1.1 eXp is a Christian Youth Group organisation, working in partnership with local schools and churches in the Cowal Area.
1.2 As part of the eXp’s mission, our teamwork in Christ’s name to seek to support
local young people to achieve the highest quality of life which they are capable of achieving at any time.
1.3 eXp has been at the forefront of youth work provision in Cowal for over 10 years. During that time eXp has worked hard to understand the needs of young people who require help and a safe place to socialise.
1.5 eXp is committed to supporting the wellbeing of all young people who use our services, and ensuring where at all possible, the prevention of harm to them. In doing so, eXp will promote the dignity, privacy, rights, fulfilment and choice of each person who comes into contact with services.
1.6 One of the primary purposes of this document is to help eXp employees and volunteers know what to do if they have a concern about someone, or if someone discloses harm to them.
Quick guide for all employees
For all paid employees, volunteers and students on placement working with children
and young people in eXp services: what to do immediately if harm is suspected, witnessed
or reported to you.
Quick guide for managers
For all staff and volunteers working with children and young people in eXp services:
what to do immediately if harm is suspected, witnessed or reported to you.
2. Introduction – Safeguarding Children and Young People
2.1 One of the key objectives of eXp is to promote the welfare of children and young people – to protect them from harm including physical, emotional, sexual harm and neglect. This includes making sure that appropriate policy, practices and procedures are in place to minimise the risk of harm from happening and to ensure a timely and appropriate response when it does occur.
2.2 This document provides a framework within which those responsible for the support and protection of children and young people can operate effectively while complying with the law and the policies and procedures of eXp.
2.3 eXp will not tolerate harm or abuse of children and young people in any of its forms. Abuse and neglect can cause long-lasting damage to a person’s physical and emotional wellbeing which is why it is everyone’s responsibility to protect children and young people from harm.
2.4 This document has been developed to assist eXp employees to
- understand the principles behind safeguarding and the activity of child protection
- understand their role and responsibility in relation to both of the above
- understand the impact of national policies and legislation
- know how to recognise the signs of abuse
- know how to respond to and record a disclosure of harm
- know how to report concerns to the relevant authorities.
2.5 All paid employees, volunteers and students on placement are expected to be familiar with this document and other key publications that are intended to support good practice and keep children and young people safe from harm.
2.6 It is critically important that all managers and senior staff undertaking assessments of risk are fully briefed on the procedures contained within this document. They must be able to make decisions on behalf of the services and to inform and guide employees about their responsibilities.
2.7 It is recommended that eXp keep a hard copy readily available for employees/volunteers to refer to. Further copies can be obtained from the Team Lead or Administrator and on the eXp website.
2.8 The guidance in this document is also supported by an ongoing programme of training in the area of child protection.
3. Legal and Policy Context
3.1 This document conforms to the Human Rights Act 1998, the Children (Scotland ) Act 1995, National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (Scottish Government 2014) and the Health and Social Care Standards: My Support, My Life (Scottish Government 2018), and should be read in conjunction with your local authority’s Child Protection Committee Multi-Agency Guidance. There are a number of other pieces of relevant legislation and guidance designed to support and protect children. For further information about other supporting legislation please see Appendix 1.
3.2 Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) supports families by making sure children and young people can receive the right help, at the right time, from the right people. The aim is to help them grow up feeling loved, safe and respected so that they can realise their full potential. GIRFEC is intended to provide a framework that will allow organisations to provide a consistent supportive approach for all. For further information about GIRFEC principles and the national practice model please see Appendix 2.
4. Definitions and Principles
4.1 ‘Safeguarding’ can best be defined to denote measures taken to protect and promote the health, well-being and human rights of individuals, which allows them to live their life free from abuse, harm and neglect. It is a wider concept than that of child protection and is encompassed in the Scottish government approach to ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’.
4.2 The overarching principle which underpins safeguarding work with children and young people is that the welfare of the child is paramount. Their needs, interests and wellbeing must be put above the needs and interests of all others.
4.3 This is supported by a set of wider guiding principles which, together with the overarching principle, must be taken into account in undertaking work with children and young people. For example, the Health and Social Care Standards 2018, are no longer just focused on regulated care settings but are for use in social care, early learning and childcare, children’s services, social work, health provision and community justice. They set out what people should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland:-
Dignity and Respect
- My human rights are respected and promoted
- I am respected and treated with dignity as an individual
- I am treated fairly and do not experience discrimination
- My privacy is respected
- I experience warm, compassionate and nurturing care and support
- My care is provided by people who understand and are sensitive to my needs and my wishes
- I receive the right information, at the right time and in a way that I can understand
- I am supported to make informed choices, so that I can control my care and support
- I am included in wider decisions about the way the service is provided, and my suggestions, feedback and concerns are considered
- I am supported to participate fully and actively in my community
Responsive care and support
- My health and social care needs are assessed and reviewed to ensure that I receive the right support and care at the right time
- My care and support adapts when my needs, choices and decisions change.
