The Be Happy Yoga Project
Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy
We aim to ensure that any vulnerable people, whether children, young people or vulnerable adults, are protected and kept safe from harm while they are with staff or volunteers in this organisation, and that we will challenge abuse whenever it is encountered in the course of our activities. In order to achieve this we will ensure any staff and volunteers are carefully selected, screened, trained and supervised.
We consider protection to be very important and The Be Happy Yoga Project undertakes to ensure that any staff who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults have been checked under recognised procedures and have received information that will enable them to recognise the signs of a child in distress and to follow the referral procedure.
We also recognise that we have a legal duty under the Child Protection Act and The Human Rights Act to ensure that we act appropriately if we encounter a protection issue concerning any child, young person or vulnerable person.
This policy also follows guidelines set out in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Adults: Multiagency Policies and Procedures which should be read in conjunction with this policy which can be viewed at the following link: http://lrsb.org.uk/adults
Our Designated Safeguarding Officer: Danielle Texeira
Contact number: 07999 614258
We think that:
SAFEGUARDING IS EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS – Safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone. We will work together to prevent and minimise abuse. If we have concerns that someone is being abused our loyalty to safeguard the person comes before anything else – this includes our organisation, other service users, our colleagues and the person’s friends and family.
DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION – If we know or suspect that someone is being abused, we will do something about it and ensure our work is properly recorded.
The Be Happy Yoga Project is a partnership between husband and wife, Michael and Danielle Texeira. We were both DRB checked in September 2015. Although, we do not foresee recruiting any new staff for working with children, young people or vulnerable adults, we will follow the below procedure if and when we do.
- All applicants, for paid and unpaid positions, will complete an application form.
- Short listed applicants will be asked to attend interview.
- Short listed applicants will be asked to provide references and these will always be taken up prior to confirmation of appointment. We will follow up each reference with a telephone call or personal contact during which we will discuss the applicant’s suitability to work with vulnerable adults.
- Where relevant to the post, the successful applicant will be asked to agree to an appropriate disclosure / Criminal record check. These will be requested and received prior to the applicant taking up post.
- The successful applicant will receive induction training, which will give an overview of the organisation and ensure they know its purpose, values, services and structure.
- Relevant training and support will be provided on an ongoing basis, and will cover information about their role, and opportunities for practicing skills needed for the work.
- Training on specific areas such as health & safety procedures, identifying and reporting abuse, and confidentiality will be given as a priority to new staff and volunteers, and will be regularly reviewed.
- All staff and volunteers will have a designated supervisor who will provide regular feedback and support.
- Every member of staff and volunteer will attend an annual review, where their performance, skills, motivation and expectations will be discussed. Annual reviews will be recorded and copies made available to the member of staff/volunteer.
- We will ensure that all staff and volunteers involved in recruitment, training and supervision, are aware of this policy and have received appropriate training and support to ensure its full implementation.
Responsibilities of staff and volunteers
- Staff and volunteers have a responsibility to protect children, young people or vulnerable adults from abuse.
- If a child, young person or vulnerable adult discloses information regarding abuse, staff and volunteers must ensure the information they receive is handled correctly.
- Staff and volunteers are not responsible for judging whether an allegation is true, however, they do have a responsibility to report and protect.
Safeguarding adults procedure
We will work within the boundaries of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s Safeguarding Adults: Multi-Agency Policy and Procedures.
People who may be vulnerable to abuse
The definition for vulnerable adults are people who are over 18 years of age and are getting or may need help and services to live in the community. Vulnerable adults may be unable to take care of themselves and unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation by other people.
This includes people:-
- With learning disabilities
- With physical disabilities
- With sensory disabilities
- With mental ill health
- With brain injuries
- With a drug or alcohol dependency
- With dementia
- Who are frail due to their age
Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other persons(s) or group of people. Abuse may be single or repeated acts. It can be:
Physical abuse: for example, hitting, slapping, burning, pushing, restraining or giving the wrong medication.
Psychological abuse: including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, shouting, swearing, frightening, blaming, ignoring or humiliating a person, intimidation, verbal abuse.
Financial: including the illegal or unauthorised use of a person’s property, money, pension book or other valuables, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance.
Sexual: such as forcing a person to take part in any sexual activity without his or her informed consent – this can occur in any relationship.
Discriminatory: including racist or sexist remarks or comments based on a person’s disability, age or illness, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment. This also includes stopping someone from being involved in religious or cultural activity, services or support networks.
Institutional: the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people at risk of abuse. This includes a failure to ensure the necessary safeguards are in place to protect adults and maintain good standards of care in accordance with individual needs, including training of staff, supervision and management, record keeping and liaising with other providers of care.
