1. About this policy
The Edward Gostling Foundation (EGF) is primarily a grant-making charity. We fund other registered charities who have the expertise and resources to provide support to people in need and, in particular, those on a low income and who have a physical and/or mental disability or long-term illness.
Our trustees and staff are unlikely to come into contact directly with children or adults at risk as part of their work for EGF. Our safeguarding focus is therefore on protecting our staff and trustees, our grantees, and the people who interact with the projects that we support. We publish this policy on our website and we encourage people to report safeguarding concerns to us.
EGF staff should read this policy alongside the following policies and procedures in the Staff Handbook:
- 12. Safety
- 13. Computer Usage
- 14. Behaviour Outside Work
- 18. Grievance Procedure
- 19. Positive Work Environment Policy
- 20. Disciplinary Rules and Procedures
- 26. Confidentiality
- 30. Equal Opportunities Policy
- 32. Protected Disclosures or “Whistleblowing”
This policy does not form part of any contract of employment or contract for services and we may amend it at any time.
|Safeguarding contact –||Caroline Kendall|
|telephone –||01753 753900|
|postal address –||The Edward Gostling Foundation|
61 Thames Street,
3. What do we mean by safeguarding and protecting people?
We use the term safeguarding to refer to the steps that we expect the charities we fund to have in place to protect children or adults at risk from harm or abuse.
- When we talk about children in this policy, we mean anyone under the age of 18.
- When we talk about adults at risk we mean anyone aged 18 or over who has care and support needs and is experiencing (or is at risk of) abuse or neglect and, as a result, is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of (or the experience of) abuse or neglect.
Safeguarding risks can take many different forms. We have listed some examples below but it is important to recognise that any action or inaction by another person that causes a violation of a person’s human and civil rights is a safeguarding issue, whether deliberate or unknowing, and whether contained in a single act or repeated acts.
- Sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation – including indecent exposure, exposure to pornographic material, sexual teasing or innuendo, and inappropriate touching
- Physical abuse – including hitting, slapping, shaking, throwing, pushing, restraining, burning or scalding or otherwise causing physical harm.
- Emotional or psychological abuse – including threatening to hurt or abandon, humiliating, blaming, controlling, overprotecting, isolating, intimidating or harassing.
- Bullying or harassment – including cyber bullying, harassment, or abuse.
- Discriminatory abuse on any of the grounds in the Equality Act 2010 – abuse that is related a person’s age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
- Neglect and negligent treatment – including withholding medication, food or shelter, ignoring medical, physical or emotional needs.
- Commercial or financial exploitation – including stealing, fraud, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
When we talk about protecting people, we are referring to EGF’s duty to protect anyone who comes into contact with us through our work. This reflects the Charity Commission’s guidance for charities and trustees on safeguarding and protecting people (you can find a link to the guidance in section 9 below).
All staff and trustees must:
- be familiar with this policy and apply it in their work for or on behalf of EGF;
- consider safeguarding when assessing potential grantees and projects for funding;
- report any safeguarding concerns using the procedure set out below; and
- co-operate with any safeguarding investigation.
Board of trustees
GF’s board of trustees is ultimately responsible for safeguarding and for ensuring that staff are competent to carry out their safeguarding responsibilities. The trustees discuss safeguarding at board meetings and receive reports on any safeguarding issues. The trustees also decide whether a safeguarding issue needs to be reported to the Charity Commission.
The board of trustees review this policy annually or (if sooner) when there are any material changes to relevant legislation or guidance.
The trustees have nominated Caroline Kendall as EGF Safeguarding Lead. The Safeguarding Lead works with the board of trustees to ensure that all EGF staff are aware of this policy and to promote a culture of listening and encouraging people to speak up.
The Safeguarding Lead is the primary point of contact within EGF for safeguarding questions, concerns or complaints. They will:
- ensure that concerns are investigated appropriately and in line with this policy;
- maintain a record of all safeguarding incidents, concerns, reports and referrals; and
- liaise with grantees and/or other external bodies on safeguarding issues.
5. Safer recruitment
EGF is committed to the safer recruitment, selection and vetting of staff, trustees and volunteers.
Appropriate checks will be carried out before a new trustee is appointed in line with EGF’s Policy on the Recruitment of Trustees. All trustees must sign a declaration to confirm that the person is not disqualified under the Charity Commission’s automatic disqualification rules. Trustees in post will be asked to sign a fresh declaration every year.
