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Safeguarding Policy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approved by the board of trustees

Date of review: 08/11/2023

Next review: 08/11/2024

Reviewed by: Gemma Cook

 

Safeguarding Policy

Bee Kind for Honey

Table of Contents

 

Scope of this policy

Policy Statement

Policy Principles

Roles and Responsibilities

External Standards

Mandatory Incident Reporting and Responding

Mandatory Training for staff (and representatives)

Safer Recruitment and Line Manager Responsibilities

Partnership Agreements

Definitions

 

 

If you have any general queries about this policy, please contact the head of safeguarding at Safeguarding@beekindforhoney.com

 

 

This policy applies to:

Employees on UK contracts ☒ Trustees ☒

Employees on international contracts ☒ Contractors ☒

Agency Workers ☒ Partners ☒

Consultants ☒ Suppliers ☒

Volunteers ☒ Visitors to Bee Kind for Honey premises ☒

Donors ☒ Service Users / People with whom we work ☒

Breaching this policy may result in disciplinary action.

Unless stated otherwise, this policy is non-contractual and does not form part of the contract of employment and it may be adapted or amended at any time. Bee Kind for Honey may also (acting reasonably and depending on the circumstances of each case) adapt, vary or depart from the application or implementation of this policy and procedure, including any time limits, to reflect the circumstances of each case and to reflect general principles. Any adaptations, variations or departures from this policy must be agreed in advance by the head of Safeguarding, and the Board of Trustees informed.

Safeguarding is the responsibility of organisations to take all reasonable steps to make sure their staff and representatives, operations and programmes do no harm to children and vulnerable adults or expose them to abuse or exploitation; and to respond appropriately when harm does occur.

Bee Kind for Honey is committed to ensuring a safeguarding approach that has its service users at the heart of its procedures and will endeavour to ensure this approach through its training and awareness raising with all staff and representatives.

 

Bee Kind for Honey is determined to ensure that anyone who is involved in or connected to its work, particularly children, is safe from harm. This policy encompasses measures to protect everyone who comes into contact with Bee Kind for Honey or any of its work, including our staff.

Bee Kind for Honey has established a Safeguarding Policy Framework, endorsed by the leadership team, to provide an open and transparent organisational culture: to ensure the prevention of all forms of abuse, exploitation, and harassment. This framework is in harmony with international human rights instruments and UK legislation.

Safeguarding those at risk of harm is Bee Kind for Honey’s highest priority and precedence over all other considerations.

We will operate in a way that prevents abuse and harm and therefore safeguards individuals from all forms of abuse, including Sexual Exploitation and Harassment. As an anti-bullying and youth suicide prevention organisation, safeguarding the welfare of children is our priority, to this end, all staff and representatives must promote the safety and welfare of children at all times.

This policy encompasses Bee Kind for Honey’s approach to preventing all forms of harm.

Creating a safe environment at Bee Kind for Honey, for people who participate in all our activities, people with whom we work (as defined below) and our staff and representatives, is everyone’s responsibility.

Bee Kind for Honey recognises children may be subjected to multiple types of abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and exploitation. Some adults may have additional vulnerabilities and may experience domestic abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment.

It is the duty and the responsibility of all staff and representatives to report any allegations, concerns or inappropriate behaviour and breaches of this policy. While staff are obligated to report safeguarding concerns, nothing in this policy should be read as compelling or requiring a victim/survivor of abuse to disclose their own experiences of abuse or exploitation against their wishes.

Bee Kind for Honey takes very seriously its obligation to all types of partners and will endeavour to ensure that all necessary safeguarding due diligence is carried out to satisfy governance and accountability requirements.

 

Bee Kind for Honey takes a zero-tolerance stance against any form of exploitation and abuse of people who participate in our activities, people with whom we work, its staff and representatives. Everyone regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity and relationship status has the right to equal protection from all types of abuse under this policy.

This policy applies to staff, volunteers and other representatives who are seconded to and from Bee Kind for Honey.

This policy supports a culture in Bee Kind for Honey that ensures that all those we serve and who work with us, experience non-discriminatory and respectful behaviour from each other, where harmful behaviour is not accepted, and where power is not abused.

