March 2018

DATE REVIEWED SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS / CHANGES
June 2018 Amended to reflect safeguarding arrangements re: EKCC – joint-working
October 2019 Name change/reformat, cross-referencing with recently updated other related policies, and removal of reference to joint working via.EKCC.
June 2020 Changes to Section 6 – Reporting; and Section 7 – Managing Concerns – and 9 – Awareness – to ensure greater clarity for staff re: safeguarding management structure and procedure re: reporting of concerns.

Registered Address: 80 Middle Street, Deal, Kent CT14 6HL.
Registered Charity Number: 1136904

1. ABOUT THIS POLICY

1.1 Carers’ Support East Kent is committed to providing a service where robust procedures are in place to safeguard the welfare of children, young people, and vulnerable adults.

1.2 This Policy identifies the legal and contractual obligations held in respect to safeguarding by Carers’ Support East Kent, and the framework in place to ensure that safeguarding is a principle embedded within all aspects of our service delivery and practice.

2. WHAT IS SAFEGUARDING?

2.1 Safeguarding means protecting people’s health, well-being and human rights and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse, and neglect. It is a fundamental principle guiding all health and social care provision.

2.2 SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN
The welfare of a child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989, and the reform of children’s services based on the legislative spine of the Children Act 2004.Safeguarding children and child protection legislation applies to all children and young people up to the age of 18.

Safeguarding children means:-

  • protecting children from abuse
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

All children regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse. Awareness is also necessary in relation to how some children may be additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs, or other issues.

Within the context of services provided by Carers’ Support East Kent, safeguarding of children applies to any child with whom any employee, or volunteer may come into contact, directly or indirectly, in the course of their duties.

2.3 SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE ADULTS

Safeguarding adults means recognising the fundamental principle that all adults have a right to be able to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. (An adult is defined in law as anyone aged 18 years or over.)

Adults may be harmed or taken advantage of by someone who holds a position of power over them. Many adults rely on other people to help them in their day to day living. This might be due to physical or mental illness, age related difficulties, disability, or addiction. As such, this may place some adults in a position of being vulnerable to abuse. It is recognised that abuse of vulnerable adults may occur anywhere – in people’s own homes, in the community, in care homes, day centres, hospitals or other health and / or social care services.

As an organisation that works to support Carers, all staff must be mindful that Carers may experience intentional or unintentional harm from the person that they care for. Equally, they may intentionally or unintentionally harm the person they care for. Adult to adult abuse within the context of personal relationships may not always be easily recognised or understood as abuse and as such it is important to ensure that the core principles of adult safeguarding are applied to adults in all settings with whom staff may have contact.

Safeguarding adults means that people and organisations must work together to prevent the risk of abuse or neglect – making sure that people’s wellbeing is promoted, and, at all times, also taking their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs into account.

3. PRACTICE GUIDANCE

3.1 A consensus on what constitutes abuse can be applied to both children and vulnerable adults. In the context of safeguarding therefore, abuse may be defined as being within any, or all, of the following types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological / Emotional abuse
  • Neglect or acts of omission (including self-neglect)
  • Domestic abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Organisational abuse

3.2 Abuse may be perpetrated as the result of deliberate intent, negligence, or ignorance.

3.3 Abuse may consist of a single act, or repeated acts, and may be directed towards one child or adult, or to more than one child or adult. Abuse can occur in any relationship and any setting, and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the child or adult subjected to it.

3.4 Committing an act of abuse may constitute a criminal offence.

3.5 The relevant legislative framework with specific regard to safeguarding includes the following:

  • Children Act 1989; and Children Act 2004
  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991
  • Human Rights Act 2010
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Care Act 2014

3.6 In addition to the legislative framework for protection, safeguarding procedures and training, Carers’ Support East Kent will also promote the increased understanding of all staff, trustees and volunteers in respect of:

  • Sexual Exploitation. An increasingly high-profile issue in terms of raised awareness, there is clear evidence of the need for increased understanding of how children and vulnerable adults may be sexually exploited.Sexual exploitation of children involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities.Sexual exploitation can be perpetrated on vulnerable adults as well as children.
  • The Modern Slavery Act 2015 consolidates UK legislation relating to slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, and domestic servitude. It is recognised as a global problem, with organised criminal groups who systematically exploit large numbers of individuals.
  • Extremism and Radicalisation. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a statutory obligation on organisations with regard to ‘The Prevent Duty’. This places specific duties on schools and childcare providers to help them protect children from the risk of radicalisation. It should be understood as being within the context of wider safeguarding issues relating to the protection of children, and vulnerable adults.
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) There is a mandatory duty for all regulated health and social care professionals, and teachers / teaching staff, to report any ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18’s which they might identify in their work. (‘Known’ is defined as when a girl informs the person that an act of FGM – however described – has been carried out on her, or where the person observes physical signs on a girl appearing to show an act of FGM has been carried out.)
  • Forced Marriage. Forced marriage is when physical, emotional and or psychological pressure is brought to bear to make one person marry another. Forced marriage is illegal in England and Wales and this includes (i) taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place) (ii) marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not).
  • Hate Crime. Hate crimes and incidents can be directed against a person, or property – and is motivated by the offender’s hatred of people who are perceived as different to themselves. An adult or child may be a victim because of their race, religion, disability, age, sexuality or gender.
  • Mate Crime. This occurs when someone ‘makes friends’ with someone and then abuses or exploits that relationship for criminal purposes. The founding intention of the relationship from the point of view of the perpetrator is likely criminal from the outset, and adults and children with learning disabilities are especially vulnerable to this type of exploitation.

