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admin@parentcarerscornwall.org.uk

Policies

OUR POLICIES

You will find all policies on this page. You can also download a copy of each policy if you are required to sign and return something to us.

Mission Statement
Social Media
Health & Safety
Equality & Diversity
Whistle Blowing
Safer Recruitment & Induction
Safeguarding Children Policy
Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy
Lone Working Policy
GDPR Policy

PARENT CARERS CORNWALL believes parents are key to improving the life chances of disabled children and children with special educational needs and the best is achieved for every child when the positive involvement of their parents is secured.

Building family resilience and ensuring timely information and support can make a huge difference to the quality of family life and the degree to which disabled children and their parents are socially included.

Our vision is that all parents should be well informed and well supported....not only to manage the added demands of caring for their children, but to raise their children with an expectation that they will be respected and included as equal members of society.

We aim to achieve this through raising awareness of the barriers and inequality families with disabled children face on a daily basis and finding innovative ways of challenging prejudice and supporting the development of a more inclusive society.

PARENT CARERS CORNWALL works to:

  • Empower and enable parents to achieve the best possible outcomes for their family.
  • Work in partnership with service providers to ensure that services are designed and delivered around the unique needs of disabled children and their families.
  • Work in a way that recognises the impact on the whole family and advocate support for all.
  • Identify opportunities to develop and deliver innovative projects and creative solutions.

We welcome and encourage participation, sharing experiences and tips, giving positive recommendations and to make new friends who can help you on your journey.

Please do not name any Professionals in your posts as it will not be approved by Admin, or in an active comment thread as they will be immediately deleted.

Please behave and respond to other members in a respectful manner , this is a safe place, topics discussed could be of a sensitive nature and negative responses and bullying of any kind will not be tolerated. Please think before you post .

We would also like to remind you all that invasions of privacy such as private messaging without prior consent or “outing” a members private details will mean removal from the group as soon as we are notified. There is more than one member of the Admin team and such decisions are made by the entire team as a whole.

Respect each others confidentiality and do not name children/young people or tag them in any photo’s unless consent has been given by the Parents/Carers/Individual, we would ask the same regarding screenshots of a private group and discussing posts elsewhere.

Statement of General Policy

  • To provide adequate control of the health and safety risks arising from our work activities;
  • To consult with members of staff on matters affecting their health and safety;
  • To provide and maintain safe equipment;
  • To ensure safe handling and use of substances;
  • To provide information, instruction and supervision for employees;
  • To ensure all employees are competent to do their tasks, and to give them adequate training;
  • To prevent accidents and cases of work-related ill health;
  • To maintain safe and healthy working conditions; and
  • To review and revise this policy as necessary at regular intervals.

Responsibilities

The Directors are responsible for:

Overall and final responsibility for health and safety. Day-to-day responsibility for ensuring this policy is put into practice is delegated to the Director of Operations. To ensure health and safety standards are maintained/ improved, the following people have responsibility in the following areas:

Director of Operations:

  • All Areas

All employees are responsible for:

  • Co-operating with supervisors and managers on health and safety matters
  • Not interfering with anything provided to safeguard their health and safety
  • Taking reasonable care of their own health and safety
  • Reporting all health and safety concerns to an appropriate person (as detailed in this policy statement)
  • Health and safety risks arising from our work activities
  • The findings of the risk assessments will be reported to the Director of Operations, who will also undertake the risk assessment.
  • Action required to remove/control risks will be approved by the Board of Directors
  • The Director of Operations will be responsible for ensuring the action required is implemented and the risk has been removed/reduced. Results to then be reported to the Board
  • Assessments will be reviewed every year or when the work activity changes, whichever is soonest

Safe Plant and Equipment

The Director of Operations will be responsible for:

  • Identifying all equipment/ plant needing maintenance
  • Ensuring effective maintenance procedures are drawn up
  • Ensuring that all identified maintenance is implemented
  • Director of Operations will check that new plant and equipment meets health and safety standards before it is purchased
  • Any problems found with plant/equipment should be reported to the Director of Operations

Safe handling and use of substances (not applicable to PCC at present)

The Administrator will:

  • be responsible for identifying all substances, which need a COSHH assessment
  • be responsible for undertaking COSHH assessments
  • be responsible for ensuring that all actions identified in the assessments are implemented
  • be responsible for ensuring that all relevant employees are informed about the COSHH assessments
  • check that new substances can be used safely before they are purchased
  • review assessments every year or when the work activity changes, whichever is soonest

Information, instruction and supervision

  • Health and safety advice is available from the Director of Operations
  • Director of Operations will arrange supervision of staff and volunteers
  • The Director of Operations is responsible for ensuring that our employees working at locations under the control of other employers are given relevant health and safety information

Competency for tasks and training

  • The Director of Operations will provide induction training and job specific training for all employees
  • Training records are kept by the Director of Resources (personnel records)
  • Training will be identified, arranged and monitored by the Director of Operations
  • Accidents, first aid and work-related ill health

The Director of Operations will arrange health surveillance requirements

  • Health surveillance records will be kept by Director of Resources
  • All accidents and cases of work-related ill health are to be recorded in the accident book. The book is kept by the Director of Resources
  • The Director of Operations is responsible for reporting accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the enforcing authority

Use/hire of premises

When hiring premises to carry out PCC’s business, all Directors, employees and volunteers, will be expected to ensure that the premises adhere to all Health and Safety regulations.

Monitoring

To check our working conditions, and ensure our safe working practices are being followed, we will:

  • investigate accidents
  • investigate work-related causes of sickness absences
  • act on investigation findings to prevent a recurrence

New Staff Members

All new staff members must be familiar with Health and Safety Regulations as laid down by the Government.

The Director of Operations will ensure that all new staff members and volunteers know where to locate the Health and Safety File and how to access it and that all new staff members and volunteers have appraised themselves of the literature contained therein – this is conducted in line with the PCC’s Induction Policy.

PCC believes that the proactive implementation of an Equality and Diversity Policy will benefit every individual and organisation with whom we work. We aim to create conditions where every individual is treated with respect and dignity at all times.

The Directors, all staff members and volunteers are committed to treating everyone fairly, challenging inequalities and promoting opportunities for all through ensuring that equality of opportunity is integral to all of our policies and practices.

PCC recognises that everyone has a contribution to make to our society and a right to equal treatment. We aim to ensure that no job applicant, staff member, volunteer or organisation/individual to which we provide services and/or work with in any capacity, will be discriminated against by us on any grounds including: Physical or Mental Disability or Mental Ill Health, Race, Colour, Creed, Nationality, Ethnic or National Origin, Sex, Marital or Parental Status, Gender Re-assignment, Sexual Orientation, Age (other than any statutory retirement age), Religion or Belief, Political Belief, Class, Caring Responsibility, Employment Status, Trade Union Membership, Unrelated Criminal Conviction.

