Visit from the Stork CIC
Reviewed: August 2023
1.1. This document is the Safeguarding Children Policy for Visit from the Stork CIC which will be followed by all members of the organisation and followed and promoted by those in the position of leadership within the organisation.
1.2. Individual agencies are responsible for ensuring that their employees are competent and confident in carrying out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare.
1.3. The charitable objectives of the organisation are;
- The prevention and relief of poverty for families (all parents, caregivers and dependent children) in Greater Manchester and elsewhere through the provision of (in particular, but not exclusively);
- Family essentials such as nappies, toiletries, baby foods, clothing, toys, equipment and anti- pyretic medicine to babies, children and their parents who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress by reason of their social and/or economic circumstances.
- Household essentials such as beds, carpets, cooking equipment, small items of furniture and safety equipment to parents, caregivers and their children who are in condition of need, hardship or distress by reason of their social and/or economic circumstances.
- The promotion of social inclusion among parents, caregivers and their children who are excluded from society or parts of society due to their social or economic position.
- The advancement, safeguarding and protection of health and wellbeing of parents, caregivers and dependent children through the provision of information, skilled help and support in the antenatal and postnatal period.
1.4. We know that young people can be vulnerable to abuse by adults. The purpose of this policy is to make sure that the actions of any adult in the context of the work carried out by the organisation are transparent and safeguard and promote the welfare of all young people.
1.5. This document is written in accordance with the Salford Safeguarding Standards – (Updated December 2016) , Manchester Safeguarding Standard (updated June 2017), Greater Manchester Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
1.6. Principles upon which the Safeguarding Children Policy is based:
- Children have a right to be safe and should be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect
- Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility
- It is better to help children as early as possible, before issues escalate and become more damaging
- Children and families are best supported and protected when there is a co-ordinated response from all relevant agencies
- Voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, including sports clubs and groups, play an important role in delivering services to children
- Voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations working with children and young people are in a unique position to be able to observe signs of abuse or neglect, or changes in behaviour which may indicate a child may be being abused or neglected.
- Paid and volunteer staff should make sure that they are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect, that they question the behaviour of children and parents/carers and don’t necessarily take what they are told at face value. They should make sure they know where to turn to if they need to ask for help, and refer to children’s social care or to the police, if they suspect that a child is at risk of harm or is in immediate danger (see the section on Taking action for further information).
- “Voluntary, charity, social enterprise (VCSE) and private sector organisations and agencies play an important role in safeguarding children through the services they deliver. Like other organisations and agencies who work with children, they should have appropriate arrangements in place to safeguard and protect children from harm. All practitioners working in these organisations and agencies who are working with children and their families are subject to the same safeguarding responsibilities, whether paid or a volunteer.”
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
2. Safeguarding Children & Young People
This section covers a collection of safeguarding measures which have been designed to safeguard children and young people from harm. They are as follows:
2.1 Safe Recruitment & Selection.
We have a policy and procedure which ensures paid staff and volunteers pass the relevant level of checks according to their role, to keep vulnerable children and adults safe.
All volunteers and staff;
- Complete an application form or a letter of application. This includes address, paid work/voluntary experience, why they want to work/volunteer with us and all unspent criminal convictions.
- Provide identification which confirm both identity and address.
- Provide at least two references which are followed up before a post is offered. One reference is from the last employer or an organisation that has knowledge of the applicant’s work or volunteering with children or young people. If the applicant has not worked with children or young people before, then they should confirm this and give an alternative referee.
In addition, depending on their role, paid staff and volunteers will also;
- Undergo an interview (formal or informal) involving at least two interviewers.
- Consent to a Disclosure and Barring Service check (formally CRB check) at the appropriate level (standard or enhanced). DBS disclosure checks should be approved by a manager and updated every 3 years.
Furthermore the organisation complies with all other safeguarding regulations:
- We understand that a person who is barred from working with children or vulnerable adults is breaking the law if they work or volunteer, or try to work or volunteer with these groups.
- We understand that an organisation which knowingly employs someone who is barred to work with those groups will also be breaking the law.
