Safeguarding Children, Young People Policy
“Every child, young person and vulnerable adult regardless of their age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation has a right to equal protection from harm”
The charity abides by the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and is committed to safeguarding practice that reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice requirements. All Funded therapies will be with Qualified Therapist who should have their own professional insurance, DBS certificate and safeguarding policy.
We recognise the welfare of children and vulnerable adults is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take. All children/ vulnerable young adults, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation has equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse. Some children/vulnerable young adults are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues. Working in partnership with children, young people, vulnerable adults, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
THE CHILDREN ACT 1989
A definition of a child is: anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday, even if they are living independently, are a member of the armed forces or is in hospital.
DEFINITION OF A Vulnerable ADULT
The term “vulnerable adult” is defined by the Law Commission as: “Someone of 16 years or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.” “Making Decisions.” Lord Chancellor’s Department 1999.
- Older people needing help from others
- People with learning disabilities
- People living with physical disabilities
- Adults with mental health needs
- People who misuse drugs or alcohol
NB. However, abuse of 16 and 17 year olds would be dealt with under the Safeguarding Children Procedure and existing Child Care legislation.
DEFINITION OF ABUSE
Abuse can be defined as any behaviour that knowingly or unwittingly causes harm, endangers life or violates rights. Abuse may be physical, sexual, psychological, financial or material, or neglect.
DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE
Child abuse – the mistreatment of a child: severe mistreatment of a child by a parent, guardian, or other adult responsible for his or her welfare, e.g: physical violence, neglect, sexual assault, or emotional cruelty and covers children from unborn through to 18 years of age.
There are 4 main areas of abuse:
Sexual, Physical, Emotional abuse and Neglect. It is important to be aware of more specific types of abuse that fall within these categories.
Bullying and cyber bullying
Child sexual exploitation
Child criminal exploitation
Female genitalia mutilation
THE PRINCIPLE PIECES OF LEGISLATION GOVERNING THIS POLICY ARE:
Working together to safeguard children 2010
The Children Act 1989
The Children Act 2004
United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
Data Protection Act 1998
Human Rights Act 1998
Sexual Offenses Act 2003
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Protection of Freedoms Act 2004
Children and Family Act 2014
Special educational needs and disability (SEND) HM GOV 2014
The Ethical Framework for Good practice in counselling and psychotherapy (BACP 2017)
The Children and Social work Act (2017)
The Social Service and Well-being Act (2014)
The Care Act 2014
The Protection of Freedoms act 2012
Domestic Violence, Crime and victims Act 2012
The Equality Act 2010
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Sexual Offenses Act 2003
Working together to safeguard children (2018)
If a child / adult is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, you should refer to a children’s social care and / or the police. Before doing so, you should try to establish the basic facts. However, it will be the role of the social workers and the police to investigate cases and make judgments on whether there should be a statutory intervention and / or criminal investigation.
You should record in writing, all concerns and discussions about a child’s / adult’s welfare, the reasons for the decisions made and actions taken. Do not interrogate the child / adult or ask leading questions. Reassure the child / adult that it is not their fault, and that it was ok and right for them to tell. Record details of the disclosure straight away, including where possible the exact words that the child / adult uses. Take care to distinguish between fact, observation, allegation and opinion. Sign and date the record.
Be aware of your own feelings about the disclosure. It is important for you to seek professional advice and support.
If a child / adult discloses that they are being abused and neglected, you should listen to them, take their allegations seriously, and reassure them that you will take action to keep them safe. You need to decide the most appropriate action to take. This will depend upon the circumstances of the case, the seriousness of the child’s/ adult’s disclosure. If you have any concerns about the child/adult’s safety then call 999. You can also contact NSPCC helpline for advice 08088005000
TRAINING AND AWARENESS
Therapy Stars Foundation will ensure an appropriate level of safeguarding training is available to its Trustees, Employees, Volunteers and any relevant persons linked to the organisation who requires it.
Therapy Stars committed to reviewing this policy and good practice annually and as required by new legislation.
Flintshire and Wrexham Local Safeguarding: 01978 292039
Out of hours team: 08450 533 116
Shropshire, First point of contact (FPOC)Children’s services 03456 789 021
Head of Children’s social care and safeguarding: 01743 254 244
Out of hours:03456 789 040
Cheshire East: 01606 288931
Cheshire West:01606 275099
Childline: 0800 1111