EGF will question gaps in employment, undertake checks to confirm that candidates have the right to work or volunteer in the UK, and take up at least two references for successful candidates. We will seek to have an open and measured discussion with applicants at interview about any offences or other matters that might be relevant to the position applied for. Failure to reveal information (including information about convictions and cautions) directly relevant to a position could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment, or termination where employment has already commenced.
Criminal record checks
EGF will only carry out criminal record checks where appropriate for the role in question. If a criminal record check is required for a trustee or member of staff, EGF will follow relevant guidance published by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and will comply with the DBS Code of Practice.
6. Grant making
EGF’s grant funding Terms & Conditions require every charity that applies for funding to provide a copy of its safeguarding policies as part of the application procedure.
If successful, our grant agreement with the charities that we support requires the charity to have and maintain appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures in place and to comply with relevant statutory and regulatory safeguarding obligations. Charities must also inform EGF if any safeguarding issues or concerns arise, or if they make a serious incident report to the Charity Commission, during the term of the grant funding.
If a safeguarding report is made directly to EGF about a charity that we support, we contact the charity and expect them to respond appropriately. EGF will require the charity to provide information on the outcome of its safeguarding investigations (to the extent permitted under data protection laws). If we have reason to believe that an issue has not been dealt with appropriately by the charity and/or if the investigation uncovers serious issues relating to the governance or management of the charity, EGF may cease grant funding to that charity.
7. Reporting Safeguarding Concerns
Safeguarding reports may reach EGF through various routes, including telephone conversations, text messages, social media, face-to-face discussions, or rumours. All concerns will be taken seriously.
If you have any concerns that someone may be experiencing, has experienced, or is at risk of experiencing, abuse or exploitation you should make a report to the Safeguarding Lead without delay – you can find their contact details in section 2 of this policy. You should report all safeguarding concerns, even if your concern relates to an incident that occurred some time ago.
When you make a report, it is helpful if you can provide details of your concerns including: the name(s) of the people involved; a description of each incident; and the dates, times and location of each incident.
If you witness a safeguarding incident, or if an incident has just taken place, and you believe someone is at imminent risk of significant harm, you should call the emergency services by ringing 999 and then report the matter to the Safeguarding Lead.
If you are a member of staff or volunteer and you feel unable to raise concerns through the process set out below, you can raise your in accordance with the Protected Disclosures or “Whistleblowing” Policy in the Staff Handbook.
EGF will treat all safeguarding reports as confidential and information will only be shared on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis.
8. Responding to Safeguarding Concerns
The Safeguarding Lead will inform the board of trustees that a report has been received and will make a decision about how to take the matter forward. This could include:
- seeking support from external advisers
- taking action under relevant staff policies, including our Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (up to and including dismissal of employees)
- carrying out an internal investigation (or appointing a suitably qualified person to conduct an investigation)
- bringing voluntary roles to an end
- termination of grant agreements or other relationships with third parties
- making a report to external agencies (see below)
In reaching this decision, the Safeguarding Lead will review all of the available information and, if necessary, discuss the matter further with the person who reported the concern.
If there is insufficient information to follow up the report and no way to obtain additional information (for example, if the person making the report did not leave their name or contact details), the Safeguarding Lead will keep a record of the report. Wherever possible, records will be anonymised and used for organisational learning and reporting purposes.
The Safeguarding Lead and the trustees will decide whether the matter should be reported as a serious incident to the Charity Commission and/or to other external agencies (for example, children’s social care services, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or Local Safeguarding Adults Board, the DBS or equivalent barring authority) or EGF’s insurers.
9. Guidance & legislation
|Charity Commission: ‘Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees’||https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-duties-for-charity-trustees|
|Charity Commission: ‘How to report a serious incident in your charity’||https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-report-a-serious-incident-in-your-charity|
|Charity Commission: ‘Reporting a serious incident in your charity when it involves a partner’||https://www.gov.uk/guidance/reporting-a-serious-incident-in-your-charity-when-it-involves-a-partner|
|Charity Commission: ‘Automatic Disqualification: guidance for charities’||https://www.gov.uk/guidance/automatic-disqualification-rule-changes-guidance-for-charities|
|Charity Commission: ‘Charities: due diligence, monitoring and verifying the end use of charitable funds’||https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-due-diligence-checks-and-monitoring-end-use-of-funds|