Safeguarding Policy

Change history

Version numberDate of releasePolicy ownerAuthorised by
4.106 January 2022Ryan Palmer, Chief Revenue OfficerBoard of Trustees

Policy statement

The Charity takes its responsibilities for safeguarding extremely seriously and believes that it is never acceptable for a child, young person, vulnerable adult, apprentice, or any member of society to experience abuse of any kind.  This policy aims to:

  • protect and promote the welfare of the children, young people and vulnerable adults who engage with us
  • communicate our approach to safeguarding in a clear and transparent way
  • demonstrate compliance with relevant statutory guidelines
  • ensure that safeguarding responsibilities are clear and that people understand how to report concerns they may have about a child, young person or vulnerable adult

The Charity reserves the right to modify this policy from time to time at its discretion and in line with legislation.


Scope 

This policy applies to all employees, self-employed contractors, volunteers, trustees and all other third parties who, through their involvement with the Charity work with children, young people or vulnerable adults.


Related Legislation 

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) 
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021)
  • Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act (2021) 
  • Care Act (2014)
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
  • Children’s Act (2004)
  • Equalities Act (2010)

Related Policies, Procedures, and Templates

  • Safer Recruitment Policy
  • DBS Policy
  • Whistleblowing Policy
  • Safeguarding Staff Procedure Flowchart
  • Safeguarding reporting procedures for Learners (including apprentices), Children and Young People, and Vulnerable Adults

Responsibilities

Board of Trustees
Overall responsibility for the policies and procedures that govern the work at Central YMCA.

Chief Executive
Overall responsibility for ensuring Central YMCA’s resources are used effectively and appropriately.

Policy Owner
Responsible for ensuring guidelines are in place and that policies and procedures reflect our charitable ethos and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. 

All Line Managers
Responsible for ensuring all employees are aware of and follow this policy.

All Employees and Volunteers
To follow policies and procedures, promoting best practice throughout the organisation.


Policy Review

Review of impact against the aims of policy:

This policy has been drafted for approval by Ryan Palmer, Chief Revenue Officer, and has been approved by the Board of Trustees and is deemed fit for purpose. All related procedures have been designed to match the contents of this policy.

The policy has been communicated successfully to employees and the policy has been made available on the Charity’s intranet. 

Do there appear to be any patterns of equality related issues: Yes

If yes, please provide an Equalities Impact Assessment (if relevant):

Reviewed by: Board of Trustees
Date: 06 January 2022

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Policy Owner and signed off by the Board of Trustees if any changes are made.

Next review date: 01 October 2022

Confirmation of policy approval:

Andrew Beal, Chair of the Board of Trustees 

Policy

1. Principles

We all have a shared responsibility to identify children and young people and adults who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.  This is an inherent part of the Charity’s culture, as we adopt a “culture of vigilance” in relation to all of our stakeholders and the communities that we engage with. As part of our culture, we look to assess the risks and issues in a wider context in order to ascertain the potential social environments in which our learners (including apprentices) come from.  

We aim to embed a culture of safeguarding across the Charity by communicating practical guidelines to support the principles and aims of this policy, reinforced by eLearning training for all employees, self-employed contractors, volunteers and trustees to ensure our approach is robust and reflects best practice standards. Everyone should aim to ensure the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults first and foremost, checking your approach with one of our local safeguarding officers if you are unsure how to handle a safeguarding issue.

The Charity recognises:

  • The welfare of any child, young person or vulnerable adult is paramount and to ensure that all feel safe
  • Promoting a culture of respect for others, that fosters good relations and advances equality of opportunity
  • We aim to create a culture of vigilance in relation to our safeguarding approach, while continually developing our knowledge and practice accordingly
  • Everyone, regardless of their age, background, ability, culture, disability, gender, language, religious beliefs and sexual identity has the right to protection from abuse
  • We will take all suspicions and allegations of abuse and/or poor practice seriously and will respond to them swiftly and appropriately
  • Where there is a possibility of abuse or neglect to a person or persons, everyone has a responsibility to report their concerns to the appropriate person
  • It is not the responsibility of anyone working/volunteering at the Charity to decide whether or not abuse has taken place; it is their duty to act on any concerns by reporting them to the appropriate person
  • We will support people who report their concerns about abuse in good faith and will investigate their concerns, referring to the appropriate people where necessary
  • We will take all actions within our power to enable any child, young person or vulnerable adult to have the best outcomes
  • We recognise that safeguarding is not just about protecting any child, young person or vulnerable adult from deliberate harm and neglect, but also about broader aspects of care and education such as well-being (including mental health), first aid, special educational needs and/or disabilities, educational visits and online safety.

