1. GRASS Cliftonville CIC – Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

    updated V.4 12/02/2024


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    1.     Introduction


    GRASS Cliftonville CIC is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for all individuals and acknowledges every person’s right to feel protected. Activities involving children and/or vulnerable adults occur primarily during events and wellbeing classes.


     This policy aims to establish clear guidelines for safeguarding responsibilities, ensuring appropriate responses to concerns and setting expectations for staff, volunteers, and external contractors.


    2.     Legislation


    The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are:


    • Working together to safeguard Children 2010
    • The Children Act 1989
    • The Adoption and Children Act 2002:

    ·        The Children act 2004

    • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
    • Care Standards Act 2000
    • Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
    • The Police Act – CRB 1997
    • Mental Health Act 1983
    • NHS and Community Care Act 1990
    • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
    • Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice



    3.     Definitions

    Safeguarding involves embedding practices to ensure the protection of children and/or vulnerable adults. Abuse encompasses physical, sexual, emotional, bullying, neglect, and financial (or material) abuse. A child is defined as under 18 years old, and a vulnerable adult may be unable to protect themselves due to age or disability.


    4.     Responsibilities

    All staff and contractors, whether paid or unpaid, have a responsibility to adhere to this policy and report welfare concerns. Specific responsibilities include:


    • Implementation and oversight by the GRASS Cliftonville CIC Director
    • Promotion of welfare
    • Prompt response to safeguarding concerns



    5.     Implementation Stages

    The scope of this Safeguarding Policy is broad ranging and in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies and procedures within the organisation. These include:


    ·        Whistleblowing –ability to inform on other staff/ practices within the organisation

    ·        Grievance and disciplinary procedures – to address breaches of procedures/ policies

    ·        Health and Safety policy, including lone working procedures, mitigating risk to staff and clients

    ·        Equal Opportunities policy– ensuring safeguarding procedures are in line with this policy, in particular around discriminatory abuse and ensuring that the safeguarding policy and procedures are not discriminatory.

    ·        Data protection (how records are stored and access to those records)

    ·        Confidentiality (or limited confidentiality policy) ensuring that service users are aware of your duty to disclose

    ·        Staff induction

    ·        Staff training


    Safe recruitment

    GRASS ensures safe recruitment through the following processes:


    ·        Providing the following safeguarding statement in recruitment adverts or application details –recruitment is done in line with safe recruitment practices.

    ·        Job or role descriptions for all roles involving contact with children and / or vulnerable adults will contain reference to safeguarding responsibilities.

    ·        There are person specifications for roles which contain a statement on core competency with regard to child/ vulnerable adult protection/ safeguarding.

    ·        Shortlisting is based on formal application processes/forms and not on provision of CVs

    ·        Interviews are conducted according to equal opportunity principles and interview questions are based on the relevant job description and person specification

    ·        DBS checks will be conducted for specific roles for all staff (paid or unpaid) working with children and vulnerable adults. Portable/ carry over DBS checks from another employer will not be deemed to be sufficient. It is a criminal offence for individuals barred by the Disclosure and Barring Service. to work or apply to work with children or vulnerable adults in a wide range of posts.

    ·        No formal job / contracts or agreements on site use or hire are made until after checks for suitability are completed (including DBS and 2 references).


    Disclosure and Barring Service Gap Management

    GRASS commits resources to providing or assisting Disclosure and Barring Service check on staff Volunteers or contractors or service providers (paid or unpaid) whose roles involve contact with children and /or vulnerable adults.


    In order to avoid DBS gaps, GRASS will ensure that established staff and roles are regularly reviewed through:

    ·        A 3-year rolling program of re-checking DBS’s is in place for holders of all identified posts.

    ·        Existing staff (paid or unpaid) who transfer from a role which does not require a DBS check to one which involves contact with children / vulnerable adults may be subject to a DBS check.


    Service delivery contracting and sub-contracting:

    ·        There will be systematic checking of safeguarding arrangements of partner organisations

    ·        Safeguarding will be a fixed agenda item on any partnership reporting meetings.

    ·        Contracts and memorandums of agreement for partnership delivery work will include clear minimum requirements, arrangements for safeguarding and non-compliance procedures.


    6.     Communications training and support for staff

    GRASS Cliftonville CIC commits resources for induction, training of staff (paid and unpaid), effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding



    Induction will include:


    ·        Discussion of the Safeguarding Policy (and confirmation of understanding)

    ·        Discussion of other relevant policies

    ·        Ensure familiarity with reporting processes

    ·        Initial training on safeguarding including safe working practices, safe recruitment, understanding child protection



    All staff who, through their role, are in contact with children and /or vulnerable adults will have access to safeguarding training at an appropriate level. Sources and types of training will include:

    ·        Safeguarding Children and Young People

    ·        Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults


    Communications and discussion of safeguarding issues

    Commitment to the following communication methods will ensure effective communication of safeguarding issues and practice:

    ·        Team meetings

    ·        One to one meetings (formal or informal),

    ·        Emails

    ·        Website updates


    Other aspects of communications may where appropriate include:

    ·        Participation in multi-agency safeguarding procedures and meetings in order to be involved in child/ adult protection procedures

    ·        Participation in joint client visits

    ·        Provision of a clear and effective reporting procedure which encourages reporting of concerns.

