Fairness and Equality, Working Safely with and Safeguarding Children & Adults at Risk Policy

Policy statement

As a caring organisation, Redbourn Care Group (RCG) seeks to provide an environment where all members (also known as volunteers) can work fairly and safely to serve the community. We will take reasonable precautions to protect and minimise risk to our members, clients and the wider community we serve.

RCG is committed to ensure that all members are kept safe from harm whilst they are involved with the organisation in any way. The RCG and its members will also fulfil the responsibilities in relation to any legislation, including the Equality Act (2010) to protect people from discrimination, and the Care Act (2014) to protect a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

As a voluntary organisation working with children and adults at risk we will seek to:

  • Promote the general welfare, health and wellbeing and safeguarding of children, young people and adults at risk
  • Protect, maintain and uphold the human rights of children and adults at risk
  • Eliminate discrimination
  • Have in place and follow clearly defined procedures for recruiting members
  • Ensure that all members are fit and capable of carrying out their role
  • Ensure that members know what their responsibilities are and how to record and report their concerns
  • Ensure that members are encouraged to report any abuse, alleged malpractice, illegal acts or omissions
  • Ensure effective procedures are in place for responding/referring complaints and disclosures/allegations
  • Always have a two adult presence when working with children i.e. whenever we work with children it will always be in the presence of a parent or guardian, or a responsible adult nominated by them
  • Always have a two adult presence when providing our clients with transport and outings using the RCG minibus

We encourage service recipients (clients) and members to feel comfortable, part of a social group and to communicate with the Volunteer Co-coordinator (Care Group Office Manager) or a Trustee if they have a concern or a suggestion for improvement. This includes raising any problems they may experience using or delivering the Group’s service or sharing any ideas for future developments.

With the permission of service users or to comply with our legal responsibilities, we may contact other agencies as relevant or required.

If a member or service user suspects, experiences or witnesses ill-treatment of another person while involved in the Group, we expect them to tell the Co-ordinator or any other Trustee (who is also a member of the Management Committee) who would then pass on the information in confidence to a relevant and appropriate body.

Only people who would need to know about this would be told.

The Trustees will fully investigate and seek to resolve all complaints, of whatever nature, concerning the provision and delivery of service or member activity, locally. If this cannot be achieved, then a local person of expertise will be approached to determine resolution.

Equality

It is RCG’s policy to treat all persons with dignity and respect. It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone because of age, being or becoming a transsexual person, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or having a child, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, belief or lack of religion/belief, sex, and sexual orientation. These are called ‘protected characteristics’.

We will seek to ensure that no one who gives or receives a service with us or is a member of RCG will be treated detrimentally. We do not tolerate abusive or unfair treatment, whether in word or deed and will investigate and take action as required.

Specifically, each member has a personal responsibility for treating all clients and other members without any form of discrimination as follows:

  • Direct discrimination: treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others
  • Indirect discrimination: putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage
  • Harassment: unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them
  • Victimization: treating someone unfairly because they’ve complained about discrimination or harassment

Safeguarding

Safeguarding is everyone’s business and RCG will comply with its responsibilities under the Care Act 2014 and work together with other organisations to protect people who need help and support. A person at risk is in, or, has need of care and support, and is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and as a result of those needs is unable to protect themselves.

The Care Act requires organisations to prevent and stop both risks and experiences of abuse or neglect, whilst at the same time making sure that the person’s wellbeing is promoted, including where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action.

Abuse is defined as where another person hurts, harms or causes distress to a person at risk and/or violates an individual’s human and civil rights. This may be a single act or repeated actions. Types of abuse include physical, sexual, psychological, financial or material, discriminatory, neglect or omission, organisational, domestic violence, modern slavery, self-neglect, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, radicalisation and hate and mate crime.

Fairness and Equality, Working Safely with and Safeguarding Children & Adults at Risk Policy Registered Charity Number 297955 March 2018

Specifically, we will seek to ensure that each member is made aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding children and adults at risk, and the process to follow should any concerns arise. RCG has appointed a Trustee to be the designated person to whom any disclosures/allegations are reported without delay.

Members are required to understand and apply RCG policy for working safely with children and adults at risk. If abuse or neglect is suspected and/or a person discloses something the member must:

  • Listen to the disclosure and be sympathetic (no judgement or promises should be made)
  • Make the immediate situation safe. If there is a threat to life or limb contact the Police
  • Ask “is there anything else you want to tell me”(no probing questions should be used)
  • Record all details (see Appendix)
  • Report disclosure/allegations to the designated Trustee without delay (see Appendix)
  • The designated Trustee must then refer to the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Board within 24 hours.
    It is not the RCGs responsibility to take action (except as stated above) but to act as the eyes and ears of the community.

Whistleblowing

If a member believes there is malpractice or wrongdoing, they can and should ‘blow the whistle’.

The accepted name for reporting a concern is ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’. Such action is taken for the good of society. All members will be supported and protected if they decide to ‘blow the whistle’ on the organisation or a colleague. All such reports will be directed to a Trustee who will seek the advice of others on the Board of Trustees and decide on the appropriate course of action.

This policy will be subject to review annually.
Policy approved and adopted by all Trustees: March 2018

Fairness and Equality, Working Safely with and Safeguarding Children & Adults at Risk Policy Registered Charity Number 297955 March 2018

Appendix – Hertfordshire safeguarding adult concern form (March 2018)

Fairness and Equality, Working Safely with and Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk Policy

To be completed by RCG member together with the designated Trustee.
The designated Trustee must be contacted asap and within 24 hours.
Redbourn Care Group 01582 794550.
Email: redbourncaregroup@btconnect.com

Fairness and Equality, Working Safely with and Safeguarding Children & Adults at Risk Policy. March 2016.