Safeguarding Policy

Grant -A- Smile Safeguarding Children, Young People and Adults Policy

Children and adults with needs for care and support have the right to be safe accessing all services provided for them by Grant A Smile. Sick and vulnerable groups have a right to protection from all forms of abuse and mistreatment. This Policy sets out the roles and responsibilities of Grant A Smile in working together with other volunteers, professionals and agencies in promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults with needs for care and support and safeguarding them from abuse and neglect.

Grant A Smile has a duty to cooperate with the British Law and Local Government Authority. Grant A Smile also has responsibilities under Sections 27 and 47 of the Children Act 1989 and Sections 10, 11 and 13 of the Children Act 2004. These duties include keeping children and young people safe whilst carrying out all its functions and taking part in the work carried out by the local authorities. Grant A Smile also has a responsibility for the safeguarding and well-being of adults with needs for care and support and works with other statutory agencies to carry out this role.

Policy Statement
As part of Grant A Smile commitment to robust safeguarding, it has a Corporate Safeguarding Team. The team have the responsibility for ensuring that all volunteers and employees across the organisation are aware of the safeguarding policy and procedures.

Mission Statement
“Grant A Smile is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children, young people and adults with needs for care and support, as service users, residents and visitors to the area. Grant A Smile acknowledges the importance of working with partner agencies to ensure that children have safe, healthy and happy childhoods and that young people and adults with needs for care and support are given the support they need to enjoy the quality of life and well-being”.

This Mission Statement is underpinned by the following:
*valuing, listening to and respecting children, young people and adults as well as promoting their welfare and protection;
* provision of a current and comprehensive Safeguarding Policy and related Procedures which are accessible and promoted to all staff;
* strategic planning and decision-making which considers the impact on children, young people and adults with care and support needs.

In order to meet its safeguarding duties and responsibilities, Grant A Smile will:

* ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children, young people and adults with needs for care and support through the robust use of the organisation’s Recruitment and Induction Procedures and through Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking.
* provide training to staff appropriate to their level of involvement with children, young people and adults with needs for care and support to ensure that employees understand the different forms of abuse as well as their roles and responsibilities with regard to the relevant Grant A Smile policies and procedures.
* conduct regular reviews of safeguarding practice throughout the organisation.
* ensure that the welfare and needs of children, young people and adults with needs for care and support are considered by all Members (Board of Trustees), employees, volunteers and contracted services when making decisions in relation to service provision.
* take seriously and respond appropriately and expediently to all concerns, incidents and allegations.
* prevent abuse by promoting good practice amongst staff; creating a safe and healthy environment for children, young people and adults with needs for care and support and encourage a whistleblowing environment where staff feel confident and safe in reporting any concerns.
*work in partnership with other agencies in order to safeguard children, young people and adults with needs for care and support and share information where required and appropriate.
* undertake a complete review of safeguarding policies and procedures annually and in line with any changes in legislation.

This Policy and the accompanying Procedures apply to all services within the remit of Grant A Smile. It covers all aspects of safeguarding for service users, their families, carers and supporters, and local residents. It applies to all Grant A Smile employees, whether in a paid or unpaid capacity, permanent, seconded or temporary, casual workers, voluntary workers, work experience students, agency staff, consultants, outside hires and other contracted persons within the duration of that contract. This applies to work carried out in all settings (whether they are based in office premises, client homes or at an external privately hired venue) whatever their position, role, or responsibilities.

Abuse: The main categories of abuse are physical; sexual; psychological and emotional; financial and material; neglect and acts of omission; discriminatory; and organisational (institutional). Adult Safeguarding: An adult is someone who is over 18 years. The Care Act 2014 now defines Adult Safeguarding as ‘working with adults with care and support needs to keep them safe from abuse or neglect.’ It is an important part of what many public services do and a key responsibility of local authorities. Safeguarding is aimed at people with care and support needs who may be in vulnerable circumstances and at risk of abuse and neglect. In these cases, Grant A Smile must work together with local authorities to spot those at risk and take steps to protect them. Adults with needs for care and support are at risk of abuse in the same way as children and young people, but also in respect of
having property/money stolen or misused, being defrauded, or being put under pressure in relation
to their money or property. Children and Young People: The Children Act 1989 states the legal definition of a child is ‘a person under the age of 18’. This also includes pre-birth. Child Abuse is any form of physical, emotional,
sexual mistreatment, neglect or lack of care that leads to injury or harm to a child or young person.

Safeguarding: This term includes all forms of activity that aims to protect or promote the welfare of individuals and/or groups of people. This includes activity which ensures prevention of harm, safe recruitment, staff training, awareness raising and the provision of activities designed to promote inclusion, personalised risk management and risk assessments, confidential data storage, information sharing and referral.

