Aims of policy
To ensure that representatives of Golddigger Trust play an active part in safeguarding the young people they work with
To ensure that representatives of Golddigger Trust work in a way which safeguards them from unsubstantiated allegations of abuse.
Named safeguarding officers
Golddigger Trust will actively promote the safeguarding and well-being of all young people with whom they come into contact with. Golddigger Trust will aim to create a safe, caring, environment, which prevents the physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual abuse or neglect of young people.
It is the policy of Golddigger Trust that all persons working with young people under the banner of Golddigger Trust are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or have a DBS certificate number showing their suitability to work with their client group at enhanced disclosure level. Any person with a criminal record relating to offences against children will not be able to work with Golddigger Trust in any capacity. Where there are other offences shown on the DBS, at least 2 Trustees will make a decision as to suitability, seeking advice where necessary. Consideration of type of offence and how long ago offense was committed will be made. If such a person is appointed, notes will be made and kept explaining the decision.
In the instance of a youth worker coming in to lead occasional sessions alongside a Golddigger Trust employee, where they will be acting as a representative of Golddigger Trust, we will ensure they have a DBS certificate for their current organisation. If a person’s involvement becomes more regular, they will be asked to apply for a DBS certificate and treated as a Golddigger Trust employee/volunteer. It remains the responsibility of a booking organisation (school, youth group etc) to obtain the relevant certificates for their employees/volunteers.
All activities run by Golddigger Trust will be risk assessed by the staff members running the activity to ensure all participants, including Golddigger Trust staff and volunteers, are safe at all times. The trustees of Golddigger Trust will maintain appropriate insurance for all activities undertaken by Golddigger Trust.
Consent forms, which ask for medical information are obtained as soon as is possible after a young person starts to attend a Golddigger Trust activity. Where consent forms are not always possible due to chaotic family backgrounds of some of the young people, or engagement deemed vital for a young person’s wellbeing being jeopardised by the need to obtain parental consent, Golddigger Trust will ensure the records of sessions are reported back to the referring organisation, and/or are securely kept by Golddigger Trust. Where Golddigger Trust are contracted by an organisation to work with young people remaining under their care, and where the work will take place on their premises, it will be the responsibility of that organisation to obtain an emergency contact, consent forms and be responsible for them.
Golddigger Trust delivery staff and volunteers will undertake basic safeguarding training every 3 years. This training will give those working with young people the necessary skills and knowledge to identify possible signs of abuse and what to do in the event of a disclosure from a young person. Additional training around specific issues may be provided when relevant to the post.All Golddigger Staff, Trustees and regular volunteers at our events for young people or accessing our building must sign to agree to operate within this policy.
Golddigger Trust staff and volunteers will actively promote the inclusion of all young people they work with on an equal basis regardless of gender, race, disability or sexuality. They will seek to foster relationships with the young people they work with so as to encourage young people to feel safe in the activities they do together. They will also seek to be approachable so as to support young people in whatever issues they bring to the groups they are a part of.
If young people, parents or other professionals have any concerns about the actions of a member of the Golddigger Trust staff or volunteer team, they can contact the
Physical contact can be positive and affirming for young people but needs to be done in an appropriate manner.
Physical contact is always done using the following guiding principles.
1. Keep everything in public. A hand on the shoulder in the context of a group is very different from a hand on the shoulder behind closed doors.
2. Other forms of touch, such as a hug, should always be initiated by the young person themselves.
3. Any physical activity that is, or could be construed to be, sexually stimulating to the child is never appropriate.
4. Children are entitled to determine the degree of physical contact with others, except in exceptional circumstances such as when they need medical attention.
5. Team members take responsibility for monitoring one another in the area of physical contact. They should be free to challenge constructively a colleague if necessary.
6. Very occasionally it may be necessary to restrain a child or young person who is harming him/herself or others. Use the least possible force and inform the parents and/or referring or booking organisation as soon as possible. All such incidents should be recorded with witnesses signing to verify version of events. A debrief for the staff involved will be convened to work through how the situation could be handled in the future and line managers should be informed.
Golddigger Trust would never want any person to be prevented from attending an activity or event due to a physical disability. It may therefore be very occasionally necessary for staff to undertake personal tasks on behalf of a young person who is disabled. Signed consent will be obtained, and careful negotiation between the young person, parents/carers, the management group and staff members will take place to determine the nature of this prior to these tasks been undertaken.
