Safeguarding Procedure Policy. GS Artists Swansea LTD.
- 1.1 These procedures set out the steps to be taken when a safeguarding concern is disclosed or suspected. Further guidance and frequently asked questions can be found in the appendices.
- 1.2 It is the responsibility of all staff, students, volunteers and staff of contractors engaged in regulated activity to familiarise themselves with the reporting procedures, completed any training identified as necessary for the role and ensured they are aware of a point of contact for raising safeguarding concerns within the setting before undertaking any regulated activity with children or adults at risk.
2. Recognising abuse
- 2.1 The recognition of abuse is not always easy. The organisation acknowledges that its staff, students and volunteers may not be experienced in this area and may not easily know whether or not abuse is taking place. Indeed, it is not the place of organisation members to make such a judgement. However, the organisation recognises that it has a responsibility to act on any concerns in order to safeguard the welfare of children or adults at risk.
- 2.2 Abuse can and does occur both within families and in institutional or community settings. The organisation acknowledges that some individuals seek to use voluntary and community organisations to gain access to children and adults at risk and that it is necessary to have an open mind when the possibility arises that a member of the organisation is suspected of abuse or inappropriate activity.
3. What to do if abuse/neglect is suspected or disclosed
3.1 The following section sets out how to handle a disclosure of abuse or neglect. If a child or adult at risk says something or acts in such a way that abuse is suspected, the person receiving the information should:
Assess the situation
• Assess whether there is an active threat to the child/adult at risk’s safety and the safety of others. If the situation is urgent or dangerous, you should call the police on 999.
React in a calm but concerned way
- Do not confront the alleged abuser.
- Tell the person that s/he is right to share what has happened; and that s/he is not responsible for what has happened.
- Take what the person says seriously.
- Keep questions to an absolute minimum only to clarify what the person is saying,
not to interrogate.
- Do not interrupt the person when they are recalling significant events.
- Reassure the person that the issue can be dealt with.
- Explain what actions you must take in a way that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child/adult at risk.
- Confidentiality and consent
- Explain the limits of confidentiality to anyone under the age of 18 years, as you have a responsibility to disclose information to those who need to know. Reporting concerns is not a betrayal of trust.
- Explain to an adult at risk that you require their consent to pass on the matter to an agency such as social services or the police.
- Do not give assurances of confidentiality that cannot be kept but reassure the person that the information will only be passed on to those people who need to know.
- Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality. Suspicions or details of a disclosure must not be discussed with anyone else other than the responsible individuals outlined in section 4.
Record the following information as soon as possible:
- What is said and done when the disclosure is made or the concern becomes apparent. This may be used later in a criminal trial and it is vital that what is disclosed is recorded as accurately as possible. Do not ask leading questions. The record must be drafted in the person’s words and should not include the assumptions or opinions of others.
- The person’s account of what has occurred and the nature of the allegation or concern.
- Descriptions of any physical injuries (do not remove clothing to inspect injuries)
- The date, time, place and individuals who were present at the discussion.
- Any other dates, times, places or names, or any other potentially significant information.
Please note: a template for logging concerns can be found in the appendices.
In an emergency
- In urgent cases where you have an immediate concern you must make direct contact with the police by calling 999, reporting later to the Designated Safeguarding Children Officer.
- You have no right to detain a child or adult at risk, but you should provide a ‘place of safety’, if possible, until the police or local authority assumes responsibility.
- You should not, under any circumstances, confront or contact the accused, or talk to friends and/or family of the abused.
- The person taking the disclosure must recognise their individual responsibility to their own safety and that of others with whom they work and take appropriate action to minimise risk of harm.
- If you need further support
- If you require advice or support, contact the local duty team or NSPCC helpline (see Supporting Compliance and Practice Guidance Note 1; Reporting Concerns for reporting procedures). The need to seek advice however, should not delay any emergency action needed to protect a child. If you are unable to contact social services or your PI/line manager for advice, you should report your concerns to the police;
- All concerns reported to social services are taken seriously. It is better to have discussed it with an expert who has experience and responsibility to make an assessment.
