- 1. Definition
Safeguarding is a relatively new term which is broader than ‘child protection’ or ‘adult protection’ as it also includes prevention. Safeguarding has been defined as:
- All agencies working with children, young people and their families, or vulnerable adults taking all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to children’s welfare are minimised; and
- Where there are concerns about children or vulnerable adults welfare, all agencies taking appropriate actions to address those concerns
SeVA is aware that it has a duty to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse. Abuse can be defined as any behaviour which knowingly or unwittingly causes harm, endangers life or violates rights. Abuse may be physical, sexual, psychological, financial or material, or neglect.
It is possible that SeVA will become aware of actual or potential abuse when carrying out its work, and this Policy sets out SeVA’s commitments to protecting these groups from harm.
- 2. Key aims
SeVA believes that adults and children have rights and that these should be respected and safeguarded. SeVA is therefore committed to:
- Supporting and working in partnership with agencies tasked with protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse or harm.
- Having an appropriate staff and volunteer recruitment policy and procedure – ensuring that all staff and volunteers have been Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checked and that no-one has contact with our clients or their families before a satisfactory CRB report has been received. There is a separate CRB Check Policy in place.
- Making responsibilities regarding these issues clear to staff and volunteers delivering services where there may be issues affecting these groups
- Ensuring that all groups irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, nationality or economic status have the right to be protected from abuse
- Responding quickly and effectively to issues when they arise
- Sharing information appropriately and on a need to know basis. A separate Data Protection and Information Sharing Policy and guidelines sets out the procedures for this.
- 3. Key principles
The following key principles apply to this Policy:
- The welfare of children and vulnerable adults is the key concern – and the need to protect them from abuse will override any other principles
- It is the responsibility of everyone within the organisation to report any concerns that they have promptly and to the correct agencies
- The ethical framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy will apply (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy BACP) – and all reasonable attempts will be made to protect confidentiality and maintain a relationship of trust and openness between SeVA and its clients. It is recognised that there may sometimes be a conflict between the applicable principles within the BACP guidelines, and that it is not always possible to reconcile all the principles. In these circumstances the counsellor will consider all the relevant circumstances and ensure that they can justify decisions about sharing information that are made.
- Wherever possible, client consent will be sought prior to disclosing any information. Whether this is possible will be considered on a case by case basis – and consent may not be required where there are exceptional circumstances due to the urgency or seriousness of the situation.
- SeVA will comply with the Norfolk Safeguarding Children and Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Protocols and referrals procedures.
- 4. Who this policy affects
This Policy affects all staff, volunteers, trustees and clients.
- 5. Implementation
To implement this Policy SeVA will:
- Brief staff and volunteers on this Policy and related procedures
- Develop guidelines and procedures which will be available to staff and volunteers
- Provide training to staff and volunteers on this Policy and related procedures as required
- Work within the Norfolk Safeguarding protocols – applying these protocols when sharing or receiving information regarding a person (s) safety
- Promote the Policy to clients and other stakeholders
- Identify a lead staff member with responsibility for implementing this policy and overseeing the management of individual cases
- 6. Monitoring and Review
6.1 This Policy will be reviewed annually to ensure that it complies with legislative and regulatory requirements and best practice. It is subject to approval by SeVA trustees and will be put to the trustees for approval after each review.
6.2 Performance against the Policy will be monitored through:
- Discussions of safeguarding issues as part of the induction, regular one to one and group supervision processes
- Keeping statistical information regarding any issues that are reported – and reporting these to the Board annually
- 7. Related guidance, policy and procedures:
- CRB check Policy
- Data Protection and Information Sharing Policy and Guidelines
- Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP 2010)
- Norfolk Safeguarding Children Board Protocols and procedures
- Norfolk Safeguarding Adults procedures