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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate
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
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
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
Poor personal hygiene
Poor state of clothing
Emaciated, decline in health for no reason
Frequent lateness or non attendance at school/provision
Untreated medical problems
Low self esteem
No social relationships, lack of money
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
Sudden speech disorders
Fear of new situations
Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
Neurotic behaviour e.g. thumb sucking, hair twisting, etc.
Fear of parents or carers being contacted
Extremes of passivity or aggression
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,
Low self esteem
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
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
Do not make promises you cannot keep.
Do not approach or contact the alleged abuser(s).
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.
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
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.
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
Named Deputy: Andrea Hobbs
Contact details: 07899790126
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
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
• 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
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
Employees/volunteers are expected to abide by the code of conduct provided during
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.
Formal permission from parent/carers should be obtained before taking photographs,
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
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
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
Are they aware of concern?
Flow chart 1: Action taken when a child is referred to local authority
social care services
CASE IS REFERRED TO LOCAL AUTHORITY (LA) SOCIAL CARE
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
next course of
Provide help to child
and family from
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
Outside Office Hours
Emergency Duty Team (for evenings, weekends and bank holidays): 01609 780780