The purpose of this policy is to protect people, particularly children, at risk adults and beneficiaries of assistance, from any harm that may be caused due to coming into contact with Bedford Radio. This includes harm arising from
- The conduct of personnel associated with Bedford Radio
- The design and implementation of Bedford Radio's programmes and activities.
Bedford Radio aims to create a safe and welcoming environment, where everyone is respected. We acknowledge our responsibility to act appropriately in response to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse. The policy lays out the commitments made by Bedford Radio and informs volunteers and associated personnel of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
What is safeguarding?
In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples' health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.
The policy and procedures apply to all volunteers, directors of Home Counties Community Media CIC, and any future staff members. From herein, references to personnel include volunteers, directors and any future staff.
Bedford Radio will provide all volunteers with this policy as part of its volunteer agreement. By consenting to the volunteer agreement, volunteers confirm that they have understood this policy. It will also be provided to all other personnel, who must agree to it.
Bedford Radio believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Bedford Radio will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by any personnel.
The policy and procedures relate to both the safeguarding of adults at risk and to children.
Adults at risk are defined in the Care Act 2014 as individuals aged over 18 who:
- “Have needs for care and support (whether or not the Local Authority is meeting any of those needs).
- "Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect.
- "As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.”
As per the Children Act 1989 and Children Act 2004, a child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday, including people who have reached 16 years of age, are living independently, are in further education, are members of the armed forces, are in hospital, prison or a Young Offenders' Institution, does not change his or her status or entitlement to services or protection under the Children Act 1989 and 2004.
Bedford Radio will:
- design and undertake all its programmes and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with Bedford Radio
- safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live
- follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process, including by gathering information necessary to investigate concerns adequately, maintaining records of our own actions and decisions, monitoring and recording any further developments, and creating appropriate reports, whether for external bodies or internal records
- address what caused any abuse or neglect that has occurred during Bedford Radio activities
- work with all relevant agencies, including making referrals to the Bedford Borough Safeguarding Adults Team or Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board when necessary
- act within its data protection policy and gain permission from adult clients before sharing information about them with another agency, unless the need for consent is overridden by the need to safeguard a child or an adult who is at risk, or unless a crime has been committed (if we judge that referral of a child is needed, we will inform the child that we need to tell someone else)
- make reports when necessary to the Disclosure and Barring Service, and relevant professional bodies
- accept complaints that raise safeguarding concerns from volunteers, and also from external sources such as members of the public, partners, and official bodies
- inform people who raise concerns about action taken in response to them, to the extent that is possible while respecting confidentiality for others
- determine when a case is closed, for instance when there are no actions left that we can undertake
- handle any concerns about our handling of a safeguarding issue in line with our complaints policy
- endeavour to keep up to date with national developments relating to preventing abuse and welfare of adults and children
- appoint a designated safeguarding lead and ensures they understands their responsibility to ensure that this policy is implemented; the designated lead will be the station manager unless decided otherwise, and their details (if not the station manager) will be given at the end of the current version of this policy.
Bedford Radio requires all personnel to:
- Follow the safeguarding policy and procedures at all times, particularly if concerns arise about the safety or welfare of an adult at risk or a child
- Discuss any concerns about the welfare of any child or adult at risk with the station manager, or another member of the operations group if the station manager is unavailable or if concerns relate to the station manager
- 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.
The designated safeguarding lead must:
- Ensure this policy is kept up to date
- Ensure this policy is supplied to all personnel
- Ensure that concerns are acted on, clearly recorded and referred to Customer First and/or the allocated social worker where necessary
- Follow up any safeguarding referrals and ensure the issues have been addressed
- Consider any recommendations from the safeguarding process.
Abuse and neglect can take many forms and Bedford Radio will always consider the circumstances of an individual case.