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Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

Colourful paper

Our Safeguarding Policy

This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, course candidates, students or anyone working on behalf of the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre (HADC).

The purpose of this policy:

  • To protect children and young people who receive HADC’s services.  This includes the children of adults who use our services;
  • To provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection;

Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:

  • Children Act 1989
  • Children Act 2004
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Working together to safeguard children (Department for Education, 2018)
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children

Related policies and procedures

This policy should be read alongside our organisational policies/procedures, including:

  • Role of the Designated Safeguarding Officer and Deputies
  • Procedure for children at possible risk of abuse
  • Managing allegations against staff and volunteers
  • Recording and information sharing
  • Code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Safer recruitment
  • Online safety
  • Anti-bullying
  • Managing complaints
  • Whistleblowing
  • Health and safety

We believe that:

  • a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind 
  • we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them.

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies  is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • appointing a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for children and young people, a deputy and a lead trustee for safeguarding
  • adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • developing and implementing an effective online safety policy and related procedures
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures
  • recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • recording and storing information professionally and securely
  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with staff and volunteers
  • using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately
  • using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
  • creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
  • ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
  • ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance.

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.  We have a Safeguarding sub-committee which meets regularly to discuss any concerns/incidents and any recommended updates to the policy.  This sub-committee reports to the full Board of Trustees at every board meeting.

Contact details

Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)

Yvonne Whitestone:  01252 792400

 

Deputy DSOs

Andy Cook (Designated Safeguarding Officer during school holiday periods)

01252 792400

Julie Hall:  01252 792400

 

Lead Trustee for Safeguarding

Jonathan Hetherington:  01252 792400

Useful numbers

NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000

Childline: 0800 1111

Surrey Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): 0300 470 9100

Emergency Duty Team (out of hours): 01483 517898

Hampshire Children’s Services:  0300 555 1384

Out of hours: 0300 555 1373

NOTE:  If working within other Local Authorities, it is your responsibility to have knowledge of the relevant Safeguarding Partner contact information.

Role of the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) and Deputies

The board of Trustees should appoint an appropriate member of staff, from the senior management team, to take the role of designated safeguarding officer (DSO). The DSO should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety). This should be explicit within the role-holder’s job description. This person should have the appropriate status and authority within the organisation to carry out the duties of the post. They should be given the time, funding, training, resources and support to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters, to take part in strategy discussions and inter-agency meetings,  and/or to support other staff to do so, and to contribute to the assessment of children.   

Deputy designated safeguarding officers

Any deputy designated safeguarding officers should be trained to the same standard as the DSO.

Whilst the activities of the DSO can be delegated to appropriately trained deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for child protection, as set out above, remains with the DSO; this lead responsibility should not be delegated.

The DSO is expected to:

Manage referrals

  • Refer cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care as required;
  • Refer cases to the Surrey Prevent referral team (or appropriate LA body if working outside Surrey) where there is a radicalisation concern as required;
  • Support staff and volunteers who make referrals;
  • Refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/ harm to a child to the  Disclosure and Barring Service as required; and
  • Refer cases where a crime may have been committed to the Police as required.

Work with others

  • Liaise with the CEO and Lead for Trustee for Safeguarding to inform them of issues especially on-going enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations;
  • As required, liaise with the case manager and designated officers at the local authority for child protection concerns in cases which concern a staff member or volunteer); and
  • Liaise with staff and volunteers on matters of safety and safeguarding and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies. 
  • Act as a source of support, advice and expertise for staff and volunteers.

Training

The DSO (and any deputies) should undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. This training should be updated at least every two years.  The DSO should undertake Prevent awareness training.