We adhere to the conditions of the Equality Act 2010, which replaces:-

  • The Race Relations Act 1976
  • The Race Relations Amendment Regulations 2003
  • The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
  • The Equal Pay Act 1970
  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999
  • The Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005
  • The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • The Disability Discrimination Act 2005
  • The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Work and Families Act 2006

In addition, we also realise that the Equality Act 2010 includes additional duties for ‘public authorities’, replacing:-

  • The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
  • The Disability Equality Duty 2006
  • The Gender Equality Duty 2007

This legislation has a significant impact for us (in particular when working with public authorities) and we will ensure that we adhere to all requirements in all areas of our work as a result of the above legislation.

PCC is fully committed to the view that discrimination is unacceptable on any grounds, whether covered by the above Acts or not, and will positively seek to ensure that it does not occur.

PCC recognises that diversity among user’s services and staff brings positive benefits to the organisation’s work and is committed to challenging all forms of discrimination and unfair disadvantage in every aspect of its work and working practices.

Policy Scope

Every Director, manager, employee and volunteer has responsibility for the implementation of this Policy.

This Policy applies to all aspects of employment and service delivery including the workforce, existing and potential service users and anyone providing goods, services and facilities to PCC.

Equality Commitments

PCC will work hard to ensure that:

  • We fulfill all our legal obligations under equality legislation and linked codes of practice.
  • Our services are accessible, of a high quality and offered on a fair and equitable basis.
  • The different needs and expectations of employees, service users and volunteers are met.
  • We recruit and retain the best staff possible by implementing good employment practices
  • We promote and value Equality and Diversity in all that we do.
  • We take appropriate action against any instances of bullying and harassment

Our commitment to Equality and Diversity will be reflected in all our practices, including those relating to:

  • Service delivery
  • Employment
  • Governance
  • PartnershiP
  • Service Delivery

We aim to ensure our services are accessible to all users of our services; we will tailor our services to meet the needs of the parents that we work with. We will encourage the participation of users of our services, representative of the communities within which we work and will positively endeavor to take a full range of needs into account in the development of new services.

Employment

PCC aims to be an equal opportunity employer and ensure that we implement good employment practices in every stage of the employment relationship. PCC will scrutinize its recruitment and selection processes in order to proactively identify any discriminatory practices. We will assess the current composition of our workforce and establish targets to take positive steps to achieve a workforce that reflects the communities in which we work.

PCC values its staff and volunteers and will provide them with the skills and training to do their job well and the opportunities to progress in the organisation. It will ensure that all staff and volunteers receive equal access to training and development opportunities.

We will do everything we can to work towards an environment that is free from discrimination, bullying and harassment and will act promptly on any complaints of discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation.

Governance

PCC will develop a governance structure that reflects the community in which we work and ensure that the commitment to Equality and Diversity is reflected in the induction and training of trustees and members.

Directors will actively demonstrate their understanding, belief and support of the policy through their communications and actions on behalf of the organisation.

Partnership

PCC will work with partners to develop good practice on issues of access.

Companies, individual consultants or contractors entering into contracts with PCC will be expected to comply with PCC’s Equality and Diversity Policy.

Implementation

Directors are responsible for the communication, promotion, implementation, and monitoring of the Equality and Diversity Policy in their service areas, including, in the wider community where appropriate. They will communicate the policy to staff and volunteers; ensure that staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities; ensure that no discrimination takes place and deal appropriately with any breaches. Directors must ensure that there is no scope for discriminatory practice.

Mandatory training and guidance to all employees and volunteers will be provided to ensure that the commitment to equal opportunities is known and understood

Disability Discrimination Act Statement

PCC aims to provide a “best quality”, confidential and friendly service throughout its organisation for:

  • Parents and carers of children with additional needs
  • All agencies working within the disability sectoR
  • Disability Awareness Review

All staff members and volunteers, upon induction to PCC, will be fully appraised by the appointed ‘disability awareness’ person, of the issues and regulations regarding disability awareness.

The appointed ‘disability awareness’ person will be responsible for ensuring that all PCC staff members and volunteers are up-dated on ‘disability awareness’ issues/changes whenever these occur.

The appointed ‘disability awareness’ person will be responsible for ensuring the maintenance of appropriate working practices by staff members/volunteers.

The appointed ‘disability awareness’ person will be responsible for holding twice yearly consultations with staff/volunteers to discuss/resolve any disability awareness issues that may occur /be raised.

The appointed ‘disability awareness’ person will appraise staff/volunteers of any new available training.

Monitoring and Review

The Directors will monitor the overall success of the Policy by assessing its impact on the organisation’s efforts to improve service delivery and employment practice.

The policy will be reviewed and updated annually by the directors, and changes will be communicated to all employees and service users as appropriate.

Complaints

All employees and volunteers have a responsibility to support colleagues in relation to the Policy by raising concerns through the appropriate channels. If any member of staff/volunteer feels they have been treated unfairly they can contact their manager, or Director, who is expected to take the grievances seriously, to treat information confidentially, investigate fully and ensure that no victimisation takes place.

The organisation is committed to the highest possible standards of service, honesty and accountability and believes that its employees and volunteers can help it maintain these standards.

PCC recognises that wrong-doing, whilst rare, can occur.

The organisation expects employees and volunteers who have serious concerns about aspects of its work or practices which affect the integrity of the organisation or the safety of its employees/volunteers or the general public to come forward and voice those concerns. The organisations view is that its employees/volunteers have an important part to play in reporting any such situations, since they can be the first to realise that some wrong-doing is happening within the organisation.

The organisation recognises that employees/volunteers may sometimes be reluctant to express their concerns because they feel that this would be disloyal to managers, employees and others in the organisation. They may also fear harassment or victimisation. These factors could lead individuals to ignore the problem rather than report it, particularly if it is just a suspicion.

This document therefore seeks to:-

  • Reinforce the organisations expectations that employees/volunteers should raise serious concerns about wrong-doing at work.
  • Provide employees/volunteers with guidance on how to raise concerns.
  • Provide employees/volunteers with feedback on concerns raised.
  • Reassure employees/volunteers they will be supported and protected from victimisation or harassment.
  • Inform employees/volunteers how they can take matters further if they are not satisfied with the organisations response.

The Whistle-Blowing Policy is not a substitute for the organisations other policies and procedures on such matters as grievances, bullying and harassment or health and safety. It should also not be used to raise matters relating to an employee’s own terms and conditions of service.

