Safe Guarding Policy

a)FMY Child Protection Policy

1. Policy statement

We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people.  We recognise our responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation.  We acknowledge our duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.

Our ethos embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.

2. Our responsibilities

We will:

  • ensure that staff and volunteers understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation;
  • ensure that all workers understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child or young person to the Development Manager;
  • refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies;
  • provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge particularly in relation to the welfare and protection of children and young people;
  • ensure that parents and carers who participate in our work have access to all guidelines and procedures;
  • endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments relating to the welfare and protection of children and young people.

3. Procedure for dealing with a child safety concern

Staff and volunteers cannot offer complete confidentiality to someone who brings a child safety concern to their attention.  We will deal with the issue sensitively, but we cannot promise blanket confidentiality.

If a member of staff or a volunteer has a concern about the safety of a child, it should be raised with the Parenting Co-ordinator or Relationships Co-ordinator as is appropriate. Wherever possible, the parent will be kept informed of any action before taking it to maintain a trust relationship with the parent.

If the concern is not urgent, the relevant co-ordinator will see if a CAF has already been set up, and whether or not any other agencies are working with the family and if appropriate refer the concern to the Children’s Front Door.

If the concern is urgent, then a referral will be made to social services. 

We are not in a position to assess the complete risk to the child.

We will support all staff and volunteers who are concerned for the safety of a child.

b) FMY Vulnerable Adults Policy

We are committed to ensuring that vulnerable people who use our services are not abused or treated unfairly, and that working practices minimise the risk of this.  All staff and volunteers have a duty to identify abuse and report it.  

We are also conscious that the nature of our work means that people who use our services may be emotionally vulnerable, even if they would not otherwise be considered “vulnerable adults” within the normal view of the law.  We consider such people also to fall under the protection of this policy.

1. Definitions

Vulnerable adults are people who are over 18 years of age who need or receive help and services to live in the community. Vulnerable adults may be unable to take care of themselves and unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation by other people.  For the purposes of FMY’s work, a person may be a vulnerable adult if they are in an emotionally vulnerable state while accessing our services, even if they would not otherwise meet the definition.

Abuse can take place in any setting (public or private), and includes:

  • physical abuse,
  • financial abuse,
  • material abuse,
  • sexual abuse,
  • psychological abuse,
  • discrimination,
  • emotional abuse, and
  • neglect.

2. Statement of policy

We will ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of the potential for abuse of vulnerable adults.  When we know in advance that staff or volunteers will be working with a vulnerable adult, we will ensure they have as much information as possible in order to protect and deal appropriately with the person.

While we offer confidentiality to participants in our programmes, that confidentiality cannot extend to reportable safety and abuse concerns.  If a disclosure is made to a member or staff or volunteer, we will be respectful and sensitive, but cannot promise blanket confidentiality.

If staff or volunteers become aware of a safety or abuse concern regarding a vulnerable adult, they should raise it with the Relationships Co-ordinator.  We will refer genuine concerns to the City of York Council Adults Safeguarding Team in the first instance, or to the Police if necessary.  We are not in a position to assess the complete risk to the vulnerable adult.

3. Support for those who report abuse

Anyone making a complaint or allegation or expressing concern will be reassured that:

  • they will be taken seriously, and
  • their comments will usually be treated confidentially, but their concerns may be shared with the appropriate authorities if they or others are at significant risk

c) FMY Risk Management Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out the way in which FMY deals with risk to the organisation.

2. Policy

Family Matters York aims to minimise risk in all areas as far as possible.  To do this, FMY which is kept up to date by the Development Manager.  The risk register is reviewed by the Board of Trustees at least once annually.  All emergent risks are reported to the Board of Trustees at the time they arise.

3. Responsibility for managing risk

Responsibilities of the organisation

FMY Board of Trustees have overall responsibility for risk management.  They must:

  • ensure that a risk register is kept
  • review the risk register in its entirety at least once annually
  • review the FMY policies relating to risk (including the Health & Safety Policy, the Child Protection Policy and the Vulnerable Adults Policy) at least once annually
  • consider current risk management issues at each meeting of the Board of Trustees

The Development Manager (or designated person in her absence) has day-to-day responsibility for ensuring risk is recorded and managed appropriately.  She must:

  • keep the risk register up to date
  • inform the trustees in a timely manner of any emergent risk
  • ensure that all people with responsibility about particular risks are carrying out those responsibilities in a timely manner

Employees and volunteers at FMY are responsible for:

  • reporting any risk they become aware of, either to the Development Manager or a member of the Board of Trustees
  • reporting anything that could give rise to risk to FMY, either to the Development Manager or a member of the Board of Trustees
  • carrying out any responsibilities given to them under the risk register

4. Other policies

The following other policies are relevant to managing risk, and will be referred to where appropriate:

  • Health & Safety Policy
  • Child Protection Policy
  • Vulnerable Adults Policy
  • Lone Worker Policy

All staff, volunteers and trustees must be familiar with these policies.

Updated November 2020