2. Key Definitions and Specific Forms of Abuse

Safeguarding describes the actions we take to ensure the safety and well-being of children, young people, apprentices and vulnerable adults in our care. 

Abuse is a form of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.

Physical

Actual or likely physical harm and/or failure to prevent physical injury (or suffering), including fabricated or induced illness (FII). 

Sexual

Involves forcing or enticing a child, young person or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not they are aware of what is happening.

Emotional

Persistent emotional maltreatment of a child which may cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.

Neglect

Persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s mental and physical health or development. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Harm

The ill treatment or impairment of health or development, including impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.

Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact, it can also occur through the use of technology. Like all forms of child sex abuse, child sexual exploitation: 

  • can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years, including 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex; 
  • can still be abuse even if the sexual activity appears consensual; 
  • can include both contact (penetrative and non-penetrative acts) and noncontact sexual activity; 
  • can take place in person or via technology, or a combination of both; 
  • can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence; 
  • may occur without the child or young person’s immediate knowledge (e.g. through others copying videos or images they have created and posted on social media); 
  • can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time, and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse; and 
  • is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the abuse. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.

Sexual violence and abuse

Sexual violence and abuse is where any behaviour thought to be of a sexual nature is unwanted and takes place without consent. Sexual violence and abuse can be physical, psychological, verbal or online. Any behaviour of a sexual nature that causes  distress is considered sexual violence or abuse.

Sexual Violence is physical sexual acts without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to give consent

Domestic Abuse

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: 

  • psychological; 
  • physical; 
  • sexual; 
  • financial 
  • emotional 

Exposure to domestic abuse and/or violence can have a serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. In some cases, a child may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result. Domestic abuse affecting young people can also occur within their personal relationships, as well as in the context of their home life.

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences. There is a statutory duty to report to the police where FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18 (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence).

So-called ‘honour-based’ abuse

So-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses incidents or crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. Abuse committed in the context of preserving “honour” often involves a wider network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators. It is important to be aware of this dynamic and additional risk factors when deciding what form of safeguarding action to take. All forms of HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. 

Forced Marriage

Forcing a person into a marriage is a crime in England and Wales. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological. A lack of full and free consent can be where a person does not consent or where they cannot consent (if they have learning disabilities, for example). Nevertheless, some communities use religion and culture as a way to coerce a person into marriage. Schools and colleges can play an important role in safeguarding children from forced marriage.

Peer on Peer Abuse

Children can abuse other children, young people, and adults. This is generally referred to as peer on peer abuse and can take many forms. This can include (but is not limited to) bullying (including cyberbullying); sexual violence and sexual harassment; physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, upskirting or otherwise causing physical harm; sexting and initiating/hazing type violence and rituals.

Serious Violent Crime

Unexplained gifts/new possessions – these can indicate children, young people and vulnerable adults have been approached by/involved with individuals associated with criminal networks/gangs, increased absence from school/ college, change in friendship/relationships with others/groups, significant decline in performance, signs of self-harm/significant change in wellbeing, signs of assault/unexplained injuries.

Cuckooing

Cuckooing is a practice where people take over a person’s home and use the property to facilitate exploitation. There are different types of cuckooing:

  • Using the property to deal, store or take drugs
  • Using the property for sex work
  • Taking over the property as a place for them to live
  • Taking over the property to financially abuse the tenant.

The most common form of cuckooing is where drug dealer/gangs take over a person’s home through intimidation and use it to store or distribute drugs.

County Lines

County Lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas [within the UK], using dedicated mobile phone lines or other forms of “deal line”. A common feature in county lines drug supply is the exploitation of young and vulnerable people. The dealers will frequently target children and adults - often with mental health or addiction problems - to act as drug runners or move cash so they can stay under the radar of law enforcement.

Sexual Consent

Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent should be clearly and freely communicated. A verbal and affirmative expression of consent can help both partners to understand and respect each other’s boundaries. It should happen every time for every type of activity. Consenting to one activity, one time, does not mean someone gives consent for other activities or for the same activity on other occasions.

  • Consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or asleep or unconscious. If someone agrees to an activity under pressure of intimidation or threat, that isn’t considered consent because it was not given freely.
  • Unequal power dynamics, such as engaging in sexual activity with an employee or student, also means that consent cannot be freely given due to social perception

On-line abuse

Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the internet. It can happen across any device that's connected to the web, like computers, tablets and mobile phones. And it can happen anywhere online, including, text messages and messaging apps, social media, emails, online chats, online gaming and live streaming sites. Children, young people and adults can be at risk of online abuse from people they know or from strangers. It might be part of other abuse which is taking place offline, like bullying or grooming. Or the abuse might only happen online. Children, young people and vulnerable adults may experience different types of online abuse such as; cyberbullying, emotional abuse, grooming, sexting, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, with the signs being very much the same.

Abuse can occur in a family, institutional or community setting by someone they know, or more rarely, by a stranger, for example via the internet. The following can be signs of abuse: 

Physical

Unexplained (or repeated) bruises, burns, fractures, lacerations or abrasions, swollen areas, a general deterioration well-being, a variation in eating habits (e.g., overeating, loss of appetite), weight loss for no apparent reason, personal hygiene issues, evidence of delayed or inappropriate treatment for injuries, a lack of adult supervision on a daily basis, difficulty walking or sitting.

Sexual

Pre-occupation with sexual matters, sexual activity through words, play or drawings, severe sleep disturbances with fears and phobias, being sexually provocative with adults (in the case of children and young people). Pain or itching in the genital area, bruising or bleeding near genital area, sexually transmitted disease, stomach pains, discomfort when walking or sitting down.

Emotional

Regression in behaviour, nervousness, sudden under-achievement, inappropriate relationships with peers/adults, attention seeking, running away/stealing/lying, looking uncared-for. Neurotic behaviour, e.g. sulking, hair twisting, rocking, being unable to play/interact, fear of making mistakes, sudden speech disorders, self-harm, delay in emotional development.

Harm

The physical signs of neglect may include: constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from others; being constantly dirty or ‘smelly’; loss of weight, or being constantly underweight; inappropriate clothing for the conditions. Changes in behaviour can also indicate neglect.

Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation

Appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions, associating with other young people involved in exploitation, having older boyfriends or girlfriends, suffering from sexually transmitted infections or getting pregnant, changes in emotional well-being, misuse of drugs and alcohol, missing for periods of time or regularly come home late and regularly missing school or education or do not take part in education.

Children are classed as anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital or in custody in the secure estate, does not change his/her status or entitlements to services or protection.

A child in need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or whose health and development is likely to be significantly or further impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled. Local authorities are required to provide services for children in need for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting their welfare. 

Local authorities, with the help of other organisations as appropriate, have a duty to make enquires under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. Such enquiries enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare and must be initiated where there are concerns about maltreatment, including all forms of abuse and neglect, female genital mutilation or other so-called honour based violence, and extra-familial threats like radicalisation and sexual exploitation.

The policy helps to ensure the Charity is able to protect learners and apprentices that are studying with the Charity. It highlights key signs and symptoms to staff and employers to reduce the risk and protect against abuse towards learners and apprentices. To support learners and apprentices there is a published process detailing how to report concerns and/or seek advice and guidance.

The purpose of adult safeguarding is to prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs. The statutory framework introduced under the Care Act applies to any person aged 18 or above who:

  • Has needs for care and support (regardless of the level of need and whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs);
  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse or neglect; and
  • As a result of those needs, is unable to protect themselves against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

3. Online Safety

The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Technology can provide a platform that facilitates harm, including child, young people and adult’s sexual exploitation, radicalisation and sexual predation. 

The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three main areas of risk: 

  • Content - being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material; for example pornography, fake news, racist or radical and extremist views; 
  • Contact - being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example commercial advertising as well as adults posing as children or young adults; and
  • Conduct - personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example making, sending and receiving explicit images, or online bullying.

The Charity will ensure that children, young people, and adults engaged with us are taught about online safety, including displaying posters to raise awareness in relevant areas and considering this aspect as part of a broad and balanced curriculum when appropriate.

Central YMCA is committed to doing all that is reasonable to limit children young people and adult’s exposure to inappropriate content via the Charity’s IT systems, which includes having appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place.

