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AHPN Safeguarding Policy

Policy Statement:

  1. AHPN is a strategic charity that works across all sectors, nationally in the UK and globally in relevant countries of interest.

  2. AHPN believes everyone has the right to live free from abuse or neglect regardless of age, ability or disability, sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital or gender status. 

  3.  Our safeguarding policy is designed to protect vulnerable children and adults in any of our responsibilities. It commits AHPN to the safeguarding of people when they are visiting our premises or using our service in any other spaces.

  4. It lists our procedures for responding to any signs indicating that abuse is occurring within or outside our organisation or in our partner organisations.

  5. Additionally, AHPN has a crucial role to play in the support, identification and reporting of children and adults who may be at risk of harm.

  6. AHPN will follow the Charity Commission Guidance on the role and responsibilities of staff and trustees in keeping everyone who comes into contact with AHPN safe.

  7. This policy must be read in conjunction with our Equality Policy, which sets out in more detail the aims and rationale of our safeguarding policy and the need to protect vulnerable communities irrespective of their racial or ethnic background.

  8. Detailed policies, procedures and definitions for staff and trustees are published in AHPN staff and trustee’s handbook, which also details roles and responsibilities and lines of accountability.

AHPN Safeguarding Children Policy:

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:

  1. protecting children from maltreatment

  2. preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development

  3. ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care

  4. taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

  5. AHPN will ensure that it and it’s public and voluntary sector partners are considering the interest of racialised communities when developing and discharging their policies. This includes considering the impact of policies and actions on the communities of interest.

  6. Our local authority and other public sector partners have specific legal duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in their area. AHPN will work in partnership with them where appropriate to ensure that they are compliant with the duties under the Children’s Act 1989, the Children Act 2004 and the Children and Social Work Act 2017. We ensure that organisations subject to these duties are considering the needs and concerns of children from Black, Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani backgrounds and any other minoritized communities such as those from Middle Eastern countries, refugee communities or undocumented migrants who are vulnerable to many hidden harms.

  7. AHPN will ensure that the views and concerns of the communities of interest are effectively listened to when discharging the corporate parenting principles. This will include but not limited to scrutinising the setup of Child Safeguarding Review Panels and the reporting and scrutiny of reports from such reviews to ensure that the narratives are at all times considering the views and impact on the communities most likely to be unintentionally discriminated by neutral policies and by the decisions of such reviews.

  8. AHPN will also ensure that the provision of local offer for care leavers schooling is considered in all the advice and support to parents, guardians, and children in a way to deter children from harmful effects of unemployment and crime.

  9. AHPN will ensure that such policies and offers are evidenced and that any interventions in response to the needs of racialised minorities is based on clear evidence of need, efficacy, and good practice

Safeguarding Adults Policy:

  1. AHPN is committed to Safeguarding Adults in line with national legislation and relevant national and local guidelines.

  2. AHPN is committed to creating a culture of zero-tolerance of harm to adults.

  3. AHPN will use its networks and contacts with service users to identify and recognise adults who may be at risk and the circumstances which may increase risk to communities of interest to AHPN.

  4. Using our research and networks AHPN will increase knowledge of how adult abuse, exploitation, or neglect manifests itself. We will in turn develop procedures and processes to ensure that any concerns are escalated to the relevant authorities in a sensitive and timely fashion. (See procedures below).

  5. This includes recognising and reporting harm experienced within AHPN activities, within other organised community or voluntary activities, in the community, in the person’s own home and in any care settings or spaces where AHPN comes into contact with the individuals concerned.

AHPN is committed to the following:

  1. Everyone involved with AHPN, including staff, trustees, volunteers, and partners is aware of the safeguarding procedures and knows what to do and who to contact if they have a concern relating to the welfare or wellbeing of a child or adult.

  2. Any concern that an adult or child is not safe is taken seriously, responded to promptly, and
    followed up in line with AHPN Safeguarding Adults and Children Policies and Procedures. (See procedures below).

  3. The well-being of those at risk of harm will be put first and the victims actively supported to communicate and escalate their views and the outcomes they want to achieve. Those views and wishes will be respected and supported unless there are overriding reasons not to.

  4. Any actions taken will respect the rights and dignity of all those involved and be proportionate to the risk of harm. 

  5. Confidential, detailed, and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored in line with our Data Protection Policy and risk register procedures.

  6. AHPN will always act in accordance with best practice advice from the Charity Commission and the NSPCC in relation to safeguarding adults and children. AHPN will also follow statutory guidance and good practice guidance from partners and any other relevant organisation. 

