Safeguarding Children Policy and Guidelines
Statement of Intent and Overview
Student Community Action’s projects aim to create an atmosphere where vulnerable adults and children feel valued, safe and where their welfare is paramount.
It is the responsibility of SCA’s office staff, volunteers and Trustees to deal appropriately with any reported concerns regarding possible abuse of vulnerable people they come in contact with.
In light of our commitment to operating in a safe environment, and recognising some of the specific situations that arise in practice as well as regulatory requirements, we have developed this Safeguarding and Prevent Policy and Guidelines. Additionally, there are appendices dealing with further specific situations such as home visits, requests for filming/media involvement, photo permission and adult-to-children ration. We expect all staff, volunteers and trustees to be familiar with these policies and guidelines and to adhere to them.
Before contacting any outside agency, the situations should be discussed with SCA’s Designated Safeguarding and Prevent Officer (DSPO) and a course of action agreed upon. If the DSPO is not available, any other Senior Member of the SCA Employment Group should be consulted.
If appropriate, contact should be made initially with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the child concerned, or with the organisation through which contact with the child was initially made (school, club, social worker etc.)
Where appropriate, advice sought or a referral made in a timely manner to MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub).
SCA’s Designated Safeguarding and Prevent Officer, Nicky Massey 07833049179 Manager@cambridgesca.org.uk
MASH (for Professionals) – 0345 045 1362
MASH (for Public) – 0345 045 5203
Cambridge Student Community Action (SCA) recognises the importance of safeguarding children, and undertakes to ensure that all our volunteers and staff working with children on our projects are subject to a background check including receiving an acceptable Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure and reference.
We will ask all volunteers to sign up to the free DBS update service so we can get updates each year they are working with us and if they are not on the update service we will renew the DBS check every three years.
We will provide free Safeguarding Training for volunteers 4 times a year to ensure they are able to recognise the signs of a child in distress, and to follow our agreed referral procedure. We believe that priority must be given to the safety and well-being of any child, and that our volunteers must share this belief.
The following guidelines are intended to safeguard the welfare of both the child and volunteer.
During their initial recruitment process with Student Community Action, volunteers will be informed of who the Designated Safeguarding and Prevent Officer is and will be sign posted to our full Safeguarding Document on our website.
Volunteers must ensure that they do not place themselves in a vulnerable position by being alone with a child in isolated or inappropriate circumstances. They should stay where other people are aware of them. Volunteers must not take a child back to their college room alone.
If the volunteer feels they are being asked to care for a child as a babysitting service, they must contact the SCA staff immediately.
Volunteers must not allow friends/acquaintances etc. to accompany them with the child if they are not registered with SCA to work with children, and have completed our screening process.
If a child implies, or tells a volunteer that they are, or have been, “at risk”, the volunteer must explain the implications of this disclosure to the child. The volunteer must make it clear to the child that someone else will be told, and that appropriate action will be taken. The volunteer must never agree to keep such a disclosure secret, but must be careful not to alarm the child. The safety and wellbeing of the child is of paramount importance, and the volunteer must act accordingly. The volunteer should reassure the child that they are taking steps to keep them safe.
Any concerns about the welfare of the child must be reported as soon as possible to the SCA Designated Safeguarding and Prevent Officer (DSPO), Caroline Ward (07749738870) or one of SCA’s office workers, or to a SCA Trustee in her absence. It essential to keep any concerns confidential – volunteers must not discuss the situation with anyone other than an SCA worker or Trustee. The Emergency telephone number of the DSPO must be issued to all volunteers to enable them to make immediate contact with the DSPO as soon as possible.
As soon as practically possible, a signed written report must be produced by the volunteer with support from the DSPO to include
• Date and time of disclosure
• child’s name, child’s age, child’s address
• volunteer’s name and contact details
• factual description of cause for concern including quoted words wherever possible. Conjecture or interpretation should not be included
• any action taken
Once the Designated Safeguarding and Prevent Officer has been informed, no further action is to be taken by the volunteer unless explicitly requested by them, or other professional persons (police, social workers etc.). Responsibility for further action lies with SCA.
Guidelines for SCA Office Staff and Trustees regarding DBS checks for Volunteers
All volunteers wanting to volunteer on a Student Community Action project (both regular group and one to one projects) will be asked to complete a satisfactory DBS check. Student Community Action will cover all the costs of the check.
If a volunteer has criminal offenses on their DBS disclosure, the appointed staff and trustee should follow our Risk Assessment guidelines to ensure the volunteer is safe to work with children and to discuss any additional safeguards we would need to put in place.
Guidelines for Clients
During the initial referral process or home visit, clients will be informed of who the Student Community Action Designated Safeguarding and Prevent Officer is and they will be sign posted to our full Safeguarding Document on our website.
All clients will be given the Designated Safeguarding and Prevent Officer’s contact details and told that they can contact them with any concerns regarding the volunteer interaction with their child or other safeguarding issues.
Clients should be made aware that volunteers should not be left alone in the house with the client and that if this is likely to happen, the staff at Student Community Action should be informed to enable an informal risk assessment of the situation to take place. It is to be made clear to parents that SCA projects are not a babysitting service.
