Our Safeguarding Policy
Our Approach To Keeping Children Safe
As a charity working to advance education and promote racial harmony, how we act is just as important as what we do. Our mission is to allow people to thrive regardless of their background and we’re committed to protecting the welfare of the children and young people that we work with. This policy applies to all aspects of our work and to everyone working with us or on our behalf.
What does safeguarding mean?
Safeguarding children is defined in ‘Working together to safeguard children’ statutory guidance as:
protecting children from maltreatment
preventing impairment of children’s health or development
ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
Recruitment of Trustees, Volunteers and Service Providers Working With Children
Open Palm carries out safe recruitment checks on everyone who works with or for us. Roles as a Trustee require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Disclosure Scotland check before the individual joins us. Any role involving working with children directly will also require a DBS check or uninterrupted supervision by a DBS-checked adult. Many individuals will be subject to enhanced checks, such as a check of social media and references, because their role may bring them into regular contact with children.
Anyone working with Open Palm will need to show an understanding of safeguarding that is relevant to their particular role. All Trustees must complete safeguarding training on a regular basis.
Expectations of Our Trustees, Volunteers and Service Providers Working With Children
Everyone working with or for Open Palm has a responsibility to familiarise themselves with this safeguarding policy and the procedures that go with it. They must maintain a proper focus on the safety and welfare of children in all aspects of their work.
Anyone who works with or for Open Palm must inform their main contact at Open Palm if they or any adult living in their household become(s) the subject of an allegation involving a safeguarding concern or abuse against a child or vulnerable adult. If anyone is in doubt whether the situation or allegation is relevant they should:
seek advice from their main contact at Open Palm
Any allegations of misconduct towards children and/or vulnerable adults towards those working for or with Open Palm will result in an immediate suspension, pending further investigation and pending the final conclusion of the allegation.
Open Palm is committed to ensuring that everyone who works for or with us understands their safeguarding responsibilities and keeps their knowledge up to date. All Trustees and anyone working with Open Palm will need to show an understanding of safeguarding that is relevant to their particular role.
There will also be regular safeguarding training for Trustees including on specific areas of risk and safeguarding practice.
Acting on Safeguarding Concerns
No one working for Open Palm should investigate concerns about individual children, young people or vulnerable adults who are or may be being abused or who are at risk. However, this does not mean that we should do nothing when we learn of a concern. We all have a responsibility to make sure that concerns about children and vulnerable adults are passed to the agency that can help them without delay.
If anyone is concerned that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of being abused or neglected, they should not ignore their suspicions and should not assume that someone else will take action to protect that person.
Concerns about children should be referred to the children’s social care department of the local authority where the child lives. Similarly, concerns about vulnerable adults should be referred to local authority adult services.
If anyone working for or with Open Palm is in any doubt about what to do, they should consult an Open Palm Trustee.
Anyone working for Open Palm who has concerns about the behaviour of anyone working for or with Open Palm must always raise this with a Trustee as quickly as possible.
Continuously Learning and Improving
We are determined to keep improving our knowledge and understanding of how best to protect children and young people. We will review our own practice regularly to check that we are placing the right emphasis on safeguarding in our work.
We will carry out in-depth reviews of our actions in cases where children suffer serious harm while under the care of organisations or charities that we work with, and where these cases raise questions about Open Palm’s practice that need to be examined. The main purpose of the reviews is to learn lessons about when our systems need to improve to protect children better in future. We will also promote a culture in which we are able to highlight and review near-misses to learn and improve our practice.