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Powerjam Children Safeguarding Policy

1. INTRODUCTION
Powerjam is committed to protecting and actively supporting children and young people so that they are able to live safe, happy and successful lives, in accordance with its duties under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 and
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, which places a statutory duty on key individuals and organisations to make suitable arrangements to ensure that their responsibilities are discharged in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’ sets out how organisations and individuals should work together to meet these responsibilities. The policy has been written in line with current legislation, Section 11 (4) of the Children Act 2004, statutory guidance detailed in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and local policies. It is also aligned to the regulatory framework and the principles and standards of care that underpin our operations as an Independent Fostering Agency.


This policy aims to:
● raise awareness that safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility;
● assist those working with children, young people and their families to be aware of the signs and symptoms of neglect and abuse;
● raise awareness of practitioners' responsibility to follow local social care procedures;
● promote multi-disciplinary and multi-agency-working; and
● promote a child-centred approach to safeguarding.
● ensure employees have information to help them recognize child abuse and neglect, that they understand the overarching Safeguarding Children Policy and how it impacts on their day-to-day operations;
● ensure employees understand their responsibilities, what they need to do, and what they can expect of one another, to safeguard and protect the welfare of children; and
● ensure employees and contractors understand when and how to report allegations of neglect, abuse or the risk of harm to children and young people.


Powerjam will implement this policy by:
● ensuring our directors and employees are aware of the Safeguarding Children Policy and receive appropriate training and support, are able to recognise harm and know how to report any concerns in a timely and appropriate way;
● ensuring that all contractors and commissioned organisations providing services on behalf of Powerjam understand and have formally agreed in writing to abide by the Safeguarding Children Policy and receive appropriate training and support;
● monitoring allegations of neglect, abuse or harm to children and young people made against our employees to understand how and why this has happened and ensuring that appropriate systems and processes are in place to prevent this happening in the future; and
● working with children, young people and their families to help develop, monitor and review our policies, practices, functions and services.


2. KEY CONTACTS
Senior Lead for Safeguarding
Name: Anna Texier
Email address: contact@powerjambands.com
Telephone number: 020 8288 0950 (Heatham House Youth Centre)


Deputy Senior Lead for Safeguarding
Name: Dr. Andrei Sora
Email address: team@powerjambands.com
Telephone number: 020 8288 0950 (Heatham House Youth Centre)


Local Authority Safeguarding Contact
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRUT)
LBRUT Single Point of Access (SPA)
020 8547 5008 (8.00 – 17.15)
020 8770 5000 (out of hours)


Police
Emergency – 999
Non-emergency – 101
NSPCC Helpline
0808 800 5000

 


3. DEFINITIONS
Safeguarding children: Safeguarding children is defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 as:
● protecting children from maltreatment.
● preventing impairment of children’s health or development.
● ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
● taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.


Child at risk:
● a child who has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs),
● is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
● as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.


Vulnerable children
There are some groups of children who may be particularly vulnerable because of specific concerns in relation to their safeguarding and because of some specific issues in relation to promoting their welfare. The list is not a comprehensive list of every vulnerable child, but highlights some specific groups:
● children living away from home;
● children who are being bullied;
● children whose behaviour indicates a lack of parental control;
● children who are experiencing racism;
● children experiencing violent extremism;
● children experiencing parental domestic violence;
● children with families whose whereabouts are unknown;
● children who go missing from home or care;
● children who go missing from education;
● children of families living in temporary accommodation;
● migrant children;
● unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC)
● children who have special educational needs and disabilities.


Child abuse: Children may be vulnerable to neglect and abuse or exploitation from within their family and from individuals they come across in their daily lives.


Categories of concern:
- Physical abuse: 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, illness in a child.
- Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so that it causes severe and persistent adverse effects on a 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 include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or 'making fun' of what they say or how they communicate. 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 serious bullying (including cyber- bullying), causing children to frequently 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: Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of a child’s clothing. They may also include non- contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse, including via the internet or social media. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males; women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
- Sexual exploitation: Sexual exploitation of children and young people is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. It includes combinations of pull factors: children exchanging sex for attention, accommodation, food, gifts or drugs and push factors: children escaping from situations where their needs are neglected and there is exposure to unsafe individuals. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
- Neglect: Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to December 2021 6 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, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers), or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs.


