Safeguarding Strategy for Chiltern Compass
Chiltern Compass will have zero tolerance for any kind of abuse, physical or emotional to any of its clients or volunteers. Chiltern Compass will respect individuals’ autonomy, choice and independence and treat them with respect and dignity. The aim of Chiltern Compass is to empower people to be able to make decisions, practical and emotional, regarding plans for the end of their lives with their family, friends or professional advisors. The physical and emotional safety of its clients and volunteers will be paramount in achieving this.
Chiltern Compass welcomes people of all ethnic backgrounds and faiths and it practises gender and racial equality. It welcomes adults of all ages and is inclusive of all elderly people. This is a central pillar in its safeguarding policy.
Much of the abuse that might occur can be prevented by creating the right culture and procedures, being transparent and recruiting suitable volunteers who have been given appropriate training.
Accountability and responsibility
The Board of Trustees of Chiltern Compass will be accountable for ensuring that a safeguarding policy is in place and that it is being enacted. A nominated Trustee will be responsible for the implementation of the safeguarding policy and to be the point of contact if safeguarding issues are raised by clients, volunteers or the public. That Trustee will report directly to the Board and report individual concerns that have been raised, and, if need be, report them to the authorities, the Police and the Charities Commissioners, if it appears a criminal act may have taken place.
The Board of Trustees will review the strategy, policies and their implementation annually at the first Board meeting of each calendar year and then update and amend it as necessary.
As part of the strategy, Chiltern Compass will risk assess all its activities to include the nature of its clients, the type of contact with those clients and the safety of the venues for meetings with the clients.
Chiltern Compass will only advise and see adults (persons over 18yrs of age). They will not see children. If referred they will be directed to the appropriate specialist body such as the Child Bereavement Trust. The adults that are seen are likely to be vulnerable emotionally and may be physically frail with terminal illness, chronic disease or because of age. Adults with cognitive or behavioural problems will only be seen with their advocates and professional helpers and in an appropriate and safe environment.
Clients will not be seen on a one-to-one basis in an isolated place. All meetings and workshops will be held in public places with at least two members of Chiltern Compass present.
Each venue used for meetings of Chiltern Compass will be risk assessed for safety, fire regulations and access for disabled clients by the meeting organiser.
Recruitment and training of volunteers
Volunteers will be chosen for their ability to empathise with and care for the clients, providing first aid if needed, at the events and meetings of Chiltern Compass. Volunteers and Trustees will all be DBS checked at the first level as a minimum.
Volunteers and Trustees will all required to be trained in safeguarding principles and practice such that they can recognise the many forms of abuse that can occur (see Annexe below) and how to manage them and to whom to report if required. The training will be ‘in house’ where possible with suitably accredited trainers but where this is not possibly may be undertaken with partner agencies.
A register will be kept of the training accomplished by the volunteers and their future training needs. The Trustee responsible to the Board for safeguarding issues is responsible for this register.
Reporting and managing abuse claims
The website will have a copy of this strategy available to be read or downloaded from its website. There will also be a contact address for anybody wishing to report an abuse to themselves or others. The Trustee responsible for safeguarding issues will establish an audit trail, and keep records of the proceedings. The trail will start with a verbatim report of the complaint in the persons own words. If there are other witness’ they will be interviewed. The complaint will be assessed with a view to proportionality and if criminal activity suspected reported to the Police.
Every complaint is to be treated with the utmost seriousness and to be thoroughly managed as expeditiously as possible. Each complaint will be reported to the Board of Trustees. Whilst a complaint is being reviewed the person against whom that complaint has been made, a Trustee or volunteer, will be temporarily stopped from working with clients until the complaint is resolved.
The complexity of delivering coordinated and integrated advice to individuals to help with personal decision making for plans for their end of life care is reflected in the number of people, family, organisations and professional advisors that may be involved. These organisations will need to form partnerships and alliances and ensure that safeguarding issues are addressed across organisational boundaries. Chiltern Compass will manage its alliances to enhance its safeguarding policies.
Individual professional advisors may or may not have been screened but in all cases when working with Chiltern Compass be accompanied by Trustees or trained volunteers.
The Trustee responsible for safe guarding will oversee the safeguarding partnership issues.
Where it is in a client’s interest for information to be passed to a partner organisation in pursuit of a safeguarding complaint the client’s written permission must be given and they must have a clear understanding as to why this is being done and how the information is to be used.
Risks you must be alert to include:
- sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation
- negligent treatment
- physical or emotional abuse
- bullying or harassment
- health and safety
- commercial exploitation
- extremism and radicalisation
- forced marriage
- child trafficking
- female genital mutilation
- discrimination on any of the grounds in the Equality Act 2010
- people may target your charity
- a charity’s culture may allow poor behaviour
- people may abuse a position of trust they hold within a charity