This policy applies to all staff, directors, volunteers and anyone working on behalf of The Together Project with regards to Songs & Smiles.
The purpose of this policy is:
- to protect children who use The Together Project’s services
- to protect vulnerable adults who use The Together Project’s services
- to provide staff, directors and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding and the protection of children and vulnerable adults.
We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and vulnerable adults and are committed to operating in a way that protects them.
Our user groups
By ‘child’, we mean a person under the age of 16 who attends Songs & Smiles with his or her parent or guardian. They are usually, but not exclusively, under the age of five.
By ‘vulnerable adult’, we mean a resident of the care home who is or may be, for any reason, unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself from harm or exploitation.
The Together Project is committed to anti-discriminatory practice and strives to ensure all children and vulnerable adults using our service have the same protection regardless of age, gender, disability, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children and vulnerable adults, namely:
- Children Act 1989
- United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Sexual Offences Act 2003
- Children Act 2004
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
- Children and Families Act 2014
This policy should be read alongside our policies and procedures on:
- recruitment, training and support
- risk management
- code of conduct
- complaints and allegations
We will seek to keep children and vulnerable adults safe by:
- ensuring children remain the responsibility of their accompanying parent/guardian at our events and are not left unattended at any time
- requiring that at least one member of care home staff is present in the residents’ lounge (or other location in which our activities are taking place) at all times when The Together Project’s staff/volunteers and parents/guardians and children are on site. No vulnerable adult should be left unattended by care home staff for the duration of the activity or during arrival/departure times
- requesting that the care home assesses each resident’s suitability to attend Songs & Smiles, particularly with regards to any challenging behaviour they may present around young children
- stipulating that The Together Project’s staff/volunteers work within their role descriptions and do not take on additional tasks such as accompanying residents to the bathroom, assisting with personal care etc.
- not allowing personal contact details to be shared between The Together Project’s staff/volunteers and care home residents
- recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made including the taking of two references (using DBS checks where required by the individual care home)
- using our procedures to manage any complaints and allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
- ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for children and vulnerable adults, staff and volunteers by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance and carrying out a comprehensive risk assessment
- obtaining written permission via signed consent forms for any filming or photography of any child or vulnerable adult (completed by an appropriate representative for the vulnerable adult where necessary)
- providing comprehensive training to our volunteers, as well as a Dementia Friends Information Session to help volunteers understand the condition better
Concerns or complaints
Concerns about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult during Songs & Smiles, or about the behaviour of a staff member or volunteer from The Together Project, must be reported as soon as possible to a Manager or the Safeguarding Lead, Louise Goulden, following the procedures in our Complaints and Allegations policy.
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually. This policy was last reviewed on 22nd February 2018 by Louise Goulden.