Child Protection & Vulnerable Adults Policy
Subject: Child Protection & Vulnerable Adults Policy
Date of approval: February 2012
Effective date: February 2012
1.1 The staff and managers of The British DJ & MC Academy are committed to the rights of children and vulnerable adults, protecting their physical and psychological wellbeing, and safeguarding them from all forms of abuse; and will operate in ways that best safeguard their interests. We recognise that all members of staff, including contractors and volunteers, have a duty to play a full and active part in safeguarding and promoting learner welfare.
1.2 The Governors and staff believe that Academy should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment in which all students can achieve their potential.
1.3 The welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults at the Academy is of paramount importance.
1.4 The Academy recognises that the following principles play a vital role in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
- Children, young people and vulnerable adults have the right to learn in a safe environment.
- The welfare and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults who are students of the Academy must be the first consideration for all employees.
- All staff are required to be alert to indicators or signs that a child, young person or vulnerable adult may be suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.
- All employees have a responsibility to be aware of the procedures to follow should a disclosure of abuse or abuse of trust be made to them, or if they have concerns that a student may be suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.
1.5 Any concern about the welfare of a child, young person or vulnerable adult must be considered a priority and must be reported to the appropriate member of staff without delay.
- Abuse occurs in all cultures, racial and religious groups. All staff have a responsibility to be sensitive to and respectful of students’ ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. However, these factors must not be used as a reason for not passing the concern to the appropriate member of staff.
- All Academy employees and volunteers need to ensure that their professional relationships with children, young people and vulnerable adults who are service users and are appropriate and not in breach of the Abuse of Trust
The Academy is committed to working in partnership with local Local Childrens’ Safeguarding Boards (LCSBs) and other agencies to safeguard the well being of children and young people who are service providers and associated with the Academy.
The Academy has a duty to provide:
2.1 An environment in which it is safe for children, young people and vulnerable adults to learn and achieve their potential.
2.2 Policy and Procedures which offer support and protection from abuse for children and young persons aged up to 18 years old and those deemed to be vulnerable, for example, students with learning or mental health difficulties and/or those who are disabled.
2.3 Codes of professional conduct for employees and volunteers.
2.4 It is the aim of this policy and its procedures to provide clear guidelines for all Academy staff on how to report any concern, disclosure of abuse or abuse of trust.
This procedure will be supplemented by operational guidelines.
3. Protection from abuse
3.1 The Academy recognises that all members of staff have a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults, preventing them from being harmed.
3.2 The definition of ‘child’ within the Children Act 1989 is: ‘A person under the age of eighteen’.
3.3 This document uses the term ‘young person’ to refer to young person aged between 14-18 years old.
4. Protection from exploitation – and the abuse of trust
4.1 The Academy has a duty to reinforce standards of professional conduct among employees and volunteers as highlighted by the following Government guidelines:
‘Misconduct of Academy Tutors and Workers with children and young persons’ circular 11/95, and ‘Caring for young people and the vulnerable’
4.2 This document provides basic procedures which should be followed in every case by all members of staff. No member of staff is exempt from following these procedures.
5.1 Legal framework
5.1.1 The practice guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006” reflects the principles contained within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the UK Government in 1991. It also takes account of the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular Articles 6 and 8. It further takes account of other relevant legislation, but is particularly informed by the Children Act of 1989 which provides a comprehensive framework for the care and protection of children and the Children Act 2004 which underpins Every Child Matters.
5.1.2 Section 11 of the Act requires managers and staff to promote the welfare of children and includes the duty on agencies to co-operate and make arrangements to promote and safeguard the welfare of children and to establish a Local Safeguarding Children’s Board. Section 27 places a specific duty on agencies to co-operate in the interests of children in need unless it would conflict with their own statutory other duties and obligations.
5.1.3 Section 47 places a duty on agencies to help the police or social care with its enquiries in cases where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm. The Police and Children’s Social Care services have the primary responsibility in the field of child protection,
5.1.4 Sections 157 and 175 of the Education Act 2002 require the Academy to have arrangements to safeguard the welfare of service users, and identify where there are welfare concerns and take action to address them, in partnership with other organizations where appropriate.
5.2 All staff are made aware that they have a statutory responsibility to report all concerns of a child protection nature to the Designated Officer as a matter of priority.
5.3 All workers under the College’s auspices have access to an appropriate level of information, training and instruction to ensure Academy policies, practices and procedures are used and understood.
5.4 Employees working within the Academy have day-to-day contact with children, young persons and vulnerable adults during the term, and are in a good position to respond to concerns or disclosures of abuse or abuse of trust.
5.5 The roles and responsibilities of Academy employees are not to investigate concerns or allegations of abuse nor to diagnose whether any abuse has taken place.
