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Child protection, vulnerable adults and safeguarding

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to protect people, particularly children, at risk adults and beneficiaries of assistance, from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with [NGO]. This includes harm arising from:

  • The conduct of staff or personnel associated with Caritas Jersey Limited
  • The design and implementation of Caritas Jersey Limited’s programmes and activities

The policy lays out the commitments made by Caritas Jersey Limited, and informs staff and associated personnel of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.

This policy does not cover:

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Safeguarding concerns in the wider community not perpetrated by Caritas Jersey Limited or associated personnel

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.

In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes.

Further definitions relating to safeguarding are provided in the glossary below.

Scope

  • All staff contracted by Caritas Jersey Limited.
  • Associated personnel whilst engaged with work or visits related to Caritas Jersey Limited, including but not limited to the following: consultants; volunteers; contractors; programme visitors including journalists, celebrities and politicians

Policy Statement

Caritas Jersey Limited 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, neglect and exploitation. Caritas Jersey Limited will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by staff or associated personnel.

This policy will address the following areas of safeguarding [as appropriate]: child safeguarding, adult safeguarding, and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse. These key areas of safeguarding may have different policies and procedures associated with them (see Associated Policies).

Caritas Jersey Limited commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.

Prevention

Caritas Jersey Limited responsibilities

Caritas Jersey Limited will:

  • Ensure all staff have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy
  • Design and undertake all its programmes and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with Caritas Jersey Limited. This includes the way in which information about individuals in our programmes is gathered and communciated
  • Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying staff and associated personnel
  • Ensure staff receive training on safeguarding at a level commensurate with their role in the organization
  • Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process

Staff responsibilities

Child safeguarding

Caritas Jersey Limited staff and associated personnel must not:

  • Engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18
  • Sexually abuse or exploit children
  • Subject a child to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect
  • Engage in any commercially exploitative activities with children including child labour or trafficking

Adult safeguarding

Caritas Jersey Limited staff and associated personnel must not:

  • Sexually abuse or exploit at risk adults
  • Subject an at risk adult to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect

Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse

Caritas Jersey Limited staff and associated personnel must not:

  • Exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual activity. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance
  • Engage in any sexual relationships with beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics

Additionally, Caritas Jersey Limited staff and associated personnel are obliged to:

  • Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy
  • Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations by an Caritas Jersey Limited staff member or associated personnel to the appropriate staff member

Enabling reports

Caritas Jersey Limited will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to staff and the communities we work with.

Any staff reporting concerns or complaints through formal whistleblowing channels (or if they request it) will be protected by [NGO]’s Disclosure of Malpractice in the Workplace (Whistleblowing) Policy.

Caritas Jersey Limited will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies.

How to report a safeguarding concern

Staff members who have a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding should report it immediately to their Safeguarding Focal Point [as appropriate] or line manager. If the staff member does not feel comfortable reporting to their Safeguarding Focal Point or line manager (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 to any other appropriate staff member, Caritas Jersey Limited Chief Executive.

Patrick Lynch                                                                                                                                                                      Chief Executive Officer                                                                                                                                    CaritassJersey                                                                                                                                                      19,VallPlaisant                                                                                                                                                                  St. Helier                                                                                                                                                                                JE2 4TA

Response

Caritas Jersey Limited will follow up safeguarding reports and concerns according to policy and procedure, and legal and statutory obligations (see Procedures for reporting and response to safeguarding concerns in Associated Policies).

Caritas Jersey Limited will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of policy.

Caritas Jersey Limited will offer support to survivors of harm caused by staff or associated personnel, regardless of whether a formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation). Decisions regarding support will be led by the survivor.

Confidentiality

It is essential that confidentiality in maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need to know basis only, and should be kept secure at all times.

Glossary of Terms

Beneficiary of Assistance

Someone who directly receives goods or services from [NGO]’s programme. Note that misuse of power can also apply to the wider community that the NGO serves, and also can include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power.

Child

A person below the age of 18

Harm

Psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights

Psychological harm

Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) humiliating and degrading treatment such as bad name calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement and isolation

Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)

The term used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or associated personnel. The term derives from the United Nations Secretary General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13)

Safeguarding

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

In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes. One donor definition is as follows:

Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriately when harm does occur.

This definition draws from our values and principles and shapes our culture. It pays specific attention to preventing and responding to harm from any potential, actual or attempted abuse of power, trust, or vulnerability, especially for sexual purposes.

Safeguarding applies consistently and without exception across our programmes, partners and staff. It requires proactively identifying, preventing and guarding against all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable and transparent systems for response, reporting and learning when risks materialise. Those systems must be survivor-centred and also protect those accused until proven guilty.

Safeguarding puts beneficiaries and affected persons at the centre of all we do.

Sexual abuse

The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Sexual exploitation

The term ‘sexual exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This definition incudes human trafficking and modern slavery.

Survivor

The person who has been abused or exploited. The term ‘survivor’ is often used in preference to ‘victim’ as it implies strength, resilience and the capacity to survive, however it is the individual’s choice how they wish to identify themselves.

