Safeguarding policy – Compass Skills Training

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Safeguarding is protecting children, young people (under 18) and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect. In the context of Compass, this usually means providing a safe environment for them to study, visit and participate in activities; we also have a responsibility to act where we become aware that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is at risk outside of Compass.

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We will seek to keep children, young people and vulnerable adults safe by:
• Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
• Providing effective management by adopting child protection practices through our policies and procedures and providing support and training for our staff
• Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and students as appropriate
• Sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children, young people and vulnerable adults appropriately.

We will take all reasonable measures to:
• Ensure that all have the opportunity to participate in Compass activities in a safe and secure environment
• Identify and prevent anyone who is unsuitable to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults from doing so
• Ensure that any child, young person or vulnerable adult who is at risk of, or experiencing significant harm is identified and responded to appropriately and without delay; developing and implementing appropriate procedures for responding to accidents, incidents, alleged or suspected harm
• Ensure that all concerns are taken seriously, responded to appropriately and without delay

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Compass’s mission is to create positive change in our students, staff and business partners, enabling them to develop their full potential. We have a diverse staff and student population. The protection and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is therefore an important element of our values.

The purpose of this policy is to:-
• Protect children, young people and vulnerable adults associated with Compass
• Provide staff, students, visitors, contractors etc. with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding and ensure appropriate support and advice is available to them.

All staff, students, contractors or representatives of Compass are expected to comply with this policy and promote the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.  Line managers are responsible for monitoring that relevant staff members in their department are made aware of and follow the policy, as appropriate to individual job roles. If there is a concern that the policy is not being followed correctly, advice should be sought from the Safeguarding Officer whose details will be provided to you upon your induction and are available from your Course Leader.

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Safeguarding Officer – The Managing Director, Paul Williams, will hold the lead for safeguarding, providing a source of advice, support and communicationand ensuring it is afforded appropraite priority and resources.

Course Leaders – will champion safeguarding and monitor safeguarding priniples and risk and mitigating actions in relation to safeguarding.

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Course leaders will be provided with safeguardng training to ensure that they are competent and confident to undertake this important role.

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Anybody reporting a concern in good faith and in the genuine belief that there are concerns relating to safeguarding will be supported to do so even in the event of that concern subsequently being found to be unsubstantiated.

It is not the responsibility of any one working for Compass, in a paid or voluntary capacity, to decide whether or not abuse is taking place. However, there is a responsibility to act on concerns in accordance with this policy to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm.

Compass will have no investigative role and it is not the place of Compass employees or students to make a judgement about whether abuse has occurred – this is the remit of external agencies.  Any incident which causes concern in respect of a child, young person or vulnerable adult should be reported immediately to the Safeguarding Officer. Below are examples of incidents that are required to be reported:

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All concerns relating to a child, young person’s or vulnerable adult’s welfare will be taken seriously and responded to proportionately and appropriately. The impact is potentially distressing for all concerned. It is important that all allegations are handled correctly and proper records are kept.

The Safeguarding Officer will consider all concerns and complete the appropriate documentation.  He will provide support and where appropriate telephone the referral into Children’s Social Care/ Adult Social Care.
They will also ensure that the appropriate referral form for external agencies is completed within 24 hours.

Allegations or suspicion of abuse against a Compass employee at work
There may be three strands in the consideration of an allegation:
A police investigation of a possible criminal offence
Enquiries and assessment by children’s or adult social care about whether a child, young person or vulnerable adult is in need of protection or in need of services
Consideration by Compass as the employer, of action under the disciplinary policy, in respect of the employee against whom the allegation has been made.
Note – an investigation would always be undertaken before disciplinary action is taken.

The possible outcomes from the action may include the following:
(a) That there should be an immediate referral to child protection agencies to deal with the matter. The Safeguarding Officer will be responsible for liaising with Children’s Social Care and other relevant agencies.
(b) That the allegation is without foundation and does not warrant further investigation.
(c) If the allegation was prompted by inappropriate behaviour by theemployee this may need to be considered under the Disciplinary Procedure

Where allegations of abuse call for immediate referral to child protection agencies or Local Safeguarding Adults’ Boards
Subsequent action taken will be in accordance with the Local Safeguarding Children’s/Vulnerable Adult’s Boards procedures
The Safeguarding Office will liaise with the agencies to obtain information on the progress of the investigation.
Compass will conduct an internal investigation. However, any investigation by the police, child or adult protection agencies will usually take priority and any internal processes will be held pending the outcome of these, though in appropriate cases,
Compass may proceed before an investigation is completed. The circumstances in which an internal investigation should take place will be discussed with the appropriate Local Authority Designated Officers for adults or children. As a general rule, an internal investigation will commence after the child or adult protection agencies have completed their investigation. All records relating to the matter and the investigation will be kept confidential.

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