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SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT

Wac Arts works with children, young people and vulnerable adults. We aim to keep children, young people and vulnerable adults safe, providing a secure and comfortable environment in which they can benefit fully from our programmes and maximise their potential.

At Wac Arts we are committed to providing systems for the recognition and referral of safeguarding issues and to this end:

  • All staff and trustees receive safeguarding training as part of their induction on joining the organisation. This is refreshed annually for those working directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
  • All staff and volunteers must apply for a Wac Arts DBS check or provide details of membership to the DBS update service, prior to starting work with us. In the case of freelance artists, contracted or commissioned for one-off activities or short-term projects (i.e., less than one academic term), an existing Enhanced DBS check may be provided.
  • All staff working with children and vulnerable adults are required, as part of their contractual duties, to carry out the necessary risk assessments in relation to safeguarding, for activities within and external to the building.
  • All staff are provided with Wac Arts’ safeguarding Policy and Procedure document, including Safer Recruitment Policy. All staff directly delivering activity to children, young people and vulnerable adults are also provided with Wac Arts’ Safeguarding Handbook, the Wac Arts Code and all other relevant policies.
  • Programme Coordinators are responsible for conducting risk assessments for general programme provision relative to their area of work.
  • Any staff member leading specific activities, additional to general programme provision, must carry out a risk assessment.
  • The Designated Lead has a Level 3 training and undertakes regular CPD.

WAC ARTS DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING OFFICERS AND CONTACT DETAILS

Where there is a safeguarding concern about a child, young person or vulnerable adult or someone’s behaviour, it is everyone’s responsibility to report this to one of the designated safeguarding leads listed below. You must write down what you have seen or heard, report it to one of the officers below and they will then take any required further action.

Designated Safeguarding Leads

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL):
Kat Dale, Head of Learning and Participation
kat.dale@wacarts.co.uk, safeguarding@wacarts.co.uk

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead:
Maggie Mendy, Short Breaks Delivery Manager
maggie.mendy@wacarts.co.uk; safeguarding@wacarts.co.uk

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead:
Ye-Ye Fadaka, Senior Administrator
ye-ye.fadaka@wacarts.co.uk; safeguarding@wacarts.co.uk

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead:
Shanice Birchall, Outreach Manager
shanice.birchall@wacarts.co.uk; safeguarding@wacarts.co.uk

Additional staff trained to act as deputy or designated safeguarding lead when required are:
Ann Main, Ema Unguru, Genevive Corben, Glenn Middleditch, Lilly Werth, Poirt Wijas, Rod Gilmore, & Sayful Islam.

Other Important Contacts

Chief Executive
07946 265644; darius.khwaja@wacarts.co.uk

Wac Arts Board Safeguarding Lead
Christine Kinnear

SAFEGUARDING POLICY

This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, young people and vulnerable adults or anyone working on behalf of Wac Arts.

The purpose of this policy is:

  • To protect children and vulnerable adults who receive Wac Arts’ services and access the building. This also includes the children of adults who use our services.
  • To provide all staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding.

Wac Arts believes that a child or vulnerable adult should never experience abuse of any kind.

NB. Categories of Abuse are included within the Safeguarding Handbook. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and vulnerable adults and to operate in a way that keeps them safe.

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children and vulnerable adults, namely:

  • Children Act 1989
  • United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
  • Data Protection Act 2018 (GDPR)
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Children’s Act 2004
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • ‘Working together to safeguard Children’ government guidance

We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the child and vulnerable adult is paramount, as enshrined in the Children’s Act 1989 and Care Act 2014.
  • All children and vulnerable adults, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
  • Some children/vulnerable adults are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues.
  • Working in partnership with children, vulnerable adults, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

We will seek to keep children and vulnerable adults safe by:

  • Valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
  • Adopting safeguarding practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
  • Having robust online safety procedures and practices in place.
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
  • Sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers.
  • Sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents, children and vulnerable adults appropriately.

We are committed to reviewing our policy and practice annually.

This policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on 7th July 2021.


GUIDANCE ON HOW TO RESPOND TO DISCLOSURES, CONCERNS ABOUT ABUSE AND REPORTING PROCEDURES

At Wac Arts we will all come into contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults. We are all therefore in a position to encounter or identify child protection issues or safeguarding concerns. It is vital that you are alert to and recognise signs of abuse.

Identifying abuse can be difficult and requires close collaborative consultation with a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

You need to remember:

  1. Everyone has a duty to report suspected or alleged abuse.
  2. You need to note not just major incidents but also signs that make you feel concerned. If a child tells you that they are being abused you need to tell them that you will have to report this to a Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  3. You should always discuss your worries however unspecific with the Designated Safeguarding Lead on duty at Wac Arts and not keep these worries to yourself. This is a confidential matter and should only be discussed with the Designated Safeguarding Lead on duty at Wac Arts in the first instance. Only through the sharing of known facts and discussion can your concerns be alleviated, or an appropriate monitoring / reporting be made.
  4. All such worries must be recorded. We report incidents in confidential folders stored securely on the organisation’s file system and you should ensure that an entry has been made.
  5. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will decide whether an external referral should be made

If the Designated Safeguarding Lead agrees that a referral should be made the following will happen- (the DSL may appoint a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead to take this forward)

  • Stage 1 is a recognition of concern and reporting to the statutory agency – i.e. Adult social care / Services Duty Officer/ the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in the borough where the child resides. The appointed Designated Safeguarding Lead will do this.
  • Stage 2 involves planning what action is necessary and the investigation. Wac Arts will not be responsible for this stage, but you may be asked to provide the investigation with information.
  • Stage 3 follows the investigation and includes the conference and making of a comprehensive assessment. You may be asked to contribute to this process.