Scope of the Policy

The Whistle-Blowing Policy is intended to provide for a protected disclosure of information in situations where employees/volunteers have a reasonable belief that there is serious wrong-doing at work by other employees/volunteers, managers, Directors, suppliers, contractors or others acting on behalf of the organisation. Concerns, which should be raised, could be about acts or omissions, which have led, or could lead to, future wrong-doing within the organisation. These include:-

  • Conduct which is against the law, a miscarriage of justice, or fails to meet a legal obligation.
  • Financial irregularities including fraud, corruption or unauthorised use of funds.
  • Failure to observe health and safety regulations, or action which involves risks to the public or other employees/volunteers.
  • Action causing major harm to the environment.
  • Sexual, racial, physical, or other abuse of Clients or service-users.
  • Other cases of malpractice, negligent, unprofessional or unethical behaviour.
  • Concealment of any of the above.

The organisation believes that the procedures described in this document will provide employees/volunteers with the means to raise issues internally but it also recognises that there may be exceptional occasions where external disclosure is appropriate.

Where the Whistle-Blower raises an issue about another employee’s/volunteer’s conduct then, following an initial investigation of the matter under the Whistle-Blowing policy, the matter may, if considered appropriate, be dealt with by management, as part of an appropriate personnel procedure, e.g. the Disciplinary Procedure or Bullying and Harassment Procedure.

Safeguards

The organisation recognises that employees/volunteers may sometimes be reluctant to raise concerns, and therefore stresses the following safeguards.

The organisation will support and protect employees/volunteers who raise a concern about harassment/victimisation (including informal pressures). It will investigate any claims of harassment/victimisation and, depending on the outcome, may take action against the perpetrator in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.

The organisation will endeavour to protect employees/volunteers from victimisation or harassment if they raise any concerns, in accordance with the safeguards contained in the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

Employees/volunteers should only make allegations in good faith and where there is a reasonable suspicion that serious wrong-doing has occurred, is occurring or will occur. If the organisation finds that an employee/volunteer has made allegations maliciously or for personal advantage, it will take action against the employee/volunteer in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.

All reported wrong-doings will be treated in absolute confidence, with every effort made by the organisation not to reveal an employee’s/volunteer’s identity if they so wish. At the appropriate time, however, an employee/volunteer may need to become an identified witness, particularly if it has not been possible to substantiate the allegations by other means.

The implications of this and the setting up of appropriate support or protection arrangements will be carefully and sensitively discussed with the Whistle-Blower by management. However, once the organisation is aware of an allegation of serious wrong-doing, it will need to take appropriate action to investigate.

Employees/volunteers raising concerns under the Whistle-Blowing Policy, and managers to whom allegations are disclosed, must ensure that they maximise confidentiality in all areas, including amongst service users and other employees/volunteers.

Anonymous Allegations

Anonymous allegations are those which are unsigned and unidentifiable. All allegations will be investigated, although employees/volunteers need to be aware that anonymous allegations are much less powerful and are more difficult for the organisation to act upon. The Whistle-Blowing Policy encourages employees/volunteers to put their name to the allegation.

In considering anonymous allegations, the organisation will take the following factors into account:-

  • The seriousness of the matter raised.
  • The credibility of the allegation made.
  • The likelihood of obtaining information from other sources which can confirm the allegation.

Who to Contact to Raise a Concern

Employees/volunteers should, when raising an issue, make it clear that it is as part of the Whistle-Blowing Policy. Details should also, where possible, be provided in writing.

An employee/volunteer raising an issue about serious wrong-doing under this policy should contact a Director of Resources

If:-

  • The employee/volunteer considers the response of the Director of Resources is unsatisfactory, or
  • Believes that the Director of Resources is involved in or has condoned, or taken no actions on, the wrong-doing, or
  • Believes it necessary, for any good reason, to take the matter up outside of the Director of Resources, they should contact the Director of Operations

In some situations an employee may wish to take advice from and/or involve a colleague or Trade Union representative. These may also be present during any subsequent meetings or interviews.

How the Charity will Respond

Depending upon the nature of the alleged serious wrong-doing, the organisation will arrange for the matter to be:-

  • Investigated internally by management, and/or
  • Refer the matter to an independent inquiry, and/or
  • Refer to the appropriate external enforcement agency (e.g. Health and Safety Executive, Environmental Agency) or any other appropriate Agency.

Investigations will be properly planned and controlled to ensure a thorough and speedy conclusion.

In some situations the problem may be resolved without the need for a major investigation. If urgent action is required, for example to secure relevant evidence or to protect the safety of individuals, this will be taken immediately.

All cases raised under this Policy will be registered immediately by the manager with the Director of Resources, who will write to the complainant within 10 working days of the concern being raised. The letter will acknowledge receipt of the concern and indicate how the organisation proposes to deal with the matter.

The Director of Resources will monitor the situation and ensure the matter is progressed.

The Investigating Officer will provide the employee/volunteer raising the concern/s with initial feedback on the actions being taken, and the likely timescale, within 20 working days of the complaint being made. Thereafter, feedback will be provided on an agreed regular basis. Subject to any legal constraints, the organisation will inform the Whistle-Blower of the outcome of the investigation.

If the employee/volunteer subsequently feels victimised or harassed as a result of raising a concern in accordance with this procedure, they should advise the Director of Resources or a member of the Board.

If the employee/volunteer, when informed of the management response to the complaint is dissatisfied, they should put their concerns in writing to the Director of Operations who will arrange for their concerns to be further considered.

What Should Employees do if they are not Satisfied with the Organisations Response

The organisation considers that the Whistle-Blowing Policy provides effective mechanisms for employees/volunteers to raise concerns internally.

If an employee/volunteer is dissatisfied with the organisations response through its internal procedures, they can consider contacting an external organisation. However, the organisation would not expect employees/volunteers to make disclosures to the press. If the employee/volunteer feels it is necessary to raise the issue externally, they should contact the appropriate external organisation.

Employees/volunteers need to be careful and take advice before making an external disclosure and they should normally have used the internal procedure first.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 provides some employment protection rights to individuals who “blow the whistle” outside their organisation. However, the types of information, and the situations in which concerns are disclosed externally, are tightly defined in the legislation. The Act only protects those making disclosures which are considered to be in the public interest and therefore not all issues would be covered.

The organisation must, however, reserve the right to take action in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure against an employee/volunteer where an external disclosure is made which is damaging to the CIC and is not protected under the terms of the Act.

This policy applies to anyone responsible for recruiting and inducting staff and volunteers in PCC and all who participate in shortlisting and interview panels.

PCC is committed to promoting the welfare of children and young people and keeping them safe.

We are also committed to equality, valuing diversity and working inclusively across all of our activities.

We aim to have a workforce that represents a variety of backgrounds and cultures and can provide the relevant knowledge, abilities and skills for our organisation.

The purpose of the policy:

  • to recruit the best people available to join our workforce
  • to take all reasonable steps to prevent unsuitable people from joining our organisation
  • to recruit and manage our staff in a way that complies with legislation designed to combat inequality and discrimination
  • to do all we can to achieve and maintain a diverse workforce
  • to ensure that our recruitment and selection processes are consistent and transparent
  • to ensure candidates are judged to be competent before we make them an offer of a job
  • to ensure that new members of staff are given a proper induction.

