The Bradford Bulls Foundation Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adult Policy
Date Created; 05 March 2020
Date Approved April 2020
(minor amendment Feb 2022)
Date to Revise April 2023
The implementation of the Children’s Act (1989) has given further focus on the responsibility of all organisations that make provision for children and young people and that their protection, and the promotion of their welfare is of paramount consideration. Similar standards of protection must also apply to Vulnerable Adults and this policy seeks to achieve this for both Children and Vulnerable Adults.
Statement of Intent
The Bradford Bulls Foundation is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults. It recognises its responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse and exploitation. The Bradford Bulls Foundation acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.
Paid workers and volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.
Who is affected by this policy?
This policy applies to all paid employees, seconded staff, trustees, volunteers, or any other person working for or in connection with the activities undertaken by the Bradford Bulls Foundation in any capacity and in any setting.
Young members, young people on work experience and any children or young adults who become involved in the work of the Bradford Bulls Foundation should be made aware of Bradford Bulls Foundation safeguarding policies and procedures. Those with specific communication needs because of language or disability should have access to information in appropriate forms to ensure their understanding.
This policy relates to all children from unborn up to 18 years of age and includes children with whom the Bradford Bulls Foundation has direct or indirect contact with, for example children known to adults with whom the Bradford Bulls Foundation works directly.
This policy also relates to vulnerable adults who need to be safeguarded from harm.
In project proposals and tenders, the Bradford Bulls Foundation Safeguarding Policies should be mentioned and attached where appropriate. Project information leaflets for children and vulnerable, parent/carers and local agencies should all have a statement on safeguarding with contact details as appropriate.
In implementing this Safeguarding Policy, The Bradford Bulls Foundation will:
- Ensure that all workers understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse and exploitation.
- Ensure that all workers understand their responsibility to work to the standards that are detailed in the organisation’s Safeguarding Policy and work at all times towards maintaining high standards of practice.
- Ensure that all workers understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child/ young person/vulnerable adult, or a worker’s conduct towards a child/young person/vulnerable adult, to the organisation’s Named Person for child and vulnerable adult protection.
- Ensure that the Named Person understands his/her responsibility to refer any child or vulnerable adult protection concerns to the relevant statutory protection agencies (i.e. Police and/or Children and Young People’s Social Care or Adult Social Care).
- Ensure that any procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner;
- Provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge, particularly in relation to the welfare and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults;
- Ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are enabled to express their ideas and views on a wide range of issues and will have access to the organisation’s Complaints Procedure;
- Ensure that parents/carers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the organisation and, when requested, have access to all guidelines and procedures;
- Endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments relating to the welfare and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Named Person(s) with responsibility for Safeguarding and Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection
The Bradford Bulls Foundation has an appointed individual who is responsible for dealing with any safeguarding concerns. In their absence, a deputy will always be available for workers to consult with. The Named Persons for safeguarding both children and adults within The Bradford Bulls Foundation are:
Named Person for Child Protection: Lorraine Clayton
Mobile number: 07810 562721
Named Person for Child Protection: Chris Mason
Mobile number: 07793 286486
The role and responsibilities of the Named Person(s) are:
- To ensure that all workers are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they are concerned that a child/young person/vulnerable adult may be subject to abuse or neglect.
- Ensure that any concerns about a child/young person/vulnerable adult are acted on, clearly recorded, referred on where necessary and, followed up to ensure the issues are addressed.
- The Named Person(s) will record any reported incidents in relation to a child/young person/vulnerable adult or breach of Safeguarding policy and procedures. This will be kept in a secure place and its contents will be confidential.
The Bradford Bulls Foundation workers may be placed in the position of loco parentis (i.e. taking the responsibility of a parent). This happens when workers accept responsibility for a child handed over by a parent or if parents were invited to believe that The Bradford Bulls Foundation workers would look after their children.
Even if workers do not take on the responsibility of looking after children, their employers owe a duty of care under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957. This duty is to take such care as is in all the circumstances reasonable to ensure that children and or young people will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purpose for which they are permitted to be there.
The standard of care expected in relation to children is higher than in relation to adults because workers must expect children to be less careful than adults. Whether or not workers take responsibility for children, they should be guided at all times by the essential principle in the Children Act 1989 that the welfare of the child is paramount.
The Children Act defines a child as a person under the age of 18 years.
