Percy Hedley Foundation Over-arching Safeguarding Policy Statement

We treat safeguarding with the utmost seriousness and believe that protecting people from harm is everyone’s responsibility. The following has been agreed as our collective statement on our commitment in this crucial area 

Policy Statement 

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, and our priority. Percy Hedley Foundation is committed to promoting the welfare and wellbeing of children and adults, protecting them from abuse or neglect, whether they are receiving services from us, are staff, volunteers or job applicants, or anyone else we meet through our work 

Every individual has the right to live, learn and work in conditions which ensure they are free from abuse. We work with all relevant agencies to uphold the rights of the individual to ensure that they are protected from harm through abuse or exploitation 

We acknowledge our responsibilities to those who fall under statutory safeguarding definitions 

Foundation-wide Safeguarding and our Services’ Policies 

Of our various pillars in the Foundation, we have 2 Safeguarding Policies to cover these areas. This Policy Statement over-arches the individual ones. Please see policies below for more specific safeguarding information relating to each service and its procedures, arrangements, regulator, contacts and more detail in general. This document is a Position Statement, available to anyone who comes into contact with the Foundation; it is not procedural. We are committed to a Foundation-wide approach to safeguarding, and compatibility between this Position Statement and our services’ operations 

These services’ policies can be found below:

Purpose of the Statement 

To give an overview of the Foundation’s commitment to protecting anyone that we become aware of, who is at risk of abuse or neglect 

This is not restricted to those we have a legal responsibility or duty of care towards 

We describe our responsibilities for and commitment to safeguarding, provide definitions and outline expectations 

We have a Foundation-wide approach to safeguarding. We recognise the wider safeguarding agenda, which is addressed proactively by the Safeguarding Group (qv, p.4-5

Safeguarding 

Safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights. It enables people to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm or abuse occurring, to protect people from that harm, and to respond appropriately when harm does occur. Our aim is to foster a safe culture 

Children and Adults at Risk 

A child is anyone under eighteen years old. A Child becomes an adult on the day of their eighteenth birthday 

The Care Act (2014) describes an Adult at Risk as anyone over eighteen years old who 

  • has care and support needs (even if these are not met) 
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect 
  • is unable to protect themselves 

Workforce 

When we refer to our workforce, we are referring to all staff and volunteers at Percy Hedley, including employed staff, unpaid staff or volunteers; those on full, part time, temporary and zero hours contracts; and casual workers 

Our workforce may also include work in Head office, at events, on the telephone and online, or elsewhere 

Safeguarding Children 

Under Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) we have a responsibility to all children in contact with our workforce. WTTSC states that our workforce must 

  • recognise and respond to any concerns of a child being neglected or abused 
  • share information internally and to external agencies to keep children safe 
  • contact the Local Authority where the child is from 
  • respond to concerns of abuse or neglect 
  • investigate these in time 

Safeguarding Adults 

Under the Care Act (2014) we must work together to promote wellbeing and prevent risk of abuse and neglect 

The law says the Local Authority where the adult resides must investigate and, if needed, act to protect the individual 

At Percy Hedley, if we have a concern about anyone over eighteen, we treat them as an ‘adult at risk’, whilst paying careful consideration to their wishes and rights 

Expectations of our Workforce 

Safer Recruitment 

The Foundation is committed to safe recruitment at all levels and at all times and is committed to employing the right people for our children and adults. We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. Background checks are required for all roles, and an enhanced DBS for most. References are taken up before appointment 

Training and Compliance 

Our workforce is expected to 

  • complete mandatory safeguarding training and attend refresher sessions 
  • adhere to this policy and the policy of the service they are working within 
  • contribute to creating an environment that promotes wellbeing and reduces the risk of harm 
  • value, listen and respect everyone they come in to contact with 

Acting on concerns 

If any of our workforce have concerns about colleagues, volunteers or other stakeholders, we expect them to identify the concern, respond to and report their concerns, follow our safeguarding procedures and maintain appropriate boundaries 

Accountability for Safeguarding 

Everyone has responsibility for safeguarding, whatever their role. Everyone is accountable in a culture of safeguarding, and specific accountabilities are below 

Trustees 

Percy Hedley Foundation’s Board of Trustees are accountable for ensuring that the organisation has appropriate structure, processes and resources in place to ensure safeguarding is central to everything it does. Board members visit services and also monitor safeguarding through the Safeguarding Group, a Working Group which reports to the Trustees’ Audit Committee which in turn reports to the Full Board of Trustees. The Group is chaired by the Safeguarding Trustee, and has a broad selection of colleagues from across the Foundation serving on it 

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is ultimately accountable, although the CEO will delegate duties as appropriate 

Chief Executive Officer 

The CEO is the senior individual accountable for all aspects of safeguarding across the organisation, including fostering a strong culture of safeguarding 

Executive Team 

Each member of the Executive Team is accountable for embedding safeguarding in their area. This includes making sure that employees are adequately trained. The CEO chairs the Executive Team 

Safeguarding Group 

Safeguarding Group members are responsible for giving safeguarding information and feedback across the organisation, reporting to the Group, and disseminating information from it, as needed. They are responsible, along with service leads, designated leads and others, for ensuring issues that safeguarding affects such as communications, resources, data, training etc are available and can be accessed by all staff. The Group sits above the Foundation’s services and operations, and provides strategic direction and analysis, in a governance role 

Schools and College 

Our two schools and college have Governing Bodies. Governors’ responsibilities are laid out in relevant guidance in the Governance Handbook and the Scheme of Delegation  

The two schools are committed to the government document Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021), often referred to as KCSIE, and base their own service’s policies on this paper, incorporating its updates each year 

Regulators 

Our eight services are regulated, and their policies and practices are informed in safeguarding and other matters by their respective regulator – CQC or Ofsted. The Foundation is regulated by the Charity Commission 

Designated Safeguarding Leads 

Designated Safeguarding Leads throughout the organisation support the workforce to recognise and respond to safeguarding concerns. Services have Safeguarding Leads. The Safeguarding Group brings Safeguarding Leads and others in leadership roles together to look strategically at safeguarding in the Foundation. Central and Head Office staff can approach any Leads and any members of the Group for advice of any kind, and use the company’s Whistleblowing Policy 

Whistleblowing 

The Foundation has a Whistleblowing Policy which is available to all employees, partners and other stakeholders. This provides guidance to staff and advice on their concerns and receiving appropriate feedback on action taken 

Links to other Foundation Policies 

This Policy Statement links implicitly to the following Foundation policies, as well as others, all readily available 

In addition, details of relevant government guidance, and other guidance and legislation, are referred to in services’ respective policies 

Review 

Services’ policies operate under their own review cycles, but are typically updated every year 

This Policy Statement will be reviewed annually, and next in March 2023. It’s signed off by those below 

CEO, John Knight              Safeguarding Trustee, Ewen Weir 

PHF Safeguarding Forum members 

March 2022