5.6 It is everyone’s responsibility, however, to be aware of the appropriate procedure to follow should they have a concern that a child, young or vulnerable person may be suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm, or if they receive a disclosure from a child, young person or vulnerable adult that they have been a victim of either:
- Abuse of Trust from an employee or volunteer of the Academy
5.7 The Academy is a member of the Enfield Safeguarding Children Board and adheres to the London Child Protection Procedures.
5.8 The Academy takes seriously its responsibility to reinforce professional codes of conduct. This is to ensure that neither employees nor volunteers exploit young and vulnerable persons who are service users.
5.9 The Academy ensures that all adults employed by the Academy or who are engaged as volunteers or who are Governors have been checked as to their suitability to work with children and vulnerable adults through safer recruitment policies and vetting procedures. This includes persons being employed who will not come into regular contact with children as a result of their job.
5.9.1 Identity will be verified by production of passport and/or birth certificate
5.9.2 Academic or vocational qualifications will be scrutinised
5.9.3 Professional and character references will be required and checked
5.9.4 Previous employment history will be checked
5.9.5 A face-to-face interview will be conducted
5.9.6 The mandatory check of List 99, Protection of Children Act List (POCA) and an enhanced Criminal Records check will be undertaken
6. Use of contractors
6.1 Sub-contracting outside the Academy
Where members of the Academy sub-contract to outside organizations, the service Provider is responsible for ensuring that those working closely with or supervising Young learners are CRB checked. This would include, for example, the use of taxi firms.
6.2 Contractors employed by the Academy
Where Contractors are employed by the Academy, it is the responsibility of the Designated Officer and Managers of areas employing the contractors to ensure that the companies have undertaken appropriate checks on their employees. For those providing a service e.g. for catering, security or cleaning, all employees should be CRB checked. For Contractors engaged to undertake work on a short-term basis e.g. builders, risk assessments are carried out. Entry and exit routes of contractors are agreed, and they are not allowed to leave their work place except at agreed times.
7. Definitions of abuse
7.1 Child Abuse
Child abuse can involve any one or more of the following, as defined by the DoH/DfES/HO ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ document 1999.
7.1.1 Physical Abuse
7.1.2 Physical abuse may take many forms e.g. hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating a child. It may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of or causes ill health to a child. This unusual and potentially dangerous form of abuse is now described as fabricated or induced illness in a child.
7.2 Emotional Abuse
7.2.1 Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent effects on the child’s emotional development and may involve:
- Conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or value only insofar as they meet the needs of another person;
- Imposing developmentally inappropriate expectations;
- Causing children to feel frightened or in danger e.g. witnessing domestic violence;
- Exploitation or corruption of children.
7.2.2 Some level of emotional abuse is involved in most types of ill treatment of children, although emotional abuse may occur alone.
7.3 Sexual Abuse
7.3.1 Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening, and includes penetrative (i.e. vaginal or anal rape or buggery) and non-penetrative acts. It may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children looking at, or in the production of pornographic materials, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
7.4.1 Neglect involves 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. This may involve failure to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing, failure to protect from physical harm or danger or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of a child’s basic emotional needs.
8. Greater risk of abuse to disabled children or young people
8.1 Children and young people with learning difficulties or disabilities are vulnerable and may be at increased risk of abuse. Risks increases when there is:
- A greater need for personal or intimate physical care;
- Possibly a high number of carers or settings involved in their life;
- A need for intrusive medical procedures;
- A child or young person may be less able to tell about the abuse;
- A child or young person may be physically less able to resist;
- A concern about a child or young person or a disclosure by them may not be taken seriously.
8.2 All staff working with vulnerable persons should take greater care to monitor, as much as possible their well being.
9. What is ‘misconduct’ by employees or volunteers – abuse of trust?
9.1 Misconduct is defined as ‘abuse of trust’ within ‘Caring for Young and Vulnerable People’ as:
9.2 Abuse of trust is misconduct by tutors or other employees, paid or unpaid, who are in a position of trust and use that relationship to abuse or have inappropriate relationships with children, young persons or vulnerable adults.
9.3 Although a ‘young person’ over the age of 16 can legally consent to sexual activity, they may be immature emotionally. In law they are still classed as children. It is essential that those working with young people recognise this vulnerability and make sure it is not exploited.
9.4 The term ‘vulnerable adult’ is not based on age or disability. For example there is no age when a person should be classified as a vulnerable adult, nor should all those with a physical or other disability be classed as vulnerable. Moreover some people might go through periods of being vulnerable when they are emotionally low or distressed. It is essential that those working with such people recognise this vulnerability and ensure that it is not exploited.
10. Procedure to follow in response to a disclosure
10.1 Contact one of the Designated Child Protection Officers as soon as possible if you have a concern or hear a disclosure from a student.
