Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy

Little Stars Baby Bank

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy


Little Stars Baby Bank is committed to practice which protects and safeguards children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm.
Please note that whilst the terms ‘child’ or ‘children’ are used in this policy, the following principles also apply to young people and vulnerable adults.
We will endeavour to protect and safeguard children by:

  • Valuing, listening to and respecting them
  • Ensuring that the welfare of children and young people is the paramount consideration through the services we provide
  • Adopting Safeguarding guidelines through procedures as detailed below
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training, and quality assurance measures
  • Implementing a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Recording and storing information professionally and securely
This policy statement applies to anyone working for or on behalf of Little Stars Baby Bank.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in the United Kingdom. We have referred to the document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children – A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’ (July 2018), which can be found here.
We have also used guidance from the Charity Commission, which can be found Here.
We believe that:
  • Children and young people should never experience any kind of abuse
  • We have a responsibility and a professional duty to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to protect them from harm

We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • Some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
  • Valuing, listening to and respecting them
  • Appointing a nominated child protection/safeguarding lead
  • Developing child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures which reflect best practice
  • Using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving babies, children, young people, and families, appropriately
  • Sharing information about child protection and safeguarding best practice with our referral partners
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training, and quality assurance measures
  • Implementing a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
  • Ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
  • Ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
  • Recording and storing information professionally and securely.
       Key individuals working on behalf of Little Stars Baby Bank, will undertake appropriate safeguarding training at least every 3 years.
        All staff and trustees at Little Stars Baby Bank will have valid and up to date Enhanced DBS Certificates. Volunteers will be dependent on the role they undertake within the organisation.
In Accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children – Chapter 2, section on voluntary, charity and private sectors, point 61 on page 72, “Individual practitioners, whether paid or volunteer, should be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and protecting children from harm, how they should respond to child protection concerns and how to make a referral to local authority children’s social care or the police if necessary.”
Therefore, Little Stars Baby Bank will act to ensure that every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of children that we come into contact with and to ensure that staff are trained and supported to be aware of indicators, which may suggest that further action should be taken.
Types of abuse
Child abuse occurs when a child or young person has suffered from, or is at significant risk of suffering from, ill-treatment or impairment of development, by any person who knowingly colludes with or fails to prevent the ill-treatment of the child or young person by not ensuring reasonable standards of care and protection.
There are different types of abuse, which may include:
Physical Abuse
May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent fabricates the symptoms or deliberately induces illness in a child.
Sexual Abuse
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non­penetrative acts.  They may include non­contact activities such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic materials or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Emotional Abuse
The persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve:
  • Telling a child, they are worthless, unloved or inadequate
  • Valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person
  • Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on a child
  • Overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning
  • A child seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another
  • Serious bullying
  • Causing a child to frequently feel frightened or in danger
  • Exploitation or corruption of a child
Persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health and development. Neglect may occur:
  • During pregnancy as a result of substance abuse
  • Failure to provide adequate food and clothing
  • Failing to provide shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment
  • Failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger
  • Failure to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care­ givers)
  • Failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment

Discriminatory Abuse
Discriminatory Abuse includes racist, religious, sexist, homophobic, and disability abuse.
See Little Stars Anti-Bullying Policy.
Indications of abuse
 There are certain signs of abuse, both in a child’s appearance and behaviour, which may alert an individual to the possibility that abuse is occurring.  Some of these signs are common to all types of abuse; others are more specific.
 Knowing the signs to be aware of is essential for recognising a real or potential problem.  However, the presence of any one sign in itself may not necessarily mean abuse is occurring, and conversely, a young person who is being abused may show none of the obvious signs.  Such factors make the issue of child abuse more complex, but all concerns and suspicions should be reported and acted upon accordingly.
Indications that a young person may be being abused include:

  • Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries
  • An injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent
  • The child describes what appears to be an abusive act involving him or her
  • Someone else (young person or adult) expresses concern about the welfare of a child
  • Unexplained changes in behaviour or emotions such as becoming very quiet, withdrawn, or displaying sudden bursts of temper
  • Inappropriate sexual awareness
  • Engaging in sexually explicit behaviour, sexually explicit talk inappropriate to the young person’s age
  • Distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would be expected
  • Difficulty in making friends
  • Uncharacteristic eating disorders, depression, and suicide attempts
  • The child may become withdrawn, introverted, and depressed and have low self-esteem and lack of confidence


