Safeguarding Policy

1. Introduction

This Sustainable Henfield 2030 policy applies to all members and volunteers who may come into contact with vulnerable adults and children in the course of their volunteering for SH2030. It is designed to ensure that all members and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and information to enable them to undertake their safeguarding responsibilities for SH2030.

2. Policy Statement
Everyone has the right not to be abused or neglected. If signs which cause concern are observed, everyone has a responsibility to refer suspected cases of abuse to an appropriate agency or person.

3. Scope

In respect of this policy the term ‘Child’ means a person under the age of 18 years.

An ‘Adult’ (formerly “Vulnerable Adult” or “Adult at Risk”) means any person age 18 years over who meets the following criteria:

  1. Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and;
  2. Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  3. As a result of care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect.

The policy applies to all individuals irrespective of their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy/maternity status and/ or sexual orientation.

4. There are three parts to safeguarding

    • a duty to protect from maltreatment
    • a duty to prevent impairment
    • a duty to safeguard adults in accordance with the Care Act (2014)

The policy applies to the following types of abuse

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSE & Modern Slavery)
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Financial Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Bullying (including psychological /cyber abuse)
  • Risk of injury
  • Radicalisation
  • Cyber/internet abuse

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Individuals may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.  Promoting welfare refers to creating opportunities to enable children or adults to have optimum life chances namely:

  • Physical and mental health and emotional well-being
  • Protection from harm and neglect
  • Education training and recreation
  • The contribution made by them to society
  • Social and economic well being

5. Procedure
This Safeguarding Policy informs all members and volunteers of what actions they should take if they have concerns or encounter a case of alleged, disclosed or suspected abuse.

Responding to Disclosures.

If a child or adult is in immediate danger, telephone the police on 999.

Disclosure of details of abuse is likely to be to a trusted person, someone with whom an individual feels safe. By listening and taking seriously what is being disclosed, members and volunteers are already helping the situation. The following points are a guide to help members and volunteers respond appropriately.

If an individual discloses abuse to you, you must:

  • Stay calm and be sensitive.
  • Inform the individual that you may need to refer this to one of SH2030 Coordination Committee and depending on the severity of the information disclosed, it may need to be referred to the Police and Children’s Access Point and Adult Care Point.
  • Record all observations and everything that is said.
  • Contact one of the local council’s designated Safeguarding Officers at the earliest possible opportunity.

Responding to Observations and Suspicions

If you suspect abuse, you must:

  • Stay calm and be sensitive.
  • Record all observations and everything that is said.
  • Contact one of the Coordination Committee members or the council’s designated Safeguarding Officers at the earliest possible opportunity.

Out of Hours Arrangements

If a child or adult is in immediate danger, telephone the police on 999.

Otherwise: If you suspect abuse or abuse is disclosed to you outside normal office hours, you must:

For Adults: Contact the West Sussex Adults’ Services out-of-hours service directly on 01243 642121.

For Children: Contact the Children’s Access Point

01403 229900 (office hours)

033 022 26664 (out of office hours 5.00pm to 8.00am weekdays and for emergencies at weekends and bank holidays (24 hours))

Reporting Allegations 

It is important that any concern in relation to abuse, harassment, inappropriate conduct or neglect, including that by a member or volunteer be reported at the earliest possible opportunity.

Where an allegation of abuse has been made, the priority must be to ensure the wellbeing of the individual.   When there is any allegation of abuse including abuse by an member or volunteer from SH2030, it is the responsibility of SH203 to investigate it and if appropriate to report it at the earliest opportunity to the council’s designated Safeguarding Officer(s), and cooperate with all relevant authorities.

Support for the Reporter of the Alleged Abuse

Strong feelings may be generated by an allegation, disclosure or suspicion of abuse to, or neglect of children, and adults.  This can raise concerns among other members and volunteers and create difficulties in reporting such matters.

SH2030 will fully support all who, in good faith and without malicious intent, report his or her concern about the possibility that a child or vulnerable adult may be or is being abused.