- We understand that if our organisation dismisses a member of staff or volunteer because they have harmed a child or vulnerable adult, or would have done so if they had not left, we must complete a DBS referral form:
2.2 Management & Support of Paid Staff & Volunteers
- All staff and volunteers are provided with a job description (paid staff) or a role profile (volunteers) outlining their main responsibilities. This includes a requirement to comply with our Safeguarding Policy and procedures and Ground rules for appropriate behaviour.
- All paid staff and volunteers complete a role review at the end of their induction period before being confirmed in post. Inductions will be completed within 12 weeks (3 months.)
- All paid staff are given supervision at least every 6 weeks by their line manager/ Chair of the organisation.
- All volunteers are given regular support sessions. (This may include one to one or group support, mentoring or shadowing opportunities).
- Implements disciplinary and grievance procedures for all paid staff and volunteers, which comply with the ACAS Code of Practice.
- All paid staff and volunteers attend regular ongoing safeguarding training appropriate to their role.
- All paid staff and volunteers receive an induction, which includes information on all the organisation’s policies and procedures.
2.3 Providing Safer Activities and Trips
2.31 Necessary arrangements
- People whose suitability has not been checked, including through a DBS check must not be allowed to have unsupervised contact with children.
- All paid staff and volunteers undertaking specialist roles, (e.g. taking children and young people off site on trips) are provided with appropriate training.
- All activities are risk assessed to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent children and young people being harmed whilst participating in the organisation’s activities.
- Employer’s liability and/or public liability insurance has been taken out to ensure that all activities and services and all people taking part, are covered.
- All activities being provided are properly planned and organised. Planning ensures that the activities are: age‐appropriate, appropriately supervised, take account of staff ratio and use qualified instructors.
- The organisation has a Photography Policy about taking and using photographs of children and young people and a consent form for the use of photographs, filming and interviews, including in our support groups.
We ensure that our transport has:
- Appropriate insurance cover
- Tax MOT
- Appropriate seats (including booster seats and seatbelts)
- A first aid box
- Drivers hold the correct driving license
2.4 Online safety
The welfare of the children/young people who come into contact with our services is paramount and governs our approach to the use and management of electronic communications technologies. Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare and in helping young people to be responsible in their approach to e-safety;
The use of information technology is an essential part of all our lives; it is involved in how we as an organisation gather and store information, as well as how we communicate with each other. It is also an intrinsic part of the experience of our children and young people, and is greatly beneficial to all. However, it can present challenges in terms of how we use it responsibly and, if misused either by an adult or a young person, can be actually or potentially harmful to them.
We will seek to promote e-safety by:
- Appointing an e-safety coordinator (note: this may or may not be the same person as our named person for child protection).
- Developing a range of procedures that provide clear and specific directions to staff and volunteers on the appropriate use of ICT.
- Supporting and encouraging the children and young people using our service to use the opportunities offered by mobile phone technology and the internet in a way that keeps themselves safe and shows respect for others.
- Supporting and encouraging parents and carers to do what they can to keep their children safe online and when using their mobile phones and game consoles.
- Incorporating statements about safe and appropriate ICT use into the codes of conduct both for staff and volunteers and for children and young people.
- Developing an e-safety agreement for use with children, young people and their carers.
- Using our procedures to deal firmly, fairly and decisively with any examples of inappropriate ICT use, complaints or allegations, whether by an adult or a child/young person (these may include breaches of filtering, illegal use, cyberbullying, or use of ICT to groom a child or to perpetrate abuse).
- Informing parents and carers of incidents of concern as appropriate.
- Reviewing and updating the security of our information systems regularly.
- Providing adequate physical security for ICT equipment.
- Ensuring that user names, logins and passwords are used effectively.
- Using only official email accounts provided via the organisation, and monitoring these as necessary.
- Ensuring confidential information sent by emails is sent securely, and depending on the sensitivity of the data, it may need to be encrypted.
(See Appendix One)
- Ensuring that the personal information of staff, volunteers and service users (including service users’ names) are not published on our website.
- Ensuring that images of children, young people and families are used only after their written permission has been obtained, and only for the purpose for which consent has been given.
- Ensuring that any social media tools used in the course of our work with children, young people and families are risk assessed in advance by the member of staff wishing to use them.
