We believe that child and vulnerable adults safeguarding and protection is the individual and collective responsibility of everyone working in or visiting the organisation. Our policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and vulnerable adults are paramount in all circumstances. We are committed to ensuring our safeguarding practices exceed statutory requirements and the requirements of our various accrediting bodies in the UK.
A child / children is any individual under the age of 18.
Vulnerable adults are:
(No Secrets, Department of Health, updated 2015)
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults is:
Duty of Care means that everyone is required to take reasonable care in any situation in which harm to someone else could be foreseen. Higher Duty of Care is the standard of care expected from someone with increased experience and specialist expertise where, through training or experience, one may be expected to visualise more clearly the results of one’s actions in one’s area/s of specialism. The duty of care may be breached through a negligent act(s) or failure to act in situations where it could be reasonably expected that someone with a duty of care would have acted.
The Safeguarding Lead is the person with the overall responsibility of ensuring the organisation’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is implemented and enforced. At the time of compilation of this document the Safeguarding Lead is Laura Hargroves.
The Deputy Safeguarding Lead is the person who will have the role of the Safeguarding Lead when they are not contactable or available. The deputy safeguarding lead is Leo Young - Founder of Good Nugget.
Good Nugget is committed to the definition ‘safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults’. This policy is written with regard to the following documents:
Our policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and vulnerable adults are paramount in all circumstances and we are committed to ensuring our safeguarding practices exceed statutory requirements and the requirements of our accrediting bodies.
As Part of our safeguarding policy Good Nugget will:
Good Nugget acknowledges that some children and vulnerable adults, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take all reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare. This safeguarding policy aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, all persons:
4 Adult Responsibilities
Adults working with children at Good Nugget have a duty to:
5 Policy Review
When: The policy will be reviewed in January of each year and in light of new or updated guidance from the UK Government.
How: The Good Nugget Safeguarding Lead will monitor updates from the UK Government regarding best practice. Feedback is welcomed and collected from members and staff and this will be collated, discussed and implemented.
By Whom: TheGood Nugget Safeguarding Lead will be responsible for this process.
6 Roles and responsibilities
Good Nugget meets its child and vulnerable adult protection responsibilities by ensuring that adults working with children are briefed on Safeguarding policies and best practice.
All Good Nugget staff are given ample time to read and consider the Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy before signing the declaration. Deviation from the guidelines or failure to enforce the Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy may result in immediate dismissal / exclusion from the organisation.
If an issues arises or you have a concern it is important to escalate the matter to a senior member of staff. In some cases you may feel the need to report issues / concerns directly to Safeguarding Lead. Concerns shared will be treated with the strictest of confidence and investigated fully.
7 Code of Conduct
It is important that adults working with children and vulnerable adults understand that the nature of their work and the responsibilities related to it, place them in a position of trust. At Good Nugget we aim to create a safe culture by ensuring adults working with children and vulnerable adults follow a Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct endeavours to:-
Set clear expectations of behaviour and codes of practice relevant to the role
8 Power and Positions of Trust
As a result of their knowledge, position and/or the authority invested in their role, adults working with children and vulnerable adults, are in positions of trust.
There is potential for exploitation and harm of vulnerable adults and children. Where a person aged 18 or over is in a specified position of trust with a child under 18, it is a criminal offence for that person to engage in sexual activity with or in the presence of that child, or to cause or incite that child to engage in or watch sexual activity.
This means that staff should not:
9 Propriety and Behaviour
There may be times, for example, when a person’s behaviour or actions in their personal life come under scrutiny from the work environment, the local communities or public authorities. This could be because their behaviour is considered to compromise their position or indicate an unsuitability to work with children. Misuse of drugs, alcohol or acts of violence would be examples of such behaviour.
People in contact with children should therefore understand and be aware, that safe practice also involves using judgement and integrity about behaviours in places other than the work setting.
This means that staff should not:
Occasionally, a child may develop an infatuation with a staff member. Staff should deal with these situations sensitively and appropriately to maintain the dignity and safety of all concerned. They should remain aware, however, that such infatuations carry a high risk of words or actions being misinterpreted and should therefore make every effort to ensure that their own behaviour is above reproach. In this situation a staff member who becomes aware that a child is developing an infatuation should discuss this at the earliest opportunity with the safeguarding lead so appropriate action can be taken to avoid any hurt, distress or embarrassment.
