Purpose and Aim of the Policy Statement
Safeguarding is ‘everyone’s responsibility. This policy sets out WellBe Link’s responsibilities under the Children Act 2004 to ensure that children, young people and adults at risk are safe from harm. This includes harm arising from:
The conduct of counsellors and trainers associated with WellBe Link.
The design and implementation of WellBe Link’s programmes.
We have an overarching commitment to keep children and at risk adults safe at all times whilst under our care and supervision.
The policy lays out the commitments made by WellBe Link and informs counsellors of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding. This policy does not cover safeguarding concerns in the wider community not perpetrated by WellBe Link or associated counsellors and trainers.
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, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our counsellors or counselling programmes. Further definitions relating to safeguarding are provided in the glossary below.
Scope- All staff contracted by, or associated with WellBe Link in any way, shape or form.
WellBe Link believes that every client we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. We are responsible for promoting the welfare of all our clients, keeping them safe and practising in a way that protects them and their interests.
This policy will address the following safeguarding areas: child and adult. These areas of safeguarding may have different policies and procedures associated with them (see Associated Policies). WellBe Link commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.
Prevention- WellBe Training and Counselling Responsibilities
WellBe Link will:
Ensure all counsellors and trainers have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy.
Design and undertake all its counselling programmes in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with WellBe Link. This includes the way in which information about clients is gathered, communicated and stored.
Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying counsellors and trainers - all of our counsellors and trainers have to have the appropriate DBS checks in place.
Ensure counsellors and trainers receive refresher training on safeguarding at regular intervals or whenever widespread changes to legislation have been made.
Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process.
WellBe Link staff and associates must not:
Subject a child to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect.
WellBe Link staff and associates must not:
Subject an at risk adult to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect.
Additionally, WellBe Link counsellors and trainers are obliged to:
Always ensure the welfare of clients, and their wishes and feelings are afforded consideration when developing and carrying out counselling or training.
Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy.
Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations using the appropriate channels.
All staff and volunteers have a professional role to identify and respond to the needs of children and report any concerns immediately.
WellBe Link will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to counsellors and the communities we work with. WellBe Link will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies.
WellBe Link will follow up safeguarding reports and concerns according to policy, procedure, and legal and statutory obligations (see Procedures for reporting and response to safeguarding concerns in Associated Policies). WellBe Link will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of policy, WellBe Link will offer support to individuals of harm caused by counsellors, regardless of whether a formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation). The individual will lead decisions regarding support.
It is essential that confidentiality in maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Safeguarding information will be stored and handled in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. 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.
This Policy Statement comes into force from 1st of November 2022 and will be reviewed annually, with the next review taking place on 30th of October 2023.
Other organisations you might find helpful to contact include:
T: 0808 800 5000
Glossary of Terms
Beneficiary of Assistance
Someone who directly receives goods or services from WellBe Training and Counselling. Note that misuse of power can also apply to the wider community that WellBe Training and Counselling serves, and also can include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power.
A person below the age of 18.
Psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights.
Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) humiliating and degrading treatment such as bad name calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement and isolation.
Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)
The term used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or associated personnel. The term derives from the United Nations Secretary General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13)
In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples' health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or services.
Safeguarding applies consistently and without exception across our services, partners and staff. It requires proactively identifying, preventing and guarding against all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable and transparent systems for response, reporting and learning when risks materialise. Those systems must be survivor-centred and also protect those accused until proven guilty. Safeguarding puts beneficiaries and affected persons at the centre of all we do.
The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
The term ‘sexual exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This definition includes human trafficking and modern slavery.
At risk adult
Sometimes also referred to as vulnerable adult. A person who is or may be in need of care by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.