    ·        Encouraging open discussion (e.g. during supervision and team meetings) to identify and barriers to reporting so that they can be addressed.

    ·        Inclusion of safeguarding as a discussion prompt during supervision meetings/ appraisals to encourage reflection



    We recognise that involvement in situations where there is risk or actual harm can be stressful for staff/ volunteers / contractors concerned. The mechanisms in place to support staff include:


    ·        Debriefing support for paid and unpaid staff so that they can reflect on the issues they have dealt with.

    ·        Seeking further support as appropriate e.g. access to counselling.

    ·        Staff / volunteers who have initiated protection concerns will be contacted by GRASS Cliftonville CIC within a timescale of week.


    7.     Professional boundaries

    Staff and volunteers must maintain professional integrity by adhering to specified boundaries, including limitations on gifts, personal contact, and relationships with customers, Volunteers, contractors and  colleagues.


    Staff contact with user groups.


    ·        GRASS prohibits passing on service users’ personal contact details as per our data protection policies

    ·        Taking family members to a client’s home is not allowed

    ·        Accepting responsibility for any valuables on behalf of a client is prohibited.

    ·        Borrowing money from or lending money to service users in prohibited

    ·        Personal relationships with a third party related to or known to service users is not allowed

    Be cautious of or avoid personal contact customers, Volunteers, contractors and colleagues.


    The following policies also contain guidance on staff / volunteers (paid or unpaid) conduct:

    ·        Code of conduct

    ·        E-safety

    ·        Computer misuse.


    If the professional boundaries and/or policies are breached this could result in disciplinary procedures or enactment of the allegation management procedures


    8.     Reporting Safeguarding concerns

    This comprehensive policy outlines the process for raising and reporting safeguarding concerns at GRASS Cliftonville CIC and The Oval Bandstand and Lawns.


    1. Communicate Concerns


    If an individual becomes aware of any safeguarding concerns, they should immediately communicate these concerns to GRASS Cliftonville CIC. It is essential to document the details of the concern accurately, including any relevant information or observations.


    2. Seek Medical Attention


    If the safeguarding concern involves immediate risk to the vulnerable person’s health or safety, seeking medical attention should be the priority. This step ensures that any necessary medical care is provided promptly.


    3. Discuss with Parents or Vulnerable Person


    If appropriate and safe to do so, the individual raising the concern should engage in a discussion with the parents of the child or the vulnerable person involved. This conversation aims to gather additional information, provide support, and obtain permission to make a referral to relevant authorities or support services.


    4. Obtain Permission for Referral


    Before making a referral to external authorities or support services, it is crucial to obtain permission from the parents of the child or the vulnerable person, if feasible and appropriate. This ensures that the referral process respects the rights and wishes of the individuals involved.


    5. Seek Advice from Emergency Services or External Service Providers


    In cases where immediate intervention or assistance is required, or if there is uncertainty about the appropriate course of action, seeking advice from emergency services or external service providers is recommended. These professionals can offer guidance and support in managing the safeguarding concern effectively.


    9.     Allegations Management

    GRASS recognises its duty to report concerns or allegations against its staff (paid or unpaid) within the organisation or by a professional from another organisation.


    The process for raising and dealing with allegations is as follows:


    Any member of staff, volunteer, contractor (paid or unpaid) from GRASS is required to report any concerns in the first instance to


    A written record of the concern will be completed.


    GRASS Cliftonville CIC recognises its legal duty to report any concerns about unsafe practice by any of its paid or unpaid staff to the Disclosure and Barring Service.



    10.  Monitoring

    GRASS Cliftonville CIC will monitor the following Safeguarding aspects:


    ·        Safe recruitment practices

    ·        DBS checks undertaken

    ·        References applied for new paid staff

    ·        Training – register/ record of staff training on child/ vulnerable adult protection.

    ·        Monitoring whether concerns are being reported and actioned

    ·        Checking that policies are up to date and relevant

    ·        Reviewing the current reporting procedure in place

    ·        Presence and action of Designated Safeguarding lead responsible for Safeguarding is in post


    11.  Managing information

    Information will be gathered, recorded and stored in accordance with the following policies:


    ·        Data Protection Policy

    ·        Confidentiality Policy


    All staff must be aware that they have a professional duty to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. The public interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults may override confidentiality interests.


    However, information will be shared on a need to know basis only, as judged by the Managing Director


    All staff must be aware that they cannot promise service users or their families/ carers that they will keep secrets.


    12.  Communicating and reviewing the policy

    GRASS will make clients aware of the Safeguarding Policy through the following means:

    Displayed on intranet

    Highlighted in Training Session

    This policy will be reviewed every 2 years and when there are changes in legislation or additions to policy or events at The Oval bandstand and Lawns.