We recognise that:

  • our workforce is our most important resource
  • unsuitable individuals sometimes seek out opportunities via employment or volunteering to have contact with children in order to harm them
  • some groups face unfair discrimination in the workplace
  • children, young people and families benefit from our efforts to recruit a skilled and committed workforce from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • new staff and volunteers cannot perform their role effectively unless they are inducted properly and receive ongoing support and supervision.

We recruit and induct our workforce by:

  • advertising all posts through appropriate media and in a way that ensures that we attract high quality applicants from diverse backgrounds
  • providing an application pack with relevant information for anybody who expresses an interest in an advertised job
  • ensuring that all applications for both paid and volunteer positions are made using our standard application form
  • involving more than one person to shortlist applicants for interview which would include an independent parent carer whenever possible
  • having at least two people conducting a face-to-face interview with anyone we may want to appoint which would include an independent parent carer whenever possible
  • incorporating the views and perspectives of children, young people, and families into the recruitment and selection process whenever appropriate
  • obtaining two references, two pieces of identification and original copies of any necessary qualifications from candidates
  • carrying out enhanced CRB checks and any other necessary vetting procedures for each member of staff or volunteer working with children or young people, in line with CRB and other official guidelines
  • providing a three-month induction for all new staff and volunteers
  • ensuring that all staff are made aware, during their induction period, of how to keep children and young people safe in our organisation
  • appointing all staff and volunteers on a trial period initially, with a review before they are confirmed in post
  • using the list of processes below to follow a consistent procedure for recruitment and induction

Recruitment and induction process

  1. Plan your recruitment process
  2. Advertise the vacancy
  3. Review all applications for the role
  4. Create a shortlist of suitable applicants
  5. Agree the interview questions and tests
  6. Invite your chosen candidates to be interviewed
  7. Conduct interviews and verify every candidate’s identity and qualifications
  8. Choose your preferred candidate
  9. Make a provisional offer of a job, depending on references and vetting processes being completed satisfactorily
  10. Consider any confidential information that the candidate has submitted along with his/her application, and discuss this with the candidate
  11. Complete the take up of references and checks
  12. Are all issues arising from the references, checks and self-disclosed information resolved? Yes - confirm the offer on a trial period of six months. No - withdraw the job offer.
  13. Agree a start date.
  14. Plan the induction.
  15. New staff member starts. Follow through the induction programme.
  16. Review the progress of the trial period after a maximum of three months.
  17. After six months, are you satisfied with their progress? Yes - confirm new staff member in post. Not completely - extend the trial period for a maximum of three further months and agree a further support package. No, progress has been highly unsatisfactory - end the contract at this point.
  18. After nine months, are you still unsatisfied with the new recruit’s progress? Yes - end contract at this point. No - confirm new staff member in post.

Introduction 

The aim of this policy is to provide PCC Directors, staff, and volunteers working in direct contact with families with disabled children clear guidance about their role and responsibilities in safeguarding children. 

PCC supports current practice in child protection protocols, and will conform to the principles and procedures of DoH guidance: Working Together to Safeguard Children (WTTSC), and What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused (WTDIYWACIBA) and  Every Child Matters.  

All managers must ensure staff working directly with families must have 
their own copy of What To Do If You're Worried A Child Is Being Abused to refer to. 

The principles behind a Safeguarding Children Policy  

In today’s world all agencies now share the responsibility to protect children from harm or the risk of harm. We all now work in a climate where we, as adults, “have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children” (WTDIYWACIBA) 

  • Current guidance, as indicated above, sets out clear responsibility for all those involved, in whatever capacity, to respond to concerns about the welfare of a child. 
  • PCC staff have clear responsibilities to participate in this safeguarding agenda, on an equal basis with statutory or other agencies. For some of our families, we may be the lead agency involved in offering support, and be in a prime position to identify and respond to those concerns. 

It should also be acknowledged that research confirms a higher incidence of abuse amongst disabled children. (For further information refer to NSPCC report It Doesn’t happen to Disabled Children, NSPCC 2004). 

PCC’s role and involvement 

It is recognised that safeguarding children is a sensitive subject, and that staff may feel anxious about their involvement and about the whole process of responding to concerns regarding the welfare of a child.  

 PCC  Directors will respond sensitively to these issues, and will support their staff teams to the best of their abilities. 

It is important that staff should continue to treat families with sensitivity and respect, and should support parents and carers in every possible way. They should also attempt to minimise distress to the child, and should be as transparent and honest about their actions as is possible, keeping in mind that the safety of the child concerned in paramount. PCC staff would endeavour to promote a constructive working relationship with the family wherever possible.  

PCC acknowledges the importance of effective collaboration between agencies, and the sharing of appropriate information to achieve the best possible outcomes for children. 

  •  This policy applies to all staff and volunteers 
  • This policy also applies to all settings, including events and fun days. 
  • This policy also applies to concerns identified during the course of a home visit to a family, or if a family calls PCC, and behaviour is witnessed by staff which causes concern. 

Similarly, information passed on to staff by other family members or friends may be discussed in further detail with Director of Resource and further evidence sought, if this is deemed appropriate. 

Preparation for responding to abuse 

In the first instance, staff will raise their concerns with the Director of Resource. If the concern relates to a Director then there will be an option to take the concern to a different Director. Staff should not delay or fail to respond to concerns they may have.  

Staff will be asked to fully document their concerns and all relevant evidence and agreed action. 

Response timings 

According to best practice guidance a decision about whether to refer a concern will be made within one working day.  

The Director of Resource will assist you in making a decision and following correct protocol. 

When a safeguarding children issue is identified by a member of staff or volunteer, this will be raised with the Director of Resource, within 24 hours. 

Case notes will record all available evidence. 

The Director of Resource will discuss the available evidence with the member of staff or volunteer, will respond to this information within this 24 hour period and make a decision to refer onwards or to take no further action.  

Decisions will be fully documented.  

If a decision is taken to contact social services, the police (particularly if a crime is believed to have taken place) or the NSPCC, agreement will be made as to who will make this referral.  

 This action will also be carried out by the identified manager within the initial 24 hours. 

It would normally be necessary for the manager to notify CMT within this time frame. 

 How the referral process works within PCC 

Member of staff/ volunteer has concerns about a child’s welfare 

Member of staff/ volunteer discusses concerns with Director of Resource as they think appropriate within 24 hours 

 ↓                     

Still has concerns No Longer has concerns. No further action taken  

May continue to provide service if appropriate 

Decision is taken to refer to Social Services, police or NSPCC. Referral is made within 24 hours by agreed Director of Resource and followed up in writing. All action is fully documented 

 ↓

Social Services acknowledge referral and decide on next course of action, if any, which may be an initial assessment or emergency action 

For full information about Social Services procedures/ assessments/ emergency action please refer to WTDIYWACIBA 

 PCC may need to follow up the referral or participate in any assessments/ case conferences as agreed appropriate by the identified manager. 

