Safeguarding

Carbon Link is administered by Treeflights Ltd. Below is our safeguarding policy. Please read carefully and contact the Safeguarding Officer nominated below if you have problems or concerns of any kind whatsoever.
 

 

 

Treeflights Ltd Safeguarding Policy - July 2021

(Review Date - 01/07/22)

 

The purpose of this policy is to protect all people, particularly women, girls, boys, at risk/vulnerable adults and project participants, from any harm that may be caused due to

their coming into contact with Treeflights. This includes harm arising from:

• The conduct of staff or personnel associated with Treeflights

• The design and implementation of Treeflights’ programmes and activities

 

The policy lays out the commitments made by Treeflights and informs staff and associated personnel of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.

This policy has been developed in accordance with:

 

• DFID’s enhanced Safeguarding standards

• the UN Special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse

• UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

• Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014

• Rehabilitation of Offenders Act ROA1974

• Wales’ Safeguarding Procedures (which help practitioners apply the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014).

 

 

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.

We understand it to mean protecting people, particularly women, girls, boys and adults at risk/vulnerable adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or projects.

 

Scope

 

This policy applies to:

• All Treeflights staff and volunteers

• All associated personnel whilst engaged with work or visits related to Treeflights

•Treeflights activities and projects in both Wales and Kenya

 

Policy Statement

 

 

Treeflights believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion has the right to be protected from all forms of harm caused by sexual exploitation, abuse, harassment, neglect and bullying. We value diversity, confidentiality and do not discriminate against any person for any reason. We will only portray people with a sense of dignity and will act with integrity, be transparent and accountable. Treeflights does not tolerate

bullying, harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse by staff or associated personnel and will implement safe programmes in an environment that supports physical health and well-being and is done in the best interests of the child / vulnerable person. We are

committed to creating space and systems to nurture staff and volunteer awareness and confidence to speak out. All staff and associated representatives have a mandatory duty to report

all safeguarding concerns immediately. Everyone has a responsibility for safeguarding.

 

Treeflights commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response. Treeflights recognises that it has a safeguarding duty of care to project participants, staff and volunteers, including

where down-stream partners are part of delivery.

 

 Prevention

 

Treeflights will implement policies and procedures to minimise the risk of safeguarding concerns from occurring, including:

 

  1. Ensure safe recruitment, induction and training

 

• Seek to recruit all paid staff and volunteers using appropriate procedures, safeguards and checks. Treeflights will follow guidance on roles that require DBS checks.

 

• Assess any criminal record information that is disclosed on the basis of whether the offences revealed are serious enough to prohibit recruitment for that particular role. People with a prior conviction for any crime against children, or sexual exploitation or abuse against an adult will not be hired by Treeflights in any capacity.

• Discuss the content of any disclosure with the applicant before withdrawing any offer of employment.

• Ask appropriate screening questions during selection and/or interview processes for relevant roles.

• Take up references (including a specific question on safeguarding) for all posts and volunteer roles.

• Ensure all staff and volunteers have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy.

• Ensure staff receive training on safeguarding at a level commensurate with their responsibilities within the company

• The designated Safeguarding Officer will stay up to date

with safeguarding best practice and legislation.

 

 

  1. Staff and Volunteer Responsibilities – Code of Conduct

 

All Treeflights staff, volunteers, partners and associated personnel

will adhere to high standards of behaviour and adhere to our safeguarding policy. All Treeflights staff, volunteers, partners and associated personnel will:

 

• Create an environment, in which children, young people and adults at risk / vulnerable adults feel safe, secure, valued and respected.

• Ensure that there is more than one adult present during activities with children, young people or adults at risk / vulnerable adults or within sight or hearing of others; always work in an open environment avoiding private or unobserved situations.

• There should be no 1:1 contact between a staff/volunteer and a young person through digital tools or messages.

 

• Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy; being aware of personal space and keeping an appropriate distance; that physical contact with a child, young person or adult at risk may be misinterpreted.

• Consider how they develop relationships with children, young people and adults at risk / vulnerable adults, to preclude any activity which could in any way be misinterpreted or deemed inappropriate or exploitative.

• Always take allegations of harm seriously - neither exaggerating or trivialising.

• Report all safeguarding concerns or allegations immediately. This is their mandatory duty.

 

 

All Treeflights staff, volunteers, partners and associated personnel are prohibited from engaging in the following harmful behaviour, including but not limited to:

 

• Any behaviour or activity that could amount to sexual exploitation and abuse.

• Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief regarding the age of a child is not a defence.

• Exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour.

• Any other activity that is intended to cause physical or emotional harm, neglect, humiliation or exploitation to any individual.

• Any activity, practice or behaviour that suggests staff, volunteers or partners have abused their position of power and are engaging with any individual based on inherently unequal power dynamics.