Dealing with behaviour
At times, a young person’s behaviour may become challenging and threaten the safety of themselves or others around them. Every attempt will be made to engage with the young person in this situation and staff will aim to remain calm and defuse the situation, ensuring they act in a rational and reasonable manner. Physical contact should be avoided, if possible, as described above. A debrief with the team may be necessary following such an incident to plan how to deal with a similar situation again.
Young people may also become overly dependent on a particular member of staff and behave in a clingy or flirtatious way. Staff need to remain vigilant to this and be open to challenge from members of their team where they see this occurring. Where an issue has been identified, the member of staff will make at least one other member of their team aware of the issue and plan ways to avoid feeding this. This may involve the member of staff speaking directly to the young person about the appropriateness of their behaviour, withdrawing attention or asking other members of the team to build a relationship with the young person to avoid exclusivity. Golddigger Trust staff are encouraged to seek advice and support from their team and the SLT where they become uncomfortable about any aspect of a young person’s behaviour.
Dealing with sensitive issues
Where topics of a potentially sensitive nature are discussed in groups, confidentiality will be promoted within groups appropriately. Young people will be told about the level of confidentially that can be expected at an activity at the beginning of engagement. Golddigger Trust staff and volunteers will treat all information sensitively and appropriately and welcome the sharing of relevant information with referral or statutory services. Golddigger Trust staff will explain to young people that in some cases, they may have a duty to pass on information if they are concerned for the young person’s ongoing safety or suspect abuse of a physical, emotional or sexual nature or neglect.
In the case of CSE and other specific vulnerability work, Golddigger Trust will keep records of information and shared with the referring organisation and/or Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service.
Groups will operate with the following adult to young person rations:
10 – 13 year olds
Large groups will have a minimum of 2 adults present. In mixed gender groups this will preferably be at least 1 male and 1 female. This principle will always be observed for residential activities. Mentoring and small group work may take place 1:1, however this will always be in a supervised wider venue, such as the Golddigger Trust building or a school. Mentoring taking place off site from supervision will take place in public places only and a diary record will be kept of the date and time of the meeting for accountability.
One to one situations
Golddigger Trust recognises the benefits of 1:1 situations and will use these types of meetings for pastoral care and relationship building. In using this approach, Golddigger Trust staff and volunteers will where possible, work in view or close proximity of other adults and/or young people. Young people should never be alone with a member of Golddigger Trust staff or a volunteer outside of a wider supervised venue (such as a school or the Golddigger Trust building). If 1:1 sessions are taking place outside of a school or the Golddigger Trust Centre for Young People they must happen in a public place. In the Golddigger Trust Centre for Young People mentoring should take place where a second member of staff is present in the open plan basement, or on the ground floor between the SLT office and Meeting Room with the doors left open and the young people should always be made aware of the presence of other staff members.
Where a young person over the age of 18 is accessing the services of Golddigger Trust, but is not DBS checked, they should not be purposefully left alone with a young person who is under 18, or any group of young people.
Parents/ other adult visitors should be encouraged to leave the premises during activities and should not be left alone with any young person or group. If staying on site, they need to be supervised by a nominated member of staff.
Use of internet/email/text
Golddigger Trust recognises the benefits of the Internet in making and maintaining relationships with young people. It actively encourages staff and volunteers to use the websites and public Facebook pages as a way of contacting young people and where appropriate, the use of the Golddigger Trust Facebook and other social media accounts. Where possible, conversation should be public and private messages will be recorded for accountability. Arrangements which contain information about times and places will not be done publicly. Only agreed staff and volunteers with official, monitored 'Golddigger Trust Facebook accounts' or phones are allowed to communicate with young people outside sessions, other than in public forums. These staff and volunteers are encouraged to be wise about how they use private messages and chat, to refrain from checking their messages outside their working hours and to display an emergency contact number for Childline or The Samaritans on their facebook page. Staff and volunteers should take care to not engage over regularly with one young person using this medium. They should save and print a copy of any conversation of a concerning nature and store this in the Golddigger Trust filing cabinet. Occasionally sharing this information with police and or other professionals is necessary.
