The Student Christian Movement recognises the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and adults. We acknowledge that children, young people and adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. We accept the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. We also concur with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. They have a right to be protected from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child”. The Trustees have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance. We are committed to building constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding.
The policy and attached practice guidelines are based on the ten Safe and Secure safeguarding standards published by ThirtyOne:Eight (formerly the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service).
The Trustees undertake to:
- endorse and follow all national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures, in addition to the international conventions outlined above.
- provide on-going safeguarding training for all staff, and volunteers where appropriate, and will regularly review the operational guidelines attached.
- ensure that the premises meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and all other relevant legislation, and that it is welcoming and inclusive.
- support the Safeguarding Coordinator(s) in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children and adults with care and support needs.
The Trustees agree not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations.
Recognising and responding appropriately to an allegation or suspicion of abuse
Understanding abuse and neglect
Defining child abuse or abuse against an adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm, or failing to prevent harm. Children and adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or adult.
In order to safeguard those involved with our organisation we adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and have as our starting point as a definition of abuse, Article 19 which states:
- Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
- Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.
Also, for adults the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with particular reference to Article 5 which states:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Detailed definitions and signs and indicators of abuse are included in the appendices to this policy, and should be read in conjunction with the policy. The category spiritual abuse has not currently been recognised in legislation, but the Trustees recognise that spiritual abuse may be a concern for some people and feel it is important to reflect what could happen in churches. In serious cases it may fall under other categories of abuse identified in legislation.
The Trustees are committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all staff, (and where appropriate, volunteers) developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone. All staff and volunteers will receive induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis.
The Trustees will also ensure that children and adults with care and support needs are provided with information on where to get help and advice in relation to abuse, discrimination, bullying or any other matter where they have a concern.
Responding to allegations of abuse
Under no circumstances should a staff member or volunteer carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Following procedures as below:
- The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse should report concerns as soon as possible to the Chief Executive Officer (hereafter the "Safeguarding Co-ordinator") tel no: 0121 426 4918 or email CEO@movement.org.uk, who is nominated by the Trustees to act on their behalf in dealing with the allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse, including referring the matter on to the statutory authorities.
- In the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, then the report should be made to the Deputy Co-ordinator, who is the Chair of Trustees at email@example.com. If the suspicions implicate both the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and the Deputy, then the report should be made in the first instance to ThirtyOne:Eight PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ. Telephone 0303 003 1111. Alternatively contact Social Services or the police.
- Where the concern is about a child the Safeguarding Co-ordinator should contact the Children’s Social Services. Where the concern is regarding an adult in need of protection contact Adult Social Services or take advice from ThirtyOne:Eight as above.
- The Safeguarding Co-ordinator may need to inform others depending on the circumstances and/or nature of the concern, for example the Chair of Trustees to log that a safeguarding concern is being dealt with, the Insurance company to log that there is a possibility of a serious incident concerning safeguarding or a Designated Officer (formerly LADO) if allegations have been made about a person who has a role with under 18’s elsewhere.
- Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with these procedures and kept in a secure place.
- Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Deputy should not delay referral to Social Services, the Police or taking advice from ThirtyOne:Eight.
- The Trustees will support the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy in their role, and accept that any information they may have in their possession will be shared in a strictly limited way on a need to know basis.
- It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the safeguarding agencies or seek advice from ThirtyOne:Eight, although the Trustees hope that members or staff of SCM will use this procedure. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency direct. We hope by making this statement that the Trustees demonstrate SCM’s commitment to effective safeguarding and the protection of all those who are vulnerable.
The role of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to statutory agencies who have a legal duty to investigate.
Detailed procedures where there is a concern about a child:
- Contact Children’s Social Services (or ThirtyOne:Eight) for advice in cases of deliberate injury, if concerned about a child's safety or if a child is afraid to return home.
- Not tell the parents or carers unless advised to do so, having contacted Children’s Social Services.
- Seek medical help if needed urgently, informing the doctor of any suspicions.
- For lesser concerns, (e.g. poor parenting), encourage parent/carer to seek help, but not if this places the child at risk of significant harm.
- Where the parent/carer is unwilling to seek help, offer to accompany them. In cases of real concern, if they still fail to act, contact Children’s Social Services direct for advice.
- Seek and follow advice given by ThirtyOne:Eight (who will confirm their advice in writing) if unsure whether or not to refer a case to Children’s Social Services.
- Contact the Children’s Social Services Department Duty Social Worker for children and families or Police Child Protection Team direct. They will NOT speak to the parent/carer or anyone else.
- Seek and follow the advice given by ThirtyOne:Eight if, for any reason they are unsure whether or not to contact Children’s Social Services/Police. ThirtyOne:Eight will confirm its advice in writing for future reference.
Detailed procedures where there is a concern that an adult is in need of protection:
Suspicions or allegations of abuse or harm including; physical, sexual, organisational, financial, discriminatory, neglect, self-neglect, forced marriage, modern slavery, domestic abuse
If there is concern about any of the above, Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:
- contact the Adult Social Care Team who have responsibility under the Care Act 2014 to investigate allegations of abuse. Alternatively ThirtyOne:Eight can be contacted for advice.
