Policies

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy

Living Song CICworks with vulnerable adults on occasions, offering singing and / or song making workshops.

This policy outlines the steps Living Song CICwill make to safeguard an adult with care and support needs if they are deemed to be at risk or at risk. This policy sets out the roles and responsibilities of Living Song CIC in working together with other professionals and agencies in promoting the adult’s welfare and safeguarding them from abuse and neglect.

Living Song CICwill ensure that decisions made will allow adults to make their own choices and include them in any decision-making. This includes for:

  • Creative processes
  • Repertoire choices
  • Performance opportunities
  • Organization in working spaces
  • Collaborations

Living Song CICwill also ensure that safe and effective working practices are in place.

This policy is intended to support staff and volunteers working with and for Living Song to understand their role and responsibilities in safeguarding adults.All staff and volunteers are expected to follow this policy. The key objectives of this policy are for all employees and volunteers Living Song CIC to:

  • Have an overview of adult safeguarding
  • Be clear about their responsibility to safeguard adults
  • Ensure the necessary actions are taken where an adult with care and support needs is deemed to be at risk

This policy is based on:

This policy is available to all artists, workshop leaders and teachers who work with Living Song CIC. We will not tolerate the abuse of adults in the organisation and staff and volunteers should be made aware of how this policy can be accessed.

What is Safeguarding adults?

 ‘Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.’

Care and Support Statutory Guidance, Department of Health, updated February 2017

All adults should be able to live free from fear and harm. But some may find it hard to get the help and support they need to stop abuse.

An adult may not be unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation due to many reasons, including their mental or physical incapacity, sensory loss or physical or learning disabilities. This could be an adult who is usually able to protect themselves from harm but maybe unable to do so because of an accident, disability, frailty, addiction or illness.

Living Song CIC adheres to following the six key principles that underpin safeguarding work (See Care Act guidance)

  • Empowerment
  • Prevention
  • Proportionality
  • Protection
  • Partnership
  • Accountability

Who Does this apply to?

The principles above apply to staff employed by Living Song CIC, Volunteers, Artists and Young Artists. It applies to all adults we work with, including those living in challenging circumstances, in care due to illness, mental or physical.   Living Song CICwill ensure that the safeguarding action agreed is the least intrusive response to the risk. We expect partners from the community, or organizations involved in any safeguarding work in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse, working with Living Song CICshould be transparent and accountable in delivering safeguarding actions.

What is Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP)?

MSP means a case should be person-led and outcome-focused. The individual should be involved in identifying how best to respond to their safeguarding situation by giving them more choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety.

Living Song CICwill not tolerate the abuse of adults and will work with partner organisations during projects or singing programmes to ensure that adults are involved in their safeguarding arrangements and each individual is dealt with on a case by case basis.  As adults may have different preferences, histories and life styles, the same process may not work for all.

Who do adult safeguarding duties apply to                                                                                                   

The Care Act 2014 sets out that adult safeguarding duties apply to anyadult who:

  • has care and support needs, and
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse and neglect, and
  • is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect, because of those needs. 

Who do I go to if I am concerned?

The named responsible person for safeguarding duties (MSP)  for Living Song CIC is Jane Wheeler.

All staff and volunteers should contact Jane Wheeler forany concerns/queries they have in regards to safeguarding adults.A log of the concern must be kept.

The MSP will be responsible to make decisions about notifying adult social services if required and consider alternative actions, where necessary.

The MSPwill also ensure that the safeguarding adults policies and procedures are in place and up to date. They will ensure a safe environment is promoted for staff and volunteers. Jane Wheeler will ensure they are up to date with their safeguarding adults training.

What should I do if I am concerned?

