Children and Vulnerable Adults’ Safeguarding Policy
These procedures have been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of any children or vulnerable adults who may engage with Harpsden Parish Council (“HPC”).
HPC is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and vulnerable adults.
The policy outlines the roles and responsibilities of HPC’s officers, members, volunteers and employees in relation to the protection of children and vulnerable adults with whom they may come into contact. In the context of child protection, “children” refers to anyone less than 18 years of age. And in the context of vulnerable adult protection “vulnerable adults” refers to individuals aged 18 years or more who need care and support (whether or not these are currently being met) and/or are experiencing, or are at risk of, abuse or neglect, and as a result of those needs are unable to look after themselves. The definition includes adults with physical, sensory and mental impairments and learning disabilities whether present from birth or due to advancing age, chronic illness or injury. Also included are people with a mental illness, dementia or other memory impairments and people who misuse substances or alcohol.
This is based on, and reflects, the principles of both UK legislation and guidance and HPC’s other relevant policies and procedures. The approach has been developed in such a way as to be consistent with ‘Best Practice’ within the field of child and vulnerable adult protection. The key principles are:
- The welfare of the child or vulnerable adult is the paramount consideration.
- All children and vulnerable adults, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief and sexual identity have a right to protection from harm or abuse.
It is the responsibility of all HPC officers, members, volunteers and employees to promote the protection of children and vulnerable adults. In following the policy officers, members, volunteers and employees are always expected to maintain a sense of proportion, apply common sense to situations and protect the child’s and vulnerable adult’s welfare as a priority.
It is also HPC’s duty to ensure that officers, members, volunteers and employees are not placed in situations where abuse might be alleged.
HPC undertakes to:
- Treat children and vulnerable adults with care, respect and dignity.
- Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of children and vulnerable adults.
- Recognise that HPC’s officers, members, volunteers and employees may be perceived by children and vulnerable adults as trusted representatives of HPC and HPC therefore requires all officers, members, volunteers and employees to adopt and abide by this Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy.
- Ensure communication with children and vulnerable adults is open and clear.
- Fully assess the risks to children and vulnerable adults of its activities.
If a situation arises where an officer, member, volunteer or employee will be directly involved with children or vulnerable adults and where, because of the nature of such involvement, full disclosure is a requirement, HPC will submit an application via an organisation registered for this purpose with the Disclosure and Barring Service (“DBS”). HPC is committed to working within best practice as established by the DBS and recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse or neglect. Officers, members, volunteers and employees who, through their involvement with HPC, have contact with children or adults at risk and hear disclosures or allegations or have concerns about potential abuse or neglect have a duty to pass them on appropriately.
Any person who discloses (whether prior to or subsequent to a DBS disclosure) that they have been convicted of any offence relating to children and/or vulnerable adults and/or are subject to any disciplinary action or sanction (criminal or otherwise) relating to children or vulnerable adults will not be permitted volunteer with or be employed by HPC.