Recognising child abuse and neglect
Whilst children and adults at risk may suffer abuse and neglect, the recognition of these may differ. Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 provides guidance as to what constitutes abuse and neglect and the categories of concern. However, this is not to be treated as the definitive list, as abuse and neglect can be multi-faceted and should be considered holistically.


Maltreatment
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or 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 others. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children. The maltreatment of children physically, emotionally, sexually or through neglect can have major long-term effects on all aspects of a child's health, development and wellbeing. The immediate and longer-term impact can include anxiety, depression, substance misuse, eating disorders and self-destructive behaviour, offending and anti-social behaviour.

 

Radicalisation is the process through which a person comes to support or be involved in extremist ideologies. It can result in a person becoming drawn into terrorism and is in itself a form of harm. It is a requirement that all staff, volunteers and students within Powerjam comply with and be aware of the Prevent Duty under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The Act seeks to ensure that all individuals are alert to the risks of children and young people being drawn into terrorism and radicalism. Further information can be obtained from the Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales.


4. DEALING WITH CONCERNS
Concerns about a child may come to the attention of Powerjam directors, employees, contractors or volunteers in a number of ways:
● through observation of the child where a child's behaviour may indicate that it is likely that they are being abused;
● the child may disclose abuse;
● information may be given by parents, other people or agencies;
● a child may show some signs of physical injury of which there seems to be no satisfactory explanation;
● something in the behaviour of one of the workers or a child, or in the way the worker relates to a child, alerts them or makes them feel uncomfortable in some way;
● observing one child abuse another. There may be barriers to children telling someone that they are being harmed, neglected or abused. The power of relationships between adults and children should not be underestimated, and nor should the deliberate and skilled way that abusers target their victims. Children may not tell because they are scared because they have been threatened or are being sexually exploited; believe they will be taken away from home; believe that social care services are stigmatising; think it is what happens to all children; feel embarrassed; feel guilty; do not want to get the abuser into trouble; have communication or learning difficulties; may not have the vocabulary to explain what has happened to them; are afraid they won't be believed; or believe they have told, possibly by dropping hints but have not been believed so that they do not bother trying again.


Child abuse thrives on secrecy and needs to be handled in a sensitive, accepting way. In order to achieve this, adults may have to overcome certain barriers also, as:
● sometimes it may be hard to believe what the child is saying;
● it may be difficult that the suspicion may be about someone that is known;
● there is a fear of getting it wrong; the fear of what consequences there may be for 'getting it wrong' for the child, for the family and for themselves;
● they worry that it may make it worse for the child;
● they believe that social care services are stigmatising;
● they simply do not want to become involved;
● they do not have the necessary information on what to do or who to contact.


Many concerns about children and young people arise on a day-to-day basis and, in most cases, these can be dealt with quickly and easily through discussion between employees and parents or carers where further advice or help may be offered, if needed. These discussions and actions must be recorded in the relevant children’s services recording system. Sometimes concerns can be more worrying because it is clear that the child may be affected by what is happening to them. The child may be being harmed in some way. If this is the case, employees should:
● collect as much information as possible about the situation - this may be from the child, parent, carer or other professionals and should include the date and time of the incident or disclosure, the parties that were involved, what was said or done and by whom, and any further actions
● report their concerns to their line manager or another appropriate manager immediately and at the latest within the same working day If a child of young person is disclosing information:
● listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief, accept what is being said without judgement and take it seriously
● reassure the child, but do not make promises that cannot be kept for example, ‘everything will be alright now’. Assure them that they did nothing wrong and that their disclosure will be taken seriously, do not promise confidentiality, explain you have a duty to report your concerns. Acknowledge how difficult it must have been to talk
● let the child or young person explain in their own terms what has happened. Do not speculate or jump to conclusions. Do not investigate or interrogate or decide if they are telling the truth. Communicate in a way that is appropriate to the age of the child and the level of disability or where English is not the preferred language. Explain what you will do next and who you need to talk to
● take some very brief notes and write them up in more detail as soon as you can. Hold on to the original notes, they may be required by court. Record the date, time, place and words used by the child and how the child appeared to you. Be specific and keep it factual
● contact the Single Point of Access (in Richmond) on 020 8547 5008 (020 8770 5000 for out of hours/weekends)
● be open about the concern and make it clear that they will have to tell others who may be working with the child.