Significant Harm: This is any physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect, accident or injury that is sufficiently serious to adversely affect health, development and quality of life. This includes any impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
All children, young people and adults with needs for care and support have the right to be protected from abuse regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, language, criminal history, immigration status, racial origin, religious belief, pregnancy/maternity status, location, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Children and adults who have a disability or come from a different ethnic or cultural group are quite often more likely to become victims of discrimination and prejudice. Any discrimination is harmful to person’s wellbeing and may mean that they don’t obtain the services they need to keep them safe.
Grant A Smile recognises there may be additional communication barriers for people with a disability or whose first language is not English and are committed to working jointly with external partners to help overcome these barriers. There are several legal or recognised definitions of ‘vulnerability’, related to factors such as homelessness, eligibility for assistance, safeguarding from abuse and direct payments of benefits.

For those whose first language is not English and are committed to working jointly with external partners to help overcome these barriers. There are several legal or recognised definitions of ‘vulnerability’, related to factors such as homelessness, eligibility for assistance, safeguarding from abuse and direct payments of benefits.
This Policy does not seek to replace established definitions but to promote a broad approach to identifying potential vulnerability in order to support customers as individuals and provide services and support in a manner appropriate to their needs.

Recognising abuse
Everyone should be aware of the potential indicators of abuse and bullying and be clear about what to do if they have concerns. However, it is not the responsibility of Grant A Smile to determine whether abuse is taking place. Any concerns, incidents or allegations must be raised with appropriate local authorities using the appropriate procedures without making any investigations or judgement. Responsibility for the implementation of this policy lies with all staff at all levels of Grant A Smile.

Grant A Smile, therefore, aims to ensure that every member of staff whether full-time, part-time, agency or voluntary are equipped with the knowledge and confidence to identify and deal effectively with any safeguarding situation or concern that arises.

The Leadership Team and Elected Members recognise the important role they play in ensuring the safeguarding agenda is driven across the whole organisation. They also understand Grant A Smile’s responsibility to work in partnership and share information with other agencies such as Social Care and the Police. This work includes Member representation on the Corporate Safeguarding Team, regard to safeguarding in meetings, dissemination of information through service teams and inclusion of safeguarding within service strategies and business plans.

All employees, volunteers and agency staff are responsible for complying with the requirements of
this Policy and Procedures or actions in place. Staff should take all reasonable steps to ensure (within
the context of their duties) that risks are minimised and that vulnerable people are protected and
their welfare promoted when using Grant A Smile services. To effectively implement this policy, all
employees have a responsibility to:

* be aware of, and abide by this Policy and accompanying Procedures.
* undertake safeguarding training at the level identified in respect of their work.
* ensure that they work in such a way that they do not place vulnerable people in a
position of risk.
* report any incidents of concern with respect to safeguarding to the person in charge
* co-operate with any risk assessment process undertaken by their manager or
designated person.
* ensure that they behave appropriately towards any children, young person or adult
with needs for care and support who they come into contact with whilst carrying out
their duties.
* seek advice as per the procedures in respect to any issues that they have concerning
safeguarding or the welfare of children, young people and adults with care and
support needs.

Safe Recruitment
It is a criminal offence for an employer not to undertake the appropriate checks on an employee
working with children, young people and adults with care and support needs, or to knowingly give a
job to someone who is inappropriate to work with these groups. Grant A Smile has adopted the
Essex Safeguarding Children Board’s Recruitment and Employment Standards and takes all
reasonable steps to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with vulnerable
groups, regardless of their position.
All job descriptions are risk assessed to identify which roles are likely to involve regular substantial
unsupervised contact with children and adults with care and support needs. For all new employees,
confirmation of employment will be dependent on satisfactory checks where appropriate.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Plus checks are sought where staff will have
unsupervised and substantial contact with children and young people or who will undertake certain
prescribed activities for adults with needs for care and support as part of their duties or

Employees have a duty to share information relating to suspected abuse with Social Care and the
Police. Employees must not discuss any allegations of abuse or bullying, substantiated or not:

(1) With anyone from Grant A Smile other than with their line manager and other designated members of staff as outlined in the Safeguarding Procedure.

(2) With any member of an external agency (excluding Social Care and the Police), other than as part of a formal investigation.

(3) with any other interested party, including parents, carers and relatives of the child, young person or adult without the express permission of the person with overall responsibility for the investigation.
This does not exclude the employee from the need or right to consult with a solicitor, trade union
representative or other bona fide legal adviser.

Grant A Smile has a formal complaints procedure for families who are unhappy if they feel the Grant A Smile has: not done something it should have done or agreed to do something but have been too slow to
act. The process enables the Grant A Smile to deal with families’ complaints as quickly and effectively as possible for a mutually satisfactory outcome. If families have a complaint, they are expected to write to Grant A Smile and we respond quickly to resolve the complaint.

Whistleblowing is the mechanism by which staff can voice their concerns, made in good faith,
without fear of repercussion. Staff should understand their individual responsibilities to bring
matters of concern to the attention of senior management and/or relevant external agencies, which
is particularly important where the welfare of children and young people may be at risk. All staff
should feel able to discuss with their line manager any difficulties or problems that may affect their
relationship with vulnerable people so that appropriate support can be provided or action can be
taken. Staff should:

* be familiar with methods for raising and recording concerns.
* take responsibility for recording any incident and passing on that
information to the relevant people within Grant A Smile in the appropriate manner.
* report any behaviour by colleagues which raises concern.
* discuss any concerns with their line manager if they believe a service is
being provided which may result in putting a child, young person or
adult with needs for care and support at risk.