Outlined procedures for responding to a suspicion or disclosure of abuse, are essentially applied when this affects a young person aged under 18 years.
In some of the programmes that are offered, there will be the involvement of persons who have attained the age of 18 years and who may turn to The Bradford Bulls Foundation for help and support in respect of abuse situations.
The term Vulnerable Adult refers to any person aged 18 or over who for the time being:
Is unable to safeguard their own welfare or properly manage their financial affairs
Is in one or more of the following categories:
- A person in need of care and attention by reason of either infirmity or the effects of ageing
- A person suffering from an illness or mental disorder
- A person substantially handicapped by a disability
Vulnerable Adults may be in need of health or social support services and may be unable to take care of himself/herself and to protect themselves from harm or exploitation. In addition adults who have been a victim of, or witness to domestic or other violence should also be deemed vulnerable.
Avoiding situations where workers may be in a vulnerable position
The Bradford Bulls Foundation workers may be involved in a variety of inter-actions and contact with young people and vulnerable adults and in undertaking their work, must recognise their responsibility to protect the interests and promote the wellbeing of young people and vulnerable adults in their care. They will not put them at risk or in a position of feeling uncomfortable or ill at ease.
The worker must be aware of the need to protect their own interests, and not put themselves in a position of suspicion, misunderstanding, or unfounded accusation by acting in a way that may be well intentioned, but inadvisable. For example, workers should make every effort to avoid being in a situation where they are working alone with a young person or vulnerable adult, either in an isolated area, talking alone with a young person or vulnerable adult in a closed room without others being aware of this, or being alone with a young person or vulnerable adult in a car or mini-bus. (Refer to Lone Working Policy).
Managing Allegations made against a worker
The Bradford Bulls Foundation will ensure that any allegations made against workers will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with the following procedures:
- The worker must ensure that the child/vulnerable adult is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made.
- The Named Person for child and vulnerable adult protection should be informed immediately. In the case of an allegation involving the Named Person, The Chair of the Bradford Bulls Foundation Board, should be informed immediately.
- The Named Person will contact the local authority designated officer who is based within Children and Young People’s Social Care, Child Protection Unit or Social for a vulnerable adult for advice on how to proceed with the immediate situation. Outside of working hours the Emergency Duty Team can give advice and/or in the event of an emergency situation arising, the Police.
- The individual who first received/witnessed the concern should make a full written record of what was seen, heard and/or told as soon as possible after observing the incident/receiving the report. It is important that the report is an accurate description. The Named Person (if appropriate) can support the worker during this process but must not complete the report for the worker. This report must be made available on request from the Police and/or Children and Young People’s Social Care or Adult Social Care.
- Regardless of whether a Police and/or Children and Young People’s Social Care or Adult Social Care investigation follows, The Bradford Bulls Foundation will ensure that an internal investigation takes place and consideration is given to the operation of disciplinary procedures. This may involve an immediate suspension and/or ultimate dismissal dependent on the nature of the incident.
Management and supervision of workers
The Bradford Bulls Foundation is committed to the appropriate management and supervision of workers, working with children/young people/vulnerable adults to ensure that appropriate lines of accountability are in place with respect to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
When a worker is involved in a child protection or vulnerable adult protection incident this will be reviewed within supervision i.e. recordings, assessments, monitoring arrangements etc. and decisions relating to the level of involvement will be taken by the appropriate worker within the organisation.
When a worker is a member of a child protection core group, working with a child who is subject to a child protection plan, supervision will occur at a minimum of monthly intervals and discussion of the case will be a standing agenda item.
Line managers will ensure that information about children/vulnerable adults is appropriately shared with other organisations and that they will be informed if work ceases with a child/vulnerable adult when other organisations are involved.
Unsupervised children during The Bradford Bulls Foundation project delivery
The way in which workers deal with unaccompanied children discovered in a building must be based both on an awareness of the responsibility of the parent or the loco parentis carer, and our duty of care to all children on premises during project delivery.
Children are the legal responsibility of their parents and carers and they should always accompany their young children (under the age of 8). There may be situations however when young children visit our projects unaccompanied.
Good practice in response to discovering a child or young person alone
If you have cause for concern, please consider the points below.
- Avoid being left alone with a child. Try to ensure workers are present when you are dealing with unsupervised children.
