Safer London is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
Safer London works to prevent and address the impact of violence and exploitation on young people and their families. We believe every young person should be able to enjoy a life where they feel safe and free from an ever-present threat of harm. We believe that making London safer for young people makes it safer for everyone.
Safer London believes that:
- children and young people should never experience abuse or maltreatment of any kind;
- it has a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people to keep them safe and to work in a way that protects them.
Safer London recognises that:
- the welfare of the child is paramount;
- all children have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation;
- some children can be considered to be more vulnerable due to the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues, including being a member of a minority ethnic group, having a disability, being very young (infants are at higher risk) or a young carer (since this group is often isolated as well as protective of those they are caring for);
- working in partnership with children and their parents or carers, as well as other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
Safer London will seek to keep children safe by:
- valuing, listening to and respecting them;
- appointing a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), a deputy DSL and a Lead Trustee for Safeguarding;
- adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and Conduct Code for staff and volunteers;
- providing effective management of staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures;
- recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made;
- recording and storing information professionally and securely;
- sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children, their families, staff and volunteers via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions;
- using our child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know and involving children, parents/carers and families appropriately;
- using our procedures to manage any safeguarding allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately;
- creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise;
- ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place;
- ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for the children we work with, our staff and volunteers by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance;
- ensuring our work is anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive, and recognises the possibility of unconscious bias.
It is a key requirement of this policy that ALL safeguarding concerns MUST be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as they arise, and a Safeguarding Concern form completed, signed off by the relevant line-manager and added to the child’s case record.
Overview and Introduction
Safer London provides:
- support for children who go missing and those affected by gangs and criminal or sexual exploitation;
- support for parents/carers whose children are affected by exploitation, crime and violence and/or who are affected by this themselves via their children;
- support for those seeking to escape domestic violence or abuse;
- support for schools to improve their safeguarding arrangements and prevent violence in both the school and wider community;
- training for professionals to increase their understanding and knowledge of the issues affecting the children who use our services.
- This work requires Safer London’s safeguarding arrangements to be robust and comprehensive.
- Safeguarding is the process of promoting the welfare of children and protecting them from harm, whether caused by deliberate abuse, neglect or accidents. It also includes considering issues such as bullying, prejudice or failures to enable them to take part in activities open to most children and young people.
- protecting children from abuse and maltreatment;
- preventing harm to children’s health or development;
- ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care;
- taking actions which enable all children and young people to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Child protection is part of the safeguarding process and focuses on protecting individual children who are identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Safer London’s Child Protection Procedures – pages 8-14 of this document – set out how to respond to any concerns a staff member or volunteer may have about a child.
Appendix 1 sets out the types of abuse, indicators that a child may be being abused and possible barriers to reporting abuse.
Why this policy exists
- To protect the children who access Safer London’s services.
- To provide parents, staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that underpin our approach to safeguarding and child protection.
- To describe what Safer London will do to keep children safe and respond to concerns by setting out clear commitments and expectations, lines of accountability and roles and responsibilities.
Scope: Who and what does this policy apply to?
- This policy applies to anyone working for or on behalf of Safer London including managers, paid staff, volunteers – including Trustees -, sessional workers, agency staff and students.
- This policy applies to all work with children aged up to 18. For those aged 18 and over please refer to Safer London’s Adult Safeguarding Policy.
- This policy does not form part of Safer London’s contract of employment and the organisation reserves the right to change the policy at any time when considered necessary. However, failure to comply with this policy may result in action being taken against the non-compliant staff member or volunteer and may lead to dismissal.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Safer London is fully committed to safeguarding and child protection, and all those who work for Safer London in any capacity have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, regardless of whether their role involves direct contact with children.
- It is the responsibility of all those who work for Safer London to ensure that they read and understand this policy.
- The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) is responsible for ensuring that it is adhered to and to take appropriate action where a staff member is found to have acted in a way that is contrary to this policy.
- The Chief Executive has overall accountability for all matters concerning safeguarding and child protection.
