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Safeguarding Policy

Last updated: 05/07/2019


  1. Our Policy
    1. Policy Statement
    2. Definitions
      1. Child / Young Person
      2. Vulnerable Adults / Adults at Risk
      3. Types of Abuse
    3. National framework
  2. Applicable to
  3. Responsibilities
  4. Managing Concerns and Disclosures
    1. Procedure
    2. Incident Classification
    3. Police and Social Services – Who to contact
    4. Information Sharing and Confidentiality
  5. Prevent Policy
  6. Learning, Monitoring and Review
  7. Supporting our Participants
    1. Recruitment
    2. Code of Conduct and Behaviour Management
  8. Supporting our Staff and Volunteers
    1. Recruitment
    2. Training
    3. Probation
    4. Staff Code of Conduct
    5. Staff Welfare
  9. Allegations against staff and volunteers
  10. Whistleblowing

Key Contacts

Head of Safeguarding, Quality and Compliance

Tim Bevans

Human Resources and Organisational Development

Sian Vernon

Trustee for Safeguarding

Christine Davies


Non-urgent safeguarding


1. Our Policy

1.1. Policy Statement

The Challenge believes that no child or vulnerable adult should experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practise in a way that safeguards them and the people we work with.

The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and vulnerable adults are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, they should:

  • have a positive and enjoyable experience of our programmes in a safe and person-centred environment;
  • be protected from abuse and harm.

The Challenge acknowledges that some participants e.g. those with disabilities, those who are looked after by the local authority, those for whom English is not their first language or who come from a challenging home environment, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.

The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in The Challenge. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.

1.2. Definitions

1.2.1. Child / Young Person

A child is defined as anyone who has not reached the age of 18. This is enshrined in UK law and the UN Convention of Human Rights. For the purposes of this policy and relevant procedures the term “​child”​ and “​young person​” are used to mean the same thing.

Safeguarding children is defined in “​Working together to safeguard children 2018​” as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

1.2.2. Vulnerable Adults / Adults at Risk

An adult at risk of abuse or neglect is defined as someone who has needs for care and support, who is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and as a result of their care needs is unable to protect themselves.

Safeguarding vulnerable adults is defined in the care and support statutory guidance issued under the Care Act 2014 as:

  • protecting the rights of adults to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect;
  • people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect;
  • people and organisations making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, taking fully into account their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action;
  • recognising that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances and therefore potential risks to their safety or well-being.

For the purposes of this policy The Challenge will apply similar standards and responses to young
people as vulnerable adults.

1.2.3. Types of Abuse

Abuse is defined as: ​“a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or by others (e.g. via the internet).”

Children may be vulnerable to neglect and abuse or exploitation from within their family and from individuals they come across in their day-to-day lives. These threats can take a variety of different forms, including: sexual, physical and emotional abuse; neglect; exploitation by criminal gangs and organised crime groups; trafficking; online abuse; sexual exploitation and the influences of extremism leading to radicalisation. Whatever the form of abuse or neglect, The Challenge will put the needs of children, young people and vulnerable adults first when determining what action to take.

Abuse may be perpetrated by a range of people including family members, adult(s) known to the young person and other young people, and offences are committed by females as well as males.

The Challenge recognises that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely stand alone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another.

For further information on the different forms of abuse please refer to Appendix B.

1.3. National framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children and young people. The Challenge acknowledges its responsibilities under “Working together to Safeguard Children (2018)” and recognises its duty to cooperate if named as a relevant partner by a Safeguarding Partner.

The Challenge works across many local authorities and has based policy and practice on the published guidance of London Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)* as this is the location of our Head Office.

* As a result to changes in legislation LSCB’s will be replaced by “Safeguarding Partners” during 2019 and The Challenge will review procedures when they are published.

2. Applicable to

This policy applies to all staff, trustees and volunteers of The Challenge irrespective of their role or contract type and any person or organisation working on our behalf.

Sub-contractors, including NCS Local Delivery Partners, are expected to meet minimum similar standards as those outlined in this document and to reflect these in their own policies and procedures. We will carry out checks on organisations with whom we work, that have contact with young people, to ensure that they are providing a safe environment.

3. Responsibilities

The Challenge believes that the responsibility for safeguarding is shared by everyone working and volunteering with us, but with a clear leadership and accountability structure running through the organisation.

  • Trustee Board:​ reviews and approves the Safeguarding Policy and Safeguarding Annual Report each year and has a named trustee with specific responsibility for safeguarding and Prevent.
  • CEO: ​sets the organisational culture of safeguarding and ensures that the Head of Safeguarding is appropriately resourced and supported to carry out the duties of the role.
  • Director of HR and OD: ​is the lead director with responsibility for Safeguarding and ensuring organisational compliance with safeguarding policies and procedures.
  • Head of Safeguarding, Quality and Compliance:​ responsible for the strategic lead for safeguarding across the organisation. Has access to Safeguarding trustee.
  • Safeguarding and Incident Manager: ​Provides operational support and advice to DSL’s during the summer.
  • Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL’s):​ responsible for the response to safeguarding incidents and concerns within a geographical or functional area and liaising with external agencies. (cont.)
  • Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSO’s) – NCS only​: responsible for supporting the DSL in dealing with safeguarding incidents and concerns during NCS summer delivery.
  • All staff (core, seasonal, temporary, contracted and volunteers)​: are responsible for ensuring that the welfare of participants remains paramount in all that we do.