Concerns raised in response to a telephone enquiry 

A member of staff or volunteer may become concerned about the welfare of a child following a telephone conversation. Should concerns arise on the phone when the caller is anonymous, the following guidance should apply. 

In the first instance the caller should be encouraged to seek appropriate help and support, and be given details of relevant agencies in their area - including the local social services department. As soon as it appears to the member of staff that it may be necessary to breach our usual confidentiality policy in order to protect the welfare of a child then the caller must be informed about this possibility immediately.  

It may be the case that the caller refuses to disclose their identity. If they have done so already, prior to the concern arising, the member of staff must note all details given and attempt to solicit any others which might more accurately identify them and enable further contact to be made. Where identity and contact details have been withheld, the member of staff should listen and note any accent, background noise, family circumstances, and any other information which might help identify the family concerned. The member of staff should also note anything said which gave rise to the concerns for a child's welfare. Before the call ends, the staff member must again encourage the caller to make direct contact with the relevant agencies.  

 After the call ends the member of staff must refer the matter to their Director of Resource, and follow the procedures for referring their concern as laid out in this policy. 

 Confidentiality 

PCC has a clear and robust confidentiality policy which staff adhere to in their work with families. However, where the safety or wellbeing of a child is at risk, the need to respond to a child protection issue will override the preservation of confidentiality, and that this should be clearly stated.  

Where safeguarding children issues arise and, in accordance with guidance as laid out in WTDIYWACIBA absolute confidentiality should not be promised.  

Breach of confidentiality relating to a safeguarding children issue, where it is necessary to do this, should only ever be done on a need to know basis.  

It must only be done for this purpose and no other. 

 Sharing information on a need to know basis should take into account 

  • The nature and extent of the information involved 
  • The purpose of disclosing such information 
  • Whether the disclosure of information is an appropriate response in the context of safeguarding the welfare of the child to whom it relates 

Training Staff

All staff induction must include discussion around the principles of our safeguarding children policy. A copy of the policy must be made available to individual staff. 

It is agreed that PCC Directors and staff who come into direct contact with families should be given safeguarding children training to a minimum of Level One. Safeguarding children training is available from Cornwall LSCB, and this opportunity should be explored to the full.  

Additional safeguarding children training can be identified and arranged where this is deemed appropriate. 

 

Training Volunteers 

Basic information about safeguarding children issues, and clear explanation of PCC’s policy must be included in induction for all volunteers. 

Volunteers must be line managed and supervised in accordance with PCC’s volunteer policy, and volunteers should be given the opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have about the safety or wellbeing of a child with their assigned manager. 

General Information 

PCC and its services must have contact details of their Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and who to make referrals to should the need arise. This information must be kept up to date. 

Framework – relevant guidance 

The legal framework for this guidance document also includes the following legislation and guidance: 

  • The Children Act 1989 
  • The Protection of Children Act 1999 
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 
  • The European Convention of Human Rights/ The Human Rights Act 1998 

 Other guidance is also included in the Framework For The Assessment Of Children In Need And Their Families. 

This guidance relates to how agencies work together effectively to address sensitive issues around child protection and the processing of information 

 

Appendix One 

Definitions of Abuse – as defined in Working Together To Safeguard Children [DoH, London, Stationery Office 1999] 

Physical Abuse 
This may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing harm to a child.  

Emotional abuse 
This is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects to the child’s emotional development. It may mean conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.  

 It may involve causing children to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. It may also involve a child witnessing domestic violence and the emotional damage this may cause. 

 Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone. 

Sexual Abuse 
This involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  

 The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. 

Neglect
This is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/ or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.  

It may involve a parent carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs. 

 

Statement of rights 

 When I am at PCCI have these fundamental rights: 

 

1)Being valued as an individual means:- 

  • being cared for and treated as unique.
  • being talked to and about by my own name.
  • being consistently cared for across settings.
  • being encouraged to be me.
  • being given enough time to take part, to do things for myself.
  • to understand and be understood. 

2)Being treated with dignity and respect means:- 

  • being addressed with respect; never referred to or about as if I am my disability, nor as if I am one of my needs, nor as if I am a piece of equipment, nor finally as if I am hardly a child at all.
  • being involved in conversations; never being talked about as if I am not there.
  • having my privacy respected at all times.
  • having all information about me treated carefully, kept safe and shared only with those people who need to know; never discussing me in the presence of another child.
  • being given the best possible care that can be provided.
  • being involved in decisions that affect me: being actively encouraged to express my views and where these cannot be taken into account, then told why. 

3) Being loved and cared for as a child first means:- 

  • having the same rights and choices and as far as possible the same kind of life as other children of my own age and culture.
  • consistent care from staff who care about me and know me well.
  • being actively supported as part of a family: having my parents/carers fully involved in any planning for me and acknowledged as ultimately responsible for me.
  • having access to communication equipment when needed, and being listened to and heard when I need to communicate, even it takes a long time, and even if I am not easy to understand.
  • being given information about what is happening before it happens, being given explanations of procedures before they occur.
  • being given opportunities to play.  

4)Being safe means:- 

  • not being exposed to unnecessary risks.
  • being protected from physical, emotional and sexual abuse:
  • knowing that I have these rights, all of the time that I am on a PCC activity, and that these rights can only be denied with good cause.
  • knowing that all of the important adults in my life are aware of these basic rights.  

 

Managing challenging behaviour, including the use of restraint 

 All of the children we work with have the right to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect.  When children are being difficult these rights are just as important.  The guidelines below are designed to support staff, so they can respond with confidence when children are difficult or challenging. 

 
Prevention is always better than cure: 

1)get to know each child well: 
a strong relationship based on trust and respect is one of the most effective preventative measures. 

2)involve the children: 
in decisions about their care and about reasonable limits, appropriate to each child’s age and understanding. 

3)teach by example: 
model respect for the children and for each other in all of your work. 

4)encourage good behaviour: 
notice and respond when children are being helpful or constructive or friendly or just quiet and co-operative. 

5)be consistent: 
as far as you can, set consistent limits within your team and find out about the limits the child is used to at home and elsewhere.  Plan together with others involved with the child. 

6)be clear: 
children need to be aware of what is expected of them.  Problems often occur when expectations are unclear or unreasonable. 

7)consult with parents: 
always ask the parents of the child how they handle their child’s behaviour. 

When things are difficult... 

DO: 
1)try and avoid head-on conflict: 
try distraction or compromise - defuse the situation wherever you can, and stop it escalating. 

2)use the opportunity for the child to learn: 
try and teach a positive alternative to a ‘bad’ behaviour i.e. “lets do this” rather than “don’t do that” - always aiming to increase the child’s own self control. 

