SAFEGUARDING / SAFEGUARDING POLICY & PROCEDURES
The whole aim of an organisation having policies and procedures in place is to demonstrate the organisation’s values and commitment in a particular area and provide guidance for staff / volunteers / children / parents / carers about what to do in specific circumstances. Within the area of Safeguarding it is vital that all staff and volunteers know what to do if they are concerned about a child. It is equally important that parents / carers and young people themselves are aware that the organisation takes the safety and welfare of children / young people into consideration in every activity that is undertaken.
Sports Alive is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people. It recognises its responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. Sports Alive acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse. Paid staff and volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos, which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.
In implementing this Safeguarding policy Sports Alive will:
- Ensure that all workers understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation;
- Ensure that all workers understand their responsibility to work to the standards that are detailed in the organisation’s Safeguarding Procedures and work at all times towards maintaining high standards of practice
- Ensure that all workers are aware of Liverpool Safeguarding Children Board interagency safeguarding procedures and are confident in how to work within these guidelines.
- Ensure that all workers understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child or young person, or a worker’s conduct towards a child / young person, to the organisation’s named person for Safeguarding;
- Ensure that the named person understands his / her responsibility to refer any Safeguarding concerns to the statutory Safeguarding agencies (i.e. Police and / or Children and Young People’s Social Care);
- Ensure that any procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner;
- Provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge, particularly in relation to the welfare and protection of children and young people;
- Ensure that children and young people are enabled to express their ideas and views on a wide range of issues and will have access to the organisation’s Complaints Procedure;
- Ensure that parents / carers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the organisation and have access to all guidelines and procedures;
- Keep up to date with national developments relating to the welfare and protection of children and young people. Safeguarding POLICY STATEMENT Sports Alive believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people. We recognise that:
- The welfare of the child / young person is paramount
- All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
- Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare. The purpose of the policy:
- To provide protection for the children and young people who use Sports Alive services, including the children of adult members or users.
- To provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.
- This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of Sports Alive. We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
- Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- Adopting Safeguarding guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- Sharing information about Safeguarding and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
- Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
- Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.
1. Safeguarding Guidelines And Procedures
Sports Alive is a youth organisation providing activities and programmes for young people between the ages of 4 and 18. Sports Alive is committed to the welfare and protection of all children and young people partaking in Sports Alive activities. The purpose of our Safeguarding policy is to ensure that all concerns about the care and protection of children / young people are effectively managed. These procedures have been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of any child and / or young person who access the services provided by Sports Alive. The procedures recognise that Safeguarding can be an emotive subject and understand that some workers may find it a challenging area. However, it is important that staff and volunteers respond appropriately to a Safeguarding
incident and are aware of their responsibilities. Sports Alive is committed to the belief that protecting children and young people is everybody’s responsibility and that these guidelines will enable all workers and volunteers to act appropriately to any concerns that arise in respect of a child / young person.
Staff Code of Conduct
All staff (paid and voluntary) are expected to adhere to a code of conduct regarding contact with members and their families / carers. Children will be treated with respect and dignity. Whilst it would be unrealistic and undesirable to preclude all physical contact between adults and children, staff are expected to exercise caution and avoid placing themselves in a position where their actions might be open to criticism or misinterpretation. Where incidents occur which might otherwise be misconstrued or where it becomes necessary to physically restrain a member for their own or others’ safety, this will be appropriately recorded and reported to senior staff and parents. Wherever possible, First Aid should only be administered by qualified first aiders. If it is necessary for the child to remove clothing for this treatment, there should wherever possible be another adult present. If a child needs help with toileting, nappy changing or washing after soiling themselves, another adult should be present or within earshot. If a male member of staff is providing any form of intimate care, a female colleague will be present. All first aid treatment and non-routine changing or personal care will be recorded. A list of first-aiders should be made available in Adlam park activity centre’s office. For their own safety and protection, staff should exercise caution in situations where they are alone with members. The door to the room in which the counselling or meeting is taking place should be left open. Where this is not practicable because of the need for confidentiality, another member of staff will be asked to maintain a presence nearby and a record will be kept of the circumstances of the meeting. Sports Alive staff should also be alert to the possible risks, which might arise from contact with members outside of the centre. Home visits to members should only take place with the knowledge and approval of management. Visits / telephone calls by members to the homes of staff members should only occur in exceptional circumstances and with the knowledge and approval of senior
staff / management in order that they may activate appropriate procedures.
2.Children’s Act: Law and Policy
There are several laws and government policies, which contribute to safeguarding children and
policy. These are:
The Children Act 1989 – this law defines ‘children in need’ and introduces the term ‘significant harm’ which is the benchmark for Safeguarding.
