Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy for the Museum of Policing in Cheshire

 

Written by Peter Hampson and Len Cotterell
Date March 2021
For Review March 2022

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to protect children and vulnerable adults who engage with The Museum of Policing in Cheshire (MOPIC) both onsite and offsite to provide volunteers with clear information about the Museum’s approach to Safeguarding.
For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

Child

A child, as defined in the Children’s Acts 1989 and 2004, is anyone who has not yet reached their eighteenth birthday. ‘Children’ therefore means ‘children and young people’ throughout. Until a person has reached their eighteenth birthday, they are the legal responsibility of their parents/carers, even if that person is not present.

Vulnerable Adult

A vulnerable adult is defined as a person aged 18 and over who is or who may be in need of community care services because of age, illness, physical or learning disability, or someone who is or may be unable to take care of or protect themselves against harm or exploitation (including those who have difficulty in communication and may need additional help). This policy applies to all paid permanent and temporary staff, volunteers, contractors, consultants, freelance practitioners, work experience students and anyone engaged to work on behalf of the MOPIC.

2. Introduction

Every year, children and vulnerable adults visit the Museum of Policing in Cheshire (MOPIOC) we wish to ensure that they and all our visitors are protected from harm whilst on our premises or engaging with our services in the community.
While the primary responsibility for the welfare of children and vulnerable adults rests with the supervising adult(s) (see Appendix A and B) MOPIC recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and vulnerable adults by a commitment to practice which supports protecting them from harm.

Considering current legislation, guidance and best practice the Museum does not believe that it currently undertakes any ‘regulated activities’ for children or vulnerable adults (see Appendix C).

In the main MOPIC volunteers provide background information with regards to the History of Policing in Cheshire and thus MOPIC volunteers do NOT Teach, Train or Instruct visitors.
Changes to the public programme will be reviewed in accordance with health and safety and risk management policies to assess whether they constitute regulated activity. If a risk assessment concludes that regulated activity is to be carried out, additional checks will be carried out to review spent criminal records and other information, as relevant to the protected group.

The Museum’s recruitment and appointment processes include robust and transparent pre-employment and regular re-vetting where appropriate to the role.
A guide to safeguarding procedures is available in the Keeping Vulnerable Children and Adults Safe: Museum Safeguarding Procedures document. A summary of the reporting structure for safeguarding concerns is provided in Appendix E.

These procedures will be made available on request to group leaders and relevant public authorities.

Policy Statement

The MOPIC aims to:

  • Respect the rights of all children and vulnerable adults
  • Provide an environment (including museum-led activities off-site) which is safe and welcoming for children and vulnerable adults and which protects them from harm
  • Ensure that everyone working at the Museum is aware of the need to protect children and vulnerable adults and know how to reduce the risks to them
  • Provide procedures and guidance for everyone working at the Museum for their own protection

The MOPIC and everyone who works within it endeavours to safeguard children and vulnerable adults by:

A

  • dopting safeguarding procedures for all which minimise opportunity for abuse and establish appropriate treatment of children and vulnerable adults
  • Ensuring individuals working with children and/or vulnerable adults are fully aware of and trained to follow the Museum’s procedures and guidance as appropriate to their role
  • Sharing information about the principles of safeguarding and good practice with staff, volunteers and visitors
  • Providing effective management through supervision, support and training
  • Ensuring any accompanying individuals (parents, guardians, schoolteachers etc.) are aware of their own responsibilities in relation to safeguarding
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents/carers as appropriate
  • Informing volunteers that not adhering to the policy and procedures will lead to exclusion from the MOPIC
  • Designating both the Manager and his Deputy to lead on safeguarding issues
  • Reviewing our policy and practice at regular intervals
  • Ensuring safeguarding policies and procedures are regularly updated in accordance with current Government legislation and best practice
  • Taking allegations seriously and responding fairly, swiftly and appropriately

3. Legal context

This policy has been informed by law and guidance that seeks to protect vulnerable groups, namely:
• Children’s Act 1989
• Children Act 2004
• Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