Social media
Employees should not engage in any form of social media communication (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) with children or young people using their personal accounts. This includes using personal email accounts or mobile phones. Where there is a need to communicate with young people using social media, only accounts set up by Powerjam should be used. When communicating using social media, care should be taken to ensure that the material posted or shared is safe and is appropriate. Photographs of children must be consensual and information especially that which could put a child at risk must not be shared. Appropriate security and permissions must be put in place. Material posted should not discredit the organisation in any way. Any posts by children or young people which raise safeguarding concerns should be reported (see section Dealing with concerns).


Photography and videos
All Powerjam directors, employees, contractors and volunteers must only use Powerjam equipment to take photographs or videos of events which involve children and young people, and under no circumstances must they use their own personal devices. The following must be adhered to;
● Consent must be obtained from parents or the legal guardians of children, before they are recorded.
● They must be made aware of how and where the footage or pictures shall be used, especially if the footage is to be published in the media or online.
● An agreement as to whether the pictures and videos will be destroyed or saved for future use, where they will be stored, and who will be able to access them must also be drawn up.
● Even if parental permission has been sought, the children must be comfortable with their picture being taken.
● Children’s and young peoples’ names should not be publicised in photographs or videos without the express permission of the children and their parents or legal guardians.
● Photographs shall only be taken in relation to Powerjam services or events.
● Employees shall not take photographs in one-to-one sessions unless there is a specific need to, such as using photographs to help illustrate outcomes to children, young people and their families, this arrangement must be agreed with in advance and the rules around consent still apply.
● Staff should also be attentive to others taking photographs of children without their permission.


Access to inappropriate images and internet usage
Viewing, creating and storing inappropriate and indecent images of children on the internet is illegal and will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Anybody employed by Powerjam - either directly or as a contractor - who
retrieves and possess links to such websites and images will be regarded as a major and possible threat to children. This behaviour will result in a criminal investigation and the individual will be barred from working with children if found guilty. Employees should not use personal equipment containing pornographic images or links to them must not be brought into the working environment. This will result in serious concerns regarding the adult’s suitability to work with children. If indecent images of children or other inappropriate materials are found, the Police and Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) must be informed immediately via the Single Point of Access. Employees must refrain from attempting to investigate or assess the material independently as this could contaminate the evidence. Employees have a duty to ensure that children do not view inappropriate images or websites. All material shown to children, including films, books, magazines, television or video, must be age-appropriate. If a child is in immediate danger you must always telephone 999.


5. STAFF RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING
All new Powerjam employees receive an induction that includes the organisation's procedures for safeguarding children. All Powerjam employees are required to have an up-to-date DBS, to be renewed every 3 years. The DBS system aims to provide employers with a quicker and more effective vetting and barring service. All disclosures for work with children and vulnerable persons are to be at an enhanced level for Regulated Activity. Employees of Powerjam can access a range of training through the Kingston and Richmond LSCB, including Level 1 Online Safeguarding Awareness; Level 2 Shared Responsibility; and Level 3 Child Protection Processes. This safeguarding policy and procedures will be clearly communicated to staff. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will be responsible for ensuring that this is done. The safeguarding policy and procedures will be reviewed annually and the Designated Safeguarding Lead will also ensure that any changes are clearly communicated to staff. It may be appropriate to involve staff.


6. DATA PROTECTION
Employees may have access to confidential information about children and young people and their families in order to help them perform their roles. They may be privy to highly sensitive and confidential information. In some circumstances, this information may need to be shared with other professionals, such as in a case of suspected neglect or abuse. In these circumstances, information must be passed on immediately. Confidential information should not be shared with someone who does not have the right to know. Where there is any uncertainty, staff should discuss this with Powerjam directors. When it is not necessary to disclose a child’s identity, all information should be used anonymously. Private Information should never be used for personal gain or for the advantage of others, including friends, family, relatives and or other organisations.