- The Director of Safeguarding is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), responsible for safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare. This role oversees safeguarding arrangements which includes: ensuring relevant policies and procedures are in place and reviewed/updated; supporting staff with concerns and, in consultation with line managers as needed, decides when to refer to social care; analyzing performance around safeguarding referrals; developing and delivering training to promote safe practice; and reviewing and sharing the outcomes of Serious Case Reviews and internal safeguarding reviews. The DSL also prepares a Section 11 self-audit annually to monitor Safer London’s safeguarding arrangements and identifies actions for improvement.
- The DSL is supported in this role by the Deputy DSL and by the designated Lead Trustee for Safeguarding.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England as well as guidance which applies specifically to organisations working in London, where appropriate.
Key legislation includes:
- The Children Act, 1989, specifically Section 17 – provision of services for children in need – and Section 47 – local authority duty to investigate;
- The Children Act, 2004 – creation of Local Safeguarding Children Boards, Working Together and information sharing
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 – NB: this is required reading for any staff working in schools, including those meeting young people for one to one sessions.
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2006
- Disabled Children United Nations Convention on The Rights of the Child – Voice of the child
- The Sexual Offences Act, 2003
- The Pan-London Safeguarding Children Procedures
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, statutory guidance
- Domestic Abuse Bill 2019
- The Data Protection Act, 2018
- The General Data Protection Regulations 2018
- UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), specifically Article 12 – right to express and have their views taken into account on all matters that affect them and Article 19 – right to live free from all forms of violence
Legislation against the practice of ‘Upskirting’ is also applicable where this activity involves a child as either the victim or perpetrator of this activity.
Related policies and procedures
This policy should be read alongside other relevant Safer London policies and procedures including:
- Dignity at Work
- Managing Allegations
- Information Sharing
- Case Recording and Records Retention Policy
- Conduct Code
- Recruitment Policy
- Feedback and Complaints Policy
- Whistleblowing Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- Adult Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
- Preventing Abuse for Extremist Purposes
- Lone Working Policy
- Death of a Service User Policy
- Serious Case and Domestic Homicide Reviews Policy
- Acceptable Use of Social Media Policy
- Film, Photography & Audio Policy
- Illegal Items & Criminal Behaviour Policy
Safer London is committed to reviewing its Safeguarding policy and practice annually or earlier if:
- it is invoked and use suggests that amendments are needed; or
- organisational restructures lead to changes in reporting lines or other processes.
The designated policy owner is responsible for ensuring that the policy and procedures are reviewed and updated as needed, including when there are changes to any of the individuals or roles mentioned in the policy or procedures. Appendix 5 provides a list of the key individuals/roles mentioned in the policy and procedures.
Child Protection Procedures
Different ways to raise a concern
If you suspect that abuse is happening:
- it is not your role to investigate;
- speak to your line manager/the Designated Safeguarding Lead and get them to sign the Safeguarding Concern Form and follow their advice about what to do next;
- contact the relevant child safeguarding access point in the applicable Borough, e.g. MASH/SPOC, for guidance.
Recording information: Records must be clear, accurate and factual and provide evidence for the points you make. Keep in mind that your records protect both your service user and you. The Case Recording and Records Management Policy sets out what is required of case records including records relating to safeguarding concerns.
Log your concerns using the Safeguarding Concern form on Lamplight – ask your line-manager, a colleague or the Data Systems Lead for advice on how to do this if necessary.
If the concern has come from a third party this should be clearly indicated on the case note.
If you are made aware of concerns about a child with whom Safer London is not working – for example if a service user tells you about safeguarding risks to a friend or family member – you should create a new profile for that child and record the concerns there. The record must make clear that it relates to someone who is not a current Safer London service user.
Referrals to Children’s Social Care: You must report safeguarding incidents or allegations to the appropriate local authority within 24 hours. You must liaise with appropriate agencies including social work teams, police, probation, and health professionals in line with local procedures within the relevant Borough and at all times take necessary action to protect children at risk from immediate and future harm.
