Updated: June 2022
Safeguarding and Protecting People for Trustees, Charity Commission 2017:
“As part of fulfilling your trustee duties you must take reasonable steps to protect from harm people who come into contact with your charity.
- People who benefit from your charity’s work
- Other people who come into contact with your charity through its work”
At Family Action our absolute priority is a focus on people. Our organisational value of being “people-focussed” extends to people who work or volunteer for us, as well as those who use our services, or come into contact with our organisation in any other capacity. Family Action is committed to meeting our safeguarding responsibilities under the Care Act 2014 and statutory guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018”. We also recognise the wider definition of safeguarding used by our regulator, the Charity Commission which says that we must take “reasonable steps to protect from harm” anyone who comes into contact with our charity.
In line with these responsibilities:
We take steps to ensure that those who join are organisation are suitable for their roles and have been subject to appropriate checks of their skills and background. Our recruitment processes place emphasis on attracting and recruiting those who share our organisational values. These recruitment and selection processes are set out in our Safer Recruitment Policy.
We have a Code of Conduct which sets out the behaviour we expect from our staff and volunteers. Failure to uphold this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary proceedings (see our Disciplinary Policy) and dismissal of staff or termination of the volunteering arrangement. Where relevant we will refer any concerns about the conduct of our staff/volunteers to the appropriate professional body, Disclosure and Barring Service and/or Local Area Designated Office (LADO).
We are committed to ensuring that Family Action is a safe place to work and our staff and volunteers are not subjected to unnecessary risk. Our Health and Safety Manual sets out the steps we take to identify potential hazards, assess risk and ensure control measures are adequate. This includes the stipulation that all premises must have a fire risk assessments and risk management plan.
We value the contribution of our staff and volunteers and offer them support to cope with the challenges they face both inside and outside of work. We are committed to ensuring that Family Action is a safe, supportive and rewarding working environment. All employees have regular supervision in line with our Supervision Policy and our volunteers each have a designated supervisor who provides supervision, support and, identifies training requirements (in accordance with our Volunteering Policy). All employees have access to a free, confidential Employee Assistance Programme, available 24 hours a day, offering a range of professional advice, guidance and emotional support. We have a number of other policies aimed at creating a safe working environment including our:
- Anti-bullying and harassment policy
- Domestic Abuse policy
- Health and Wellbeing policy and
- Lone working policy
All staff, volunteers and trustees are trained to recognise signs which could indicate that a child or adult at risk may be being abused or neglected. Our expectations are set out in our Core Curriculum Training Matrix.
We actively encourage our staff, volunteers and those who use or come into contact with our services, to speak up about things which they think could cause harm to people and we act promptly when concerns have been raised. Our Safeguarding Adults and Safeguarding Children policies emphasise that individuals retain the right to contact Adults/Children’s Social Care if they disagree with their manager or feel their concern has not been adequately addressed. Our Quality Assurance Framework sets out how anyone can escalate concerns they may have about a service within our culture of respectful challenge. We also have a Whistleblowing Policy which describes how staff/volunteers can raise any concerns they have inside or, if necessary, outside the organisation. We have a Complaints Policy and collate information on complaints to identify any emerging risks/themes.
As an organisation we are committed to learning from incidents within our own organisation and externally (where these may have implications from our own practice) This commitment forms part of our Quality Assurance Framework. Additionally we recognise and comply with our duties to report relevant incidents to Ofsted, the Charity Commission and/or CQC as appropriate.