LIGHTHOUSE CENTRAL SAFEGUARDING POLICY

Updated: 4th  June 2021

Definitions

Throughout this policy, the term ‘Lighthouse’ shall be taken to mean, collectively:

Lighthouse Beaconsfield                    Registered Charity No. 1151896
Lighthouse Bletchley South               Registered Charity No 1187747
Lighthouse Bourne End                      Registered Charity No 1180779
Lighthouse Burnham                           Registered Charity No. 1182190
Lighthouse Cressex                             Registered Charity No. 1183476
Lighthouse Hazlemere,                       Registered Charity No. 1178562
Lighthouse High Wycombe                Registered Charity No. 1114541
Lighthouse Langley                              Registered Charity No 1181000
Lighthouse Mansfield                          Registered Charity No. 1164680
Lighthouse Marlow                              Registered Charity No. 1178062
Lighthouse Princes Risborough         Registered Charity No. 1178119
Lighthouse Shelswell                           Registered Charity No 118765
Lighthouse Central                              Registered Charity No. 1169839

These charities share a common administration system and database.  Applicants may transfer between Lighthouses at any time.  Data including DBS Disclosure information that is shared is done so under GDPR regulations.

This Safeguarding Policy has been written in line with the NSPCC recommendations (NSPCC (2019) NSPCC safeguarding and child protection standards for the voluntary and community sector: children, young people and young adults aged 0-18 (UK). London: NSPCC)  and the BSCP Multi-Agency Information Sharing Code of Practice. (Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (BSCP) replaced the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board in 2019)

Lighthouse has a separate DBS Policy that should be read in conjunction with this Policy document and includes our policy on the Recruitment of Ex-offenders  and Secure Storage, Handling, Use, Retention & Disposal of Disclosures and Disclosure Information.

This Safeguarding Policy covers:

  1. Opening Statement
  2. Legal Framework
  3. Supporting Documents
  4. Overview
  5. Role of Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
  6. Dealing with an allegation of abuse
  7. Reporting a Concern
  8. Vulnerable Adults
  9. Photography of children on site
  10. DBS Policy

1.            Opening Statement

Lighthouse recognise the importance of our ministry with children and young people in need of protection and our responsibility to protect everyone entrusted to our care.  We are fully committed to safeguarding and protecting their welfare.

Lighthouse recognises its duty of care to safeguard children and young people as detailed under the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 and Working together to safeguard children (Department for Education, 2018)

The purpose of this policy statement is:

  • to protect children and young people who receive Lighthouse services from harm
  • to provide volunteers, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection

This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Lighthouse including the board of trustees, paid staff and volunteers

2.            Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England.  A summary of the key legislation is available from https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-protection-system/england

 3.            Supporting documents

This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies, procedures, guidance and other related documents available in the Toolbox on our website:  https://lighthousecentral.org/lighthouse-toolbox.

  • Role description for the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
  • Code of conduct for volunteers: Believe, Belong Behave
  • Child Behaviour Management Policy
  • Anti-bullying Policy
  • Complaints Policy & Procedure
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Adult to Child Ratios Policy

4.            Overview

We believe that:

  • the welfare of all children and young people is paramount in all the work we do
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues 
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare
  • we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children, young people (those under 18 years of age) and vulnerable adults and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect
  • all adults should enjoy and have access to every aspect of the life of Lighthouse unless they pose a risk to the safety of those we serve
  • all allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to in a swift and appropriate manner.

We are committed to:

  • Appointing a nominated child protection lead for children and young people at each Lighthouse, a deputy and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding
  • Adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • Exercising proper care in the appointment and selection of all those who will work with children and young people
  • Recording, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance
  • Keeping up to date with and following UK legislation; denominational requirements and good practice recommendations in relation to safeguarding children and young people.
  • Supporting, resourcing, training, monitoring and providing supervision to all those who undertake this work and ensuring that they agree to and follow the agreed procedures of our Safeguarding Policy
  • Ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
  • Building a safeguarding culture where staff and volunteers, children, young people and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.

We recognise that:

  • Social Services (or current equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a vulnerable adult
  • Children’s Social Services (or current equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a child
  • Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed then the police should be contacted as a matter of urgency.

We are committed to using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately

5.            Role of Designated Safeguarding Lead

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Specifically, we will

  • Have a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) at each Lighthouse whose responsibilities include:
    • providing a direct point of contact for any volunteer who has a child protection concern
    • ensuring all concerns are dealt with in a prompt and secure manner, and in line with Lighthouse procedures
    • ensuring that all child protection concerns are recorded and managed in an appropriate manner.  See Section 7 Reporting a Concern

6.            Dealing with an allegation of abuse

 The abuse of children and young people can take many forms.

