POSCH Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults (pdf)


Parents and carers of special children (POSCH) - Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults Policy

Safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone

1. Policy statement

2. Types and signs of abuse

3. Responding to abuse or disclosure, what to do

4. Organisational commitments

5. Monitoring and compliance

6. Appendices

Record of concern template

Flow chart and contact details for local authority

This statement of policy and procedures applies to all staff and volunteers, employed

or deployed by POSCH. It is about safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, that

is: promoting their welfare and protecting them from harm or exploitation. A child is

defined as someone who is under the age of 18. A vulnerable adult is defined as

someone over 18 who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of

disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of unable to protect

him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.


POSCH will ensure that issues of safeguarding receive continuous attention and will

regularly review the way that we operate to support this principle. The Safeguarding

policy should be reviewed annually and when there are any changes in legislation.

Date approved: Date of next review:


1. Policy statement

POSCH is committed to provide a safe environment for children young people,

parents and visitors and promote a climate where children and adults will feel

confident about sharing any concerns that they may have about their own safety or

the well-being of others.

POSCH believes that all children and young people, regardless of age and

background, have at all times and in all situations, the right to enjoy the

activities of the group in a happy, safe and secure environment.

POSCH will ensure that this is the case by rigorously implementing this policy.

All trustee’s and volunteers will be checked through the DBS. This policy

applies to all trustees and volunteers at POSCH and members who use the


POSCH believes that all children/young people have a right to protection from

exploitation and abuse.

The welfare of children/young people and vulnerable adults overrides all other


POSCH associates, employees and volunteers will take seriously and

immediately report allegations or suspicions of abuse concerning

children/young people and adults for whom services are being provided.

POSCH will work in partnership with local authorities and other agencies to

enable children/young people and adults to understand what abuse is and

their right to be protected from harm.

POSCH will ascertain the wishes and feelings of children/young people and

families for whom services are provided, inform them of their rights, help them

put forward their views.

POSCH will pay particular attention to the needs of disabled children and their

families who are statistically at an increased risk of abuse and exploitation.

POSCH is committed to providing an effective complaints procedure for

children and young people and their families to whom services are provided

(see complaints procedure).

In considering the needs of families, children and young people, POSCH will

positively promote their ethnic origin, cultural background, religion, health,

gender, sexuality and special needs (see equality and diversity policy).

POSCH are committed to providing high quality support and supervision to all

volunteers and staff providing services to adults, children and young people

who have suffered abuse, and provide appropriate support services to them.


POSCH will work in partnership with the families of children and young people

who have suffered abuse and keep them fully informed.

Training in Safeguarding will be provided for all staff and volunteers. All staff

and volunteers must undertake Basic Awareness Safeguarding training as

part of their induction, either as an e-learning package or in a group setting,

plus other training courses as appropriate to their role. For all staff

Safeguarding Training will be part of their continuous professional

development, and training must be refreshed with every significant change of


POSCH actively supports the 5 aims of The Care Act 2014 relating to co-

operation. The five aims include:

Promoting the wellbeing of adults needing care and support and of carers;

Improving the quality of care and support for adults and support for carers (including

the outcomes from such provision);

Smoothing the transition from children’s to adults’ services;

Protecting adults with care and support needs who are currently experiencing or are

at risk of abuse or neglect.

Identifying lessons to be learned from cases where adults with needs for care and

support have experienced serious abuse or neglect.

2. Types and signs of abuse

Abuse is generally divided into four categories

Discriminatory Abuse

Discrimination on the grounds of race, faith or religion, age, disability, gender, sexual

orientation and political views, along with racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist

comments or jokes, or comments and jokes based on a person’s disability or any

other form of harassment, slur or similar treatment. Excluding a person from

activities on the basis they are ‘not liked’ is also discriminatory abuse.

