Safeguarding Policy and Procedure


Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that effective safeguarding procedures are followed in all cases of suspected abuse to a young person under the age of 18 or a vulnerable adult

Scope

NA College wishes to ensure that all learners achieve their maximum potential in an environment which is safe, secure and supportive of their needs.

This policy applies to all members of NA College’s community, including learners, staff, employers, work placement providers and contractors.

Responsibility

All NA College employees have a legal and moral responsibility to promote and safeguard the welfare of all learners who are under the age of 18 or are vulnerable adults.  Designated safeguarding staff are in place in order to ensure correct procedures are followed.

The NA College Safeguarding and Prevent contacts are responsible for the effective operation of this procedure but will require the assistance of the learners, tutor/assessor, project manager or delivery manager in order to report and monitor any concerns.

Safeguarding and Prevent contacts are Tracey Ford at Spire Road,  07712 325850 and Sara Daglish 0191 4661188.  Outside of working hours, any allegation or disclosure received should be reported to the appropriate Social Care Direct Unit or Police Central Unit (number 101.)

General Principles

NA College has a duty to act if there is a cause for concern, and to notify the appropriate agencies responsible for responding to and investigating reports of safeguarding concerns.  The procedures must be followed whenever an allegation is made that a young person or vulnerable adult has been abused, or when there is suspicion that a young person or vulnerable adult has been abused.  NA College will act within 2 hours of receiving any disclosure. Staff must follow the NA College Safeguarding Process Flow.

All complaints, allegations or suspicions of abuse must be taken seriously.  Staff are required to respond with tact and sensitivity to any young person or vulnerable adult who confides in them.

Promises of confidentiality should not be given as there is a statutory requirement to pass on information where there is a concern of abuse.  However, the individual can be assured that as few people will be involved as possible, and that nobody will be told more than they need to know. 

In the event of a disclosure by a young person or vulnerable adult, leading questions should be avoided, as this can cause problems in subsequent investigations and in any court proceedings.  Investigation should not be carried out by NA College staff.  Staff should listen and make notes, and only ask questions if clarification is required.

A full and careful record must be made by the member of staff, of any disclosure or allegation to include:

  • The date and time that the allegation was made
  • The name of those present
  • The date, time and place where the alleged abuse happened
  • The name of the complainant and , where different, the name of the young person or vulnerable adult who has allegedly been abused
  • A description of any injuries observed
  • The account that has been given of allegations

This information should be kept secure and confidential and reported to a designated member of staff as within 2 hours.

Reports of safeguarding concerns should be made to the designated member of staff in person or via telephone within 2 hours and should not be solely reliant upon electric communication.

Staff should be aware of any special considerations with regard to communication difficulties and equal opportunities, as some young people or vulnerable adults with special support needs may require additional support.

Where a member of staff has concerns about a young persons or vulnerable adults welfare, they should discuss their concerns with the members of staff designated for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.

The designated member of staff shall report safeguarding concerns, allegations and incidents of abuse to the relevant Social Services department (Social Care Direct) as soon as possible by telephone.  This will include advice and discussion as to whether to make a formal referral for safeguarding.  The discussion will also include advice regarding contact with the young person or vulnerable adults family.  A note of the conversation and recommended actions should be made.  This should include reference to what, if anything, parents or carers will be told by whom and when.

A written record of the date and time of the report shall be made, and the report must include the name and position of the person to whom the matter is reported.  Social Services may request that the telephone report be confirmed in writing.  The designated member of staff shall retain a copy of the written records and any other relevant material.  These will be kept securely.

In the event of suspicion or disclosure of a young person or vulnerable adult being forced to marry.  The member of staff should refer to the designated person with responsibility for safeguarding.  No investigation should be carried out, nor should any attempt be made to mediate.  The designated person will contact the Forced Marriage Unit direct.  For further information on forced marriages the Forced Marriage Unit can be contacted on 02070080151, Monday – Friday 9.00 am until 5.00 pm (outside these hours through the Foreign Office Response Centre on 02070081500 – ask for the Global Response Centre), via email fmu@fco.gov.uk or www.fco.gov.uk/forcedmarriage.

In the case of referral being assessed as a hate crime, not covered within the definition of safeguarding, the designated member of staff will refer to the Bullying and Harassment policy and/or to the police.

In the event of suspicion relating to children or adults being drawn in to committing terrorist-related activity, whether this be radicalisation or extremism please relate to the Prevent Policy.

Allegations against staff

It is a criminal offence for a person over the age of 18 in a position of trust to enter into a sexual relationship with any student under 18 years old, even if the relationship is consensual.

Any suspicion, allegation or actual abuse of a young person or vulnerable adult by a member of NA College staff or its stakeholders must be reported to a designated person with responsibility for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults who will immediately inform a senior manager within NA College.

If a designated member of staff is the subject of the allegation, the matter must be reported directly to a senior manager within NA College.

Where a senior manager is the subject of an allegation, the matter should be referred to another senior manager and, if appropriate, to social care direct.

Training

All NA College staff receive safeguarding training.  In accordance with legal requirements, staff undertakes training every two years.

Definitions

‘Child abuse’ is defined by the Children Act 1989 as being where a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.”  Safeguarding children is protecting young people under the age of 18 by identifying and responding to individual cases of abuse, and by creating an environment, both physical and intellectual, which protects them from harm, and provides them with the inner resources to protect themselves from abuse or child sexual exploitation.

‘Vulnerable adult’ refers to any person over the age of 18 who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness, and who is or may be unable to take care of him or himself, or unable to protect him or himself against significant harm or serious exploitation.”  (Department of Health, 2000)  The Department of Health in their guidance “No secrets: Guidance on Developing and Implementing Multi-agency Policies and Procedures to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Abuse” (2000) states that ‘Abuse’ is a violation of an individuals human and civil rights by any other person or persons.  ‘Abuse’ is defined as being where there is evidence or cause for concern that an individual has suffered from, or is at significant risk of, any one or more of the following.

  • Physical abuse, including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions.
  • Sexual abuse, including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adults has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
  • Psychological abuse, including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
  • Financial or material abuse, including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transaction, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
  • Neglect and acts of omission, including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
  • Discriminatory abuse, including racism, sexism, that based on a persons disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment
  • Institutional abuse, features poor care standards, lack of positive responses to complex needs, rigid routines, inadequate staffing and an insufficient knowledge within the service.