Safeguarding

Safeguarding

The purpose of this policy is to support the actions and priorities as set out in the Safeguarding Strategy which outlines Velocity’s desire and commitment in promoting positive practices throughout the organisation.   

The Policy 

The safeguarding vulnerable group’s act 2006 lays the legislation for a vetting and barring scheme for those working with children and vulnerable adults. 

As a provider of training we need to ensure all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with our learners.  Velocity will take all reasonable steps to ensure that no person recruited to a position involving duties set out in the Education Act 2011, including posts where the normal duties including training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults.  

Our staff could be working alongside Vulnerable Adults which could include any employees, learners and employers, including contractors, undertaking work on our behalf. 

Definitions of Vulnerable Adults 

The safeguarding vulnerable groups act 2006 (section 59) defines a vulnerable adult as an adult who: 

  • Receiving a social care service 
  • Receiving a health service 
  • Living in sheltered accommodation 
  • Detained in custody or under probation 
  • Requiring assistance in the conduct of his / her affairs 

As listed above vulnerable adults may need care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who may be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation. 

Our service users, who are vulnerable adults, are therefore entitled to protection against abuse, including all forms of harm or exploitation. 

Velocity is committed to protecting our service users against all forms of abuse. All employees of the organisation have a responsibility toward our service users to ensure that, as vulnerable adults, they are protected from abuse. 

Abuse is a violation of a service user’s human and civil rights by another person and may consist of a single act or multiple acts. As well as physical and psychological abuse, acts of neglect or an omission to act may amount to abuse. Abuse may also occur when a vulnerable adult is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented or cannot consent. 

When dealing with our service users, employees must remain vigilant at all times of the risk to our service users of abusive behaviour from different sources including members of the service users family, other service users, employees and in different situations. 

If an employee believes a service user has been subjected to abuse, he or she should refer the circumstances to his or her line manager (or another manager if appropriate). 

If the alleged perpetrator of abuse is another employee, the circumstances will be investigated fully under the Disciplinary Procedure. 

If necessary, Velocity will refer details of the circumstances to the Secretary of State so that details of the alleged perpetrator may be reported on a provisional basis to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), pending the outcome of disciplinary procedures. Upon full investigation, should the allegations be shown to be clearly groundless, Velocity will take action promptly to have the employee’s name removed from provisional ISA report. 

If, following full investigation of the circumstances, Velocity determines that the perpetrator should be dismissed, the employee’s details will be referred to the ISA. 

Definitions of Abuse 

It is not the responsibility of anyone from Velocity to decide whether someone has been abused. It is however everyone’s responsibility to report concerns.  It is very important that our employees understand what is meant by the term ‘abuse’. The different types of abuse are: 

  • Emotional Abuse 
  • Neglect 
  • Physical Abuse 
  • Sexual Abuse 
  • Negative Discrimination (including racism) 
  • Bullying (includes bullying by gangs; bullying by family members; physical bullying; verbal bullying; teasing; and harassment) 
  • The above includes both face to face and social media/e-safety. 

In all cases of suspected or alleged abuse, advice and guidance must first be sought from the local Social Work Department or the Police. 

The Prevent Strategy 

The Prevent duty is the duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 on specified authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.   The main aim of he strategy is to: 

  • Respond to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views; 
  • Provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support; 
  • Works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with. 

The strategy covers all forms of terrorism, including far right extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism.  

The Home Office works with local authorities, a wide range of government departments, and community organisations to deliver the Prevent strategy. The police also play a significant role in Prevent, in much the same way as they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes.  

The Home Offices uses a range of measures to challenge extremism in the UK, including: 

  • Where necessary, preventing apologists for terrorism and extremism from travelling to this country 
  • Giving guidance to local authorities and institutions to understand the threat from extremism and the statutory powers available to them to challenge extremist speakers 
  • Funding a specialist police unit which works to remove online content that breaches terrorist legislation  
  • Supporting community-based campaigns and activity which can effectively rebut terrorist and extremist propaganda and offer alternative views to our most vulnerable target audiences – in this context they work with a range of civil society organisations 
  • Supporting people who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist activity through the Channel process, which involves several agencies working together to give individuals access to services such as health and education, specialist mentoring and diversionary activities. 

Velocity is committed to supporting vulnerable learners through its safeguarding agenda in order to prevent potential radicalisation.   Please see separate Prevent Policy for the necessary amplification of the above. 

Working Safely Online

Cyberbullying 

What is cyberbullying? 

Cyberbullying involves the use of electronic communication devices to bully people. These include: mobile phones, tablets, iPods, laptops and PCs. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp are used by cyberbullies to put out their communications 

Who is most at risk? 

Children using social media unsupervised and vulnerable adults are particularly at risk if they are using social media, as they may be more emotionally and mentally susceptible to the abuse. 