Where a crime has been or may have been committed you must report this to Police.
- What to do if you have concerns about a colleague: Refer to Safer London’s Managing Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers policy and consult your manager or the Designated Safeguarding Lead; they may decide to contact the relevant Local Authority’s Designated Officer and/or make a referral to children’s social care. Do not alert the colleague about your concerns.
- What to do if you have concerns about Safer London’s practice: If you are concerned that certain practices or behaviours on the part of the organisation or its senior management could lead to or have led to its practice being unsafe for the people the organisation works with, you should refer to the Whistleblowing Policy & Procedures.
How to respond to concerns or allegations of harm
Never ignore anything that might indicate abuse is taking place.
Always record everything clearly and accurately.
Work collaboratively with other professionals.
Always seek the views of the child directly and preferably away from the parent or carer.
Look for the patterns in small concerns – you may build up a full picture over time.
Consider each child as an individual.
If a child discloses abuse to you: Do:
- listen and accept;
- try not to interrupt;
- tell the child they’ve done the right thing by telling you;
- inform the child of what you are going to do;
- make accurate notes using the child’s own words as soon as possible and definitely within 24 hours;
- inform your line manager/the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- promise confidentiality – you may need to share information with others to ensure that appropriate action is taken and the concern dealt with;
- ask leading questions;
- ask the child to repeat the disclosure several times.
If a child discloses – or you suspect – that they are in possession of an illegal item or possibly engaged in criminal activity, you must in first instance ensure the safety of that child and of yourself. The same Do’s and Don’ts apply when dealing with such a disclosure or concern in the short-term, but you should consult the Illegal Items & Criminal Behaviours Policy at the earliest opportunity for further guidance.
Where a crime has been or may have been committed you must report this to Police.
Mental capacity and consent: The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a statutory framework to empower and protect people who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves, and establishes a framework for making decisions on their behalf. This applies whether the decisions are about life-changing events or about everyday matters. All decisions taken in the safeguarding process must comply with the Act. The Act applies to adults and to children aged 16 and older.
The Mental Capacity Act outlines five statutory principles that underpin work with people who may lack mental capacity:
A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity.
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help them to do so have been taken without success.
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because they make an unwise decision.
An act done, or decision made, under this Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in that person’s best interests.
Before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be achieved as effectively in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action.
The majority of people who require additional safeguards are people who are likely to lack mental capacity to make decisions about their care and support needs.
Mental Capacity refers to the ability to make a decision about a particular matter at the time the decision is needed. In other words, it is not a fixed state but dependent on the specific context and circumstance: someone may have mental capacity in regard to one area of their life or at some periods, but not at other times or in regard to other issues. You must satisfy yourself that the person has the mental ability to make the decision themselves; if you are not satisfied that this is the case it is best to err on the side of caution, identify the risks and consider support or services that will mitigate the risk.
It is always important to establish the mental capacity of someone who is at risk of abuse or neglect, should there be concerns over their ability to give informed consent to:
- planned interventions and decisions about their safety;
- their safeguarding plan and how risks are to be managed to prevent future harm.
Useful guidance can be found on the Social Care Institute for Excellence Mental Capacity Act pages.
Recruitment of Staff and Volunteers
Safer London’s Recruitment Policy sets out the use of safer recruitment practices, and our selection and vetting procedures include checks into the eligibility and suitability of all trustees, staff and volunteers who have direct or indirect (e.g. helpline, e-mail) contact with children. Because of their position within the charity, Safer London will always obtain DBS clearance for anyone serving as or seeking to become a Trustee.
Safer London has a Complaints Policy and Procedure and a Managing Allegations Policy which set out how adults and children can voice concerns about unacceptable and/or abusive behaviour towards children by Safer London staff and volunteers.
Supervision, Support and Training for staff and volunteers
Safer London ensures that all staff and volunteers working with children are monitored and supervised and that they have opportunities to learn about safeguarding and child protection in accordance with their roles and responsibilities.