4. Associated policies and procedures

This policy should be read alongside our policies, procedures and guidance on:

Keeping Children and Vulnerable Adults Safe: Museum Safeguarding Procedures
Recruitment
Volunteering
Data Protection
Social Media

5. Safeguarding Code of Conduct for staff, volunteers, freelance practitioners and contractors

Everyone working at the MOPIC have a responsibility to ensure that children and vulnerable adults engaging with our services are protected from abuse.
This policy has been developed to provide advice which will not only help to protect children and vulnerable adults but will also help identify any practices which could be mistakenly interpreted and perhaps lead to false allegations of abuse being made against Museum Volunteers.When working with children and vulnerable adults all volunteers, freelance practitioners and contractors are considered by the Museum to be acting in a position of trust. It is therefore important that they always act in an appropriate manner and follow the Museum’s Safeguarding Policy.
All staff, volunteers, freelance practitioners and contractors are expected to report any breaches of this Policy to the Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Volunteers who breach this code of Policy may be subject to exclusion from the MOPIC.

Any breach of this Policy involving a volunteer, freelance practitioner or contractor may result in termination of their engagement.
Serious breaches of this Policy may also result in a referral being made to the police or a statutory child or adult protection agency.

 

Safeguarding Policy for working with children and vulnerable adults

You should

:

  • Always follow the MOPIC Safeguarding Policy
  • Approach any child or vulnerable adult apparently in distress and ask if you can help
  • Seek assistance from colleagues or other adults in order to minimise the amount of time you are alone with the person
  • Ensure that whenever possible there is more than one adult present during activities with children and vulnerable adults, or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others; the adult present may be a teacher or parent
  • Listen to and respect children and vulnerable adults
  • Treat children and vulnerable adults fairly and without prejudice
  • Value and take the contributions of children and vulnerable adults seriously
  • Ensure any physical contact is appropriate and in relation to the nature of the activity (N.B: physical contact may be necessary in the case of emergencies but must always remain appropriate and kept to a minimum)
  • Always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory
  • Recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children and vulnerable adults
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations or suspicions of abuse

You should not:

  • Physically restrain a child or vulnerable adult except in exceptional circumstances (e.g. to prevent injury, damage to property or collections, or to prevent theft) and even then, be careful to use only the minimal restraint necessary
  • Patronise children or vulnerable adults
  • Allow allegations or suspicions to go unreported
  • Give out personal information, or share email, social network site details, or mobile phone numbers with any child or vulnerable adult
  • Develop social relationships with children or vulnerable adults; if you do meet those you have worked with in a social situation, try to maintain a professional distance
  • Do things of a personal nature for a child or vulnerable adult that they can do for themselves or that a parent/group leader can do for them
  • Make personal remarks or discuss themes that encourage children or vulnerable adults to share personal information
  • Use sarcasm or insensitive comments
  • Act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive
  • Make promises to children or vulnerable adults, particularly in relation to confidentiality
  • Jump to conclusions about others without checking facts
  • Either exaggerate or trivialise safeguarding issues
  • Be complacent about the potential risks to others and yourself

Please note that:

Photographs or videos, including those on websites, must not include any participant unless authorised by the appropriate member of staff and parental or adult consent is given (see Appendix D). Parental consent must be sought for all images of children, the consent of an accompanying adult who is not the child’s parent or legal guardian is not enough. Teachers may give consent for photographs of children participating in schools’ activities provided that their school has sought parental permission for photography of children involved in school trips.

All volunteers, freelance practitioners and contractors should be aware that some children and vulnerable adults may behave inappropriately. Any sanctions and approaches to discipline should in the first instance be managed by the responsible adult. If a volunteer, freelance practitioner or contractor is in a position where a sanction is to be issued (for example in the case of unaccompanied children who are behaving inappropriately) then this must be appropriate to age and understanding. Please refer to the Designated Safeguarding Officer if you are in any way uncertain of what action to take.

