Good Things Foundation are committed to the belief that the protection of vulnerable individuals from harm and abuse is everybody’s responsibility.
Good Things Foundation is committed to the belief that the protection of vulnerable individuals from harm and abuse is everybody’s responsibility and the aim of these Procedures is to ensure that all staff, trustees, volunteers, agency workers, contractors and our network centre delivery partners act appropriately in response to any safeguarding concerns. These procedures have been written based on the facts that:
1. that we do not currently work with young people under 18 (although we have worked very occasionally with families) and
2. we do not work directly with learners and would only meet with them in person in a few very specific cases set out below.
If this changes, then these policies will need to be updated.
National Digital Inclusion Network
Good Things Foundation provides, through the National Digital Inclusion Network, multiple services to a wide variety of individuals on a day to day basis.
These Procedures have therefore been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of all staff, volunteers, visitors and learners at these centres, as well as our own premises.
Membership of the National Digital Inclusion Network is voluntary and free and members are wholly independent entities. Most organisations within the network work directly with adults, including adults at risk of harm. Some organisations also support and host activities for children and young people, although we do not fund them to do this.
For the purposes of these procedures, a child is a person under the age of 18. This is in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which defines a child as everyone under 18 unless, “under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier” (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1989). The UK has ratified this convention.
As defined by the NSPCC Adult at Risk Policy, an adult at risk of harm is:
is a person aged 18 or over, whose exposure to harm through abuse, exploitation or neglect may be increased by their:
a) Personal characteristics which may include, but are not limited to, age, disability, special educational needs, illness, mental or physical frailty or impairment of, or disturbance in, the functioning of the mind or brain. and/or
b) Life circumstances which may include, but are not limited to, isolation, socio-economic factors and environmental living conditions
With this in mind we aim to:
Work with members of the network to ensure best practices on safeguarding;
Ensure the provision of a safe environment compliant with safeguarding best practices in all cases where our staff, board members, volunteers, etc. may come into contact with any individual that has been involved with the National Digital Inclusion Network and/or our projects, services and online materials, who might be classified as vulnerable at that stage.
Ensuring a safe environment
Members of the National Digital Inclusion Network will be responsible for ensuring a safe environment for all their employees, volunteers, learners, visitors.. All employees and volunteers at the organisation must be able to demonstrate an understanding of their responsibilities surrounding safeguarding. We can encourage and support this via sharing good practice.
Good Things Foundation will be responsible for ensuring a safe working environment for all its employees, trustees, volunteers, contractors and visitors, and will be supported in doing so by its Human Resources department.
Expectations of staff and contractors
Everyone working with and/or for Good Things Foundation has a responsibility to familiarise themselves with these safeguarding procedures and to take a proactive approach to safeguarding issues.
As part of our compliance with safeguarding legislation and best practice, we will do a safeguarding risk assessment at the outset of every project. This will help us identify any potential risks that we would need to mitigate.
Good Things Foundation will aim to provide all staff and volunteers with an induction training on safeguarding matters through Skillcast online training modules. We will also assess our knowledge and practices annually and provide additional training and awareness to all of our staff and volunteers.
Good Things Foundation is committed to putting measures in place to reduce the likelihood of abuse taking place within its organisation and its partner network and to ensure that all those involved within our organisation will be treated with respect.
We are committed to safer recruitment policies and practices for paid staff, trustees and volunteers. This will include DBS disclosure checks for staff and volunteers, ensuring references are taken up and adequate training on safeguarding is provided.
Where we work with other organisations we will ensure that they adopt best practice in personal safety and well-being for vulnerable individuals.
We will encourage members of the network to support learners in taking a proactive approach to safeguarding issues.
We will exercise our right to ensure that members of the network have suitable safeguarding procedures and processes by inspecting their safeguarding documentation if we enter into a contract with them.
Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse
Abuse includes, but is not limited to:
- physical abuse, such as hitting, slapping, punching, burning, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint;
- sexual abuse, such as including rape, indecent assault, inappropriate touching, exposure to pornographic material;
- online abuse, such as cyber bullying, online grooming, cyber- or e-stalking, revenge porn, doxing, malicious impersonation;
- psychological or emotional abuse, such as belittling, name calling, threats of harm, intimidation, isolation;
- financial or material abuse, such as stealing, selling assets, fraud, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits;
- neglect and acts of omission, such as withholding medication, food or warmth, ignoring medical or physical care needs;
- discriminatory abuse, such as racism, sexism, discrimination based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment;
- institutional or organisational, such as unsafe practices, lack of person-centred care or treatment.
Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly. It may be a single act or repeated acts. People who behave abusively come from all backgrounds. They may be relatives, friends, neighbours or people who use the same services as the person experiencing abuse.