3)make a distinction between the child and their behaviour: 
make sure the child has a way out of a confrontation without losing face, and make sure there are gains in getting out of conflicts. 

4)if you have to use sanctions: 
make them immediate, fair and reasonable - ideally use sanctions agreed with the child and with the parents and colleagues in advance.  Make a note of sanctions used in the appropriate place (incident book; day book).  Do not store up a punishment for later. 

5)recognise the child’s feelings: 
it might be unreasonable to kick or bite or scream, but it is not unreasonable to feel cross or unhappy: help children find acceptable ways to express their feelings. 

6)keep your own self control: 
get help, or walk away from agitation if you feel you are losing control. 

7)Use restraint as a last resort: 
if a child is presenting a risk to themselves or others, restrain them gently, with the minimum force necessary and for just long enough for them to calm down.  Never use restraint as a form of punishment.  Do not leave a child alone when they are upset unless you are sure they are safe, and only use “time out” where this has been agreed as appropriate for that child. 

DO NOT: 
1)do not go it alone: 
ask for help or ideas or advice, or just talk things over with someone. 

2)do not smack: 
or threaten or use any other physical punishment. 

3)do not deprive the child of food or drink: 
or threaten to force a child to eat. 

4)do not inhibit a child’s freedom of movement: 
unless they or others are at risk. 

5)do not use sarcasm: 
tease or belittle or shame a child into obeying you. 


Guidance on use of restraint techniques 

‘Physical restraint is only permissible in circumstances where staff are attempting: (a) to avert an immediate danger of injury to the child or another individual, or (b) to avoid immediate danger to property where any other course of action would be likely to fail’ 

Children’s Homes Regulations and Guidance 1991. Department of Health. 

‘The use of corporal punishment is not permitted in residential childcare establishments.  The term “corporal punishment” should be taken to cover any intentional application of force as punishment including slapping, throwing missiles and rough handling. 

It does not prevent a person taking necessary physical action, where any other course of action would likely to fail, to avert an immediate danger of personal injury to the child or another person, or to immediate danger of property.  The use of “holding” which is a commonly used, and often helpful, containing experience for a distressed child is not excluded’. 

The Children Act Guidance & Regulations Volume 4. Department of Health. 

‘Use physical restraint as a last resort: if a child is presenting a risk to himself or other, restrain him gently, with the minimum force necessary and for just long enough for them to calm down’. 

Chailey Heritage: Guidelines for Handling Difficult Behaviour 1992 

DO:

  • try other approaches first e.g. talking, explaining, showing options
  • use the minimum force necessary
  • think about maintaining your own balance
  • move with the direction of the child’s movement
  • use you body weight, but carefully
  • stay in ‘safe’ places
  • commentate/talk the child down
  • gradually relax and let go as soon as you can
  • make a clear written record in the appropriate record book
  • talk to people about how you feel 

DO NOT: 

  • use restraint as a punishment
  • grab or twist extremities
  • apply pressure to head/neck/chest
  • teach this to others
  • try and cope alone if you need help 

 

Guidelines for good practice in intimate care including guidelines on working with children of the opposite sex. 

 All of the children we work with have the right to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect.  These guidelines are designed to safeguard both children staff and volunteers, and apply to any other person involved with the intimate care of children on PCC’s activities. 

Children with disabilities can be very vulnerable.  All staff involved with their intimate care need to be sensitive to the child’s needs and also aware that some care tasks or treatments could be open to possible misinterpretation.   

False allegations of sexual abuse are extremely rare, but certain basic guidelines will safeguard both children and staff.  Everyone is safer if expectations are clear and approaches are consistent as far as possible. 
If you cannot work within these guidelines for any reason, please talk with your line manager. 

1.Treat every child with dignity and respect and ensure privacy appropriate to the child’s age and situation 
Privacy is an important issue.  Much intimate care is carried out by one person alone with one child. This practice is actively supported unless the task requires two people. Having people working alone does increase the opportunity for possible abuse. However this is balanced by the loss of privacy and lack of trust implied if two people have to be present - quite apart from the practical difficulties. Staff are supported in carrying out the intimate care of children alone unless the task requires the presence of two people. 

2.Involve the child as far as possible in their own intimate care 
Try to avoid doing things for a child that he/she can do alone and if a child is able to help ensure they are given the chance to do so.  Support the child in doing all that they can for themselves.  If a child is fully dependent on you, talk with them about what you are doing and give them choices where possible. 

3.Be responsive to a child’s reactions 
Check your practice by asking the child, particularly a child you haven’t previously cared for, e.g. “Is it OK to do it this way?” “Can you wash there?” “How do your parents do this?”.  If a child expresses dislike of a certain person carrying out their intimate care, try and find out why.  If a child appears to have a “grudge” against you for some reason ensure your line manager is aware of this. 

4.Make sure practice in intimate care is as consistent as possible 
Line managers have responsibility for ensuring their staff have a consistent approach. This does not mean that everyone has to do things in an identical fashion, but it is important that approaches are not markedly different between different staff.  For example, do you use a flannel to wash a child rather than bare hands? Is care during menstruation consistent across different staff? 

5.Never do something unless you know how to do it 
If you are not sure how to do something, ask someone with experience.  If you need to be shown more than once, ask again. Certain intimate care or treatment procedures, may only be carried out by nursing or medical staff. Always check with parents/carers if this type of help is needed. Other procedures, such as giving rectal valium, or suppositories must only be carried out by staff who have been formally trained and assessed as competent. 

6.If you are concerned, report it
If during the intimate care of a child you accidentally hurt them, or the child seems unusually sore or tender in the genital area, or appears to be sexually aroused by your actions, or misunderstands or misinterprets something, or has a very emotional reaction without cause; report any such incident as soon as possible to another person working with you and make a brief written note of it.  Some of these could be cause for concern about the child, or alternatively the child or another adult might possibly misconstrue something you have done. 

7.Encourage the child to have a positive image of their own body 
Confident, assertive children who feel their body belongs to them are less vulnerable to sexual abuse.  As well as basics like privacy, the approach you take to a child’s intimate care can convey lots of messages to them about what their body is “worth”.  Your attitude to the child’s intimate care is important.  Keeping in mind the child’s age, routine care should be enjoyable, relaxed and fun.  Do respect the child’s right to say no. 

 

Guidelines for working with children of the opposite sex 

These guidelines are based on the following principles: 

 1.That there is positive value in both male and female staff and volunteers being involved with children and young people on PCC activities. 

2.That ideally, every child would be offered the choice of a carer of the same sex for all of their intimate care. 

3.That the individual child’s safety, dignity, privacy and right to exercise choice are of paramount importance. 