4. Managing Concerns and Disclosures

All concerns and allegations will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. The Challenge recognises that whilst some incidents and allegations will require the support and / or intervention of external agencies, others may be supported through existing internal support mechanisms.

4.1. Procedure

If a participant discloses that they have been a victim of abuse, or if an employee has concerns that a child, young person or adult is at risk of harm or abuse, they should immediately:

  • Inform the young person that what they say may not be able to be kept confidential (if they are at risk of harm or someone else is).
  • If they continue, allow the young person to speak without interruption, accepting what is said. Reassure them that they have done the right thing while passing no judgement.
  • Ensure no situation arises that could cause any further concern.
  • Record the facts as you know them on an incident form and pass to the Designated Safeguarding Lead / Officer at the soonest opportunity.
  • Escalate it to the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately.

If a member of staff suspects abuse, or has concerns about another staff member, but it has not been disclosed, follow the process as above but without Steps 1 and 2.

4.2. Incident Classification

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for ensuring accurate records are kept and will classify the incident / allegation based on The Challenge’s ​indicative ​classification system to help differentiate the types and level of concern. If staff are unsure, it should always be reported up (see Appendix D).

4.3. Police and Social Services – Who to contact

The Challenge will take the following approach if external agencies need to be involved:

  • Child Protection and Welfare Concerns​: inform Social Services in the borough in which the child lives.
  • Criminal offence committed against a young person or vulnerable adult​: inform the police in the borough in which the offence has occurred.

4.4. Information Sharing and Confidentiality

Data protection legislation is not a barrier to sharing reasonable safeguarding concerns.

If it is necessary to share information concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Leador, in their absence, social services, to prevent a young person or adult at risk from suffering neglect or physical, mental or emotional harm then that information must be shared.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will make the decision as to whether it is appropriate to contact the parents or guardians of the young person. This decision may be taken with advice from external agencies.

5. Prevent Policy

The aim of the Government’s Prevent Strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. In the Act this has simply been expressed as the need to have “​due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism​”. Prevent covers international and domestic terrorist threats, and includes the activities of farright groupsand animal rights groups.

The Challenge’s policy is that it will raise concerns with appropriate authorities if it is identified that any young person, vulnerable adult, staff member or volunteer is expressing vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs on any of its programmes.

6. Learning, Monitoring and Review

The Challenge will continually review and evaluate its Safeguarding practice in line with the Safeguarding Review Procedure. The Head of Safeguarding will contribute to the Annual Compliance Report for the trustee board summarising departmental evaluations, analysing safeguarding data and trends, and identifying any key areas for improvement and headlines (see Appendix E).

7. Supporting our Participants

7.1. Recruitment

The Challenge will collect relevant information relating to medical and support needs prior to participation in order to assess and support participant needs in order to ensure they are safe on our programmes.

7.2. Code of Conduct and Behaviour Management

Participants in our programmes will receive information about how to keep themselves safe whilst participating in the programme and the expected standards of behaviour. Young people who do not follow this will be dealt with through relevant policies.

8. Supporting our Staff and Volunteers

8.1. Recruitment

The Challenge operates a Safer Recruitment Policy, based on best practice, that is applicable to all roles irrespective of contract type and is overseen by the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development.

8.2. Training

The Challenge ensures that staff are able to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities more effectively by providing a comprehensive induction and ongoing training relevant to their roles. There is a Safeguarding Training Matrix for details of training requirements depending on role and responsibilities. These will be organised and monitored by the Talent, Learning and Culture team who will record participation and completion (see Appendix F).

8.3. Probation

Staff cannot pass their probation unless they have completed their Level 1 Safeguarding induction or without all relevant safer recruitment checks being signed off.

8.4. Staff Code of Conduct

The Challenge expects all staff and volunteers to behave in a professional manner when working with our participants. As part of their commitment to this we ask all staff and volunteers to sign a code of conduct. This may differ depending on role and the level of engagement with young people and vulnerable adults; it includes use of social media and professional appearance (see Appendix G).

8.5. Staff Welfare

We recognise that working with young people and vulnerable adults who are victims of abuse can be challenging and impact staff and volunteer wellbeing. The Challenge offers the following support mechanisms:

  • Access to Employee Assistance Programme advice and counselling for permanent and delivery staff;
  • Mental health training for managers;
  • Promotion of help-lines such as NSPCC to all staff.

9. Allegations against staff and volunteers

Any allegation that an employee or volunteer has behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed a participant, will be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively and promptly. There is a separate procedure for dealing with allegations against staff.

10. Whistleblowing

The Challenge has a clear whistleblowing procedure, referenced in staff training and codes of conduct, and promotes a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and the welfare of children to be addressed. Concerns can be emailed