Safeguarding Code of Behaviour for all staff
- Staff should not spend excessive amounts of time alone with children and vulnerable adults, away from others. Meetings with individual children and vulnerable adults on your own should be avoided or take place within sight of others. If privacy is needed, the door should remain open and other staff should be aware of the meeting.
- Staff are advised not to make unnecessary physical contact with children and vulnerable adults. However, there may be occasions when physical contact is unavoidable, eg providing comfort at times of distress. In all such cases contact should only take place with the consent of the child or vulnerable adult and in a public area.
- Where taxis are used they should be a company registered with the local authority as then they would normally be CRB checked and trained.
- Staff should not meet children and vulnerable adults socially outside of the work environment
- Staff should not start an investigation or question anyone after an allegation or concern has been raised. This is the job of the authorities. You should record the facts and report these to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- Staff should never –
- Initiate or engage in sexually provocative conversations or activity
- Allow the use of inappropriate language to go unchallenged
- Do things of a personal nature for children and vulnerable adults that they can do themselves
- Allow any allegations made by a child or vulnerable adult go without being reported and addressed
- Trivialise or exaggerate child or vulnerable adult abuse issues
- Make promises to keep any disclosure confidential from relevant authorities.
- Staff should not show favouritism to any one child or vulnerable adult, nor should they issue or threaten any form of physical punishment.
- Staff must respect children and vulnerable adults’ rights to privacy and encourage children and vulnerable adults to feel comfortable enough to report attitudes or behaviour they do not like
- Staff will be expected to act with discretion with regards to their personal relationships. They should ensure their personal relationships do not affect their leadership role within the organisation. All pre-existing relationships between staff and children and vulnerable adults must be declared e.g. Family member who is attending college
- All staff should be aware of the procedures for reporting concerns or incidents, and should familiarise themselves with the contact details of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
- If a member of staff finds himself or herself the subject of inappropriate affection or attention from a child or vulnerable adult, they should make others aware of this.
- If a member of staff has any concerns relating to the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult in their care, be it concerns about actions/behaviours of another staff member or concerns based on any conversation with the child or vulnerable adult; particularly where the child or vulnerable adult makes an allegation, they should report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Procedure for responding to an allegation of abuse
This procedure must be followed whenever an allegation is made that a child or vulnerable adult has been abused or when there is a suspicion that a child or vulnerable adult has been abused.
Do not make promises regarding confidentiality. Explain to the person at the outset that you will need to report the disclosure and share the information with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will, where possible respect the wishes of the individual; however, information will be shared with external agencies where it is judged that a person is at risk of suffering significant harm.
The member of staff or learner who has concerns about possible abuse or neglect contacts the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible for advice and support. A record of the incident or concern should be made on the Incident Report Form. If the complainant is the child or vulnerable adult him/herself, questions should be kept to the minimum necessary to understand what is being alleged and leading questions should be avoided. The use of leading questions can cause problems for the subsequent investigation and court proceedings.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead must report the matter to the local Social Services Department as a matter of urgency whether or not they feel this action is justified in the particular circumstances of the case. The matter will be reported over the telephone to the duty social worker, or such other person as required. In the unlikely event that social services cannot be reached contact the relevant police child protection team for the area.
A written record of the report will be retained by the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The written record will note the date and time of the report and must include the name and position of the person to whom the matter is reported. The Designated Safeguarding Lead should discuss with the Social Services Department what action will be taken to inform the parents/guardian of the child or vulnerable adult and a note of that conversation should be made.
Allegations against a member of staff
In the event there is any suspicion, allegation or apparent abuse of a child or vulnerable adult by a member of staff the matter should be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible.
On being notified of any such matter the Designated Safeguarding Lead will:
- Take such steps as they consider necessary to ensure the safety of the child or vulnerable adult in question.
- Liaise with the person who reported the original concern and ensure that a report of the matter is completed.
- Report the matter to the local social service department in accordance with the procedure set out above if not already done so.
If the Designated Safeguarding Lead is the subject of the allegation or complaint the matter must be reported direct to the Service Manager. If a complaint has been made against the Service Manager, the matter must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
All staff should be aware of the fact that allegations may be made against them, and that the allegation may have grounds for substantiation or not. Any such notification may result in immediate suspension of the member of staff and may result in the application of Newcastle City Council’s disciplinary procedure where it is considered appropriate.
Julie A Hickin
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Newcastle City Learning
Children, Education and Skills Directorate
Newcastle City Council
Westgate Community College
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 2773502