In addition to the formal training set out above, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed (this might be via e-bulletins, meeting other designated leads, or simply taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at regular intervals, as required, but at least annually, to allow them to understand and keep up with any developments relevant to their role so they:

  • Understand the assessment process for providing early help and statutory intervention, including local criteria for action and local authority children’s social care referral arrangements;
  • Have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so;
  • Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff and volunteers;
  • Be alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers;
  • Understand relevant data protection legislation and regulations, especially the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation;
  • Understand the importance of information sharing, both within the organisation and with the three safeguarding partners, other agencies, organisations and practitioners;
  • Are able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals;
  • Understand and support the organisation with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and are able to provide advice and support to staff and volunteers on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation;
  • Are able to understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online when working with staff and volunteers from the organisation;
  • Can recognise the additional risks that children with SEN and disabilities (SEND) face online, for example, from online bullying, grooming and radicalisation and are confident they have the capability to support SEND children to stay safe online;
  • Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses; and
  • Encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, among all staff and volunteers, in any measures the organisation may put in place to protect them.

Raise awareness

The DSO should:

  • ensure the organisation’s safeguarding policies are known, understood and used appropriately;
  • Ensure the organisation’s safeguarding policy is reviewed annually (as a minimum) and the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly, and work with trustees regarding this;
  • Ensure the safeguarding policy is available publicly and parents are aware of the fact that referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the organisation in this; and
  • Link with the safeguarding partner arrangements to make sure staff and volunteers are aware of training opportunities and the latest local policies on local safeguarding arrangements.

Availability

  • During term time the DSO (or a deputy) should always be available (during working hours) for staff in the organisation to discuss any safeguarding concerns. Whilst generally speaking the DSO (or deputy) would be expected to be available in person, it is a matter for individual organisations, working with their DSO to define what “available” means and whether in exceptional circumstances availability via phone and/or Skype or other such medium is acceptable.
  • During school holiday periods, Andy Cook takes the role of Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Adapted from Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2018), pages 89 to 92

 

Procedure for children at possible risk of abuse

This procedure applies to any member of staff employed by Helen Arkell, trustee, affiliated professional, volunteer or course candidate who may be concerned about the safety and protection of a child.

Purpose and aim of this procedure

We aim to ensure those children who attend Helen Arkell and any other children who may come to the attention of HA receive the protection and support they need if they are at risk of abuse.

This procedure provides clear direction to staff, trustees, affiliated professionals and volunteers at HA if they have concerns that a child is in need of protection.

Ways that abuse might be brought to your attention

  • a child might make a direct disclosure about him or herself
  • a child might make a direct disclosure about another child
  • a child might offer information that is worrying but not a direct disclosure
  • you might be concerned about a child’s appearance or behaviour or about the behaviour of a parent or carer towards a child
  • a parent or carer might make a disclosure about abuse that a child is suffering or at risk of suffering
  • a parent might offer information about a child that is worrying but not a direct disclosure

Talking to a child who has told you that he/she or another child is being abused

  • Reassure the child that telling someone about it was the right thing to do.
  • Tell him/her that you now have to do what you can to keep him/her (or the child who is the subject of the allegation) safe.
  • Let the child know what you are going to do next and who else needs to know about it.
  • Let the child tell his or her whole story.  Don’t try to investigate or quiz the child, but make sure that you are clear as to what he/she is saying.
  • Ask the child what he/she would like to happen as a result of what he/she has said, but don’t make or infer promises you can’t keep.
  • Give the child the ChildLine phone number 0800 1111.

Helping a child in immediate danger or in need of emergency medical attention

  • If the child is in immediate danger and is with you, remain with him/her and call the police.
  • If the child is elsewhere, contact the police and explain the situation to them.
  • If he/she needs emergency medical attention, call an ambulance and, while you are waiting for it to arrive, get help from your first aider.
  • If the first aider it not available, use any first aid knowledge that you may have yourself to help the child.
  • You also need to contact HADC’s Designated Safeguarding Officer or the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead to let them know what is happening.

A decision will need to be made about who should inform the child’s family and the local authority children’s social care department, and when they should be informed.  If you have involved the police and/or the health services, they should be part of this decision.  Consider the welfare of the child in your decision making as the highest priority.

Issues that will need to be taken into account are:

  • the child’s wishes and feelings
  • the parent’s right to know (unless this would place the child or someone else in danger, or would interfere with a criminal investigation)
  • the impact of telling or not telling the parent
  • the current assessment of the risk to the child and the course of that risk
  • any risk management plans that currently exist.

Once any immediate danger or emergency medical need has been dealt with, follow the steps set out in the appropriate flow chart at the end of this document.

