Safeguarding and sharing information is vital in promoting the safety and welfare of the children and young people that we come into contact with. Information of a safeguarding nature should be recorded and appropriate action should be taken.
Safeguarding is everybody’s business. We all have a responsibility to ensure that any concerns to the safety of families we meet and speak to are discussed and highlighted to the appropriate services and in a timely and safe way.
This policy is to help IASS staff know where to seek general, immediate and urgent support and advice locally, when there are safeguarding concerns for both vulnerable Adults and Children.
This document is provides practical guidance and information on how to progress matters of Safeguarding concern.
Westminster IASS follow and refer to Westminster Local Authority Safeguarding policy
Remember that the Data Protection Act 1998 and human rights law are not barriers to justified information sharing, but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living individuals is shared appropriately.
Staff/volunteers should be open and honest with the individual, where appropriate, from the onset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared (see IASS confidentiality policy), and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
Concerns about the safety of a child
Staff/Volunteers, as members of the public, have a duty to protect the welfare of the children in the family they support. Child protection should be a core element of the course of preparation for Staff/Volunteers to ensure they are aware of:
the signs of abuse
the appropriate procedures to follow should they have a concern about a child
the support available to themselves
Staff/Volunteers who, in the course of their work with Westminster IASS have a concern about the safety of a child should immediately contact the IASS Manager. If this person is not available they should contact one of the group’s named contacts. See below for list.
Referring on concerns to the relevant agency
If, after consideration as described above it is agreed that there is concern about the safety of a child, this concern should be passed on to the relevant statutory agency. The IASS Manager should ensure that the family is aware of these concerns and how they are being dealt with unless this would put the welfare of the child in jeopardy, e.g. in the case of suspected sexual abuse. Contact with the agency should be through the IASS Manager unless the degree of urgency or other factors make this impossible.
Westminster IAS Service Manager will follow the Westminster City Councils local Area Child Protection Group referral procedures. Relevant information should be recorded and made available at the point of referral. The responsibility to investigate lies with the statutory agencies, not with Westminster IASS.
SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE ADULTS
Westminster IASS also has a duty to protect from abuse vulnerable adults with whom we come into contact.
The purpose of this policy is to state this explicitly and to describe the behaviours and actions expected of our Employees and Volunteers. Abuse is the violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or carer. It can result from the action or inaction by a carer or any other person. For an adult, abuse includes physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, financial or material abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, and discriminatory abuse. Historical abuse also comes within the scope of this policy; there may be occasions when an adult will disclose abuse (either sexual or physical) which occurred in the past, or during their childhood. This information needs to be treated in exactly the same way as a disclosure or suspicion of current abuse. The reason for this is that the abuser may still represent a risk to vulnerable adults, or to children now.
(All Westminster IASS Staff and Volunteers have received Level 1 Safeguarding training by LSBC. Staff are trained within 3 months of employment or volunteering).