- Providing effective management for staff and volunteers on ICT issues, through supervision, support and training including with the Data Protection Act (GDPR).
- Examining and risk assessing any emerging new technologies before they are used within the organisation.
2.4 Ground rules.
We have a set of Ground rules for appropriate behaviour for children and young people, staff and volunteers, and parents/ carers.
Systems are in place and implemented if the Ground rules are broken.
Bullying will not be accepted or condoned. All forms of bullying will be addressed. Bullying can include:
- Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching etc.
- Name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing and emotional torment through ridicule, humiliation and the continual ignoring of individuals.
- Sectarian/racial taunts, graffiti, gestures.
- Sexual comments and/or suggestions.
- Unwanted physical contact.
Children from ethnic minorities, disabled children, young people who are gay or lesbian, or those with learning difficulties are more vulnerable to this form of abuse and may well be targeted.
Everybody has the responsibility to work together to stop bullying – the coach/volunteer, the parent/guardian, the child/young person, Visit from the Stork CIC has a commitment to the early identification of bullying and prompt, collective action to deal with it.
Anyone who reports an incident of bullying will be listened to carefully and be supported, whether it’s the child/young person being bullied or the child/young person who is bullying. A bullying report form will be completed and appropriate action taken.
Any reported incident of bullying will be investigated objectively and will involve listening carefully to all those involved.
Children/young people being bullied will be supported and assistance given to uphold their right to play and live in a safe environment which allows their healthy development.
Those who bully will be supported and encouraged to stop bullying.
2.6 Comments, Compliments & Complaints Policy
We have a written Comments, Compliments & Complaints Policy and procedure so that children and young people, and staff and volunteers can make any necessary comment, compliment or complaint. We also hold copies of these in the volunteers handbook, which young people can refer to at any time.
3. Child Protection
3.1 Immediate Action to Ensure Safety.
Immediate action may be necessary at any stage in involvement with children and families.
IN ALL CASES IT IS VITAL TO TAKE WHATEVER ACTION IS NEEDED TO SAFEGUARD THE CHILD OR CHILDREN CONCERNED i.e.:
- If emergency medical attention is required this can be secured by calling an ambulance (dial 999) or taking a child to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
- If a child is in immediate danger the police should be contacted (dial 999) as they alone have the power to remove a child immediately if protection is necessary, via their powers to use police protection.
3.2 Recognition of Abuse or Neglect.
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
Individuals within the organisation need to be alert to the potential abuse of children both within their families and also from other sources including abuse by members of that organisation.
The organisation should know how to recognise and act upon indicators of abuse or potential abuse involving children and where there are concerns about a child’s welfare. There is an expected responsibility for all members of the organisation to respond to any suspected or actual abuse of a child in accordance with these procedures.
Abuse can take many forms and the following is a summary of the most common forms of child abuse as set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) Appendix A.
3.21 Physical Abuse.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
3.22 Emotional Abuse.
The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the need of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions beyond a child’s development capability, as well as overprotection and limiting of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
3.23 Sexual Abuse.
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual abuse:
- Children who display knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to their age;
- Children who use sexual language or have sexual knowledge that you wouldn’t expect them to have;
- Children who ask others to behave sexually or play sexual games; and
- Children with physical sexual health problems, including soreness in the genital and anal areas, sexually transmitted infections or underage pregnancy.
Further information on Child Sexual Exploitation
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.
3.25 Further information on Preventing Radicalisation
Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of an organisations wider safeguarding duties and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. During the process of radicalisation it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being radicalised.
Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. It can happen in many different ways and settings. Specific background factors may contribute to vulnerability which are often combined with specific influences such as family, friends or online, and with specific needs for which an extremist or terrorist group may appear to provide an answer. The internet and the use of social media in particular has become a major factor in the radicalisation of young people. As with managing other safeguarding risks, staff/volunteers should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
- ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care‐givers)
- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
3.3 Taking Action
There are 4 key steps to follow to help you identify and respond appropriately to possible abuse and or neglect.
