Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play. Children’s welfare is paramount. Children who need help and protection deserve high quality and effective support
Parents and carers usually have primary care for their children, however professionals also have responsibility to protect, safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Other organisations with responsibility to safeguard children’s wellbeing may include educational, council, healthcare or charitable establishments.
The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 set out specific duties:
section 17 of the Children Act 1989 puts a duty on the local authority to provide services to children in need in their area, regardless of where they are found;
Section 47 of the same Act requires local authorities to undertake enquiries if they believe a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm.
The Director of Children’s Services and Lead Member for Children’s Services in local authorities are the key points of professional and political accountability, with responsibility for the effective delivery of these functions.
SAFA seeks to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect from harm those children and young people who participate in any activity of the organisation, wherever they take place. Our policy establishes the organisation’s position, role and responsibilities and clarifies what is expected of everybody involved within the organisation. It highlights the importance placed by SAFA in the protection of children and young people.
SAFA will ensure that:
The welfare of the child/young person is paramount and their needs are taken into consideration in all instances
All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
All staff (paid/unpaid) working in this organisation are aware and accept responsibility to discuss or report concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead within SAFA, who is the CEO.
SAFA have a clear procedure which is implemented when concerns arise.
We recognise the difference between harm and risk and we give our client’s space to explore what has happened, ensuring they are listened to empathically whilst we remain impartial to any information shared.
We allow our client to tell their side of the story in a safe environment where they are fully supported and listened to and ensure that they are the main lead in any decisions to take it further. The best interest of the client and hearing their feelings within the situation is paramount.
SAFA may also collaborate with other service providers such as Safe Guarding hub, schools, social workers and doctors to ensure the best outcome for the client.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Acts 1989 & 2004 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013
Safeguarding Team at SAFA:
Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy/MEMBER
Cindy Daltioni Helen Beech Dr Arabella Onslow
Safeguarding Lead (Deputy) Team Member
Do not hesitate to contact if you need support or guidance.
Child abuse can be Physical, Emotional, Neglect or Sexual abuse
Identification of child abuse is almost always arrived at through the piecing together of a number of factors. Therefore, abuse cannot be identified by ticking a check list.
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. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers);
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child. It may involve conveying to children that they are inadequate, worthless, unloved or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include 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.
It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children to feel frightened or in danger. It may involve exploitation or corruption of children.
Neglect or emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, but it may also occur alone.
Physical abuse may involve pushing, 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.
Sexual abuse: involves enticing or forcing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities. It may not involve violence and the child may not be aware of what is happening.
The activities may involve non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse.
They may also include physical contact, including non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching the outside of clothing or assault by penetration (for example genital/anal rape or oral sex)
Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate online abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education.
Some common signs that there may be something concerning happening in a child’s life include:
- changes in behaviour or personality
- Being withdrawn
- seeming anxious
- Being uncharacteristically aggressive
- Distances self from close relationships, lacks social skills or has few if any friends
- poor/unusual bond or relationship with a parent
- knowledge or awareness of adult issues inappropriate for their age
- running away or going missing
- Always choosing to wear clothes which cover their body.
These signs don’t necessarily mean that a child is being abused, there could be other things happening in their life which are affecting their behaviour.
You may also notice some concerning behaviour from adults who you know have children in their care, which makes you concerned for the child/children’s safety and wellbeing.
Identification of Child abuse is almost always arrived at through the piecing together of a number of factors. Therefore abuse cannot be identified by ticking a check list.
Reactions to disclosure
- You may realise there is abuse before the person talking to you does, as they may not understand that they are being, or have been abused and might not realise the severity of what they are telling you.
- Speaking out is not easy, so if someone confides in you it’s important that you listen carefully & compassionately. Be aware of your body language and tone of voice. Stay calm and try not to let the disbelief or shock you may feel show.
- Letting the person know that you are taking them seriously is critical. Assuring them that steps will be taken to prevent them from any further harm including taking into account their wishes and fears.
- It’s not your job to investigate, stick to the facts and explain next steps and what you are going to do.
A safeguarding concern may need to be referred to local authority children’s social care and this may be immediate if there is a concern that the child is currently suffering significant harm or is likely to do so.