Safer London ensures that all of its staff and volunteers are equipped to embed safeguarding within their professional practice. They are supported in this through training which is tailored to their roles and duties and in accordance with their levels of contact with and responsibility for children and or parents/carers. This ranges from those who in their work or volunteering have limited or no contact with children and their parents/carers to those who have the highest levels of responsibilities for them, including at strategic level.
Safeguarding induction training is mandatory for all staff and those who work directly with children, their families and/or carers receive additional training designed to achieve the required levels of competency in regards to safeguarding children as described in LSCB Competence Still Matters.
The training content is continually updated to include emerging issues such as e-Safety, domestic violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, children who live away from home or go missing, child sexual exploitation, race and racism and extremism.
All employees must complete the online course An Introduction to Safeguarding (Virtual College) within the first two weeks of commencing employment.
All employees in contact with children at risk must also complete the online course Awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect, Foundation (Virtual College)
Within six months of commencing employment these employees must also attend the Safeguarding Induction face-to-face course delivered by Safer London’s own trainer. They must then attend the Update Refresher training, also delivered by the Safer London trainer, at least every three years.
All managers who have any contact with children who may be at risk, or who manage employees that do must also complete the online courses Awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect, Foundation (Virtual College) and Safeguarding and Leadership (Virtual College).
Within six months of starting employment, they must also attend the Safeguarding Induction face-to-face course delivered by the Safer London trainer. They must then attend the Update Refresher training delivered by the Safer London trainer, at least every three years.
Volunteer mentors in contact with children at risk must complete the online course An Introduction to Safeguarding (Virtual College), preferably within the first two weeks of commencing the role but in any case prior to being matched with a child.
They must also attend the Safeguarding Induction face-to-face course within one month of their start date. They must then attend the Update Refresher training delivered by the Safer London trainer at least every three years.
They must also sign a copy of this policy, which they will be given by the Mentoring Team Leader and required to retain for reference.
Additional, bespoke training is also provided to the Trustees, Designated Safeguarding Lead and senior managers.
Safeguarding and child protection training is part of a wider Workforce Development Plan led by the People Manager; this includes safeguarding and child development training as well as additional relevant training according to needs identified through supervision, annual appraisals and case work.
Training is not limited to formal events and can include a wide range of learning and development activities such as sharing expertise, e-learning, shadowing and presentations. Safer London has systems to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of training provided and its impact on the delivery of services to children and their families.
Safer London uses the Training Evaluation and Impact Analysis Framework developed by The London Safeguarding Children Board Training Sub-Group. The evaluation focuses on the extent to which training is contributing to improving the knowledge and skills of the workforce with regard to working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Evaluation includes the following: relevance, currency and accuracy of course content; quality of training delivery; short and longer term outcomes; and impact of working together and inter- professional relationships.
Management support contributes to the effectiveness of learning and development, and Safer London managers support their staff to attend training and transfer their learning into practice by ensuring they have enough time, resources and opportunities to use their new skills. Learning and development is a standing item on our supervision template and one-to-one sessions always include a discussion on learning from any recent courses/events.
Managers also have a key role in feeding back to the DSL and People Manager their perspective of training and whether this has made a difference to the effectiveness of their staff in safeguarding children and young people.
The framework used to evaluate the quality of training and to capture evidence of its impact covers three aspects: Evaluation, Targeted Interviews and Auditing.
Self-Evaluation: Staff attending Safer London training will be asked to complete a set of three self-evaluations to help benchmark existing learning, evaluate the quality of training from the perspective of the trainee and capture evidence of how training has influenced the individual practice of staff. It is acknowledged that this process needs to be proportionate and take into account the busy day jobs of front-line operational staff. It is, however, expected that all training participants comply with Safer London requests for this information.
Pre-evaluation: As part of the course application process applicants are asked for details of any previous relevant safeguarding training so that the participant’s knowledge can be logged and evaluated before acceptance onto the course. The results from this are treated as the baseline for each participant’s level of knowledge and made available to the training facilitator to ensure that training is delivered at an appropriate level.
