Website PoliciesSafeguarding Policy
SAFEGUARDING OF ADULTS AT RISK AND CHILDREN POLICY
Acting on Impulse is a charity working to give a sense of achievement and purpose to marginalised adults in Greater Manchester, through acting workshops and film-making. Our user group is 18+, but occasionally children take part in our films. There is a separate policy for working with children in Schools and Community Settings.
Acting on Impulse is committed to protecting adults at risk, children, and those who work with them. We understand the importance to our participants of working in a safe and secure environment while they are with us. Acting on Impulse will undertake its duty of care to workers and volunteers.
This policy is intended to ensure the safeguarding of adults at risk and children with whom we work. Safeguarding children and adults at risk is vital for charities, as charity trustees have a duty of care towards those with whom their organisation has contact. Having safeguards in place within an organisation not only protects and promotes the welfare of our participants, but also enhances the confidence of trustees, workers, volunteers, parents/carers and the general public.
2. DEFINITION OF SAFEGUARDING
‘Safeguarding involves a range of activities aimed at promoting the individual’s fundamental right to be safe. These include making and maintaining safe environments for all, having processes to follow should something go wrong and support for everyone involved.’ (Safe to Belong, pub by The Baptist Union of Great Britain, 2015)
3. DEFINITION OF ADULTS AT RISK AND CHILDREN
The Care Act 2014: ‘an adult at risk of abuse or neglect is defined as someone who has needs for care and support, who is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and as a result of their care needs is unable to protect themselves.’
In other words the people who are most likely to be subject to mistreatment are those people who:
- Are very frail
- Are older people
- Have mental health issues including dementia
- Are dependent on alcohol, drugs/medication
- Have a physical or sensory disability
- Have a learning disability
- Have a serious physical illness
We are also committed to the safety and protection of any children who may through friends or family come into contact with our service, or may participate in any of our projects.
The Children Act 1989 states the legal definition of a child is “a person under the age of 18.”
Children are always considered to be potentially at risk and in need of protection.
Manchester City Council’s Safeguarding Policy states: abuse is when someone does something to another person that puts him or her at risk of harm or negatively impacts on his or her quality of life. Abuse may be deliberate or be the result of ignorance or lack of training and can happen once or repeatedly. Abuse can be a criminal act when it is an offence against another person.
- A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
It is our aim that work and activities are planned so as to minimise opportunities for the abuse of adults at risk and children and for unfounded accusations being made against adults, as far as this is practicable.
Best practice will include:
- Having 2 leaders (or leader and assistant) with any group/workshop.
- Wherever possible, leaders of each gender to be present in mixed gender groups.
- Any child/young person present to have a chaperone in attendance at all times, and they are the responsibility of that chaperone.
- Workers and volunteers to be conscious at all times of how our words and actions can be misconstrued by others as harmful.
- Workers and volunteers to do all that is practicably possible to avoid 1:1 situations in isolation from others, but if this is unavoidable, then 1:1 discussions with adults should be done in a location that is clearly visible to others.
- Any meetings outside of workshops to observe all the above precautions and principles. Workers, trustees and volunteers should never be alone on a home visit.
- Where activities in a workshop include physical contact between participants that could cause injury or offence, that contact to be choreographed by the director and not improvised.
5. CHILD ACTORS
A Child Performance Licence must be obtained from the Local Authority if a child takes part in any public performance such as a film, play or musical, and is paid or unpaid. For the purpose of licensing, a child is defined as ‘any person who has not yet reached compulsory school leaving age.’ The licence will be applied for by the production’s producer. All child actors will arrive with a chaperone who will stay with them at all times.
A risk assessment will be carried out by the film’s Producer.
- RECRUITMENT OF WORKERS AND VOLUNTEERS
Once it is confirmed that a worker/volunteer will be with Acting on Impulse on a regular basis, the process of carrying out a DBS check will be initiated.
Full details and guidance will be given to the applicant for their application for disclosure.
If a concern is raised by a disclosure, a risk assessment must be conducted in line with an advisor regarding the individual’s work with adults at risk or children.
The whole application process will be conducted in a professional and confidential manner.
- SAFEGUARDING TRAINING
- For workers and volunteers
All regular workers and volunteers will be briefed about the importance of safeguarding children and adults at risk and their responsibility to report evidence or suspicions of abuse taking place both within an Acting on Impulse activity or outside of it. This is encapsulated in the document ‘Safeguarding Adults at Risk: Briefing for Volunteers and Workers.’ At the end of the briefing this document should be signed and dated by all parties and a copy given to the worker/volunteer.
