The purpose of this policy is to inform Doncaster Chamber Staff of their responsibilities when working with children and vulnerable adults. A person can be considered to be vulnerable if they are “substantially dependent upon others in performing basic physical functions, or his ability to communicate with those providing services, or to communicate with others, is severely impaired, and, as a result, he would be incapable of protecting himself from assault or other physical abuse, or there is a potential danger that his will or moral well-being may be subverted or overpowered”. As a consequence Doncaster Chamber has taken the view that in the interests of good practice there should be a clear policy and associated practices to guide work with under-18s and vulnerable adults.
Doncaster Chamber believes that children, young people and vulnerable adults have rights as individuals and should be treated with dignity and respect. We will strive to provide a safe environment for any children, young people and vulnerable adults seeking support or whilst visiting us on our premises.
This policy and procedures are based on the following principles:
- The welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is of primary concern
- All children, young people and vulnerable adults, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and/or sexual identify have the right to safeguarding from abuse
- It is everyone’s responsibility to report any concerns about abuse to the CEO who will conduct, where appropriate an investigation.
- All incidents of alleged poor practice, misconduct and abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All personal data will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Definition of Abuse
Abuse is any behaviour towards a person that deliberately or unknowingly causes him harm, endangers life or violates their rights.
Abuse may be:
- Psychological – repeatedly being made to feel unhappy, humiliated, afraid or devalued by others
- Financial or material – stealing or denying access to money or possessions
- Discriminatory – abuse motivated by discriminatory attitudes towards race, religion, gender, disability or cultural background.
The Business & Education Manager’s role as the Safeguarding Officer is:
- To will receive information about events that are planned at the Chamber that may involve children, young people and vulnerable adults, and plans that indicate how safeguarding will be covered.
- To receive information from any staff, volunteers, children, parents or carers who have child safeguarding concerns and record it.
- Assess the information promptly and carefully, clarifying and obtaining more information about the matter as appropriate
- Consult initially with the appropriate safeguarding agency to test out any doubts or uncertainty
- Make a formal referral to a statutory child safeguarding agency or the police
- Record statements from any member of staff who feels that a young person has indulged in inappropriate behaviour or made sexually suggestive comments or approaches
- To record any allegations, over familiar or sexually suggestive comments or approaches made by a member of staff
All Doncaster Chamber staff are required to take shared responsibility for the safeguarding and safety of any children, young people and vulnerable adults on our premises.
All staff are in a position of trust, in particular those who offer business support and advice on a 1:1 basis. Such personnel will have been through the BPSS clearance checks with either a Disclosure Scotland or DBS check.
Code of good practice for staff
The following guidelines are intended to be a common sense approach that both reduce opportunities for the abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults help to protect staff, students and volunteers from any false allegation.
- Treat all children, young people and vulnerable adults with respect and respect their right to personal privacy
- Ensure that, whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities or that you are within sight or hearing of others
- Exercise caution when discussing sensitive issues with vulnerable adults
- Exercise caution in initiating any physical contact with a young person or vulnerable adults
- Operate within the guidance offered by this Code
- Challenge all unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations or suspicions of abuse
You should NOT
- Spend excessive time alone with children, young people and vulnerable adults away from others
- Take children, young people and vulnerable adults alone in a car journey, however short
- Take children, young people and vulnerable adults to your home
- Engage in physical or sexually provocative games including horseplay
- Allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
- Make over-familiar or sexually suggestive comments or approaches to a young person or vulnerable adult even as a ‘joke’
- Let allegations, over familiar or sexually suggestive comments or approaches made by a young person or vulnerable adult go unchallenged or unrecorded.
- Unchallenge or not record any allegations, over familiar or sexually suggestive comments
- or approaches made by a member of staff
- Do things of a personal nature that children, young people and vulnerable adults can do for themselves.
- Take photographs, videos or other images of children or young persons without the express permission of their parents and the CEO.
- Engage in any social media activity or electronic communications including email, texting regarding children or young persons without the express permission of their parents and the CEO.
Dealing with Complaints
Should Doncaster Chamber receive any complaints about unacceptable and/or abusive behaviour towards children, young persons or vulnerable adults we will seek guidance from Doncaster Safeguarding Children Boardand will treat each case with upmost importance and follow our disciplinary procedures.
Should you have any concern about safeguarding contact the Doncaster Children Services Trust on 01302 737777
NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000