End of course evaluation: A self-evaluation questionnaire is given to each participant at the end of each course to establish what the participant has learned over the duration of the course. This is used to evidence whether the course was pitched appropriately for the audience, met its objectives and what the participant has learned from the training session.
Post-course evaluation: Acknowledging that follow-up questionnaires often result in a low return rate, the approach by Safer London takes the form of a simple on- line Survey Monkey questionnaire that asks the following questions: Has the training that you received influenced your practice with regards to safeguarding children? If yes, please provide one example of how you have used what you have learnt in a practice situation. If no, please explain why? The purpose of this stage is to find out whether the learning from the course has had a direct impact on how professionals work with children and young people to improve their outcomes.
Targeted Interviews: Where Safer London receives post evaluation returns that provide evidence that training has impacted on practice, the People Manager undertakes targeted interviews with those professionals to establish further detail and evidence supporting the impact of training on practice and outcomes. The People Manager also undertakes targeted interviews/conversations with the line- managers of staff who attended training to confirm both the accuracy of evidence provided and to further evaluate the wider impact of training (and in particular training in relation to local priorities) on outcomes for children and young people.
Auditing: Multi-agency case auditing by Safer London line-managers also provides a specific focus on whether there is any evidence that training has influenced practice and impacted on the outcomes for children and young people. This is primarily achieved through conversations with front line professionals as part of the all-staff Forum.
The audit process establishes the level of safeguarding training received by the professionals involved and their account of how any related learning has been used in their casework. The auditor will form a professional judgement as to the impact of this training on the quality of practice and associated outcomes.
Quality Assurance of Training: All external trainers are required to go through a formal tender process for selection against set quality standards. Single Agency Training is also subject to a review against quality standards.
In addition to using this Framework, Safer London assesses a number of training events on an ongoing basis for relevance, currency and accuracy through managers directly observing courses and providing evaluations as to their quality.
Training feedback is used to improve course content and delivery in the current year and also to inform planning for future training programmes. This feedback also provides assurance to the Board by evidencing impact of training on frontline staff.
Safer London understands and accepts that information sharing is a vital element in improving outcomes for children. It is crucial for early intervention and preventative work, to ensure that children and families get the services they require. It is also essential to protect children from suffering harm, abuse or neglect and to prevent them from offending.
Most Serious Case Reviews identify sources of information that could have contributed to a better understanding of the child and their protection had it been appropriately shared between agencies. This includes information from other agencies, about and from fathers/extended family, historical knowledge, cultural background and research findings.
It is vitally important that Safer London staff have the knowledge and confidence to share information appropriately as part of their day-to-day practice. Staff need to ensure that the people who use our services remain confident that their personal information is kept safely and securely and that their privacy is protected whilst sharing information to deliver better services. Safer London provides training on Information Sharing and GDPR to all staff as part of induction and managers access an online module from Virtual College.
Safer London staff working with partner organisations in multi-agency teams are expected to work within a framework of information sharing principles to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children we work with. Guidance on the framework can be found in our Information Sharing Policy and individual Working Together Agreements.
Need to Know Protocol: All staff and volunteers must ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead is informed as soon as possible of the occurrence of any of the situations set out in Appendix 4.
If you are in doubt as to whether an incident or situation falls within this protocol let the Designated Safeguarding Lead know and they will make that assessment and advise on what to do next. This protocol applies to both current and former service users and includes children with whom Safer London only had one-off contacts, e.g. a Return Home Interview. In cases of “need to know”, Safer London may need to prepare a brief summary that includes the service user’s details, the nature of the incident and the plan of action (where relevant) for the relevant contact in the Authority where the service user resides. Managers must familiarise themselves with any requirements to do this that may be set out in contracts within their services.
Appendix 1 – Definitions and indicators of abuse and barriers to reporting
What is abuse?
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. A person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in the family, an institution or a community setting, by those known to them or by a stranger.