Staff and volunteers at Living Song CICwho have any adult safeguarding concerns should:

  1. Respond
  • Take emergency action if someone is at immediate risk of harm/in need of urgent medical attention. Dial 999 for emergency services
  • Get brief details about what has happened and what the adult would like done about it, but do not probe or conduct a mini-investigation
  • Seek consent from the adult to take action and to report the concern. Consider whether the adult may lack capacity to make decisions about their own and other people’s safety and wellbeing.  If you decide to act against their wishes or without their consent, you must record your decision and the reasons for this.
  1. Report
  • Name the person to whom staff/volunteers need to report any potential safeguarding concerns. This will usually be the organisation’s designated safeguarding lead (see above)
  1. Record
  • Write an email as soon as possible addressed to the MSP, outlining the incident or any issues, describing what happened, what action wad taken, what action was recommended or promised.
  • As far as possible, records should be written contemporaneously, dated and signed.
  • Keep records about safeguarding concerns confidential and in a location where the alleged abuser will not have access to the record. Access should not be given to any unauthorised personal for accessing confidential information including the sharing of passwords. *[Add link to your organisation’s Data Protection Policy]
  1. Refer

In making a decision whether to refer or not, the designated safeguarding lead should take into account:

  • The adult’s wishes and preferred outcome
  • Whether the adult has mental capacity to make an informed decision about their own and others’ safety
  • The safety or wellbeing of children or other adults with care and support needs
  • Whether there is a person in a position of trust involved
  • Whether a crime has been committed

This should inform the decision whether to notify the concern to the following people:

  • The police if a crime has been committed and/or
  • Relevant regulatory bodies such as Care Quality Commission, Ofsted, Charities commission
  • Service commissioning teams
  • Family/relatives as appropriate (seek advice from adult social services)

The designated safeguarding lead should keep a record of the reasons for referring the concern or reasons for not referring.

Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple and may affect one person or more. Staff and volunteers should look beyond single incidents to identify patterns of harm. Accurate recording of information will also assist in recognising any patterns.

As soon as Adult Social Services becomes involved, a 4-stage safeguarding adults process is followed.  For more information about this 4-stage safeguarding adults process, refertothe London Safeguarding Adults Procedures.

What are your roles and responsibilities?

All staff, management, trustees and volunteers at Living Song CICareexpected to report any concerns to the named MSP. If the allegation is against one Living Song CICmember, workshop leader, artist, young artist, teacher, volunteer, trustee or directors, seek advice from Living Song CICMSP Jane Wheeler.  If the allegation is against the safeguarding lead, Living SongCICwill seek advice from the relevant council, or organisation concerned.

The designated safeguarding adults lead should be responsible for providing acknowledgement of the referral and brief feedback to the person raising the original concern. Feedback should be given in a way that will not make the situation worse or breach the Data Protection Act.  If the police are involved, they should be consulted prior to giving feedback to the referrer to ensure any criminal investigation is not affected.

Complaints procedure

Living Song CICaims to operate with integrity, transparency and honesty. This includes when things go wrong.  All staff and volunteers should apologise and be honest with service users and other relevant people when thing go wrong.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005

This can be used when decisions on behalf of those adults with care and support needs who are unable to make some decisions for themselves.  Refer to the Mental

Capacity Act Code of Practice,

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-capacity-act-code-of-practice.

You will need to involve an advocate if the person lacks capacity to make decisions about the safeguarding concern.

Why is it important to take action?

It is may be difficult for adults with care and support needs to protect themselves and to report abuse. They rely on you to help them.

Confidentiality and information sharing

Living Song CICexpects all staff, volunteers, Artists, young artists, teachers, trustees to maintain confidentiality at all times.  In line with Data Protection law. Living Song CICdoes not share information if not required.  *[Add link to your organisation’s Data Protection Policy]

It should however be noted that information should be shared with authorities if an adult is deemed to be at risk of immediate harm.Sharing the right information, at the right time, with the right people can make all the difference to preventing harm.  For further guidance on information sharing and safeguarding see: https://www.scie.org.uk/care-act-2014/safeguarding-adults/sharing-information/keymessages.asp

Recruitment and selection

Living Song CIC is committed to safe employment. Safe recruitment practices, such as Disclosure and Barring checks reduce the risk of exposing adults with care and support needs to people unsuitable to work with them. Refer to the council’s guidance on Safer Recruitment (please note this guidance is currently being updated).

Training, awareness raising and supervision?

