Safeguarding Policy

Purpose

The principal purpose of this policy is to protect people, particularly children, young people under the age of 18 and vulnerable adults, from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with Outdoor Tribe CIC (“Outdoor Tribe”). This includes harm arising from:

  • The conduct of directors, staff, volunteers or other people associated with Outdoor Tribe
  • The design and implementation of Outdoor Tribe’s programmes and activities, including its online programmes and activities.

A further purpose of this policy is to assist Outdoor Tribe’s directors, staff, volunteers and associated personnel to identify, and provide support to, any children, young people under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults who are participating in or otherwise involved with any Outdoor Tribe programme or activity and who are being sexually, physically, emotionally or psychologically abused or are at risk of such abuse.
The policy lays out the commitments made by Outdoor Tribe and informs its directors, staff, volunteers and other associated personnel of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.

What is safeguarding?

In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.

We understand it to mean protecting people, including children, young people under 18 and vulnerable adults, from harm that either (a) arises from contact with any of our directors, staff, volunteers or other associated personnel or with any of our programmes and activities or (b) comes to light as a consequence of such contact.

Scope

  • All directors of, and all staff and volunteers working for, Outdoor Tribe, and
  • All associated personnel whilst engaged with work or visits related to Outdoor Tribe, including but not limited to the following: consultants, contractors and programme/activity providers.

Policy Statement

Outdoor Tribe believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin, has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse and neglect. Outdoor Tribe will not tolerate abuse or neglect by directors, staff, volunteers, associated personnel or others.

This policy will address the following areas of safeguarding: child safeguarding and adult safeguarding.
Outdoor Tribe commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.

Prevention

Outdoor Tribe’s directors’ responsibilities

Outdoor Tribe’s directors will:

  • Appoint one of their number to be Outdoor Tribe’s Safeguarding Officer, the role within the organisation with primary responsibility for all safeguarding issues and matters including keeping this Policy under review.
  • Ensure all Outdoor Tribe’s staff, volunteers and associated personnel have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities under this policy.
  • Create and maintain an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of this Safeguarding Policy.
  • Design and undertake all Outdoor Tribe’s programmes and activities (including online programmes and activities) in a way that protects people, as far as is reasonably practicable, from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with Outdoor Tribe. This includes the way in which information about individuals taking part in Outdoor Tribe’s programmes and activities is gathered and communicated. It also includes the ways in which subscribers to online programmes and activities are vetted, the security of passwords and meeting links is maintained and virtual meetings are managed.
  • Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting/engaging, managing and deploying staff, volunteers and associated personnel.
  • Ensure all directors, staff and volunteers receive appropriate training on safeguarding.
  • Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process.

Staff responsibilities

Child safeguarding
Outdoor Tribe directors, staff, volunteers and associated personnel must not:

  • Engage, or attempt to engage, in any form of sexual activity with any child or young person under the age of 18
  • Sexually abuse, or attempt to sexually abuse, any child or young person under the age of 18
  • Subject a child or young person under the age of 18 to any physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect.

Outdoor Tribe directors, staff, volunteers and associated personnel must:

  • Be vigilant for signs that any child or young person under the age of 18, participating in or otherwise involved with any Outdoor Tribe programme or activity, is distressed, under stress or in need of help such as to give rise to reasonable grounds for suspecting that they are being sexually, physically, emotionally or psychologically abused or at risk of such abuse; and, where necessary, follow appropriate protection procedures in respect of the child or young person and (if present) the suspected abuser.
  • Take seriously any allegation which may be made to them, or which may come to their knowledge, that any child or young person under the age of 18, participating in or otherwise involved with any Outdoor Tribe programme or activity, has been sexually, physically, emotionally or psychologically abused or is at risk of such abuse.
  • Take immediate action, if necessary, in respect of the victim and the alleged abuser following the appropriate protection procedures.
  • Make a careful written record of all relevant details (including times, dates, etc) of the concern/allegation and of all actions taken and pass that record to the Safeguarding Officer.

Adult safeguardingOutdoor Tribe directors, staff, volunteers and associated personnel must not:

  • Engage, or attempt to engage, in any form of sexual activity with any vulnerable adult
  • Sexually abuse, or attempt to sexually abuse, any vulnerable adult
  • Subject a vulnerable adult to any physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect.

Outdoor Tribe directors, staff, volunteers and associated personnel must:

  • Be vigilant for signs that any vulnerable adult, participating in or otherwise involved with any Outdoor Tribe programme or activity, is distressed, under stress or in need of help such as to give rise to reasonable grounds for suspecting that that they are being sexually, physically, emotionally or psychologically abused or at risk of such abuse; and, where necessary, follow appropriate protection procedures in respect of the vulnerable adult and (if present) the suspected abuser.
  • Take seriously any allegation which may be made to them, or which may come to their knowledge, that any vulnerable adult, participating in or otherwise involved with any Outdoor Tribe programme or activity, has been sexually, physically, emotionally or psychologically abused or is at risk of such abuse.
  • Take immediate action, if necessary, in respect of the victim and the alleged abuser following the appropriate protection procedures.
  • Make a careful written record of all relevant details (including times, dates, etc) of the concern/allegation and of all actions taken and pass that record to the Safeguarding Officer.

Enabling reports

Outdoor Tribe will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns/complaints are made available to all directors, staff, volunteers, associated personnel as well as all the communities we work with.
Outdoor Tribe will also accept concerns/complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies.

How to report a safeguarding concern

Any director, staff member, volunteer or other person associated with Outdoor Tribe who has a concern or complaint (whether originating from them or received from some other person) relating to safeguarding should report it immediately to Outdoor Tribe’s Safeguarding Officer. The report may be verbal or written but a verbal report should be confirmed in writing as soon as reasonably practicable. If the complainant does not feel comfortable reporting to the Safeguarding Officer (for example, if they feel that the report will not be taken seriously, or if that person is implicated in the concern), they may report it to any other Director and in such circumstances that Director will carry out the responsibilities of the Safeguarding Officer in relation to that report.

Response

The Safeguarding Officer will obtain details of the complaint from the complainant as quickly as is reasonably practicable. However, the Safeguarding Officer will not interview any other person.
The Safeguarding Officer will refer all complaints without delay to the Designated Adult and Child Protection Officer at East Northamptonshire Council (or other relevant Local Authority if working outside East Northamptonshire).
If the complaint relates to the conduct of a director, staff member, volunteer or other person associated with Outdoor Tribe, the Safeguarding Officer will also refer it without delay to the Police to investigate.
Outdoor Tribe will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to any member of staff found to have been in breach of this Policy.

Confidentiality

In order to protect the victim and the alleged abuser, it is essential that confidentiality is maintained at all stages of the process when Outdoor Tribe deals with any safeguarding concern/complaint. Other than when referring it to the Police or the Local Authority, information relating to a concern/complaint and to the subsequent management of the concern/complaint should be shared on a strict ‘need to know’ basis only and should be kept secure at all times.
No child, young person under 18 or vulnerable adult (nor any person on their behalf) may be given an absolute guarantee of confidentiality even if the giving of such a guarantee is stated to be a pre-condition of the disclosure of information. It must always be explained to the victim (or a person on their behalf) that although Outdoor Tribe will treat the information in question confidentially in line with our Confidentiality Policy and Privacy Policy, we will be under a legal obligation to share it with certain other organisations, such as the Police or the Local Authority, to ensure necessary steps are taken to protect the individual being abused.

Outdoor Tribe CIC Safeguarding Policy updated – September 2020

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