Our Safeguarding Policy

1. PRELIMINARIES


1.1.  The purpose of this policy is to set out the HOPE Foundation’s (referred later as “HOPE”) Safeguarding Policy to be used in connection with the HOPE’s Manual of Operation. 


1.2.  This document is the Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy for the HOPE Foundation which will be followed by all staff and members of the organization and followed and promoted by those in the position of leadership within the said organization. 


1.3.  The HOPE Director is responsible for ensuring that their employees are competent and confident in carrying out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. Thus, the Director is also the enforcer of this Safeguarding Policy and Guidelines (referred after later as “Director”) 
 

1.4.  The purpose of the HOPE is the delivery and management of recovery, treatment and prevention programs pertaining to behavioral disorder and substance use disorder. 
 

1.5.  HOPE is aware that being a young person makes them vulnerable to abuse by adults. The purpose of this policy is to make sure that the actions of any adult in the context of the work carried out by the organization are transparent and safeguard and promote the welfare of all young people. 
 

1.6.  The principles upon which the HOPE Foundation’s Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy is based: 

 

1.6.1.  The dignity and rights proper to a human person is rooted in the Biblical Anthropology that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. 
1.6.2.  The welfare of children and vulnerable adults is the key concern – and the need to protect them from abuse will override any other principles 
1.6.3.  The welfare of families will be promoted 
1.6.4.  The rights, wishes and feelings of children, young people and vulnerable adults and their families will be respected and listened to keeping safe from harm requires people who work with children and vulnerable adults to share information. 
1.6.5.  It is the responsibility of everyone in HOPE to report any concerns that they have promptly and to the correct agencies 
1.6.6.  The NAADAC Code of Ethics 2016 on Ethical Standards of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse  Counselors will apply – and all reasonable attempts will be made to protect confidentiality and maintain a relationship of trust and openness between HOPE and its clients/residents. 
1.6.7.  Wherever possible, client consent will be sought prior to disclosing any information. Whether this is possible will be considered on a case by case basis – and consent may not be required where there are exceptional circumstances due to the urgency or seriousness of the situation. 
1.6.8.  HOPE will comply with the Norfolk Safeguarding Children and Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Protocols and referrals procedures. 

 


2. DEFINITION OF TERMS 

2.1. Safeguarding is a broad terminology which includes both protection and prevention. It is being understood and defined that: 

2.1.1. HOPE as it is working with young people and their families, or vulnerable adults is taking all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to children's or adult’s welfare are minimized. 

2.1.2. Where there are concerns about children or vulnerable adults’ welfare, all partner stakeholders should take appropriate actions to address those concerns.

2.1.3. That HOPE is being aware of its obligations to ensure that they adopt safe working practices and have procedures in place to identify and deal with potential and actual abuses being carried out by their staff or volunteers.

2.1.4. HOPE is aware that it has a duty to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse. 

 

2.2. Abuse endangers life or violates rights. Abuse may be physical, sexual, psychological, financial or 
can be defined as any behavior which knowingly or unwittingly causes harm,  material, or neglect. It is possible that HOPE will become aware of actual or potential abuse when carrying out its work, and this policy and guidelines sets out HOPE’s commitments to protecting its constituents from possible harm. 

2.2.1. Physical Abuse involves hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a person. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or care-taker fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child. 

2.2.2. Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a person such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. It may involve conveying to children and vulnerable adults that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children and vulnerable adults frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. 

2.2.3. Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child, young person and/or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape or buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children and vulnerable adults in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children and vulnerable adults to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. 

2.2.4. Neglect is the failure to meet the person’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the person’s health or development. Neglect may involve the failure to: 

2.2.4.1. A child provide adequate food, clothing and shelter protect a person from physical and emotional harm or danger ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers) ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment unresponsiveness to a person’s basic emotional needs  is any person under the age of eighteen. 

