Strengthening Families And Children (SFAC)

SFAC is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

UK Registered Charity: 1186903

 

Safeguarding Policy

SFAC’s aim and purpose is to provide a safe environment for all children to live and thrive. This also extends to adults. Safety is a paramount need for all people and SFAC’s work is to strengthen the care and protection experienced by everyone. This policy is designed to support that aim in ensuring we act in ways that promote safeguarding as a key part of SFAC work with external partner agencies, with the children and families that receive assistance from those partner agencies, within our staff team and with everyone we come into contact with. 

The overall responsibility for this policy implementation is the CEO and trustees. But safeguarding is the responsibility of all of us and must be embedded practice within ALL staff, volunteers, contractors and trustees that operate within SFAC. 

All staff (employees, contractors and volunteers) have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, vulnerable adults and beneficiaries with whom SFAC engages.Everyone will undertake the appropriate level of training and be responsible for ensuring that they understand and work within the safeguarding policies of the organisation contained within this policy, the Code of Conduct and the Employment Handbook and all other relevant policies and procedures.

SFAC Responsibilities

  • SFAC will provide all employees, contractors, volunteers and trustees with a copy of its safeguarding policy. 
  • SFAC will update and review the policy each year. 
  • SFAC will provide training and support from the designated safeguarding officer.
  • SFAC trustees will monitor the implementation of the policy and there will be a designated trustee for safeguarding. 
  • SFAC will provide internal training to employees, contractors, volunteers and trustees who are unfamiliar with safeguarding and provide external training where appropriate and relevant. 
  • An SFAC member of senior staff will be available at reasonable times to offer safeguarding advice. 
  • SFAC will have a safeguarding policy in place including specific policies for child protection and vulnerable adults and staff in abusive/vulnerable situations. 
  • SFAC will update the above policies at regular times.
  • SFAC will circulate the policies to employees, contractors, volunteers and  trustees and partner agencies. 
  • SFAC will name an operational member of the team as Safeguarding Officer to have special responsibility to investigate issues, manage safeguarding enquiries and complaints, and liaise with SFAC’s Safeguarding-designated trustee. 
  • All staff, (employed and contractual) together with trustees and volunteers must read through this policy and email to state they have read and agree to the policy. 

Safeguarding Internal Training 

Training will be provided for the individual on a one-to-one basis or group basis if appropriate. The training will include:

  • SFAC policy and procedure
  • The role of agencies in the UK and local processes 
  • The role of the SFAC safeguarding coordinator
  • Understanding abuse and neglect under UK and UN definitions and how to spot basic signs of abuse and neglect
  • How to report concerns within SFAC and in UK
  • Working in an international context and what safeguarding procedures and practices apply in those circumstances 

Those who have completed the training will have this recorded in their individual files.

SFAC reserves the right to outsource safeguarding training, in part or in full, to an external provider. 

Training must be provided to all employees, workers, contractors, volunteers and trustees. 

*See attached guidance for safeguarding training. 

Distribution of the Safeguarding Policy

Providing staff with the Safeguarding Policy (employees, workers, volunteers and contractors)

  • SFAC will include a copy of the safeguarding policy in its shared electronic drives which staff and trustees can access and will provide an electronic copy to volunteers. 
  • Copies can be provided whenever requested by individuals or organisations. 
  • Any immediate changes will be notified to staff, trustees and volunteers as soon as is reasonably practicable. 

General Public

The safeguarding policy will also be available publically through our website. 

Partner Agencies

The safeguarding policy will be provided to all partner agencies electronically through a direct link or link to our website. 

 

General Principles

Duty and Responsibility

SFAC has a duty and responsibility to safeguard vulnerable children and adults. This is central to our work, mission and purpose. SFAC’s mission is to improve the care of children globally. To do this we seek to educate, equip and empower organisations with knowledge, skills and understanding to improve their practice and care of children. 

 

Information Sharing and confidentiality

SFAC will share information about safeguarding concerns to the relevant statutory authorities in line with English law and regulations. SFAC, and its staff or volunteers, cannot offer confidentiality about safeguarding issues to any person or organisation where a child or adult’s safety and protection is at risk. 

The same principle applies internationally unless superseded by national legislation. 