Examples of Cyberbullying 

Flaming – Online fights usually through emails, instant messaging or chat rooms where angry and rude comments are exchanged 

Denigration – Putting mean online messages through email, instant messaging, chat rooms, or websites set up to make fun of someone 

Exclusion – Intentionally leaving someone out of a group such as instant messaging, friend sites, or other online group activities 

Outing – Sharing secrets about someone online including private information, pictures, and videos Impersonation – Tricking someone into revealing personal information then sharing it with others Harassment – Repeatedly sending malicious messages to someone online 

Cyberstalking – Continuously harassing and denigration including threats of physical harm 

Grooming 

What does the term grooming mean? 

Grooming is a word used to describe people befriending children and vulnerable adults to take advantage of them for sexual preferences. Grooming is also used by extremist groups to radicalise individuals in to supporting and potentially committing terrorist attacks 

What is sexual online grooming? 

Sexual online grooming is when people form relationships with children pretending to be their friend, using social media platforms to do so the person carrying out the online grooming will try to establish the likelihood of the child telling someone. They will also find out as much as they can on the child’s family and social networks. 

 Online groomers will tend to use chatrooms, which are focussed on young people. There are countless teen chat rooms on the internet. 

Those carrying out the grooming will pretend to be a child themselves, similar in age to the person they are grooming. They will even change their gender to make it easier to befriend the person they are grooming. 

Grooming online is anonymous and children find it easier to trust an online ‘friend’ than someone they have met ‘face to face’. 

Online Grooming 

How do you know if a child/vulnerable adult is being groomed online? 

  • Wanting to spend more and more time on the internet 
  • Being secretive about who they are talking to online and what sites they visit 
  • Switching screens when you come near the computer 
  • Possessing items – electronic devices or phones – you haven’t given them 
  • Using sexual language, you wouldn’t expect them to know 
  • Becoming emotionally volatile 

Grooming – In Person 

  • Groomers will hide their true intentions and may spend a long time gaining a child or vulnerable adults trust and the likeliness of disclosure 
  • They may try to gain the trust of the whole family to allow them to be left alone with a child or vulnerable adult 
  • Groomers may deliberately try to work with children or vulnerable adults and gain the trust of their colleagues To gain trust, groomers will 
  • Pretend to be someone they are not, for example saying they are the same age online 
  • Offer advice or understanding 
  • Buy gifts 
  • Give the child or vulnerable adult attention 
  • Use their professional position or reputation 
  • Take them on trips, outings or holidays Children or vulnerable adults may not speak out about their situation because they 
  • Feel ashamed 
  • Feel guilty 
  • Are unaware that they are being abused 
  • Believe they are in a relationship with a ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ 

Promoting to Staff, Learners and Employer 

To safeguard and educate our staff, learners and employers (and other stakeholders) the following activities are employed as part of the Steps to Success process throughout our programmes: 

  • A clear and effective Safeguarding Policy is available; 
  • Promotion of said Policy through the Apprenticeship and Employer Handbook; 
  • Promotion of the Policy through the website; 
  • Monthly Topics promoted to learners and employers; 
  • Learning resources attached to learners PLP; 
  • Promoted via the Learner Review process; 
  • Discussed as part of KIT days, OTLA periods and via standardisation activities; 
  • Mandatory training for all staff. 

Implementation and Checks  

Criminal Records Bureau checks will be obtained and subsequently completed with all employees or contractors. Enhanced Disclosures will be requested for all positions, permanent or temporary for learner facing employees or contractors.  

All organisations and training providers are required to have a designated member of staff, who is assigned to act upon child and vulnerable adult protection concerns.   

This person is called the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) and they are responsible for co-ordinating action within Velocity and liaising with other agencies.  

The DSO is required to know:  

1.How to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse/radicalisation and when to make a referral  

2.The local Child and Vulnerable Adult protection procedures and the DSOs role within them  

3.The role and responsibilities of the investigating agencies and how to liaise with them  

4.The requirements of record keeping 

5.The conduct of a child protection conference and how the DSO or other members of staff can make an appropriate contribution to it.  

For the purposes of the Prevent Duty Velocity DSO will also liaise with the appropriate agencies locally around any issues with extremism and/or radicalisation. 

Training and Communication 

The policy is available to all employees, learners and contractors through induction and updates including midpoint and exit IAG procedure. The policy also applies to all employees and contractors, undertaking work on our behalf. 

We will 

  • Ensure all personal data will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018. 
  • Require staff to adopt and abide by this Policy and these Procedures. 
  • Have documented procedures in place to record or conduct appropriate actions when concerns are apparent 
  • Respond to any allegations of misconduct or abuse in line with this policy  
  • Review and evaluate this policy on a regular basis. 
  • Complete employee checks to ensure all team members are authorised to work with vulnerable adults 

Review 

The policy will be regularly monitored and reviewed, in accordance with changes in legislation and guidance, following any issues or concerns raised regarding safeguarding and or Prevent matters and in all other circumstances. 

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