The Education Act 2002 – this sets out duties and responsibilities for schools in safeguarding children.
Every Child Matters 2004 – this introduced the ‘five outcomes’ for all children in the UK:
1) Being healthy
2) Staying safe
3) Enjoying and achieving
4) Making a positive contribution
5) Economic well being
The Children Act 2004 – this followed on from the Victoria Climbie Inquiry. The Act was created with a certain set of goals. Its primary purpose was to give boundaries and help for local authorities and/or other entities to better regulate official intervention in the interests of children.
The Children and Families Act 2014– this act came into force on April 2014. It seeks to improve services for vulnerable children and support strong families. It underpins wider reforms to ensure that all children and young people can succeed, no matter what their background. Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 & 2010– this is national guidance for all professionals and practitioners giving guidance on safeguarding children roles and responsibilities, procedures and timescales.
3. Recognising The Signs And Symptoms Of Abuse
As defined by ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2006
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006’ The following provides a guide to some of the common injuries found in the physical abuse of a child. Whilst some injuries may appear insignificant in themselves, repeated minor injuries, especially in very young children, may be symptomatic of physical abuse. It can sometimes be difficult to recognise whether an injury has been caused accidentally or none accidentally, but it is vital that all concerned with children are alert to the possibility that an injury may not be accidental, and seek appropriate expert advice.
Examples which may indicate physical abuse include:
(this is not designed to be used as a checklist)
- patterns of bruising, including inconsistencies of stories as to how bruising or injuries occurred
- finger, hand or nail marks, black eyes bite marks
- round burn marks, burns and scalds
- lacerations, wealds
- bald patches
- symptoms of drug or alcohol intoxication or poisoning
- unaccountable covering of limbs, even in hot weather
- fear of going home or parents being contacted
- fear of medical help
- fear of changing for PE
- inexplicable fear of adults or over compliance
- violence or aggression towards others including bullying
- isolates him/herself from peers Emotional Abuse Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. This may include:
- conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only
- insofar as they meet the needs of another person.
- feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children
- interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction
- seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another – this is particularly relevant in respect of domestic violence.
- serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006’ Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the symptoms are usually behavioural rather than physical. The indicators of emotional abuse are often also associated with other forms of abuse.
Examples of behaviour which may indicate emotional abuse include: (this is not designed to be used as a checklist)
- over-reaction to mistakes, continual self-deprecation
- delayed physical / mental / emotional development
- sudden speech disorders, elective mute / deaf
- inappropriate emotional responses, fantasies
- neurotic behaviour, rocking, banging head, regression, tics and twitches
- self-harming, drug or solvent abuse
- fear of parents being contacted
- running away, compulsive stealing
- appetite disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia
- soiling, smearing faeces, enuresis
- a child scapegoated within the family
- frozen watchfulness, particularly in pre-school children
- low self-esteem and lack of confidence
- withdrawn or seen as a ‘loner’ – difficulty relating to others Sexual Abuse Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This may include:
- activities of a sexual nature which may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts.
- activities of a sexual nature which may include non-contact activities, such as involving
- children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual on-line images, watching sexual
activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. ‘Working
Together to Safeguard Children 2006’
Children of both genders and of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say
anything due to guilt and/or fear. This is particularly difficult for a child to talk about and full account
should be taken of the cultural sensitivities of any individual child / family.
Recognition can be difficult, unless the child discloses and is believed. There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional or behavioural. Examples of behaviour which may indicate sexual abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist)
- sexually explicit play or behaviour or age inappropriate knowledge
- anal or vaginal discharge, soreness or scratching
- the presence of sexually transmissible infections
- truancy, lateness, reluctance to go home
- inability to concentrate, tiredness
- refusal to communicate, selective mutism
- thrush or other throat infections
- persistent complaints of stomach disorders or pain
- eating disorders such has anorexia nervosa and bulimia
- attention seeking behaviour, self-mutilation, substance abuse
- aggressive behaviour including sexual harassment or molestation
- unusually compliant
- regressive behaviour
- enuresis, soiling
- frequent or open masturbation, touching others inappropriately
- depression, withdrawal, isolation from peer group
- reluctance to undress for PE or swimming
- bruises, scratches etc in genital area
does not trust familiar or particular adults
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and / or psychological needs,
likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.
