Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd

Safeguarding Statement

Introduction

Everyone who participates in the activities of Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd is entitled to do so in an enjoyable and safe environment.  Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for young people or vulnerable adults, staff provide them with the highest possible standard of care.

Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd is committed to ensuring its safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities and guidance and complies with best practice and awarding body requirements.

Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd will devise and implement policies to ensure employees accept their responsibility to safeguard children and vulnerable adults from harm and abuse. This means to follow safeguarding procedures and to report any welfare concerns to appropriate authorities.

The aim of this policy is to promote good practice and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific protection issues.  This policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and vulnerable adults are paramount in all circumstances.  It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children, young people and vulnerable adults are treated equally and respectfully.

Definitions

A child/young person is defined as a person under the age of 18 (Children’s Act 1989).

A vulnerable adult can be defined as someone who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself,
or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation (1997 Consultation Paper Who Decides?).

Abuse can be classified as a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons.  Abuse can include physical and emotional harm, neglect or exposure to inappropriate sexual contact.

Bullying may come from another young person or an adult.  Bullying is defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves.  Bullying may be physical (e.g hitting), verbal (e.g racist), emotional (e.g humiliating) or sexual (e.g unwanted or inappropriate physical contact).

Responsibilities

To provide young people and vulnerable adults with the best possible experience and opportunities, all staff must operate within accepted models of behaviour. It is NOT the responsibility of staff or participants to make judgements about whether or not abuse is taking place. It is however, their responsibility to act if they have concerns about the welfare of a child, young person or vulnerable adult.

At Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd, we believe that every learner and trainer should feel valued, safe and happy.  We endeavour to treat all our clients and course delegates in a respectful and supportive manner at all times, just as we also expect the same in return for our trainers.

Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd acknowledges that some children and adults are particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.  It is our responsibility when providing training to have effective safeguarding procedures in place and to implement them. By means of supporting this:

  • all our trainers have been vetted by the Disclosure & Barring Service (England & Wales) and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (Disclosure Scotland)
  • when qualifications are provided for an organisation such as a school, college or youth organisation, we will always adhere to the safeguarding procedures for that organisation
  • one-to-one training will NOT take place where the trainer/assessor is alone with a child, young person or vulnerable adult

Objectives

  • to ensure all learners have a positive and enjoyable experience of first aid training in a safe environment
  • to protect all learners from abuse whilst participating in first aid training provided by Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd
  • to promote the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults
and to ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse
  • to ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation and to provide all employees with guidance and training in good practice so that they understand their roles and responsibilities in respect of these procedures
  • to ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored
  • to prevent the employment of unsuitable individuals
  • to obtain relevant permission prior to a child, young person or vulnerable adult undertaking a first aid qualification
  • to take all reasonable steps to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm, discrimination and degrading treatment and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings
  • to take all suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse seriously and respond swiftly and appropriately

Good Practice

It is the expectation that all Safe Hands staff will adhere to the following principles and actions:

  • always work in an open environment, avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication;
  • promote fairness and deal with bullying;
  • treat all young people and adults equally and with respect and dignity;
  • maintain a safe and appropriate distance with participants;
  • avoid unnecessary physical contact with young people – where any form of manual/physical support is required it should be provided openly and with consent. Physical contact can be appropriate so long as it is neither intrusive nor disturbing and consent has been given;
  • be an excellent role model, this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people;
  • always give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism;
  • recognise the developmental needs and capacity of the young person, avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will;
  • secure written parental consent for the Company to act in loco parentis, to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid or other medical treatment if the need arises;
  • keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with details of any treatment given.

Use of Photographic/Filming Equipment during training:

There is evidence that some people have used events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young people. As an organisation, we will be vigilant and any concerns will be reported to the Director.  All parents and course participants will be made aware when Instructors use video or photographic equipment as a training aid.  See also: Privacy Policy

Indicators of Abuse or Bullying:

It is not always easy to recognise a situation where abuse may occur or has already taken place. Most people are not experts in such recognition, but indications that a child is being abused may include one or more of the following:

  • unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries;
  • an injury for which an explanation seems inconsistent;
  • the young person describes what appears to be an abusive act involving them;
  • another young person or adult expresses concern about the welfare of a young person;
  • behavioural changes such as reduced concentration and/or becoming withdrawn, clingy, depressed, tearful, emotionally up and down, reluctance to go training or competitions;
  • inappropriate sexual awareness;
  • distrust of adult’s, particularly those whom a close relationship would normally be expected;
  • difficulty in making friends;
  • being prevented from socialising with others;
  • displaying variations in eating patterns including over-eating or loss of appetite;
  • weight loss;
  • becoming increasingly dirty or unkempt;
  • physical signs such as stomach aches, headaches, difficulty in sleeping, bed wetting, scratching and bruising, damaged clothes, bingeing e.g. on food, alcohol or cigarettes;

It must be recognised that the above list is not exhaustive, but also that the presence of one or more of the indications is not proof that abuse is taking place.