All learners and staff must be aware of the potential dangers of the availability online of extremist doctrines and be alert to the risk of radicalisation.

Such material should, as far as possible, be made inaccessible through appropriate filters

Where this fails any interaction with extremist websites or materials must be recorded and reported. The DSL should then talk to the learner or staff member and appropriate action taken

 

As technology evolves and changes rapidly, the Charity will carry out constant reviews to ensure these systems remain up to date and appropriate.

4. Training, Support and Monitoring

Training on Safeguarding and online safety will be delivered for all staff, Trustees, volunteers and self-employed contractors. 

Ongoing support will also be provided to make sure that staff are informed and confident to take appropriate preventative and responsive steps. Information, advice and guidance for staff will be available and regularly updated through briefings at staff meetings and training interventions. 

Training and support will be delivered with reference to the ‘Teaching online Safety in School’, the new ‘Curriculum for Relationships Education’, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education.

Training and support will be delivered to support the correct reporting and response to reported harmful sexual behaviours. Training should ensure that all safeguarding staff are aware of the guidance found in paragraphs 440- 444 in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021).

Training and guidance are provided to learners (including apprentices) as part of their onboarding process and throughout their programme. A simple reporting mechanism has been published to learners.

Learners (including apprentices) are surveyed twice yearly in which they are asked to comment on how safe they feel and if they understand how to report any concerns. Responses help to inform improvements in our guidance and practice    

4.1 eLearning Modules

Everyone who engages with the Charity, all the way up to Board level, is required to successfully complete the Charity’s mandatory Safeguarding eLearning modules on an annual basis. 

New members of staff, volunteers or self-employed contractors will receive this training as part of their induction.

Anyone working in a regulated activity, is required to undertake the enhanced eLearning modules. Everyone else is required to complete the standard eLearning modules, to ensure everyone’s knowledge is at the correct level. 

Line managers are also required to successfully complete the Safer Recruitment in Education eLearning modules. Full details on the Charity’s Safer Recruitment procedures can be found in the Recruitment Policy and Disclosure and Barring Service Policy, on the Charity’s intranet (Grapevine).

4.2 Face to Face Training

In addition to the eLearning modules, those who work in a regulated activity, specifically people within YMCA Training and the Y-Active programme in YMCA Club will be required to undergo face to face training at a local level. 

This face to face training will be carried out by local safeguarding officers and will be appropriate to each specific business area.  

Regular safeguarding updates will also be provided to support the face to face training.

4.3 Designated Safeguarding Leads and Local Safeguarding Officers

Designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) will attend an external Level 3 training course, and ensure this knowledge is refreshed every two years as a minimum.

The local safeguarding officers will also attend regular training and networking events with local authorities relating to safeguarding issues. Records of staff attendance are held individually on CPD logs.

Designated safeguarding leads and officers must be aware of, and communicate any low level concerns about staff through the correct channels to ensure the continued safeguarding of all stakeholders.

5. Roles & Responsibilities

5.1 Employees, self-employed contractors and volunteers

Are required to familiarise themselves with this policy and procedure and follow this at all times.

All sub-contractors and partners are expected to follow the guidelines set out in this policy and training is provided upon commencement of the contract to ensure the handling and recording of sensitive data follows the necessary procedures.

If you have concerns about the welfare of a child, young person or vulnerable adult and believe that they may be at risk of, you must share that concern confidentially with a local safeguarding officer immediately. There should be no delay in sharing your concerns and should a local safeguarding officer or a designated safeguarding lead not be available, this should not delay action.

Any information shared should always be accurate, up to date and shared appropriately and securely with only the person or people who need to know and limited to information relevant for the purpose. If you have any doubts about when to share safeguarding information, discuss the situation with a local safeguarding officer, or a designated safeguarding lead if the concern involves a local safeguarding officer.

In the event there is a concern which relates to a designated safeguarding lead, you should report this directly to the Charity’s Chief Executive, who will review this alongside the Board of Trustees if appropriate.

Should there ever be a concern about the Chief Executive, or one of the Charity’s Board of

Trustees, which you feel is severe enough to not be addressed internally there will be local Social Services departments available for you to contact. There will be local policies and procedures for different areas, and a list of external contacts are available on the Charity’s intranet (Grapevine). In extreme circumstances, you may want to also consider informing the local police or the Charity Commission. 

