware of how to pursue them if you are not satisfied.
  • Assure you that you will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation if you have a reasonable belief that you have made a disclosure in good faith.

 

What Type Of Concerns Are Covered?

  • conduct which is an offence or a breach of law.
  • disclosure related to miscarriages of justice.
  • health and safety risks, including risks to the public as well as other employees.
  • damage to the environment.
  • the unauthorised use of public funds.
  • possible fraud and corruption.
  • sexual or physical abuse of clients.
  • other unethical conduct.

 

NB. Other procedures are available to employee e.g. The grievance procedure which relates to complaints about your own employment. This policy also does not replace other complaints procedures which are for public use.

 

Safeguards- The organisation recognises that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make. If what you are saying is true, you should have nothing to fear because you will be doing your duty to your employer and those for whom you provide a service. The organisation will not tolerate any harassment of victimisation and will take appropriate action to protect you when you raise a concern in good faith.

 

Confidentiality - All concerns will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal your identity if you so wish. At the appropriate time, however, you may need to come forward as a witness.

This policy encourages you however to put your name to your concern whenever possible. Please note that you:

  • must disclose the information in good faith.
  • must believe it to be substantially true.
  • must not act maliciously or make false allegations.
  • must not seek any personal gain.

 

How To Raise Your Concern - As a first step, you should normally raise concerns either verbally or in writing with your immediate supervisor/manager. This may depend, however, on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issue involved and who is suspected of the malpractice. For example, if you believe that management is involved you should approach a more senior level of management, for example the Board of Trustees.

For independent advice please call:

Public Concern At Work

Website: www.pcaw.co.uk

Helpline: 020 7404 6609

Email: whistle@pcaw.co.uk

 

 

8) Rights and Confidentiality

 

If a complaint or allegation is made against a member of The Hackney Pirates’ staff or volunteer group, they should be made aware of their rights under both employment law and internal disciplinary procedures. This is the responsibility of the directors of The Hackney Pirates. Both the alleged abuser and the person who is thought to have been abused have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998. In criminal law, the Crown or other prosecuting authority has to prove guilt and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

9) Prevention, Recruitment and Training

 

The Hackney Pirates recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse young people in some way. All reasonable steps are taken to ensure suitable people are recruited.

 

The Hackney Pirates has in place a tiered set of requirements / responsibilities for different roles, to reflect the different levels of contact various staff members and volunteers will have with children.

 

Staff: Have frequent contact with children, including unsupervised, and have responsibility for the delivery of learning sessions.

 

Volunteers: Have irregular contact with children through attending sessions, and always in a supervised environment.

 

Requirements for staff members:

 

  • Recruitment: A thorough interview process and reference-taking process will be used with all staff to ensure their suitability for working with children.

 

  • DBS Check: An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check will need to be present before a candidate can begin work for and with The Hackney Pirates as a staff member. If a DBS check has been submitted but not yet returned, a clean DBS check from another organisation from within the last two years will be accepted until the completion of processing of the new check.

 

  • Training: All staff will receive training to:
    • Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse.
    • Respond to concerns expressed by a young person or young person.
    • Work safely and effectively with young people.
    • Understand their right to confidentiality if they have concerns about another member of staff
  • Supervision:
    • One staff member will always be supervising whenever there are any young people present
    • One additional staff member will be always be present in the building to support in case any urgent safeguarding problems arise
    • This means that at least two adults with enhanced disclosure DBS checks are present within the building where any activities with young people are being delivered. It is their responsibility to ensure that children are not allowed to be unattended with a volunteer.

 

Requirements for volunteers:

 

  • Recruitment: All volunteers will need to read the Hackney Pirates Policy on Safeguarding Children and Young People before they submit an application to become a volunteer, checking a box on an online form to confirm that they have done so.

 

  • DBS Check: An enhanced DBS check will need to be present before a candidate can begin work for and with The Hackney Pirates as a volunteer. The Hackney Pirates carries out its own DBS checks and will not accept DBS checks from other organisations.

 

  • Training: During a three-hour training session, a Hackney Pirates member of staff will fully brief volunteers about the organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures. They will be explicitly instructed to avoid being alone with a young person at any time, and to report any concerns that may arise out of their interaction with the young people to a Hackney Pirates member of staff. They will again have the opportunity to read this policy in hard copy format.

 

  • Supervision: During sessions, volunteers will be supervised by a Hackney Pirates member of staff at all times when working with children. There will never be any occasion for a volunteer to be left alone with a young person.

 

 

Online safeguarding

 

Now that most areas of work allow us to communicate through a virtual medium, it is important to consider young people’s safety when they use this form of media.