- Ask the child if s/he is expecting to be collected by an adult. Even if the child is expecting to be collected soon, do not wait until closing time before taking the next step.
- Try to contact the parent or carer, see if the child can give you an address or telephone number.
- If attempts to contact the parent/carer fail, see if the child can give you the details of a relative or close family friend to contact. However, do not release a child into the care of someone (other than Police or Social Care) unless you are sure that they are the parent or carer, or the parent/carer has given permission.
If discovering a child alone in a building being used by The Bradford Bulls Foundation there is a requirement to refer this to the most senior worker responsible for that building or to consider the above points.
Unsupervised children at closing time
- Workers should be prepared to check on the child’s situation with the support of another worker – are they waiting for a parent or carer to collect them, or are they expected to go home alone?
- Workers should telephone the child’s home to clarify the situation if necessary.
- Workers should wait for the parent/carer to collect the child or young person.
- If a parent or carer cannot be contacted, contact Named Person, or if out of normal working hours the police should be contacted.
- Under no circumstances should a child or young person be escorted home by a worker without the permission of a senior manager.
The incident should be reported to the relevant senior manager at the earliest opportunity.
Necessary Physical Contact/Appropriate Touch
It is inevitable that in undertaking our work there will be occasions when physical contact with young people/vulnerable adults might be unavoidable or seen to be a ‘natural’ course of action, e.g. tackling technique or comforting someone who is distressed.
Contact is often a necessary part of the process when the positioning of the body is vital to skills development e.g. during sports activities. It can also be employed to encourage, protect or comfort.
However, workers must be aware that even the most innocent physical contact with a child/young person/vulnerable adult could be misinterpreted and, therefore, should take every effort to explain what they are going to do and gain consent before any physical contact is introduced.
Physical contact between adults and children/young people/vulnerable adult should only be used when:
- It is necessary to develop learning skills or techniques
- Treating an injury
- Preventing an injury
- Any manual support should be provided openly
- Physical contact should never involve touching the genital areas, buttocks or breasts
- Workers must not hug or accept hugs from children/vulnerable adults but seek alternative methods of consolation and subjects for the child/vulnerable adult’s attention e.g. soft toy
- Workers must not allow children to sit on their knee
- Workers must be easily identifiable to children/young people/vulnerable adults e.g. wearing a Company T-shirt or badge and clear introductions
It must be recognised that even innocent actions can be misconstrued, and some young people/vulnerable adults may find being ‘touched’, no matter how well intentioned, extremely upsetting for a variety of reasons.
A situation where a worker may appear to present a risk to the safety or welfare of young people/vulnerable adults or present an unacceptable example to them may be subject to investigation by Bradford Bulls Foundation.
Dealing with unacceptable behaviour
The degree and frequency of types of unacceptable behaviour varies from place to place, although workers should operate within a framework enabling them to make on the spot decisions and deal with any incidents in a consistent manner.
- It is important to deal with such situations calmly and quietly and to avoid putting yourself or others in danger
- Action should be taken as soon as individuals make a nuisance of themselves. This should be a verbal request or warning
- Unruly behaviour, which is repeated after a warning, should lead to stronger action by the worker/s
- Details of any specific incidents of unacceptable behaviour should always be recorded using the Incident Report Form
The following gives guidance as to good practice when dealing with unacceptable behaviour:
- Use common-sense and adopt a consistent approach
- Make provision for offenders to leave
- Allow only a few members of a group in at a time
- If anyone is attacked – workers or public – call 999 for the Police immediately
- In no circumstances should you physically strike or handle a young person/vulnerable adult, member of the public or worker – the only exception to this is to defend yourself if attacked
- Persistent or known troublemakers can be requested to leave if they cause a disturbance to other people – workers or public
Before attempting to restrain a child or young person physically, try to ensure that you do so in the presence of another worker and be aware that you are only allowed to use reasonable force in order:
- to remove a trespasser
- to prevent accident or injury
- in self defence
If relying on the fact that the child or young person may suffer accident or injury if not restrained, you should have reasonable grounds for believing there to be a real risk. Bear in mind also that if you have taken responsibility for the child or young person you must exercise such care as a reasonable parent would.
Organised activities for children, young people and/or vulnerable adults
Planning the activity
The following considerations should be made:
- Suitable numbers of adults to supervise the event.
- General health and safety considerations must be borne in mind.
- Obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act must also be borne in mind. In providing services you must not discriminate against any person on grounds of disability and must take reasonable steps to enable disabled children to use the service.
- Ensure you are aware of the first aid arrangements.
- Determine a maximum attendance figure, based on staff, space and the type of activity
- Ensure you are complying strictly with the requirements of the building’s fire risk assessment and any recommendations or requirements of the fire authority and the premises’ insurers.
Publicity should specify the age of the children which the event caters for and should clearly state be starting and finishing times.
Photographs of people and children may be considered as personal data, as defined by the Data Protection Act (1998), if an individual can be identified from the photograph or image.
For further information, refer to the Confidentiality and Data Protection policy.
During the event
If children, young people and/or vulnerable adults are left by their parent/carers a booking or registration form should contain details of all people attending the event. Have a written record of name, address, telephone number, name of person collecting, any known medical conditions and how such medical conditions are to be dealt with, particularly in an emergency.
The Children’s Act requires (among other things) that personal data can only be kept so long as it is necessary to keep it for the purposes for which it has been obtained. It is recommended that event registers and booking forms are kept for up to a month as they may be required in case of a dispute.
During the event all workers should be identifiable (e.g. by wearing Company badge).
If a child/vulnerable adult leaves or wishes to leave without a parent/carer, The Bradford Bulls Foundation will every effort to contact parent/carer and make them aware of what has happened. The Named Person should then be contacted to take action and ring Social Services main contact number for advice. The incident should be recorded using the Incident Report Form.
Evacuation of buildings during The Bradford Bulls Foundation Project Delivery
- A poster clearly displaying the location of the assembly point should be displayed in the building, take note.
- All workers must be familiar with procedures to ensure the safety of children/vulnerable adults in the event of the evacuation of the premises. On the sounding of the alarm a worker should have the responsibility of checking that no unaccompanied children/vulnerable adults are left in the building or related spaces (open meeting rooms, toilets etc.).
- In the event of an evacuation any unaccompanied children/ vulnerable adults should be taken by workers to the assembly point. Children/vulnerable adults who are expecting to be met by a parent/carer should be kept with workers until the parent/carer claims them. Children/vulnerable adults who are not expected to be met and who are allowed to leave unaccompanied should be allowed to make their own way home.
- In the event of an evacuation during an organised activity for children/young people/vulnerable adults, workers must supervise the young people to the assembly point taking the register of those attending the event. The register must be checked to ensure that all children are out of the building. If a child or young person/ vulnerable adult is unaccounted for this should be reported immediately to the Emergency Services.
- Ensure you are aware of any requirements imposed by the Fire Authority and the building owners.
(Also refer to the Health and Safety Policy and relevant risk assessments)
Categories of abuse
The Bradford Bulls Foundation has Good Practice Guidelines for dealing with disclosures of domestic violence and abuse by participants, volunteers or staff.
The Bradford Bulls Foundation will follow all Good Practice Guidelines for Dealing with Disclosures of Domestic Violence and Abuse
NOTE: Domestic Violence and Abuse legislation covers people from the age of 16 (not under 18 as in the Children’s Act).
In the Children’s Act, abuse is defined as a child or young person suffering, or likely to suffer, ‘significant harm’ where ’harm’ means ill treatment or the impairment of health and development. Inherent in situations of abuse is the misuse of power and the exploitation of innocence and vulnerability.
“Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely by a stranger.”
‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 1999′
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces ill health in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts (oral sex). They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing, shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment, failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-takers, or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.”
‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006’
Modern Day Slavery
Modern slavery is a complex crime that takes a number of different forms. It encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. Traffickers and slave drivers coerce, deceive and force individuals against their will into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. Victims may be sexually exploited, forced to work for little or no pay or forced to commit criminal activities against their will. Victims are often pressured into debt bondage and are likely to be fearful of those who exploit them, who will often threaten and abuse victims and their families. All of these factors make it very difficult for victims to escape.
(Source: UK Government Modern Slavery Strategy 2015)
Child Sexual Exploitation
The sexual exploitation of children is described in government guidance as “involving exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people ( or a third person or persons) receive “something” (e.g., food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of their performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. It can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; e.g., being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and /or emotional vulnerability.”