Confidentiality must be maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent incident management will be shared on a need-to-know basis only and should be kept secure at all times. A breach of confidentiality related to a safeguarding incident or complaint may result in disciplinary action.

We recognise that some individuals, adults, and children (anyone under the age of 18), may be vulnerable and there is an additional requirement to support those who lack capacity, are disenfranchised or face additional barriers to their safety and interests either through a mental, physical, circumstantial cause or due to their own experiences of being harmed or exploited.

We recognise that reporting can be challenging for those who have been subject to abuse, neglect or exploitation. Bee Kind for Honey will seek to ensure that the reporting of safeguarding incidents is a process that should not create additional distress for victims/survivors.

While staff and representatives are obligated to report safeguarding concerns, nothing in this policy should be read as compelling or requiring a victim/survivor of abuse to disclose their own experiences of abuse or exploitation against their wishes.

 

Bee Kind for Honey commits to:

Safeguarding everyone who participates or works in our programmes or other operations, from all forms of bullying or poor mental health, and the provision of appropriate care and protection where bullying or poor mental health is suspected.

Providing specialist advice and support through its Safeguarding Team and designated Safeguarding Leads and/or Officers to support the safeguarding culture and implementation across all organisational functions.

Engaging and informing everyone who participates in our activities and people with whom we work about the standard of behaviours they can expect from our staff and representatives and how to raise concerns.

Providing support to victims of bullying or suffering from poor mental health either through the Wellbeing Team or an appropriate Wellbeing Team partner agency.

Thoroughly investigating concerns that this policy has been breached and prioritising the best interests of any service users in the course of our response.

Taking appropriate action against staff and representatives who engage in any form of abuse and exploitation, or other breach of this policy, including referring cases to law enforcement agencies where appropriate, which may result in serious disciplinary sanction, up to and including dismissal.

Ensuring all staff and representatives are aware of our policy and expectations on the prevention, reporting and response to allegations of all forms of abuse as defined within this policy.

Taking robust steps to prevent any perpetrators of abuse from being engaged or re-engaged by Bee Kind for Honey or any other organisation working with vulnerable people. Including a commitment to procuring and providing accurate references, in line with the Inter-Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme, and reporting cases to statutory or appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Only working and affiliating with partners who;

I. Share the same principles to prevent all forms of exploitation and abuse in their policies, including clear obligations requiring their staff and representatives to comply and report breaches of such standards and an organisational commitment to act robustly when such reports are received.

II. Agree in any partnership agreement or contract that any failure of the Partner to do all they can to prevent, report and respond appropriately to allegations of abuse and exploitation as defined in this policy, shall constitute grounds for Bee Kind for Honey to terminate the partnership.

Staff and all other representatives must:

Ensure that all Bee Kind for Honey’s programmes, operations and activities are designed to maximise the safeguarding and well-being of everyone who may reasonably be expected to engage with our work, mission, or programme delivery.

Ensure that they observe expected boundaries in their contact with people who participate in our activities, including their use of social media and/or digital media (which must follow the Social Media Policy).

Ensure that their access to or use of Bee Kind for Honey’s information systems does not expose people with whom we work or who work for Bee Kind for Honey to risk of harm through a failure to secure sensitive data or the misuse of technology itself (e.g., accessing indecent or inappropriate material).

Take comprehensive steps to engage and inform people who participate in our activities and people with whom we work about the standard of behaviours they should expect from our staff and representative and how to raise concerns.

Ensure that all their engagement with people with whom we come into contact or who work for Bee Kind for Honey is appropriate, not exploitative or abusive, and does not take advantage of any imbalances of power that may exist.

Be mindful of the position of trust that they occupy as an employee or representative of Bee Kind for Honey

Ensure that they respect the privacy of children and adults when using social media or sharing images of Bee Kind for Honey’s work, including adhering to the Imagery Portrayal in Communications Policy which includes.

Never show images which would allow a child or children or vulnerable adult to be identified, particularly ensuring that a child or vulnerable person’s full name, specific location and image are never combined. All staff must respect the red flag imagery guidelines and ensure images do not breach any of these policies.

