We comply with the Procedures approved by The Local Safeguarding Children Board. We intend to create in our local community an environment in which children/young people/vulnerable adults are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to. In order to achieve this we will:
1. Exclude known abusers
It will be made clear to committee members that volunteering is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
All committee members/volunteers working closely with children/young people/vulnerable adults will be subject to an enhanced CRB clearance being obtained.
2. Seek and supply training
We will seek out training opportunities for all committee members/volunteers involved in the partnership to ensure that they recognise the symptoms of possible physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. All committee members/volunteers with significant contact with children/young people/vulnerable adults will attend at least the Introduction to Safeguarding Children training.
3. Prevent abuse by means of good practice
Committee members/volunteers will not be left alone with individual or small groups of children. All committee members/volunteers will remain visible at all times, if children are removed for any reasons doors will be left ajar.
Adults who have not had an enhanced CRB clearance will not undertake any personal care – taking children to the toilet.
Children will be encouraged to develop a sense of autonomy and independence through adult support in making choices and finding names for their own feelings and acceptable ways to express them. This will enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
4. Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse
The first concern will be the child/young person/vulnerable adult. Children/young people/vulnerable adult whose condition or behaviour has given cause for concern will be listened to, reassured and helped to understand that they themselves are valued and respected and have not been at fault.
Changes in behaviour /appearance will be investigated, immediately.
Parents will normally be the first point of reference, but if they are not in a position to allay any legitimate anxieties, the matter will be taken up with the Social Care Department.
In exceptional circumstance for example if sexual abuse is suspected, the Social Care Department may be the first point of contact.
All such suspicions and investigations will be confidential, and will only be shared with those who need to know. The people most commonly involved will be the reporting committee member/volunteer, safeguarding children/young people/vulnerable adult’s person and the chair of the partnership.
All suspicions will be immediately reported to the named Safeguarding Children/Young People & Vulnerable Adult person who is – Alison Glasgow.
If a committee member or volunteer is accused of any form of abuse, the safeguarding person will interview him/her immediately. The person accused may choose to attend the interview with a friend or colleague and to seek advice from a third party. The interview will usually be with the safeguarding person unless the allegation has been made against this person in which case the interview will be conducted by the chair of the Lostock Partnership Committee. The person whom the allegation has been made will be immediately informed and, and asked not to partake in any partnership activities whilst and investigation takes place. Investigations will be in line with The Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures and conducted in line with their policy. Confidential records will be kept of the allegation and of subsequent proceedings.
5. Keep Records
Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child’s/young person or vulnerable adult’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance a specific and confidential record will be made. The record will include in addition to name address age of the person, timed and dated observations describing objectively the person’s behaviour/appearance without comments or interpretation, reporting member of the committee/volunteer must stick to the facts and where possible record the person’s exact words the recorder must sign and date all records.
Such records will be kept in a separate file and will not be accessible to people other than the safeguarding person, chair of Lostock Partnership and other committee members strictly on a need to know basis.
6. Liaise with other bodies
Lostock Community Partnership operates in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the registering authority. Confidential records kept on children/young people/vulnerable adults about whom the partnership has concerns will be shared with the Social Care Department if the partnership feels that adequate explanations for the person’s condition have not been provided.
The partnership will maintain on going contact with the registering authority together with names addresses and telephone numbers of individual social workers to ensure that in an emergency the partnership and Social Care Department will work together in the best interests of the child/young person/vulnerable adult
Records will also be kept of the local NSPCC contact or other contacts as appropriate.
7. Support families
Lostock Community Partnership will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families/committee members and volunteers in the group.
Where abuse at home is suspected the partnership will continue to welcome the child and family while investigations proceed.
Confidential records kept on a child/young person will be shared with parents unless the child’s/young person’s safety would be put at risk by doing so.
With the proviso that the care and safety of the child/young person is paramount the partnership will do all in its power to support and work with the child’s/young person’s family.
Signed on behalf of Lostock Community Partnership
Lostock Community Partnership Chairperson