Living Song CIC ensures that all staff, Artists, young artists, teachers and volunteers have received basic awareness training on safeguarding adults as they may come across adults with care and support needs who may be at risk of abuse. Those adults may report things of concern to staff or volunteers who should be equipped with the basic knowledge around safeguarding adults and be confident to identify that abuse is taking place and action is required.  All staff and volunteers should be clear about the core values of Living Song CIC and commitment to safeguarding adults.

Similarly, staff and volunteers may encounter concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children.  For more information about children’s safeguarding, refer to Living Song CIC Children protection and safe recruitment policy.

Equal Opportunities Policy

Download this document in PDF format.

THIS DOCUMENT INCLUDES:

  • A statement of intent, including the aim and objective of the policy.
  • Who the policy applies to (its scope).
  • Outline of specific commitments / actions which will be undertaken.
  • How the policy will be implemented and who is responsible.
  • Monitoring and review procedure.
  • Complaints procedure.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY – STATEMENT OF INTENT

The aim of this policy is to communicate the commitment of Living Song and members who work with us to the promotion of equality of opportunity in all we do.

It is our policy to provide equality of recruitment, training and opportunity to all young singers and all staff and artistic team members working with the us, irrespective of:

  • gender, including gender reassignment
  • marital or civil partnership status
  • having or not having dependents
  • religious belief or political opinion
  • race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin).
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • age

We are opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. All members of the organisation will be treated fairly and will not be discriminated against on any of the above grounds. Decisions on membership, selection for office, training or any other benefit will be made objectively, without unlawful discrimination, and based on aptitude and ability.

We recognise that the provision of equal opportunities in all our activities will benefit the organisation. Our equal opportunities policy will help members to develop their full potential and the talents and resources of the members will be utilised fully to maximise the effectiveness of the organisation.

Living Song recognises that there is a statutory duty under the NI Act 1998, to implement an equal opportunities policy. This policy applies to applicants for employment, volunteers and members of the group alike.

Living Song is committed to the principles and practice of Equality. We value the diversity of the local population. We want our services, facilities and resources to be accessible and useful to every citizen regardless of gender, age, ethnic origin, religious belief, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other individual characteristic, which may unfairly affect a person’s opportunities in life.

EQUALITY COMMITMENTS

We are committed to:

  • Promoting equality of opportunity for all persons.
  • Promoting a good and harmonious learning environment in which all people are treated with respect and dignity and in which no form of intimidation or harassment is tolerated.
  • Preventing occurrences of unlawful direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and bullying.
  • Fulfilling all our legal obligations under the equality legislation and associated codes of practice.
  • Complying with our own equal opportunities policy and associated policies.
  • Taking lawful affirmative or positive action, where appropriate.
  • Regarding breaches of our equal opportunities policy as misconduct which could lead to termination of membership.

This policy was adopted on 6th February 2012

IMPLEMENTATION

We have specific responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy. We expect all participants in any activity initiated, led by, or in partnership with Living Song to abide by the policy and to help create the equality environment, which is its objective.

In order to implement this policy, we shall:

  • Communicate the policy to members by issuing an induction pamphlet to all existing and new members.
  • Living Song will endeavour, through appropriate training, to ensure that it will not consciously, or unconsciously, discriminate in the selection or recruitment of applicants for membership of the group.
  • Incorporate specific and appropriate duties in respect of implementing the equal opportunities policy into roles and responsibilities of committee members.
  • Incorporate equal opportunities notices into general communications practices (e.g. announcements, annual report at annual general meetings, notices and newsletters). This policy will be read out to all members at each annual general meeting.
  • Ensure that adequate resources are made available to fulfil the objectives of the policy.

MONITORING AND REVIEW

We will establish appropriate information and monitoring systems to assist the effective implementation of our equal opportunities policy. The effectiveness of the equal opportunities policy will be reviewed regularly (at least annually) and action taken as necessary.

COMPLAINTS

Associates or participants in any project led by Living Song who believe that they have suffered any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying are entitled to raise the matter through the agreed procedures on a project-by-project basis. All complaints of discrimination will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially.