 

Recruitment and Safeguarding 

SFAC will operate a classification system for staff, volunteers and trustees in relation to the level of safeguarding checks that are required before and during work for SFAC:

 

  • Risk Level A - employees or contractors or volunteers who are likely to work with, or be in areas that include children being present (eg children’s homes, schools, families). 
  • Risk Level B – employees, contractor or volunteers that have no contact with children and work only in the SFAC office or at their home or on projects that will involve no contact with children. 
  • Risk Level C – trustees who may have contact with children if observing an SFAC visit, but will in the majority of occasions have no contact with children. 

Risk Level A - SFAC Practice 

  • All staff and volunteers must receive an enhanced DBS check or equivalent if they are living overseas.
  • The DBS checks (or equivalent if employed from overseas country) must be satisfactory and approved by the SFAC board. (The DBS check must be seen and reviewed.) The requirement for this to be provided will be included in SFAC employment contracts for staff directly employed by SFAC and for contractors used by SFAC. 
  • For volunteers that have an existing DBS check, SFAC will request sight of this or letter of assurance from an employer where a DBS check is a requirement of their employment (eg lawyer on children’s panel, social worker working in child protection or with children in care). 
  • Where a volunteer does not have an existing DBS check SFAC will obtain one. 
  • SFAC will update DBS checks every three years. 
  • All employees, contractors and volunteers must produce 2 references from a current or last employer, and any other organisation they choose. Such references will include safeguarding questions. (These will be kept on file until the person no longer works/volunteers for SFAC).
  • If a person lives abroad to the UK then an international check will be completed or a national equivalent to DBS. For guidance please visit the charity commission list of overseas police checks or the International Safeguarding Check. The decision for which check should be made by the Designated Safeguarding Officer. 

Risk Level B

  • Such employees, contractors and volunteers do not require a DBS check. However, references should be obtained including questions about codes of conduct which may raise safeguarding issues. 

Risk Level C

  • DBS check to be completed and CV provided as overseeing a children’s charity. 
  • SFAC can, at its discretion, seek references including safeguarding questions. 

Risk Level A, B & C - responsibilities of staff, contractors, volunteers and trustees

  • All employees, contractors, volunteers and trustees must read and sign the safeguarding policy and agree to adhere to the code of conduct included in the employment handbook and safeguarding handbook. All staff, volunteers and trustees must follow safeguarding procedures and policies set out in this document. 

The CEO and Head of Training (including Safeguarding Designated Officer) must ensure that they have completed Safer Recruitment Training once every 5 years to ensure good practice is being followed. 

 

SFAC Trustee Responsibilities 

  • Trustees must name a trustee with specific oversight for Safeguarding although it is the responsibility of all trustees to ensure safeguarding good practice. 
  • Trustees must ensure the policy is regularly updated and followed by auditing SFAC operational work. 
  • Trustees must also be familiar with charity commission guidance and government legislation in this area which has informed the safeguarding policy. This guidance and legislation is regularly updated on the charity commission sites and should be familiar and regularly update themselves. 
  • A trustee should also complete Safer Recruitment Training every 5 years. 

 

Designated Officers Responsibilities

There will be a named person at operational and trustee level. 

  • The operational member of staff will be a member of senior staff and a qualified social worker. 
  • A trustee will be appointed into role and will preferably be a qualified social worker or with management experience of dealing with safeguarding issues. 

The safeguarding officers will have responsibilities to:

  • review the policy and advise SFAC board on any changes
  • advise and assist staff with safeguarding enquiries
  • investigate safeguarding complaints in accordance with SFAC policies and procedures
  • record safeguarding enquiries and advice given
  • train staff and volunteers in the safeguarding policy
  • identify training needs within the organisation about safeguarding issues from any lessons learnt, assessments and reports.
  • work with SFAC CEO and/or trustees to manage any serious incidents
  • to record all safeguarding concerns and ensure trustees are updated at trustee meetings.  

 

Code of Conduct 

For codes of conduct including issues of safeguarding for children and adults please see the Employment Handbook

 

Child Protection Policy and Procedures

SFAC believes that every child has the right to feel and be safe and protected from harm regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, faith or other forms of diversity. The right is global for all children. The welfare of the child is always paramount and above the needs of SFAC, other individuals, or any other organisation SFAC is working with. 

