Safeguarding policy

Our organisation encourages children’s, young people’s and vulnerable adults understanding of river conservation issues, helping them to connect to and take action for rivers in the following ways:

• Through schools’ outreach.
• Through community engagement activities.
• Through volunteering.
• By participating in Eden Rivers Trust (ERT) activities and events for children and families.
• By interacting with ERT on our social media platforms.

We want participants to enjoy their involvement with ERT and we must operate safely, with safeguarding as the top priority. We also recognise that we may have incidental or targeted interaction with children, vulnerable adults and their carers’, and need to act and be seen to act appropriately at all times.

We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. They are entitled to protection from physical, sexual and emotional harm and have the right to a safe, positive and enjoyable environment when involved with ERT.

 

The purpose of this policy
• To provide protection for children and vulnerable adults who undertake activities with ERT
• To provide staff with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm

The policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, the board of trustees, employees, volunteers, students, or anyone working on behalf of ERT.

The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved with ERT. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.

 

Legal framework
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children and vulnerable adults in England:
− The Children Act 1989
− United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991
− Human Rights Act 1998
− Sexual Offences Act 2003
− Children Act 2004
− Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
− Equality Act 2010
− Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
− Children and Families Act 2014
− Care Act 2014
− Working together to safeguard children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; HM Government 2015
− Modern Slavery Act 2015
− Data Protection Act 2018 (relating to EU General Data Protection Regulations

 

This Safeguarding Policy is based on the following key principles:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount.
  • All children will have a positive, enjoyable and safe experience with ERT.
  • All participants, regardless of age, disability, gender identity or gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, or national origin), religion and belief, sexual orientation, ex-offender status or socio-economic background, have the right to protection from harm, abuse or exploitation.
  • All allegations, suspicions of harm or abuse and concerns will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.
  • Everyone will work in partnership to promote the welfare, health and development of children and vulnerable adults.
  • Our safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice and regulatory requirements wherever we operate as a charity.

ERT acknowledges that some children or vulnerable adults, including those who are disabled can be particularly vulnerable to abuse, and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.

All staff regardless of their role (or anyone working on behalf of ERT) have a responsibility for understanding our policy and implementing our safeguarding approach.

 

As part of our Safeguarding Policy ERT:

  • Promotes and prioritises the safety and well-being of children and vulnerable adults.
  • Ensures everyone working with children and vulnerable adults clearly understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate training opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and vulnerable adults.
  • Ensures appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support is provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern.
  • Ensures that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored.
  • Prevents the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals to roles involving working with children or vulnerable adults.
  • Ensures robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation, and
  • Has a Safeguarding Steering Group chaired by the Head of Engagement. The purpose of the group is to provide strategic direction for ERT policies and to annually review procedures to protect children and vulnerable adults.

 

We seek to safeguard children and vulnerable adults by:

  • Valuing, listening to and respecting children and vulnerable adults.
  • Adopting child protection and vulnerable adult guidelines through appropriate procedures and a code of conduct for staff.
  • Recruiting responsibly, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
  • Sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children, parents, carers, vulnerable adults and staff.
  • Sharing information about concerns with appropriate agencies who need to know, and involving carers, parents, children and vulnerable adults appropriately.
  • Providing effective leadership and management for staff working with children and vulnerable adults through supervision, support and training.
  • Using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff appropriately.

 

Policy review
The Safeguarding Steering Group will review this policy on an annual basis.

February 2020