The Society’s Leadership Team recognise the importance of its ministry/work with children and adults at risk and its responsibility to protect everyone entrusted to our care.
The following statement was agreed on: November 2022.
The Society is committed to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk and ensuring their well-being.
- We require all Society staff to read and follow the guidelines in this document in regard to safeguarding children and adults at risk during their induction and to be notified when the policy is updated.
- We require all OtB Training and Development Officers to be trained in Safeguarding and have an up-to-date DBS (renewed between 3-5 years).
- We require all Society staff (not volunteers) at Mary Jones World to be trained in Safeguarding and have an up-to-date DBS (renewed between 3-5 years).
- We require all Navigating Trauma facilitators to receive Safeguarding training as part of their accreditation, in addition to being safely recruited by their church.
- We require all volunteer Storytellers to undergo the necessary safeguarding checks through their own church or organisational ‘safe recruitment’ procedures. The responsibility for this lies entirely with the individual team and the churches who send them into their local school. It is neither the role not responsibility of OtB or the Society. Safe recruitment should include some or all of these elements; a role description updated annually, a reference from a third party, a DBS check, safeguarding training provided by the Church or denomination and who the safeguarding lead at the relevant Church is.
- Where volunteers and staff are not eligible for standard and enhanced DBS checks there is still the opportunity to run a basic check on any volunteer or staff member. Basic checks are available in all four nations of the UK through Access NI, Disclosure Scotland and the Disclosure and Barring Service for England and Wales.
- As of January 2021, every OtB team requires at least one member, usually the Team Leader to have been trained by registered OtB Trainers. All training by OtB is recorded with safeguarding on each Storytellers’ database record.
- Best practice guidelines require safeguarding training for storytellers to include the six principles of the Care Act 2014 which are Empowerment, Protection, Prevention, Proportionality, Partnership and Accountability.
- We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children (those under 18 years of age) and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
- We believe every child should be valued, safe and happy. We want to make sure that children we have contact with know this and are empowered to tell us if they are suffering harm.
- Children and adults have the right to be treated with respect, to be listened to and to be protected from all forms of abuse.
- We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, psychological, financial and discriminatory abuse and neglect of adults at risk and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
- We recognise the personal dignity and rights of those who find themselves victims of forced marriage or modern slavery and will ensure all our policies and procedures reflect this.
- We believe all employees should enjoy and have access to every aspect of the life of the Society unless they pose a risk to the safety of those we serve.
- We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of all those who will work with children and adults at risk. We will respect and honour individuals when invited their homes and carry out the Society duties with all due care and attention. We will respect the Society's safeguarding expectations when representing the Society in all settings and locations.
We are committed to:
- Following the requirements for UK legislation, associated statutory guidance and good practise recommendation in relation to safeguarding children and adults at risk.
- Respecting the rights of children as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Implementing the requirements of legislation in regard to people with disabilities as described by the UN Convention in International Agreement on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
- Ensuring that employees and associated persons adhere to the agreed procedures of our safeguarding policy.
- Keeping up to date with national and local developments relating to safeguarding.
- Following any organisational guidelines in relation to safeguarding children and adults at risk.
- Supporting the Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children/adults at risk.
- Ensuring that everyone (trustees, employees and associated persons) agrees to abide by this safeguarding statement and the guidelines established by this safeguarding policy.
- Nurturing, protecting and safeguarding of children and adults at risk.
- Supporting, resourcing, training, monitoring and providing supervision to all those who undertake this work.
- Supporting those affected by abuse.
- Adopting and following the 'Safe and Secure' safeguarding standards developed by Thirtyone:eight.
- Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility.
- Children's Social Services (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a child. Adult Social Care (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about an adult at risk.
- Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed then the police should be contacted as a matter of urgency.
- Where working outside of the UK, concerns will be reported to the appropriate agencies in the country in which we operate, and their procedures followed, and in addition we will report concerns to our headquarters.
We will review this statement and our policy and procedures annually.
If you have any concerns for a child or adult at risk then speak to one of the following who have been approved as safeguarding co-ordinators for the Society.
Adult & Child Safeguarding Co-ordinator: Susan Mears
Deputy Adult & Child Safeguarding Co-ordinator: Hannah Wilkinson
A copy of the Society's safeguarding policy and procedure is available on request via [email protected]