All SFAC work promotes the need for children to be safe and protected from harm. SFAC staff, contractors and volunteers will have an awareness of safeguarding children and the need to challenge any practice that they believe compromises a child’s safety relevant to the context of the organisation SFAC is working with. 

SFAC adopts the definitions within the UNCRC stating that children have a right to be safe, and protected from harm. 

At all times SFAC promotes a culture of openness to report concerns. 

SFAC emphasises the need to report any concerns about a child’s safety to the relevant organisation. A child’s need to be safe overrides any other considerations or issues. At all times a child’s welfare is of paramount importance.

Abuse and neglect can exist in many forms and be perpetrated by children and adults. 

Forms of abuse include but are not limited to:

  • Physical abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, slapping, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning or suffocating.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of or deliberately causes ill health to a child they are looking after.

  • Neglect

Involves the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and psychological needs, which is likely to result in serious impairment to health and development. It may involve a carer failing to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold, starvation, crime, drugs, prostitution, trafficking or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in a significant impairment of the child’s health or development. 

  • Sexual abuse

Forcing, participating or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether they are aware of what is happening or not, including watching sexualised activity on TV / videos / DVD’s or looking at pornographic material.  It also includes actual sexual attacks / inappropriate touching on children including rape, incest and prostitution and all forms of sexual activity involving children, grooming children to be involved in sexual activity and child sexual exploitation. 

  • Emotional abuse

Involves the persistent emotional ill treatment, which is likely to cause serious harm to the child's emotional development. May involve conveying negative messages to children that they are worthless, unloved and inadequate causing children to feel frightened, in danger, be exploited or corrupted.

  • Domestic abuse

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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 

  • Trafficking

Child trafficking is child abuse where children are recruited, moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold. They are often subject to multiple forms of exploitation. 

Children are trafficked for the following reasons: - 

  1. Child sexual exploitation
  2. Forced marriage
  3. Domestic servitude such as cleaning, cooking, child care
  4. Forced labour in factories or agriculture
  5. Criminal activity such as pick pocketing, begging, transporting drugs, working on cannabis farms, selling pirated DVD’s, bag theft
  6. Benefit fraud 
  7. Forced or groomed into terrorism or war activities.
  • Child labour

When children are trapped in child labour that deprives them of their childhood, their health and education and condemns them to a life of poverty and want. This is a serious violation of their rights. 

  • Forced Marriage

This differs from an arranged marriage due to the lack of consent involved in the decision to marry. It can involve trafficking or can be part of an agreement between families that a child is unaware of and is then forced to take part in. The child may agree to do so to protect their safety but this does not constitute free choice. Pressure may be placed on the person through threats of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, ostracization from the family, or financial abuse where all ties of support are stopped. Arranged marriage is where a person legally able to marry gives consent willingly and freely without duress or pressure and has informed understanding of what it means and the consequences of their decision.  

  • Female Genital Mutilation 

This is a procedure used to cut, injure and change a female’s genitals for no medical reason. FGM is illegal in a number of countries and is a practice that SFAC opposes for any female. 

  • Bullying 

Bullying is now increasingly recognised as harmful to children and young people.  This could take the form of physical intimidation, verbal intimidation - including racist and sexist remarks - or emotional intimidation - for example isolating or excluding someone. It is difficult to define but always involves a less powerful person experiencing deliberate hostility. At its worst bullying can impact a person’s mental health and well-being or put their physical safety at risk of significant harm.

Bullying can also take place through online through social media, apps, games, and other means. 

  • Other

There are numerous other forms of abuse including issues around disability, gender, race, ethnicity and faith. The above list is not exhaustive. 

A child with disabilities, learning needs or mental health difficulties can be at a higher level of vulnerability, especially in countries where such needs cause them to be ostracised or abandoned. 

Gender, faith and sexuality too can increase vulnerability as may the vulnerability of a child’s parent/carer. 

These factors must all be considered when assessing risk and need of a child. 

* It is important to remember that any of the above forms of abuse take place in person and online. Ensuring children/vulnerable adults are safe in both environments is equally important.

 

International context 

Child Protection Policies 

As a minimum requirement, each organisation SFAC partners with must have their own child protection policy, or be working towards having one. SFAC will make a judgement as to whether the child protection policy is sufficient for the charity to work with or not and will offer advice on how any policy or practice can be improved, if agreed with the partner organisation. 

