Purpose of policy
HDR UK takes safeguarding very seriously and believes that protecting people from harm is everyone’s responsibility. HDR UK is committed to promoting the welfare and wellbeing of children and adults at risk protecting them from abuse or neglect, whether they are beneficiaries, staff, Trustees or anyone else we come into contact with through our work.
Whilst most of our day-to-day activity would not regularly involve working with vulnerable groups, it is always possible staff or Trustees may come into contact with people who are at potential risk of harm.
Further, the Charity Commission’s guidance notes that “safeguarding goes beyond preventing physical abuse, and includes protecting people from harm generally, including neglect, emotional abuse, exploitation, radicalisation, and the consequences of the misuse of personal data”.
The purpose of this policy is to provide staff and Trustees with the overarching principles that guide HDR UKs approach to safeguarding. It also outlines the actions that individuals are required to take when dealing with safeguarding concerns.
This policy applies to all HDR UK staff and Trustees. This includes any temporary members of staff, secondees, contractors and consultants.
HDR UK is committed to safeguarding the well-being of all individuals who come into contact with the organisation and its activities. We commit to ensure:
- All concerns or suspicions of a safeguarding nature arising in the course of the organisation’s work will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. All suspicions and allegations of abuse must be properly reported to the relevant internal and external authorities
- All Trustees and staff are clear about their safeguarding responsibilities and know how to respond to concerns appropriately
- All Trustees and staff undergo training which is appropriate and relevant to their role
- All children and adults at risk, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs have the right to protection from all types of harm or abuse and the right to be treated with respect and dignity
- All organisations we partner with share our commitment to safeguarding and have policies and procedures in place which are appropriate to the level of risk of their work
- We have effective complaints measures in place
- HDR UK has a zero-tolerance approach to abuse, and all forms of bullying and harassment
- All personal information is recorded and stored professionally and securely
- HDR UK will ensure that appropriate procedures are in place for keeping records of any safeguarding concerns reported with due regard to confidentiality and for monitoring areas of activity in which safeguarding concerns have arisen
Safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights. It enables people to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm or abuse occurring and responding appropriately when harm does occur.
A child is anyone under 18 years old.
Adult at risk
The Care Act (2014) describes an adult at risk as anyone over 18 years who:
- Has care and support needs (even if these are not met);
- and is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect;
- and, as a result of their needs for care and support, is unable to protect themselves against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it
Under Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) HDR UK has a responsibility to all children who come in contact with the organisation. It states that our organisation must:
- Recognise and respond to any concerns of a child being neglected or abused
- Share information internally and to external agencies to keep children safe
The local authority where the child is located has a legal duty to:
- Respond to concerns of abuse or neglect
- Investigate these in timely manner
Under the Care Act (2014) we must work together to promote wellbeing and prevent risk of abuse and neglect.
The law says the local authority where the adult resides has a legal duty to make enquiries where it is suspected that an adult at risk in their area has needs for care and support, is at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect and is unable to protect themselves because of their needs for care and support.
If we have a concern about anyone over 18. We treat them as an ‘adult at risk’, while paying careful consideration to their wishes and rights.
In cases where the adult’s mental capacity to make decisions around their safety and wellbeing is in doubt advice will be sought from the local authority.
Expectation of Employees
All employees are expected to:
- Complete the mandatory safeguarding training and attend refresher sessions
- Adhere to this policy
- Contribute to creating an environment that promotes wellbeing and reduces the risk of harm
- Value, listen and respect everyone they come in to contact with
Acting on concerns
Should a member of staff or a Trustee have concerns about beneficiaries, colleagues, or any other individual they come into contact with through their work they are expected to:
- Identify the concern/s
- Respond to and report their concerns
- Follow our safeguarding procedures and maintain appropriate boundaries
All safeguarding concerns should be reported to the Line Manager in the first instance (unless it is not appropriate to do so, in which case the individual should contact the People Team immediately).
Should the individual feel the person concerned is in immediate danger, they should use their judgement and call 999 if required. Once it is safe to do so they should also alert their Line Manager and contact a member of the People Team immediately.
The Line Manager will escalate to the People Team (unless emergency services have been called, or the individual is unable to speak their Line Manager). The People Team will investigate and consider which action is most appropriate.
Should an incident occur out of hours then the Head of People should be contacted immediately for advice.
Serious incidents will be reported to the Charity Commission, decisions about what to report will be taken by the Chair of Trustees. An incident should be reported if it results in, or risks, significant harm to people who come into contact with the organisation through its work, loss of charity’s money or assets, damage to the charity’s property and/or harm to the charity’s work or reputation.
The People Team will keep all confidential safeguarding records for the organisation and provide reports on any safeguarding activity to both the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees as part of formal people reporting processes.
Having to deal with any safeguarding concern can be challenging and employees will have access to suitable support should they require it.
Accountability for Safeguarding
HDR UK’s Board of Trustees are accountable for ensuring that the organisation has appropriate structure, processes, and resources in place to ensure safeguarding is central to everything it does. The Board also monitors compliance. The Trustees also are responsible for deciding which issues to report to the Charity Commission.
The Director is the senior individual accountable for all aspects of safeguarding across the organisation, including ensuring we create a strong culture of safeguarding.
The Executive Committee
Each member of Executive Committee is accountable for embedding safeguarding within their teams. This includes making sure that employees are adequately trained and understand how to report a safeguarding issue.
All people managers should be aware of how to report and escalate a safeguarding incident and should ensure that all staff attend training that is appropriate to their role.
Reporting other incidents
Should a member of staff wish to report an incident they believe to be bullying or harassment they should use the HR17 Anti-bullying and harassment policy as guidance, the process for reporting this type of incident is contained within the HR16 Disciplinary policy and HR18 Grievance policy.
Should a member of staff wish to report an issue around suspected slavery they should refer to the guidance within our P24 Modern slavery policy.
If you have raised a concern and you believe we have not followed our own procedures you should follow the Whistleblowing process outlined in the P19 Speak up safely policy.