2.2.4.2. Adults aged eighteen and over have the potential to be vulnerable (either temporarily or permanently) for various reasons and in different conditions. An adult may be vulnerable if: 

2.2.4.2.1. He/She has a learning or physical disability; or 

2.2.4.2.2.He/She has a physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs; or 

2.2.4.2.3. He/She has a reduction in physical or mental capacity; or 

2.2.4.2.4. He/She is in the receipt of any form of healthcare; or 

2.2.4.2.5. He/She is detained in custody; or 

2.2.4.2.6. He/She is receiving community services because of age, health or disability; or 

2.2.4.2.7. He/She is living in sheltered or residential care home; or 

2.2.4.2.8. He/She is unable, for any other reason, to protect himself/herself against significant harm or exploitation. 

3. SAFEGUARDING POLICY AND GUIDELINES 


3.1. HOPE should always ensure immediate action in order to ensure safety. An immediate action is necessary at any stage of misconduct with children, vulnerable adults and their families. In any case, it is very important to take immediate action most especially in the following cases: 

3.1.1.  During emergency medical attention, the resident should be brought immediately to the nearest hospital or Rural Health Unit 

3.1.2.  When an immediate physical danger occur, police or security provider should be contacted immediately. 

3.2.Any abuse or neglect should be duly recognized. Both abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Abuses may happen in the family, institution or community committed by an adult or another child. (see 2.2 and 2.3) 


3.3. Individuals need to be alert to the potential abuse committed to the residents by other people, within families and even by the members and staff of HOPE. 


3.4.The HOPE Director and staff should know how to recognize and act upon indicators of abuse or potential abuse involving children and vulnerable adults and where there are concerns about a person’s welfare. There is an expected responsibility for all members of the HOPE to respond to any suspected or actual abuse of a person in accordance with these procedures. 


3.5. Practicing honesty and openness with any member or staff of HOPE about any concern is good. However, the Director must not discuss any concern with the members and staff in the following circumstances: 


3.5.1. Where sexual abuse or sexual exploitation is suspected 

3.5.2.  Where organized or multiple abuse is suspected 
3.5.3.  Where there are concerns a person may be at risk 
3.5.4.  Where contacting staff or community member would place the individual person 
and others at immediate risk 

 

3.6.  Cases like this should not be taken in isolation, rather, it should be consulted immediately to a higher responsible. 
 

3.7. The HOPE Director should know what to do if the residents talk to him about abuse or neglect. He should recognize that any resident may seek him out to share information about abuse or neglect, or talk spontaneously individually or in groups when he is present. In these situations, the Director must: 

 

3.7.1.  Listen carefully to the person. Do not directly question him or her. 
3.7.2.  Give the person time and attention. 
3.7.3.  Allow the person to give a spontaneous account; do not stop a person who is freely recalling significant events. 
3.7.4.  Make an accurate record of the information you have been given taking care to record the timing, setting and people present, the person's presentation as well as what was said. Do not throw this away as it may later be needed as evidence. 
3.7.5.  Use the person's own words where possible. 
3.7.6.  Explain that you cannot promise not to speak to others about the information they 
have shared - do not offer false confidentiality. 
3.7.7.  Reassure the person that they have done the right thing in telling you; they have not done anything wrong; 
3.7.8.  Tell the person what you are going to do next and explain that you will need to get help to keep him/her safe. 
3.7.9.  Do not ask the person to repeat his or her account of events to anyone 

 

3.8.The Director must always consult about concerns especially on the following matters: 

 

3.8.1.  Observations or information received about a person who has not spoken to him. 
3.8.2.  It is good practice to ask a person why they are upset or how a cut or bruise was caused, or respond to a person wanting to talk to him. This practice can help clarify vague concerns and result in appropriate action. 
3.8.3.  If the Director is concerned about a person he must share his concerns. Initially he should talk to the program manager of HOPE.
3.8.4.  If one of those people is implicated in the concerns the Director should discuss the concerns directly to the chairman of the Board.
3.8.5. The Director should consult with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the area in the following circumstances: 

3.8.5.1. When he remains unsure after internal consultation as to whether child and/or vulnerable adult protection concerns exist. 
3.8.5.2.When there is disagreement as to whether child and/or vulnerable adult protection concerns exist. 
3.8.5.3.When there is disagreement as to whether child and/or vulnerable adult protection concerns exist. 
3.8.5.4. When he is unable to consult promptly or at all with his designated internal contact for child and/or vulnerable adult protection. 
3.8.5.5. When the concerns relate to any member of the HOPE volunteer members and staff. 

