What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding relates to the action taken to promote the welfare of children and adults at risk and protect them from harm.
What is NPC’s role?
Much of NPC’s work involves communicating with the public and working directly with individuals and organisations to help them use their resources more effectively. This can include interaction with at risk people, in person, online or in another forum. All of NPC’s work is conducted in line with our values and code of conduct. Specifically in relation to safeguarding NPC recognises that:
- The welfare of NPC’s direct and indirect beneficiaries is paramount.
- Everybody should be kept safe from harm regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, economic status, sexual orientation or identity.
- Some people will require heightened protection due to their age, level of dependency, the impact of previous experiences, or other issues.
Who are at risk people?
Anyone may experience abuse or harm. However, certain people are considered to be at greater risk so are given more protection by law. NPC’s safeguarding policy is targeted at protecting those people most at risk–i.e. children and young people under the age of eighteen and adults at risk. An adult at risk is anyone over the age of eighteen who (a) has needs for care and/or support; (b) as a result of care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from abuse; and (c) is currently experiencing or at risk of abuse. Adults at risk may have a mental or physical illness, have a learning disability, have addiction problems, and/or be frail.
What is abuse?
The abuse that this policy refers to is applicable to all people and is, or may extend beyond:
- Physical abuse or physical injury, such as evidence of hitting, kicking or shaking, where there is definite knowledge or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented
- Emotional abuse where harm is done by persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection, such as degrading punishments, threats and not giving care and affection
- Sexual abuse where exploitation occurs. This includes rape, incest and all forms of sexual activities including pornography
- Neglect and negligent treatment, where basic needs such as food, warmth and medical care are not met, or when there is a failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, resulting in serious impairment of an ‘at risk’ person’s health or development
- Exchanging of benefits, for example goods, food and money in exchange for sexual favours
- Bullying and cyberbullying or discriminatory abuse, which could include physical or verbal intimidation, including hateful remarks based on age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, economic status, sexual orientation or identity; emotional intimidation; for example, excluding or isolating someone
- Radicalisation, where the aim is to inspire new recruits, embed extreme views and persuade ‘at risk’ individuals to the legitimacy of a cause. This may be through a direct relationship, or through social media.
What is NPC’s approach to safeguarding?
Responsibility for safeguarding is assigned to a nominated NPC representative for each activity. Responsibility for safeguarding involves (a) assessing safeguarding risk at activity inception; (b) designing and implementing appropriate actions to mitigate safeguarding risk; and (c) monitoring safeguarding risk throughout.
(a) Assessing safeguarding risk at activity inception
The nominated NPC representative is responsible for assessing the safeguarding risk at inception. Activities broadly fall into three classes:
- Low risk, where there is no intentional contact with children or adults at risk.
- Medium risk, where NPC will have some indirect contact with children or adults at risk.
- High risk, where NPC will have direct contact with children or adults at risk.
Our internal staff handbook provides further guidance and examples of low, medium and high risk activities.
(b) Designing and implementing appropriate actions to mitigate safeguarding risk
The nominated NPC representative is responsible for designing & implementing appropriate actions to mitigate safeguarding risk, in conjunction with all relevant stakeholders. There is no one size fits all. Actions are commensurate to the nature of activities and the safeguarding risk. Our internal staff handbook provides further guidance and examples of mitigating actions.
For activities with high safeguarding risk, a DBS check is obtained for all staff involved and those are given a safeguarding briefing and asked to sign a safeguarding code of conduct which complements NPC’s general code of conduct.
(c) Monitoring safeguarding risk throughout
The nominated NPC representative is responsible for reviewing and monitoring safeguarding risk throughout. The effectiveness of the original assessment and mitigation processes is updated as necessary to respond to any changes. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring children, adults at risk, and their carers with whom NPC representatives work directly are aware of the appropriate channels through which to give feedback and maintaining an environment in which these groups feel comfortable and safe to do so.
Communications. All communications with or regarding a child or adult at risk are conducted in a safe manner, whether in person, online or via any other channel, by:
- Following NPC’s code of conduct
- Taking care to ensure the privacy of the beneficiary
- Never taking photos of an at risk person and never publishing other photos without their consent
- Managing and preventing risks associated with social media use such as cyberbullying, grooming, identity theft, and exposure to inappropriate content.
Reporting and responding to concerns. Safeguarding concerns are reported to NPC’s safeguarding lead (the COO) when abuse is observed or suspected, an allegation of abuse is made or a child, adult at risk, or carer discloses abuse. The safeguarding lead will go on to take appropriate action.
If you would like to report a safeguarding concern please get in touch with NPC’s safeguarding lead–the COO. Find their email on our meet the team page.