This means that staff should not:
11 Sexual Contact
Staff should clearly understand the need to maintain appropriate boundaries in their contact with children and vulnerable adults. Intimate or sexual relationships between children or vulnerable adults and the adults who work with them will be regarded as a grave breach of trust. Allowing or encouraging a relationship to develop in a way which might lead to a sexual relationship is also unacceptable. Any sexual activity between an adult and the child or vulnerable adult with whom they work will be regarded as criminal offence and reported accordingly. Additionally, this will always be a matter for disciplinary action.
Children are protected by specific legal provisions regardless of whether the child or young person consents or not. The sexual activity referred to does not just involve physical contact including penetrative and non-penetrative acts. It may also include non-contact activities, such as causing children to engage in or watch sexual activity or the production of pornographic material. There are occasions when a person may embark on a course of behaviour known as 'grooming' where the sole purpose is to gain the trust of a child, and manipulate that relationship so sexual abuse can take place. Adults should be aware that consistently conferring inappropriate special attention and favour upon a child might be construed as being part of a 'grooming' process and as such will give rise to concerns about their behaviour and, in relation to staff, could result in disciplinary action.
This means that staff should not:
Relationships should be professional, healthy and respectful at all times. Your language, demeanour attitudes and conduct all require careful thought when dealing with children and vulnerable adults.
12 Dress and Appearance
Staff should dress in ways which are appropriate to their role and this may need to be different to how they dress when not at work. People who work with children should ensure they take care to ensure they are dressed appropriately for the tasks and the work they undertake.
Staff should wear clothing appropriate to the role:
13 Behaviour Management
All children and vulnerable adults have a right to be treated with respect and dignity even in those circumstances where they display difficult or challenging behaviour.
14 Physical Contact
There are occasions when it is entirely appropriate and proper for staff to have physical contact with children or vulnerable adults, but it is crucial that they only do so in ways appropriate to their professional role. The general culture of 'limited touch' should be adapted and staff should use their professional judgement at all times.
Physical contact should take place only when it is necessary in relation to a particular situation. Some of these situations are:
This means that staff should never:
The use of unwarranted physical force is likely to constitute a criminal offence.
Communication with children and vulnerable adults by whatever method, should take place within clear and explicit professional boundaries. We do encourage mentees and mentors to communicate via email and their professional social media accounts, and in some cases even by phone. However in our training sessions we highlight that these communications should not include the sharing of personal information and should be kept professional at all times. Good Nugget, is copied into all communication between the mentees and mentors via email.
Includes the wider use of technology such as mobile phones text messaging, e-mails, cameras, and websites. Staff should not share any personal information with a child or vulnerable adult and should not use their personal mobile to communicate with any child on a personal level such as texting, social media contact and taking photographs/videos without the express, written permission of the child's parents. A person should ensure that all communications are transparent and open to scrutiny.
This means that staff should:
16 Child and vulnerable adult protection guidance
16.1 How to respond to concerns
If you have concerns about a child or vulnerable person’s safety or well-being, discuss your concerns with the Safeguarding Lead who will have the appropriate training and expertise to support you and advise on the next stage. You should act swiftly. There should not be any time delay. If you cannot contact this person and you believe that a child or vulnerable adult may be in imminent danger of abuse you should contact the Police immediately.
16.2 How to respond to a disclosure
A concern may come to light as a response of something a child or vulnerable adult says to you. Often, this disclosure can be made during casual conversation. If a disclosure is made to you:
16.3 Recording Information and Record Keeping
Secure provision is made for all records produced during any welfare discussions or disclosures. These records are then transferred to the Mentee safeguarding folder, where they are held for three years.
17 Recognising symptoms of abuse
Although a child or vulnerable adult may make a disclosure of abuse to you, it is entirely possible that you will become concerned about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult because of their behaviour or because you notice physical symptoms of abuse.
The four areas of abuse are physical, emotional, neglect and sexual (PENS).
There are no absolute criteria on which to rely when judging what constitutes as significant harm. Consideration of the severity of ill-treatment may include the degree and extent the duration and frequency of all the four abuses.