  7. AHPN will cooperate with the Police and the relevant Local Authorities in taking action to safeguard any child or adult at risk.

  8. All AHPN trustees, staff, and volunteers will have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities for safeguarding children and adults. All will be required to complete an up-to-date safeguarding training and continuous learning.

  9. AHPN will use safe recruitment practices and continually assess the suitability of new trustees, volunteers, and staff to prevent the employment and deployment of unsuitable individuals.

  10. AHPN will share information about anyone found to be a risk to children or adults with the appropriate bodies including the Disclosure and Barring Service, Police and Local Authority.

Safeguarding Procedures:

AHPN trustees, volunteers, and staff will follow the following procedures:

  1. Safeguard Proofing Procedure. AHPN will adopt a safeguard proofing procedure to support its staff, trustees, and volunteers with identifying safeguarding impact on any individuals or community of a new contact, new intervention or new policy or partnership. This will be achieved with a checklist to confirm whether there are any safe guarding considerations at the point of new contact, new partnership, new policy, or procedure. (Detail glossary and definitions will be made available in the AHPN staff, trustees, and volunteers handbook).

  2. Identifying Harm Procedure. AHPN will have a checklist to identify, and impact assess whether any new activity is relevant to child protection and what steps should be taken to safeguard the interest of children before an activity is introduced. AHPN will conduct risk assessments and maintain a risk register which is regularly reviewed.  Any concern that an adult or child is not safe is taken seriously, responded to promptly, and followed up in line with this policy. There will be regular management reports to the Board detailing how risks to children and adult safeguarding are being addressed and how any reports have been addressed. Full details of the procedure, checklists and lines of accountability will be in the staff, trustees, and volunteer handbook.

  3. Partnership Due Diligence Procedure. AHPN will complete safeguarding due diligence audit and review to confirm a partner or supplier is upholding AHPN safeguarding standards. A due diligence procedure will be available in the staff, trustees, and volunteer handbook. It will include steps to be taken after a due diligence assessment with the possible options being to accept, to postpone or to reject. Due diligence is especially necessary to ensure that prospective partners share AHPN’s values of honesty, integrity, and openness. AHPN staff, trustees and volunteer handbook contains further details about these values and why AHPN encourages its partners to exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect.

  4. Data Procedure. AHPN will ensure all staff, trustees and volunteers are trained in GDPR and that all related procedures and practices, such as personal data storage and sharing are GDPR compliant.

  5. Sharing Information Procedure. AHPN will ensure that all data received and shared with other agencies is subject to data protocols compliant with GDPR and AHPN safeguarding policy to protect vulnerable adults and children. AHPN will have a clear system of referring or reporting to relevant agencies as soon as concerns are suspected or identified.

  6. Reporting procedure. AHPN will ensure that its safeguarding reporting procedure does not in itself deny the right to safety and justice for those being suspected or reported about. Everyone; staff, trustees and volunteers and others involved with AHPN will be aware of the safeguarding procedures and what to do and who to contact if they have a concern relating to the welfare or wellbeing of a child or adult. Full details of all such procedures and checklists will be made available in the staff, trustees, and volunteer handbook.

  7. Recruitment Procedure. Our staff and management committee are expected to have contact with vulnerable people, so, AHPN will guarantee the safety of our service users, staff, volunteers, and other people who come into contact with AHPN through its work. AHPN will conduct checks to ensure that staff, trustees, and volunteers are suitable to act in their roles and know how to spot and handle concerns in a full and open manner.

  8. Leadership and Accountability. AHPN will have clear governance documents setting out clear lines of accountability within the organisation for the safety and welfare of staff, children, and adults.  

  9. Disciplinary and Grievance procedures. This will include codes of conduct for trustees, staff, volunteer, and other relevant individuals subject to AHPN disciplinary procedures.

  10. Complaints and Whistle Blowing Procedures. AHPN will have complaints and have your say procedures for service users and partners. In line with its commitment to integrity, openness, and accountability AHPN will support safe working environment where staff, volunteers and trustees feel able to speak up about concerns with AHPN and will create a platform for constructive expression of concerns and commitment to listening, escalating, and resolving any such concerns.

  11. Learning and Development. In addition to good practice guides from statutory and supporting charity organisations, AHPN will provide training and development support to all staff, trustees and volunteers supplemented with regular updates in the staff, trustees, and volunteer handbook updates. 

This policy, related policies and procedures will be reviewed on a yearly basis or as soon as there are changes in relevant legislation and guidance.

This Policy will be reviewed no later than July 2023

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