Safe Hands First Aid Training procedures for responding to suspicions and allegations

It is NOT the responsibility of those working at Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd to decide that abuse is occurring. It IS their responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities so that they can then make inquiries and take necessary action to protect the young person/vulnerable adult. This applies BOTH to allegations of abuse occurring within Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd and to suspicions that abuse is taking place elsewhere.

Safe Hands staff may become aware of possible abuse in various ways.  They may see it happening, they may suspect it happening because of potential indicators, it may be reported to them by someone else or directly by the person affected.

If a person says or indicates that they are being abused, the member of staff should:

  • stay calm so as not to frighten the person;
  • reassure the person that they are not to blame and that it was right to tell;
  • listen to the person, showing them that they are being taken seriously;
  • keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said. Only ask open-ended questions to clarify and so as not to ‘lead’;
  • inform the person that they have a duty to report what they have told you. Tell the child this is to help stop the abuse continuing. Do not promise to keep this information secret;
  • safety is paramount. If the person needs urgent medical attention staff should call an ambulance, inform the doctors of the concern and ensure they are made aware that this is a potential safeguarding issue;
  • record all information;
  • report any incidents to the Director who will pass concerns on to the relevant authorities.

All suspicions and allegations MUST be reported appropriately. It is important that staff do not allow their feelings to interfere with their judgement about any action to take.

Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd expects its staff to discuss any welfare concerns they may have with the person in charge and subsequently to check that appropriate action has been taken.  If the Director is not available, employees should seek advice from the duty officer at the local Social Services department or the police.

Recording Information:

To ensure that information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern.  When recording, staff should confine themselves to the facts and reported information and personal opinions/knowledge should not be included.

Recorded information should include the following:

  • the victim’s name, age and date of birth
  • the victim’s home address and telephone number
  • whether or not the person making the report is expressing their concern or someone else’s
  • the nature of the allegation, including dates, times and any other relevant information
  • a description of any visible bruising or injury, location, size etc. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes
  • details of witnesses to the incidents
  • the victim’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any injuries occurred
  • whether the parents/carers have been contacted and if so what has been said
  • whether anyone else has been consulted (and the details)
  • the name of anyone alleged to have be the abuser

Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd are not child protection experts and it is not their responsibility to determine whether or not abuse has taken place. All suspicions and allegations must be shared with professional agencies that are responsible for child protection. Social Services have a legal responsibility under The Children Act 1989 to investigate all child protection referrals by talking to the child and family (where appropriate), gathering information from other people who know the child and making inquiries jointly with the police.

Any suspicion that a young person or vulnerable adult has been abused by an employee or volunteer of Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd, should be reported to the Director who will take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the person in question and anyone else who may be at risk. This will include the following:

  • The Director will refer the matter to Social Services department or Police
  • The parent/carer of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the Social Services department
  • The Director will deal with any media inquiries and implement any immediate disciplinary proceedings
  • If the Director is the subject of the suspicion/allegation the report must be made to an appropriate employee who will refer the matter to Social Services or the Police

Allegations of abuse are sometimes made sometime after the event. Where such allegation is made, staff should follow the same procedures and have the matter reported to Social Services.

Concerns outside the immediate Working Environment (e.g. a parent or carer)

Staff should report their concerns to the Director.  If the Director is not available, the person being told or discovering the abuse should contact their local Social Services department or the police immediately.  Social Services and the Director will decide how to inform the parents/carers.  Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis.

Controlling access to children, young people and vulnerable adults

It is important that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent unsuitable people from working with children. This applies equally to paid staff and volunteers, both full and part time within Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd. To support this, application forms will ask for information about the applicants past and a self-disclosure about any criminal record. Consent will be obtained from the applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau and Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd will ensure that all prospective employees undergo full disclosure checks. Anyone who has a previous conviction for offences related to abuse against children or vulnerable adults is automatically excluded from working in this area and as such will not be employed by Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd.

Two confidential references will  be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact. Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo) will also be collected.

 Training:

In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff:

  • monitor their own practice and ensure it is likely to protect them from false allegations
  • recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice and/or abuse
  • work safely and effectively with all participants and respond immediately to concerns

All employees will undergo an induction period during which:

  • their qualifications will be verified
  • the job requirements and responsibilities will be clarified
  • they should sign up to company policies and procedures
  • safeguarding procedures will be explained and training needs identified e.g. basic child protection awareness and up-to-date first aid at work qualification

Confidentiality:

Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:

  • The Director
  • The parents of the child
  • The person making the allegation
  • Social Services/Police
  • The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child)

Advice should be sought on who should approach the alleged abuser.  All information should be stored in a secure place with limited access, in line with data protection laws.

Internal Inquiries and Suspension:

The Director will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further Police and Social Services inquiries.  Irrespective of the findings of the Social Services or Police, the Director will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision; especially where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the Police. In such cases the Director must reach a decision based upon the available information. The welfare of the young person / vulnerable adult should remain a priority throughout.

Monitoring & Review

The procedures set out in this policy will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.

We will monitor all of the feedback that we receive in relation to the issues affected by this policy and will amend the policy as necessary.

This policy will be reviewed annually as well as following:

  • changes in legislation and/or government guidance
  • as a result of any other significant change or event.

 Next review:  June 2016

© Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd 12/06/2015