Domestic Abuse

Examples of domestic abuse include Psychological; Physical; Sexual; Financial;

Emotional abuse; as well as so called ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage and

female genital mutilation. The Home Office (March 2013) defines domestic abuse as:

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour,

violence or abuse… by someone who is or has been intimate partners or family

members regardless of gender or sexuality”.

Financial or Material Abuse


Theft, fraud, internet scamming, postal and doorstep scams, coercion in relation to

an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills,

property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of

property, possessions or benefits are all forms of financial abuse and are more often

than not targeted at adults at risk. The adult at risk can be persuaded to part with

large sums of money and in some cases their life savings. These instances should

always be reported to the local police service and local authority Trading Standard

services for investigation. The SAB will need to consider how to involve local Trading

Standards in its work. Financial abuse can have serious effects including loss of

income and independence and harm to health, including mental health. Where the

abuse is perpetrated by someone who has the authority to manage an adult’s

money, the relevant body should be informed, e.g. the Office of the Public Guardian

for deputies and attorneys and DWP for appointees.

Modern Slavery

Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. A person commits an offence if:

The person holds another person in slavery or servitude and the circumstances are

such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is held in slavery

or servitude; or

The person requires another person to perform forced or compulsory labour and the

circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other

person is being required to perform forced or compulsory labour. There are many

different characteristics that distinguish slavery from other human rights violations,

however only one needs to be present for slavery to exist. Someone is in slavery if

they are:

Forced to work - through mental or physical threat;

Owned or controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or

the threat of abuse;

Dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property';

Physically constrained or has restrictions placed on his/her freedom of movement;

Human trafficking , recruited and transported for example using threats, coerce or

force a person into sexual exploitation , forced labour or domestic servitude.

Contemporary slavery takes various forms and affects people of all ages, gender

and races. Adults who are enslaved are not always subject to human trafficking.

Recent court cases have found homeless adults promised paid work opportunities

enslaved and forced to work and live in dehumanised conditions, and adults with a

learning difficulty restricted in their movements and threatened to hand over their

finances and work for no gains.

From 1 November 2015, specified public authorities have a duty to notify the

Secretary of State of any individual identified in England and Wales as a suspected

victim of slavery or human trafficking, under Section 52 of the Modern Slavery Act



Neglect and Acts of Omission

Ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to

appropriate health, social care or educational services, and the withholding of the

necessities of life such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating. Neglect also

includes a failure to intervene in situations that are dangerous to the person

concerned or to others, particularly when the person lacks the mental capacity to

assess risk for themselves.

Organisational Abuse

Is the mistreatment, abuse or neglect of an adult by a regime or individuals in a

setting or service where the adult lives or that they use. Such abuse violates the

person’s dignity and represents a lack of respect for their human rights.

Physical Abuse

Assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate

physical sanctions.


Unlawful or inappropriate use of restraint or physical interventions. In extreme

circumstances unlawful or inappropriate use of restraint may constitute a criminal

offence. Someone is using restraint if they use force, or threaten to use force, to

make someone do something they are resisting, or where an adult’s freedom of

movement is restricted, whether they are resisting or not. Restraint covers a wide

range of actions. It includes the use of active or passive means to ensure that the

person concerned does something, or does not do something they want to do, for

example, the use of key pads to prevent people from going where they want from a

closed environment.

Psychological Abuse

Emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact,

humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse,

cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or

supportive networks.

Sexual Abuse

Examples of sexual abuse include rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment,

inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography,

subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual

assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into

consenting. Sexual abuse is not confined to issues of consent the following factors

should also be considered:


Any sexual relationship or inappropriate sexualised behaviour between a member of

staff and service user should lead to disciplinary proceedings;

A sexual act between a care worker and service user with a mental disorder is also a

criminal offence under section 38- 42 of the Sexual Offences Act.

