Safeguarding policy

Policy purpose

Our Time is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children[1], young people[2] and adults at risk of harm[3]. This policy outlines how Our Time creates a safe environment and the steps we will take to uphold this. This policy should be implemented alongside other organisational policies, procedures, and guidance.

Our safeguarding policy applies to all staff, volunteers and other workers and provides them with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding. 

Our Time’s commitment to safeguarding

Our Time is a charity committed to safeguarding children and adults at risk of harm who access its services whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religion or belief, or sexual identity, have the right to protection from harm, abuse or avoidable risk at all times and the right to live a thriving life. To develop a robust and effective safeguarding culture we:

  • Ensure a person-centred approach, valuing, listening and respecting each person.
  • Engage with children, parents and their families in the development and implementation of safeguarding in order to have a clear understanding of their needs and views to be most effective. 
  • Ensure a skilled, competent and confident workforce.
  • Have engaged leadership at all levels of Our Time. 
  • Are committed to partnership and collaborative working.

Safeguarding at Our Time includes both child and adult safeguarding. When working with children, our staff, volunteers and other workers are guided by the ‘asks’ of children, outlined in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2020), to best shape effective safeguarding systems. Our Time also considers the Mental Health Capacity Act (2005) when safeguarding adults. 

Our Time uses the definitions of abuse and harm, and their influencing factors, as outlined in the Working Together to Safeguard Children (2020) and The Care Act (2014). We are also committed to ensuring equity in safeguarding by understanding the needs of those from Black, Asian and other ethnic groups, deaf and disabled, special education needs and disabilities (SEND) and LGBTQI+ communities.

Additionally, we recognise the role of young carers in a family where a parent is experiencing mental illness. We consider young carers up to the age of 25 and as someone who is responsible for caring on  a regular basis for a relative, usually a parent, who has an illness or disability. We know that caring responsibilities can significantly impact upon health and development and therefore may require additional support from external organisations such as Young Carers projects or Children’s Social Care.

Achieving high standards of safeguarding

In order to achieve a robust and effective safeguarding culture Our Time will:

  • Listen and value the voices and experience of everyone, adopting a Think Child – Think Parent – Think Family approach.
  • Wherever possible get consent from individuals and / or their parents to share information with other agencies.
  • Respond to (not investigate) and report concerns, working in partnership with external agencies to provide effective safeguarding and support. 
  • Encourage any concerns to be raised, including through the use of our complaints policy LINK where needed.
  • Record, store and use information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance. More information about this is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office: ico.org.uk/fororganisations. 
  • Ensure the safe recruitment of all employees and volunteers, ensuring appropriate induction, training and management is provided for their role. This includes awareness of managing the specific risks and issues that mental health problems may present in working with parents  with mental health problems.
  • Ensure comprehensive and legally compliant policies and procedures that promote best practice in achieving safe people and spaces, both on and offline. 
  • Ensure all persons working on behalf of Our Time conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles and policies.
  • Ensure any complaints against staff, volunteers or other workers are acted on and managed appropriately.
  • Ensure Kids Time Workshops are delivered with high standards of safeguarding.
  • Appoint a Designated Safeguarding Lead, Deputy Safeguarding Lead and Named Trustee with responsibility for safeguarding (see contact detail at the end of this policy).

KidsTime Workshops

Workshops are founded on an agreement with Our Time that outlines the safeguarding culture, expectations and requirements for ongoing delivery. The workshop lead (Mental Health Lead) and Our Time’s Safeguarding Team, will talk and share information as necessary. This policy may be used in conjunction with each workshop’s Local Authority safeguarding process and procedure. 

Roles and responsibilities

Anyone working with Our Time, paid or voluntary, must understand and agree to our Safeguarding Policy and how it relates to their role. However, different people within the organisation have different levels of responsibility to develop our safeguarding culture. An overview of these roles are below:

  • Board of Trustees. The Charity Commission asks all Trustees to ensure good safeguarding and that at least one Trustee is named as Trustee Safeguarding Lead. 
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO). A CEO is responsible for ensuring safe and robust arrangements for safeguarding throughout the charity on a day to day basis. It is also their responsibility to ensure a strong, healthy and effective safeguarding culture.
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) / Deputy Safeguarding Lead. The DSL and Deputy are the first point of contact for any safeguarding concerns and oversee the quality of how safeguarding is managed. They offer support, advice and debriefing to staff, volunteers and other workers where needed. They have responsibility for making referrals.
  • Mental Health Lead. This is the key person responsible for delivering a Kids Time Workshop. They have responsibility for the quality of safeguarding at workshops.
  • Staff and volunteers. Our Time asks them to read and keep a copy of our Safeguarding Policy and work to the principles as part of their role. This includes keeping their skill and confidence up so that they can best support children and adults at risk through their work. We also trust our staff and Mental Health Leads to contact any external agency in the case of an emergency. 

Key contacts

If it is an emergency please call the Police on 999. For any other safeguarding questions, queries or concerns the contact details for our Safeguarding Team are: 

  • Designated Safeguarding Lead: Beth McLaren beth.mclaren@ourtime.org.uk
  • Deputy Safeguarding Lead: Helena Kulikowska helena.kulikowska@ourtime.org.uk
  • Trustee Lead for Safeguarding: Claire Johnston claire.johnston@ourtime.org.uk

Our Time rarely works directly with children or adults at risk of harm directly. Therefore key safeguarding persons will typically be contactable on working days between 9am and 5pm. In addition you could contact:

  • NSPCC 24 Hour Helpline – 0808 800 5000, for professional advice
  • Samaritans – 116 123, for emotional support

Legislation and policy review

This policy has been produced in line with UK legislation and guidance. It will be reviewed annually, or in line with policy updates, whichever is first. 

Footnotes

  1. A person who is aged under 18
  2. A person under 25 but 16 and over
  3. Adults at Risk of harm and relates to anyone 18 or over with care and support needs to keep them safe from abuse or neglect (Care Act 2014)

Policy Lead: Beth McLaren
Last Date Reviewed: April 2022