Likewise, SMS messages will be used normally for the purposes of making arrangements rather than pastoral care, encouraging young people to meet face to face instead. Text exchanges will be photographed and printed and kept within the Golddigger filing cabinet where a conversation of a concerning nature has taken place.
Where a young person makes a disclosure using the Internet or text message, action would be taken similar to what is outlined below for a disclosure made in face to face situations. The staff member or volunteer will alert one of the Directors who would consult with each other or pass this onto the Safeguarding officer of the referring or booking organisation, or onto the relevant agencies involved with the young person in question (or, in the instance of a disclosure made against any volunteer or member of staff of Golddigger Trust, to the Safeguarding Lead.)
Staff or volunteers without 'Golddigger Trust Facebook accounts' should not request or accept friend requests from any young person they meet through association with Golddigger Trust. If members of staff need to make contact outside of sessions with a young person, e.g. for arrangements, it should be done, where possible, from the office phone and personal mobile numbers should not be shared.
In the event of the young person being unknown personally to the member of staff or volunteer to whom the disclosure was made, a relationship will continue to be fostered with the encouragement to the young person to tell someone whom they know and trust in person. Golddigger Trust staff and volunteers will make their own position on confidentiality clear as outlined above.
Photographs can be a great way of remembering and celebrating an event that has taken place. For this reason, permission is sought from parents on the general consent form for their child’s image to be taken, used in publicity, including on our website from courses and sessions. Golddigger Trust will always give consideration to the suitability of photos published to ensure that no photo compromises a young person’s dignity or safety.
In the unlikely event of a young person needing to travel in a Golddigger Trust staff member or volunteer’s car, there will always be at least two adults or more than one young person being dropped off at the same location. It is Trust policy to not give lifts to young people except in extraordinary circumstances.
Managing a situation of disclosure
In the event of a young person making a disclosure of clear abuse or neglect, Golddigger Trust staff and volunteers will:
Ensure they treat all disclosures seriously.
Ensure that they listen carefully without making judgements.
Ensure they do not ask probing questions.
Make the young person aware that they have a responsibility to pass on information to others to ensure their ongoing safety
Complete a safeguarding ‘Note of concern’ form as soon as is practically possible, recording facts as accurately as possible, if possible using direct quotes from the young person
Speak, in the first instance, to one of the Directors who will then pass the information on to the named Safeguarding Officer from the booking organisation or to the relevant agencies involved with the young person in question.
If the young person is in immediate danger of significant harm, a phone call to Social Care or the police will be made by the appropriate staff member and the young person will not return home until advice from them has been sought.
If the danger is less immediate, a referral to Social Care will be made or advice sought from the Safeguarding Advisory Service.
Care will be taken to ensure that information of concern is shared carefully with appropriate professionals with the intention of safeguarding and monitoring concern over a young person and not shared outside of this.
Managing concerns about a young persons safety/well being
If Golddigger Trust staff or volunteers are concerned about a young person because they exhibit signs of abuse or neglect they will:
Note their concerns on a ‘Note of concern’ form or in their mentoring session notes, recording facts and not judgements.
This concern will be discussed with one of the SLT if staff are unsure whether information needs to be passed on to either the Safeguarding Officer from the booking organisation, Social Care, to seek advice from the Sheffield Safeguarding Advisory Service about a course of action or continue to monitor the situation. Staff or volunteers may choose to report this externally before speaking with the SLT.
In the case of a young person who has been referred due to a previous case of abuse, Golddigger Trust will record and share sessions closely with the referring body.
Record keeping and storage of personal data
Golddigger Trust will keep records of interaction with young people pertaining to their work, including but not exclusively, one-to-one and group work sessions, significant encounters and conversations in person or over social media/phone, and relevant multi-agency or professional’s meetings. Any documents stored digitally will be on password-protected computers and/or cloud storage and will be anonymised to protect young people’s identity. Physical records will be held at the Golddigger Trust Office and are contained in a locked cabinet that is only accessible by relevant staff. Young people have the right to request and view any data or records stored about them unless it contains sensitive information that places others or themselves at risk. Any third party information would also be redacted to protect the confidentiality of others.
This policy has been revised from the previous Golddigger Trust Safeguarding Policy dated January 2017 and takes into account new and existing advice and service expansion.