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Safeguarding Policy

Policy Statement

The Berkeley Foundation (the Foundation) is the working name of The Berkeley Charitable Foundation, a registered charity in England and Wales set up by The Berkeley Group PLC (the Group).

The Foundation acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults.

The Foundation is committed to safeguarding from harm those children and vulnerable adults that may come into contact with its staff members and employees of the Group during the course of its charitable work, including work with its charitable partners. It recognises that the welfare of children and vulnerable adults is paramount and that no individual or group should be treated any less favourably than others when it comes to accessing services particular to their needs.

The Foundation believes that all children and vulnerable adults have the right to protection from all types of abuse and neglect without discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or belief. This policy is supplemented by the Foundation's Working with Children and Vulnerable Adults Q & A and refers to the Group's Equality and Diversity Policy Statement.

About this policy

This policy applies to all trustees, staff members and contractors (Staff) of the Foundation and any employees of the Group who volunteer or take part in charitable events coordinated by the Foundation involving children or vulnerable adults (Volunteers).

This policy is made available on the Foundation's website to be accessed by Staff, Volunteers, charitable partners, beneficiaries and their families and members of the public.

Partner charities

The Foundation shall ensure all its partner charities undertake the following as a condition of their partnership:

  • arrange any necessary DBS or other background checks on Staff or Volunteers;
  • provide the Foundation with contact details for the charity's safeguarding manager (or equivalent position);
  • provide Staff and Volunteers with the charity's policies, guidelines and other information relating to safeguarding of their beneficiaries; and
  • provide Staff and Volunteers with appropriate training prior to commencing their work with the charity and on an ongoing basis.

Where Staff and Volunteers take part in an event or programme organised by one of the Foundation's charitable partners, this policy applies in addition to the relevant partner charity's policies, procedures and guidelines.

Persons responsible

The Head of Foundation has primary responsibility for vulnerable adult and child protection within the Foundation. The relevant Programme Manager has secondary responsibility. Role descriptions and reporting lines for these positions are approved by the board of trustees. All safeguarding concerns or questions should be addressed to the Head of Foundation in the first instance.

Recruiting

The Foundation is committed to a safe recruitment and vetting process for all its staff, including trustees. Recruitment is managed by either the Head of Foundation or the relevant Programme Manager. The Foundation will ask for references from two previous employers and will conduct appropriate background checks as and when required by law.

Training

The Foundation provides its guidance note 'Working with Children and Vulnerable Adults Q & A' to Staff and Volunteers to guide their interactions with children and vulnerable adults and enable Volunteers to feel more confident in their safeguarding responsibilities. The document is reviewed on a regular basis by the Head of Foundation to ensure it covers safeguarding issues which are relevant to the work of the Foundation.

The Foundation or its partner charities may provide additional training to Staff and Volunteers where they believe it would be necessary in accordance with the principles set out in this policy or where it might be helpful for Staff and Volunteers working on specific projects.

The Foundation's charitable partners provide safeguarding training to Volunteers relevant to their particular activities and charitable purposes. Where Staff work directly with children, vulnerable adults or their families, the Foundation will provide additional training.

Code of behaviour

Staff and Volunteers shall comply with the following code of behaviour when interacting with children or vulnerable adults as part of a Berkeley Foundation initiative:

  • I acknowledge that the safety of participants shall be the prime consideration at all times.
  • I understand all health and safety rules associated with the events and activities I am involved in.
  • I shall ensure any activities start and end on time.
  • I shall promote the values of fair play, trust and respect in all activities.
  • I shall not physically punish or humiliate any child or vulnerable adult.
  • I shall avoid being alone with children unless I have a current, relevant DBS certificate.

If any individual breaches this code of behaviour or policy, he or she will be required to discuss the matter with the Head of Foundation, who will be entitled to take or recommend disciplinary action if they consider it necessary.

How to respond to abuse

The Foundation understands abuse to be the term which describes all the ways in which a child or a vulnerable adult's development and health are damaged by the actions or in-actions of others, usually adults. Abuse can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. The Foundation acknowledges that Staff and Volunteers must understand how to recognise signs of abuse in children and vulnerable adults.

Staff and Volunteers will be guided by the following principles when communicating with children and vulnerable adults:

  • listening to what children and vulnerable adults might say and taking what they say seriously;
  • if a child or vulnerable adult has disclosed information that indicates the child or vulnerable adult is suffering or has suffered abuse, this must be disclosed to someone that can help in accordance with this policy. Promises to keep information secret should not be given; and
  • confidentiality is of utmost importance. Information relevant to the alleged abuse should only be disclosed to the necessary persons.

Concerns and allegations of abuse that may arise during contact with children or vulnerable adults will be taken seriously by the Foundation and responded to appropriately. The following steps shall be taken by Staff and Volunteers when they are concerned about a potential instance of abuse:

  • the individual will report the incident to the organiser of the programme, event or activity involving the child or vulnerable adult (normally the charitable partner);
  • if the Foundation is not the organiser, the individual will also report the incident to the Head of Foundation or, in their absence, the relevant Programme Manager;
  • the Head of Foundation (or relevant Programme Manager) will be responsible for informing any relevant charitable partners and determining the appropriate course of action, including deciding whether to contact the parents or carers of the individual concerned, social care services or the police;
  • in an emergency and where neither the Head of Foundation or relevant Programme Manager are available, and the individual considers that the child or vulnerable adult is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of the incident, the individual should contact one of the following services:
    (a) police;
    (b) The Local Authority Designated Officer and relevant children's services;
    (c) Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre;
    (d) NSPCC.
  • Any child or vulnerable adult or their family concerned about abuse may contact the Head of Foundation on 01932 868555.

Records

Foundation will record any incident, disclosure or observation relevant to the abuse or potential abuse of a child or vulnerable adult, including the date and time of any incident, the time of any disclosure by a child or vulnerable adult and if a referral is made to an outside agency.

Review

This policy is reviewed, approved and endorsed by the Foundation board of trustees when required by legislation, to ensure that it reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and best practice for the Foundation.

This policy is made August 2015.

Version 2 created 11 July 2018.