Emergency Contact Numbers
|Social Services (out of hours||01228 526690|
|Social Services Children’s Team||01229 408000|
|Child Protection Duty Desk (Barrow)||01229 408054|
|Safeguarding Hub||0333 2401727|
|Police (24 hours)||999 or 101 (non-emergency number)|
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER FOR ADULT SOCIAL CARE
Keep Safe Plan
|GP name and number|
|Therapist’s name and number|
|Local hospital or emergency dept|
|Other phone numbers|
If I should begin to feel like hurting myself again, I will call one of the following people:
If I can’t get through to anyone, I will use the following strategies:
|Other helplines: Papyrus (youth helpline: 08000684141) CALM (males: 0800 58 58 58)|
Safeguarding of Adults
Safeguarding adults means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
The care act of 2014 requires that each local authority must make enquiries if it believes an adult is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect.
An enquiry should establish whether any action needs to be taken to stop abuse or neglect, and if so by whom.
An adult at risk is any person over 18 and at risk of abuse or neglect, who 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 himself or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation
The act aims to reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with support needs.
Individuals should be safeguarded and supported so that they have choices in how they choose to live their lives.
Confidentiality and Information Sharing Guidelines for SAFA:
It is important that staff are aware that all suspect cases of adult abuse are confidential and must only be shared on a need-to-know basis.
SAFA has clear boundaries of confidentiality which are explained to all clients at the initial assessment and clients will be required to sign the Client Confidentiality Agreement before therapy can take place.
Wherever possible, permission will be obtained from the adult before sharing personal information with third parties. In exceptional circumstances it may not be possible or desirable to obtain consent.
When a disclosure occurs, the recipient of the information should inform the adult about what will happen next. It is the staff’s responsibility to keep the adult informed of any action that has been taken and why.
If any member of staff is unsure what and to whom they may divulge information, they must contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead or a member of the Safeguarding Team.
The immediate and future safety and welfare of the adult is the priority.
The Government expects organization’s to share information about individuals who may be at risk of abuse. This is also stressed by the Safeguarding Adults (ADSS2005) framework for good practice. Identifying abuse as early as possible is paramount so that the individual can be protected.
Investigating and responding to suspected abuse or neglect requires close co-operation between a range of disciplines and organizations.
- Assess the situation
- Prioritize the safety and wellbeing of the individual
- Establish the individual’s views and wishes about the safeguarding issue and procedure
- Maintain evidence
- Follow procedures
- Remain calm and stay impartial
- Listen carefully and demonstrate understanding
- Inform the person if you are required to share the information, explain why
- Make a record of what the person has told you
Investigating and responding to suspected abuse or neglect requires the close co-operation between a range of disciplines and organizations.
Sharing the right information with the right people is fundamental to good practice in safeguarding adults.
Upon reaching the age of 18, no one else can take decisions on their behalf. If an adult is not competent to take their own decisions, professionals should share information that is in their ‘best interests’. The capacity to be able to give consent can be assessed by considering:
has the person got the ability or power to make a particular decision?
have they got the ability to understand and retain the information relevant to the decision?
will they be able to understand the reasonably foreseeable consequences of deciding one way or the other?
will they have the ability to communicate the decision they have come to.
Where a person lacks capacity they will need someone to represent them in their best interests.
The Local council work in line with the national six principles (which apply to all sectors in adult safeguarding work) to inform the way staff work with vulnerable adults. These are:
- Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.
- Prevention – it is better to take action before harm occurs.
- Proportionality – Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
- Protection – support and representation for those in greatest need.
- Partnership – local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
- Accountability – accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding
Categories of abuse and neglect can take many forms. Organizations and individuals should not be constrained in their view of what constitutes abuse or neglect, should be open-minded and always consider the circumstances of the individual case.
Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
Self–Neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surrounding and includes behaviour such as hoarding. It is important to consider capacity when self-neglect is suspected. Also consider how it may impact on other family members and whether this gives rise to a safeguarding concern.
Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
Domestic Violence – domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a perpetrator or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.
Discriminatory abuse – including discrimination on grounds of race, gender and gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
Sexual abuse – including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, exploitation, 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.
Some of the Signs to look out for:
- Quiet or withdrawn
- Aggressive or angry
- Looking unkempt, dirty or thinner
- Changes in character, such as helplessness, depressed or tearful
- Headaches, fatigue or stomach pain
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Bruising or broken bones
If you have concerns make contact using the below emergency contact details:
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel (during office hours): 0300 303 2704
- Tel (out of hours): 01228 526690
If there are concerns, it is likely to be better to consider sharing with a safeguarding organisation. Lessons learnt tell us that we might have a vital piece of information which provides a fuller picture of harm when shared with other agencies. It is better to share concerns and have them proven unfounded.