- If the adult is in immediate danger or has sustained a serious injury contact the Emergency Services, informing them of any suspicions.
If there is a concern regarding spiritual abuse, Safeguarding Co-ordinator will:
- Identify support services for the victim i.e. counselling or other pastoral support
- Contact ThirtyOne:Eight and in discussion with them will consider appropriate action with regards to the scale of the concern.
Allegations of abuse against a person who works with children/young people
If an accusation is made against a member of staff or a volunteer whilst following the procedure outlined above, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will need to liaise with Children’s Social Services in regard to the suspension of the staff member or volunteer, also making a referral to a designated officer formerly called a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
Allegations of abuse against a person who works with adults with care and support needs
The Care Act places the duty upon Adult Services to investigate situations of harm to adults with care and support needs. This may result in a range of options including action against the person or organisation causing the harm, increasing the support for the carers or no further action if the ‘victim’ chooses for no further action and they have the capacity to communicate their decision. However, this is a decision for Adult Services to decide, not SCM.
The Trustees will ensure all staff and volunteers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment. This includes ensuring that:
- There is a written job description / person specification for the post
- Those applying have completed an application form and a self declaration form
- Those short listed have been interviewed
- Safeguarding has been discussed at interview
- Written references have been obtained, and followed up where appropriate
- A disclosure and barring check (DBS) has been completed where necessary (we will comply with Code of Practice requirements concerning the fair treatment of applicants and the handling of information)
- Qualifications where relevant have been verified
- A suitable training programme is provided for the successful applicant
- The applicant has completed a probationary period
- The applicant has been given a copy of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and knows how to report concerns.
Management of Staff – Codes of Conduct
The Trustees are committed to supporting all staff and ensuring they receive support and supervision. All staff have been issued with a Staff Handbook which contains a code of conduct towards children, young people and adults with care and support needs.
As an organisation working with children, young people and adults with care and support needs we wish to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable staff and volunteers to run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false or unfounded accusation.
As well as a general code of conduct for workers we also have specific good practice guidelines for every activity we are involved in and these will be developed.
The Trustees resolved to approve and implement this policy on 8th June 2019
APPENDIX - 1
Leadership Safeguarding Statement
The Trustees of the Student Christian Movement recognises the importance of its ministry with children and young people and adults in need of protection and its responsibility to protect everyone entrusted to our care.
We are committed to creating and enabling a healthy culture in order to minimise any coercion and control within our organisation.
The following statement was agreed by the leadership/organisation on 8th June 2019.
The Student Christian Movement is committed to the safeguarding of children and adults with care and support needs and ensuring their well-being.
- We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children and young people (those under 18 years of age) and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
- We believe every child should be valued, safe and happy. We want to make sure that children we have contact with know this and are empowered to tell us if they are suffering harm.
- All children and young people have the right to be treated with respect, to be listened to and to be protected from all forms of abuse.
- We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, psychological, financial and discriminatory abuse and neglect of adults who have care and support needs and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
- We recognise the personal dignity and rights of adults who find themselves victims of forced marriage or modern slavery and will ensure all our policies and procedures reflect this.
- We believe all adults should enjoy and have access to every aspect of the life of the place of worship/organisation unless they pose a risk to the safety of those we serve.
- We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of all those who will work with children and adults with care and support needs.
- We believe in the necessity of creating a healthy culture in our church where the value of all people is recognised and challenges are responded to appropriately.
- We are committed to:
- Following the requirements for UK legislation in relation to safeguarding children and adults and good practice recommendations.
- Respecting the rights of children as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Implementing the requirements of legislation regarding people with disabilities.
- Ensuring that workers adhere to the agreed procedures of our safeguarding policy.
- Keeping up to date with national and local developments relating to safeguarding.
- Following any denominational or organisational guidelines in relation to safeguarding children and adults in need of protection.
- Supporting the Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children/adults with care and support needs.
- Ensuring that everyone agrees to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this place of worship/organisation.
- Supporting parents and families.
- Nurturing, protecting and safeguarding of children and young people.
- Supporting, resourcing, training, monitoring and providing supervision to all those who undertake this work.
- Supporting all in the place of worship/organisation affected by abuse.
- Adopting and following the ‘Safe and Secure’ safeguarding standards developed by ThityOne:Eight (formerly the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service).
We recognise that:
- Children’s Social Services (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a child. Adult Social Care (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about an adult with care and support needs.
- Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed then the police should be contacted as a matter of urgency.
- Where working outside of the UK, concerns will be reported to the appropriate agencies in the country in which we operate, and their procedures followed, and in addition we will report concerns to our agency’s headquarters.
- Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
We will review this statement and our policy and procedures annually.
If you have any concerns for a child or adult with care and support needs then speak to one of the following who have been approved as Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) for the organisation: Naomi Nixon (Chief Executive Officer)
A copy of the full policy and procedures is available from the SCM office.