SAFEGUARDING POLICY STATEMENT

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At Steer Up, we believe that everyone has a collective responsibility to promote the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults, to keep them safe and to practise service delivery in a way that protects them. We give equal priority to keeping all children, young people and vulnerable adults safe regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. We recognise that some of these individuals may be additionally vulnerable because of the impact of discrimination, previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues

 

The purpose of this policy statement is to protect young people and vulnerable adults who receive Steer Up’s services from harm. This policy applies to anyone delivering services on behalf of Steer Up including senior managers, paid staff, volunteers, agency staff, students and our Mentors.

 

As an organisation that interacts with young people and vulnerable adults - we have a Safeguarding Policy in place which outlines our responsibilities and actions that will be taken should any risks to safeguarding arise. As an organisation, Steer Up has a duty to ensure all mentors are aware of them, and to act if there is a cause for concern and to notify the appropriate agencies so that we can investigate.

 

Coaches and mentors also have a duty to ensure that their mentee is safeguarded. It’s important to ensure that there are safeguarding measures in place when conducting coaching and mentoring sessions, especially when working with young people and vulnerable adults. 

 

In this document, you’ll find some of the legislation regarding safeguarding, along with the implications and actions that you may need to take as a coach or mentor.

 

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the term used to denote measures to protect the health, wellbeing and human rights of individuals, which allow people (especially children, young people and vulnerable adults) to live free from abuse, harm and neglect. It ensures that these people are able to grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables them to have optimum life chances and successfully transition into adulthood.

 

The Children Act 2004 states that the interests of children and young people are paramount in all considerations of welfare and safeguarding, and that safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility. Organisations and agencies working with children and young people must take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to the individual’s welfare are minimised. Where there are any concerns about the welfare of children and young people, appropriate actions must be taken to address all of those concerns, working to agreed local policies and procedures, and in partnership with other local agencies.

 

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 extends this legal duty to vulnerable adults. The Act sets out the type of activity in relation to children and vulnerable adults which is regulated. 

 

Who should be safeguarded?

The Children Act 1989 legally defines a child as ‘a person under the age of 18’. 

 

‘Young person’ is not a legal term, however a young person is someone who might not perceive themselves as a child, but who is still in the age range of the legal definition of a child.

 

A vulnerable adult is a person, aged eighteen and over, who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation’ (Department of Health, 2000). 

 

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 defines a vulnerable adult as someone aged eighteen and over whom:

  • Is in residential accommodation (in connection with care or nursing or a residential special school)

  • Is in sheltered housing

  • Receives domiciliary care

  • Receives any form of healthcare

  • Is detained in lawful custody

  • Is by virtue of an order of a court under supervision by a person exercising functions for the purposes of Part 1 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (c. 43),

  • Receives a welfare service of a prescribed description (includes counselling or advice)

  • Receives any service or participates in any activity provided specifically for persons who has particular needs because of his age, has any form of disability or has a prescribed physical or mental problem (dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia are excluded disabilities)

  • Receives payments in pursuance of arrangements under section 57 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 (c. 15), or

  • Requires assistance in the conduct of his own affairs. (Section 59 (10)(a) indicates this is where a lasting power of attorney exists)

 

Why is it necessary?

Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, which reinforces the Children Act 1989, places a statutory duty on governing bodies of schools and colleges to promote the welfare and safety of children.  The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Further Education (Providers of Education) (England) Regulations 2006 extend this statutory duty to vulnerable adults. The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 places a legal obligation to ensure that every person who wants to work or volunteer with children and vulnerable adults is duly registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) (when fully operational) and has been assessed using data gathered by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), including relevant criminal convictions, cautions, police intelligence and other appropriate sources.