- For People in Charge and Nominated Managers
The Nominated Manager represents Acting on Impulse at workshops. The Person in Charge is the Director of a workshop or outreach project, filming session or performance. Both will be briefed about their own responsibilities. This is encapsulated in the document ‘Safeguarding Briefing for People in Charge and Nominated Managers.’ At the end of the briefing this document should be signed and dated by all parties and a copy given to the person in charge or nominated manager.
- Frequency of training
Training is given on a one-to-one basis, to be renewed every 4 years.
- RECOGNITION OF ABUSE
Those who work in statutory agencies are well trained to identify abuse of children and adults at risk. However, they often have to rely on people close to adults at risk or children recognising the signs that something is wrong. So we as project workers and volunteers have a special responsibility to look out for adults at risk or children who are in difficulty.
Abuse can take many forms including:
- Physical abuse – being hit or injured on purpose
- Sexual abuse – involvement in sexual activity that is unwanted or not understood
- Emotional – intimidation, threats, humiliation, verbal or psychological abuse or being prevented from receiving services or support
- Neglect – not providing food, clothing, attention or care. Failure to provide appropriate access to health and social care, withholding aids or equipment
- Discriminatory – treating people differently or worse than you want to be treated because they are older, more frail, confused or otherwise at risk
- Financial/material – theft or misuse of money, property or personal possessions, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance
- Misuse of medication – giving medication inappropriately, overdosing or withholding medication
Signs and symptoms of abuse may include:
- Injuries, bruises or weight loss
- Behaviour changes such as being withdrawn or depressed
- SAFEGUARDING GUIDELINES FOR WORKING WITH ADULTS AT RISK
The procedure for safeguarding adults at risk identifies three distinct roles in their protection. This comes from the Government’s paper on Vulnerable Adults, Safe from Harm . This also applies to safeguarding children.
- Alerters (workers and volunteers)
- Investigators (Nominated Manager)
- Managers (AOI Safeguarding Nominated Manager)
9.1.1. Workers and volunteers act as Alerters. Their duty is:
- To report suspected acts of abuse whether or not they occur within an AOI activity
- To be alert to what abuse means and take seriously what they are told
- To think about what they see and ask the Nominated Manager if it is acceptable practice
- To work strictly in accordance with anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-ageist, anti-disability and anti-gender-equality practices
- To ensure the safety of the person you suspect is being mistreated as well as the alerter’s own safety
- To ensure that the emergency services (e.g. police, ambulance) are contacted, if in a life-threatening situation
- To be alert to hints, signals and non-verbal communication that could indicate abuse, which is being denied or deliberately hidden.
9.1.2. Advice to Alerters if someone discloses abuse:
- Stay calm and try not to show shock
- Listen carefully rather than question directly
- Be sympathetic
- Be aware of the possibility that medical evidence might be needed.
Tell the person that:
- They did right to tell you
- You are treating this information seriously
- It was not their fault
- Press the person for more details
- Stop someone who is freely recalling significant events as they may not tell you again
- Promise to keep the disclosure secret or that the information will be kept confidential
- Make promises that you cannot keep
- Contact the alleged abuser
- Be judgemental
- Pass on information to anyone who doesn’t have a “need to know”
9.1.3. Steps to take by Alerters if abuse is suspected
- Any suspected abuse must be taken seriously. It is important to let a child/ adult at risk know that he or she is being listened to. It is not advised to promise confidentiality since the nature of the problem may be so serious as to require professional intervention. Even if confidentiality is not requested by a child/ adult at risk, always explain to them that information may be shared.
- Speak at once to the Nominated Manager and agree an action. Do this even if you’re not sure but your suspicions have been aroused.
- Record the event in the Incident Book. The entry should be signed and dated by the Alerter and the Nominated Manager.
9.2. Steps to be taken by the Person in Charge and the Nominated Manager if abuse is suspected
The Person in Charge is usually the workshop/outreach workshop leader, or, while filming, the Producer. Any concerns reported to the Person in Charge during an activity should be handed over to the Nominated Manager.
9.2.1. Once a report has been made, the Nominated Manager should consider what action needs to be taken to protect the child or adult at risk, including reporting the matter to the appropriate authorities, numbers below.
