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Safeguarding Policy

Policy Statement

Safeguarding means protecting people in our organisation or people we come into contact with from inappropriate behaviour as well as from abuse or financial harm. We recognise that everyone who works for us and everyone we come into contact with could be vulnerable at some point or in some situations.

Partnership for Children believe all children, young people and vulnerable adults, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, ethnic origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse, and must be listened to, treated with respect and taken seriously, so that each situation can be fully evaluated and staff can act in their best interests.

Partnership for Children staff member responsible for safeguarding is the Chief Executive of PfC.

For the purposes of this policy, the term ‘children’ will be used below but all references to children will refer to and apply to young people and vulnerable adults also. The term ‘staff’ refers to staff, volunteers and trustees.

Staff checks

Partnership for Children staff do not regularly come into contact with children during the course of their work. Where staff do come into contact with children, this is through visits to schools which are always conducted in the presence of Teachers or other school staff.

All staff who visit schools or meet with children must have read the Partnership for Children Child Protection Briefing Sheet and will be made aware of the procedures laid out in the Policy, which must be followed when necessary to ensure that prompt, appropriate and effective help is given to children, young people and vulnerable adults and their families.

Should the nature of staff roles change and contact with children become more likely, staff may be required to undertake an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. What counts as ‘regular contact’ and therefore the requirement for a DBS check will be judged on a case by case basis dependent on the nature of the role.

Staff DBS checks, where required, must be renewed every 3 years. A record of DBS certificate dates of issue for all staff will be kept and reminders issued when they are due for renewal.

Recruitment and induction

Staff inductions will include discussion of this policy and responsible staff. All new staff will be given access to Partnership for Children’s policies electronically.

All staff will be alerted when any changes are made to the policy.

Guidance for staff dealing with concerns about abuse

Signs and symptoms of abuse

Some signs and symptoms are common to all forms of abuse – for example low self-esteem. Clusters of possible indicators are particularly important as is duration, intensity and frequency of signs and symptoms.

Physical marks can include hand slap marks, grip marks, bruising in unusual places, black eyes (although these can often be the result of accidents), burns and scalds in unusual positions or in a definite shape, bite marks, multiple or factures of varying ages.

Poisoning, such as making a child take alcohol or medicine may also be noted.

Poor physical care, including inadequate hygiene; inappropriate dress, constant hunger and lack of attention to medical needs may indicate neglect.

Possible behavioural indicators of abuse include a fear of adults generally or certain adults, poor peer relationships and inability to make friends, aggression and acting out, social isolation and withdrawal, pseudo maturity, frozen awareness (a lack of expression and watchfulness), detachment, sleep disturbance, running away, eating disorders, low attainment or sudden drop in school performance, self destructive behaviour, including substance abuse.

The signs and symptoms you note may not indicate abuse but you may have one piece of the jigsaw which is important when added to other people’s information. Some children who are being abused may not show any obvious signs or symptoms.

Steps in dealing with disclosure

It is highly unlikely that a disclosure will be made to a visiting Partnership for Children staff member, trustee or volunteer. However, should this occur, remember to:

  • Be accessible and receptive.
  • Listen carefully and ask open, non-specific questions to clarify.
  • Keep questions to a minimum and never lead the child, young person or vulnerable adult as leading questions may invalidate their testimony in court.
  • Use the words that the child, young person or vulnerable adult uses.
  • Take what they say seriously e.g. “this is very serious, I’m sad this has happened to you”.
  • Reassure them that they are right to tell, eg. “I’m glad you told me. That was the right thing to do”.
  • React calmly as over-reacting can frighten them and compound feelings of fault.
  • Check out your understanding with the child, young person or vulnerable adult of what has happened if you are not clear what they are telling you.
  • Tell them that they are not to blame. Children are the victims of abuse, never the cause.• Explain what will happen next as clearly as possible.
  • Tell them that you are going to get help for them and their family.
  • Prepare them for the fact that you must involve others. They will possibly be interviewed by the police and a social worker and may need a medical examination to check that they are okay.
  • Explain that you cannot personally protect them, but you will support them in telling the right people to make sure it does not happen again and that you will have to tell someone else.
  • Write down details of your conversation with the young person or vulnerable adult immediately to ensure details of the conversation are not forgotten.