6. Recruitment of volunteers

Disclosure and Barring Service

DBS checks form an important part of wider safeguarding policy. Since December 2012, the regulations surrounding DBS checks have changed, particularly about regulated activity. Careful consideration will be given to whether a DBS check is required for each role within the Museum. All volunteers are required to complete and return a Confidential Declaration and provide details of two referees regardless of whether their role is eligible for a DBS check.
You are only legally entitled to carry out an enhanced or an enhanced with barred lists DBS check if someone’s position is one of those listed in the ‘exceptions order’ of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and in the Police Act regulations and (for the barred list check) meets the definition of regulated activity (see Appendix A).

There are two levels of enhanced checks:

1. Enhanced: To be eligible for an enhanced DBS check the position must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and in Police Act regulations. If the answer is yes to the two questions below, then you are entitled to undertake an enhanced DBS check.
Does the role involve one of the following activities? Will the work take place regularly?

  • Teaching
  • Training
  • Care
  • Supervision
  • Advice
  • Treatment
  • Transportation
  • Being in sole charge

Will the work take place regularly?

This is defined as: Frequently – once a week or more
Or
Intensively – takes place on four or more days in a 30-day period
Or
Overnight – defined as between 2am and 6am2. Enhanced with adults and children’s barred lists (check(s):

To be eligible to request a check of the children’s or adults’ barred lists the position must meet the DBS definition of ‘regulated activity’ (see Appendix C). It is expected that extremely few museum roles would ever fall into this category.

Everyone working or volunteering at the Museum who is eligible is required to undertake an enhanced DBS check, or, if they are involved in a regulated activity must have an enhanced with barred list check. This is a requirement of the Museum as part of their safeguarding responsibilities.
Prospective employees who are eligible for a DBS check will not be permitted to commence work until an appropriate disclosure has been seen and approved by the Curator.

Existing employees whose roles are deemed to require an enhanced DBS check, or enhanced with barred list check, will be checked every 5 years.
Where an employed individual is about to commence in an activity which is not part of their regular duties (i.e. supervising a work experience placement) they will also need to apply for an enhanced DBS check, or enhanced with barred list check, and have it cleared before they commence this activity.
For freelance practitioners and contractors, the need for an enhanced DBS check, or enhanced with barred list check, must be made evident by the member of staff contracting services.

The volunteer needs to consider carefully whether they are eligible for either check using the guidance provided. The individual will not be permitted to commence work until their disclosure has been seen and approved by the Curator
For volunteers, the need for an enhanced DBS check, or enhanced with barred list check, must be made evident when the volunteer role is created and to the volunteer before they agree to undertake that role/task.

Volunteers, who are eligible for an enhanced DBS check, or enhanced with barred list check, will be required to undertake one and will not be permitted to commence their role until an appropriate disclosure has been seen and approved by the Curator.

7. Reporting procedure to be followed by volunteers, freelance practitioners and contractors

Comprehensive details of reporting procedures for safeguarding concerns are contained within the Keeping Children and Vulnerable Adults Safe: Museum Safeguarding Procedures document. A brief overview of the referral process is provided in Appendix E.
These procedures will be made available on request to group leaders and relevant public authorities.

8. Key contact information Lead Designated Safeguarding Officer

Police Non-Emergency 101
Emergency 999 Tell the switchboard you are calling about a possible crime against a child or vulnerable adult
Support for safeguarding concerns involving children:
Warrington Public Protection Directorate (Police) 01606 36 5833 / 4838
Warrington Children’s Social Care Team 01925 44 3400
Out-of-Hours Number for all above Agencies 01925 44 4400
Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO) 01925 44 3103
NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000 This is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week
ChildLine 0800 1111APPENDIX A: Group Leaders’/Teachers’ responsibilities when visiting the MOPIC,

The MOPIC wishes to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded and protected from harm whilst visiting us. In addition to the measures that MOPIC has put in place, we ask that teachers and group leaders exercise their own responsibilities in relation to their groups.
Responsibility for a child ultimately lies with the parent or whoever is in loco parentis for that child. This is usually a teacher, social worker, carer or guardian, whichever applies.