- I experience consistency in who provides my care and support and how it is provided.
- If I make a complaint it is acted on.
- I am asked about my lifestyle preferences and aspirations and I am supported to achieve these.
- I am encouraged and helped to reach my full potential
- I am supported to make informed choices, even if this means I might be taking personal risks.
- I feel safe and I am protected from neglect, abuse or avoidable harm.
4.4 ‘Child Protection’ on the other hand, means taking measures to protect a child from abuse or neglect. It is not necessary for abuse to have taken place, it is sufficient for a risk assessment to identify a likelihood or risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect. Child Protection refers to activities undertaken to prevent children from suffering, or likely to suffer significant harm. Protecting children and young people from harm is an essential aspect of safeguarding activity.
4.5 ‘Significant harm‘ is a complex matter and subject to professional judgement based on a multi-agency assessment of the circumstances of the child and their family. Where there are concerns about harm, abuse or neglect, these must be shared with the relevant agencies so that they can decide together whether the harm is, or is likely to be, significant.
4.6 Significant harm can result from a specific incident, a series of incidents or an accumulation of concerns over a period of time. It is essential when considering the presence or likelihood of significant harm that the impact (or potential impact) on the child takes priority and not simply the suspected or reported abusive behaviour.
4.7 ‘Harm‘ means the ill-treatment or the impairment of the health or development of the child, including, for example, impairment suffered as a result of seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. In this context, ‘development’ can mean physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development and ‘health’ can mean physical or mental health.
4.8 Whether the harm suffered, or likely to be suffered, by a child or young person is ‘significant’ is determined by comparing the child’s health and development with what might be reasonably expected of a similar child.
4.9 There are no absolute criteria for judging what constitutes significant harm. In assessing the severity of ill-treatment or future ill-treatment, it may be important to take into account: the degree and extent of physical harm; the duration and frequency of abuse and neglect; the extent of premeditation; and the presence or degree of threat, coercion, sadism and bizarre or unusual elements. Sometimes, a single traumatic event may constitute significant harm, for example, a violent assault, suffocation or poisoning. More often, significant harm results from an accumulation of significant events, both acute and longstanding, that interrupt, change or damage the child’s physical and psychological development.
4.10 To understand and identify significant harm, it is necessary to consider:
- the nature of harm, either through an act of commission or omission;
- the impact on the child’s health and development, taking into account their age and stage of development;
- the child’s development within the context of their family and wider environment;
- the ocntext in which a harmful incident or behaviour occurred;
- any particular needs, such as a medical condition, communication impairment or disabilitiy, that may affect the child’s development, make them more vulnerable to harm or influence the level and type of care provided by the family;
- the capacity of parents or carers to meet adequately the child’s needs; and the wider and environmental family context.
4.11 The reactions, perceptions, wishes and feelings of the child must also be considered, with account taken of their age and level of understanding. This will depend on effective communication, including with those children and young people who find communication difficult because of their age, impairment or particular psychological or social situation. It is important to observe what children do as well as what they say, and to bear in mind that children may experience a strong desire to be loyal to their parents/carers (who may also hold some power over the child). Steps should be taken to ensure that any accounts of adverse experiences given by children are accurate and complete and that they are recorded fully.
5. Who is a Child?
A child can be defined differently in different legal contexts, for example:
- In the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, Part 1 defines a child as someone under the age of 18. However, other parts of the same Act define a child as someone who has not yet attained the age of 16 years.
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to anyone under the age of 18. However, Article 1 states that this is the case unless majority is attained earlier under the law applicable to the child.
- The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, defines a child as someone who has not attained the age of 18.
- The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 can be applied to over 16s where the criteria is met.
The individual young person’s circumstances and age will dictate what legal measures can be applied in any given circumstance.
Section 21 of the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2014) explains how professionals should act to protect children and young people from harm in different circumstances. The key message is “although the differing legal definitions of the age of a child can be confusing, the priority is to ensure that a vulnerable young person who is, or may be, at risk of significant harm is offered support and protection”.
6. What is Child Abuse and Neglect?
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting, or by failing to act to prevent, significant harm to the child. Children may be abused in a family or an institutional setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. Assessments will need to consider whether abuse has occurred or is likely to occur.
6.1 Categories of Abuse. The following definitions show some of the ways in which abuse may be experienced by a child but are not exhaustive, as the individual circumstances of abuse will vary from child to child.
6.2 Physical abuse is the causing of physical harm to a child or young person. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child they are looking after.
6.3 Emotional abuse is persistent emotional neglect or ill-treatment that has severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve the imposition of age – or developmentally – inappropriate expectations on a child. It may involve causing children to feel frightened or in danger, or exploiting or corrupting children. Some level of emotional abuse is present in all types of ill-treatment of a child; it can also occur independently of other forms of abuse.