At risk adult

Sometimes also referred to as vulnerable adult. A person who is or may be in need of care by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

ADDENDUM

As the Diocese of Portsmouth is responsible for developing policies for all Catholic organisations within its own structure Caritas Jersey Limited is guided by the Safeguarding Policy developed by the Diocese by virtue of being represented by the Catholic Dean of Jersey.

The below information is explaining the Diocese Safeguarding policy in more detail.

What is Safeguarding?

Every human being has a value and dignity which we as Catholics acknowledge as coming directly from God’s creation of male and female in his own image and likeness. This implies a duty to value all people and therefore to support them and protect them from harm.
In the Catholic Church this is demonstrated by the provision of carefully planned activities for children, young people and adults; supporting families under stress; caring for those hurt by abuse in the past; ministering to and managing those who have caused harm.
It is because of these varied ministries that we need to provide a safe environment for all which promotes and supports their wellbeing. This will include carefully selecting and appointing those who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults and responding robustly where concerns arise.

Who is responsible for safeguarding in the Catholic Church?

Everyone has a responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of vulnerable people. In England & Wales overall responsibility sits with the Bishops Conference and the Conference of Religious.

How does that work across the country?

Following the release of “Safeguarding with Confidence,” the report of the Cumberlege Commission in 2007, a National Catholic Safeguarding Commission was established. This reports directly to the Conference of Bishops and the Conference of Religious.
The Commission also oversees and manages the work of the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service. This (CSAS) is the National Office with responsibility for developing and supporting the implementation of National Policies and Procedures. It has a primary role in supporting and advising Diocesan Safeguarding arrangements. The National Office meets regularly with Safeguarding Co-ordinators and Officers from the Dioceses in order to improve consistency of practice and identify learning and development needs.

How does it work in the Diocese?

The Bishop is responsible for safeguarding issues in his Diocese. He delegates responsibility via the Trustees to the Safeguarding Commission. The Safeguarding Commission, together with the Bishop, appoint a Safeguarding Co-ordinator, and Safeguarding Officer. The Commission is accountable to the Bishop and advise him on policy implementation and best practice. The Co-ordinator and Officer report to the Commission and are accountable to the Bishop via the Commission.

What is the Safeguarding Commission?

It is a group of independent professional people, appointed by the Bishop, to oversee the implementation of Safeguarding Policies. The membership is made up of people with specific experience and expertise in safeguarding issues and includes representatives from the Police, Safeguarding Organisations, Social Work, the Probation Service and the clergy. The Commission meets regularly to discuss policies and procedures, receive reports from the Co-ordinator and Officer and when necessary to discuss investigations and other case work and prepare reports for the Bishop.

What does the Safeguarding Co-ordinator do?

The Co-ordinator manages the safeguarding function within the Diocese. This includes management of the Safeguarding Officer. In smaller Dioceses there may not be a Safeguarding Officer in which case the Co-ordinator carries out the responsibilities listed for them.

What does the Safeguarding Officer do?

The Officer carries out the routine administration of the Safeguarding Office which includes the maintenance of Parish files, identity verification and Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks for all employees and volunteers within the Diocese who may have contact with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults. They keep a database for the Diocese and also maintain information on the National Database which is held by CSAS. They are also responsible for training Parish Representatives in the procedures they must follow when volunteers are appointed in the Parish, in best practice in dealing with situations where children and vulnerable adults are present and in what to do if they are concerned about a particular situation or person. They are responsible for referring all abuse allegations to the Statutory Authority (Police) and for working closely with them on such cases to ensure the safety of the public. They report to the Diocesan Safeguarding Commission which then makes recommendations to the Bishop.

What does a Parish Safeguarding Representative do?

The Parish Safeguarding Representative is responsible for: making sure the Parish is aware of the importance of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults; promoting good and safe practice, including what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour; with their Parish Priest and the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Officer decide how to administer the National Safeguarding Policies and Procedures within the Parish.

What should I do if I want to become a Volunteer?

There is a wide range of “volunteer” roles within the parish, including Parish Safeguarding Representative, Extraordinary Minister of Communion, Youth Group Leader, Catechist, Drama Group Leader, Altar Server, Driver etc. .
You should speak to your Parish Safeguarding Representative and Parish Priest. You will have to complete a number of forms and discuss the reasons for wanting to be a volunteer. You will not be able to commence voluntary work until you have completed the application procedures and received a letter of appointment.

What should I do if I think a vulnerable person is at risk or is being abused?

NEVER discuss this with the person who you think is the abuser. If you have witnessed abuse or received an allegation of abuse where a child is in immediate danger you must inform the Statutory Authorities (Police/Social Services). You should then inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator/Officer that you have done this. If you think there is no immediate danger you must report the allegation to the Co-ordinator/Officer immediately, who will then inform the Statutory Authorities.
If you think that someone is being groomed, discuss the issue with the Diocesan Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Officer who will agree with you what action to take.
“Grooming” is a process undertaken by those seeking to perpetrate sexual abuse. This can take months, sometimes years, and will almost inevitably involve grooming of parents/carers. In its early stages, grooming may be misinterpreted as kindness or helpfulness, while latterly it tends to become increasingly coercive and manipul