A translated copy or a summary of the policy is sufficient where the copy is not in English. 

Any partner agency must receive a copy of the SFAC Safeguarding Policy prior to an agreement being reached to work with the organisation. The organisation must sign the Terms and Conditions that includes reference to reading and accepting the SFAC Safeguarding Policy or it should be referenced in any MOU or contract signed. 

Partner organisations need to inform SFAC of relevant safeguarding agencies in their country. This should be included in the Initial Assessment Form and/or Partner Plan and recorded in the Partner Organisations Folder. This information is conditional on SFAC agreeing to work with a partner agency.

 

Guiding Principles

The definition of significant harm, as used in the UK, is the threshold used to determine the level of harm posed for SFAC staff (employees, contractors or volunteers). This principle can help guide SFAC in making decisions about whether an incident requires referral and action. However, the assessment also needs to take into consideration local factors, legislation, resources and environment (for example; neglect thresholds in the UK will be different to Uganda; but a mother and father in Uganda that deliberately withhold food still counts as neglecting the child, regardless of levels of poverty). 

When working internationally and are concerned about a child or adult's safety SFAC will initially advise the partner agency to act accordingly under their safeguarding/child protection policy and legislation. If they do not act in a manner consistent with their own policy, SFAC safeguarding policy or advice SFAC gives them about child protection issues, SFAC can make independent referrals if we have the information available and it does not put the child or adult, or SFAC personnel, at greater risk of harm. SFAC’s terms and conditions with partner agencies will inform organisations of this policy; any MOU or contract should also include this policy. 

It is accepted that SFAC may not be able to make independent referrals to agencies in other countries where there is a safeguarding concern about an individual or family as it may not have access to or knowledge of the basic information required to complete such a referral. For example, staff are unlikely to know a name, date of birth, address, school, or family history. In these cases, staff are limited to addressing the partner agency to make the referral and record this advice. Similarly, language may be a barrier to any referrals being made SFAC will try and source a local or international service to translate if possible. 

Where a referral is made to statutory agencies SFAC cannot influence, comment or escalate concerns and accepts that standards of practice and risk may differ. 

SFAC staff cannot, and must not, complete child protection or adult safeguarding investigations, interventions or assessments at any point. SFAC has no legal authority to complete such work. Our responsibility and duty is to refer or advise only. 

Where an operational member of the team has a safeguarding concern and has raised that with the partner agency and is unsatisfied with the response they must contact the SFAC Safeguarding Officer to discuss next steps. 

SFAC has no direct control or influence over the partner agency’s practice, nor the statutory agencies overseas. SFAC is limited to referring such concerns to statutory authorities in the organisation’s country of operation. Once referred SFAC has no influence over the next steps taken. Any referral must be recorded using the child protection policy below. 

If SFAC is working with a charity that has a UK headquarters SFAC will inform the UK headquarters of the organisation of the safeguarding concerns identified in the international programmes and ask what actions have  been taken. If concerned about the response SFAC can consider a referral to the Charity Commission in the UK if we believe there is a risk to our reputational damage or for other reasons stipulated in our Serious Incidents Policy. (See Serious Incidents Policy). 

SFAC accepts as a risk that it may be commencing work at a time when partner agencies standards of practice, including safeguarding,  are low but the organisation is accepting things need to change. During this work if advice is not followed and/or we remain concerned about an organisations practice then a risk assessment needs to be completed in relation to safeguarding risk/serious incident risk/reputational risk and if the partner organisation is appropriate for us to work with. This assessment will be completed by the CEO or Head of Training and recorded in a risk assessment form for organisations and referred to trustees and recorded on the risk register if there is a significant concern that needs to be managed and/or reported to Charity Commission under Serious Incident Policy. 

SFAC also accepts it works within a context overseas where standards of practice may be of a significantly lower statutory threshold than standards in the UK. SFAC accepts this as a risk within its work to improve practice globally. However if there are serious concerns about an organisation’s safeguarding practice and failure to follow SFAC advice, or where such practice is putting lives at risk by negligence SFAC will no longer work with that organisation and may make referrals to Charity Commission or other relevant organisations where appropriate. (see also Working with Organisations Policy). 