4. MENTAL CAPACITY ACT 2005

4.1 The Mental Capacity Act is designed to protect and empower vulnerable people who lack capacity. Carers may be caring for someone who lacks mental capacity, or Carers themselves may be thought by others to lack mental capacity. All staff, trustees and volunteers must have a working knowledge and understanding of the Act, the Mental Capacity Act Code of practice, and the amendments to the act including the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. (DoLS).

5. SAFEGUARDING – ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

5.1 Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. All staff, trustees and volunteers must be aware of necessary procedures for the immediate reporting of any safeguarding concerns.

5.2 Recruitment. Carers’ Support East Kent has robust recruitment and selection processes to ensure that all legal and contractual checks and vetting procedures are made when recruiting staff, trustees and volunteers throughout the organisation.

5.3 Maintaining Professional Boundaries. Carers’ Support East Kent will ensure all staff, trustees and volunteers have clear guidance in relation to maintaining professional boundaries. This is to ensure that everyone is working within clear agreed parameters in terms of providing safe care to the service users or others with whom they may come into contact. Codes of professional conduct exist to protect all parties.

5.4 Training, Supervision and Support. Carers’ Support East Kent will provide effective management for all staff, trustees and volunteers through supervision, support and training. Training on Safeguarding, Mental Capacity Act, and recognising and understanding forms of abuse is recognised as essential for all staff, trustees and volunteers. This will be covered within the induction framework for new staff, volunteers and trustees, and ongoing.

5.5 Working Together. Carers’ Support East Kent will ensure that any safeguarding concerns are shared appropriately with all agencies who have a need to know, in line with statutory guidance for the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

6. REPORTING SAFEGUARDING CONCERNS

6.1 Any concern in relation to safeguarding as defined by this Policy must be reported immediately to the designated Safeguarding Officer, and to your line manager.

6.2 Reporting a safeguarding concern should be as per the Safeguarding Reporting Procedure, and should be verbally – i.e. by telephone, or in person. Email may sometimes be used to alert the Safeguarding Officer that there is a safeguarding concern needing to be raised but should only be used in order to request that a conversation by telephone or in person takes place regarding safeguarding. (If leaving a voicemail or text message requesting the Safeguarding Officer call you back, ensure it is made clear that it’s in relation to a safeguarding concern.)

6.3 Details of how to contact the named Safeguarding Officer will be made available to all staff and volunteers, and displayed in all work areas / premises, along with the Safeguarding Reporting Procedure.

6.4 All staff, volunteers, and trustees must ensure their awareness of, and the role of, the relevant statutory agencies for dealing with safeguarding. Safeguarding concerns can be reported to Social Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and the relevant telephone numbers for Safeguarding Children and for Safeguarding Adults are displayed with safeguarding reporting procedures.Further information, contact details, and Kent and Medway Safeguarding Procedures can be found online at: www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/information-for- professionals/adult-safeguarding and/or www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/protecting-children

6.5 If any member of staff or a volunteer has reason to believe an adult or child is at immediate risk of serious harm/there is danger to life they must telephone emergency services – 999

6.6 Failure to report a concern of which one had knowledge of, or believed to be a safeguarding issue, is a serious neglect of our duty of care. As such, failure to report concerns or failure to follow identified procedures may result in disciplinary action being taken in accordance with Carers’ Support East Kent Disciplinary Procedure & Rules.

7. MANAGING REPORTED SAFEGUARDING CONCERNS

7.1 Once a safeguarding concern has been reported, the Safeguarding Officer will manage this and will liaise, as appropriate, directly with you, and with anyone else involved in the case as required. The Safeguarding Officer will instruct you as to any further actions that you need to undertake. An allocated worker will be designated for each safeguarding case and it is expected that the allocated worker be responsible and accountable for managing their own cases as instructed by the Safeguarding Officer.

7.2 The Head of Services and the senior management team will ensure that safeguarding management procedures are adhered to, with current safeguarding cases discussed regularly within the management team to ensure effective case management.

7.3 All safeguarding concerns reported to the Safeguarding Officer will be recorded on the safeguarding log. The log is used by the senior management team to provide a current summary of cases. The Chief Executive Officer and the Safeguarding Lead for the Board of Trustees have access to the safeguarding log. It is expected that the Chief Executive Officer will be informed of any serious significant concerns that the Safeguarding Officer or management team may have re: safeguarding.

7.4 According to the nature of concerns raised, a safeguarding investigation may need to be undertaken. All staff, volunteers and trustees are required to co-operate fully with any investigation required, including complying with any requirements made by statutory agencies.

7.5 Safeguarding will be discussed as an agenda item at all Board Meetings. This will be with reference to summarising of issues and concerns reported on the safeguarding log, or with reference to any action that the Board may need to take within the scope of safeguarding.

8. CONFIDENTIALITY

8.1 The need to report safeguarding concerns super-cedes the duty of confidentiality. All staff, trustees, volunteers, and stakeholders need to be aware that the right to confidentiality owed by the organisation to others cannot be upheld in cases where it is believed that harm to a child or adult may have occurred, be occurring, or is believed likely to occur.

8.2 In the event of any investigation taking place into possible safeguarding concerns, all staff, volunteers and trustees should be aware that the matter must not be discussed other than with those who hold responsibility for the managing of safeguarding.

9. AWARENESS OF THE SAFEGUARDING POLICY

9.1 Awareness in relation to this Policy is incorporated in the induction programme for all staff, trustees and volunteers.

9.2 This Policy must be read alongside the Safeguarding Reporting Procedure. Managers must ensure that they are also familiar with the Safeguarding Management Procedure.