Responsibility for a vulnerable adult ultimately lies with the person undertaking regulated activity relating to that individual.
Local authorities have a responsibility for organisations working with children in their boroughs to have their own safeguarding and child protection policies. Employees from schools and other institutions will therefore comply with their own policies and procedures and the MOPIC ensures that these responsibilities are always made clear to the organisations it works with.

Children aged 11 and under must be accompanied at all organised events by a responsible adult; at school visits the teacher is in loco parentis. These adults are responsible for supervising the children in their care at all times and this is made clear at the point of booking.
All group leaders and teachers must:

• Book in advance of the visit to the MOPIC
• Ensure that they always supervise the children and vulnerable adults in their care
• Ensure that all children under the age of 11 and vulnerable adults always remain with an adult
• In case of an accident, they should contact a member Museum staff who will follow Museum procedure
• In the case of a lost child, they should contact a member of Museum staff who will follow Museum procedure
• Not verbally or physically abuse a child or vulnerable adult
• Inform their group of expected behaviour for the visit to the MOPIC by ensuring compliance with the guidelines outlined in Group conduct whilst visiting the MOPIC (see Appendix B)
• Be considerate of other visitors and groups visiting the MOPIC
• Observe Museum fire evacuation procedures.
Teachers and group leaders are reminded that the children and vulnerable adults in their care remain their responsibility throughout a visit to the MOPIC.
We recommend the following ratio of adults to students:
• 1:10 for children of eight years and above.
In line with current guidelines, we reserve the right to refuse entry when the level of adult supervision falls short of a ratio of 1:10.
Museum staff will communicate any concerns to the group leader/teacher in charge (unless this person is the cause of concern) and if required, follow this up with the school/organisation following the visit.
Concerns about the conduct of any teacher/leader will be reported directly to the school or organisation and to the Police where there is caused to believe a crime has been or may have been committed.APPENDIX B: Group conduct whilst visiting the MOPIC

The MOPIC wishes all visitors to have an enjoyable experience with us. We therefore always expect all visitors to display courtesy and respect for others and for Museum property.
Group leaders should therefore not allow members of their group to:

• Use threatening, abusive or violent behaviour.
• Bully (verbally or physically).
• Make any sexist, racist, homophobic or other offensive remarks toward any person or group.
• Vandalise Museum property or displays.
• Use offensive language.
• Smoke.
• Consume alcohol or use illegal drugs.
• Leave litter on Museum premises.
• Enter areas of the Museum that are marked as closed, private, or cordoned off.
• Eat or drink.If any of the above are not followed, the Museum reserves the right to refuse admission and/or ask the group to leave.

APPENDIX C: What is ‘regulated activity’?

Regulated activity is work that a barred person must not do.
Since September 2012 the definition of regulated activity has changed. There are now different definitions of regulated activity depending on whether you are working with a child or a vulnerable adult.
The full, legal definition of regulated activity is set out in Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, as amended (in particular, by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012).
The following summary of the definition is derived from this document: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disclosure-and-barring-information-leaflets
Activities that place a person in Regulated Activity with children (a person aged under 18) are:

1. Unsupervised activities: teach, train, instruct, care or supervise children, or provide advice or guidance on wellbeing, or drive a vehicle only for children;
2. Work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified premises’) with opportunity for contact: for example, schools, children’s homes, childcare premises.The MOPIC does not come under the list of ‘specified places’ and therefore only the first point above is relevant. If the activities in point 1 are being conducted under the reasonable day to day supervision of another person engaging in regulated activity, then it is not considered regulated activity. It is up to the organisation to define what ‘reasonable day to day supervision’ means.