Everyone must complete their required Safeguarding Awareness training to help increase their knowledge of safeguarding issues.

Everyone working in a regulated activity must read and familiarise themselves with Part 1 of the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021).

If you feel that you could benefit from further training on safeguarding, then please contact your local safeguarding officer.

5.2 Line Managers

Ensure the Charity’s safer recruitment practices are upheld, in line with the Recruitment Policy. 

Support and encourage the completion of required Safeguarding Awareness Training.

Ensure all direct reports working in a regulated activity have read and familiarised themselves with Part 1 of the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021).

Adopt the Charity’s culture of vigilance and lead by example.

5.3 Board of Trustees and the Executive Team

The Board of Trustees and the Executive Team are responsible for understanding the nature of Safeguarding threats and risks within the Charity.

They will ensure that the Charity effectively manage risks and is able to deal appropriately with safeguarding issues by: 

  • Creating an ethos which upholds core values of shared responsibility and wellbeing for all, while promoting respect, equality, diversity and inclusion and understanding 
  • Adopting stringent and transparent safeguarding practices which recognise, support and protect individuals
  • Sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with other key stakeholders and external agencies 
  • Providing training opportunities for staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers to enable them to continually update their safeguarding knowledge
  • Sharing information and concerns with agencies who need to know and ensuring we involve learners, parents, staff and others in an appropriate way
  • Providing effective management for staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers through supervision, support and training. 

5.4 Designated Safeguarding Leads

The Designated Safeguarding Leads take responsibility for the Charity’s overall approach. 

These roles will provide support, advice and guidance to trustees, board members and staff on an on-going basis and on any specified Prevent issues as required. Other responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the Charity is meeting its legal and statutory requirements
  • Undertaking full assessments of the safeguarding risks within the Charity, and ensures these are effectively managed
  • Ensuring the Charity is able to deal appropriately with incidents through the adoption of robust and transparent policies and procedures which are aligned to best practice and the requirements of our regulators
  • Undertaking an annual review of safeguarding policies
  • Making sure all safeguarding policies and procedures are fully implemented and followed by staff, self-employed contractors, volunteers, children, young people under 18 and vulnerable adults
  • Working with local safeguarding officers to review the safeguarding strategy and action plan along with policies and procedures both periodically and following serious incidents, making any necessary changes and reporting back to the Board for discussion and approval
  • Ensuring that the Charity’s safeguarding policies and procedures in relation are well communicated and are easily available
  • Working with the local safeguarding officers to ensure that stringent and transparent safeguarding practices are in place which recognise, support and protect at risk individuals
  • Supporting the Board to monitor the effectiveness of safeguarding practices in place, through regular and fit for purpose monitoring and reporting
  • Ensuring that everyone receives appropriate advice and training in relation to their responsibilities for safeguarding, enabling them to continually update their knowledge; including staff, self-employed contractors, volunteers and the Board
  • Ensuring that everyone is aware of how to respond properly when incidents arise and report as necessary to social services, other agencies and the police if necessary
  • Making sure all new staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers are inducted on the
  • Charity’s approach to safeguarding 
  • Updating the Named Trustee (Trustee Lead) on all safeguarding issues that need to be raised at Board level
  • Undertaking systematic analysis of incidents / concerns and discussing trends with the Board
  • Providing support, supervision and advice for local safeguarding officers with a severe safeguarding concern
  • Dealing with any allegations that are made against staff, self-employed contractors or volunteers
  • Being aware of learners that are already engaged with a social or care worker

The contact details for the designated safeguarding leads and Trustee Lead can be found on the Charity’s intranet (Grapevine).

5.5 Local Safeguarding Officers 

The local safeguarding officers support the Charity’s Safeguarding approach at local level.

