BDRS activities include working with vulnerable people. The purpose of this policy is to protect children and vulnerable adults and provide stakeholders and the public with the overarching principles that guide our approach in doing so.
The BDRS is committed to:
- Promoting a safe environment and culture.
- Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to persons under the age of 18 years, and vulnerable persons over the age of 18 years.
- Respond promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation.
- Care pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons.
The BDRS undertakes to:
- Safely recruit, train, and support all those with any responsibility for persons under the age of 18 years, and vulnerable adults over the age of 18 years, to have the confidence and skills to recognise and respond to abuse.
- Ensure appropriate insurance cover is in place for all activities involving children and adults undertaken under the auspices of the BDRS.
- Make available (for example on the website and in events information) the details of whom to contact if there are safeguarding concerns or support needs.
- Listen to and take seriously all those who disclose abuse.
- Take steps to protect children and adults when a safeguarding concern of any kind arises, while maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
- Ensure that health & safety policies and procedures and risk assessments are in place and that these are reviewed annually.
- Review the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy annually.
Safeguarding Policy Applicability
This safeguarding policy applies to anyone working on our behalf, including our charity trustees and other volunteers.
Partner organisations will be required to have their own safeguarding procedures that must, as a minimum, meet the standards outlined below, and include any additional legal or regulatory requirements specific to their work. These may, but are not limited to:
- Other UK regulators, if applicable, such as Ofsted or CQC.
- Other authorities, such as the DfES or NHS.
There may be other requirements or frameworks for those working overseas.
- Charity Commission guidance – working overseas.
- The International Child Safeguarding Standards.
- Keeping children safe online assessment tool.
Safeguarding should be appropriately reflected in other relevant policies and procedures.
Types of Abuse
Harm and risks you must be alert to, whether online or in person, include:
- sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation.
- criminal exploitation.
- a charity’s culture, which may allow poor behaviour and poor accountability.
- people abusing a position of trust they hold within a charity.
- bullying or harassment.
- health and safety.
- commercial exploitation.
- cyber abuse.
- discrimination on any of the grounds in the Equality Act 2010.
- people targeting your charity.
- data breaches, including those under General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
- negligent treatment.
- domestic abuse.
- physical or emotional abuse.
- extremism and radicalisation.
- forced marriage.
- modern slavery.
- human trafficking.
- female genital mutilation.
Reporting Safeguarding Concerns
If a crime is in progress, or an individual in immediate danger, call the police, as you would in any other circumstances.
If you are a beneficiary, or member of the public, make your concerns known to a member of our team, who will alert a member of the charity committee (preferably the DSL).
For members of the charity, make your concerns known to the appointed DSL. If you feel unable to do so, speak to another member of the committee.
The trustees are mindful of their reporting obligations to the Charity Commission in respect of Serious Incident Reporting and, if applicable, other regulator. They are aware of the Government guidance on handling safeguarding allegations.
Trustee Safeguarding Responsibilities
Responsibilities should be made clear and individuals provided with any necessary training and resources to enable them to carry out their role.
This safeguarding policy will be reviewed and approved by the committee annually.
A DSL and a deputy with be given responsibility for safeguarding the BDRS, including whistleblowing and ensuring diversity/equity. This will include a culture of respect, in which everyone feels safe and able to speak up.
The responsibilities of the DSL/deputy DSL are as follows:
- An annual review of safety, with recommendations to the committee.
- Receiving regular reports, to ensure this and related policies are being applied consistently.
- Providing oversight of any lapses in safeguarding.
- Ensuring that any issues are properly investigated and dealt with quickly, fairly and sensitively, and any reporting to the Police/statutory authorities is carried out.
- Leading the organisation in way that makes everyone feels safe and able to speak up.
- Ensuring safeguarding risk assessments are carried out and appropriate action is taken to minimise these risks, as part of our risk management processes.
- Ensuring, along with the chairperson, that all relevant checks are carried out in recruiting staff and volunteers.
- Planning programmes/activities to consider potential safeguarding risks, to ensure these are adequately mitigated.
- Ensuring that all appointments that require DBS clearance and safeguarding training are identified, including the level of DBS and any training required.
- Ensuring that a central register is maintained and subject to regular monitoring to ensure that DBS clearances and training are kept up to date.
- Listening and engaging, beneficiaries, staff, volunteers, and others and involving them as appropriate.
- Responding to any concerns sensitively and acting quickly to address these.
- Ensuring that personal data is stored and managed in a safe way that is compliant with data protection regulations, including valid consent to use any imagery or video.
- Making staff, volunteers, and others aware of:
- Our safeguarding procedures and their specific safeguarding responsibilities on induction, with regular updates/reminders, as necessary.