Domestic Abuse: incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by someone that can be a partner or family member, regardless of gender or sexuality,
Neglect and acts of omission: including ignoring medical or physical care needs. These can be deliberate or unintentional, amounting to abuse by a carer or self-neglect by the vulnerable person: for example, where a person is deprived of food, heat, clothing, comfort or essential medication, or failing to provide access to appropriate health or social care services.
How Might We Notice Abuse?
Concerns about or evidence of abuse can come to us through:
- A direct disclosure by the adult.
- A complaint or expression of concern by a volunteer, a carer, a member of the public or relative.
- An observation of the behaviour of the person by the volunteer, member of the public or carer.
To safeguard adults who are experiencing, or at risk from abuse, The Be Happy Yoga Project is committed to:
- Identifying the nature of abuse of vulnerable adults where it is occurring.
- Responding effectively to any circumstances giving grounds for concern, or where formal complaints or expressions of anxiety are expressed.
- Ensuring the active participation of individuals, families, groups and communities wherever possible and appropriate.
- Raising awareness of the extent of abuse on vulnerable adults and its impact on them.
- Regularly monitoring and evaluating how our policies, procedures and practices for safeguarding adults are working.
- Making sure our policies, procedures and practices stay up to date with good practice and the law in relation to safeguarding vulnerable adults.
- Ensuring our procedures are in line with the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures.
Prevention and Confidentiality
All staff and volunteers will be requested to read this policy.
We will work with the vulnerable person in a way that meets confidentiality requirements, but where abuse to a person is alleged, suspected, reported or concerns are raised, this policy must be followed. The confidentiality of the vulnerable person will be respected wherever possible and their consent obtained to share information. The vulnerable person should be made aware that our staff, volunteers and partner organisations cannot ignore issues around abuse and that steps will be taken to deal with them in as sensitive a manner as possible. The welfare of the individual is paramount.
The Procedure in Detail
You think abuse has or may have occurred. Act immediately.
It is the responsibility of the person first becoming aware of a situation where there may be a person subject to, or at risk of, abuse to:
Deal with the immediate needs of the person. This may mean taking reasonable steps to ensure the adult is in no immediate danger and seeking medical treatment if required as a matter of urgency.
Bring the concern to the attention of the designated safeguarding officer and if appropriate the designated safeguarding officer within the partner organisation. Do not discuss the allegation with the alleged perpetrator. The designated safeguarding officer should check that the circumstances fall within the Safeguarding Adults procedures i.e. meet the definition of abuse as defined in this Policy and Procedure. The designated safeguarding officer(s) will discuss the allegation/concerns with the local authority referral agency or the police straight away. If at all uncertain a referral should be made to Social Services. Social Services or the police will decide what to do next.
Record details of the allegation as soon as possible somewhere that can be kept secure. Include all the below, if possible:
- The name of the adult
- Date of birth and age
- Address and telephone number
- Why the adult is considered at risk/or is being abused
- Whether consent has been obtained for the referral, and if not the reasons e.g. the person lacks mental capacity or there is an over-riding public interest (e.g. where other adults are at risk)
- Whether there are any concerns or doubts about the mental capacity of the person
- Whether the police are aware of the allegation, and whether a police investigation is underway
What if someone does not want me to report concerns?
- Explain that you must discuss these concerns with your designated safeguarding officer
- Explain that other people may be at risk
- Explain that there may be other issues that they are not aware of
Safeguarding children and young people procedure
The main types of abuse are:
- Physical abuse – Where adults physically hurt or injure children. Hitting, shaking, squeezing, burning and biting are all forms of physical abuse. Giving children alcohol, inappropriate drugs or poison and attempted suffocation or drowning are also physical abuse.
- Sexual abuse – Girls and boys are abused by adults who use children to meet their own sexual needs. This might be full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse or fondling. Showing children pornographic magazines or videos is also included.
- Emotional abuse – Persistent lack of love and affection damages children emotionally. Being constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted can make the child very nervous and withdrawn.
- Neglect – An adult may fail to meet a child’s basic needs, like food or warm clothing. Children might be constantly left alone unsupervised.
Abuse in any form can affect a child of any age.
Staff and volunteers identifying signs of possible abuse
Staff and volunteers may be important links in identifying a case where a child needs further protection. Child abuse may come to light in a number of ways.
- A child may tell you what has happened to them
- From a third party ( e.g. another child)
- Through the child’s behaviour
- A suspicious, unexplained injury to the child
Recognising abuse is not easy. Most children will receive cuts, grazes and bruises in the context of normal play. However, their behaviour may give reason for concern. There may be other reasons for these factors aside from abuse, but any concerns should be immediately discussed with the individuals outlined below.