- It is recognised that staff may need support after receiving a disclosure and will be offered appropriate support by line management.
- Where staff, students, volunteers or staff of contractors are unsure and need guidance about safeguarding issues, they must seek support from the Designated Safeguarding Officer, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer or Principal Safeguarding Officer
- never do nothing
- don’t assume someone else will do something
- never push for more information
- never discuss your worries with the suspected abuser
4. Making a disclosure
- 4.1 Staff, students and volunteers working in direct contact with children or adults at risk may come across possible signs of harm and/or abuse. In each circumstance the individual needs to ensure that any concerns for the wellbeing of a child or adult at risk are reported to the appropriate person as quickly as possible and, at most, within 24 hours.
- 4.2 Staff, students and volunteers should discuss and/or take advice promptly from a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) or a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer (DDSO). Your line manager may be able to assist you in contacting the DSO.
- 4.3 All staff should be made aware of whom the DSO or DDSO is in their relevant setting, before working with children or adults at risk. A full list is included in the appendices and is updated annually.
- 4.4 Where the disclosure is made in a research setting, safeguarding concerns should be reported immediately to the Principal Investigator.
- 4.5 The PI should contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer appointed to the activity whenever the alleged perpetrator or victim is a member of the organisation’s community or the abuse is alleged to have happened on the organisation’s property.
- 4.6 Where there are outreach activities, e.g. in a school or hospital, reported or suspected abuse should be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Officer of the school or hospital. The expectation of the organisation is that any such referral would be brought to the attention of the Lead Safeguarding Officer by the school or hospital DSO.
- 4.7 Staff in areas that do not have a DSO or DDSO should report any concerns or seek advice from the Lead Safeguarding Officer or Principal Safeguarding Officers.
- Out of hours
- 4.8 If the concern is of a very serious nature and arises out of normal office hours (evenings and weekends), contact should be made directly with the relevant Social Services Emergency Duty Team. In urgent cases, where you have an immediate concern you must make direct contact with the police by calling 999, reporting later to the Designated Safeguarding Children Officer.
- 5.1 It is preferable to gain the child or adult at risk’s consent before proceeding with a disclosure. However, where this is not possible, the guidelines below should be followed.
- 5.2 There is no requirement to gain consent before reporting concerns about a child to the relevant statutory authorities (police, social service or the NSPCC), nor to determine their mental capacity.
- 5.3 Wherever possible, consent should be obtained from an adult with capacity, but the requirement for safeguarding children and adults at risk where there are reasonable grounds for concern always overrides the responsibility to maintain confidentiality or
4 obtain consent .
- 5.4 In law, an adult is deemed to have capacity to give or withhold consent to social services referrals, medical examinations, etc. If it is believed that an adult is at risk and may need protection, a responsible person must consider if the individual is capable of giving consent.
- 5.5 If the adult is deemed to have capacity to consent, a professional acting on behalf of the organisation must seek the individual’s consent before taking any action, such as a referral to social services or the police.
4 Note – this applies to ‘adults at risk’ – see definitions in appendix 1 of the Safeguarding Policy
- 5.6 If the adult has the capacity to refuse consent to Social Services responding to the alleged abuse and if there are no other adults at risk involved; if a crime has not been committed; and if children are not present (or in the environment where the alleged abuse has taken place), Social Services cannot proceed without consent and therefore, the organisation would not be able to proceed with external reporting procedures.
- 5.7 There are some exceptions to this rule where consent is not required, these are:
- Where there is a duty to act (e.g. a crime may have taken place); or
- When it is in the public interest to act (e.g. another person or people, child or adult, is/are put at risk); or
- When it is suspected that the individual may be under the undue influence of someone else.