3.9. Consultation is not the same as making a referral but should enable a decision to be made as to whether a referral to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or the Philippine National (PNP) Police should progress. 

 

3.10. HOPE should make a referral list. 

 

3.10.1.  A referral involves giving the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) the necessary information about concerns relating to an individual or family in order that enquiries can be undertaken by the appropriate agency followed by any necessary action. 
3.10.2.  Parents and guardians of the residents should be informed if a referral is being made. 
3.10.3.  However, inability to inform parents for any reason should not prevent a referral being made. It would then become a joint decision with the DSWD about how and when the parents/guardians should be approached and by whom. 

3.10.3.1. If the concern is about harm or risk of harm from a family member or someone known to the children or vulnerable adults, the Director should make a telephone referral to the DSWD and PNP in the area. 
3.10.3.2. If the concern is about harm or risk of harm from someone not known to the child or vulnerable adult family, the Director should make a telephone referral directly to the Police. 
3.10.3.3. If the concern is that a child or vulnerable adult or their family need additional help or support, the Director should contact the Program Manager  or the Counselor  or Social Worker.
3.10.4. Be prepared to give as much of the following information as possible (in emergency situations all of this information may not be available). Unavailability of some information should not stop you making a referral. 

3.10.4.1. Your name, telephone number, position and request the same of the person to whom you are speaking. 
3.10.4.2. Full name and address, telephone number of family, date of birth of child and/or vulnerable adult and siblings. 
3.10.4.3. Gender, ethnicity, first language, any special needs. 
3.10.4.4. Names, dates of birth and relatives and any significant others. 
3.10.4.5. The names of professionals known to be involved with the child/family and/or vulnerable adult e.g. Doctor, Counselor, Teachers etc. 
3.10.4.6. The nature of the concern; and foundation for the concern. 
3.10.4.7. An opinion on whether the child may need urgent action to make them safe. 
3.10.4.8. Your view of what appears to be the needs of the child and/or vulnerable adult and their family. 
3.10.4.9. Whether the consent of a parent with Parental Responsibility has been given to the referral being made. 

3.10.5. The Director should take immediate and appropriate action following the referral such as: 

3.10.5.1. Ensuring that they keep an accurate record of your concern(s) made at the time. 
3.10.5.2. Putting the concerns in writing to the DSWD and PNP following the referral (within 48 hours). 
3.10.5.3. Accurately recording the action agreed or that no further action is to be taken and the reasons for this decision. 

3.11. Should there be allegations against volunteer members and staff who work with HOPE the director should gather information if the accused: 

3.11.1.  Behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child and/or vulnerable adult. 

3.11.2.  Possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a child and/or vulnerable adult. 

3.11.3.  Behavedtowardsapersoninawaythatindicatedhesheisunsuitabletowork with children and/or vulnerable adults. 

 

3.12. The Director should speak immediately with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees or Superior who has responsibility for managing allegations. The chairman of the Board will consult all the members of the Board of HOPE Foundation and immediately make necessary immediate action. 

 

3.13. If one of those people is implicated (including the Director) anyone concern should discuss it directly with the Bishop Chair of the Foundation. 

 

3.14. HOPE Foundation should ensure that any records made in relation to a referral should be kept confidentially and in a secure place. 

 

3.14.1. Information in relation to child protection concerns should be shared on a "need to know" basis. 
3.14.2. However, the sharing of information is vital to child protection and, therefore, the issue of confidentiality is secondary to the need for protection. 

4. HOPE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THIS POLICY 

 

4.1.By creating this policy HOPE Foundation understands that safeguarding children and vulnerable adults is a responsibility that is shared. 


4.2.The Director of HOPE is responsible to the Board of Trustees of HOPE for this policy and accompanying procedures.

 

4.3.The Director of HOPE is responsible for all administrative procedures relating to the selection and induction of staff, including general security and Disclosure checks, and for advising on any disciplinary action as appropriate. 

 

4.4.The Program Manager is responsible for ensuring that all general program, building and security work is taking place in HOPE premises. 

4.5.The Program Coach and Residents Monitor will check the implementation of this policy, through quarterly management checks and ongoing assessment, and take appropriate action on any breaches within their areas of responsibility.