 

Risk Assessment Guidance

The below is guidance only and is to support decision-making by SFAC in its work with partner agencies from a safeguarding perspective. Not all possibilities and scenarios can ever be considered and must be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

  • SFAC assess that safeguarding practice remains low but the agency is working with SFAC and there are indications and evidence of positive change, but not at a pace that mirrors the changes required - SFAC to monitor via risk register on ongoing basis with trustee oversight recorded in risk register, trustee meetings, safeguarding register and serious incident referral made if trustees deem reputational risk to be too high for internal management only. 
  • SFAC assess that safeguarding practice remains low and no evidence of change or matters are worse or incidents of practice so significant and severe the risk to SFAC reputation is very high - SFAC to report manage via risk register, consider on going involvement and terminate relationship, report in safeguarding register and trustees to consider serious incident referral especially if the organisation has a UK base. 

 

SFAC in the UK

In the UK SFAC must follow national guidance on reporting safeguarding issues to local authorities and/or safeguarding boards including LADO (Looked After Designated Officer) referrals. 

Any staff member with a concern of a safeguarding nature must report this to the SFAC Safeguarding Coordinator.

Such a concern can relate to, but is not limited to,  something they witnessed/observed within work for SFAC being completed in the UK or a concern about a member of staff/volunteer or trustee’s conduct in the UK or internationally. 

If a concern is about a senior member of SFAC staff or the safeguarding coordinator a referral can be made direct to the designated trustee. 

Staff also have access to whistleblowing systems to report any concerns about an individual or the organisation. 

If there are concerns held about a child or the actions of a partner agency the following steps should be followed:

 

Concerns about a child/family known to partner agency

  • First step if concerned about child or family

Where a child or family is at risk of significant harm the SFAC person should raise their concern with the local partner agency. If the partner agency is aware and is trying to resolve that as best it can within the legislation, procedures and resources available to it then the issue is being managed appropriately. 

  • SFAC member of staff should record their concern in the contact log and the actions taken by the partner agency. 

 

  • Second step if not content with response of partner agency

If the issue is raised and SFAC person remains concerned that the partner agency has not taken sufficient steps to address the issue then the SFAC safeguarding officer should be consulted for further advice. 

  • SFAC member of staff should record their concern in the contact log and record they have completed a referral to SFAC safeguarding officer. 
  • SFAC safeguarding officer will determine next steps and liaise with the SFAC trustee for safeguarding. The Safeguarding Officer will complete Appendix E.
  • The SFAC safeguarding officer will weigh up if we have information required for a referral, if the referral will safeguard the child and family and not put them at further risk of harm, any alternative options available. A SFAC referral form can be used if no local form available. 
  • The SFAC officer should find out the outcome of that referral and record in contact log and advise the SFAC Safeguarding Officer. 
  • Where a referral is not possible as SFAC does not have the language skills or information to make the referral then the actions taken will be noted on the contact log and raised with the partner agency. 
  • If a referral will place a person at greater risk of harm then the SFAC Safeguarding officer and trustee will advise on alternative actions.  
  • SFAC Safeguarding Officer and trustees to advise the board and CEO on whether SFAC can continue to work with the organisation in line with Working With Organisations Policy and our terms and conditions.  

 

Concerns about a partner agencies practice

  • If not content with response of partner agency

If the issue is raised and SFAC person remains concerned that the partner agency has not taken sufficient steps to address the issue then the SFAC safeguarding officer should be consulted for further advice. 

  • SFAC member of staff should record their concern in the contact log and record they have completed a referral to SFAC safeguarding officer. 
  • SFAC safeguarding officer will determine next steps and liaise with the SFAC trustee for safeguarding. 
  • Decision will be made about if SFAC can work with the organisation, whether there is any external body within their own country  to refer concerns to, whether SFAC needs to refer to any partner agency (such as a UK, Australia or USA based partner agency), any need to refer to Charity Commission in England or equivalent. 
  • Such actions will be recorded in the risk register, safeguarding and serious incident log. 