Procedure for reporting your concerns – not an emergency situation

If you have concerns about a child, or about something he/she has told you, you should pass on your concerns to the appropriate person as soon as possible.

  • If at the Centre, inform HADC’s DSO or Deputy of your concerns.
  • If at a school, firstly inform the school’s Designated Safeguarding Officer then notify HADC’s DSO about what has taken place.
  • If working at your home or the pupil’s home, inform HADC’s DSO or Deputy of your concerns.  If neither of these are available, contact the relevant Local Authority Safeguarding Partner – see useful contact details.

Keeping a record of your concerns

Use the example reporting form at the back of this booklet to record the concern.  The form should be signed and dated by all those involved in its completion and kept confidentially on the child’s file. The name of the person making the notes should be written alongside each entry.

The form can be used to forward information to the statutory safeguarding/child protection authorities if a referral to them is needed.

Useful contact details

Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)

Yvonne Whitestone

01252 792400

 

Deputy DSOs

Andy Cook (Designated Safeguarding Officer during school holiday periods)

01252 792400

Julie Hall

01252 792400

 

Lead Trustee for Safeguarding

Jonathan Hetherington

01252 792400

 

NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000

Childline: 0800 1111

Surrey Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): 0300 470 9100

Emergency Duty Team (out of hours): 01483 517898

Hampshire Children’s Services:  0300 555 1384

Out of hours: 0300 555 1373

NOTE:  If working within other Local Authorities, it is your responsibility to have knowledge of the relevant Safeguarding Partner contact information.

Indicators of abuse and neglect (adapted from ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education, DfE, September 2018)

All staff and volunteers should be aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label.  In most cases, multiple issues will overlap with one another.

Abuse:  a form of maltreatment of a child.  Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm.  Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others.  Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse.  Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.

Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Emotional abuse:  the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.  It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.  It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.  These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction.  It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.  It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.  Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse:  involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.  They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse.  Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse.  Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males.  Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.  The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education.

Neglect:  the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.  Neglect may occur during pregnancy, for example, as a result of maternal substance abuse.  Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:  provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.  It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Specific safeguarding issues

All staff and volunteers should have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm.  Behaviours linked to issues such as drug taking, alcohol abuse, deliberately missing education and sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) put children in danger.

All staff and volunteers should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse.  This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:

  • Bullying (including cyberbullying);
  • Physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
  • Sexual violence and sexual harassment;
  • Sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
  • Initiation/hazing type violence and rituals

Safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the organisation and/or can occur between children outside the organisation.  All staff and volunteers, but especially the designated safeguarding lead (and deputies) should be considering the context within which such incidents and/or behaviours occur.  This is known as contextual safeguarding, which simply means assessments of children should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.  Children’s social care assessments should consider such factors so it is important that organisations provide as much information as possible as part of the referral process.  This will allow any assessment to consider all the available evidence and the full context of any abuse.

Annex A of ‘Keeping children safe in education’ contains important additional information about specific forms of abuse and safeguarding issues.  It is available on HADC’s intranet and on the Department for Education website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2)

Behaviour code for adults working with children

This behaviour code outlines the conduct expected of staff, trustees, affiliated professionals, course candidates and volunteers from HADC, and staff from other organisations who engage with children and young people through HADC and its activities.

It has been informed by the views of children and young people.

Purpose

Following this code will help to protect children from abuse and inappropriate behaviour from adults.  It will also help staff, trustees, affiliated professionals, course candidates and volunteers to maintain the standard of behaviour expected of them and will reduce the possibility of unfounded allegations of abuse being made against them.

Upholding this code of behaviour

All members of staff, trustees, affiliated professionals, course candidates and volunteers are expected to report any breaches of this code to HADC’s Designated Safeguarding Officer or Deputies under the whistle-blowing procedure or, if necessary, under child protection procedures.

Staff, trustees, affiliated professionals, course candidates and volunteers who breach this code of behaviour may be subject to HADC’s disciplinary procedures.  Any breach of the code involving a volunteer or member of staff from another agency may result in him/her being asked to leave HADC.

Serious breaches may also result in a referral being made to a statutory agency such as the police, the local authority children’s social care department and/or the Disclosure and Barring Service.

