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Version No

Date Change Made

New Version No

Changes Made by (initial)

Comment

 

Aug 2015

 

 

Approved at MTC 06 10 15 Agenda Item 12.3

00.02

December 2018

 

         GA

Reviewed at MTC 10 12 18

Agenda Item 13.6

01.00

 

 

 

Reviewed at MTC 16 12 19

Agenda item 10.7

01.01

 

 

HW

For review at Full Council 20/09/21

02.00

Oct 2021

 

 

Amended as approved at Full Council 20/09/21 Agenda Item 10.1

 

Contents

toc goes in here

1. Introduction

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 Macclesfield Town Council is committed to protecting children and vulnerable adults from harm.

1.1.2 Staff and Members will accept and recognise their responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which may cause harm to children or vulnerable adults. It is acknowledged as a sensitive and difficult issue but one which must be addressed.

1.2 Protection Policy Statement

1.2.1 Macclesfield Town Council endeavours to safeguard children and vulnerable adults by:

  • Stating that the welfare of children/vulnerable adults is paramount;
  • Adopting child protection/vulnerable adult guidelines through an operational procedure for staff and members;
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children/vulnerable adults, and parents/guardians;
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies that need to know, and involving parents/guardians and children/vulnerable adults where appropriate;
  • Investigating and responding to all suspicions and allegations of abuse;
  • Following carefully the procedures for recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers;
  • Providing effective management for staff throughout supervision, support and training;
  • Provide suitable training for relevant staff.

1.2.2 The Council’s child/vulnerable adult protection policies and guidelines are there to be acted upon to protect staff and Members as well as children and vulnerable adults.

1.2.3 Child/vulnerable adult abuse can and does occur outside the family setting and it is important to understand what to look for and how to react. 

2. Operating Procedures

2.1 Macclesfield Town Council’s standards

2.1.1 All staff, members and volunteers must be DBS, Disclosure and Barring Service (or equivalent government agency), checked prior to working in a regulated activity.

2.1.2 The Disclosure & Barring Service states regulated activity as work that a barred person must not do and is defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (SVGA) which has been amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA).

2.1.3  More information can be found on the Government’s DBS regulated activity webpage.

2.1.4 On initial appointment all volunteers must submit two references (including phone numbers) by reputable individuals (who cannot be family members), which the Town Clerk will check.

2.1.5 If the Council becomes aware or is informed of information from a reputable source (e.g. Police, NSPCC, Social Services etc.) that an individual is not suitable to be involved with a Council project, it has the right to stop the individual from having any further involvement in any Council projects or services.

2.1.6 A copy of the Safeguarding Policy will be available for inspection at any of the Council’s premises by parents, carers, etc.

2.1.7 The Town Clerk is appointed as the responsible officer for implementing the Council’s Safeguarding Policy will.

2.1.8 The Town Clerk will report all incidents to the Council’s insurers, where the project or service is covered by the Council’s insurance policy.

2.2 Good Practice

2.2.1 The Council’s activities and services do not generally require the direct supervision of children/vulnerable adults, however the Mayor’s Cadet Scheme will be regulated under current legislation.

2.2.2 The following good practice will however be brought to the attention of all staff. Promoting good practice can reduce the possibility of potentially abusive situations and help to protect staff, councillors and volunteers. The following are more specific examples of care which should be taken when working within a Council context:

  • Always be publicly open when working with children/vulnerable adults. Avoid situations where a single member of staff and an individual child/vulnerable adult are working unobserved.
  • If any form of physical manual support is required, there should always be a second members of staff present or another responsible adult. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child/vulnerable adult is constantly moving. Some parents/guardians are becoming increasing sensitive about physical manual support and their views should always be carefully considered.
  • Council staff should not get directly involved in supervising children/vulnerable adults except in an emergency situation. This should otherwise be left to parents, guardians or siblings or to the leaders of organisations.
  • As a general rule it makes sense for staff/volunteers not to spend excessive amounts of time alone with children/vulnerable adults.

 2.2.3 You should never:

  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay;
  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching;
  • Allow children/vulnerable adults to use inappropriate language;
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a child/vulnerable adult, even in fun;
  • Allow allegations made by a child/vulnerable adult to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon;
  • Do things of a personal nature for children/vulnerable adults they can do for themselves.

2.2.4 It may, in the case of an emergency, be necessary for staff to do things of a personal nature for children/vulnerable adults, particularly if they are young or have impairments. These tasks should only be carried out with the written consent of a parent, parents or formal guardian(s) in charge and the children/vulnerable adults involved. You need to be responsive to the child’s/vulnerable adult’s reactions – if a child is fully dependent upon you, talk with him/her about what you are doing, give choices where possible, particularly, if you are involved in any dressing or undressing, or where there is physical contact or lifting or assisting a child to carry out a particular activity.

2.2.5 If you accidentally hurt a child/vulnerable adult; he/she seems distressed in any manner; appears to be sexually aroused by your actions; or misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done, report any such incident as soon as possible to the Town Clerk or another colleague and make a brief written note of it. Parents/guardians or carers should be informed of the incident.

2.3 Procedures for disclosure

2.3.1 The law says you must tell the DBS if you think an employee has harmed or may harm a child or vulnerable adult. Barring referrals can be made online or by post.

2.3.2 For information on referrals, see the Government Guidance on barring referrals and the DBS guide on how to make referrals.

2.3.3 The Town Clerk will report all incidents and contact the Police where necessary.

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