- The signs of potential abuse and how to report these.
The responsibilities of all trustees/committee members of the BDRS are:
To be aware of our procedures, undertake any necessary training, be aware of the risks and signs of potential abuse and, if you have concerns and report these immediately using the correct procedures.
Respecting children and young people
- Always listen to and respect children.
- Value and take children’s contributions seriously, actively involving them in planning activities wherever possible.
- Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy as far as possible.
- If you need to break confidentiality in order to follow child protection procedures, it is important to explain this to the child or young person at the earliest opportunity.
Diversity and inclusion
- Treat children and young people fairly and without prejudice or discrimination.
- Understand that children and young people are individuals with individual needs.
- Respect differences in gender, sexual orientation, culture, race, ethnicity, disability, and religious belief systems, and appreciate that all participants bring something valuable and different to the organisation.
- Challenge discrimination and prejudice.
- Encourage young people and adults to speak out about attitudes or behaviour that makes them uncomfortable.
- Promote relationships that are based on openness, honesty, trust and respect.
- Avoid showing favouritism.
- Be patient with others.
- Exercise caution when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people.
- Ensure your contact with children and young people is appropriate and relevant to the nature of the activity you are involved in.
- Ensure that whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people.
- If a situation arises where you are alone with a child or young person, ensure that you are within sight or can be heard by other adults.
- If a child specifically asks for or needs some individual time with you, ensure other committee members or volunteers know where you and the child are.
- Only provide personal care in an emergency and make sure there is more than one adult present, if possible, unless it has been agreed that the provision of personal care is part of your role and you have been trained to do this safely.
When working with children and young people, you must not:
- Allow concerns or allegations to go unreported.
- Take unnecessary risks.
- Develop inappropriate relationships with children and young people.
- Make inappropriate promises to children and young people.
- Engage in behaviour that is in any way abusive, including having any form of sexual contact with a child or young person.
- Let children and young people have your personal contact details (mobile number, email or postal address) or have contact with them via a personal social media account.
- Act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive.
- Patronise or belittle children and young people.
- Make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory, or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of children and young people.
Charity Commission – Online Safeguarding Procedures
We will identify and manage online risks by ensuring:
- Volunteers, staff, and trustees understand how to keep themselves safe online. You could use high privacy settings and password access to meetings to support this.
- The online services you provide are suitable for your users. For example, use age restrictions and offer password protection to help keep people safe.
- The services we use and/or provide are safe and in line with our code of conduct.
- Protect people’s personal data and follow GDPR legislation.
- We have permission to display any images on our website or social media accounts, including consent from an individual, parent, etc.
- Online concerns may be reported using this policy, or directed to a social media provider using their reporting process.
Safeguarding protocol/procedures specific to BDRS events
- The BDRS welcomes and encourages vulnerable persons to attend BDRS events. The BDRS strongly recommends that children and young people are always accompanied by a parent or carer. This is particularly the case when the event is accessible to members of the public. The BDRS will obtain the written consent of the parent/carer or other responsible adult to the participation of an unaccompanied child or vulnerable person in a BDRS event.
- During the event, each room with participants has a DBS-checked adult, and/or a responsible adult such as a BDRS committee member, in attendance for the session in that room. No session will involve a single adult with a single vulnerable or child person without others being present in the room.
- A DBS-checked BDRS safeguarding lead is to be present at the event.
- No member of BDRS staff may be individually in contact with a child or young person via social media.
- Physical contact by BDRS committee members with participants (particularly vulnerable persons or children/young people) is to be avoided.
- Should a participant confide in a committee member/volunteer, that person must make it clear to the participant that they cannot guarantee to keep anything in confidence should it involve any person’s health or welfare. Committee members/volunteers have a responsibility to report any such information to the DSL. Any incidents must be written down, signed, and dated, including (where possible) the time of any verbal conversations using the appropriate documentation which is provided for this purpose.
- No photo or video recordings may be taken without the subject’s express permission.
- Any person who becomes aware of a potential safeguarding issue or has a concern whilst attending a BDRS event should contact the BDRS safeguarding lead.
- When the event finishes, if an unaccompanied vulnerable person or child is to be picked up, this should be done by the responsible adult who gave their consent to that person’s participation. If a substitute is required, this must be pre-arranged with the DSL.
- Where a parent or other responsible adult of a vulnerable person or child intending to attend a BDRS event has questions about the BDRS approach to safeguarding these should be addressed to the BDRS DSL responsible for the event. Where appropriate, the BDRS can enable a parent or other responsible adult to attend an event with a participant who is a vulnerable person.
Approval and Review
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