When planning an event, activity, stunt or visit, physically or digitally, which may involve people with whom we work, engage with the Safeguarding Team to ensure that it is appropriately managed and does not place anyone at risk of harm.

Report and share information of any allegation, concern or suspicion of any form of abuse of another person.

Staff and representatives must be aware that withholding information which relates to someone being abused, could prevent necessary care and protection for those who have been harmed and prevent prompt work to minimise the risk of harm posed to others. Failing to report, withholding information mishandling allegations of abuse or adhering to safeguarding confidentiality may lead to disciplinary action.

Sign the Safeguarding Declaration of Acceptance, before or at the time of signing of a contract for employment or other services or volunteering to demonstrate awareness of and willingness to act following this policy.

Declare any relevant allegations made, or any civil and/or criminal charges or convictions received before or during their employment, volunteering with, or representation of Bee Kind for Honey.

Staff and all other representatives must never:

Engage or attempt to engage in any form of sexual activity with anyone under 18 years of age, regardless of the age of consent locally. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defence.

Engage or attempt to engage in any form of sexual activity or inappropriate behaviour with people who participate in our activities or with whom we work. Staff and representatives must act following the Code of Conduct and this policy.

Engage in sexual activity where a power imbalance is abused or exploited (directly or indirectly) with other staff, representatives, volunteers, and partner/supplier representatives.

Imply or suggest that payment, protection, assistance (goods or services, including financial services), employment or any opportunity is received as a result of participation in any form of exploitative or harmful behaviour, including sexual activity.

Support, condone or take part in any form of sexual exploitation or abuse, including trafficking of human beings.

Engage in transactional sexual activity of any kind, regardless of local or national law.

Agree, negotiate, or assist any settlement (financial or otherwise) between a victim/survivor of abuse (or their family) and an alleged perpetrator. Such cases should be reported following this policy.

Fail or delay reporting safeguarding concerns following this policy; the absence of evidence is not reasonable grounds to fail or delay reporting of concerns about exploitation or abuse.

 

In the UK, any member of staff and or a representative who believes that anyone is at imminent risk of significant harm should contact the police by ringing 999 (if you are located outside of the UK you must follow the guidance received from your country's Safety & Security or Safeguarding Focal Point and/or ensure you have the emergency services information before departure) and then report the matter to the Safeguarding Focal Point (as outlined below).

Staff and representatives must report any allegations and concerns about staff and representatives or the welfare of anyone to the Safeguarding Focal Point within 24 hours by emailing Bee Kind for Honey.

This duty to report and share information includes concerns related to incidents of abuse or exploitation that might have occurred in the past, however long ago or concerns where the identity of those involved is unknown.

If the allegation is a safeguarding concern about the Director of Safeguarding, the head of Governance should be informed immediately. Bee Kind for Honey recognises that the decision to report a concern can be difficult or potentially unsafe.

We will support those who raise concerns and will not tolerate the harassment, bullying or victimisation of staff for doing so, regardless of whether the concern is upheld. No staff member or representative reporting a legitimate concern under this policy will have their continued employment or involvement and opportunities for future promotion or training prejudiced as a result. Any victimisation will be treated as a disciplinary offence.

If staff and representatives feel unable to raise a concern through the usual reporting processes under this policy (for instance because they feel their concern has been previously raised and not acted upon), they should raise their concern(s) following the Bee Kind for Honey’s Whistleblowing Policy.

Victims/survivors have the right to decide whether they wish to be involved in any investigation. Where a victim/survivor does not wish to participate in an investigation, Bee Kind for Honey will assess the situation and consider whether an investigation should be undertaken.

All concerns about the welfare of children and vulnerable people in the United Kingdom will be reported following statutory guidance to the relevant agency. In other jurisdictions, reports will be made to the relevant authorities, unless doing so would place people at an unacceptable risk of additional harm.

All staff and representatives must be aware that any allegation of abuse or exploitation of children, or adults made against them will receive a thorough and robust response.

I. Where appropriate Bee Kind for Honey, will report safeguarding concerns to the Charity Commission and will meet its obligations to report such incidents to donors.

