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Safeguarding Policy

Introduction

Bierton Parish Council fully supports the safeguarding and well-being of children and vulnerable adults and is committed to ensuring that children and vulnerable adults are protected and kept safe from harm while they are engaged in any activity associated with the Parish Council or activities which take place on Parish Council premises.  The Parish Council expects any children and/or vulnerable adults using its facilities to do so with appropriate consent and supervision of a parent, carer or other responsible adult.

Everyone has a duty to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults. This policy promotes good practice in safeguarding for those using Bierton Parish Council facilities. The Parish Council will regularly review this policy.

Definitions

Children and young people:  

  • Anyone under the age of 18 years

Vulnerable Adult: Anyone over 18 who is:

  • Unable to care for themselves
  • Unable to protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation
  • Or may be in need of community care services

To whom this policy applies

This policy applies to anyone working for or on behalf of the Parish Council whether in a paid, voluntary or commissioned capacity, for example contracted to do a piece of work.

It also applies to any individual using the Parish Council facilities for the purpose of delivering any service to children, young people or vulnerable adults.

Promoting a safe environment

In order to promote a safe environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults, Bierton Parish Council will: 

  • Provide safe facilities and do regular safety assessments.
  • Ensure that employees, councillors and leaders of activities in / on parish facilities, are aware of the safeguarding expectations.
  • Ensure that the policy for users of parish facilities includes a requirement that they are safe to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults. (eg, any adults who have regular unsupervised contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults during the course of their duties should undergo appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service checks.)
  • Ensure that attendees at functions, eg clubs, are aware that parents are responsible for their children’s safety and the location of a dedicated safe place for lost children is clear.
  • Display on notice boards the relevant safeguarding contacts for advice and help. See Appendix poster.

Use of facilities by groups for use with children, young people or vulnerable adults (eg clubs / organisations regularly using the Recreation Ground)

Bierton Parish Council will require the leaders to:

  • Have public liability insurance.
  • Have a suitable safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adult policy and/or agree to work to the Parish Council’s policy and relevant guidance.
  • Ensure leaders make their members aware of the Parish Council Policy and ensure that it is followed whilst using parish facilities.
  • Ensure leaders have valid enhanced DBS checks as appropriate and know where the first aid box is.
  • Do risk assessments for individual activities.

Safe working practice

All users of Parish Facilities must follow the safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adult’s policy and procedures at all times. For example, they should:

  • Never leave children, young people or vulnerable adults unattended with adults who have not been subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Plan activities to involve more than one person being present or at least in sight or hearing of others. Alternatively, record, or inform others of their whereabouts and intended action.
  • Where possible, have male and female leaders working with a mixed group.
  • Ensure registers are complete and attendees are marked in and signed out (under 8’s must be collected by a parent/carer).
  • Ensure that photos or videos of children, young people or vulnerable individuals are not taken without written permission from parents/ carers.
  • Ensure they have access to a first aid kit and telephone and know fire procedures.
  • Ensure that where a child, young person or vulnerable adult needs assistance with toilet trips and when first aid is required, that this is carried out in pairs or in the latter case, that it is carried out where they can be seen, maintaining personal dignity.
  • When working outside, ensure activities, breaks and clothing are suitable for the weather conditions and that shelter is available where possible.

Expectations of behaviour

All users of Parish Facilities should:

  • Ensure that communications, behaviour and interaction with users should be appropriate and professional.
  • Treat each other with respect and show consideration for other groups using the facilities.
  • Refrain from any behaviour that involves discrimination, racism, sexism or bullying and in addition to report any instances of such behaviour to group leaders, parish councillors, the parish clerk or parents and carers, as appropriate.

Allegations against staff and volunteers

All staff and volunteers should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child or vulnerable adult.

If an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer, the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Chair of the Parish Council.

The Parish council will follow the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children’s/Adults Boards procedures for managing allegations against staff/volunteers on the BSCB/BSAB website.

No attempt should be made to investigate or take action before consultation with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). See contact details below.

Whistleblowing

All staff and volunteers should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues and appropriate advice will be sought from the LADO or Safeguarding Team.

What should be a cause for concern?

Staff and volunteers should be concerned by any action or inaction, which significantly harms the physical and/or emotional development of a child or vulnerable adult.

Abuse falls into four main categories and can include child sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation:

  1. Physical Abuse
  2. Emotional Abuse
  3. Sexual Abuse
  4. Neglect

All staff and volunteers coming in to contact with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults need to have an awareness of safeguarding.

Free introductory online training or more specific face to face safeguarding training can be booked at: www.buckssafeguarding.org.uk

All agencies working with children are recommended to follow the multi-agency procedures at:  www.buckssafeguarding.org.uk

Useful Safeguarding Contact Details

If there is an immediate risk of harm to an adult or child, call the Police on 999

If you have a concern about a member of staff working with children or vulnerable adults, contact the Local Designated Officer (LADO) on 01296 382070 or email secure-LADO@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

To register a concern about a child or vulnerable adult call  the First Response Team on 01296 383962 between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.  If you need an urgent response outside of these hours, contact the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 0800 999 7677.

The Safeguarding Policy was last reviewed in September 2021.