6.4 Sexual abuse is any act that involves the child in any activity for the sexual gratification of another person, whether or not it is claimed that the child either consented or assented. Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child 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 or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of indecent images or in watching sexual activities, using sexual language towards a child or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
6.5 Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or failure to respond to, a child’s basic emotional needs. Neglect may also result in the child being diagnosed as suffering from ‘nonorganic failure to thrive’, where they have significantly failed to reach normal weight and growth or development milestones and where physical and genetic reasons have been medically
eliminated. In its extreme form children can be at serious risk from the effects of malnutrition, lack of nurturing and stimulation. This can lead to serious long-term effects such as greater susceptibility to serious childhood illnesses and reduction in potential stature. With young children, in particular, the consequences may be life-threatening within a relatively short period of time.
6.6 Child Sexual Exploitation, Honour–Based Violence and Forced Marriage, Human Trafficking and Female Genital Mutilation are all forms of child abuse when they involve children. More information about these specific circumstances and practitioner resources can be found on the Scottish Government website at https://www.gov.scot/about/.
Recognising harm or abuse is often not easy. Some types of abuse may go undetected or reported for many years or never disclosed by the person affected. Appendix 3 can assist employees to recognise indicators of risk of harm and abuse.
6.7 Harmful Sexual Behaviour of a Child. Children and young people who develop harmful sexual behaviour harm themselves and others. Harmful sexual behaviour includes:
- Using sexually explicit words and phrases
- Inappropriate touching
- Using sexual violence or threats
- Full penetrative sex with other children or adults
Where abuse of a child or young person is reported to have been carried out by another child or young person, such behaviour should always be treated seriously and be subject to a discussion between relevant agencies that covers both the victim and the perpetrator. In all cases where a child or young person displays problematic sexual behaviour, immediate consideration should be given to whether action needs to be taken under child protection procedures, either in order to protect the victim or to tackle concerns about what has caused the child/young person to behave in such a way. The NSPCC has some useful information to assist practitioners with managing harmful sexual behaviour of a child https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/harmful-sexualbehaviour/.
6.8 Historical or Non-Recent Abuse. Non-recent abuse (also known as historical abuse) is an allegation of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse made by or on behalf of someone who is now 18 years or over, relating to an incident that took place when the alleged victim was under 18 years old. The complainant may be an adult but could be an older young person making reports of abuse in early childhood. The reports may relate to an individual’s experience in the family home, community or while they were looked after and accommodated child in a residential, kinship or foster care setting. Employees should be aware that young adults who are no longer involved with services may disclose harm or abuse to them. All such historic concerns will be considered to determine whether they require criminal investigation or investigation through other processes e.g. complaints, regulatory, commissioning, health and safety investigations. Talking about abuse that happened as a child can be difficult and may cause memories and feelings to resurface which cause anxiety and distress. Support services (Appendix 4) are available whether or not the abuse was reported to the police.
7. Role and Responsabilities of eXp Employees
The Team Lead will oversee the following:
- Ensure that all paid employees; volunteers and students on placement are recruited or placed in line with safer recruitment practices.
- Arrange for the implementation of relevant policy and procedure through tailored mandatory training to be provided to all eXp employees, agency staff, volunteers and studnets on placement.
- Ensure that all employeews receive supervision relevant to their role and responability.
- Disseminate and implement recommendations from case/learning reviews and critical incidents across all eXp services.
- Ensure that where allegations are made against eXp employees that this guidance runs in parallel with eXp’s disciplinary procedures in Appendix 5.
The Team Lead will:
- Report suspected, witnessed or reported harm to Trustees and the Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service within 24 hours, or as soon as possible thereafter.
- Ensure tha all employees complete training relevant to the requirements of regulatory bodies.
- Ensure that all paid employees, volunteers and students on placement are aware of the eXp Child Protection Policy and Guidance.
- Ensure that all paid employees, volunteers and students on placement are aware of their local area Multi-agency Child Protection Procedures.
- Attend Level 2 Child Protection Training
- Keep a record of who has received safeguarding training and when.
- Ensure that safeguarding is a standing agenda item for supervision and meetings with individual employees and teams.
- Monitor progress where any harm is suspected, reported or witnessed.
All paid employees, volunteers and students on placement working directly with people who use eXp Services will:
- Report to their line-manager harm that is suspected or witnessed or reported to them.
- With the guidance of managers and training, employees will read and understand this policy and procedure. They will be clear about their role and responsabilities in child protection. If employees have any queries about the policy they have a responsability to seek clarificaiton on these from their line-manager.
- Attend half-day Level 1 Child Protection training.
- Attend any other training relevant to the requirements of regulatory bodies.