Remember – any unnecessary delay is potentially harmful and must be avoided. Ignoring issues is not an option.
11. The designated members of staff
11.1 Within the Academy it is vital to have a co- ordinated approach to handling issues of a child protection nature. The Academy has therefore nominated one member of staff to take overall responsibility for Child Protection and Safeguarding across the Academy. The nominated person is:
contacted on: 07908 624551, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively you can contact safeguarding through the intranet.
If leaving a voice message,
- Please speak slowly and clearly
- Give your name and contact telephone number
- Give times when you are available
11.2 Provide a written statement containing as much of the following information as possible
- Clearly write your name and contact number.
- The date, time and location of incident.
- Full factual details of the cause for concern or disclosure from the service user.
- Service users details:
- Provide professional advice, support and guidance to staff regarding any suspicion of abuse, if a young person makes a disclosure or in relation to the possible abuse of trust.
- Gather information to support referrals or concerns where appropriate. Be responsible for making decisions regarding appropriate action, in consultation with staff concerned.
- Support and coordinate Academy staff in dealing with internal and external services and agencies as appropriate. Gather statements and information regarding child protection issues and to ensure that records are kept safely and securely.
- Ensure the Academy meets its statutory and common law duties defined within the 1989 Children Act, Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 and the DfES and Safeguarding Guidance.
- Work with internal services to draft procedures and guidelines, which support staff, students and nursery children.
- Arrange for someone to accompany service user to hospital, if appropriate.
- Accompany staff to Child Protection Conferences or other meetings if appropriate.
- Make child protection referrals to Social Services.
- Consult with Social Services where appropriate.
- Contact Personnel in cases of abuse of trust.
- Monitor service users after a referral is made and ensure that the Academy is adhering to any work agreed at the Core Group meeting.
- Comply with this procedure avoiding any unnecessary delay in making the referral to a Designated Officer.
- Disclose to the Designated Officer dealing with the concern all relevant information.
- Provide clearly written statements of the concern or disclosure on the same day as the referral to the Designated Officer.
- Attend meetings as required. These may include Child Protection conferences.
- Be ready to listen to what the person is saying.
- Reassure the person, acknowledging that they have been brave to tell you.
- Make sure the person is comfortable in a secure environment where they cannot be overheard.
- Take what they say seriously.
- Offer practical help i.e. glass of water or tissues.
- Remind the child, young person or vulnerable adult that you have a duty to follow the Academys procedure in order to safeguard and support them and that you will inform the Nominated Lead Designated Child Protection Officer.
- Assure the young person that you will only share the information with the people who need to know.
- Tell the young person that you will tell them what the next steps will be after you have spoken to the Nominated Lead Designated Child Protection Officer.
- Refer the matter to the Nominated Lead Designated Officer or one of their deputies immediately.
- Avoid any delay in reporting the cause for concern or disclosure to the designated officer as this could increase the risk to the student.
- Promise confidentiality or to keep what you are being told secret.
- Appear to be shocked or upset by what the young person is telling you, even if what they are saying is distressing.
- Take the person home.
- Touch the person to comfort or reassure them.
- Question the person about the alleged abuse, beyond the minimum necessary to understand what is being alleged e.g. ‘Could you explain that part?’
- Give false reassurances in order to comfort the person.
- A sudden drop in performance and motivation e.g. ‘What’s the point?’
- A young person who comes to the Academy but does not attend all workshops. Often young people’s only free and unsupervised time is that spent at the Academy.
- Conflicts between parents and young people about their future plans or continuing their studies at the Academy.
- Poor attendance and commitments overseas or extended holidays.
- Self-harming, anxious or depressive behaviours such as anorexia, mental health disorder, substance abuse, shoplifting, withdrawn, low self esteem, suicidal ideation, being excessively worried about being seen in the company of the opposite sex.
- Clearly write your name and contact number;
- The date, time and location of the incident;
- Full factual details of the cause for concern or disclosure from the service user; Service users name, full name, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, address including postcode, any other children in the home and their ages, any known medical history and details of any witness;
- The statement can either be emailed or delivered in person to the designated officer dealing with the concern.
– Full name
– Date of birth and gender
– Course name
– Address – including post code
– Ethnicity – If the service user first language is not English, is an interpreter needed?
– Does the service user have any special needs or a disability? Any court orders and who has parental responsibility if the service user is under the age of 18 Any other children in the home and their ages Any known medical history Details of any witnesses
11.3 The statement can either be e-mailed to the Designated Officer dealing with the concern or delivered in person to the Designated Officer. This must happen on the same day as the referral is made.
11.4 The Designated Officer will respond as soon as possible; usually on the same day.
12. Responsibilities of the nominated Lead Designated Officer are to
These duties may be delegated to alternative Designated Officers as required.
