What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults (hereafter referred to as vulnerable people) and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding means:

  • protecting vulnerable people from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to vulnerable people’s health or development
  • ensuring vulnerable people benefit from the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all vulnerable people to have the best outcomes.

 

Who this policy is for

It is our duty as an organisation to protect the welfare of all our staff, service users, and customers.  We believe that any individual can be vulnerable in a given set of circumstances and as such we incorporate all users and team members of Bike For Good into this policy, regardless of age or other factors.

We also believe that safeguarding is the responsibility of everybody within Bike for Good. All employees, sessional workers and volunteers have a duty of care for those around them, and where they have concern for the safety or well being of another individual they should duly report this to one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers (named below).

 

Our Designated Safeguarding Officers

 

If you have a concern

If an employee or volunteer has concerns about the welfare of a vulnerable person, or a disclosure of abuse has been made by a vulnerable person, this should be reported immediately to one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers (named above).

If it is not appropriate to speak to any of the DSOs for any reason, please speak to one of the team leads. You do not have to be certain that the individual is at risk in order to speak to your Safeguarding Officers, we recommend erring on the side of caution and raising any worries you may have.

The Safeguarding Officer will then take this forward, reporting the concern to the relevant authorities if deemed necessary. It is not your job, nor the job of the Safeguarding Officer, to investigate further.

 

How concerns will be dealt with

Upon being informed of a safeguarding concern, the Safeguarding Officer must act promptly. Generally, the first DSO to be informed will take the lead on the case, unless there is a reason otherwise. Where the parents/guardians/emergency contact of the individual concerned is not the cause of concern they should be the first port of contact.

Where it is thought that the vulnerable person in question is potentially at immediate risk of significant harm, a referral will be made to the relevant authorities (i.e. social services, Police Scotland) as a matter of urgency. (Please see flowchart in Section 5 of this policy).

The Safeguarding Officer will manage the situation on an ongoing basis, putting any necessary monitoring or support in place for the individual concerned and relevant staff members, as well as being an ongoing point of contact for the individual, their family, and the relevant authorities.

 

Recording and reporting procedure

The information given by the individual raising the initial concern should be recorded as fully and accurately as possible by the Safeguarding Officer in the Record of Cause for Concern form. 

All further information relevant to the concern/incident and any action taken by the Safeguarding Officer should also be recorded in as much detail as possible in theSafeguarding Chronology Sheet. This includes all contact that takes place with the relevant authorities and any ongoing support and monitoring after the incident.

Safeguarding records will be stored electronically and securely and kept for a period of 25 years, after which time they will be destroyed. In the case that concerns or allegations have been raised about an adult’s behaviour around a vulnerable person, detailed records will be kept of all relevant information and actions taken. In keeping with NSPCC guidelines, these should be kept securely until the individual reaches the age of 65 or for 10 years – whichever is longer.

 

Allegations against staff

In a situation where an allegation is made against an employee or volunteer of Bike for Good, immediate action must be taken. This includes reporting the matter to the police and social services as necessary. 

In the case of a contracted member of staff, they will be unable to perform any duties involving interaction with vulnerable people while an investigation is underway. They may be offered alternative duties or advised to work from home if deemed appropriate, or alternatively will be suspended from all work duties with pay in line with our Disciplinary Policy.  In the case of a freelance worker or volunteer, the person will be asked not to come to Bike for Good (unless invited) until the investigation is complete. This is not an accusation of guilt, but a protective precaution. Throughout the process, the individual concerned will be issued with a point of contact within the organisation.

 

We will seek to keep vulnerable people safe by:

Safer recruiting

As an organisation, we strive to create a safe and positive environment by ensuring we are only recruiting staff and volunteers who are suitable to work with vulnerable people. Our process for this includes checking references and obtaining PVG memberships for those working with vulnerable people, as detailed fully in our Recruitment & Selection and Disclosure policies. The equivalent process for volunteers is detailed in our Volunteer Recruitment and Supervision policy.

Support and supervision

Support and supervision is a two way, regular and ongoing process to ensure effective service delivery which is participant-centred but also meets the expectations of the organisation. The process should also include supporting staff in their personal and professional development to build a safe and effective workforce.

While the frequency may vary depending on the work role, Bike for Good strives to ensure that all employees, sessional staff, and volunteers have regular supervision and are supported in ensuring the best outcome for all of our service users.

Staff training

Bike for Good will ensure that the Safeguarding Officers receive designated officer training at least every 3 years. Further to this, one safeguarding officer (currently Joanna Soraghan) will be designated to keep up to date with changes to guidelines & advice. 

Sessional staff and all employees working directly with vulnerable people are expected to have at least an introduction to child protection/safeguarding certificate (available as e-learning module from NSPCC) as a minimum. Where possible, this training will be in person rather than online. Additional spaces on these courses will be offered to volunteers and members of the wider team. Employees working directly with young people will also undertake the ‘Young Persons in the Workplace’ module on our Atlas H&S system.

On top of formal training, the DSO’s will bring smaller interactive exercises and informal training to team meetings to ensure that safeguarding remains an active and relevant component to everyone’s working days.

Lone working with vulnerable people

Where possible, one to one working with vulnerable people is to be avoided. Ideally a second staff member, volunteer or parent/carer should be present during activities with an individual child/vulnerable person. In the case of a one-to-one cycle training lesson, a parent should remain present on-site, as is conveyed in the booking information.

Contact with service users

Employees should ensure that all contact with service users under the age of 18  is through official work channels only. Personal contact details should neither be shared nor sought.

 

Digital safeguarding

Online interaction with vulnerable service users should be treated with similar precautions to offline interactions. This means that:

  • Lone working (i.e. one-to-one contact) should be avoided where possible.
  • Contact should only be during normal working hours and via official work channels, e.g. only staff email addresses or work phone numbers should be linked to any platforms used for online delivery/interactions with service users. The use of personal email addresses and phone numbers is not permitted.
  • Consent for engaging in online delivery should be sought in cases where it would have been necessary for offline delivery (e.g. parental consent when engaging with those under the age of 16).
  • When delivering sessions via video, employees should ensure they deliver these with a ‘neutral’ background, where nothing personal or inappropriate can be seen in the background.
  • To ensure the privacy and security of our service users, online meetings/sessions with these groups MUST require a password for entry or admission to be granted by the host.
  • Any concerns raised regarding the safety of a vulnerable person during online delivery should be reported directly to one of the Safeguarding Officers. 

 

Uniform return

Our brand and uniform come to be known as familiar and trustworthy symbols for those that engage in our services, and could, therefore, be used to gain the trust of vulnerable individuals. As such, all line managers will support HR in ensuring the correct return of Bike for Good uniform at the end of employment, as per our termination paperwork.

 

Sharing this policy

The DSO’s will strive to ensure that this policy is not only read but is understood and put into practice as necessary by all members of the team. The policy and its content will be shared in staff/volunteer induction packs, on BreatheHR, via email, verbally at team meetings, and through prominent signage throughout our workplaces too. The Safeguarding team will additionally provide training to the wider team on a variety of issues relevant to safeguarding on a quarterly basis.

The policy will be reviewed quarterly at all meetings of the Safeguarding Working Group to ensure it is fit-for-purpose and will be updated as necessary. This policy sits alongside our ‘Safeguarding Action Plan’ – a document that outlines which employees have responsibility for overseeing the various elements of this policy.