The role of staff affiliated professionals, course candidates and volunteers

When working with children and young people on behalf of HADC, all staff, trustees, affiliated professionals, course candidates and volunteers are acting in a position of trust.  It is important that staff, trustees, affiliated professionals, course candidates and volunteers are aware that they may be seen as role models by children and young people, and must act in an appropriate manner at all times.

When working with children and young people, it is important to:

  • operate within HADC ’s principles and guidance and any specific procedures;
  • follow HADC’s safeguarding policy and e-safety policy and procedures at all times;
  • listen to and respect children at all times;
  • avoid favouritism;
  • treat children and young people fairly and without prejudice or discrimination;
  • value and take children’s contributions seriously, actively involving children and young people in planning activities wherever possible;
  • ensure any contact with children and young people is appropriate and in relation to the work of the project;
  • always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory;
  • follow the e-safety policy and report any breaches;
  • always ensure equipment is used safely and for its intended purpose;
  • provide examples of good conduct you wish children and young people to follow;
  • challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse;
  • ensure that, wherever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people or that you are within sight or hearing of other adults.
  • be close to where others are working.  If a child specifically asks for or needs some private time with you, ensure other staff should know where you and the child are;
  • respect a young person’s right to personal privacy;
  • encourage young people and adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like;
  • recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people.

You must not:

  • patronise or treat children and young people as if they are silly;
  • allow allegations to go unreported;
  • develop inappropriate relationships such as contact with children and young people that is not a part of the work of HADC or agreed with the manager or leader;
  • conduct a sexual relationship with a child or young person or indulge in any form of sexual contact with a child or young person.  Any such behaviour between an adult member of staff, trustee, affiliated professional, course candidate or volunteer and a child or young person using the services of HADC represents a serious breach of trust on the part of the staff member, trustee, affiliated professional, course candidate or volunteer and is not acceptable under any circumstances;
  • let children and young people have your personal contact details (mobile number or address);
  • make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of children and young people;
  • act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive;
  • make inappropriate promises to children and young people, particularly in relation to confidentiality;
  • jump to conclusions about others without checking facts;
  • either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues;
  • rely on your reputation or that of the organisation to protect you.

The role of parents and carers

Helen Arkell welcomes and encourages parental involvement.  Parents and carers are regarded as valuable partners in promoting positive behaviour and will be involved as appropriate.

In the event of their child becoming the subject of behaviour sanctions, parents/carers will be informed and involved

Managing allegations against staff and volunteers

Safeguarding or child protections allegations about members of staff or volunteers must be reported immediately to the CEO.

Allegations against the CEO should be taken to the Chair of Trustees

These concerns must be discussed immediately with the local authority Designated Officer (DO).

Contact details

Surrey Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): 0300 470 9100

Emergency Duty Team (out of hours): 01483 517898

Hampshire Children’s Services:  0300 555 1384

Out of hours: 0300 555 1373

Employers have a duty of care to their employees.  They should ensure they provide effective support for anyone facing an allegation and provide the employee with a named contact if they are suspended.

Key issues to note:

  • Priority should be given to resolving the matter as soon as possible (usually within one month)
  • Staff should not be automatically suspended
  • Allegations found to be unfounded or malicious should be removed from personnel records

To be considered under these guidelines, the allegation must meet the following criteria.

The person must have:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • Behaved towards a child or children in such a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they worked regularly or closely with a child.

Cases which do not meet the above criteria should be dealt with using ‘local’ arrangements.

Initial Considerations

Where the concern meets the criteria, the designated person should immediately contact the local authority Designated Officer(s) (DO).  The DO is responsible for the oversight of allegations against adults working in the local authority, liaising with a range of agencies and ensuring such matters are dealt with consistently and in a timely fashion.

The initial discussion with the DO will consider the nature of the allegation and the course of action.