Report the disclosure to the teacher or member of staff responsible for your visit, at the time of your visit or within 24 hours. Ask that they follow their Child Protection policy to follow up on your statement. Include in the report:

  • Date and time
  • Your name
  • The name (and date of birth if you know it) of the victim
  • As many contact details as possible for the person (names of family members, addresses, telephone numbers)
  • Nature of the concern (record what has been said to you by the child). Use their own words. Be accurate and be sure to distinguish fact from opinion. Note what you have observed directly (for instance behaviour or injuries). Note the names of any witnesses.
  • Name of the alleged abuser

You must also inform the staff member responsible for safeguarding, Wendy Tabuteau, that a report has been made to the school.

Concerns about abuse without a disclosure

If you discover a child who has unexplained or inconsistent injuries or shows signs of neglect or emotional abuse, you should:

  • Inform the Teacher or staff member for your visit and ask that they follow their Child Protection policy or inform the school’s designated safeguarding staff member directly.
  • Inform the staff member responsible for safeguarding, Wendy Tabuteau, that a report has been made to the school.
  • Always keep a record of concerns and what action you took. (These should be confidential except for consultation with the designated leader).
  • Note any differences between an injury and the account of how it happened or conflicting versions of events and be aware of possible differences between children from different cultural backgrounds in the way symptoms may be communicated.

If you have any concerns that the school is not or may not be following their Child Protection policy, please use the contacts below to report your concerns.

Suspected abuse by a staff member or volunteer

Any suspicion that a child has been abused by a member of staff should be treated seriously and reported to the person responsible for safeguarding, Wendy Tabuteau, within 24 hours, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child and any other person who may be at risk from this person.

If the person responsible for Safeguarding is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the Chair of Trustees.

Advice should be sought from the Local Authority Designated Officer within 48 hours. No further investigation must be carried out until that advice has been received.

Internal enquiries and suspension

The person responsible for Safeguarding, Wendy Tabuteau, will refer to the Trustees who will make a decision within 24 hours about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended from working with children, pending further enquiries.

In cases that are referred to the police and/or social services, all Partnership for Children staff, trustees and volunteers must assist with their enquiries, including carrying out an internal enquiry if instructed by the authorities. Internal enquiries will be completed within 28 working days.

The welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults should always remain paramount.


Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need-to-know basis only and should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people in line with data protection laws. This includes the following people:

  • The Trustees of Partnership for Children.
  • The parents/carer of the person who is alleged to have been abused.
  • The person making the allegation.
  • Social Services/police.
  • The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child).


For concerns about a child in Kingston contact Kingston Council’s Single Point of Access team on 020 8770 5000 (opening hours are 8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday) Out of hours contact the Duty Social Worker on 020 8770 5000.

NSPCC can be contacted for advice on 0800 800 500 if the child in another local authority area.

If a child is in immediate danger call 999.

Use of photographs and/or video

Permission in the format of a signed form must be obtained from parents/carers of children (or responsible teachers/leaders of the group) before any photographs or videos are taken of individual children. Verbal consent must be obtained from parents/ carers when images are taken at public events organised by Partnership for Children. All photographic and video materials should be kept in a secure place and used solely for the purpose that they were obtained, unless subsequent written permission has been obtained.


This policy will be reviewed annually by the Trustees, following consultation of Child Protection experts or the latest legislation and best practice guides. If significant changes to working practices means that staff are to have regular or unsupervised contact with children this policy will be reviewed within three months of that change.

Issues arising concerning the performance of the organisation against this policy and / or any changes in law or policy relating to Child Protection will be discussed with staff in staff meetings and, where appropriate, further discussed at the board meetings.


  • Child: A child is defined as up to and including the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).• Young Person: The term acknowledges that individuals, e.g. 16- or 17-year-olds may not consider themselves as children and are often referred to as young people.
  • Vulnerable Adult: Persons aged 18 or over who are or who may be in need of community care services because of mental or other disability, age or illness, and who are or who may be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.
  • Physical Abuse: May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating. Also includes Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, whereby a parent feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health in a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
  • Emotional Abuse: Persistent emotional ill-treatment which is likely to cause serious harm to a child, young person or vulnerable adult’s emotional development. May involve conveying that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate and cause them to feel frightened, in danger, be exploited or corrupted.
  • Sexual Abuse: Forcing or enticing a child, young person or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, whether or not they are aware of what is happening. May involve physical contact, penetrative or non-penetrative acts, also includes involving them in watching pornographic material or watching sexual acts.
  • Neglect: The persistent failure to meet a child, young person or vulnerable adult’s basic physical and/or psychological need, which is likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development. May involve a parent or carer failing to provide food, shelter and clothing, or a failure to protect from physical harm and danger or allow access to medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, their basic emotional needs.