Safeguarding Children Online
Student Community Action (SCA) believe that all children have the right to enjoy the activities and services of SCA in a happy, safe, secure environment.
We have developed a Safeguarding Children Online Policy to bring us up to date with current safeguarding policy and to fully protect our clients, volunteers, staff and Executive Committee.
This policy applies and relates to all SCA staff, volunteers, governing bodies and the people who use our projects. It should be used in addition to our full Safeguarding and Prevent Policy included in this document.
The purpose of Internet use at Student Community Action is to find resources and information to improve our services. The Internet is an essential element in 21st century life.
Student Community Action staff have access to the internet on SCA computers in the offices and on the SCA laptop. Internet use will be for work purposes only.
If volunteers use the internet during befriending visits to our clients, they should do so with the child’s parent’s permission and should immediately report any sites visited that may be classed as inappropriate. They are encouraged to place the computer / laptop / tablet in a place where others can see it rather than out of sight
The only contact details on the SCA Web site or social media sites are the office address, e-mail and SCA telephone numbers. Clients, Staff and volunteer’s personal information is not published. The manager or nominee will take overall editorial responsibility and ensure that content is accurate and appropriate.
Photographs that include clients are selected carefully and do not enable individual clients to be clearly identified. Clients’ full names are not used anywhere on the Web site, and never in association with photographs. Written permission from parents or carers is obtained before photographs of clients are published on the SCA Web site or social media sites.
Student Community Action acknowledge that social networking sites can be hugely beneficial in recruiting volunteers for SCA events and projects. They are also used for informing active volunteers of news and reminding volunteers of training or project information.
Advice is given to project leaders about what is acceptable to put on social networking sites which have been set up in association with SCA. This includes informing project leaders that social networking sites for projects should be kept closed to active volunteers and photos of clients should not be put on without obtaining written permission from parents.
Volunteers must not communicate with clients through private social networking sites, but should communicate through the client’s parents unless parents have given permission for the volunteer to communicate directly with the client through text message or mobile phone if the client is over 16 years of age and it is deemed appropriate.
Mobile Phone and IT use during SCA Projects
Volunteers are advised that use of mobile phones while working on SCA projects should be kept to a minimum and photos should not be taken on their mobile phones or any other camera without the permission of the child’s parent.
Clients should be discouraged from bringing any IT or phones to SCA sessions or events. If a child brings an item to a session, they should be encouraged to hand them in to a responsible adult for safe keeping during the session.
Formal complaints of Internet misuse or safeguarding children online issues are dealt with by the Safeguarding and Prevent Officer– Caroline Ward, 01223 350365 / 07749738870.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places an obligation on specific organisations including Universities to, “in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.” This is known as the “Prevent Duty”.
Student Community Action (SCA) believe that as we work within the university we should have regard to the Prevent Guidance and support our partners in the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University in following the Prevent Guidance.
Statutory guidance has been issued setting out how higher education institutions should meet the Prevent Duty. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty- guidance.
The guidance states that “due regard” means that Universities “should place an appropriate amount of weight on the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism when they consider all the other factors relevant to how they carry out their usual functions”.
This statement sets out SCA’s approach to the Prevent Duty and applies to all staff, volunteers, Steering Group and Executive Committee of SCA. Additionally, clients of SCA are able to use the reporting pathways and key contacts / support if desired.
The Executive Committee has overall responsibility for SCA’s compliance with the Prevent Duty and this Policy Statement will be reviewed from a legal and operational perspective once a year in line with SCA’s other Safeguarding Policies.
SCA require all permanent members of staff to undertake the Prevent Training found at:-
Any volunteer, member of staff or client may become concerned that an individual associated with SCA is at risk of being drawn into terrorism. Concerns can be about terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism, or where individuals are at risk of moving from extremist (albeit legal) groups into terrorist-related activity.
Staff and volunteers are encouraged to be mindful of conduct by individuals within SCA that may indicate that they are at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to act appropriately to balance supporting those individuals with safeguarding others within the University and beyond.
In this context, staff, Trustees or volunteers with concerns of the nature described above should raise those concerns in the first instance with SCA’s Safeguarding and Prevent officer who is currently: Nicky Massey 07833049179
The Safeguarding and Prevent officer will then raise a concern or support the SCA member to report a concern with the following key contacts within Cambridge University:-
General enquiries about Prevent should be sent to email@example.com. If you have any concerns about an individual or an event, please email in confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Graham Virgo, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), is the University’s Prevent Lead.
Dr James Knapton, in the Registrar’s Office, is the University’s Prevent Coordinator (this role is also referred to as the University’s Prevent Contact).
All concerns made in this way will be treated sensitively, securely and, so far as possible, confidentially
SCA members are also able to report concerns directly without the involvement of the Safeguarding and Prevent officer, especially where the potential threat is imminent.
If there is an immediate threat to any individual or property, notification should be made to the police by calling 999, as well as advising University Security on 01223 (7)67444 where this is relevant.
Our Policies and there implementation are reviewed each year.
Policy Written by Caroline Ward, SCA Manager
Reviewed by Nicky Massey