9.2.2. The Nominated Manager should ensure the incident is recorded in the Incident Book, including any decisions and actions.
9.2.3. The Nominated Manager should notify the Safeguarding Nominated Manager without delay.
9.2.4. Outreach Projects: safeguarding is the responsibility of the agency which has requested a project. If a safeguarding concern is reported to the Person in Charge (Director), they should report it directly to the agency, whose responsibility it is to deal with the situation. The Person in Charge should record the incident, dates, people involved, reason for concern and who they reported it to in the agency. They should immediately inform a senior representative of Acting on Impulse and send a copy of this report to them.
9.3. Steps to be taken by the Safeguarding Nominated Manager
The Safeguarding Nominated Manager is a role specific to the protection of adults at risk and children, and entails checking that appropriate steps have been taken in all reported concerns. This is currently Sue Tomlinson.
9.3.1. Check that the incident has been properly recorded by the Alerter, Person in Charge or Nominated Manager.
9.3.2. Check that any decisions requiring further action have been taken.
9.3.3. Ensure that any report and subsequent interview is recorded in writing, signed and dated.
9.3.4. Ensure that the Chair of Trustees is kept informed of all reported incidents.
- STEPS TO BE TAKEN IF SAFEGUARDING INFORMATION IS REPORTED TO ACTING ON IMPULSE BY AN OUTSIDE AGENCY
10.1. It is possible that workshop participants may be on the Sex Offenders’ Register, and that we may be officially apprised of this fact by outside agencies working with them, such as Police or Probation. These agencies may wish to know if Acting on Impulse has Safeguarding Policies in place, whether the person concerned has informed us that they are on the Register and whether the person concerned is likely to come in contact with children during their work with us.
10.2. Every co-operation should be given to these agencies and due note taken of any advice we may be given.
10.3. The person receiving the information should write it down in report form and send it to the Chair of Trustees and Safeguarding Nominated Manager. A risk assessment should then be carried out. A decision should be made as to how the information is handled and checks should be agreed to ensure safeguarding practice is in place for this person.
10.4. At the earliest opportunity, a discussion should take place between the participant concerned and the Chair of Trustees or Safeguarding Nominated Manager. They need to know that we have this information, that it will be kept confidential but that on the basis of this information certain safeguards will operate, as agreed in the risk assessment.
10.5. A report on the information given and action taken should be presented at the next Trustees’ meeting, keeping the name anonymous.
10.6. Any suspected breaches of behaviour by the person concerned should be reported back to the Agency who originally gave this information. Discussion should take place between the Chair of Trustees, the Safeguarding Nominated Manager and the Workshop Director (Person in Charge), as to how this breach should be handled. This could result in the person concerned being barred from the workshops.
- SAFEGUARDING AND WHISTLEBLOWING
Acting on Impulse takes its responsibilities for the protection of children and adults at risk seriously.
If any volunteer or worker believes that suspected abuse is not being taken seriously by the person in charge they have a duty to express those concerns.
In the first instance those must be directed to the Whistleblowing Senior Representative within Acting on Impulse (currently Martin Smedley, Trustee), without fear of recrimination. They can expect a formal response from that person.
If they still think the matter is not being taken seriously they can access advice from the local authority Safeguarding team (for Manchester 0161 234 5001).
However, a malicious or false allegation will not be acceptable and will be treated as a disciplinary matter.
It should be understood that the act of whistleblowing is not a grievance.
Acting on Impulse will maintain as far as is possible the confidentiality of the whistleblower.
- Manchester Contact Service for Social Care: 0161 234 5001 (open 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
- Greater Manchester Police: 101 (non-emergency number)
- In an emergency ring 999
- Nominated Manager for Safeguarding, Sue Tomlinson firstname.lastname@example.org
Trustee’s Senior Representative for Whistleblowing, Martin Smedley email@example.com
Current Acting on Impulse Policies and Procedures relevant to Safeguarding
- Safeguarding Briefing for Volunteers and Workers
- Safeguarding Briefing for People in Charge and Nominated Managers
- Risk Assessment for working with adults at risk
- Procedure for reporting and responding to allegations made against workers and volunteers
Manchester Safeguarding Partnership
- Resource Hub
- Safeguarding adults multi-agency policies & procedures – resources for practitioners 2022