 

Concern about a member of staff of a partner agency

  • If there is a concern held by SFAC person about the conduct of a member of the partner agencies staff towards a child this should be reported to the SFAC safeguarding officer and recorded in the contact log.
  • The SFAC safeguarding officer will discuss this with the partner agency and determine a way forward which may include referrals to national or statutory authorities or an investigation by the partner agency or other agreed resolution. This should be recorded on the contact log.
  • If the member of staff is UK registered then referrals to LADO and the professional regulator should be considered. 

 

UK context

Concern about a child(ren)

  • Where an SFAC member of staff, volunteer or trustee has witnessed potential abuse or significant harm whilst on SFAC work then the incident should be reported to the SFAC Safeguarding Officer..
  • The SFAC Safeguarding Officer will then advise if a referral should be made to the local police or social services department. Any referral will follow the local safeguarding procedure and the forms completed should be sent to SFAC Safeguarding Officer who will then send to the relevant authority. A copy is stored in the safeguarding folder.  
  • If the incident occurred on the premises of a church, organisation or other where SFAC was giving a talk, presentation or other then SFAC may also contact that organisation. This is important if the SFAC member does not have the necessary details to themselves make a referral. 
  • Any referral made to the police or social services will be followed up in writing the same or following day and the response recorded. 
  • If the concern relates to a person working in a position of authority with children then a referral should be made to the safeguarding board LADO. 

 

Concern about a member of staff/volunteer/trustee

  • If there is concern about a member of SFAC staff (employee, contractor or volunteer) and/or trustee’s conduct towards children then this should be reported to the SFAC safeguarding coordinator. 
  • This concern can be referred by someone within SFAC or a partner agency in relation to a SFAC individual. 
  • The person making the referral must not discuss their concerns with others within SFAC or outside the agency. 
  • The SFAC safeguarding coordinator will then consider the matter in line with SFAC disciplinary and grievance procedures and local authority safeguarding processes. This may include a referral to LADO (Local Authority Safeguarding Officer) and other relevant authorities (social services and police.) 
  • The SFAC Safeguarding Trustee will be informed and SFAC CEO.
  • The SFAC Safeguarding Trustee will determine reporting duties under the Serious Incident Policy to Charity Commission. 
  • Information about the alleged incident and follow up outcomes will be recorded on forms provided and kept on the individual’s personal file. 

 

Adult Safeguarding and Protection Policy

Any adult can be vulnerable especially if, for example, they have learning disabilities, poor mental health, significant disabilities, addictions or are vulnerable by circumstance to exploitation/bullying and abuse. All adults can also be abused - emotionally (for example; verbal abuse, bullying, intimidation), physically, and/or sexually; or exploited (sexually, financially), or forced into marriage, FGM or trafficking. Adults may be perpetrators or victims of domestic abuse exerted through physical, emotional, sexual or financial control and harm.  Adults may also be at risk of modern slavery or extremism. Bullying (including cyberbullying), intimidation or harassment can also occur because of gender, faith, disability, and sexuality. Adults may also be ostracised due to their behaviour or actions (alcohol or drug misuse, faith, race, disability, sexuality, gender) or due to actions that have happened to them through no fault of their own (eg rape, pregnancy, bereavement). Where adults are powerless by structural systems or values then vulnerability is escalated and can leave adults in vulnerable situations. 

SFAC believes every adult has a right to feel and be safe.  

SFAC work with children will involve vulnerable adults (parents, carers, extended family, and even those that work in the partner agency). Our work with children can directly and indirectly assist adults but our international context may mean sensitivity is required to work through cultural barriers or stereotypes, to challenge behaviours, thoughts and actions and to support vulnerable adults. 

Support for vulnerable adults may be very limited and can make interventions problematic, but this should not prevent action where a person’s vulnerability is a risk to their safety and welfare, especially where they are at risk of significant harm. 

 

International context

Concerns about an adult

  • First step if concerned about child or family

Where an adult is at risk of significant harm the SFAC person should raise their concern with the local partner agency. If the partner agency is aware and is trying to resolve that as best it can within the legislation, procedures and resources available to it then the issue is being managed appropriately. 

  • SFAC member of staff should record their concern in the contact log and the actions taken by the partner agency. 

 

  • Second step if not content with response of partner agency

If the issue is raised and SFAC person remains concerned that the partner agency has not taken sufficient steps to address the issue then the SFAC safeguarding officer should be consulted for further advice. 

