Safeguarding Policy for Forward Africa Education Trust
This policy applies to all trustees, staff, local partners, volunteers and visitors to our programmes or anyone working on behalf of FAET. FAET believes that a child, young person or vulnerable adult should never experience abuse of any kind. We all have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them. The purpose of this policy is:
- to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults who take part in our programmes.
- to provide staff and those to whom this policy applies with the principles that guide our approach to child protection and protect them from unfounded accusations or from behaving in ways which may be well-intended but inadvisable.
The policy will be reviewed annually by the trustees.
A child is someone under the age of 18. Child abuse is when any child is being harmed. Abuse can be physical, sexual, or emotional, or take the form of neglect. Working with children is defined as those who are engaged in an activity on behalf of or funded by us that involves direct contact with, or facilitates access to, children. Vulnerable adults are those people over 18 years who are or maybe, for any of a variety of reasons, unable to look after themselves or protect themselves from harm or exploitation
WE RECOGNISE THAT:
The welfare of the child is paramount. All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse. All staff and volunteers who come into contact with children have a duty to remain alert to their needs and any risks of harm. FAET’s trustees have a responsibility to report concerns about any child or adult to the relevant authorities
WE WILL SEEK TO KEEP CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE SAFE BY:
- Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- Appointing a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
- Adopting child protection practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff, volunteers, trustees and donors
- Developing and implementing effective safety policy and related procedures
- Providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training
- Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
- Sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents, carers and children appropriately
- Using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
- Creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
- Ensuring we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
- Ensuring organisations that run programmes on our behalf or in partnership with us have safeguarding policies in place, follow the highest level of practice and take all possible steps to limit the likelihood of abuse towards children and vulnerable adults
SAFEGUARDING CODE OF CONDUCT
When acting in any capacity on behalf of FAET, individuals commit to respecting, promoting, upholding and protecting the rights of the child. Anyone found to be in breach of our Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action which may include dismissal or termination of other arrangement with us. Individuals should always follow the guidelines below when interacting directly with children and young people:
- Prioritise the safety and wellbeing of the child and vulnerable adult
- Respect a participant’s background, culture and traditions and be mindful of any behaviour that may offend his/her beliefs
- Avoid one-to-one interactions with a child or vulnerable adult. If this is unavoidable, reduce the risks as much as possible by remaining in an open space and let somebody else know where you will be.
- Never be alone with a child or vulnerable adult in a room with the door shut
- Always act within professional boundaries; ensure all contact with children is essential to the programme/event/activity/project
- Never give out your personal contact details, and do not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ children or vulnerable adults you are working with on social networking sites
- Do not consume alcohol or drugs when responsible for running an activity or programme.
- When attending events where young people are present e.g. celebration dinners, alcohol should only be consumed in moderation and should not impact on your behaviour or your ability to act within professional boundaries
- Do not agree to meet a child or vulnerable adult outside of your professional capacity
- Remember they are children first, and contributors or participants second
- Never lose sight of the fact that you are with children – behave appropriately and use appropriate language always and challenge inappropriate language used by children
- Listen to and respect participants always; don’t patronise them
- Avoid favouritism, and treat children and vulnerable adults fairly and without prejudice or discrimination.
- Do not permit abusive activities amongst and/or directed towards young people (e.g. bullying, ridiculing, name-calling, exclusion, racism)
- Remember that abuse can be committed peer or peer and all concerns should be reported.
Where visits are made to programmes, visitors must:
- Be given a code of conduct prior to their visit
- Be chaperoned by a FAET trustee or delivery partner named contact
- Not be left in a one-to-one situation with a young person
Partner organisations have responsibility for young people and vulnerable adults whilst they are in their care. Partners must agree to have implemented a safeguarding policy and procedures in line with best practice in the sector. All formal or contractual arrangements with partners, individuals, groups or organisations which come into contact with children must have sight of this policy.
ONLINE AND MEDIA PROCEDURES
Young people must be asked at the point of application to a programme if they consent to their photographs being taken and used for marketing purposes. If a young person asks for their photograph to be removed from any promotional material, the Trust will make arrangements for this to happen as quickly as possible.