When children or young people are being cared for or supervised by those other than their parents it is essential that adequate measures are in place so that the children can be safe, parents and carers can be assured of the care their children receive and staff can feel supported and confident in the expectations of their role.
Our safeguarding responsibilities towards the children and young people who use our services are twofold:
- To take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of children and young people using our premises or accessing our services
- To respond appropriately to any concerns about a child’s welfare or safety in accordance with our procedures.
Our procedures apply to all professionals, students or volunteers providing a service to children and young people either from The Windfall Centre, or on behalf of The Windfall Centre. The procedures accord with the Safeguarding Wales procedures from the Welsh Government, the Welsh Local Safeguarding Children Boards and with relevant legislation and guidance. (a copy of our full safeguarding procedures can be requested)
In all circumstances where there are concerns about the safety or welfare of a child, the child’s welfare will be the paramount consideration. All children and young people will be treated equally irrespective of age, gender, nationality or ethnic status, family status, religion, ability or disability, appearance, or developing sexuality. All children and young people will be treated with dignity and respect. Similarly, we will not discriminate against family members on any grounds whatsoever and will endeavour to work closely and honestly with them at all times.
Our safeguarding measures include:
- A comprehensive procedure for the recruitment and selection of therapists, staff, trustees and volunteers, including references, verification of identity and qualifications, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, interviewing and probationary periods as appropriate
- A code of good practice that all therapists and staff are required to sign up to
- Guidance and training for all therapists and staff on recognising and responding to concerns about a child’s safety or welfare
- Clear procedures for practitioners and volunteers to follow to report concerns about a child or the behaviour of an adult towards a child, including ‘in house’ concerns.
- Nominating a ‘designated safeguarding person, or people’ (DSP) and a Trustee with safeguarding responsibility.
- Safeguarding is a standing agenda item at all Trustees’ meetings.
- Providing effective management of therapists and staff through supervision, support and training.
- Where indicated, undertaking accepted hygiene precautions, track and trace requirements and observing isolation requirements, to reduce possible transmission of coronavirus, Covid 19.
Where concerns arise regarding the safety or welfare of a child or young person using our service, the designated safeguarding person (DSP) will be informed and a decision made regarding a child protection report to the local authority Children’s Services. Confidential records will be made and maintained securely.
The Welsh Government’s Covid-19 response has stated:
- Social Services have prioritised children’s safeguarding as a critical area of support. Emergency and Duty teams will stay open and it is important that any concerns about a child or young person are shared as soon as is possible.
- Fears about sharing information should not be a barrier to safeguarding and promoting the well-being of children at risk of abuse or neglect. Every practitioner must take responsibility for sharing the information they hold and cannot assume that someone else will pass on information, which may be critical to keeping a child safe.
- Information received from a child or from someone else about a child or young person who may be at risk, or if you see something which makes you worry that they are at risk, these concerns must be passed on as soon as you can.