 

Online projects

It is important that when implementing a project that has an online element, that a young person’s safety is taken into consideration. As it is extremely difficult to prove any information that has been given by an individual over the internet and it is becoming apparent that many people, including young people, are unaware that information that is published online can be seen by anyone on the internet. It is essential that safety information is available for young people and websites offering advice aimed specifically at different age ranges is available. Most of this information can be obtained from the Internet through websites, activities for young people of all ages and short films. Specific practices to be adhered to at The Hackney Pirates are:

- Children are always supervised when using devices connected to the internet during sessions

-  All computers will have their search engine settings adapted so that the young people can't access inappropriate material

- Young people are briefed during internet and web safety when conducting projects involving IT

- The Young Pirates’ email address is theyoungpirates@hackneypirates.org. This will be used for purposes of correspondence with external people and organisation. No young person will be given the log in details, and all incoming and outgoing emails will be checked by staff members before being passed on.

 

Communicating with Young People

Only a staff member may initiate contact with a young person, and only within the remit of The Hackney Pirates project they are working on. No other staff member should initiate contact with a young person outside of The Hackney Pirates project.

 

- When emailing young people about a Hackney Pirates piece of work, all email addresses of young people must be “blind carbon copied” (bcc) so their email address can be concealed. You must always “carbon copy” (cc) the child safeguarding email address (lily@hackneypirates.org ) so no emails are just between just you and a young person. This will also save all communication in an archived file.

- Via mobile phone

Contacting a young person on their mobile should be done within office hours and when another member of staff is present. If a young person initiates inappropriate contact via email, text, or phone, The Hackney Pirates staff must inform the young person that it is inappropriate and then inform a member of

Safeguarding staff. Contact with young people should never be made via a staff member or volunteer’s personal phone number.

 

Media

Some images and footage from the work that the Hackney Pirates is involved in will be needed for use in the media, publications, external communications material and on the web. To ensure the safeguarding of these individuals parents/legal guardians of young people will be asked to give their written permission for photographs and video to be taken and used, and they will confirm and sign the registration form stating this.

 

 

Anti-bullying

 

The Hackney Pirates has a zero-tolerance approach to bullying. Young people are rarely left unsupervised with their peers, and this minimises the chance of bullying. If a child is suspected of bullying another, the following steps will be taken by a Hackney Pirates member of staff:

 

- An impartial conversation with both parties will be had and notes taken.

- If the staff member comes to the conclusion that bullying has taken place:

- they will speak to the child accused of bullying, explaining the effects of their actions and stating that it contravenes the Hackney Pirates Code.

- A discussion will be had with both children at the same time they will have input into the subsequent action which might involve keeping them apart.

- Both sets of parents will be informed.

- The child will then be put on a formal warning and their subsequent behaviour monitored. If their behaviour continues to be a concern, a meeting will be called with their parents, and the decision might be taken that it would be better to remove them from the programme.

 

Complaints

 

Complaints about this policy, these procedures or their implementation should initially be addressed in writing to the designated safeguarding officer, with a copy addressed to The Hackney Pirates Trustees, care of the Chair of Trustees:

 

Allan Beattie (Chair)

The Hackney Pirates

138 Kingsland High Street

London E8 2NS

 

Relevant Contact details

 

  • NSPCC Helpline - The NSPCC helpline is available to give advice 0808 800 5000.

 

·        First Response

If you have safeguarding concerns about a child who lives in Hackney you can contact the First Response Team directly during office hours (Tel: 020 8356 5500, Fax: 020 8356 5516). The CSC referral form can be emailed to FRT on cscreferrals@hackney.gov.uk.

The relevant page on Hackney Council’s website is:

http://apps.hackney.gov.uk/servapps/hackneydirectory/details.aspx?OrgID=2612

If you need to contact Hackney CSC about an urgent safeguarding issue outside office hours please call 020 8356 2710; you will speak directly with a Children’s Social Care manager.  

If you know the child concerned is already receiving input from CSC you should contact the allocated social work unit directly.

The postal address for Hackney Children’s Social Care is:

Children's Social Care

Children and Young People's Service

Hackney Service Centre

1 Hillman Street

E8 1DY

 

If you think a child needs enhanced support then please refer to the New Hackney Child Well-being Framework: http://trustnet.learningtrust.co.uk/Safeguarding/Documents (scroll to N). If you think you may need to make a referral you are welcome to call the First Response Team to discuss your concerns. Professionals should of course consult with their organisation's safeguarding lead but if still unsure as to whether the threshold is met for statutory social work involvement then please call FRT (First Response Team) to discuss your safeguarding concerns.

 

·        Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

 

The LADO is situated within children's services and should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against children
  • behaves towards a child in way that indicates they are unsuitable to work with children.

A LADO helps co-ordinate information sharing with the correct people. 
They monitor and track any investigation with the expectation that it is resolved as quickly as possible. 

The LADO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case.

The Hackney LADO guide can be found here: http://www.chscb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Guidance-hackney.pdf

Referrals are made by emailing LADO@hackney.gov.uk or phoning 020 8356 8982.

 

·        City and Hackney Safeguarding Board

 

The CHSCB is the key statutory body for agreeing how organisations co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in City and Hackney, and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do.

City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board (CHSCB)

Hackney Service Centre

1 Hillman Street

London

E8 1DY

http://www.chscb.org.uk/

Alternatively, Email: chscb@hackney.gov.uk or Phone: 0208 356 4183

 

Review Procedure

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

Updated: 01/11/2015

Revision due: 01/11/2016