Types and categories of abuse and neglect:
- Physical – deliberately physically hurting a child. This can take a variety of forms including hitting, pinching, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating a child. Physical abuse can happen in any family but children may be more at risk if their parents have problems with drugs, alcohol and/or their mental health or if they live in a home where domestic abuse happens. Babies and children with disabilities also have a higher risk of suffering physical abuse. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. Physical abuse can also occur outside of the family environment.
- Sexual – any sexual activity with a child, although children who are victims of sexual abuse do not always recognise themselves as such. A child may not understand what is happening and may not even understand that it is wrong. Sexual abuse 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 clothing. It may include non-contact activities such as involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males: women can commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. Sexual abuse can have a long-term impact on mental health.
- Emotional – persistent emotional maltreatment of a child. Although the effects of emotional abuse might take a long time to be detectable, practitioners will be in a position to observe it, for example in the way that a parent interacts with their child. Emotional abuse may involve deliberately telling a child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate. It may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or making fun of what they say or how they communicate. Emotional abuse may involve serious bullying – including online bullying through social networks, online games or mobile phones – by a child’s peers. It is also sometimes called psychological abuse and it can have severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development.
- Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for a child’s basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, supervision or shelter. It is important that practitioners remain alert and do not miss opportunities to take timely action. However, while there may be concerns about a child, neglect is not always straightforward to identify. Neglect may occur if a parent becomes physically or mentally unable to care for a child. A parent may also have an addiction to alcohol or drugs which may impair their ability to keep a child safe or results in them prioritising buying drugs or alcohol over food, clothing or warmth for the child. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal drug or alcohol abuse. It is likely to result in the serious impairment of a child’s health or development. Children who are neglected often also suffer from other types of abuse.
- More recent variations and types of abuse are also becoming prevalent, including online abuse, sexual exploitation, and female genital mutilation as well as other forms of abuse associated with specific cultures and/or beliefs.
Indicators of abuse
Any of the following signs might be indicators of abuse or neglect:
- children whose behaviour changes, for example they become aggressive, challenging, disruptive, withdrawn or clingy, or they might have difficulty sleeping or start wetting the bed;
- children with clothes which are ill-fitting and/or dirty;
- children with consistently poor hygiene;
- children who make strong efforts to avoid specific family members or friends without an obvious reason;
- children who don’t want to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities;
- children who are having problems at school, for example a sudden lack of concentration and learning or they appear to be tired and hungry;
- children who talk about being left home alone, with inappropriate carers or with strangers;
- children who reach developmental milestones, such as learning to speak or walk, late, with no medical reason;
- children who are regularly missing from school or education;
- children who are reluctant to go home after school;
- children with poor school attendance and punctuality, or who are consistently late being picked up;
- parents who are dismissive and non-responsive to practitioners’ concerns;
- parents who collect their children from school when drunk, or under the influence of drugs;
- children who drink alcohol regularly from an early age;
- children who are concerned for younger siblings without explaining why;
- children who talk about running away;
- children who display age-inappropriate sexual or sexualised behaviour (see the NICE guidance to NICE guidance to Recognising Child Abuse and Neglect sections 1.3.20-1.3.22) ; and
- children who shy away from being touched or flinch at sudden movements.
Factors which prevent children from reporting abuse
There are many factors which can inhibit a child’s willingness and ability to report abuse. These can include fear, loyalty, shame, being scared of the perpetrator/ consequences, cultural differences/norms, unaware of what abuse is, not having the words to describe it, mixed feelings as they may love the perpetrator, fear of being taken into care, having told someone before and seen nothing happen.
Key qualities that children and young people want in professionals:
Research has shown that children want their workers to be open, honest, informed, knowledgeable, experienced, dedicated, trustworthy and approachable. Safer London staff, and in particular those working directly with children, are expected to display these qualities at all times.