13. Responsibilities of Staff are to
14. Support for the Service user.
14.2 If the service user seeks counselling, the Counsellor will meet with the service user to determine the appropriate level of support for that particular individual.
15. Guidelines for Staff on Dealing with Disclosures of Abuse or Abuse of Trust
16. Whistle Blowing
16.1 We recognise that children and young people cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where members of staff fail to do so.
16.2 All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about poor or unsafe practice of colleagues in regard to children and young people. Such concerns will be addressed sensitively and effectively and in a timely manner.
17. Bullying and Harassment
17.1 Our policies on bullying and harassment are set out in separate documents and acknowledge that to tolerate bullying or harassment may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.
18. Racist Incidents
18.1 Our policy on racist incidents is set out in a separate document and acknowledges that repeated racist incidents or a single serious racist incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.
19. Forced Marriage
19.1 Forced marriage is a human rights abuse and not a religious or cultural practice. A clear distinction must be made between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take the leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the young people. In forced marriage one or both of the spouses does not consent to the marriage and some element of duress is involved. Duress can include both physical and or emotional pressure. It can also constitute physical and sexual abuse and it falls within the Crown Prosecution Service’s definition of domestic violence. The United Nations considers it a form of trafficking, sexual slavery and exploitation. Both males and females may be victims of forced marriage. Cases may occur at any age – the Foreign & Commonwealth Office statistics indicate that the most common age range affected is young people aged between 15-24.
20. Potential warning signs
20.1 Any member of staff who has a concern that a young person may be at risk of a forced marriage must contact the Nominated Lead Designated Child Protection Officer as a matter of priority. The Nominated Lead Designated Officer will seek the advice of the Home Office Child Protection Team and Social Services in order to proceed in a way which will best safeguard the well being of the young person.
21. Health and Safety
21.1 Our Health and Safety Policy, set out in a separate document, reflects the consideration we give to the protection and safeguarding of our students, both within the Academy and when away from the Academy undertaking trips and visits.
22. Responsibilities of Governors
The Governing Body has the responsibility to ensure that there is a Nominated 10 Designated Person for Child Protection and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults appointed at Senior Management level and to receive reports, at least annually, from the Nominated Lead Designated Officer and the Executive Leadership Group regarding Safeguarding. They will also review procedures in the light of issues which may arise; taking advice from the local Safeguarding Boards via the Local Authority Lead Officers. A designated person with responsibility for Child Protection and Protection of Vulnerable Adults will be identified from the Governing Body. The governing body has a duty to act if there is a cause for concern and to notify the appropriate agencies so that they can investigate and take any necessary action although it is not the Governing body’s responsibility to investigate abuse itself.
23. Information Sharing and Confidentiality
23.1 As a general rule any information acquired or held by the Academy during the course of working with a child, young person or vulnerable adult will be treated as confidential.
23.2 If a child, young person or vulnerable adult makes a disclosure that they are being harmed or are at risk of harm, their consent should be sought before a referral is made unless it is judged that by doing so they will be placed at greater risk.
23.3 If a child, young person or vulnerable adult refuses to give their consent the Designated Officer dealing with a concern must consider whether the circumstances justify disclosure.
23.4 ‘The key factor in deciding whether or not to disclose confidential information is proportionality: Is the proposed disclosure a proportionate response to the need to protect the welfare of the child’
(‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused’)
23.5.1 Information will be disclosed to staff within the Academy on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis in order to protect the health and well being of the individual.
Equality Impact Assessment
The Academy is committed to the promotion of equality and diversity for all tutors and learners. As part of our commitment to equality and diversity, an equality impact assessment has been undertaken for this policy in relation to race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and religion/belief and is published separately.
Anti –bullying and harassment policy (including Cyber bullying)
Equality and Diversity policy
Health and Safety policy
Allegations against Academy employees (including volunteers) policy
The British DJ Academy
CHILD PROTECTION AND VULNERABLE ADULTS:
The Academy has a duty to provide procedures, which offer support and protection from abuse for children and young persons aged up to 18 years old, and those deemed vulnerable such as students with learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities.
It is the responsibility of all staff to be aware of the procedures for reporting suspected cases of abuse, disclosure of abuse or abuse of trust.
Procedure to follow in response to a disclosure:
Members of staff are advised via the Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults Policy to contact the Nominated Lead Designated Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults Officer or one of their managers as soon as possible if they have any concerns or they hear a disclosure from a student. The role of the tutors at this stage is to listen and inform the officer, they should not ask any questions other than to ascertain the relevant facts.
Provide a written statement containing the following information:
The Designated Officer will make an assessment into the alleged abuse, and will take appropriate action if necessary. Should further external action not be required, the service user will be informed about services, including counseling. The mental health worker may then meet with the service user to determine the appropriate level of support.
Should further action be needed the designated officer will contact the appropriate agencies to make a referral.