• Sexual relationships between staff, volunteers and/or partners and any individuals that are based on unequal power dynamics are strongly discouraged since they may undermine the credibility and integrity of the work of Treeflights.

• Discriminate against, show differential treatment or favour particular individuals to the exclusion of others.

• Use of the company’s computers or other equipment to view, download, create or distribute inappropriate material, including but not limited to pornography.

 

All staff, volunteers, and partners will report safeguarding

concerns in accordance with this policy

 

 

  1. Ensure safe programming in Wales and Kenya

 

Treeflights will:

 

• Design and undertake all its projects in Wales and Kenya in

a way that minimises the risk of harm that may arise from children, young people and adults at risk / vulnerable adults coming into contact with Treeflights.

• Carry out risk assessments for activities both in Wales and Kenya that will involve children, young people and adults at risk / vulnerable adults that include safeguarding issues.

• Include safeguarding clauses in partnerships agreements and reporting forms.

This includes (i) informing Treeflights of all safeguarding concerns or complaints related to Treeflights funded projects in Kenya, or about our representatives and (ii) follow safe communications and online security guidelines and seek informed consent and (iii) follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process.

• For any communications work, Treeflights will seek consent from the child and parents / schools when working with children and adults at risk / vulnerable

adults. All employees in Kenya to be asked specifically for their consent for inclusion in communications imagery.

• Ensure that it shares its safeguarding policy widely with relevant stakeholders and promotes accessible ways to receive safeguarding concerns, including child friendly versions of the policy. Children, young people and adults at risk / vulnerable adults should know how to approach adults if they are facing difficulties, believing they will be effectively

listened to and that their concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon.

• Ensure that this safeguarding policy and Code of Conduct is included in all project agreements/contracts between Treeflights and all co-operating organisations including our main Kenyan partners - The Bore Green Umbrella Self Help Group. A copy of the policies will be shared with the relevant individual(s) who will confirm that they have read and

understood them.

 

 

Reporting concerns or allegations
 

Treeflights staff and volunteers have a mandatory duty to report all safeguarding concerns or allegations immediately. This is regardless of whether it is internal to Treeflights or not. It is not the responsibility of staff to decide whether or not exploitation or abuse has occurred, but they must pass their concerns on.

Any staff member or volunteer reporting concerns or complaints through formal whistleblowing channels will be treated fairly and listened to openly. Deliberate false allegations are a serious disciplinary offence.

Treeflights will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies. It is essential that confidentiality is maintained.

Treeflights will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to staff, volunteers and the communities we work with in Wales and Kenya.

How to report a safeguarding concern

Where a member of staff or volunteer has a concern:

  • That a child may be being abused or at risk of harm;

  • That an adult at risk may be being abused or at risk of harm; or

  • That an adult working with children or adults at risk / vulnerable adults may pose a risk of harm to those children or adults at risk / vulnerable adults, they should immediately contact the designated Treeflights Safeguarding Officer or in their absence the Treeflights Director, either face to face, or through the email addresses or telephone number specified below. Staff should use the appended form to report concerns

 

Contact details:

 

 

Safeguarding Officer: Lucy Gardner

         faiyth05@gmail.com

         +44 (0)7969 737291

 

 

Treeflights Director: Ru Hartwell

admin@treeflights.com

+44 (0)7773001132

 

 

If it is an emergency and there is an immediate risk of significant harm, staff or volunteers should report the case externally to emergency services immediately. If there is no immediate risk, inform the case internally to the Safeguarding Officer.

 

 

 

 

 















 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responding to a concern or allegation

The Safeguarding Officer (and the Director in their place) will take all concerns and allegations of abuse seriously and will respond appropriately in order to ensure the safety of children and adults at risk / vulnerable adults who come into contact with Treeflights.

A meeting will be held by telephone within 24 hours to assess the concern and consider if further information is required.

An allegation may relate to a person who works with children or adults at risk / vulnerable adults who has:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child / adult at risk, or may have harmed a child / adult at risk;

  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child / adult at risk; or

  • Behaved towards a child, children or adult at risk in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children / adults at risk / vulnerable adults.

 

Reporting allegations in the UK
 

If the allegation is related to a safeguarding concern in the UK, the Safeguarding Officer (or Director in their place) must report all allegations of abuse against staff working in the United Kingdom to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within 24 hours of the allegation coming to light.

Any representative who believes a child or adult at risk / vulnerable adult is in immediate danger of significant harm in the UK should contact the police by phoning 999.

  • Treeflights will report allegations when there is reasonable cause to suspect abuse, neglect or harm. Treeflights might delay making a report to check whether there is enough information to constitute reasonable cause following initial discussions about a concern. The delay should be time limited.

