Eden Rivers Trust (ERT) is an environmental charity that encourages children’s, young people’s and adults at risk understanding of river conservation issues, helping them to connect to and take action for rivers in the following ways:
• Through schools’ outreach.
• Through community engagement activities.
• Through volunteering.
• By participating in ERT activities and events for children and families.
• By interacting with ERT on our websites and social media platforms.
We want participants to enjoy their involvement with ERT and we must operate safely, with safeguarding as the top priority. We also recognise that we may have incidental or targeted interaction with children, adults at risk and their carers’, and need to act and be seen to act appropriately at all times.
We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and adults at risk. They are entitled to protection from physical, sexual and emotional harm and have the right to a safe, positive and enjoyable environment when involved with ERT.
The purpose of this policy
To provide protection for children and adults at risk who undertake activities with ERT.
To provide staff with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or adult at risk may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.
The policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, the board of trustees, employees, volunteers, students, or anyone working on behalf of ERT.
The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved with ERT. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children and vulnerable adults in England:
− The Children Act 1989
− United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991
− Human Rights Act 1998
− Sexual Offences Act 2003
− Children Act 2004
− Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
− Equality Act 2010
− Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
− Children and Families Act 2014
− Care Act 2014
− Working together to safeguard children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; HM Government 2015
− Modern Slavery Act 2015
− Data Protection Act 2018 (relating to EU General Data Protection Regulations)
This Safeguarding Policy is based on the following key principles:
- The welfare of the child or adult at risk is paramount.
- All children and adults at risk will have a positive, enjoyable and safe experience with ERT.
- All participants, regardless of age, disability, gender identity or gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, or national origin), religion and belief, sexual orientation, ex-offender status or socio-economic background, have the right to protection from harm, abuse or exploitation.
- All allegations, suspicions of harm or abuse and concerns will be taken seriously and be responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.
- Everyone will work in partnership to promote the welfare, health and development of children and adults at risk.
- Our safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice and regulatory requirements wherever we operate as a charity.
ERT acknowledges that some children or adults at risk, including those who are disabled can be particularly vulnerable to abuse, and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.
All staff regardless of their role (or anyone working on behalf of ERT) have a responsibility for understanding our policy and implementing our safeguarding approach.
As part of our Safeguarding Policy ERT:
- Promotes and prioritises the safety and well-being of children and adults at risk.
- Ensures everyone working with children and vulnerable adults clearly understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate training opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and adults at risk.
- Ensures appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support is provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern.
- Ensures that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored.
- Prevents the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals to roles involving working with children or adults at risk.
- Ensures robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation, and
- Has a Safeguarding Steering Group chaired by the Head of Engagement. The purpose of the Group is to provide strategic direction for ERT policies and to annually review procedures to protect children and adults at risk.
We seek to safeguard children and adults at risk by:
- Valuing, listening to and respecting children and adults at risk.
- Adopting child protection and adults at risk guidelines through appropriate procedures and a code of conduct for staff.
- Recruiting responsibly, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
- Sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children, parents, carers, adults at risk and staff.
- Sharing information about concerns with appropriate agencies who need to know, and involving carers, parents, children and adults at risk appropriately.
- Providing effective leadership and management for staff working with children and adults at risk through supervision, support and training.
- Using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff appropriately.
The Safeguarding Steering Group will review this policy on an annual basis.