Louth Town Council SAFEGUARDING POLICY – last reviewed 22nd March 2022 – next review by April 2023
In the interests of child protection and the welfare and protection of vulnerable adults, Louth Town Council is committed to ensuring that children and vulnerable adults are protected and kept safe from harm whilst they are engaged in any activity associated with the Town Council within the parish.
· To ensure that where possible all facilities and activities offered by the Town Council are designed and maintained to limit risk to children and vulnerable adults.
· To promote the general welfare, health and development of children by being aware of child protection issues.
· To provide, staff, volunteers and councillors with overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding.
· As the Town Council does not directly provide care or supervision services to children and vulnerable adults, it expects all children and vulnerable adults using its facilities to do so with the consent and the necessary supervision of a parent, carer or other responsible adult.
Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person(s) or group of people. Abuse may be single or repeated acts. It can be:
Physical: for example, hitting, slapping, burning, pushing, restraining or giving the wrong medication.
Psychological and emotional: for example, shouting, swearing, frightening, blaming, ignoring or humiliating a person, threats of harm or abandonment, intimidation, verbal abuse.
Financial: including the illegal or unauthorised use of a person’s property, money, pension book or other valuables, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance.
Sexual: for example, forcing a person to take part in any sexual activity without his or her informed consent – this can occur in any relationship.
Discriminatory: for example, racist of sexist remarks based on a person’s disability, age or illness, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment. This also includes stopping someone from being involved in religious or cultural activity, services or support networks.
Neglect and acts of omission: for example, ignoring medical or physical care needs. These can be deliberate or unintentional, amounting to abuse by a carer or self-neglect by the vulnerable person, e.g., where a person is deprived of food, heat, clothing, comfort or essential medication, or failing to provide access to appropriate health or social care services.
How Might We Notice Abuse?
Concerns about or evidence of abuse can come to us through:
1. A direct disclosure by the child, young person or vulnerable adult.
2. A complaint or expression of concern by another member of staff, a volunteer, another service user, a carer, a member of the public or relative.
3. An observation of the behaviour of the child, young person or vulnerable adult by the volunteer, member of staff or carer.
To support children, young people or vulnerable adults who are experiencing, or at risk from abuse, Louth Town Council is committed to:
· Identifying the abuse of children, young people or vulnerable adults where it is occurring.
· Responding effectively to any circumstances giving grounds for concern, or where formal complaints or expressions of anxiety are expressed.
· Ensuring the active participation of individuals, families, groups and communities wherever possible and appropriate.
· Raising awareness of the extent of abuse on vulnerable adults and its impact on them.
· Promoting and supporting work designed to reduce abuse and the fear of abuse as experienced by children, young people or vulnerable adults
Prevention and Confidentiality
A Safeguarding Officer will be appointed from within the Town Council for any events organised by the Town Council. His/her role will be:
· Ensure that before any Town Council organised event with children or vulnerable persons, they as the appointed Child Protection Officer, brief all participants appropriately;
· Ensure that Members are aware of the risk they may face in certain circumstances whilst carrying out their duties;
· Ensure that whilst Council members are unlikely to be involved with children during the performance of their duties they are mindful of the risk(s) they face;
· Ensure that before any volunteers or paid members of staff are recruited to work with children and vulnerable persons, they are interviewed and two written references taken up
Decisions on whether any person should be DBS checked will be made by the Council or the Chairman after consultation with the Clerk.
· All staff, volunteers and Councillors will be requested to read Louth Town Council’s Safeguarding Policy.
· Councillor will adhere to the ‘List of Recommended Behaviour’ namely:
o A minimum of two adults present when supervising children
o Not to play physical contact games
o Adults to wear appropriate clothing at all times
o Ensure that accidents are recorded in an accident book
o Never do anything of a personal nature for a young person.
· Keep records in an incident book of any allegations a young person may make to any council related person.
· Any organisation which may make contact with children or vulnerable adults shall be required to show proof of its own appropriate Safeguarding Policy before being allowed to participate in the use of any council owned facilities.
Louth Town Council will work with children, young people or vulnerable adults in a way that meets all the aspects of confidentiality in our different policies, but where abuse to a child or vulnerable person is alleged, suspected, reported or concerns are raised, the Safeguarding Procedure must be followed. The confidentiality of the vulnerable person will be respected wherever possible and their consent obtained to share information. The vulnerable person should be made aware that staff cannot ignore issues around abuse and that steps will be taken to deal with them in as sensitive a manner as possible. The welfare of the individual is paramount.
High Level Procedure
1. You think abuse has or may have occurred. Act immediately. Make sure the person is safe. Inform your line manager immediately. Contact the police if it is thought a crime has just been committed. Record details of the allegation in the incident book.
2. Bringing the concern to the attention of the Town Clerk who in turn will contact Lincolnshire Social Services or the Police. Your manager discusses the concerns with the local authority referral agency or the police straight away.
3. Social Services will coordinate an investigation. They might decide to call the police. You might need to give a statement to Social Services or the police. Social services or the police will decide what to do next. In accordance with the law, the Council will refer to the Discolsure and Barring Service (DBS) any member of staff
a. Who was dismissed because they harmed a child or adult;
b. Who was dismissed or remove from working in a regulated activity because they might have harmed a child or adult;
c. Who would have been dismissed for either of these reasons, but they resigned first; or
d. Who works with children or vulnerable adults in a regulated activity and has been cautioned or convicted for a relevant offence.
Safeguarding concerns and allegations relating to Councillors will also be referred to the Monitoring Officer and dealt with in accordance with the Code of Conduct of Members of the Council.