  • Treeflights might run those internal checks and decide that the issue can best be addressed by an internal response; improved supervision, a training event, or that it is a malicious report or a misinterpretation of the situation. The situation and the response should be logged and then monitored for the required improvement.

  • Treeflights may not report a concern, if the subject of the concern is an adult who has capacity and therefore has the right to make decisions that others might believe to be risky. They may state that they are able to protect themselves (an adult is only an adult at risk if they are unable to protect themselves from abuse or neglect) and will take steps to do so. The individual has the right to change their mind and ask for a report to be made at a later date.

The situation will be thoroughly documented in Treeflights’ safeguarding tracking document.

 

Reporting allegations in Kenya
 

If an allegation occurs in Kenya, Treeflights will follow the referral pathways identified by partners in their safeguarding policies. Treeflights will provide support to those that have reported safeguarding concerns overseas, especially as this could have serious local repercussions and put them at risk.

 

Consent for making a safeguarding report
 

In the case of a child

For safeguarding purposes, there is no requirement for consent to make a safeguarding report about a child. However, it is considered good practice to seek a child’s consent to make a safeguarding report about them to Social Services or relevant safeguarding bodies in overseas countries, subject to their age and understanding In any situation where consent is refused, this should be noted on the report form to Social Services / relevant in country authority. It is important to have a good rationale for why the report is being made without the individual’s consent and this decision logged in internal records. This may include:

  • a crime has been committed;

  • the situation, if not reported, would put other people at risk of similar abuse (e.g. the suspected perpetrator is known to be working with other people who are at risk in similar circumstances);

  • the individual is subject to undue influence (possibly from the perpetrator or a person with an interest in protecting them), pressure or coercion, which discourages them from giving consent.

If a report is made, the child should be informed of what actions will be taken and why, and contact maintained (if possible) with the individual to reassure them and offer support throughout the process.

If Treeflights does not report, this decision should be recorded, the Safeguarding Officer should discuss safeguarding options with the individual and other routes or options, possibly through other agencies. The individual should be reminded that they have the right to change their mind and a report could be made at a later stage.

 

In the case of an at risk/ vulnerable adult

When the report is about an adult, it should be assumed that the adult has the capacity to make decisions for themselves unless this has been assessed otherwise, and therefore has the right to be asked for, or to withhold, their consent. Consent should therefore be obtained to make a safeguarding report on an adult UNLESS:

      •    a crime has been committed 

  • the situation, if not reported, would put other people at risk of similar abuse (e.g. the suspected perpetrator is known to be working with other people who are at risk in similar circumstances).

  • the individual is subject to undue influence (possibly from the perpetrator or a person with an interest in protecting them), pressure or coercion, which discourages them from giving consent.

  • If a report is made, the adult at risk / vulnerable adult should be informed of what actions will be taken and why, and contact maintained (if possible) with the individual to reassure them and offer support throughout the process.

  • If Treeflights does not report, this decision should be recorded, the Safeguarding Officer should discuss safeguarding options with the individual and other routes or options, possibly through other agencies. The individual should be reminded that they have the right to change their mind and a report could be made at a later stage.

 

Support to survivors and staff
 

Treeflights will offer support to survivors of harm caused by staff or associated personnel, by sharing details of specialist agencies if appropriate and requested. When appropriate, keep the person raising the concern/allegation updated of progress and resolution, unless:

  • the situation means we must respect the privacy of individuals who may be affected;

  • the survivor has expressly indicated a preference not to receive contact;

  • the report has been made anonymously and this is not possible.
    Where the survivor is a child or otherwise unable to make decisions, support will be provided by an appropriate guardian, carer or advocate.

 

Treeflights recognises that staff who have had to respond to a safeguarding allegation may find the situation stressful and upsetting. We will support our staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the Safeguarding Officer and to seek further support as appropriate.

Reporting bullying or harassment

Treeflights staff are entitled to work in an environment that is safe, secure and free from harassment and abuse. If a staff member is concerned that a staff member may be harassing or bullying another staff member, or making others feel unsafe or uncomfortable, they should speak to the Safeguarding Officer or the Director.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Treeflights will review the effectiveness of its safeguarding practice annually and assess knowledge and understanding of staff and volunteers. All safeguarding decisions will be documented and reviewed with the aim of capturing lessons learnt.

Confidentiality

It is essential that confidentiality is maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need to know basis only and should be kept secure at all times. A designated folder will be set up which can only be accessed by the Safeguarding Officer and Director.

Treeflights will only share information about a child with adults who have parental responsibility, if this does not place the child at further risk of harm. This should be discussed with the relevant local authority. Information may also be shared with parent/guardian, where it is necessary in order to safeguard the child from harm. All Treeflights staff must be aware that the company has a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.