Safeguarding Procedures

An issue is reported to us that gives concern about a child’s safety
When we are told of concerns about a child, we will not agree to keep the information confidential. If we are given information which indicates that a child may be abused or neglected, then we will pass the information on to parents/carers and involved agencies (as appropriate). A safeguarding referral will be made as necessary after discussion with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
A child wants to disclose to one of us something that concerns them
In the case of a child disclosing information to us we will be guided by the following principles:
  • Acknowledge how much courage it has taken for the child to confide
  • Listen very carefully to what the child is saying, showing that we are taking it seriously
  • Explain that we have a duty to tell other people and cannot keep it secret
  • We will avoid asking leading questions. If we want to clarify something, we will ask open questions which will encourage the child to use their own words.

We will make a referral to Children’s Services and inform all appropriate agencies. We will consider carefully if the information that the child gave us means that other children may be at risk of serious harm and act accordingly. Further details on Reporting Abuse can be found below.
We are concerned about the behaviour of an individual known to the child that might be placing a child at risk
We will immediately inform the appropriate adult of the individual, followed up by a written account of what we have seen or heard. This information will be given to the Designated Safeguarding Lead at Little Stars Baby Bank immediately.   
A child directly discloses to us or implies that they are feeling suicidal or will injure themselves
We will take seriously any statement from a child that they may harm themselves in some way. We will pass this information on to the appropriate adult and will make a referral to Children’s Services/crisis response services as deemed necessary and after consultation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. No child expressing a wish to harm themselves will be left alone.
A child makes allegations about a member of our team
We will take all allegations involving concerns about a member of our team very seriously. Such concerns will be investigated independently and rigorously. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will co-ordinate the investigation and make the referral to the Local Safeguarding Board should allegations be made. This referral will be made within 1 working day. In the event of the Safeguarding Lead being the person against whom the allegations are made, the Deputy Safeguarding Lead will co-ordinate the investigation.

Reporting Abuse

System for recording allegations
A clear and comprehensive summary of the following will be recorded by the Designated Safeguarding Lead. It will include:
  • Details of what the allegation is and when it took place.
  • Details of what action has been taken.
  • Details of how the allegation will be resolved.
  • Outcome of the investigation.
Confidentiality and Information Sharing
Where information is shared without consent, this must be in line with Little Stars Baby Bank’s Information Sharing and Confidentiality Policy. The child’s case file must reflect this decision and clearly state: 
  • What information was provided and to whom?
  • The reason(s) why it was shared.
  • Evidence that a thorough risk assessment was undertaken.
  • The name of the individual(s) who authorised the disclosure of the record.
Mandatory Reporting
It is mandatory for all regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England to report 'known cases' of female genital mutilation (FGM) in under 18s to the police (Home Office, 2016).
How to report concerns about a child’s welfare
If you think a child is in immediate danger, contact the police on 999. If you're worried about a child but they are not in immediate danger, you should share your concerns. You must contact the child’s local child protection services. Their contact details can be found on the website for the local authority the child lives in. The Shropshire Safeguarding team can be contacted on 0345 678 9044 -  Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and Friday 9am to 4pm.
If you have urgent adult safeguarding concerns outside of these hours, you can contact the Emergency Social Work Duty Team on 0345 678 9040. Services will risk assess the situation and take action to protect the child as appropriate either through statutory involvement or other support.
For further information detailed guidance on how to make a referral can be found in Working Together to Safeguard Children Here under Referral on page 17.
Related policies and procedures
This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies and procedures, including:
  • Code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
  • Whistleblowing policy.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Policy.
  • Complaints Policy.
  • Disciplinary Policy.
  • Health and Safety Policy.
  • Information and Confidentiality Policy.
  • Anti-Bullying Policy.
Designated Lead for Safeguarding and Child Protection Name:  Leanne Simcoe

Policy Reviewed: 1st April 2023
Next Policy Review: March 2024