Signs of Abuse

The signs summarised below do not necessarily mean that a child or vulnerable

adult is being abused. Similarly there may not be any signs; you may just feel

something is wrong. If you are worried report it to the designated person. It is not

your responsibility to decide if it is abuse but it is your responsibility to act on your

concerns and do something about it by reporting.

Signs of Physical Abuse

Unexplained injuries or burns

• Improbable excuses given to explain injuries

• Refusal to discuss injuries

• Untreated injuries

• Admission of punishment which appears excessive

• Bald patches

• Withdrawal from physical contact

• Arms and legs covered in hot weather

• Fear of returning home

• Fear of medical help

• Self-destructive tendencies

• Aggression towards others

• Running away

Signs of Neglect

Constant hunger

Poor personal hygiene

Constant tiredness

Poor state of clothing

Emaciated, decline in health for no reason

Frequent lateness or non attendance at school/provision

Untreated medical problems

Destructive tendencies

Low self esteem

Neurotic behaviour

No social relationships, lack of money

Running away

Compulsive stealing or scavenging


Signs of Emotional abuse

Physical, mental and/or emotional development slows down

Admission of punishment which appears excessive

Over-reaction to mistakes

Continual self-deprecation

Sudden speech disorders

Fear of new situations

Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations

Neurotic behaviour e.g. thumb sucking, hair twisting, etc.

Self harm

Fear of parents or carers being contacted

Extremes of passivity or aggression

Substance misuse

Running away

Compulsive stealing, scavenging

Signs of Sexual Abuse

Lack of trust in adults and/or fear of a particular individual[s]

Over familiarity with adults or provocative behaviour

Withdrawal and introversion/problems with peer relationships

Running away from home/sudden behaviour changes e.g. falling standards, truancy,

stealing etc.

Low self esteem

Substance misuse

Displaying sexual knowledge beyond age group

Involvement in prostitution

Patterns of Abuse

Abuse can take place in any context. It may occur when an adult at risk lives alone

or with a relative; it may also occur within nursing, residential or day care settings,

within hospitals or other places previously assumed safe, or in public places.

Patterns of abuse may reflect very different dynamics, such as:

• Serial abuse in which someone seeks out and ‘grooms’ individuals. Sexual abuse

sometimes falls into this pattern as do some forms of financial abuse;


• Long term abuse may occur in the context of an ongoing relationship such as

domestic violence between partners or generations or persistent psychological


• Opportunistic abuse such as theft occurring because money or jewellery has been

left lying around;

• Self-neglect, where a person declines support and assistance with their care and

support needs, impacting on their individual wellbeing.

• Abuse may consist of:

• A single or repeated acts

• An act of commission or omission

• Multiple acts, for example, an adult at risk may be neglected and also being

financially abused. Abuse may be intentional or unintentional. A number of

abusive acts are crimes and informing the police must be a key consideration

3. What to do: Responding to disclosures of abuse

It is not the responsibility of employees/volunteers to deal with suspected abuse but

it is their responsibility to report concerns to the designated person. It is important

that all employees/volunteers should be aware of their responsibilities if child or

vulnerable adult abuse is suspected.

Concerns would normally be shared with parents/carers as soon as possible.

However, there could be circumstances when this could put the person at greater

risk or there may be concerns that parents/carers will not respond appropriately.

If you notice any social changes in the behaviour of a child young person or

vulnerable adult, worrying marks or bruises or hear someone talking about things

which give cause for concern, then your first responsibility is to the child. It is not

safe to assume that someone else will take action. As an adult you have a duty to

take appropriate action. Recognising and coping with abuse is very stressful and the

person reporting the concern will not have to cope alone.

If a child, young person or adult spontaneously talks of experiences which give cause for

concern volunteers at the POSCH should:

Explain to the child, young person or adult that if he/she discloses information which

leads you to believe they are being abused, you will be unable to keep it confidential.

Listen to the child young person or adult without questioning him/her. Be aware of

your own reactions as showing disapproval may stop the child from continuing with

their disclosure.

