Last updated: Wednesday 21st August 2019
Isle of Man Company No.
Safeguarding Policy and Procedure
Space4Action believes that it is always unacceptable for anyone to experience abuse of any kind; Space4Action recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all vulnerable adults, young people and children by a commitment to practice which protects them.
We recognise that:
• the welfare of our clients and their employees is paramount.
• all people, 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 other agencies is essential in promoting people’s welfare.
The purpose of the policy is:
• to provide protection for clients who receive Space4Action’s services/training and for their employees, and to ensure that the training provided by Space 4 Action is safeguarding-focused and risk aware.
Statement of Facts:
• Both living with and leaving an abusive person is inherently risk-laden. Space4Action Directors and Trainers must acknowledge this and ensure that a basic understanding of risk is embedded within the training given and within any awareness raising carried out by Space4Action.
• Space4Action Directors and Trainers will not do direct victim work, but may receive disclosures form course attendees or other. Space4Action trainers must accept that an adult client who discloses domestic abuse is free to make their own choices and decisions, including decisions that we may consider risky or dangerous. When an adult discloses they are being abused, Space4Action may discuss risk with them or encourage them to report, however, reporting or not reporting is their own decision – Space4Action must respect the adult’s wishes and client confidentiality UNLESS the disclosure causes the Space4Action Trainer/Director to believe the person is at risk of harming themselves, another person or that children are at risk of harm. The correct procedure for safeguarding children and young people is covered in the separate Child Protection Policy.
• All victims and survivors of abuse are vulnerable to further harm via victim blaming, judgmental treatment, inappropriate counselling, advice that is not risk-aware, inappropriate client-trainer relationships or imbalance of power and abuse of power within the client-trainer relationship. Space4Action Directors and Training Facilitators must be mindful to inform and empower, not counsel, criticize or blame. Space4Action Directors and Trainers will challenge victim blaming or blame-laden language when they see it.
• Course attendees and Workplace Champions trained by Space4Action will be trained to understand, respond and refer. Space4Action Trainers will always make it clear that the role of workplace champion (or other championing of the DA cause within the workplace) is NOT the role of counsellor.
• Domestic Abuse Training must be informed by research, accurate information/statistics and current best practice, including best Safeguarding practice. Space4Action Directors and Trainers will prioritise keeping abreast of current research, addressing their own CPD, and attending further training and development opportunities and DA Conferences.
This policy applies to all Directors, Trainers and anyone working or training on behalf of Space4Action.
• Space4Action Directors and Trainers are not counsellors or advisers and Space4Action does not provide counselling. This also applies to the Workplace Champions trained by Space4Action – Champions or other trainees are trained to listen and to sign post only.
• Space4Action Trainers and the individuals that they train will not tell victims of abuse what decision they should make: they will help make the person aware of options, and they will support a person whatever their decision is, endeavouring to maximise support and minimise risk wherever possible.
• Space4Action is primarily an awareness raising and training service, it does not undertake direct victim work.
• Space4Action Directors and Trainers will be aware of their own vulnerabilities, maintaining appropriate boundaries with clients and/subject matter to maintain their own health and well-being, and knowing when to seek advice.
• Space4Action Directors and Trainers should be mindful of setting boundaries and maintaining relationships with clients that are professional, not intimate.
• Space4Action promotes transparency and professionalism in all it does. Space4Action welcomes questions and the raising of concerns, these will be addressed/investigated in a positive, committed manner towards the improvement of the service and the better safeguarding of individuals.
We will seek to safeguard clients by:
• valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
• following a Code of Conduct
• sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know.
• providing effective and transparent management through supervision, support and training.
We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.
If someone tells you that they, or someone they know, is being abused:
• Believe what the person is saying and take it seriously.
• Do not promise to keep secrets. Allegations of harm or potential harm, particularly if harm to a child, must be acted upon.
• Respect client confidentiality. Do not share suspicions or information with any other person other than Space4Action Directors and police/social services/other agency on a need to know basis.
• Safeguarding disclosures and any decisions made in relation to these must be recorded in a timely manner (as immediately after the disclosure or decision as possible), accurately, and where possible/appropriate, recording the person’s own words.
• Any such documentation must be stored securely, in a dedicated, secure file, where access is strictly limited to relevant staff and external professionals on a need to know basis. The Space4Action Data Protection Policy should be followed. Further advice may be sought from the IoM Information Commissioner.
• Safe Working Practice
• Record in writing all relevant incidents or disclosures.
• Work in an open and transparent way.
• Ensure all training or awareness raising events begin with a “health warning” – ensure clients know they are free to leave the room at any time.
• If possible, have someone available to check on the welfare of any person who leaves the room in such circumstances.
• Ensure that the training event is a safe, supportive and confidential environment – ensure that all trainees know that personal examples or disclosures made by fellow course attendees are confidential and “stay in the room”.
• Discuss and report any incidents of concern or incidents that might lead to concerns being raised about your conduct.
• Dress appropriately for your role.
• Only use e-mail, social media and phone contact within safe and professional boundaries.
• Where physical contact is essential for educational or safety reasons, gain the client/trainee’s permission.
• Take any action that would lead a reasonable person to question your motivation and/or intentions.
• Misuse in any way your position of power and influence over clients.
• Use any confidential information to intimidate, humiliate or embarrass.
• Engage in activities out of the workplace/training or other professional/public setting that might compromise your position with Space4Action.
• Establish or seek to establish social contact with clients outside of the Space4Action training and professional setting.
• Accept or give personal gifts to clients or trainees.
• Give your home address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal details to clients.
• Abuse your position of trust.
• Allow boundaries to be unsafe.
All Directors or people with responsibility for Training within Space4Action will have read and be aware of this Safeguarding Policy and the Child Protection Policies and Procedures, and will have training in Safeguarding and Adult Protection. Directors and Trainers will be responsible for their own CPD and will attend courses, conferences and development opportunities as frequently as possible. As a training provider, Space4Action understands the need for its own Trainers to be trained, qualified, abreast with current developments/research and equipped to deliver high quality, well-informed, risk-aware training.
• Safe Recruitment
When recruiting, Space4Action should make explicit reference to the commitment of the organisation to Safeguarding, and provide information about the Safeguarding Policy to applicants.
The selection process should:
• Comply with Vetting & Barring regulations.
• Always have a minimum of two people checking for any concerns and exploring them during interview.
• Ensure that any concerns arising from the applicant’s two (2) references or inconsistencies in any other information provided, are followed up and resolved.
• During interview, seek to explore the applicant’s attitudes, their motivation for pursuing the role, their understanding of Safeguarding, their ability to manage boundaries, and their commitment to Space4Action’s Mission and Values.
• Monitoring Arrangements:
This policy and procedure will be reviewed annually.