HRGB SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION INTRODUCTION AND POLICY
Safeguarding, child protection and promoting the welfare of children and adults at risk can be defined as:
- protecting them from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of their health or development;
- ensuring that they live in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
- taking action to enable them to have the best outcomes.
Safeguarding is what adults do, particularly but not exclusively those with responsibility for vulnerable persons, to “look out for” those in their care – being alert to what they are doing and saying and whether they are safe – and to take steps to reduce any risk. It’s an active state of mind.
The Trustees and officers of HRGB (“the Society”) are clear that it is everyone’s responsibility to help other people to feel safe, especially those who are at risk in any way. However, they acknowledge their particular obligation to establish the Society’s policy and lead its procedures designed to protect and safeguard the well-being of children, young people and adults at risk who may be members of the Society or present at Society events.
They place great value on children and young people (anyone under the age of 18 years) in addition to adults as members of the organisation and are committed to promoting a safe environment in which they may enjoy the activities of the Society.
An important aspect of the fabric of a Society whose members value the social aspects of membership is that we are alert to the well-being of our fellow-members, particularly if they appear to be behaving differently, or stressed. If a fellow-member is in distress for any reason we should try to listen and support.
(Added April 2023) Trustees recognise that there is simply no place for bullying and harassment within the Society, or at public events organised by the Society. They also recognise that bullying and harassment can take place in many ways, including face-to-face, private written communication and the use of social media. Those concerned about bullying or harassment should take their concerns directly to an appropriate safeguarding officer or trustee.
This policy and the accompanying guidelines relate to events and activities which are managed by HRGB. At these events, people meet only briefly and are unlikely to be able to draw clear conclusions about another person’s safety, but HRGB encourages all its members to be alert to the following indicators:-
- Any form of abuse, including verbal, physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect;
- Bullying, including cyberbullying and initiation rituals (for example, theft of someone’s property);
- Grooming and exploitative behaviour.
HRGB encourages its member teams to establish their own policies and good working practice relating to Safeguarding and Child Protection children and vulnerable adults.
Legislation and statutory procedures in different countries of Great Britain are different but despite differences in statutory procedures, it is important to note that HRGB’s policy and internal procedures relating to safeguarding and child protection are the same across Scotland, Wales and England. Reporting procedures and the details of gaining a disclosure certificate (DBS or PVG check) are different in England and Scotland.
England and Wales
The legislative framework in place in England and Wales to safeguard children and adults at risk works through The Children Act 1989 (as amended by section 53 of the Children Act 2004) and the Safeguarding and Child Protection Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. There is a wide range of advice and guidance from the government and from voluntary sector organisations such as the NSPCC. Key guidance includes “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (DFE 2015 and 2018).
In Scotland the legislative framework consists of The Children (Scotland) Act 1995, The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, The Adult Support and Protection Act 2007 and The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. The national approach is described in “Scotland is Getting it right for every child” (Scottish Government, 2015) and key guidance for those working with children is the “National guidance for child protection in Scotland” (Scottish Government, 2014).
Statutory guidance relating to children applies to all young people up to the age of 18.
In being alert to the safety of children and adults at risk, and addressing possible child protection issues, HRGB members might consider borrowing a course of action from the British Transport Police: “See it, say it, sorted!”
- “See it” (or “hear it”): if you become aware from what you see or hear that a young person or adult at risk feels unsafe, don’t ignore it.
- “Say it”: talk to whoever is responsible for the young person, or to a friend of the adult at risk, or whoever is most likely to be able to sort it out, or do something constructive.
- “Sorted”: you have done what you needed to do.
Detailed procedures have been drawn up to support the implementation of the policy which are included in this section of the HRGB website.
It is HRGB policy to:-
- Promote and prioritise the safety and well-being of children and adults at risk.
- Provide as safe an environment as possible at HRGB events; to that end:
- ensure that event organisers have names and contact details of attendees;
- encourage handbell team leaders nationally, whose teams include children and young people, to hold a disclosure certificate or ensure that one of their team members does so;
- ensure that there is a named Safeguarding and Child Protection Lead at all HRGB-organised events which are open to children.
- (Added April 2023) Ensure that bullying and harassment have no place within HRGB or at public events organised by HRGB
- Ensure that, as much as possible, all members understand their responsibilities in respect of Safeguarding and Child Protection. Remind members regularly that:-
- we all have a responsibility to help other people to feel safe, especially those who are vulnerable in any way.
- if they see or hear anything that suggests that a child, young person or adult is at risk in any way, it is their responsibility to tell the event organiser or an HRGB officer.
- Provide safeguarding and child protection learning opportunities for specific officers and members with relevant responsibilities, and for any members of the Society who wish to be better informed.
- Follow agreed procedures to minimise and manage the risks of young people and adults at risk being unsafe at HRGB events.
- Be respectful of others’ right to privacy where possible, keeping to a minimum the number of officers who are aware of specific risks, but being clear that our duty to safeguard and protect young people and adults at risk is paramount.
- Ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents or concerns of abuse and that support is provided to those who raise or disclose the concern.
- Ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of safeguarding and child protection concerns are maintained and securely stored.
- Ensure that, as and when necessary, HRGB officers liaise promptly and constructively with each other and with Safeguarding and Child Protection Officers from government and police services