Neglect may occur:
- during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse
- if a parent or carer fails to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
- if a parent or carer fails to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
- if a parent or carer fails to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
- if a parent of carer fails to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
- as a result of unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006’ Neglect can be difficult to identify as it often relates to long standing shortcomings on the part of parents or carers rather than a single abusive incident. It is not uncommon for the level of care provided to change from inadequate to adequate and back again. Neglect is not always intentional; sometimes a parent’s own condition or circumstances, such as physical and learning disabilities, can lead to the neglect of their child. Examples which may indicate neglect include: (this is not designed to be used as a checklist)
- tiredness and listlessness
- child dirty and unkempt
- poorly or inappropriately clad for the weather
- poor school attendance and often late for school
- poor concentration
- poor home conditions
- affection or attention seeking behaviour
- untreated illnesses / injuries
- pallid complexion
- stealing or scavenging compulsively
- failure to achieve development milestones e.g. growth, weight
- failure to develop intellectually or socially
- neurotic behaviour The organisation advises that all staff need to familiarise themselves with the definitions above. Sports Alive will ensure that staff members, whether paid or unpaid, undertake training to gain a basic awareness of the signs and symptoms of child abuse.
4.Named Person(s) For Safeguarding
Every organisation that works with children or young people should have in place a named person who is responsible for dealing with Safeguarding issues that may arise. A deputy must be made available in their absence. These individuals must be trained in Safeguarding and their responsibilities clearly stated within your procedures.
Sports Alive has an appointed individual who is responsible for dealing with any Safeguarding concerns. In their absence, a deputy will always be available for workers to consult with.
The named persons for Safeguarding within Sports Alive are:
Safeguarding Officer: Nikki Jones
Mobile number: 07545241551
Deputies: Ryan Manville
Mobile number: 07717523938
The role and responsibilities of the named person(s) are:
- To ensure that all staff are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they are concerned that a child / young person may be subject to abuse or neglect.
- Ensure that any concerns about a child / young person are acted on, clearly recorded, referred on where necessary and, followed up to ensure the issues are addressed.
- The Named Person(s) will record any reported incidents in relation to a child/ young
- person or breach of Safeguarding policies and procedures. This will be kept in a secure place and its contents will be confidential. 5. What To Do If You Are Worried About A Child Sports Alive recognises that it has a duty to act on reports or suspicions of a child at risk and believes that the safety of the child should override any doubts, hesitations, or other considerations (such as the potential to have a negative impact on professional relationships with a family). When worrying changes are observed in a child’s or young person’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, staff will:
- Initially find a quiet place to talk to the child / young person about what you are observing.
- It is okay to ask questions, for example: “I’ve noticed that you don’t appear yourself today, is everything okay?” But never use leading questions.
Listen carefully to what the young person has to say and take it seriously
Never promise to keep a secret. Always explain to the child / young person that any
information they give will have to be shared with others if it indicates that they, and / or
other children, are at risk of harm.
Stages Of Action To Follow If A Child Makes A Disclosure
The actions that a member of staff should take can be divided into three stages:
Stage 1: Dealing with the disclosure as it happens; ensuring that the child’s immediate needs are met and that they feel supported.
Stage 2: Ensuring that the designated member of staff is immediately informed.
Stage 3: Ensuring that details are recorded as soon as possible; that they feel satisfied that the disclosure has been followed up and is acted upon appropriately.
When a disclosure is made to a member of staff it is most important that they understand that they
do not have to investigate the disclosure themselves. The disclosure must always be taken seriously
and dealt with according to procedures even if the truth of the disclosure is uncertain.
The member of staff should:
- Listen to the child / young person, keeping calm and offering reassurance.
- Observe visible bruises and marks but not ask a child to remove or adjust their clothing to observe them.
- Allow the child to lead the discussion and to talk freely if a disclosure is made.
- Listen to the child without investigating.
- Avoid using questions such as ‘Is there anything else you’d like to tell me?’
- Accept what the child / young person says without challenge.
- Reassure them that they are doing the right thing in telling and that they recognise how hard it is for them to tell. They should not:
- Press for details by asking questions such as ‘What did they do next?’
- Lay blame or criticise either the child or the perpetrator.
- Ask the child to repeat what they said to a colleague.
Promise confidentiality – but they should explain that the child has done the right thing and
who will need to be told and why.
As soon as possible, once the immediate comfort and safety of the child is secured, the member of
staff should inform the Designated Person of the disclosure. If the DP is not available, then their
deputy or the most senior member of staff available should be informed.