- Where there is a duty to act (e.g. a crime may have taken place); or
- 5.8 Adults at risk always retain the right to utilise services to receive support in the interests of their own safety and peace of mind.
- 5.9 Notes of the circumstances can be maintained should the individual change their mind at a later stage. Information sharing protocols will evidence that consideration of capacity to consent has taken place, that consent has been given or withheld or the decision-making process to judge that this is not required.
6. What if the allegation relates to a student or member of staff?
- 6.1 Whistleblowing is an important aspect of a safeguarded institution whereby staff, students and volunteers are encouraged to share genuine concerns about a colleague’s behaviour, in confidence, with the relevant Principal Safeguarding Officer.
- 6.2 There may be situations whereby staff, students or volunteers have genuine concerns about the conduct of a colleague towards a child or adult. All members of the organisation have the right and the responsibility to raise concerns, without prejudice to their own position, about the behaviour of staff, students, volunteers, or others, which may be harmful to those in their care and will receive appropriate support when doing so.
- 6.3 Where an allegation of abuse or inappropriate behaviour is made against a member of staff and relates to their actions as an employee of the organisation, Human Resources will advise and guide the line manager of the member of staff against whom allegations have been made in relation to employment and disciplinary issues. A referral should be made to Children’s Services if the allegation involves actual or possible harm to a child, or to Adult Social Services if the allegation involves actual or possible harm to an adult at risk.
- 6.4 Where an allegation of abuse or inappropriate behaviour is made against a student and relates to their actions as a member of the organisation will provide advice in relation to student discipline or fitness to practice issues.
- 6.5 The organisation will support and protect those staff, students, volunteers and others who, in good faith and without malicious intent, report suspicions of abuse or concerns about colleagues and their actions.
7. What will happen next
7.1 Disclosures should be reported immediately by the Designated Safeguarding Officer/Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer to the Lead Safeguarding Officer or Principal Safeguarding Officer who will to take the appropriate action.
7.2 The Designated Safeguarding Officer, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer or the Principal Safeguarding Officer will invoke the appropriate procedures to ensure that children and adults at risk are safeguarded involving Social Services and the Police as appropriate.
8. Referral to Social Services
- 8.1 The Lead Safeguarding Officer and Principal Safeguarding Officer have the responsibility to act on behalf of the organisation in dealing with allegations or suspicion of abuse or neglect. This will include collating details of the allegation or suspicion and referring the matter to the appropriate statutory authorities.
- 8.2 A written referral to social services should be made as soon as a problem, suspicion or concern becomes apparent, and certainly within 24 hours.
- 8.3 The appropriate Social Services to be contacted in instances of alleged abuse will be the one which covers the local authority area within which the incident occurred (see contact details in appendix 1 above). Therefore, if the incident occurred at the individual’s home/school, the appropriate geographical Children/Adult Services would be the one for that local authority area.
- 8.4 During office hours, referrals may be made by telephone to the local social services office. Outside of office hours, a referral should be made to the Emergency duty team.
- 8.5 Social services should acknowledge the written referral within one working day of receiving it. Social services should be contacted again if a response has not been received within 3 working days.
- 8.6 If the decision by social services is that no further action is taken, this should be recorded in writing, including the reasons for that decision.
- 8.7 It is important that any reasonable concerns are referred to social services, even if you think it may be unimportant or that the cultural context is not fully understood. The information provided could be crucial in a broader context.
- 8.8 Under no circumstances should members of the organisation carry out their own investigation into suspicions or allegations of abuse, neither should they question victims closely, as to do so may undermine evidence and obstruct any investigation that may be carried out subsequently by the Police or Social Services.
- 8.9 You should however be committed to cooperating in any official investigation which may take place.
- 8.10 It is the task of designated statutory bodies (Police, Social Services, NSPCC) not the organisation, to assess the information given to them and to decide whether to investigate the matter further.
9. Keeping records
- 9.1 Anyone who processes personal information must comply with the principles of the Data Protection legislation, which includes ensuring that personal information is fairly and lawfully processed, not excessive, is accurate, and kept securely.
