Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding Policy and Procedures for the protection of children and vulnerable adults
FAO: Employees/Volunteers/Directors/Trustees

Date of approval by Board 7th July 2021      Date for review: Spring 2022

Staff and volunteers are individually responsible for the day-to-day management and implementation of this policy. Hexham Community Partnership board of directors/Trustees has overall responsibility for this policy and is COMMITTED TO REVIEWING OUR POLICY AND GOOD PRACTICE ANNUALLY.


A .Policy Statement

Hexham Community Partnership is not a care provider within the full meaning of the Protection of Children Act 1999. However, we recognise that we have a health and safety responsibility towards users of our services and that there are specific issues relating to children and adults at risk. This policy applies to all staff and directors, volunteers and anyone working on behalf Hexham Community Partnership. All staff, volunteers and part-time helpers are issued a copy of this document and must adhere to all its contents at all times. If you are in any doubt, contact the Operations Manager immediately.

We recognize that:

  • The welfare of the child/young person is paramount
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • The welfare of children and vulnerable adults is everyone’s responsibility

The purpose of the policy is:

  • To provide protection for the children and vulnerable adults who use our services and work with us.
  • To provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm

We will seek to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults by:

  • Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • Adopting safeguarding guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Developing effective links with relevant agencies and cooperating as required with their enquiries regarding all matters concerning the protection of children and vulnerable adults
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all appropriate checks are made
  • Sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with the public, staff and volunteers
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.


  1. Guidelines and Procedures


  1. Procedures for Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults


1.1 Definitions

A vulnerable adult is someone who is aged 18 years or over and is more likely to be harmed or abused because they rely on others for some kind of social care or health support which can make them vulnerable, or because they have already been victims of abuse.

A child is anyone aged under 18 years

What is Abuse?

  • the misuse of power by one person over another
  • it could consist of a single, or repeated acts
  • it might be physical, verbal, sexual, psychological, financial, institutional or discriminatory
  • it might happen when a vulnerable adult is persuaded to take part in a financial agreement or sexual act that they do not or cannot consent to

What is Neglect?

  • it can prevent someone who is dependent on others for their basic needs from exercising choice and control over their lives
  • it can cause physical and emotional harm
  • it undermines a person’s dignity
  • it can be deliberate or unintentional

1.2. Procedures in case of concern – see flow chart

Phone numbers for safeguarding team: Cath Homer 07766 924639 or Wendy Best 07494 550595           

All concerns, allegations or evidence of abuse will be taken seriously.

Volunteers are not expected to take responsibility for action and should pass on to a member of staff or the relevant HCP officer their concerns, who will then take appropriate action, and keep them informed of outcomes.

The person to whom a concern is reported will contact a colleague to report the situation. If action needs to be taken urgently to safeguard a child or children from immediate risk this should be done first.

Where there is an ongoing or immediate risk to children the person to whom it has been reported is responsible for contacting social services, the police or other appropriate agency or individual in accordance with the local authority safeguarding procedures. This will be done immediately if necessary.

All concerns allegations or incidents must be recorded and stored securely in the Partnership Office for a suitable length of time in accordance with local safeguarding procedures and insurance requirements.

If there is a concern about a member of staff, volunteer or director this can be reported to Designated Safeguarding Lead if this feels appropriate.

Directors' or Trustee meetings will consider any such reports and take any further action accordingly. If it is necessary, an immediate meeting will be called to deal with situations arising.

Confidentiality and the protection of the identity of the child/ren involved in reports of any concerns will be protected as far as possible. This means that staff, volunteers and directors or Trustees will not speak to anybody outside the Hexham Community Partnership unless it is in accordance with the local safeguarding procedures. Information will not be shared with staff or volunteers not already involved unless it is essential to enable safeguarding of children who use the service.