The designated person(s) will take immediate action if there is a suspicion that a child has been abused or likely to be abused. In this situation the DP will contact the police and / or Social Services. The DP may ask staff member to call careline for advise and then follow up with referral form. The member of staff who knows the information with regards to disclosure is the best placed person to do follow up with support from DP. NB: Parents / carers will need to be informed about any referral to Children & Young people’s Social Services unless informing the parent / carer would place the child at an increased risk of harm. Stage 3 The member of staff receiving the disclosure should note down details as soon as possible. What is clearly etched at the time can become blurred after a few hours. Staff should understand that it is vital that they make clear and concise notes soon after the disclosure in order to complete a more detailed record and incident sheet later. Immediate notes should include:
- date and time
- place and context of disclosure or concern
- important facts provided, e.g. names mentioned. Wherever possible, staff should record information as it was told to them using the language of the child rather than their own interpretation of it. In the case of bruises or observed injuries a body map (a drawing of a body outline, upon which the location of bruises/injuries can be indicated)
might be completed. Any records should be copied to the designated person and will be used by them during the referral process.
It is important that staff are instructed to report factual information rather than assumption or interpretation. They might convey their intuitive thoughts but these should be recognised as such and should not form part of the record.
Liverpool Social Services Contact Info:
Careline number is: 0151 233 3800 open 24hours.
The named person can also seek advice and clarity about a situation that is beginning to raise concern through the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
6.Managing Allegations Made Against A Member Of Staff Or Volunteer
Sports Alive will ensure that any allegations made against members or a member of staff will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with these procedures:
- Senior staff / management must ensure that that the child is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made.
The named person for Safeguarding should be informed immediately. In the case of an
allegation involving the named person, alternative arrangements should be sought to ensure
that the matter is dealt with by an independent person. (Note: this could be a committee
member, director or anyone within the organisation that is in a senior position and believed
to be independent of the allegations being made).
The individual who first received / witnessed the concern should make a full written record
of what was seen, heard and / or told as soon as possible after observing the incident /
receiving the report. It is important that the report is an accurate description. The named
person (if appropriate) can support the worker during this process but must not complete
the report for the worker. This report must be made available on request from either the
police and / or Children and Young People’s Social Care. Regardless of whether a police and / or Children and Young people’s Social Care investigation follows, Sports Alive will ensure that an internal investigation takes place and consideration is given to the operation of disciplinary procedures. This may involve an immediate suspension and / or ultimate dismissal dependant on the nature of the incident. 7.Management and Supervision Of Staff / Volunteers Sports Alive is committed to the appropriate management and supervision of staff and / or volunteers working with children and or young people to ensure that appropriate lines of accountability are in place with respect to work with children and young people.
- Staff will receive regular supervision meetings in line with the organisation’s supervision policy. These will be recorded and the notes agreed by both parties.
- When a member of staff is involved in a Safeguarding incident this will be reviewed within supervision i.e. recordings, assessments, monitoring arrangements etc and decisions relating to the level of involvement will be taken by the appropriate officer / member within the organization.
- When a member of staff is a member of a Safeguarding core group, working with a child who is subject to a Safeguarding plan, supervision will occur at a minimum of monthly intervals and discussion of the case will be a standing agenda item.
• Supervisors will ensure that information about children is appropriately shared with other organisations and that they will be informed if work ceases with a child when other organisations are involved.
8. Interagency Safeguarding Procedures.
Sports Alive adheres to the Liverpool Interagency Protocol for Sharing Information. A copy of this document can be found in Appendix 1.
9. Safe Recruitment
Sports Alive is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. Safer recruitment practice includes verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and DBS checks Nikki Jones and Ryan Manville have attended Safe Recruitment Workshops delivered by Liverpool Local Children Safeguarding Board.
10. Recording and Managing Confidential Information.
In Sports Alive, staff and managers can be said to have a ‘confidential relationship’ with families. It is
our intention to respect the privacy of children and their parents and carers, while ensuring that
they access high quality services for children / young people.
We aim to ensure that all parents and carers can share their information in the confidence that it will only be used to enhance the welfare of their children. There are record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; means of storing and sharing that information take place within the framework of GDPR and the Human Rights Act.
• For a summary of the organisation’s commitment to manage confidential information safely, how information is stored and, the circumstances under which information needs to be shared – see Appendix 3 (Data Protection)
11.Disseminating / Reviewing Policies and Procedures
Sports Alive staff will highlight any concerns about specific children / young people and report these to senior staff / management. Where necessary, the information will be passed on to the Safeguarding officer for further investigation. Safeguarding policies will be reviewed annually by management and the Safeguarding officer and amended / updated accordingly and signed by the charity chairman and nominated Safeguarding officer(s). Should legislation change before the scheduled review, the policy will be updated accordingly. All changes / amendments will be clarified and shared with staff and will be displayed in the Safeguarding policy for public viewing by carers, parents and young people within the reception area of the building and on the organisation’s website.