II. By consideration of referral to law enforcement authorities for criminal investigation, where appropriate to do so

III. By consulting with the relevant UK Children’s Service Department in cases of child abuse and neglect

IV. By an internal Bee Kind for Honey investigation, following this policy and (if relevant) disciplinary procedures, should a referral to statutory agencies be inappropriate, internal action may be recommended by the statutory agency concerned or after an investigation by a statutory agency. Such an investigation may result in dismissal, the ending of voluntary roles and/or the termination of partnership agreements or other forms of relationships.

V. Bee Kind for Honey will comply with its legal obligations to refer individuals to the relevant barring authorities should there be evidence that an individual has harmed a child, adult or people with whom we work or place a child, adult or people with whom we work at risk of harm.

These arrangements also apply to any representative or staff of any partner agency with whom Bee Kind for Honey has agreed to safeguarding protocols.

The head of Safeguarding will commission and oversee all investigations into safeguarding concerns, including alleged breaches of this policy, and will issue guidelines to ensure that all investigations are conducted with a victim/survivor-centred approach. Where an allegation relates to the breach of this policy by the head of Safeguarding, the head of governance may commission an investigation.

External investigations must not be commissioned unless proper agreement has been obtained from the Local Authority Designated Officer (or their equivalent) and/or the police, where necessary. The head of Safeguarding will ensure that suitably trained investigators are available to conduct any internal investigation.

Where a member of staff or representative leaves Bee Kind for Honey before the commencement or completion of a safeguarding investigation and any subsequent disciplinary process, the process will continue, and a clear outcome will be recorded.

Where appropriate Bee Kind for Honey will report safeguarding concerns to the Charity Commission and will meet its obligations to report such incidents to donors.

All staff and representatives must complete their Safeguarding Induction Training, within 4 weeks of commencing their role, in addition to other training relevant to their role and within appropriate timescales, as stipulated by Bee Kind for Honey.

Refresher training must be completed by all staff and representatives every two years.

The recruitment of all staff and volunteers must follow safer recruitment principles including, but not limited to, obtaining suitable references, providing evidence of identity and the successful completion of preengagement/ appointment checks before joining, which include criminal records checks appropriate to the level of contact with children or vulnerable people in an individual’s role.

All staff (and volunteers, where appropriate) will have their criminal record check renewed every three years and/or when they change roles to one which carries a new Safeguarding Level. Failure to do so could limit our ability to safeguard those with whom we work and could, therefore, result in disciplinary action.

Bee Kind for Honey’s recruitment processes must take robust steps to prevent any perpetrators of exploitation and abuse from being engaged or re-engaged by Bee Kind for Honey or other organisations working with vulnerable people. This will include a commitment to procuring and providing accurate references and reporting cases to statutory agencies

During the annual people development cycle process with staff and representatives line managers must demonstrate they have discussed their report’s contribution to improving the Safeguarding culture within Bee Kind for Honey.

Staff who manage any formal/contractual relationships between Bee Kind for Honey and partners, individuals, groups or organisations which bring the latter into contact with people with whom we work (including holding data and/or working with images of people with whom we work, in particular children) must ensure that the contract includes an obligation on the part of the partner to maintain robust and effective safeguarding arrangements, which accord with this policy.

Bee Kind for Honey chooses to only work with partners, individuals, groups, or organisations who adopt similar principles to prevent youth suicide, campaign anti-bullying and promote good mental health in children in their own polices. These must include clear obligations requiring their staff and representatives to be suitable to work with Bee Kind for Honey, demonstrate their commitment to maintain safeguarding compliance and act robustly when reports of breaches are received. Where partners, individuals, groups or organisations do not have their written policies, or do not meet Bee Kind for Honey’s standards, they must formally agree and implement the standards in the Bee Kind for Honey’s policy.  Failure to do so will have our partnership terminated.

If there are any concerns about any partner’s compliance with or observance of any of the agreed standards, the person with responsibility for any partnership agreement should contact the Safeguarding Team as a matter of urgency.

 

Word/Term Definition

Child

Every human being below the age of 18 irrespective of the age of the majority.