Appendix 2 – Additional Guidance
General safeguarding guidance:
- Pan-London Procedures: London Child Protection Procedures
- Working Together to Safeguard Children – statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- The Government’s Information sharing and consent Advice for practitioners
- London CP’s Revised Continuum of Need Threshold Guidance
- The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)’s Safeguarding charities resources
- The Young People’s version of Working Together
Specific safeguarding issues:
|Issues||Guidance and resources|
|Adolescent neglect||https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/neglect-matters-a-multi- agency-guide-for-professionals-working-together-on-behalf-of- teenagers|
And NSPCC guidance here: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/advice-and- info/core-info-neglect-emotional-abuse-teenagers-13-18.pdf
|Child abuse linked to faith or belief||See the government’s national action plan: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-action-plan-to- tackle-child-abuse-linked-to-faith-or-belief|
|Child Sexual Exploitation||See the relevant chapter in the London Child Protection Procedures: http://www.londoncp.co.uk/chapters/sg_sex_exploit_ch.html|
and see also government guidance:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/syst em/uploads/attachment_data/file/794554/6.5120_Child_exploitati on_disruption_toolkit.pdf
|Children at points of transition to|
|See guidance from the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG43/resources|
|Children who may have been trafficked||See government guidance:|
and referral forms
|Contextual safeguarding||see guidance provided by the Contextual Safeguarding Network|
|Criminal exploitation/ County Lines||See the government’s guidance, updated in February 2020, on this issue: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal- exploitation-of-children-and-vulnerable-adults-county-lines |
A useful organisation for issues around the increasing tendency for social care to place children overseas to ‘protect’ them especially from county lines and gang violence is CFAB: http://cfab.org.uk/resources
– they produce a guide on the law around placing children with families overseas and have a helpline
|Children with disabilities||See government guidance on safeguarding children with disabilities: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-disabled- children-practice-guidance|
|Domestic abuse||See government guidance:|
Information on the 2019 Domestic Abuse Bill
|Fabricated illness||See government guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-children- in-whom-illness-is-fabricated-or-induced|
|Families/parents and carers affected by exploitation,|
crime and violence
|See the PACE guidance on working with families affected by CSE.|
|Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)||See the Government’s Multi-Agency Statutory Guidance on FGM issued 8 October 2018|
In February 2020 the Home Office released an on-line Resource Pack around FGM which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/female-genital- mutilation-resource-pack
A mandatory reporting duty for FGM requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report known cases of FGM in under 18-year-olds to the police. The FGM duty came into force on 31 October 2015. This document gives staff from these professions information on the mandatory reporting duty: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory- reporting-of-female-genital-mutilation-procedural-information
|Forced marriage||See the government guidance:|
The Forced Marriage Unit offers advice and support and will not contact the victim’s family
Tel: 020 7008 0151; Email: email@example.com
In an emergency dial 999
| Harmful traditional|
|See the London Child Protection Procedures chapter on harmful sexual practice|
|Harmful sexual behaviour||See government guidance for schools on dealing with sexual violence/harassment between children: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sexual-violence-and- sexual-harassment-between-children-in-schools-and-colleges|
And NSPCC guidance: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research- resources/2016/harmful-sexual-behaviour-framework/
|Keeping children safe in education||Read more at NSPCC Learning: Keeping children safe in education: CASPAR briefing|
|Learning Disability||SEND guidance for social care practitioners|
SEND code of practice
|Suicide/self-harm||If someone gives an indication that they are feeling hopeless or can’t see the point of going on ask them clearly “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” or “Are you thinking about taking your own life?”. Give reassurance that these feelings won’t last forever, they are valued and that help is available. If someone tells you they are feeling suicidal ensure they aren’t left alone. Remove anything they could use to take their own life. Inform the person you would like to seek medical help immediately. Call their GP, dial 999 or take them to A&E and stay with them until they are seen by a mental health practitioner. Share your concerns with your own colleagues, the person’s family/friends. Signpost the person to the helplines listed here: https://www.thecalmzone.net/help/worried-about-someone/|
The London Child Protection Procedures provide a good link to statutory advice on suicide and self-harm: http://www.londoncp.co.uk/chapters/self_harm_suic_behv.html
|Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children and trafficked|
|See the government guidance on the care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery.|
|Violence Against Women & Girls||See the government’s policy on violence against women and girls: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/violence-against-women- and-girls|
|Young people who go missing||see the Statutory Guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or care|
|Young people affected by gangs/gang violence||See the NSPCC guidance: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing- abuse/keeping-children-safe/staying-safe-away-from-home/gangs- young-people/|
And the London Child Protection Procedures guidance: http://www.londoncp.co.uk/chapters/gang_activity.html#further_info
|Young people who go missing or are not where they are expected|
|See the government’s guidance on children who run away or go missing: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-who- run-away-or-go-missing-from-home-or-care|
Appendix 3 – Logging a safeguarding concern on Lamplight
How to use the task function on Lamplight
- Support Worker (SW) completes safeguarding concern form on Lamplight*
- Line-Manager (LM) signs off safeguarding concern form and adds escalation level
- LM creates a new Task in Outlook and adds the agreed actions from the safeguarding concern form and assigns to the SW.