Our Privacy Policy can be found here:
https://www.powerjambands.com/privacy-policy


7. WHISTLEBLOWING
Powerjam is committed to the highest standards of transparency, probity,
integrity and accountability. This procedure is intended to provide a means of
making serious allegations about standards, conduct, financial irregularity or
possible unlawful action in a way that will ensure confidentiality and protect
those making such allegations in the reasonable belief that it is in the public
interest to do so from being victimised, discriminated against or disadvantaged.
This procedure is intended to ensure that Powerjam complies with its duty
under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 amended the Employment Rights Act
1996 and it provides protection for individuals who raise legitimate concerns
about specified matters, outlined below. These are called qualifying disclosures.
A qualifying disclosure is one made in good faith by an individual who has a
reasonable belief that:
● a criminal offence (including fraudulent and corrupt behaviour, fraud or
malpractice)
● a miscarriage of justice
● an act creating risk to health and safety
● an act causing damage to the environment
● a breach of any other legal obligation, or
● concealment of any of the above.


Reporting
Contact Details for Reporting: contact@powerjambands.com (in writing) Powerjam recognises that the decision to make an allegation can be a difficult one to make. However, whistleblowers who make serious allegations in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so have nothing to fear because they are doing their duty either to Powerjam and/or to those for whom Powerjam or they are providing a service. Powerjam will take appropriate action to protect a whistleblower who makes a serious allegation in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so from any reprisals, harassment or victimisation.


Confidentiality
All allegations will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal a whistleblower’s identity unless the whistleblower otherwise requests. Powerjam will not, without the whistleblower’s consent, disclose the identity of a whistleblower to anyone other than a person involved in the investigation/allegation.


Anonymous Allegations
This procedure encourages whistleblowers to put their name to an allegation wherever possible, as anonymous allegations may often be difficult to substantiate/prove. Allegations made anonymously are much less powerful but anonymous allegations will be considered at the discretion of the Powerjam Directors. In exercising discretion to accept an anonymous allegation the factors to be taken into account:
● The seriousness of the issue raised;
● The credibility of the allegation; and
● Whether the allegation can realistically be investigated from factors or sources other than the complainant.


Untrue Allegations
No disciplinary or other action will be taken against a whistleblower who makes an allegation in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so even if the allegation is not substantiated by an investigation. However, disciplinary action may be taken against a whistleblower who makes an allegation without reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so.


Procedure for Making an Allegation
It is preferable for allegations to be made to a Powerjam Director. Whether a written or oral report is made, it is important that relevant information is provided including:
● The name of the person making the allegation and a contact point;
● The background and history of the allegation (giving relevant dates and names and positions of those who may be in a position to have contributed to the allegation);
● The specific reason for the allegation. Although someone making an allegation will not be expected to prove the truth of any allegations, they will need to provide information to the person they have reported to, to establish that there are reasonable grounds for the allegation.
Someone making an allegation may be accompanied by another person of their choosing during any meetings or interviews in connection with the allegation. However, if the matter is subsequently dealt with through another procedure the right to be accompanied will at that stage be in accordance with the relevant procedure.


Action on receipt of an Allegation
The director will record details of the allegation, gathering as much information as possible, including:
● The record of the allegation;
● The acknowledgement of the allegation;
● Any documents supplied by the whistleblower.
The investigator will ask the whistleblower for his/her preferred means of communication and contact details and use these for all communications with the whistleblower in order to preserve confidentiality.


Timetable
● An acknowledge the allegation in writing within 10 working days with;
● An indication of how Powerjam propose to deal with the matter;
● An estimate of how long it will take to provide a final response;
● An indication of whether any initial enquiries have been made;
● Information on whistleblower support mechanisms;
● Indication whether further investigations will take place and if not, why not.
Where the allegation has been made internally and anonymously, obviously Powerjam will be unable to communicate what action has been taken. The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 or email: help@nspcc.org.uk

8. VERSION CONTROL
● Applies to All departments of Powerjam
● Review Board: Powerjam Directors
● Date created: February 2022
● Reviewing arrangements: This policy will be reviewed annually. Next review date March 2023.
● Version: March 2022.

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