Illustrative example: The Curator is regularly (as defined in Section 7) teaching groups of school children at the Museum. This will not be considered regulated activity if it is supervised by someone in regulated activity (e.g. a teacher or teaching assistant is always present). However, if the Curator is usually the only adult present in the room then this is considered regulated activity and they will be eligible for an enhanced with barred list DBS check.
Points to note:

The activity must be for children. If the presence of a child is merely incidental to an activity with adults, then it is not considered regulated activity. For example, if a child comes to an event put on for adults then the organiser would not be engaging in regulated activity.
Activities that place a person in regulated activity with an adult (a person aged 18 years and over) are:

1. Healthcare for adults provided by, or under the direction or supervision of a regulated health care professional (members of peer support groups and first aiders are excluded);
2. Personal care for adults involving hands-on physical assistance with washing and dressing, eating, drinking and toileting, oral care or care of the skin, hair or nails (excluding only hair-cutting); prompting and supervising an adult with any of these tasks because of their age, illness or disability; or teaching someone to do one of these tasks;
3. Social work – provision by a social care worker of social work which is required in connection with any health services or social services;
4. Assistance with and managing an adult’s cash, paying an adult’s bills or shopping because of their age, illness or disability;
5. Assisting in the conduct of an adult’s own affairs under a formal appointment;
6. Conveying adults for reasons of age, illness or disability to, from, or between places, where they receive healthcare, personal care or social work.Points to note:

• For vulnerable adults these remain regulated activities even if they are conducted under the supervision of someone in a regulated activity.
• An adult is considered vulnerable at the point of receiving any of the activities outlined above. The setting in which the activities take place and the characteristics of the adult receiving them are not relevant in deciding whether an adult is vulnerable.APPENDIX D: Use of photography

Photographs or videos, including those on web sites must not include any participant unless authorised by the appropriate member of staff and adult/parental (for children) consent is given. Parental consent must be sought for all images of children, the consent of an accompanying adult who is not the child’s parent or legal guardian is not enough. Teachers may give consent for photographs of children participating in schools’ activities provided that their school has sought parental permission for photography of children involved in school trips.
The Museum has forms which must be completed by the relevant guardian (e.g. teacher or parent) to obtain permission to photograph children or vulnerable adults. Forms are available from the Learning Officer. The responsibility for obtaining signatories rests with the member of staff organising the event at which photographs will be taken. Once the permission forms have been completed, they should then be sent to the Learning Officer for storage with a record of any associated images. Responsibility for the storage and use of photographs rests with the Learning Officer.
Visitors should not be permitted to take photographs of children or vulnerable adults with whom they have no association.

APPENDIX E: Referral Process

For detailed information on our safeguarding procedures please refer to the Keeping Children and Vulnerable Adults Safe: Museum Safeguarding Procedures document.

Wherever possible, referrals should be made by a Designated Safeguarding Officer.
A referral can be made to/via one of three agencies:
• Social Services
• The Police
• The NSPCC Child Protection Helpline – if you ring for advice and the advice is that a referral should be made the helpline can do this on your behalf Referrals should be made by telephone in the first instance at the earliest opportunity and then confirmed in writing within 48 hours. Advice should always be sought before making a referral involving a child, particularly as to whether parental consent should be sought or whether you should tell parents that you have made a referral.
In the absence of a Designated Safeguarding Officer, the most senior member of staff onsite should assume their role.
A member of staff receives a disclosure or has a concern.
Incident reported to Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately and Disclosure/Concern form completed.
Designated Safeguarding Officer takes advice from school, college, Social Services or NSPCC Helpline.
Designated Safeguarding Officer makes a telephone referral to appropriate agency.
Designated Safeguarding Officer confirms referral in writing to appropriate agency within 48 hours.
No referral made. Actions recorded on Disclosure/ Concern Report form.APPENDIX F: Further Information

The Government guidance for DBS eligibility can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-check-eligible-positions-guidance A Government overview of the Disclosure and Barring Service can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check/overview The Government definition of ‘regulated activity’ for children and adults can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-regulated-activity

 

 

The next review of this policy is due: January 2023 or whenever changes in law will affect this policy.