  • SFAC member of staff should record their concern in the contact log and record they have completed a referral to SFAC safeguarding officer. 
  • They should email the SFAC safeguarding officer and discuss the referral with them in a video/telephone call. 
  • SFAC safeguarding officer will determine next steps and liaise with the SFAC trustee for safeguarding. 
  • The SFAC safeguarding officer will weigh up if we have information required for a referral, if the referral will safeguard the adult and not put them at further risk of harm, any alternative options available. 
  • Where it is advised that a referral be made to local/national statutory authorities the SFAC officer will complete the local form or process and record on the contact log. If there is no referral form available then SFAC forms can be used and adapted for this purpose. 
  • The SFAC officer should find out the outcome of that referral and record in contact log and advise the SFAC Safeguarding Officer. 
  • Where a referral is not possible as SFAC does not have the language skills or information to make the referral then the actions taken will be noted on the contact log and raised with the partner agency. 
  • SFAC Safeguarding Officer and trustees to advise the board and CEO on whether SFAC can continue to work with the organisation.
  • if a referral will place a person at greater risk of harm then the SFAC Safeguarding officer and trustee will advise on alternative actions.  

 

  • Concerns of an SFAC person due to conduct of another person to them.

Where a SFAC person is making an allegation of harassment (including sexual), bullying or inappropriate behaviour by a person working in a partner agency or other this must be reported to SFAC Safeguarding officer or line manager at the first safe opportunity. 

The following steps will then be taken: 

  • assess immediate risks to safety and an action plan to safeguard the individual including agreed steps to either end the trip or to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent further incidents. 
  • SFAC safeguarding officer and CEO to discuss the issues with the partner agency to determine further actions and to review working arrangements. 

 

UK Context 

Vulnerable Adult at risk of significant harm 

  • If SFAC staff or a volunteer believe an individual is at risk of significant harm then they should inform the SFAC Safeguarding Officer who will then offer appropriate advice which may include a referral to social services or the police. 
  • Where such actions are taken the form should be completed and stored in Safeguarding file. 

 

Specific Issues Relating to SFAC staff/volunteers

    • Where there are concerns about a member of staff or a volunteer who is vulnerable then procedures will be followed as set out in policies within the Employment Handbook
    • Colleagues must report concerns to the SFAC Safeguarding Officer or line manager who must then inform SFAC Safeguarding Officer. 
    • Responses to the information will balance support for the staff member with any safeguarding actions required to protect others and any breaches of SFAC code of conduct as set out in the Employment handbook
  • Where a member of staff, volunteer, contractor or trustee’s actions have put others safety at risk whether in the UK or internationally, then this must be investigated under disciplinary procedures and SFAC code of conduct. Trustees would need to consider any referral to the charity commission under serious incident policy. 
  • Where a SFAC person is making an allegation of harassment (including sexual), bullying or inappropriate behaviour by a fellow SFAC person this will be dealt with through the employment grievance and disciplinary procedures set out in the employment handbook. 

 

Safeguarding Recording

  • Forms in the appendix are to be used for internal and external referrals about safeguarding issues. 
  • Where discussions take place between SFAC Safeguarding Designated Officer and Safeguarding Trustee these should be recorded in the Safeguarding Contact Log. 
  • The Partner Contact Log should include the entry from the SFAC staff member making a referral and the decision following advice from the SFAC Safeguarding Designated Officer. 
  • Appendix E and Appendix G outcomes should be completed by the SFAC Safeguarding Designated Officer. 

 

Safeguarding Guidance

Photography/Video

  • Any photographs taken must be with the consent of the organisation SFAC is working with and the people within the photograph. 
  • Both the organisation and the individual must be informed of how their photograph will be used and stored by SFAC including use in any social media or fundraising activity. 
  • The use of children or families who have been involved in child protection cases, are living in a home or some form of alternative care are not to be used for SFAC photos at any time as informed decisions cannot be given. 
  • It is the responsibility of the SFAC person taking the photograph to ensure consent is properly understood and given. 

 

Guidance where children are present

  • SFAC members should never be left alone with children, care for children or offer to care for children, unless agreed with a partner agency.  
  • SFAC cannot and must not complete independent investigations or assessments of children and families, nor complete such activities on behalf of an organisation. They can accompany a partner agency and offer advice during an investigation but must not take over or lead.
  • SFAC staff should not proactively offer to hug or physically interact with a child unless the child seeks it and there are other staff around. Interaction should be appropriate,  limited and minimal. 
  • SFAC staff should always promote children’s rights in a respectful and considered way. 

