Safeguarding is action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. It also includes vulnerable adults where they are mistreated, neglected or harmed by another person who holds a position of trust. Although The Centre for Education and Youth does not directly deliver services to children and young people, as part of our work we encounter children and young people who may give rise to concerns or disclose information relevant to safeguarding.
We are committed to ensuring all children and young people’s welfare is safeguarded and will therefore take any concerns seriously. This policy and the procedures within it are designed to ensure we safeguard the children we encounter as part of our work. This policy applies to all staff as well as any contractors, it covers children under the age of 18 as well as vulnerable adults.
- Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
- Preventing harm to children’s health or development
- Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
All children and young people have the same protection regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity and some will be particularly vulnerable for example where they are disabled or have special needs. We will always seek to work inclusively and actively combat discrimination.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, including: The Children Act 1989, United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991, Data Protection Act 2018, Sexual Offences Act 2003, Children Act 2004, Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, and relevant government guidance on safeguarding children.
1. Reporting a safeguarding concern
A safeguarding concern is where you have concerns about a child’s welfare or believe they are at risk of harm. The key designated safeguarding staff is:
Lisa Pollitt is our safeguarding consultant and she is available on 07768 617387 between Monday – Friday between 9am-5pm. Should you be undertaking field work outside these hours, she will be available by prior arrangement. Please contact her a week in advance to arrange availability.
If you have a safeguarding concern about a child you encounter as part of your work:
- If you believe anyone is in immediate danger, call the police and the The Centre for Education and Youth Chief Executive (or Head of Research) straight away and:
- Report your concern to the person responsible for that young person- e.g. the teacher or activity organiser.
- If your concern involves the person working with the young person, report it to their manager, e.g. the head-teacher or director of the organisation. If you are able to identify who the organisation’s head of safeguarding is, report it to them.
- Then follow step 2
- In all cases (and if you do not believe anyone is in immediate danger), record your concern in writing as soon as you can using the The Centre for Education and Youth “Logging a Concern Form.” Save the form securely in your Boxcryptor Individual File Sharing folder and submit to designated CP Ellie Mulcahy using SendSafely within 24 hours. Ellie will then contact the organisation concerned if further action is needed or liaise with local safeguarding teams/the police/NSPCC as appropriate.
- In any case, NSPCC can provide advice: [email protected] / 0808 800 5000. Our safeguarding consultant, Lisa Pollitt, will also be able to provide support on 07768 617387 .
If you have concerns about a colleague within The Centre for Education and Youth or anyone contracted to work for The Centre for Education and Youth, you should share these immediately with the The Centre for Education and Youth Chief Executive. If the concern involves the Chief Executive, you should report it to the Head of Research. If this is not possible, contact the NSPCC for advice.
3. Consent and confidentiality
Where they are able to do so, all children should provide voluntary informed consent before participating in research. Where they are unable to do so, the person responsible for them (e.g. their school or parent) should do so on their behalf. Our Parental consent decision tree can help you with this process. Unless specifically agreed, children should remain anonymous in research and all personal data should be kept securely in line with our data protection and security policy. Consent forms for both adults and children should state that if you are concerned about a child’s safety or wellbeing you will not be able to maintain confidentiality and will need to tell someone who can help.
If a child discloses information relating to safeguarding during research, you should:
- Decide whether the child is at risk of immediate harm and, if so, call the police
- Let them know that the information cannot be kept confidential but that you will make sure you tell someone who can help.
- Avoid asking any leading questions or offering an opinion on what has happened.
- Record what was said as soon as possible and keep this information secure. Stick to a factual account rather than what you think about it.
- Follow the procedures set out in section 1 on reporting a concern.
- Listen carefully, take it seriously and be non-judgemental
- Reassure them that they are right to tell and it is not his/her fault
- Negotiate getting help- tell them that you have to pass the concern to someone who is trained to help them
- If they are in immediate danger call the police and stay with them until the police arrive
- Make careful records of what was said and give to Designated Child Protection Lead within 24 hours using the “Logging a Concern” Form
- Maintain confidentiality
4. Training and induction
All staff and contractors will be given this safeguarding policy before working for The Centre for Education and Youth and will be DBS/CRB checked before carrying out work that gives them unsupervised or regular contact with young people or before gaining access to sensitive or personal data. Designated safeguarding staff will receive designated person training. Referees for new staff will be asked if there have been any safeguarding concerns about applicants.
Safeguarding training will be provided for staff every 3 years with refreshers every year. A record of DBS disclosure numbers will be held in a secure digital format.
5. The Centre for Education and Youth Storage of Special Category Personal Data (GDPR Amendment 85)
The Centre for Education and Youth will keep relevant, adequate, non excessive personal information about safeguarding concerns that are accurate and up to date for 7 years for Child Protection and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults. The Centre for Education and Youth will also keep records regarding concerns about an adult working with children or vulnerable adults for 10 years (or longer where necessary – see below).
When the retention period finishes, The Centre for Education and Youth’s Safeguarding Lead will securely delete records in the presence of one other member of staff. Safeguarding concerns will also be kept electronically in an encrypted file with access only available to the Designated Leads. Access to Safeguarding concern files will only be on a “need to know” basis. A log will be kept of who has access to the confidential files.
Information about child protection/adult safeguarding concerns and referrals are kept in a separate safeguarding file for each child/young person/vulnerable adult.
The Centre for Education and Youth will keep a record of concerns that were raised about a child or vulnerable adult’s welfare that have not been shared with the police and/or social care.
6. Recording concerns about adult behaviour
Sometimes concerns might be raised about an adult who works or volunteers with children. This could be because they’ve: behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child or vulnerable adult; committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a child or vulnerable adult; or behaved in a way that indicates they are unsuitable to work with children, young people or vulnerable adults.
The Centre for Education and Youth will keep clear and comprehensive records of all allegations made against adults working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults, including; what the allegations were; how the allegations were followed up; how things were resolved; any action taken; and decisions reached about the person’s suitability to work with children and vulnerable adults.
Keeping these records will enable The Centre for Education and Youth to give accurate information if ever asked for it. For example: in response to future requests for a reference; if a future employer asks for clarification about information disclosed as part of a vetting and barring check; or if allegations resurface after a period of time.
If concerns have been raised about an adult’s behaviour around children or vulnerable adults, The Centre for Education and Youth will keep the records in their personnel file either until they reach normal retirement age or for 10 years – whichever is longer (IRMS, 2016). The Centre for Education and Youth will keep records for the same amount of time regardless of whether the allegations were unfounded. However if The Centre for Education and Youth finds that allegations are malicious the records will be destroyed immediately.
Information will be kept for this length of time even if the person stops working or volunteering for The Centre for Education and Youth. In some cases, records can be kept for longer periods of time. For example, if: the records provide information about a child/ vulnerable adult’s personal history, which they might want to access at a later date; the records have been maintained for the purposes of research; the information in the records is relevant to legal action that has been started but not finished; or the records have been archived for historical purposes (for example if the records are relevant to legal proceedings involving the organisation).
Where there are legal proceedings The Centre for Education and Youth will seek legal advice about how long to retain the records.
7. Reviewing Safeguarding Policies (Including retention, storage and destruction of records)
The Centre for Education and Youth will review retention and storage arrangements of Child Protection and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults records regularly to make sure it is effective and continues to comply with current legislation and guidance. This will be carried out as part of a wider review of The Centre for Education and Youth safeguarding policies and procedures. If The Centre for Education and Youth make changes to its Safeguarding Policy and Procedures it will keep a copy of the original version, including a record of the changes made and why. The Centre for Education and Youth will clearly mark the old version so it’s clear it has been superseded.