17.1 What is abuse and neglect?
These are forms of maltreatment – a person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or failing to act to prevent harm. Children and vulnerable adults may be abused by a family member or in an institution or residential or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.
Type of abuse: Physical
May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, squeezing, burning or scalding, poisoning, biting, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm.
There can be a lot of overlap between the signs and symptom of one type of abuse and another.
Indicators of abuse could be:
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, marks, abrasions, burns
- Self-harm or attempts at suicide
- Withdrawn / isolated
- Overtly sexual behaviour
- Unwashed / clothes unchanged
- Not taking part in activities
- Not eating
Type of abuse: Emotional
Is the persistent emotional maltreatment such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the emotional development of the child or vulnerable adult. It may involve conveying to them they are worthless, inadequate, unloved and threatening severe punishment, preventing the child or vulnerable adult from taking part in normal activities and/or abandonment. Also verbal abuse, taunting and shouting. It may take the form of text or cyberbullying.
Type of abuse: Sexual
Young and vulnerable people are abused by adults, those in a position of trust, adolescents or other young people who use them to meet their own sexual needs. This involves sexual intercourse, attempted sexual intercourse, fondling, and any penetrative act (oral/anal) intercourse, masturbation and exposure to pornographic material. ‘Grooming’ a child or vulnerable adult in preparation for abuse, including via the internet, is a form of sexual abuse.
Type of abuse: Neglect
Is persistent failure to meet a child or vulnerable adults basic physical and /or psychological needs. This can include not providing appropriate food, clothes, warmth and medical care or leaving a child unsupervised and failing to protect them from physical or emotional harm.
18 Handling allegations of abuse against staff
If an allegation is made against a member of Good Nugget member of staff, the quick resolution of that allegation is our priority to the benefit of all concerned. At any stage of consideration or investigation, all unnecessary delays should be avoided.
19 Other safeguarding issues
Safeguarding covers a range of issues. We should do everything possible to ensure that children feel safe at all times.
19.1 Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
CSE involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.
If you suspect a child is at risk of CSE or that this has already taken place this should be reported to the Safeguarding Lead.
New technologies are becoming / will become more and more popular in the lives of young people and adults in today’s society. The use of these technologies can put young people at risk. [•] staff should be aware of this and look out for signs such as overuse of phones and mood changes after phone calls.
Online safeguarding for Mentors
As we transition online, it is imperative that we ensure all members of our community are aware of the ways in which to not only keep safe online, but also how to develop and foster healthy online mentoring relationships. Prior to your first online E-meeting with your mentee please read this document and if you have any queries please contact the DSO
How and when to contact your mentee
It is extremely important to set clear boundaries with the ways in which contact can be made. We advise that you share this in your first email exchange so you are both aware of how and when to make contact. For example;
Main point of contact: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Secondary point of contact: Zoom Video Calls (e.g.please do not call/ message before 8am or past 7pm) Fortnightly meetings: Zoom (suggested slot Thursdays 5-6pm)
We strongly advise that you establish your means of contact at the start of the mentoring journey so that this will mitigate any issues for those working full time, who have families or are carers. If you are unable to get in contact with your mentee for a prolonged period of time, please inform your programme manager and they will follow this up.
Where to make contact with your mentee
Please think about your setting for any phone or video calls. Ensure you are in a quiet space without distracting noise or backgrounds. Wear clothing that is appropriate and comfortable for the call.
Sharing contact details and information
We encourage you to develop your networks however please do not share any personal data of others without seeking permission first.
What are appropriate channels to connect on
We encourage you to connect with your mentee using professional platforms such as Linkedin. When using social networking channels such as Instagram and Facebook we encourage you to use business and work accounts as opposed to personal.
What if you have concerns about your mentee
If at any point during your mentoring you have concerns about your mentee please contact your programme manager. This could be related to being unable to get hold of them, if they continually miss sessions, or maybe if you have begun to notice a difference in mood and general wellbeing. It is much better to report this than not, due to a fear of being wrong. All reports will be handled with care, caution and confidentiality.
Good Nugget Code of Conduct
As a Mentor it is important that you are aware of the issues surrounding Child Protection. Good Nugget has a duty of care to help protect you and the young people you will be working with. The following is Good Nugget’s Code of Conduct. Please make sure you read it thoroughly.
A mentor should