It may not always be appropriate to go through all 4 stages sequentially. If a child is in immediate danger or is at harm or risk you should refer to children’s social care and/or the police. Before doing so, you should try to establish the basic facts. However, it is important that you do not ask the child or young person any leading questions as this may have a detrimental impact on any subsequent investigation. It is the sole role of the social workers and the police to investigate cases and make a judgement on whether there is statutory intervention and/or a criminal investigation.
You should record, in writing, all concerns and discussions about a child’s welfare the decisions made and the reasons behind those decisions.
The first step is to be alert to the signs of abuse and neglect, to have read this document.
3.3 When You Must Not Discuss Your Concerns with Parents/Carers.
It is good practice to be as open and honest as possible with parents/carers about any concerns. However, you MUST NOT discuss your concerns with parents/carers in the following circumstances:
- Where sexual abuse or sexual exploitation is suspected
- Where organised or multiple abuse is suspected (see complex, organised or multiple abuse procedure)
- Where fabricated or Induced Illness (previously known as Munchausen Syndrome by proxy) is suspected (see Fabricated or Induced Illness procedure)
- Where Female Genital Mutilation is the concern (see Female Genital Mutilation procedure)
- In cases of suspect Forced Marriage (see Forced Marriage procedure)
- Where contacting parents/carers would place a child, yourself or others at immediate risk
These decisions should not be taken in isolation. Consult with your senior manager/line manager/designated safeguarding lead or the Bridge Partnership on 0161 603 4500.
3.4 What to do if Children Talk to You About Abuse or Neglect.
It is recognised that a child may seek you out to share information about abuse or neglect, or talk spontaneously individually or in groups when you are present. In these situations YOU MUST:
- Listen carefully to the child. DO NOT directly question the child
- Give the child time and attention.
- Allow the child to give a spontaneous account; do not stop a child who is freely recalling significant events.
- Make an accurate record of the information you have been given taking care to record the timing, setting and people present, the child’s presentation as well as what was said. Do not throw this away as it may later be needed as evidence.
- Use the child’s own words where possible.
- Explain that you cannot promise not to speak to others about the information they have shared ‐ do not offer false confidentiality.
- Reassure the child that:
- they have done the right thing in telling you;
- they have not done anything wrong;
- Tell the child what you are going to do next and explain that you will need to get help to keep him/her safe.
- DO NOT ask the child to repeat his or her account of events to anyone
If a child discloses information to you about abuse or neglect you must take action.
Contact your designated safeguarding person or if you cannot contact them go straight to the Bridge Partnership (Salford) on 0161 603 4500 or Manchester Multi Agency Contact Centre on
0161 234 5001 (City of Manchester).
If a child is in immediate danger of being harmed, the police should be called on 999
3.5 Consult about your Concern
Because of your observations of a child, or information received you may become concerned about a child who has not spoken to you.
Ask a child why they are upset or how a cut or bruise was caused, or respond to a child wanting to talk to you. This practice can help clarify vague concerns and result in appropriate action.
If you are concerned about a child you must share your concerns. Initially you should talk to one of the people designated as responsible for child protection within your organisation. In this organisation the two designated safeguarding people are:
1. Kimberly Bond tel: 07402630671
2. Rachel Parkinson tel: 07426835535
It will usually be the designated person who will then get in touch with the Bridge Partnership if necessary:
If you are worried about a child and cannot contact a designated person speak to another manager or go direct to the Bridge Partnership.
Fill out an online form at www.salford.gov.uk/bridgereferral
Or The Bridge Partnership can be contacted by telephone on 0161 603 4500.
The email address is email@example.com
If a child is in immediate danger of being harmed, or if a child is home alone, the police should be called on 999
If a caller rings out of office hours, facilities will be in place to divert the call so no alternative numbers need to be provided.
Practitioners who have identified a child in need of help, support or protection should telephone 0161 234 5001 to speak to specialist social care and early help staff.
Children’s Practitioners will be able to discuss their request promptly, efficiently and securely – and will be able to access social work advice and guidance about the next steps and the right option for the child and their family.
3.51 A referral involves giving the Bridge Partnership, the Contact Centre, the Police, or the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) at the Safeguarding Children Unit information about concerns relating to an individual or family in order that enquiries can be undertaken by the appropriate agency followed by any necessary action.