Allegations against Staff or Members

Grant A Smile takes seriously any complaints made about the conduct of staff and volunteers in
respect of their contact with children, young people, families and adults with care and support
needs. This includes any person who works with children or adults that has, in any connection with
her/his employment, voluntary activity or in a personal capacity:
* behaved in a way that has, or may have harmed a child, young person or adult with needs
for care and support.
* possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a child, young person or adult
with needs for care and support, or; behaved in a way which indicated they are unsuitable
to work with children, young people or adults with care and support needs.
All allegations received by Grant A Smile will be investigated fully, and, where applicable, action will
be taken against the member of staff via the disciplinary procedure. If deemed necessary, the
member of staff will be re-deployed or suspended whilst the investigation takes place.
Support is routinely offered to all staff who are subject to an allegation. In the case of malicious or
unfounded allegations being made against a member of staff by a colleague in the organisation or a
member of the public, Grant A Smile will treat this very seriously and take any necessary action
accordingly. Safeguarding allegations against Elected Members or board of Trustees will be treated
the same way as an allegation against a member of the public. This will involve a referral to the police,
who will conduct a full investigation into any allegation made.
Safeguarding Reporting Procedures

Information Sharing
All staff and Members are responsible for keeping safeguarding information confidential, outside of
sharing this with appropriate officers within the organisation. Where staff becomes aware of any
issues relating to the protection of a vulnerable person, these concerns must be reported
immediately as per the Grant A Smile’s Safeguarding Procedures. Staff should report their concerns
directly to the social services. Information should not be shared with a third party and should always
be shared lawfully and ethically.
Information relevant to the protection of children, young people and adults with needs for care and
support will be about: their health and development and exposure to possible harm.
* a parent or carer who is unable to provide adequate care for them; or other individuals who may
present a risk of harm.
Care must be taken to ensure that the vulnerable person’s confidentiality is maintained and that
information is handled and shared on a need to know basis. Individuals must be confident that
information held about them by Grant A Smile will only be disclosed to others either with their
consent or when there is a legal duty to do so. Once a report has been made, the Safeguarding Team
will decide who to share the information with and this will depend on the following: the urgency of
the concern.
* if the concern relates to a disclosure by a child and young person, or adult with needs for care and

* if other services may come into contact with the vulnerable person, child or the child’s
* if advice is needed on a case which may require assessment for intervention.
The Government expects organisations to share information about individuals who may be at risk of
abuse as early as possible so that individuals can be protected. Withholding information may lead to
abuse not being dealt with in a timely manner.

No member of staff should assume that someone else will pass on information which they think
may be critical to keeping a vulnerable person safe. If they have concerns and believe a vulnerable
person is suffering or likely to suffer harm, then they should share the information. Staff have a duty
to share information related to suspected abuse, and consent is not required to breach
confidentiality and make safeguarding referrals where: a serious crime has been committed.
* the alleged perpetrator may go on to abuse other victims.
* the child, young person or adult is deemed to be at serious risk.
* there is a statutory requirement eg. Children’s Act, Mental Health Act and Care Standards Act.
* other adults with needs for care and support are at risk in some way.
* the public interest overrides the interest of the individual.
* when a member of staff of a statutory service, a private or voluntary service or a volunteer is the
person accused of abuse, malpractice or poor professional standards.
Often, it is only when information from a number of sources has been shared, collated and analysed,
that it becomes clear that a vulnerable person is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.
Risk Assessment
A risk assessment is an important part of protecting employees and families, as well as complying
with the law and should be integral to all planning processes. It helps identify risks that really matter
– the ones with the potential to cause real harm. The law does not expect the Grant A Smile to
eliminate all risk, but it is required to protect people as far as reasonably practicable.
All staff who work with vulnerable children, young people and adults with needs for care and
support should be aware of the risks and complete a risk assessment for any activities they develop
and deliver. This is simply a careful examination of what could cause harm to people, to ensure that
the appropriate measures are put in place to prevent this from happening.
* potential risks that they and other adults may face.
* if there are any risks to others.
Assessment of risk is dynamic and ongoing and should be reviewed throughout so that adjustments
can be made in response to changes in the levels and nature of risk.

Data Protection
All copies of the Safeguarding Report Form (the form used by staff to raise safeguarding concerns to
the Safeguarding Team) are retained on Grant A Smile’s secure database in accordance with data protection periods and as per the Retention of Records Policy. All copies of Referral Forms sent to
Social Care are retained by the Safeguarding Team in a secure location to ensure confidentiality. This
information is retained in accordance with data protection periods and no other copies are kept.

Monitoring and Review
This Policy will be reviewed annually by the Safeguarding Lead Officer unless legislation or processes
change in the interim. Monitoring mechanisms include:
* engagement with Grant A Smile Safeguarding Boards and subgroups.
* internal audits.
* recording of staff training at different levels.
* reporting to Grant A Smile Board of Trustees

Written November 2017

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