 

General Care:

Male and female staff can be involved with children of either sex in: 

  1. the planning and running of services e.g. playschemes, outings, weekend clubs.
  2. liaison with families
  3. helping to meet the developmental, emotional and recreational needs of the children.
  4. escorting the children between sites and on outings and trips, including help with the use of transport.
  5. helping children with eating and drinking.
  6. dressing and undressing of outer clothing.
  7. lifting or positioning a child who needs help or assistance.

Intimate Care 

1.Where possible boys and young men should be offered a male helper and girls and young women a female helper. 

2.If the above is not possible then a male carer may be involved as the second helper wherever the girl or young woman is comfortable and similarly a woman carer may be involved as a second helper wherever the boy or young man is comfortable. 

3.If no male helper is available for boys and young men and no women helper is available for girls and young women then advance agreement must be received from the line manager as to who would be an appropriate person to assist. 

4.If there is any doubt about how to proceed with the intimate care of an individual then the child’s parents should be consulted. 

PCC is committed to:

  • Ensuring that the welfare of adults is paramount at all times
  • Maximising people’s choice, control and inclusion and protecting their human rights
  • Working in partnership with others in order to safeguarding vulnerable adults
  • Ensuring safe and effective working practices are in place.
  • Supporting staff within the organisation.

Introduction

This policy sets out the roles and responsibilities of PCC in working together with other professionals and agencies in promoting adults welfare and safeguarding them from abuse and neglect.

This policy is intended to support Directors, staff and Volunteers working within PCC and its services.

Policies linked with this will include: whistle blowing, complaints, information sharing, safeguarding children, domestic violence, disciplinary and equality and diversity.

Scope

This policy applies to all Directors, staff and volunteers of PCC and its services.

Definitions

A vulnerable adult is defined as; any person aged 18 or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental, or other disability age or illness and who is or maybe unable to take care of him or herself or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or serious exploitation

No Secrets (2000) – Department of Health

Thus all adults who meet the above criteria may be defined as vulnerable adults.

Responsibilities of PCC

  • To take action to identify and prevent abuse from happening.
  • Respond appropriately when abuse has or is suspected to have occurred.
  • Provide support, advice and resources to staff in responding to safeguarding adult issues.
  • Inform staff of any local or national issues relating to safeguarding adults.
  • Ensure staff are aware of their responsibilities to attend training and to support staff in accessing these events.

Ensuring staff have access to appropriate consultation and supervision regarding safeguarding adults.

Understand how diversity, beliefs and values of people who use services may influence the identification, prevention and response to safeguarding concerns.

Ensure that information is available for people that use services, family members setting out what to do if they have a concern (e.g. ASK SAL helpline).

Ensure that all employees who come in contact with vulnerable adults have an enhanced CRB check in line with the requirements of the Independent Safeguarding Authority Vetting and Barring Scheme.

Responsibilities of all staff

  • Follow the safeguarding policies and procedures at all times, particularly if concerns arise about the safety or welfare of a vulnerable adult.
  • Participate in safeguarding adults training and maintain current working knowledge.
  • Discuss any concerns about the welfare of a vulnerable adult with their line manager.
  • Contribute to actions required including information sharing and attending meetings.
  • Work collaboratively with other agencies to safeguarding and protect the welfare of people who use services.
  • Remain alert at all times to the possibility of abuse.
  • Recognise the impact that diversity, beliefs and values of people who use services can have.

Training

All staff should receive a basic safeguarding adults awareness training at a level according to their role. This should be refreshed as a minimum every two years.


Reporting Abuse

If staff or volunteers suspect a vulnerable person is being abused or is at risk of abuse, they are expected to report concerns to manager or Director (unless they suspect that the line manager is implicated – in such circumstances the whistle blowing policy should be followed.

If at any time staff feel the person needs urgent medical assistance, they have a duty to call for an ambulance or arrange for a doctor to see the person at the earliest opportunity.

If at the time staff have reason to believe the vulnerable person is in immediate and serious risk of harm or that a crime has been committed the police must be called.

All service users need to be safe. Throughout the process the service users needs remain paramount. This process is about protecting the adult and prevention of abuse.

Alleged abuser and victims who are both service users

It is important that consideration be given to a co-ordinated approach and partnership working, where it is identified that both the alleged abuser and alleged victim are service users.

Where both parties are receiving a service, staff should discuss cases and work together, however meetings with both the alleged abuser and alleged victim in attendance, are not considered appropriate.

Allegation of abuse staff member

Employees should be aware that abuse is a serious matter that can lead to a criminal conviction. Where applicable,PCC’s disciplinary policy should be implemented.

Confidentiality and information sharing

‘No Secrets’ [DH 2000] states that the government expects organisations to share information about individuals who may be at risk from abuse. This is also stressed by Safeguarding Adults [ADSS 2005] the framework for good practice.

It is important to identify an abusive situation as early as possible so that the individual can be protected. Withholding information may lead to abuse not being dealt within a timely manner. Confidentiality must never be confused with secrecy.

Staff have a duty to share information relating to suspected abuse with Social Care and Cornwall Police.

Consent is not required to breach confidentiality (capacity issues must be considered) and make a safeguarding referral where;

  • A serious crime has been committed
  • Where the alleged perpetrator may go on to abuse other adults
  • Other vulnerable adults are at risk in some way
  • The vulnerable adult is deemed to be in serious risk
  • There is a statutory requirement e.g. Children’s Act 1989, Mental Health Act 1983, Care Standards Act 2000
  • The public interest overrides the interest of the individual
  • When a member of staff of a statutory service, a private or voluntary service or a volunteer is the person accused of abuse, malpractice or poor professional standards.

If a worker has any doubt about the legality of sharing information, they must in the first instance consult their manager.

Parent Carers Cornwall has a duty of care to the people undertaking work for it, whether employed or self employed under Health and Safety legislation and regulations. Below are the Personal Safety guidelines that apply to all Parent Carers Cornwall projects and services. Relevant staff must adhere to this policy, and will need to sign a declaration that they have received and understood its contents.

This will form part of the induction process for new staff. This declaration will be stored in an individual’s personnel file. Line managers will provide further clarification if required. This policy applies to all staff, volunteers, and consultants working with Parent Carers Cornwall.

It has particular relevance to those;

  • who work alone and /or come into direct contact with individuals/families,
  • Conduct home visits
  • Work unsociable hours
  • Travel extensively
  • Work in any setting which may expose them to risk or danger

Employees are required to implement all procedures as agreed. Employees are required to attend all relevant training sessions. Failure to comply with this policy may potentially be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.

Definitions The Health and Safety Executive defines violence at work as “any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work”. Furthermore, the HSE defines lone working as “someone who works by themselves without close or direct supervision”

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust advise:

  • P.L.A.N. - P = Prepare L = Look & Listen A = Act N = Never Assume
  • Personal Safety Procedures.
  • Outreach surgeries

All workers must ensure they carry out the following steps when providing advice sessions at Outreach.