- SW accepts the task and can send progress reports if necessary
- Once all actions are complete SW marks task as complete. All correspondence from this process will be recorded in your email.
* The staff member adding the Safeguarding form needs to make sure that they add themselves to the attendance tab on all Safeguarding forms; if staff neglect to do this it is difficult to identify who added the form.
Reporting on safeguarding concerns
There is a Monthly Safeguarding report already set up for each project that shows the Safeguarding forms added in the previous month.
Appendix 4 – Need to Know Protocol summary
All staff and volunteers must ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead is informed as soon as possible of the occurrence of any of the situations set out below.
If you are not certain whether an incident or situation falls within this protocol let the DSL know and they will make that assessment.
NB: this is a summarized version of the Need to Know Protocol
|1||The death of a person who uses or has used our services|
|2||The attempted suicide of a person who uses or has used our services|
|3||Any known incident of child abduction|
|4||Any incidents of alleged serious abuse of a child or perpetrated by a child|
|5||Serious incidents in the community, including where a person who is using our services or who has done so in the past: is charged with murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, rape, torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment or firearms offencesis the victim of any of these offences|
|6||Death in service of members of staff or volunteers|
|7||When any member of staff or a volunteer is the subject of criminal proceedings|
|8||Fire or other occurrence which causes major damage or closure to a building occupied by Safer London staff|
|9||Serious injury to any person while on our premises or engaged in an activity organised by Safer London|
|10||Accidents on trips / activities organised for people who use our services|
|11||Serious incidents involving people who use our services, including serious wounding|
|12||Any matter or incident arising that may bring Safer London into the public eye or attract adverse media attention|
|13||Serious data breach that may result in sensitive or confidential data becoming available to unauthorised persons|
|14||Notice of disciplinary investigations|
|15||Visits by OFSTED, Department for Education or other government agencies to a workplace where Safer London staff are located/ co-located|
|16||Proposed visit to a workplace where Safer London staff are located/ co-located by a Government Minister, MP or local Councillor|
Appendix 5 – Key people and contacts
|Designated Safeguarding Lead||Jackie Bolton|
|Director for Safeguarding||Jackie Bolton|
|Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead||Carly Adams Elias|
|Lead Trustee Safeguarding||Sally Hamwee|
|Data Systems Lead||Lisa Carrigan|
|People Manager||Angela Browne|
The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) consists of the following roles:
- CEO – Sherry Peck
- Director of Safeguarding – Jackie Bolton
- Director of Quality Practice & Internal Resources – Richard Haigh
- Organisational Lead Violence – Desmond Edward
- Organisational Lead Exploitation – Carly Adams Elias
- People Manager – Angela Browne
- Finance, Contracts & Compliance Manager – Racheal Raji
- Head of Business Development – John Moore
If a safeguarding concern arises outside of normal working hours –
i.e. Mondays – Fridays between 9.00 and 5.00 – contact the On-Call Director via the Out of Hours Emergency number: 0207 129 7851