Every effort will be made to ensure that members who make complaints will not be prejudiced against. Any complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially and may result in disciplinary action and may warrant dismissal.

Signed

Jane O. Wheeler, Director of Living Song Ltd.

Date   06.02.12

Child Protection and Safe Recruitment Policy

The team with Living Song believe that every child and young person regardless of age, gender, disability, colour, race, nationality, or ethnic or national origin, religious belief, sexual orientation has, at all time, and in all situations, the right to feel safe and protected from any situation or practice that results in physical or psychological damage.

In our organisation, if we have suspicions about a participant’s physical, sexual or emotional wellbeing, we will take action. We will protect our participants by:

  • Ensuring any worker, artist, musician, freelancer or volunteer that comes into contact with them has police and health checks, and follows our code of conduct of working with children and young people and vulnerable adults.
  • Ensuring new workers, artists, musicians, freelancers, volunteers or members of the organisation complete a personal profile form.
  • Requesting previous addresses on volunteer/job application forms.
  • Asking for names and two referees who are prepared to give a written reference.
  • Following up each reference with a phone call or personal contact during which we will discuss the applicant’s suitability to work with children and young people. a record of this discussion will be kept on the applicant’s file.
  • We will interview prospective workers, artists, musicians, freelancers or volunteers and observe them working in their current, or related context.
  • We will carry out a probationary period for all workers, artists, musicians, freelancers or volunteers and staff for a proportion of the project time or 3 months if the duration of the project is 6 months or longer.
  • Regularly monitor and review our procedures on child and young people to continually ensure the safety of all the vulnerable people we work with.

All volunteers, freelancers and staff are encouraged to share concerns with the Living Song child protection officer. If the situation is clearly an urgent case, the child/venerable adult is too frightened to go home, or there are very serious doubts about the child’s safety, we will contact social services or the police immediately.

If concerns about a child, young person or vulnerable adult are more general, then the matter will be discussed with the Living Song child protection officer who will then make a referral to social services who, in turn, will make the necessary arrangements.

CODE OF PRACTICE – WORKSHOPS

Living Song is committed to safeguarding the welfare of the children we work with and has established the following code of practice:

  • All workers, artists, musicians, freelancers or volunteers are given clear and established roles for their education work.
  • All existing workers, artists, musicians, freelancers or volunteers used by the organisation are police checked to ensure that no one has a conviction for criminal offences against children.
  • When working with schools, all workshops are conducted in the presence of a teacher.
  • Living Song works in teams of at least two people, unless a relationship is already established with a group, in which case an individual may work alone.
  • Children are supervised at all times during projects, including lunch breaks and travel to and from the venue.
  • Workshop leaders are responsible for ensuring health and safety requirements are met in the working environment.
  • Full evaluations are carried out after all workshops, completed by teachers/staff members to ensure that any problems are aired and that these areas can be addressed in the future.

ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DESIGNATED CHILD PROTECTION PERSON (DCPP)

Living Song has appointed a designated child protection person (DCPP) who is responsible for dealing with any concerns about the protection of children. This person, Jane Wheeler, is contactable by web form on Contact Us page. On projects the Project Manager will be the first person to report to, s/he will then report to the Living Song DCPP.

THE ROLE OF THE DESIGNATED PERSON IS TO:

  1. Know which outside child protection agency to contact in the event of a child protection concern coming to the notice of the Board, any member of staff or associate of Living Song.
  2. Provide information and advice on child protection within the Board.
  3. Ensure that appropriate information is available at the time of referral and that the referral is confirmed in writing under confidential cover.
  4. Liaise with local social services and other agencies, as appropriate.
  5. Keep relevant people within the Board informed about any action taken and any further action required: for example, disciplinary action against a member for staff.
  6. Ensure that a proper record is kept of any referral and action taken, and this is kept safely and in confidence.
  7. Advise the Board of child protection training needs.
  8. Liaise with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to review the operation of the Child Protection Policy regularly to ensure the procedures are working and that they complies with current best practice.