‘Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2010’
Financial abuse can involve:
– Someone stealing money or other valuables from a vulnerable person;
– Someone who is appointed to look after money on a vulnerable person’s behalf using the money inappropriately;
– Someone coercing a vulnerable person into spending money in a way s/he is not happy with.
Internet scams and doorstep crime are also common forms of financial abuse.
(Source: NHS UK, Abuse and Neglect of Vulnerable Adults)
Female Genital Mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM has been categorised into four types, ranging from a symbolic prick to the clitoris or prepuce, to the fairly extensive removal and narrowing of the vaginal opening. All these forms of FGM have been found in the UK. FGM is sometimes known as ‘female genital cutting’ or female circumcision. Communities tend to use local names for referring to this practice, including ‘sunna’. FGM is considered a grave violation of the rights of girls and women.
(Source: UK Goverment, Female Genital Mutilation – The Facts)
What to do if a child or Vulnerable Adult discloses or is at risk
The Bradford Bulls Foundation will deal with issues of safeguarding through one key worker, Named Person. This worker will have received appropriate Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection training.
The Named Person will deal on a day to day basis with any issues of a child or vulnerable adult protection nature and provide a source of advice and support for the other workers. The deputy Named Person will deputise where necessary in there absence.
It is not the worker’s role to diagnose or investigate abuse. It is to be alert that something may be wrong, to be approachable and available to listen and talk, to offer support and to take steps to ensure that appropriate action is taken in the best interests of the safety and welfare of the young person/vulnerable adult.
It may not be immediately apparent to a worker that what they are encountering is a child or vulnerable adult protection situation. Workers may need to clarify their understanding of their observations and feelings or information given by discussing their concerns initially with the Named Person.
Experiencing a child or vulnerable adult protection situation can cause some workers a degree of emotional upset. The worker should at any time feel able to contact their line manager for support, and if appropriate, for details of other contacts who could offer assistance’ (Refer to the Contacts section).
A disclosure of abuse may be made to a worker in a wide range of situations but as far as possible, staff should aim to offer the opportunity for discussion in an environment that the young person/vulnerable adult will be comfortable within, where there is privacy and lack of interruptions.
These guidelines apply in responding to any disclosure of abuse:
- Stay calm, and do not show shock, anger or embarrassment
- Reassure the young person/vulnerable adult. Tell them that they are right to talk to you and that you will try to help them.
|Give a clear indication to the young person/vulnerable adult that what is said cannot remain secret and private and that if you are going to help them, you will have to tell others about the situation. Inform the young person who this will be and why they have to be told. Indicate the support you will give to the young person/vulnerable adult when you have told others. Believe the young person/vulnerable adult and tell them that you believe them. Young people/vulnerable adults rarely lie about abuse but they may have tried to tell others who have not listened or not believed them.|
- Re-assure them that it is not their fault that abuse has occurred.
- Encourage the young person/vulnerable adult to talk, but allow them to proceed at their own pace and do not ask ‘leading questions’, or challenge their statements, or press for information/details beyond which they are prepared to give.
- Be prepared to listen patiently and remember what is said as notes should not be taken during conversation. Be aware of the young person’s/vulnerable adult’s emotional state and be sensitive in questions asked to avoid causing additional distress
- Do not comment on the alleged offender or their morality as it may be someone the young person/vulnerable adult cares about or loves.
- Do not tell the young person/vulnerable adult that what has happened to them is ‘naughty’, ‘dirty’ or ‘bad’.
- Check with the young person/vulnerable adult occasionally during the conversation that you have understood correctly what they have said to you.
- Praise the young person/vulnerable adult for telling you.
- Confirm to the young person/vulnerable adult what action you will now be taking.
- Re-assure them of your continued support and stay with the young person/vulnerable adult for as long as possible after the disclosure if they still need your presence.
Following the disclosure the worker must, in consideration of all information and factors, make a decision as to what action should be taken, and wh
Workers must inform The Named Person if there is distinct suspicion of abuse or if a disclosure of abuse has been made. The action to be taken will then be determined. If the situation is such that an urgent response is required, for example a disclosure of abuse late in an evening which gives the worker concern for the immediate safety of the young person, contact The Named Person or Deputy Named Person (Refer to the Contacts section).
The responsibility for making referrals to Social Care lies with The Named Person or in her absence, Deputy Named Person
A referral to Social Care should normally only be made by with The Named Person or in her absence, Deputy Named Person