Our safeguarding policy
Published December 2021
Safeguarding lead: Richard Bryant, Director of Programmes
The purpose of this policy is to protect people, particularly children, at risk adults and beneficiaries of assistance, from any harm that may be caused due to their encountering Driver Youth Trust (DYT). This includes harm arising from:
- The conduct of staff or personnel associated with DYT
- The design and implementation of DYT’s programmes and activities
The policy lays out the commitments made by DYT and informs staff and associated personnel of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
This policy does not cover:
- Sexual harassment in the workplace – this is dealt with under DYT’s Dignity at Work policy.
Any safeguarding concerns staff or personnel associated with DYT have concerning sites we are working within such as schools, should also be raised with the safeguarding lead for that school/organisation for them to follow their own safeguarding processes.
What is safeguarding?
In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. This especially applies to children, young people and vulnerable adults.
The current statuatory guidance defines safeguarding children as:
- protecting children from maltreatment and exploitation
- 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 in life
A vulnerable adult is defined as a person who may not for any reason be able to take care of themselves, or who are unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation. When safeguarding a vulnerable adult, we must consider the six principles of the 2014 Care Act:
- Empowerment – support and encourage the adult to make their own decisions and informed consent
- Prevention – take action before harm or neglect occurs
- Proportionality – taking the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented
- Protection – support and represent those greatest in need
- Partnership – explore local and community solutions and services to prevent, detect and report neglect and abuse
- Accountability – staff should be transparent and accountable when following safeguarding practice
In line with this guidance, we understand DYT staff and associated personnel have a duty to protect those children, young people and vulnerable adults encountering our staff and programmes from harm.
Further definitions relating to safeguarding are provided in the glossary below.
This policy applies to:
- All staff contracted by DYT
- Associated personnel whilst engaged with work or visits related to DYT, including but not limited to the following: consultants; volunteers; contractors; programme visitors including journalists, celebrities and politicians
DYT believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, disability, gender identity, marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy/maternity status, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. DYT will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by staff or associated personnel.
This policy will address the following areas of safeguarding, child safeguarding, adult safeguarding, and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse. These key areas of safeguarding may have different policies and procedures associated with them (see Associated Policies).
DYT commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.
It’s widely accepted that those who work in an education setting are well placed to identify and recognise when there’s a potential issue. Because of this, it’s crucial that DYT staff and associated personnel understand their responsibilities and the role you play in safeguarding.
- Ensure all staff have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy
- Familiarise themselves with the safeguarding policies and procedures of the educational settings they are deployed in or visiting
- Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy
- Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations by a DYT staff member or associated personnel to the Chief Executive
- Wear designated identification at all times when working in education settings or where children or vulnerable adults might be present, including the central office
- Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying staff, volunteers and associated personnel
- Ensure that DYT staff and associated personnel who may encounter children or vulnerable adults provide an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate prior to appointment and either subscribe to the DBS Update Service or renew every three years thereafter
- Ensure staff receive training on safeguarding at a level commensurate with their role in the organization
- Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process
- In line with the government’s 2006 Prevent Strategy, staff have a duty to recognise when somebody is vulnerable and at risk of radicalisation and targeting from extremist groups. For further information please refer to Home Office guidance
- Under the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act 2003, DYT must contact the police if a staff member is informed that a girl under 18 has undergone FGM
Staff responsibilities – child safeguarding
DYT staff and associated personnel must not:
- Engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18 who could be deemed as a beneficiary of DYT’s work, including but not limited to the provision of grants or other types of funding
- Sexually abuse or exploit children
- Subject a child to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect
- Engage in any commercially exploitative activities with children including child labour or trafficking
Staff responsibilities – adult safeguarding
DYT staff and associated personnel must not:
- Sexually abuse or exploit vulnerable adults
- Subject a vulnerable adult to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect
Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse
DYT staff and associated personnel must not:
- Exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual activity. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance
- Engage in any sexual relationships with beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics
- DYT will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to staff and the communities we work with.
- All safeguarding concerns, including those related to DYT’s partner schools, must be logged with the Director of Programmes and recorded centrally.
- Any staff reporting concerns or complaints through formal whistleblowing channels (or if they request it) will be protected by DYT’s Whistleblowing Policy.
- DYT will also respond to complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies.
How to report a safeguarding concern
If staff members believe the child or adult to be in immediate danger, they should report to the Police without delay. In addition, all complaints or concerns relating to safeguarding should be reported immediately to DYT’s designated safeguarding lead, the Director of Programmes. If the staff member does not feel comfortable reporting to the designated safeguarding lead (for example if they feel that the report will not be taken seriously, or if that person is implicated in the concern) they may report to any other senior staff member, for example the Chief Executive. The safeguarding lead should report their concerns with one of the following agencies within 24 hours of receiving a safeguarding concern:
- The Local Authority child protection team. When someone is 18 or over but is still receiving children’s services and a safeguarding issue is raised, the matter should be dealt with through Children’s Services, via the Leaving Care Team.
- The NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. They will then pass the concern onto the local child protection team who will investigate it.
- Concerns regarding individuals becoming susceptible to radicalisation can be raised by calling the national police Prevent advice line on 0800 011 3764.
DYT will follow up safeguarding reports and concerns according to policy and procedure, and legal and statutory obligations (see Procedures for reporting and response to safeguarding concerns in Associated Policies).
DYT will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of policy.
DYT will offer support to survivors of harm caused by staff or associated personnel, regardless of whether a formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation). Decisions regarding support will be led by the survivor.
It is essential that confidentiality is maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need-to-know basis only and should be always kept secure.
- Dignity at Work Policy
- Whistleblowing Policy
- Complaints Policy
- Other policies as appropriate
Glossary of Terms
Beneficiary of Assistance – Someone who directly receives goods or services from DYT’s programme. Note that misuse of power can also apply to the wider community that the DYT serves, and also can include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power.
Child – A person below the age of 18
Harm – Psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights
Psychological harm – Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) humiliating and degrading treatment such as bad name calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement and isolation
Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) – The term used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or associated personnel. The term derives from the United Nations Secretary General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13)
Safeguarding – In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at-risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes. One donor definition is as follows:
Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriate when harm does occur.
This definition draws from our values and principles and shapes our culture. It pays specific attention to preventing and responding to harm from any potential, actual or attempted abuse of power, trust, or vulnerability, especially for sexual purposes.
Safeguarding applies consistently and without exception across our programmes, partners and staff. It requires proactively identifying, preventing and guarding against all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable and transparent systems for response, reporting and learning when risks materialize. Those systems must be survivor-centred and also protect those accused until proven guilty. Safeguarding puts beneficiaries and affected persons at the centre of all we do.
Sexual abuse – The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
Sexual exploitation – The term ‘sexual exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This definition incudes human trafficking and modern slavery.
Survivor – The person who has been abused or exploited. The term ‘survivor’ is often used in preference to ‘victim’ as it implies strength, resilience and the capacity to survive, however it is the individual’s choice how they wish to identify themselves.
Vulnerable adult – Sometimes also referred to as ‘at risk’ adult. A person who is or may need care by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
- Agreed by the Board: December 2021
- Revision date: December 2022