SFAC staff should ensure their behaviour, language, actions and interactions are respectful, polite, appropriate and safe for children. 

 

Code of Conduct

At all times SFAC staff should ensure they follow the SFAC Code of Conduct in their behaviour and actions as well as ensure compliance with relevant procedures in the Employment/Volunteer Handbook, Health and Safety Handbook and any other relevant policy.

 

Where a Criminal Action is Suspected (safeguarding nature)

Where a crime is suspected by an SFAC personnel or someone that we are aware of this and is a safeguarding issue this should be reported following the guidance for a child protection referral. Where reporting an incident to the police is required this must occur to the local police force unless it may cause significant harm to the victim or in some cases the perpetrator. 

 

Clear recording for decisions should be made in the contact log of the agency and in the safeguarding contact log. 

 

See Employment Handbook for further guidance on reporting matters to the police including this guidance from charity commission.  

 

Monitoring and Reporting 

An annual safeguarding report will be completed by the SFAC Designated Safeguarding Officer and Trustee for wider board scrutiny. This should include any concerns about individuals, about staff, partner agencies, information about those concerns, actions taken, any decision to refer matters to regulators or statutory agencies and any ongoing concerns being currently monitored. 

 

Assigned Roles:

Operational Staff Safeguarding Officer: Dan Hope 

Trustee Safeguarding Officer: Jane Booth 

 

SFAC SAFEGUARDING IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

In the event that SFAC has safeguarding concerns regarding any partner agency this form must be completed and submitted to the designated Trustee for Safeguarding.

 

SFAC Safeguarding Officer: 

 

Name of organisation subject to the concern: 

 

Describe the safeguarding concerns and evidence for these concerns including names of child/family involved, their involvement with the partner organisation and any relevant dates: 

 

Who have the above concerns been reported to, when and what was response of partner agency:

 

Why do you remain concerned about the child/family/organisation: 

 

Date sent to Safeguarding Officer at SFAC:

Name of person completing report and date:

__________________________________________________________________________

Below to be completed by SFAC Safeguarding officer only

Advice of SFAC Safeguarding Officer: 

 

Advice from SFAC trustees:

 

Agreed Actions and reasons: 

 

Trustee approval (if required) given and recorded: 

 

Please detail any further information here in relation to referral to Charity Commission (if relevant)

 

Any other information to note including record of any actions completed by partner agency or decisions from any referral made including dates. 

 

*Please note: this Information will be stored in SFAC’s partner agency file and referred to in the Contact Log.  If the information contained herein is about a confidential third party, it will be stored as such until final actions are taken. This will be kept to immediate information and advice. The form will then be removed and destroyed. 

 

SFAC SAFEGUARDING IN A UK CONTEXT

 

In the event that SFAC has safeguarding concerns regarding any partner agency this form must be completed and kept in the Safeguarding file.

 

Name of person making report and connection to SFAC: __________________________

 

 

 

Name of person subject to the concern: _______________________________________

 

 

 

Outline of the concerns and detail the evidence to support these concerns: __________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date of this report: ________________________________________________________

 

Date that this report was sent to SFAC designated officer and trustee member

 

 

 

Was this report submitted to: 

 

LADO Y/N Date submitted: ____________________

Social Services Y/N Date submitted: ____________________

 

If this report was not submitted to either of these bodies, please detail the reasons: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action taken: 

 

Has/have the person(s) concerned been suspended from further involvement whilst the investigation is completed? Y/N

 

Are the person(s) concerned performing limited responsibilities whilst the investigation is completed? Y/N 

 

Please detail: _____________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Has support been offered to the member of staff, if relevant. Y/N

 

Please detail outcome of enquiries and investigation______________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Is this person going to have an ongoing involvement with SFAC Y/N

 

Has a report been made to Charity Commission (if relevant) Y/N

 

This form will be recorded on the person’s SFAC file and retained for up to 7 years. This form will also to be kept and stored in SFAC Safeguarding file and may be disclosed to third parties (charity commission or relevant local authorities)