Further information about recognition of abuse, managing disclosures, reporting and recording can be found in the Safeguarding Handbook.

REFERRAL PROCEDURE – WHAT TO DO

  1. When there is a safeguarding suspicion or concern either about a child or vulnerable adult, or about someone’s behaviour – write down what you have seen and/or heard and report immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) on duty
  2. All factors and information are then considered by the DSL resulting in:
    • Concerns allayed: no further action but recording kept
    • Actions for DSL or Appointed Deputy DSL:
      – Report to LADO (for children under 18) report to Adult Social Care (for over 18s)
      – For Short Breaks Services: Also report to the Children and Young People with Disabilities Service or Camden’s out of hours social work service and in writing to the Lead Commissioner
      – ‘Early Help’ – see Safeguarding Handbook for details on referring to Early Help
      – ‘Prevent’ – Report to the Police Prevent Line

RECRUITING THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO VOLUNTEER OR WORK WITH CHILDREN SAFER RECRUITMENT POLICY

Wac Arts is committed to:

  • Safeguarding and protecting all children, young people and vulnerable adults by implementing robust safer recruitment practices
  • Identifying and rejecting applicants who are unsuitable to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults
  • Responding to concerns about suitability of applicants during the recruitment process
  • Responding to concerns about the suitability of employees and volunteers once they have begun their role
  • Ensuring all new staff and volunteers participate in induction which includes safeguarding

Wac Arts aims to recruit the right people to work with children and young people by:

  • Making sure the recruitment process is planned and structured in the same way each time
  • Ensuring both the job description and person specification for any role involving working with children and young people highlight the importance of understanding safeguarding issues and duties
  • Including a statement about Wac Arts commitment to keeping children safe and the requirement for a DBS check in every advert for a role that includes working with children
  • Providing all applicants with a confidential self-disclosure form giving them the opportunity to disclose any information on unspent criminal convictions, child protection investigations or disciplinary procedures they have on record
  • Taking up references about the suitability of the applicant to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults
  • Shortlisting and interviewing all candidates by at least two people
  • Involving children, young people and their families in recruitment process where possible
  • Using a consistent scoring system for every candidate based on the person specification, job description and published organisational values
  • When contacting the successful candidate, make it clear that the offer is subject to satisfactory completion of the vetting processes
  • If a candidate has been overseas for three months or more checking the candidates criminal record in that country
  • Providing on going supervision and training

WHEN AN ALLEGATION OF ABUSE IS MADE ABOUT A MEMBER OF STAFF

  • All complaints of abuse against a member of staff must be handled swiftly and sensitively according to procedures with Camden Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) or Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board (SAPB). The basic principles of safeguarding must apply and inform the whole process.
  • Safeguarding concerns regarding a member of staff must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer LADO in the borough where the young person resides as well as the young person’s social worker (if they have one). If it is out of hours, the emergency duty social worker must be contacted. If at any point it appears that a serious physical assault or sexual abuse may have been committed, the DSL or appointed Deputy DSL must inform the Police.
  • A child protection allegation against a member of staff may require the member of staff to be suspended. Ensure that careful consideration is given to the kind of support the member of staff concerned and her/his colleagues require, both during the investigation and after it has reported its findings.

DBS CHECK PROCEDURES

All employees and volunteers over the age of 16 need to have a valid Disclosure and Barring Service check before working with us. All staff and volunteers must have an enhanced check, and all staff must be cross-referenced with the child barring list. Checks must be completed through Wac Arts and are valid for 3 years unless employees or volunteers are registered with the DBS update service.

Programme Coordinators and/or line managers are responsible for ensuring their new staff or team members undergo an appropriate DBS check or are registered on the DBS update service. DBS coordinators at Wac Arts are listed below*. The cost of checks for staff, volunteers and Trustees, will be met by Wac Arts.

If a staff member is expected to be working with Wac Arts for more than a year, they are to be advised to join the update service which allows individuals to have their DBS certificate kept up-to-date and be transferrable between roles and organisations where the same type and level of check is required. Individuals must process this themselves, and when they are charged an annual fee of £13, are to expense this to Wac Arts.

Where staff members may not be on the update service and their check approaches the 3-year date, they must have it renewed. It is the responsibility of DBS coordinators to monitor expiry and to set the renewal process in motion at least 3 months prior to the expiry date.

Staff and volunteers may begin working with us before their DBS has been approved, on the conditions that their DBS check has been submitted, and they are present with one DBS-checked staff member. They may under no circumstances be left alone with a child or young person.

*The DBS coordinators who are registered with Disclosure Services to validate DBS applications are:

More information on how to process a DBS or how to join the update service can be found in the Safeguarding Handbook.

STAFF TRAINING

All staff receive safeguarding training as part of their induction on joining the organisation. This will involve a meeting (individual or group) facilitated by the DSL or Deputy DSL, to cover the topics relevant to the role (see training agendas within the Safeguarding Handbook). For core programmes staff, training will be sought externally where necessary.

Training is refreshed annually for those working directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults. This will be through internal training, unless specific external training has been identified and approved by the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

The DSL and Deputy DSLs must have Level 3 training that is renewed every two years.

The wider core team will receive internal refresher training on a three-year cycle.

Safeguarding training for Trustees will be delivered once every three years, relative to the three-year cycle for length of service.

Staff training records

It is the responsibility of the line manager and or programme coordinator to ensure that training is arranged for all of their direct reports including sessional staff working within their lead area of work. It is also the responsibility of the line manager and or programme coordinator to ensure such training is logged in the central training record by emailing the relevant information to the Head of Operations. Any training records of a sensitive nature must be stored securely within personnel files.

Staff training agendas can be found in the Safeguarding Handbook.