trac: Policy on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults
1.1 trac is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and vulnerable adults by seeking to protect them from physical, sexual and emotional harm.
1.2 trac intends to implement this policy by making all staff and volunteers aware of the policy and the guidelines that seek to implement it.
2. Managing Risk
2.1 The following steps will be taken by the organisation to minimise the risk to children and vulnerable adults
• identify the situations where there is a significant risk. Any project which involves substantial contact with children and vulnerable adults should:-
• plan the working environment and routes to and from the place of work so as to minimise any risks to clients
• keep to a minimum one to one unsupervised contact, including car journeys
• avoid staff and volunteers visiting clients' homes or inviting them to their own homes unless others are present
• make sure the client has access to an independent adult to discuss any concerns or worries
• trac will provide appropriate training on how to prevent abuse in its plans for the training of staff and volunteers
3. Staff and Volunteers
As part of the recruitment process applicants should be asked:-
• to disclose any criminal conviction
• to provide evidence of their identity
• give details of any past work with children & vulnerable adults
• to give references who can comment on any previous work with children or vulnerable adults
• where the applicant has not previously worked with children or vulnerable adults they should be asked for a character reference who can comment on their suitability
3.2. Probationary period
All staff and volunteers should have a probationary period where they should be supervised. The supervisor should make an effort to observe them at work during this period. Should their initial probationary period not involve them in work with children or vulnerable adults during this period, then at their first occasion of working with such groups they should be supervised. Comments on their work should be entered on the personnel file by their supervisor.
It should be made clear to all members of staff and volunteers that it is their duty to bring to the notice of the organisation any suspicious behaviour and report promptly any allegations.
4. Responding to concerns
4.1 Any concern should be shared with the designated project leader and/or to the chair of trac. The chair should as soon as possible be informed that an investigation has begun, and who is carrying out that investigation.
4.2 There are very few life and death emergencies in child protection. Time should always be taken to reflect on the information, think through possibilities and plan a course of action. There should be an awareness of the impact on staff, volunteers and families and the need for support during any process of investigation.
4.3 Information should be collected with regard to:
• The nature of the concern
• Where the information came from
• What other information is known about the individual and their family
• The member of staff or volunteer's view
All information collected should be treated as confidential and only to be discussed with the project leader and those trustees involved in the investigation.
• If someone is seriously injured a member of staff or volunteer should ensure the client receives medical attention as soon as possible
• If someone is threatening to harm the client, staff or volunteers should ring the police immediately.
4.5 Whoever is carrying out the investigation should:
• give a written report to the board of trustees
• recommend what action should be taken
• inform other authorities such as the police or social services if appropriate
4.6 After any concern has been investigated the board will review the effectiveness of its procedures. Such a review should in any case take place annually. The human resources sub committee, together with the chair, should take responsibility for instigating this review.
Reviewed and agreed by trac’s Board of Trustees on 4 July 2010.