Do not try to stop the child, young person or adult from recalling events. Make a

note of what is said, in what context, the setting, the timing and which people were


Reassure the child, young person or adult tell them that they are right to tell you (do

not promise to keep it a secret as it is your responsibility to inform others).


Stay calm – ensure the child, young person or adult is safe and feels safe.

Accept what you have been told. (This should not be seen as believing or

disbelieving what you have been told)

Reassure the child, young person or adult and stress that they are not to blame.

Tell the child, young person or adult that you will offer support but you will have to

pass the information on.

Do not question the child, young person or adult and/or rush into details that may be


Monitor the individuals concerned; encourage them to continue to take part in the

Organisation’s activities.

Do not make promises you cannot keep.

Do not approach or contact the alleged abuser(s).

Reporting Procedures

Record the concern or incident- use the Record of Concern Template APPENDIX 1.

Include date and time of what has occurred and the time the disclosure was made.

Record the names of the people involved and what was said and done by whom and

any action taken.

Inform the designated name person for Child and vulnerable adult Protection or the

deputy immediately. Remember that confidentiality is of the utmost importance.

• If the matter is urgent and none of the above can be contacted, then contact

Social Care (During Office Hours by phone: 01609 780780 or outside

office hours on 01609 780780) or Dial 999 the police or ambulance if a

crime, injury or immediate risk is perceived.

The Designated person will contact the appropriate authorities including the Duty

Team as soon as possible.

http://www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk/ and

https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/safeguarding-vulnerable- adults

Whether information is shared with or without the adult at risk’s consent, the

information sharing process should abide by the principles of the Data Protection Act

1998. In those instances where the person lacks the mental capacity to give

informed consent, staff should always bear in mind the requirements of the Mental

Capacity Act 2005 and whether sharing it will be in the person’s best interest.

Managing allegations against staff

Allegations against people who work with children and vulnerable adults, including

any POSCH staff or volunteers must be referred to the area local authority following

consultation with the supervisor or senior colleague, as described above. North

Yorkshire has a designated officer within the safeguarding board who offers support

and advice in relation to allegations and monitors how they are dealt with. This

person can be consulted to decide if a concern warrants a referral or not.


When a referral is made, the area local authority will hold a strategy discussion to

decide how to act and coordinate the response of the different agencies. The area

local authority is responsible for the welfare of the child concerned, the police for any

criminal investigation and the employer/agency for the disciplinary process. There

may have been an initial telephone strategy discussion to agree immediate action,

but this should be followed by a face to face meeting involving all agencies to

coordinate the 3 processes. The manager or their delegated manager should attend.

If the allegation concerns a member of staff, POSCH board of trustees should be

consulted about the implementation of the disciplinary process, taking advice as

appropriate from the local authority.

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and the Care Act 2014 clarifies when

this procedure should be used, namely, when a person has;

• behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child or vulnerable


• possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child or vulnerable


•behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to

work with children and vulnerable adults.

Strategy meetings may be chaired by the LADO who has a responsibility to monitor

the progress of all allegations. Thus the LADO must be informed of allegations within

one working day. The LADO also monitors to ensure that allegations are dealt with

consistently, that the same process is applied and that outcomes are appropriate.

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, Handling Allegations of Abuse made

against Adults who Work with Children and Young People (DCSF May 2009) the

Care Act 2014 and the area local authority safeguarding procedures must be

consulted when dealing with allegations against staff or workers.

If a member of staff or a volunteer is subject to this process, there has to be a written

record of the outcome. If the area local authority and the police take no further

action, it is essential that the charity obtains their view in writing as to what action, if

any, the charity should take. Area local authorities and the police cannot direct the

charity to reach a particular disciplinary judgement, but they can advise that the

charity implements disciplinary procedures. Whilst the focus of this policy is

safeguarding children and young people, it is important to ensure that any staff or

worker subject to this process are treated honestly and fairly and receive appropriate

support. However, when an allegation is being investigated by the Police, it is

essential to agree with the Police and Local Authority designated person responsible

for safeguarding either children or adults, what information can be shared with the

member of staff or worker.

Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)


If the charity dismisses a member of staff or volunteer in relation to an allegation, or

a member of staff or volunteer resigns, but would have been dismissed, the charity

has a statutory duty to refer the person to the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

DBS will consider whether or not to bar the person from working with children and

vulnerable adults.

Referrals to DBS must state the grounds for the referral and the evidence that

demonstrates the referral criteria are met. If a local authority recommends referring

either a member of staff or a volunteer to DBS, e.g. following a strategy discussion,

it is essential that the request is received in writing, from the local authority, with the

written agreement of the local authority designated responsible person stating the

evidence that supports the local authority’s request. The charity would normally only

refer staff or workers to DBS once any disciplinary process is complete and referrals

must be made in line with the DBS guidance demonstrating how the individual has;

• engaged in relevant conduct;

• satisfied the Harm Test; or

• received a caution or conviction for a relevant offence.

Designated Person

There will be a named designated person and a deputy-designated person for child

protection and safeguarding. In the event of any concerns regarding a child, young

person or vulnerable adult then the designated person or deputy will be informed at

the earliest available opportunity. If necessary the designated person will inform the

relevant Social Care without delay and the management committee. The designated

person will also ensure that the child protection procedures are kept up to date and


Named designated person: Anita Reeves

Contact details:


Named Deputy: Andrea Hobbs

Contact details: 07899790126

Or andrea.hobbs027@gmail.com


4.Organisational commitments



All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure unsuitable individuals are prevented

from having any involvement with POSCH.

Volunteer recruitment procedures will include a DBS check at the appropriate level.

This will include all members of the POSCH management committee. We will ensure

that all volunteers have appropriate training.

Should any concerns arise following a DBS then this will be passed onto the North

Yorkshire Safeguarding Board will be contacted for information and guidance. Any

Disclosure that causes concern will be assessed to establish the level of risk the

subject poses to children, other service users, volunteers, the general public and

POSCH. A number of questions will be asked:

Does the offence relate directly to work with children or vulnerable adults?

What is the seriousness of the offence/s and the circumstances surrounding it?

How long it is since the offence was committed?

Does the subject have a pattern of offending?

Has the subject’s situation changed since the offence occurred?

What is the subject’s explanation of the offence?

Did the subject declare the offence prior to the Disclosure?

If all these questions are not answered satisfactorily then the prospective volunteer

will go through a probation and induction process, including relevant training.

Ongoing training and supervision will ensure all volunteers are adequately


Training and supervision of volunteers

New volunteers will have a designated person (supervisor) that will ensure that a

proper induction takes place. The supervisor will provide regular support and

supervision to the new volunteer in all areas of their work including child protection.

All new volunteers will read and understand this policy as part of their induction

process. Volunteers will be able to identify the signs of abuse and will be confident

about the steps to take and who to report any concerns.

All staff and volunteers will attend external training on Safeguarding provided by

North Yorkshire Safeguarding Board or other relevant providers. Until external

training is possible, safeguarding training will be cascaded by supervisor at POSCH.

Volunteers will keep a check on visitors and guests whether their visit is by invitation

or unsolicited.

Creating a Safe and Caring Environment

Risk Assessment should be undertaken prior to any offsite visits or new types of



• Employees/volunteers working with children should be appropriately trained and

qualified to ensure the safe provision of services, use of equipment, activities

undertaken, etc.

• Employees/volunteers working with children should carefully plan activity

sessions with the care and safety of children as their main concern including the

use of activities at an appropriate age/ability level.

• Wherever possible we will encourage an ‘open environment’ e.g. avoiding private

or unobserved situations and discouraging the keeping of secrets. This

especially includes employees/volunteers should being alone with a child at any

time. When this is unavoidable, it should be done with the full knowledge and

consent of someone in charge of the organisation and/or the children’s


• Employees/volunteers must treat all children/young people with respect.

