Safeguarding Policy Statement
Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy ..
This document sets out The Mentor Ring’s (TMR) Safeguarding Policy and it should be read by mentors and volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults as part of TMR’s projects and by all staff.
Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy

Introduction

This document sets out The Mentor Ring’s (TMR) Safeguarding Policy and it should be read by mentors and volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults as part of TMR’s projects and by all staff. Providing a safe environment and protection from abuse are integral parts of the policy and practice of TMR in its work and contact with children and vulnerable adults. This document describes the behaviour that TMR expects of its mentors, volunteers and staff in dealing with children and vulnerable adults and will be regularly reviewed.
Although TMR is not a charity that deals specifically with children and vulnerable adults, TMR does engage with them when carrying out mentoring activities. The aim of TMR’s Safeguarding Policy is to provide children and vulnerable adults with appropriate safety and protection. TMR will achieve this by making mentors, staff and volunteers aware of required behaviours regarding the protection of children and vulnerable adults and of the procedure for raising concerns about possible abuse.

TMR’S staff and volunteers will protect vulnerable adults by:

Recognising that children and vulnerable adults have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or disability;
Adopting the stance that abuse of any kind will not be tolerated;
Following TMR’s procedures and guidelines on working safely with children and vulnerable adults. This applies both to ensuring the safety of the place where the activities are held as well as protection from abuse (see the Risk Assessments procedure and Incident Reporting Procedure);
Performing appropriate checks when people apply to be mentors, volunteers or members of TMR staff;
Ensuring children and vulnerable adults (and if appropriate, their relatives or guardians) are aware of the contents of TMR’s Safeguarding Policy and procedures, so that they feel safe and protected. A copy will be made available upon request;
Informing relevant agencies, such as Social Services or the police, about any concerns we may have about the safety of a child or vulnerable adult (the procedure for doing this is defined in the Incident Reporting Procedure document). Individuals and relatives will be involved in the sharing of such information, if appropriate.
The Mentor Ring’s Code of Conduct for Working with Children and Vulnerable Adults
Staff, Mentors or Volunteers must never:

Hit or otherwise physically assault or abuse children or vulnerable adults;
Develop physical or sexual relationships with children or vulnerable adults;
Develop relationships with children or vulnerable adults, which could in any way be deemed inappropriate or exploitative;
Act in ways that may be abusive or place children or vulnerable adults at risk of abuse;
Use language, make suggestions or offer advice, which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive;
Behave in an inappropriate or sexually provocative manner;
Allow children or vulnerable adults with whom they are working to stay overnight at their home unsupervised;
Sleep in the same room as children or vulnerable adults on residential experiences;
Do things of a personal nature that children or vulnerable adults are able to do for themselves;
Condone, or participate in the behaviour of children or vulnerable adults, which is illegal, abusive or unsafe;
Intentionally act in ways intended to shame, humiliate or degrade children or vulnerable adults;
Discriminate against, show differential treatment, or favour particular children or vulnerable adults to the exclusion of others.
Staff, Mentors or Volunteers must:

Be aware of situations which may present risks;
Plan and organise the work and the workplace so as to minimise risks;
Be open to the discussion of sensitive issues;
Ensure that a sense of accountability exists between staff so that poor practice or potentially abusive behaviour does not go unchallenged;
Empower children and vulnerable adults – discuss their rights, what is acceptable and unacceptable, and what to do if there is a problem.
What TMR Will Do?

TMR will meet its commitment to safeguard children and vulnerable adults and protect them from abuse through the following means:

Awareness: TMR will ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of the need to protect children and vulnerable adults and of relevant social security practices (e.g., the Protection of Vulnerable Adults POVA scheme). This document is the first step in raising that awareness.

Prevention: TMR will ensure, through awareness and good practice, that all staff and volunteers minimise the risk to children and vulnerable adults. Part of that practice will require the use of appropriate Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks (i.e., for working with children or adults) for mentors, staff and volunteers. Additionally, the POVA list will be used in recruitment processes for people working with vulnerable adults.

Reporting: TMR will ensure that all staff and volunteers are clear about what steps to take where concerns arise regarding the safety of children and vulnerable adults. See the Incident Reporting Procedure.

Responding: TMR will ensure that action is taken to support and protect children and vulnerable adults in response to concerns raised via the Incident Reporting Procedure.

Training: TMR mentors, staff & volunteers will be trained to receive safeguarding training. Training staff and volunteers will need to have at least level 1 or 2 safeguarding training. TMR safe guarding officer should have at least level 3 training.

Oversight: TMR has a designated safeguarding officer who will oversee and will be point of contact if policy and procedures are not followed. The current designated safeguarding officer is Sujatha Thaladi. (Contact information: No: 07790900263, email: Sujatha.Thaladi@mentorring.org.uk)

Whistleblowing:
Sadly, we have to be aware of the possibility that a mentor, volunteer or member of staff may commit abuse. TMR assures all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concerns that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child or vulnerable adult.

Confidentiality:
Every effort must be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need-to-know basis only. This includes the following people:

The Operational Director
The Chair of the Organisation
The carers/family of the person alleged to have been abused
The person making the allegation
Social services/police
The alleged abuser.
Information must be stored in a secure place with limited access to the designated people, in line with data protection legislation.

TMR’s E-Safety:

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

Developing a range of procedures that provide clear and specific directions to staff and volunteers on how to behave online and the appropriate use of ICT.
Supporting and encouraging the young people using our services to use the opportunities offered by mobile phone technology and the internet in a way that keeps themselves safe and shows respect for others.
Incorporating statements about safe and appropriate ICT use and online behaviour into the codes of conduct both for staff and volunteers and for children and young people.
Developing an e-safety agreement which will form part of our mentoring agreement with the young people and their parents and guardians.
Use our procedures to deal firmly, fairly and decisively with any examples of inappropriate ICT use and online behaviour, complaints or allegations, whether adult or a child /young person (these may include breaches of filtering, illegal use, downloading or creating indecent images of children, cyberbullying or use of ICT to groom a child or to perpetrate abuse).
Informing parents and guardians of incidents of concern as appropriate.
Using only official email accounts provided with the organisation and monitoring these as necessary
Ensuring that the personal information of staff , volunteers and beneficiaries ( including beneficiaries’ names) are not published on our website
Ensuring the 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.
Risk assessing in advance any social media tools used in the course of our work with children, young people and families this assessment to be carried out by the member of staff wishing to use them.
Providing effective management for staff and volunteers on ICT issues and online behaviour, through supervision, support and training.
Examining and risk assessing any emerging new technologies before they are used within the organisation.