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This policy applies to all staff, the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of RAISE Gambia.

The purpose of this policy: to protect children and young people who receive RAISE Gambia’s services. This includes the children of adults who use our services; to provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection;

RAISE GAMBIA believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.

Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:

Children Act 1989

United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991

Data Protection Act 2018

Sexual Offences Act 2003

Children Act 2004

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children

We recognise that:

 the welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989

 all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse

 some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues

 working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

 valuing them, listening to and respecting them

 adopting child protection practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers

 developing and implementing an effective e-safety policy and related procedures

 providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training

 recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made

 sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers

 sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

The Designated Named Person for Safeguarding Children in RAISE Gambia is Caroline Harmer – [email protected]

She  should be contacted for support and advice on implementing this policy and procedures.

Procedures

Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse

RAISE Gambia will ensure that key people within the organisation undertake training to gain a basic awareness of signs and symptoms of abuse. RAISE Gambia will ensure that the Designated Named Person and other members of staff, trustees and volunteers have access to training around Safeguarding Children.

“Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons”

Abuse includes:

physical abuse: including hitting, slapping, punching, burning, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint

sexual abuse: including rape, indecent assault, inappropriate touching, exposure to pornographic material

psychological or emotional abuse: including belittling, name calling, threats of harm, intimidation, isolation

financial or material abuse: including stealing, selling assets, fraud, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits

neglect and acts of omission: including withholding the necessities of life such as medication, food or warmth, ignoring medical or physical care needs

discriminatory abuse: including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment

institutional or organisational: including regimented routines and cultures, unsafe practices, lack of person-centred care or treatment

Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly. Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts.

Designated Named Person for safeguarding children

RAISE GAMBIA has an appointed individual who is responsible for dealing with any Safeguarding Children concerns. In their absence, a deputy will be available for workers to consult with. The Designated Named Person for Safeguarding Children within RAISE GAMBIA is

Caroline Harmer (trustee) [email protected]

The roles and responsibilities of the named person are:

to ensure that all staff including volunteers and trustees are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they have concerns that a child may be experiencing, or has experienced abuse or neglect.

to follow up any referrals and ensure the issues have been addressed.

to consider any recommendations from the Safeguarding Children process

to reinforce the utmost need for confidentiality and to ensure that staff and volunteers are adhering to good practice with regard to confidentiality and security. This is because it is around the time that a child starts to challenge abuse that the risks of increasing intensity of abuse are greatest.

to ensure that staff and volunteers working directly with service users who have experienced abuse, or who are experiencing abuse, are well supported and receive appropriate supervision.

if appropriate to ensure that   staff or volunteers will be given support and afforded protection  under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998: they will be dealt with in a fair and equitable manner and they will be kept informed of any action that has been taken and it’s outcome

Responding to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse

RAISE GAMBIA recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse or neglect. It also acknowledges that taking action in cases of adult abuse is never easy.

How to respond if you receive an allegation:

Reassure the person concerned

Listen to what they are saying

Record what you have been told/witnessed as soon as possible

Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief

Tell them that the information will be treated seriously

Don’t start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions

Don’t promise to keep it a secret

If you witness abuse or abuse has just taken place the priorities will be:

To call an ambulance if required

To call the police if a crime has been committed

To preserve evidence

To keep yourself, staff, volunteers and service users safe

To inform the Designated Named Person in your organisation

To record what happened in a safeguarding log


All situations of abuse or alleged abuse will be discussed with the Designated Named Person or their deputy. If a trustee, staff member or volunteer feels unable to raise this concern with the Designated Named Person or their deputy, then concerns can be raised directly with the Board of Trustees. The alleged victim will be told that this will happen. This stage is called the alert.

If it is appropriate and there is consent from the individual, or there is a good reason to override consent, such as risk to others, a referral (alert) will be made to the local Adult Social Care team.

If the individual experiencing abuse does not have capacity to consent a referral will be made without that person’s consent, in their best interests.

Managing allegation made against member of staff or volunteer

RAISE GAMBIA will ensure that any allegations made against members or member of staff will be dealt with swiftly.

Where a member of staff/volunteer is thought to have committed a criminal offence, the police will be informed. If a crime has been witnessed the police should be contacted immediately.

The safety of the individual(s) concerned is paramount. A risk assessment must be undertaken immediately to assess the level of risk to all service users posed by the alleged perpetrator. This will include whether it is safe for them to continue in their role or any other role within the service whilst the investigation is undertaken.

The Designated Named Person will liaise with Adult Social Care Direct to discuss the best course of action and to ensure that the BE REEL’s disciplinary procedures are coordinated with any other enquiries taking place as part of the ongoing management of the allegation.

RAISE GAMBIA has a whistle blowing policy and staff are aware of this policy. Staff will be supported to use this policy.

Recording and managing confidential information

RAISE GAMBIA is committed to maintaining confidentiality wherever possible and information around Safeguarding Children issues should be shared only with those who need to know.

All allegations/concerns should be recorded in name of place/file/log where safeguarding children concerns will be recorded. The information should be factual and not based on opinions, record what the person tells you, what you have seen and witnesses if appropriate.

The information that is recorded will be kept secure and will comply with data protection.

This information will be secured in a password protected Dropbox folder. Access to this information will be restricted to the Designated Named Person and Chair of Trustees.

Disseminating/Reviewing policy and procedures

This Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedure will be clearly communicated to staff, trustees, volunteers, service users, parents and carers. The Designated Named Person will be responsible for ensuring that this is done.

The Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures will be reviewed annually by the Board. The Designated Named Person for Safeguarding Children will be involved in this process and can recommend any changes. The Designated Named Person will also ensure that any changes are clearly communicated to staff, trustees and volunteers. It may be appropriate to involve service users in the review and service users and parents/carers need to be informed of any significant changes.

Signed:

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