Checking the venue:

1. Have visited the venue prior to providing the service and completed a risk assessment form for that venue.

2. Made sure they will be working from the building at a time when there are other people in the building.

3. Informed other people in the building when they are going to be there and agreeing a process for sending clients into the advice sessions

4. Checked that there is a signal on the mobile phone and if not made sure that there is access to a telephone

5. Familiarise themselves with fire evacuation and alarm procedures

Before attending a session:

1. Leaving a list of all clients who have booked an appointment with the PCC administrator or Line Manager

2. Checked that the mobile phone is fully charged

3. Agree a time to either email or to call in to say that appointments have finished and you are leaving to go home.

Whilst at an outreach session:

1. Check that the building is occupied and that the other workers know that you are there.

2. Familiarise yourself with the Fire evacuation procedures so you can ensure you and any client you are working with can evacuate safely.

3. If you have any concerns about any client then contact your line manager and inform her.

4. Do not see any clients who turn up without an appointment unless they are known to you from a previous contact.

5. If the fire alarm sounds leave the building immediately and head to the assembly point

Home Visiting

Staff who conduct home visits must provide their line manager and / or agreed contact with a movement sheet detailing their home visits, in advance: by the end of their working week for the following week. This may be updated as necessary but line managers and / or agreed contacts must be informed of amendments.

Staff must provide contact details for themselves i.e. their mobile number and the name address and phone number of the person/family they are visiting. Staff should inform their line manager or contact person of the anticipated finish time of the visit. During the visit, if it appears likely that the visit will run over time, staff should phone and inform the line manager or contact person of the revised finish time.

Staff must take responsibility to prepare adequately for their home visits with safety as a priority. They should have planned their journey, be aware of how they are going to get there, and think about alternative routes to and from the location.

  • Staff may reasonably request a pet is moved to another room.
  • Staff must make themselves aware of escape routes in the event a fire occurs.
  • Staff must be aware of potential for slips and falls and must not put themselves at risk.
  • Staff must also assess if the visit is potentially high risk and should discuss options with their line manager. This may include a second member of staff attending, the visit being relocated to the office or additional appropriate safety measures.
  • If the person you are visiting is not at the agreed location do not proceed with the visit.
  • If additional, non-family members or people unknown to you are present, and you deem this to pose a risk, do not proceed with the visit.
  • If you have any concerns about the situation do not continue with the visit; leave immediately. Never take any unnecessary risks and follow your instincts.
  • Be vigilant – be aware of the exit and position yourself accordingly. Refuse food and drink – unless you know the family well. Address anything that makes you uncomfortable – such as large dogs, or a person locking the door (this may be intended to keep a child safe, but can be a significant risk in the wrong circumstances).

Staff must phone their agreed contact/buddy when the visit has been successfully completed

If the line manager or agreed contact person has not heard from the staff member at the agreed time, they in turn will attempt to make contact by first ringing the staff member’s mobile number and, if unsuccessful, the contact number for the person/family they are visiting.

Failure to obtain a satisfactory answer will cause the emergency procedure to be implemented.

Emergency procedure – this applies both during and after normal working hours

  • Line manager or agreed contact person will assess the situation
  • Line manager will refer to Chief Executive or Chair
  • Chief Executive or Chair will decide if it is appropriate to call the police.
  • When the police are called, they will be informed of our procedures and the point at which contact has been lost. It may be necessary for the line manager, or agreed contact, to visit the employee’s home, in a further attempt to establish their whereabouts.
  • It is important that staff realise the seriousness of these procedures and do all they can ensure they make contact and confirm their visit or event has concluded safely.
  • The line manager and/ or agreed contact should have the following information so that they are able to escalate their concerns and contact the appropriate person.
  • Staff should be encouraged to share these contact details with someone appropriate: their family / partner / close friend / next of kin / flat mate etc so that they can support this process and be another potential source of identifying a concern if a staff member has failed to return.
  • Use of emergency codes – staff may agree an emergency code word that can be used if they fear they are in danger and unable to leave the home visit. It is recommended that, where possible, all staff use the same code word for the purposes of ease and consistency.
  • If the emergency code word has been used the line manager or agreed contact will call the police immediately and pass on all available information, including a brief description of our procedures.

Unsocial hours if staff are working after office hours in any of the circumstances outlined above, they should phone their line manager or agreed contact person when they have safely completed the visit. In certain circumstances, agreed in advance by the line manager, taxi’s may be used if staff are working very late, or are in locations where there is potential unacceptable risk.

Recording of incidents – All incidents or near misses must be reported. Staff must, in the first instance, inform their line manager verbally of any incidents of concern. If appropriate, the line manager will request the completion of a Personal Safety Incident Form, which will be kept on file– and used as appropriate in the monitoring and evaluation of our lone working – personal safety procedures.

Exemptions – in the main, staff travelling routinely to and from their normal place of work will not be expected to comply with these procedures.

Summary

Personal safety is the responsibility of every employee as well as the employer. It is essential that every member of staff familiarises themselves with Parent Carers Cornwall’s policy.

If there are any queries on any area or aspect of Parent Carers Cornwall’s Lone Working – Personal Safety Policy, this must be raised by staff with their respective line managers.

ONLINE CHAT SESSIONS WITH PARENT CARERS POLICY

The aim of these sessions is to enable parent carers can join to enjoy socialisation and reduced isolation through communication with other parent carers.

  • Online chat session will be carried out via the platform Zoom.
  • All meetings will have their own ID numbers and password.
  • All meetings will be hosted by a director from the PCC. (The Host)

GDPR

In order to adhere to GDPR

  • No one external to the sessions will have access to any of your details.
  • We will not be sharing your details with any other organisation
  • The meeting will not be recorded.
  • Any chat that takes place in written format in the meeting will not be saved unless it has implications for safeguarding

Whilst the sessions will take place in an informal home environment, it is important that

  • All parties are respectful to each other whether they agree with them or not, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
  • Do not share confidential information about your family or circumstances
  • Do not malign any other parent or professional or service

Should you fail to follow the guidelines of the session, then the host will ask you to please follow them, if you fail to do so, you will be asked to leave the session, if you fail to do this voluntarily, the host can remove you from the meeting and you will be unable to take part in other sessions.

Please note that should you have any thing confidential to discuss that this must be done via email to kaypccc@outlook.com, who will arrange to speak to you in a one to one situation.

CONSENT

Your logging onto the session is your consent that you wish to take part in the chat session. Should you decide this session is not for you, then you are free to leave the meeting at any time.

SAFEGUARDING

PCC online sessions will follow the same reporting process as with face to face PCC meetings. Any concerns will be shared with the safeguarding lead for PCC following the PCC the safeguarding policy.

COMPLAINTS

If you have any reason at all to complain about the session you have been part of, you will need to address these to Kay Henry at kaypccc@outlook.com

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