Local authority guidance link:


If you think the organization has failed to act on your concerns, you should ring Adult and Childrens Services on (01670) 536 400 (Onecall brings together adult social care and healthcare staff from the trust with Northumberland County Council staff from children’s services, and partners in Northumbria Police. Their priority is providing help at the earliest opportunity before the situation becomes more serious.)


  1. Code of Conduct for adults working with children, young people and vulnerable adults

This section outlines the behaviour expected of our staff, volunteers, and staff from other organizations who engage with children, young people and vulnerable adults through Hexham Community Partnership and their activities.


This code has been developed to provide advice which will not only help protect children, and vulnerable adults but will also help identify any practices which could be mistakenly interpreted and perhaps lead to false allegations of abuse being made against individuals.


Following this code will also help to protect HCP by reducing the possibility of anyone using their role within the organization to gain access to children in order to abuse them.


When working with children and vulnerable people for HCP, all staff and volunteers are considered to be acting in a position of trust. It is therefore important that staff, and volunteers are aware that they may be seen as role models and must act in an appropriate manner at all times and follow the code of conduct.


The induction process for staff and volunteers will include awareness-raising regarding safeguarding children and other vulnerable members of the community.


All members of staff and volunteers are expected to report any breaches of this code to the Operations Manager or Safeguarding Director/Trustee


Staff who breach this code of conduct may be subject to HCP disciplinary procedures.


Any breach of this code involving a volunteer, or member of staff from another organisation, may result in them being asked to leave the organisation. Serious breaches of this code may also result in a referral being made to a statutory agency such as the Police or Children’s Services Department.


 When working with children and adults at risk it is important to:

  • Ensure that, whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people
  • Ensure any contact with children and young people is appropriate and in relation to the work of the Partnership
  • Always follow our safeguarding procedures (B1 above)
  • Listen to and respect children at all times
  • Treat children and young people fairly and without prejudice
  • Always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory
  • Provide examples of good conduct you wish others to follow
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse.



  • Develop inappropriate relationships such as contact with children and young people that is not a part of the work of the organisation
  • Act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive
  • Let children or young people have any of your personal contact details
  • Patronize or treat children and young people as if they are silly
  • Allow allegations to go unreported
  • Use sarcasm or insensitive comments to children and young people
  • Make inappropriate promises to children and adults at risk, particularly in relation to confidentiality such as agreeing to keep any secret.

Sexual relationships between any adult member of staff or volunteer and a child or young person using HCP services represent a serious breach of trust and are not permissible in any circumstances.

No photographic or other material containing images or personal information about children will be released to third parties (e.g. the press, websites etc)  without the permission of primary carers.


  1. Safe Recruitment procedures
  • We will require a standard DBS checks for all staff who are likely to find themselves in a one-to-one situation with clients e.g. training within No 28 for example.
  • We will require a standard DBS checks for all volunteers and board members who are regularly attending Number 28, or in situations at our public events where they may be recognized by members of the public as occupying a position of trust.


  1. Sharing information

Information about safeguarding and reporting of concerns and summarizing this policy will be displayed to the public via the website.


  1. Guidelines for Events and Workshops


Risk assessments and guidelines, with due attention to safeguarding policies and procedures, will be routinely made for all our activities that involve members of the public, but also mindful of the safety of staff in our places of work, as follows:

  1. Number 28. Activities within the house, and outside in the garden - such as training, gardening, cooking, workshops
  2. Town Centre events.
  3. Town Hosts
  4. Town Clean-ups
  5. Hidden Gardens
  6. Christmas Fair
  7. Clean and Green activities
  8. Digital platforms - websites, Facebook, apps.
  • Parents, guardians, carers and teachers and those in charge of groups are the primary carers, and the safety and good behaviour of all children is totally their responsibility while attending shows and events organised by HCP. If parents are unable to attend events, they must satisfy themselves that their children are properly supervised by another responsible person over the age of 16 acting on their behalf.
  • We will not employ or offer regular work experience to anyone under the age of 16. (Short work experience placements may be offered through arrangements with local schools).
  • We will comply with employment law as it applies to 16 and 17 year olds.
  • We will not engage in direct delivery of activities to unaccompanied under 8’s. Any provision of this kind will either be delivered in a “parent/toddler” context or within an environment controlled by an appropriate body e.g a registered childcare provider.
  • Workshop and activity leaders and artists will be required to be in possession of a current and valid DBS check to ensure that they are not unsuitable to work with children . In the case of this not being practical there will be an appropriate person appointed by ourselves present in a supervisory capacity, either a Safeguarding Lead, or DBS checked supervisor.
  • We will conduct risk assessments on activities with reference to the protection of children and vulnerable adults, and include :
  1. A consideration of the numerical ratios between staff and children
  2. Total numbers and other issues relating to room size/space
  3. Nature of the activity
  4. Access to and supervision of other services e.g. toilets
  5. Information collections- i.e. emergency contacts and relevant medical data.

Appendix 1: NCC Information sheet S4 – If you think someone is being mistreated

Ill or disabled people can be vulnerable to mistreatment (sometimes called ‘abuse’) by others, for instance: people in the local community; staff who work with them; or even people in their immediate family or social network. This sheet gives advice about what to do if you feel you are being mistreated or if you think someone else is. Unpaid carers can also be vulnerable to mistreatment and may need this advice.

  • What kind of mistreatment are we talking about?

People can be mistreated in a number of different ways which include:

  • Physical abuse: such as hitting, pushing, shaking, not being given the right medication, and bodily neglect.
  • Emotional or psychological abuse: such as humiliation, harassment, social isolation, threats, verbal abuse, intimidation.
  • Exploitation: including theft, fraud, or using a vulnerable adult’s property without their permission.
  • Neglect: where a person suffers because their health or physical needs are being neglected by a care giver, or they seriously neglect themselves.
  • Sexual abuse: sexual activity where a vulnerable adult cannot or does not give their consent, or sexual harassment.
  • What can you do?

If you think that you, or someone you know of, is being mistreated contact your local social services office or, in the case of immediate physical danger, the police.

Ill treatment can happen in a number of different ways, and can be done by a variety of people and can take place anywhere.

  • Who can you contact for help and advice during office hours?

In the first instance please discuss this with the Lead Trustees.


Safer Culture North East

Safeguarding Children:

Handling Safeguarding Allegations in a Charity

Safeguarding adults:

DBS Eligibility criteria:

 DBS Guidance for employers:

 Guidelines with respect to volunteering during Covid:


APPENDIX 2: NSPCC GUIDANCE – Adult to child ratios

  • Recommended adult to child ratios

There is no specific guidance about supervision ratios for organisations that are not in the education or early years sectors. We’ve put together some best practice guidance to help other organisations work out how many adults are needed to supervise children safely.

We recommend having at least two adults present when working with or supervising children and young people. We recommend the following adult to child ratios as the minimum numbers to help keep children safe:

  • 0 - 2 years - one adult to three children
  • 2 - 3 years - one adult to four children
  • 4 - 8 years - one adult to six children
  • 9 - 12 years - one adult to eight children
  • 13 - 18 years - one adult to ten children

We recommend having at least two adults present, even with smaller groups.

If young people are helping to supervise younger children only people aged 18 or over should be included as adults when calculating adult to child ratios.

  • Toilet ratios

If the group has both boys and girls there should be at least one male and one female responsible adult supervising visits to the toilet.

Adults who haven't previously volunteered and haven't had the necessary vetting checks shouldn't be left alone with children or take them to the toilet unaccompanied.

In larger groups of children, encourage groups to take a comfort break together with one responsible adult while the other adult(s) supervises the remaining children and keep a head count.

  • First aid ratios

We recommend that at least one adult is trained in first aid.

If you're running one-off events you will need to carry out a first-aid and medical risk assessment. Many organisations provide medical services but ensure the organisation you select is competent, trained in first aid and able to cope with the demands of your event.