- 9.2 Sharing of personal information is legal when the organisation has a legal obligation to fulfil, when they are acting to protect the vital interests of the subject or when it assists in the investigation of criminal activity.
- 9.3 All records relating to the disclosure or referral of a safeguarding concern must be stored securely and treated confidentiality in line with information handling procedures.
- 9.4 Assurance Services keep a record of safeguarding concerns, disclosures and referrals. This information is provided to Assurance Services by the DSO/LSO/PSO.
Notes and frequently asked questions
|What To Do
|What should I do if
a child or at risk/ adult at risk asks to speak to me in confidence about what could be a safeguarding matter?
|Arrange for a third person (who is acceptable both to you and the child/ adult at risk) to be present and make sure you are out of hearing of others. Reassure them and listen carefully to what they are saying, noting down what is said while the conversation is taking place – do not ask questions. Make no judgement about what you’ve heard and stay calm.
|You cannot promise Confidentiality.Inform them
that you might have to tell someone – Observe, Record and Report
|Who is responsible for reporting concerns to the appropriate authorities?
|You are – but you
must, where time and circumstances allow
(which normally should
be the case), discuss the matter with your Line Manager and/or
Designated Officer, who must report.
|Talk to Line Manager who will normally consult with the organisation/council’s Designated Safeguarding Children Officer.
|What do I do if I think a child/ adult at risk is in immediate danger?
|In urgent cases, where
you have an immediate concern you must
make direct contact with
the police by calling 999, reporting later to the University’s Designated Safeguarding Children Officer.
|Have the name and address of the individual making the allegation. Refer to your notes – don’t filter or withhold any information. You have no right to detain
a child or adult at risk, but you should
provide a “place of safety”, if possible, until the police or local authority assumes responsibility.
Should I contact The parents or If parents or parents/guardians/ guardians/carers of a guardians/carers are carers?
|child or adult at risk of the disclosure or allegation should normally be informed by the Designated Officer or equivalent as soon as possible that a report is being made to the police or social services.
|implicated, do not inform them, but seek advice from the police or social services.
|What To Do
|What should I do if I hear allegations/have suspicions/get a report about potential abuse, and members of the organisation are implicated?
|In cases where you hear allegations about yourself or your colleagues, or hold suspicions or concerns in which your colleagues are implicated, you should consult your Line Manager without delay. If your Line Manager is implicated in any allegations or suspicions, you should immediately consult the organisation’s Designated Safeguarding Officer.
|Your Line Manager or equivalent will ensure that the Director of HR is informed.
|How many people should be informed?
|Only discuss issues with your line manager and/or designated officer.
|For reasons of confidentiality, the number of people to be informed of alleged child abuse cases reported to the authorities is to be kept to a minimum (‘need to know’).
|What action does the organisation take
if the case is closed by the police or social services?
|If the organisation
ascertains that the social services/civil police
decide to take no further action, the University will usually also close the case. However, the organisation may decide to initiate action under its own policies and procedures if appropriate.
Appendix 2 Reporting flowchart
List of roles and responsibilities
*Here you would normally have a list of the people who work at the gallery and what their safeguarding role, title, name, mobile and email
Template for recording disclosures
Name of child / adult raising
Date of birth the issue
Date form completed
Time form completed
|Adult / Child details: School: ………………………….
|Student /Staff (circle)
|Name: Reporting person
|Incident report as recorded by Safeguarding Officer (or provided by other) from … Name
|Please record the incident as factually as possible;- Provide the following details;- Who
Is involved? What took place? Where? Risk of harm considered to be; Low / Medium / High Why? When? Any further relevant details:
|What took place?
Note all action taken, including the names of anyone to whom information was passed.
|Internal actions and reporting
|Reports to external agencies
|Involvement of other agencies or organisations
Names and contact details of relevant officers:
Signed by Role …………………………………………………………………