• Employees/volunteers must not make racist, sexist or any other remarks which

upset or humiliate.

• Employees/volunteers must take care to avoid showing any favouritism.

• It is the responsibility of employees/volunteers to prevent the abuse of younger

or weaker children by older or stronger children through bullying, cruelty or any

other forms of humiliation.

• Arrangements for parents/carers dropping off and collecting children from

activities/trips need to be clearly stated and agreed by parents/carers, children

and employees/volunteers.

Behaviour guidelines for employees/volunteers

Safety of participants and employees/volunteers is of prime consideration at all

times. All accidents involving anyone should be recorded in POSCH’s accident book

immediately or as soon as practicably possible.

Employees/volunteers are responsible for familiarising themselves with

building/facility safety issues, such as, fire procedures, location of emergency exits,

location of emergency telephones and first aid equipment.

Employees/volunteers are responsible for reporting suspected cases of child abuse

to the appropriate individuals and/or agencies.

Employees/volunteers will be expected to keep an attendance register for all

organised sessions.

Employees/volunteers are expected to abide by the code of conduct provided during

their induction

Appropriate employees/volunteers should have access to any parent

consent/emergency consent forms for all children taking part in any activities [this

information should be confidential].


Employees/volunteers should ensure that their activities start and end on time.

Employees/volunteers are expected to promote, demonstrate and incorporate the

values of fair play, trust and ethics throughout their activities.

Employees/volunteer should ensure that they are adequately insured, to protect

against claims of negligence, through POSCH’s liability insurance.

Photography, video

Formal permission from parent/carers should be obtained before taking photographs,

videos, etc.


This is a constantly changing area of life, as technology continuously changes and

develops. It offers great opportunities for communication and learning, but inevitably

brings risks as well. POSCH shares the view of Child Exploitation and Online

Protection (www.ceop.gov.uk) and the www.thinkuknow.co.uk website. We

encourage and support adults, children and young people to use technology safely

and wisely, being aware of the dangers. POSCH also has policy and procedures in

relation to the staff use of mobile phones and the internet. The policy and procedures

identify inappropriate use that will result in disciplinary action.

5. Monitoring and compliance

Safeguarding will be a standard item on the agenda of all trustee and committee


Policy will be reviewed annually including any other relevant practises, procedures

and policies.

Training and supervision records of all staff and volunteers will be kept up to date.




Record of Concern Template for children and vulnerable adults

What is said to have happened or describe what was seen (be as factual as possible, who, what where

when and how with names, dates, times and place) Is child/young person or adult at immediate risk?

Was the child/adult able to say what happened, if so, how did they describe it?

What was said by those involved?

Who has been told about it and when?

Signature………………….. . Date…………………….

Name of child/adult



Parent/carers name

Are they aware of concern?


Flow chart 1: Action taken when a child is referred to local authority

social care services


Social worker, with their manager acknowledges

receipt of referral and decides on next course of

action within one working day

Concerns about child or adults immediate


No further LA social care

involvement at this

stage: other action may

be necessary e.g. onward

referral, early help

assessment / services

Feedback to

referrer on

next course of


Provide help to child

and family from

universal and

targeted services


Professionals in all agencies have a responsibility to refer a child, young person or vulnerable

adult to Social Care when it is believed or suspected that a person:

Has suffered significant harm and /or;

Is likely to suffer significant harm and/or;

Has developmental and welfare needs which are likely only to be met through provision

of family support services (with agreement of the adult/ child's parent/ carer).

If your concern is outside of normal office hours, you should contact the emergency duty team.

During Office Hours

By Phone:     01609 780780

Email:             social.care@northyorks.gov.uk

Outside Office Hours

Emergency Duty Team (for evenings, weekends and bank holidays): 01609 780780