3.52 Parents/carers should be informed if a referral is being made except in the circumstances outlined in Section 3.3.
3.53 However, inability to inform parents for any reason should not prevent a referral being made. It would then become a joint decision with the Bridge Partnership about how and when the parents should be approached and by whom.
3.54 If your concern is about harm or risk of harm from a family member or someone known to the children, you should make a referral to the Bridge Partnership.
3.55 If your concern is about harm or risk of harm from someone not known to the child or child’s family, you should make a telephone referral directly to the Police and consult with the parents.
3.56 If your concern is about harm or risk of harm from an adult in a position of trust (see Section 3.8: Allegations against Adults Who Work with Children).
Information required when making a referral.
3.57 Be prepared to give as much of the following information as possible (in emergency situations all of this information may not be available). Unavailability of some information should not stop you making a referral.
• Your name, telephone number, position and request the same of the person to whom you are speaking.
• Full name and address, telephone number of family, date of birth of child and siblings.
• Gender, ethnicity, first language, any special needs.
• Names, dates of birth and relationship of household members and any significant others.
• The names of professionals known to be involved with the child/family e.g.: GP, Health Visitor, School.
• The nature of the concern; and foundation for the concern.
• An opinion on whether the child may need urgent action to make them safe.
• Your view of what appears to be the needs of the child and family.
• Whether the consent of a parent with Parental Responsibility has been given to the referral being made.
Action to be taken following the referral
3.58 You must take the following action after making a referral:
- Ensure that you keep an accurate record of your concern(s) made at the time.
- For Salford; if you contacted The Bridge Partnership via phone, fill out an online form at www.salford.gov.uk/bridgereferral.
- Accurately record the action agreed or that no further action is to be taken and the reasons for this decision.
3.6 Allegations against Adults who work with Children
3.61 If you have information which suggests an adult who works with children (in a paid or unpaid capacity) has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child
- possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a child
- behaved towards a child/ren in a way that indicated s/he is unsuitable to work with children
3.62 You should speak immediately with your line manager or senior manager who has responsibility for managing allegations. The senior manager will consult with/make a referral to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) at the Safeguarding Children Unit.
3.63 If one of those people is implicated in the concerns you should discuss your concerns directly with the LADO on 0161 603 4350
3.71 The organisation should ensure that any records made in relation to a referral should be kept confidentially and in a secure place.
3.72 Information in relation to child protection concerns should be shared on a “need to know” basis. However, the sharing of information is vital to child protection and, therefore, the issue of confidentiality is secondary to a child’s need for protection ‐ see the Information Sharing and Confidentiality Guidance chapter in the Salford Inter Agency Procedures Manual.
3.73 If in doubt, consult the CEO (Kimberly Bond)
3.9 Useful Salford Contacts
Worried about a child?
In Salford all reports or enquiries concerning the welfare or safety of a child must go straight to the Bridge Partnership.
If a child is in immediate danger of being harmed, or if a child is home alone, the police should be called on 999.
Referrals to the Bridge Partnership
There have been improvements to the referral process to The Bridge Partnership – it’s now easier and quicker for you to report concerns about the welfare or safety of a child or young person.
You can now simply fill out an online form at www.salford.gov.uk/bridgereferral
The Bridge Partnership can be contacted by telephone on 0161 603 4500.
Police Public Protection Investigation Unit
- Child Protection: 0161 856 5125 / 5126
- Domestic Violence: 0161 856 5171
Useful Websites & Guidance
Welcome to your Greater Manchester Safeguarding Children Procedures Manual
What to do if you are worried a Child is Being Abused
Working Together 2018
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 (from 3rd Sept)
Sending Encrypted Emails
If an organisation sends emails via email client (e.g. Outlook) there is native support for encryption of emails. To enable encryption for email software go to the security settings and turn on email encryption
If an organisation is using webmail (e.g. yahoo, Gmail) this won’t be a built in feature. In order to send encrypted emails other software or websites may need to be used, one of the easiest ways is to use a website that allows you to use secret-key encryption. Plug-ins can also be installed in browsers that allow you to send encrypted webmail.
If full email encryption is not available, email file attachments should be always protected by an approved encryption (password protected) method.