 

 

Guidance on receiving concerns

 

If an individual discloses abuse or exploitation directly to you:

 

•The first priority is the immediate safety and welfare of the child or adult at risk. Contact the Safeguarding Officer if you require immediate guidance.

 

•Remain calm, listen and accept what is said and take it seriously.

 

•Reassure the individual they have done the right thing.

 

•Let them speak freely but do not press for information.

 

•If they report abuse directly to you, only ask questions to understand the complaint e.g. who, what where, when, not ‘why’ questions. Do not put words in their mouth or interrogate or investigate.

 

 •Do not inform, question or confront parents or other staff about your concerns.

 

 •Do not promise confidentiality as you have a duty to report concerns about individuals at risk to Treeflights.

 

•Tell the individual what you are going to do next.

 

•Write notes detailing what you have heard as soon as possible, using the safeguarding incident report form below when possible.

 

•You cannot guarantee confidentiality to a person disclosing concerns if the survivor/victim is a child or adult at risk. Any information offered in confidence to Treeflights representatives relating to risks or concerns about a child or adult at risk should be received on the basis that it will have to be shared with the relevant authorities.

Obtaining Consent and Communications

 

For any communications work, Treeflights will seek consent from the child and parents, carers and schools when working with children and adults at risk / vulnerable adults. This includes project participants (beneficiaries) in Kenya.

 

Step 1: Sharing information

 

• Explain to the person what their story, videos, images will be used for.

•Consider the safety and security of the individual, their family and community when capturing their story for further use. This is particularly relevant in Kenya. Offer to use pseudonyms if needed. •Ask if they are comfortable telling you their story, having photographs taken and are happy for you to share their story in this way.

•People should not feel obliged to take part. We should not put pressure on anyone.

•Ask if they have any questions.

 

Step 2: Gaining consent

 

•Written consent for people under the age of 18 is required by their parent or guardian. If written consent is not possible, then verbal consent can be recorded via video and must be saved. Treeflights template consent form in English and Welsh should be used.

•When carrying out projects in Kenya, Treeflights should obtain written consent from project participants (beneficiaries) regardless of their age. Treeflights will translate the consent forms into the Swahili/Kigiriama prior to travelling. This should be done in consultation with the partner organisation (BGU) management committee. If written consent is not possible, then verbal consent can be recorded via video and must be saved.

•It is good practice to ask children and young people who have the capacity to make their own decisions whether they want to have their photos taken / interview done etc. Most young people over 12 are likely to come into this category, although an assessment must be made based on their individual needs. Consent from young people is not a replacement for parental consent/ school consent. Treeflights will always gain parental consent for children aged under 16 and consider carefully whether parental consent is necessary for young people aged 16-17.

•A child, parent, guardian may withdraw consent for an image to be shared, however it may not be possible to delete images that have already been shared or published.

 

 

Communications Guidelines

 

In order to help protect children, young people and adults at risk / vulnerable adults, we will implement the following safeguards:

 

•Images of children where their faces are clearly shown can never be used in company communications without consent.

•Do not use children’s names when writing articles for website, newsletter or publications etc. Simply say “A pupil at xxx school” or describe the picture.

•Ensure all pictures of children and programme participants taken in relation to work with Treeflights are decent and respectful. All children and young people should be appropriately dressed; Images of anyone that in any way has a negative impact on their dignity or privacy are not acceptable. Stories and images of children, young people, adults at risk / vulnerable adults and project participants, should be based on the persons’ best interest.

• Care should be taken to ensure that all images and video footage involving both Kenyans and volunteers/staff from Wales portray the beneficiaries in a positive way that avoids stereotyping and characterisation of the individuals concerned as relatively disempowered or supplicant. We should steer clear of portrayals that represent Treeflights staff and volunteers as being in the role of ‘White Saviours’.

 

 Social Media

 

•Treeflights will only post images, videos and stories of children, young people, adults at risk / vulnerable adults and project participants (beneficiaries) on reputable social media sites.

•Treeflights representatives will not accept friend requests on their personal accounts from children, adults at risk / vulnerable adults) they work with.

 

 

Key contacts

 

CYSUR/Mid and West Wales Safeguarding Children Board -

https://www.cysur.wales/contacts-and-useful-links/reporting-concerns-child/

 

Wales Safeguarding Procedures website -https://www.safeguarding.wales/chi/

 

WCVA guidance and resources on safeguarding –

https://wcva.cymru/safeguarding/

 

 

Welsh Government Safeguarding guidance -https://gov.wales/safeguarding-guidance

 

UK Gov guidance on DBS checks- https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service

 

Charity Commission Guidance on safeguarding (including on reporting) –

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-duties-for-charity-trustees#handle-and-report-incidents-and-concerns

 

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