Child Abuse

UN: “Child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse (all sexual activity with a child is considered child abuse), neglect, or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power”

Child abuse can also occur online and/or through the use of social media.

Child Exploitation

UN: “Child exploitation refers to the use of children for someone else’s advantage, gratification or profit often resulting in unjust, cruel and harmful treatment of the child. These activities are to the determent of the child’s physical or mental health, education, moral or social-emotional development…it covers situations of manipulation, misuse, abuse, victimization, oppression or ill-treatment”

Child Exploitation is a subset of abuse. It is one of the many forms of child protection or safeguarding concerns.

Child Protection

The terms child protection and child safeguarding are used interchangeably by some agencies. Bee Kind for Honey differentiates between child protection and child safeguarding by defining:

• Child protection as relating to actions taken by countries, communities and organisations (through global child protection programmes) to prevent, mitigate and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence generally.

• Child safeguarding as relating to child abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence as caused by an organisation's staff and/or associates, operations and programmes.

Child Sexual Abuse

HMG: “Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening”.

The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet)”.

Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children”

Domestic Abuse

HMG: “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”

Emotional Abuse (Child)

NSPCC: “Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that involves the continual emotional mistreatment of a child. Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare, humiliate, isolate or ignore a child”

Financial Abuse

Theft or financial exploitation for another’s gain, such as Modern Slavery, deception to obtain or use funds, the purchase of unwanted or unnecessary goods or services, or coercion to make donations.

Harassment

 Harassment is unwanted conduct which is either related to a relevant protected characteristic (race, gender etc) or is sexual, where the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating the victim’s dignity or creating an environment that is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive.

Harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

Inappropriate Behaviour Breaches our values and the Code of Conduct.

Neglect of a child

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.

People who participate in our activities

Individuals or communities who receive direct or indirect assistance from Bee Kind for Honey’s activities, including but not limited to our campaigns, events, fundraising, and programming.

People with whom we work

Individuals or communities with whom Bee Kind for Honey come into contact through its programming and operations.

Physical Abuse

Actions that lead to physical harm or injuries including potential physical harm. Examples are being pushed, punched, kicked, bitten, spat at, burnt, restrained, or being struck with objects. There may be single or repeated incidents.

(Abuse of) Power

Abuse of Power consists of improper behaviour by someone with more power (or someone in a position of trust) for their benefit or satisfaction and to the detriment of a person with less power, e.g., someone in a junior role or in a position which is dependent on Bee Kind for Honey’s services.

(Imbalance of) Power (An imbalance of) Power is having influence, authority, or control over people and/or resources.

Psychological Abuse

SaveLives: “Psychological abuse involves the regular and deliberate use of a range of words and non-physical actions used with the purpose to manipulate, hurt, weaken or frighten a person mentally and emotionally; and/or distort, confuse or influence a person’s thoughts and actions within their everyday lives, changing their sense of self and harming their wellbeing”

See Child Abuse: Emotional Abuse for a definition relating to children.

Representative

Those associated with and acting on behalf of Bee Kind for Honey, but not directly employed by Bee Kind for Honey. This includes Bee Kind for Honey’s partners, agency workers, consultants, volunteers, Trustees, donors on visits to Bee Kind for Honey’s programmes, contractors, suppliers, and trainees.

Sexual Abuse

UN: “The actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions”

Sexual Exploitation

UN: “Any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power or trust for sexual purposes, including profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.”

Sexual Harassment

UN: “Unwelcome sexual advances (without touching). It includes requests for sexual favours, or other verbal or physical behaviour of a sexual nature, which may create a hostile or offensive environment”

Transactional Sexual Activity: This is the exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex or sexual/sexualised activity, including ‘sexual favours. Bee Kind for Honey does not make any judgement of those who experience such transactions but recognises the inherent unequal power dynamic and so prohibits staff from exchanging money or anything else for such contact.

Vulnerable Adult/Person

Bee Kind for Honey defines anyone over the age of 18 who, maybe is unable to protect or care for themselves because of a disability (of any kind), illness or age, those suffering from trauma, addiction, or their immigration status. The vulnerability may be temporary.

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