Responding to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse
We acknowledge that taking action in cases of abuse is never easy, but there are ways to respond if you receive an allegation of abuse, in particular:
- Reassure the person concerned
- Listen to what they are saying
- Record what you have been told as soon as possible
- Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief
- Tell them that the information will be treated seriously
- Do not start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions
- Do not promise to keep any relevant information a secret
- Make a referral to the appropriate authority if necessary
If you witness abuse or abuse has just taken place the priorities are as follows:
- To seek medical attention (if required)
- To call the police (if required)
- To keep yourself, and those with and around you safe
- To preserve evidence
- To inform the Designated Safeguarding Officer in your organisation
- To make a record of the incident
- Make a referral to the appropriate authority if necessary
Escalation and referrals
Where a network member provides direct delivery of a service, they will be expected to have suitable escalation and referral procedures in cases where the relevant safeguarding local authority needs to be informed of an incident.
Any safeguarding referrals outside Sheffield will be made to the relevant local safeguarding authority.
Steps to implementing these procedures
- Good Things Foundation will:
- Comply with all relevant legislation and work in cooperation with other agencies to ensure the safety and welfare of our employees, volunteers, and visitors.
- Pass on concerns or allegations of abuse promptly to the appropriate agency.
- Not knowingly employ any person who has a conviction for the abuse of a child or a vulnerable adult.
- Carry out any relevant background checks, if necessary,
- Reserve the right to refuse to enrol any person who has a conviction for the abuse of a child or a vulnerable adult.
- Publicise our safeguarding policy widely, and provide all staff with training on how to implement it.
- Designate a named person and a deputy with clearly defined roles and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
- Ensure that the safeguarding policy is a living document and is used to inform our delivery and practice when undertaking any direct delivery out in the network, including training.
- Outline a code of conduct for all staff, trustees and volunteers.
- Provide an open and well-publicised complaints procedure so that concerns about unacceptable and/or abusive behaviour can be voiced. Please find our Complaints Procedure here.
- Provide opportunities for all staff to learn about safeguarding in accordance with their role and responsibilities, including the provision of training to new staff and an annual review of safeguarding policies within the organisation.
- Manage any allegations against its staff via its Disciplinary policy and procedures.
Grants provided to our network delivery partners are conditional on the latter’s obligation to:
- Have, and follow, their own Safeguarding Policies, Procedures, and Code of Conduct in place and follow best practices in safeguarding
- Have appropriate incident reporting forms that are accessible to staff/volunteers
- Have their Safeguarding Policy clearly displayed on their premises, and provide a notice to the effect of being committed to safeguarding
- Pass on concerns or allegations of abuse promptly to the appropriate authority
- Not knowingly employ any person who has a conviction for the abuse of a child or a vulnerable adult
- Promptly act upon and report any allegation of abuse that may be made against a member of staff
- Always act to protect its learners, employees and volunteers from abuse or exploitation
- Work with the appropriate referral and support agencies
- Provide a process for recording incidents, concerns and referrals and store these securely in compliance with relevant legislation
- Provide guidance on confidentiality and information sharing that complies with relevant legislation and that clearly states that the protection of the child or vulnerable adult is the most important consideration
- Conduct safe recruitment, selection and vetting procedures that include checks into the eligibility and the suitability of all staff and volunteers who have direct or indirect (e.g. helpline or email) contact with potentially vulnerable learners
- Provide systems to ensure that all staff and volunteers working with children and adults at risk of harm are monitored and supervised
- Provide opportunities for all staff and volunteers to learn about safeguarding in accordance with their role and responsibilities, including mandatory training where appropriate
Designated named persons for safeguarding adults
Good Things Foundation has appointed two individuals responsible for dealing with any safeguarding concerns, the Safeguarding Officer and the Deputy Safeguarding Officer. These individuals will be responsible for managing the escalation of all safeguarding reports, keeping secure and contemporaneous records in all cases, and, if necessary, making the appropriate referral to the relevant local authority.
Anyone wishing to raise an issue may do so with either Safeguarding Officer. We encourage members of the network to appoint their own safeguarding officers in the same manner.
The Designated Safeguarding Officers within Good Things Foundation are:
Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer
The roles and responsibilities of the DSOs are:
- To ensure that all staff, volunteers,trustees are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they have concerns that an individual may be experiencing, or has experienced abuse or neglect;
- To follow up any referrals and ensure the issues have been addressed;
- To reinforce the utmost need for confidentiality and to ensure that staff and volunteers are adhering to good practice with regard to confidentiality and security;
- To communicate to our network delivery partners their safeguarding responsibilities
If a safeguarding issue is raised with the DSOs, they shall:
- Gather information from the affected person(s);
- Contact the police if a criminal offence has taken place;
- Consider a plan of action based on the information collected;
- Engage Human Resources in the process if required;
- Report any investigations to the Chief Executive with regards to keeping the confidentiality of the people affected
Learning and improving
We are determined to keep improving our knowledge and understanding of best practices in safeguarding. We encourage our network delivery partners to do the same.
We are committed to reviewing our safeguarding procedures annually.
Last reviewed: July 2023
Next review: July 2024