  • Physical Injury- any injury to a child or young person,
  • Neglect - a failure to meet a child or young person’s basic needs for food, warmth, protection and care.
  • Emotional Abuse -The persistent, severe emotional ill treatment, or rejection, that severely affects the emotional and behavioural development of a child or young person. This can include cyberbullying.
  • Sexual Abuse -The use of a child or young person to meet an adult’s sexual needs.

The most important consideration for all volunteers is to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people in our care. Any allegation of abuse must be taken seriously, and Lighthouse has a duty to report it to the relevant statutory agencies. Allegations may come from a child, or young person, themselves and may relate to abuse from a family member, or someone outside the family that could be a teacher, youth leader, pastor etc. No group of people are exempt from being abusers.

If a child or young person begins to tell a volunteer about abuse, it is VITAL that you do the following:

  • Never promise to keep it a secret and not to tell anyone
  • Listen carefully but do not press for information
  • Reassure the child, or young person, that they have done the right thing by telling someone
  • Complete a Lighthouse Record of Concern Form using the child’s own words
  • Pass the information immediately to the designated Safeguarding Officer. This is confidential information; do not discuss it with anyone else.

Important things to remember

  • It is not the responsibility of Lighthouse to investigate the truth of any allegation. This is the responsibility of the Police, Children’s Social Care and, in some cases, the NSPCC
  • What has been disclosed is very confidential and should only be shared with others on a need-to-know basis. The first person to be told of the abuse may be asked to provide a statement for the Police.
  • After telling of abuse a child or young person can be distressed, frightened and worried about what will happen next. They should be reassured that they have done the right thing and should not be left on their own.

The best interest of the child or young person, and the need for the abuse to stop, comes before the interests of the organisation or the abuser. 

7.            Reporting a Concern

If there is immediate risk of harm to a child, call the Police on 999

Lighthouses in Buckinghamshire:

If you are concerned about a child, call Buckinghamshire Council’s First Response Team on 01296 383962 Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5.30pm Friday 9am to 5pm

If you need an urgent response outside of these hours, contact the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on 0800 999 7677.

They will listen to your concerns and decide on the appropriate course of action.

Email: secure-cypfirstresponse@buckscc.gov.uk

For Allegations against Staff or Volunteers the Buckinghamshire Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is responsible for overseeing the management of all allegations against people in a position of trust who work with children in Buckinghamshire on either a paid or voluntary basis.

For further information about Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) please visit the website www.bucks-lscb.org.uk/parents-carers/allegations-against-staff-or-volunteers-lado.

Lighthouses in Oxfordshire:

If you have a concern about a child in Oxfordshire, and an immediate response from Children’s Social Care is necessary please call MASH on 0345 050 7666.  (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub).

The on line form to supply details is here: https://www2.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/childrens-social-care-request-service-form

Lighthouses in Nottinghamshire:

If you think a child is at risk of abuse, please call MASH on 0300 500 80 80.

Nottinghamshire's Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) operates between the hours of 08:30-17:00 Monday to Thursday and 08:30-16:30 on Friday.

If you require an urgent response outside of these hours, contact the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on  0300 456 4546 The link to the form to report details to MASH is here:

https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/care/safeguarding/childrens-mash/report-a-new-concern-about-a-child

Above all it is important that you talk to someone about this. Don’t ignore your concerns or delay taking action.

8.            Vulnerable Adults

A vulnerable adult is any person aged 18 or over who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself against significant harm or exploitation. This may be because he or she has a mental health problem, a disability, a sensory impairment, is old or frail, or has some form of illness.

9.            Photography of children on site

We live in an age in which digital technology has vastly increased the use, and potential misuse, of photography. Lighthouse seeks the consent of parents for photography/videoing of their child/children during the Lighthouse week and any such images will only be taken by an official photographer.

Any photos and/or video footage is checked by each Lighthouse's Admin team to ensure no child is shown where consent has not been given.

We have a strict policy of no photography/videoing using mobile phones on site. 

10.          DBS Policy

Please refer to the Lighthouse DBS Policy document

An Enhanced DBS check is required for all volunteers aged 16 and over, including Trustees and other management committee members. If a volunteer is not on site at the same time as children (e.g. overnight security, car park attendant, site build up and breakdown) no DBS is required.