These roles take responsibility for safeguarding children, young people under 18 and vulnerable adults in their regions. They provide advice and support to staff, volunteers and self-employed contractors, and are responsible for liaising with statutory children’s services agencies and with the local safeguarding partners. Other responsibilities include:

  • Managing safeguarding issues and cases in their region or operation 
  • Liaising with and making referrals to appropriate agencies about children, young people under 18 and vulnerable adults where there are safeguarding concerns, including the designated officer (previously LADO)
  • Managing referrals and liaises with other agencies, like the DBS or Police as required
  • Ensuring that appropriate information is available at the time of a referral and that the referral is confirmed in writing, under confidential cover as quickly as possible (e.g. within a working day)
  • Keeping detailed, accurate and secure written records of safeguarding concerns, where appropriate (i.e. include a chronology of concerns, referrals, meetings, phone calls or emails) to include on the Charity’s internal risk register 
  • Recording incidents and actions on the Charity’s internal risk register, no matter how minor the incident
  • Maintaining relationships with local safeguarding partners, referral agents and those families that are known to and/or working with a social/ social care worker
  • Remaining familiar with local referral procedures and know how to contact and establish links with the local authority or police 
  • Actively supporting the Charity's safeguarding approach and the implementation of action plans
  • Attending all safeguarding committee meetings, whether in person or remotely, and follows through on any actions committed to and other relevant activities
  • Assisting the designated safeguarding leads with developing Executive Team / Board reports and case studies
  • Providing support, supervision and advice to any staff member, self-employed contractor, volunteer, child, young person or vulnerable adult with a safeguarding concern
  • Ensuring the effective and consistent communication and embedding of safeguarding policies and practice within their region or operation 
  • Providing regular briefings and updates at staff meetings to ensure that all staff are kept up to date and regularly reminded of their responsibilities
  • Ensuring that every member of their region or operation has access to and understands the Charity's safeguarding policy
  • Making sure that all staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers know how to        raise concerns about people who are vulnerable or at risk of abuse and neglect
  • Ensuring all staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers have completed the Safeguarding eLearning
  • Delivering face to face training for those working in a regulated activity on a regular basis
  • Attending regular training and networking events relating to safeguarding issues
  • Ensuring that learners/service users and their parents/guardians/carers know where to go if they need support or have concerns about the behaviour of an employee, self-employed contractor or volunteer 
  • Attending interviews for key roles involved in safeguarding within their region or operation, or other areas when required
  • Effectively dealing with any potential aftermath of an incident in the Charity
  • Maintaining awareness of vulnerable service users within their region / operation
  • Encouraging a culture of listening to children and embedding their views and wishes into policy and practice.
  • Educating learners and apprentices in how to report concerns and/or seek support and guidance

A full list of the contact details for the local safeguarding officers can be found on the Charity’s intranet (Grapevine). 

5.6 Central Services Support

The HR, IT and Facilities teams from central services will provide assistance in support of the Charity’s Safeguarding approach and action plans. This will include:

  • Sourcing appropriate training providers for Safeguarding eLearning modules
  • Supporting with the logistical aspects of the roll out of the Safeguarding eLearning modules
  • Supporting with ongoing reporting on eLearning completion; how to record the training, how to report on this, prompts for renewals etc.
  • Monitoring and filtering of appropriate site access for learners
  • Creating and maintaining sufficient safeguards online
  • Ensuring the security settings are fit for purpose
  • Ensuring all Central YMCA site locations are fit for purpose 

6. Guest Speakers

The Charity believes that guest speakers can enrich our education programmes and other areas of our business by adding depth and breadth on a range of subjects. 

In relation to this, it is the Charity’s policy that guest speakers should: 

  • Follow the same signing in procedures as other visitors
  • Not be left alone with learners, children, young people or vulnerable adults unless they have a current DBS which we have had sight of and logged
  • Have their views countered and balanced by our employees, self-employed contractors or volunteers should they have any extreme views, whether political or religious.

7. Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are not permitted to be used during any of the Charity’s programmes which include regulated activity with pre-16 children. 

This applies to all employees, self-employed contractors, volunteers and trustees except for emergencies. 

All employees, self-employed contractors, volunteers and trustees are responsible for ensuring this procedure is adhered to by parents and children when regulated activity is taking place. Local procedures will be detailed in specific operational policies at local level. 

9. COVID-19

In line with the guidance issued in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021) the non-statutory interim guidance has been removed and it is expected all Central YMCA education centres are fully open and able to support the health, welfare and wellbeing of our learners in centre. 

Where necessary local interventions may enforce short term closures and each individual setting will be reviewed accordingly.

It is important that all those who interact with learners during 2021-22, including online, continue to look out for signs a person may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with in line with this policy. We will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements and that members of staff are given relevant advice on keeping themselves and learners safe when using these.

Some processes are for internal use only.