Actions to be agreed:

  • What further information is required
  • Whether any immediate action needs to be taken to protect the child/children
  • When and what should the parents be told
  • What should be said to the adult facing the allegation
  • Whether suspending the member of staff or volunteer is required
  • Suspension should not be an automatic response
  • Suspension should only be considered where:
  • Children are at risk of serious harm
  • Where the concern is so serious that it would result in immediate dismissal
  • The reason for suspension must be communicated to the person in writing within one day
  • Alternatives to suspension might include alternative work, the deployment of another adult to work alongside the accused person, moving the pupil to another specialist teacher/assessor.

Possible outcomes of the initial discussion:

  • Strategy Meeting (sometimes called a ‘Management Planning Meeting’) – normally held within three days
  • Referral to Social Care
  • Referral to Police for investigation
  • No further action (NFA)

In the case of NFA, the organisation should then decide how to proceed further, which may include internal disciplinary action.  Informal action should be resolved in a timely fashion.  Most cases should be concluded within one month.

Any internal investigation should be undertaken by a senior member of staff, HR professional or occasionally an independent person.

After consulting the DO, the accused person should be told about the allegation.  The amount of detail should be agreed with the DO and will range from the minimum (where a Strategy Meeting is to be held) to the greatest amount of detail following an ‘NFA’ decision.  The person should be told about the likely courses of action.  They should be advised to contact their professional association.  The organisation should appoint a named person to offer support to the affected person.

It is important that confidentiality is maintained.  It is helpful to consider how to manage speculation, leaks and gossip.  No information should be offered to the media nor should any details be published that would identify any person under investigation, unless or until the person has been charged with an offence.

E-safety policy

This policy and the procedures that it underpins apply to all staff, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, course candidates, affiliated professionals, agency staff, students and anyone working on behalf of the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre (HADC).

The purpose of the policy is

  • to protect children and young people who receive HADC’s services and who make use of information technology (such as mobile phones, games consoles and the internet) as part of their involvement with us;
  • to provide staff, affiliated professionals, course candidates and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to e-safety;
  • to ensure that, as an organisation, we operate in line with our values and within the law in terms of how we use information technology

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the children/young people who come into contact with our services is paramount and should govern our approach to the use and management of electronic communication technologies;
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse;
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare and in helping young people to be responsible in their approach to e-safety;
  • the use of information technology is an essential part of all our lives; it is involved in how we as an organisation gather and store information, as well as how we communicate with each other.  It is also an intrinsic part of the experience of our children and young people, and is greatly beneficial to all.  However, it can present challenges in terms of how we use it responsibly and, if misused either by an adult or a young person, can be actually or potentially harmful to them.

We will seek to promote e-safety by:

  • appointing an e-safety coordinator;
  • developing a range of procedures that provide clear and specific directions to staff and volunteers on the appropriate use of ICT;
  • supporting and encouraging the young people using our service to use the opportunities offered by mobile phone technology and the internet in a way that keeps themselves safe and shows respect to others;
  • supporting and encouraging parents and carers to do what they can to keep their children safe online and when using their mobile phones and game consoles;
  • use our procedures to deal firmly, fairly and decisively with any examples of inappropriate ICT use, complaints or allegations, whether by an adult or a child/young person (these may include breaches of filtering, illegal use, cyberbullying, or use of ICT to groom a child or to perpetrate abuse);
  • informing parents and carers of incidents of concern as appropriate;
  • reviewing and updating the security of our information systems regularly;
  • providing adequate physical security for ICT equipment;
  • ensuring that user names, logins and passwords are used effectively;
  • ensuring that the personal information of staff, affiliated professionals, course candidates, volunteers and service users (including service users’ names) are not published on our website;
  • ensuring that images of children, young people and families are used only after their written permission has been obtained, and only for the purpose for which consent has been given;
  • any social media tools used in the course of our work with children, young people and families must be risk assessed in advance by the member of staff, affiliated professional, course candidate or volunteer wishing to use them;
  • providing effective management for staff, affiliated professionals, course candidates and volunteers on ICT issues, through supervision, support and training;
  • examining and risk assessing any emerging new technologies before they are used within the organisation.

 

E-safety coordinator

Yvonne Whitestone

01252 792400 ([email protected])

 

Andy Cook (during school holiday periods)

01252 792400 ([email protected])

 

We are committed to reviewing our policy, procedures and good practice annually.

 

This policy was last reviewed October 2018

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