Warning signs that may alert to possible abuse include:
- Unexplained bruising, cuts or burns on the child, particularly if these parts of the body are not normally injured in accidents.
- An injury which a parent/carer tries to hide or for which they might have given different explanations.
- Changes in behaviour such as a child suddenly becoming very quiet, tearful, withdrawn, aggressive or displaying severe tantrums.
- Loss of weight without a medical explanation.
- An inappropriately dressed or ill kept child who may also be dirty.
- Sexually explicit behaviour, for example playing games and showing an awareness inappropriate for the child’s age.
- Continual masturbation, aggressive and inappropriate sex play.
- Running away from home, attempted suicides, self inflicted injuries.
- A lack of trust in adults, particularly those who would normally be close to a child.
- Disturbed sleep, nightmares and bed wetting, particularly if a child has previously been dry.
- Eating problems, including over eating or loss of appetite.
Procedures to follow with a child if you suspect abuse
- Talk to the child sensitively to find out if there is anything worrying them.
- Keep questions to a minimum, but make sure you are absolutely clear about what the child has said.
- Do not take sole responsibility. Discuss your concerns with the designated safeguarding officer who will discuss the issue with the designated person responsible for Child Protection within the partner organisation.
- Contact with parents should be delayed until advice has been sought from Social Services. The designated safeguarding officer(s) will be responsible for this.
Procedures to follow when a child discloses abuse
- Never promise to keep a secret. If you do so and the child is being hurt you will not be able to help them. Tell the child you may need to talk to someone about it. Emphasise that you will be talking to someone who wants to help.
- Allow the child to decide if s/he wants to open up. Do not push them to do so.
- Avoid using “leading” or “directing” questions.
- Allow the child to talk at its own pace; do not pressure them to disclose anything they do not want to.
- Do not leave the child until they are ready, and then talk to the designated safeguarding officer as soon as possible. Even if the child has decided not to disclose, you should still inform the designated safeguarding officer.
- The designated safeguarding officer, in conjunction, with any others staff or volunteers who were party to the relevant information, must compile a written report, which details all the factual information.
- Anyone dealing with a child that has disclosed information can be referred for professional help to enable them to deal with the experience.
Behaviour guidelines for staff and volunteers working with children, young people or vulnerable adults
The aim of these guidelines is to ensure the safety and well being of all children, young people or vulnerable adults and to support the staff and volunteers in providing a safe, caring environment.
- Staff and volunteers should set examples of appropriate behaviour. As young people learn by example, staff and volunteers should avoid discrimination, name calling, belittling, labelling and unnecessary competition or comparison.
- Staff and volunteers should not physically punish any young/vulnerable person.
- Staff and volunteers should not deprive any young/vulnerable person of, or force them to consume, food or drink.
- Staff and volunteers should not humiliate or frighten any young/vulnerable person.
- Staff and volunteers should avoid situations in which they risk putting himself or herself or the young/vulnerable person at risk. This includes being alone with a young person unnecessarily.
- Staff and volunteers should offer respect to the young/9vulnerable person at all times and strive to be sensitive to their feelings.
Signed: Danielle Texeira
Signed: Michael Texeira
Review Date: 10/05/2018
Non – emergency 101
Adult Social Care 0116 305 0004 (Leicestershire)
0116 454 1004 (Leicester City)
ACTION ON ELDER ABUSE: www.elderabuse.org.uk
Tel: 020 8764 7648
Helpline: 0808 808 8141 (Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 4.30 pm)
ANN CRAFT TRUST
A national association working with staff in the interests of people with learning disabilities who may be at risk from abuse: www.anncrafttrust.org
Tel: 0115 951 5400
PUBLIC CONCERN AT WORK
Support / advice for staff about raising concerns of abuse or malpractice in their working environment.: http://www.pcaw.co.uk
Tel: 020 7404 6609
Support and action group for people with learning difficulties who have been abused and for their families: www.voiceuk.org.uk
Tel: 01332 202555.
A service offering psychotherapy for people with learning disabilities who have been sexually abused or who are perpetrators of sexual abuse. Also provides consultancy and training for professionals: www.respond.org.uk
Tel: 0207 3830700
Helpline: 0845 606 1503 1.30 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. Mon.- Fri.
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELPLINE www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
Tel: 0808 2000 247
Helpline: 0800 800 500
THE SAMARITANS: www.samaritans.org
THINK JESSICA – support with scams: www.thinkjessica.com
TRADING STANDARDS SERVICE: firstname.lastname@example.org
0116 305 8000 (for professionals only)
VICTIM SUPPORT: www.victimsupport.org