7.1 Duty of Candour. The organisational duty of candour provisions of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. & Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 and The Duty of Candour (Scotland) Regulations 2018 came into force on 1 April 2018. The purpose of the new duty of candour provisions is to support the implementation of consistent responses across health and social care providers when there has been an unexpected event or incident that has resulted in death or harm of the service user, that goes beyond 28 days, that is not related to the course of the condition for which the person is receiving care.
It imposes a duty on eXp to inform service users (or their representatives); if there has been a mistake in their care that has led to significant harm. CrossReach’s policy in relation to the duty of candour describes the arrangements that eXp has in place to ensure that managers and employees are clear about what to do if the duty of candour applies.
7.2 Safe Recruitment. eXp follows safe recruitment practices which are fair, compliant with relevant legislation, and help lead to positive experiences and outcomes for people who use our services.
eXp will ensure that all employees, volunteers and students on placement undertaking regulated work with protected children and young people are members of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. PVG helps make sure that people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to work with children or protected adults cannot do ‘regulated work’ with these vulnerable groups.
The PVG Scheme is only one part of a safe recruitment process- we still need to ensure that every post has a job description, interviews are carried out, references followed up and that paid employees and volunteers are supervised appropriately to undertake their role. Supervision means that the standard of the person’s work is monitored by the person that they are responsible to or line managed by.
Recruiting individuals who were born outside of the United Kingdom or who have lived outside of the United Kingdom will require additional checks. There are two issues to consider when recruiting individuals who were born outside the United Kingdom or who have lived outside the United Kingdom for six months or more in the last 5 years. The first is confirming someone’s identity and the second relates to checking their criminal record. With regard to the identity of the individual, line managers/HR should take particular care during the recruitment process, ensuring they follow up references and make other relevant checks before making an appointment is confirmed and the start date issued.
eXp can ask prospective employees to provide an overseas criminal record certificate, from their government or an appropriate government/police agency in the country where they were born and or where they resided when out with the UK.
Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent a person from being employed by eXp. All vetting information that has been provided to eXp from Disclosure Scotland, or notification that a person is under consideration for listing by Disclosure Scotland, will be risk assessed as appropriate before a decision is made about a new appointment or the person’s current employment.
8. What To Do If Someone Discloses Harm or If You Have A Concern About Someone
8.1 One of the key objectives of eXp is to prevent harm from occurring and to ensure a timely and appropriate response when it does occur.
8.2 If a child or young person tells an employee they have been harmed (or feel at risk of harm) it is critically important the employee takes the issue seriously, listens attentively, tries to put the person at ease and conveys concerns for the child’s safety. Take emergency action if someone is at immediate risk of harm/in need of urgent medical attention by contacting emergency services e.g. ambulance, police, and social work services. Employees should always try to:
- Ask what has happened
- Listen carefully
- If appropriate ask precise questions – who, what, where and when? This is to establish basic details of events. It is not to start an investigation. In particular, when it appears the person may be the subject of an offense, then full details should not be sought as this may compromise a Policy Investigation.
- Try to avoid leading questions – do not suggest things to the person and do not press them for information
- Stay calm, show empathy and support, reassure the person
- Make the person feel safe and secure
- Tell them what you will do – that you have to take appropriate action – never promise you will keep their secret.
- Do not make judgements or dismiss what the person has told you
9. What To Do After Someone Has Disclosed Harm or If You Have A Concern About Someone – The 4R’s of Safeguarding
9.1. What To Do After Someone Has Disclosed Harm or If You Have A Concern About Someone – The 4R’s of Safeguarding
|Steps: The 4R’s||What To Do|
|Recognise||You suspect or witness harm or it is reported to you. Do some basic recording of the facts if possible. It then makes it easier to share accurate basic information for good reporting.|
|Report||Immediately report suspected or actual harm to your manager. Do not wait until the next day or a more convenient time. |
If you cannot speak to your line manager, or if you have any concerns about the way that a safeguarding concern is being managed please make immediate contact with your Head of Service.
If an allegation or report is about an eXp employee, your Human Resources Department and Head of Service must be notified immediately.
|Report to the Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service||Refer the concern to the Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service within 24 hours where at all possible.|
Phone in the first instance; follow up with a written copy of concerns.
The Safeguarding Service will confirm any verbal advice in writing by forwarding a Confirmation of Safeguarding Advice Form to the relevant person(s).
The advice will include recommendations about making a referral to Police Scotland or social work services if this has not already happened.
Referral means sharing verbal information with other agencies and then confirming this in writing. Please see Appendix 6 for details of what should be
included in a written child protection referral.
The presumption is to refer to social work services unless there are good reasons not to. Often the social work service will then contact Police Scotland as part of their procedure. This is called an Interagency Referral Discussion (IRD).
|Record||It is important to keep a clear, concise and accurate record of information about an event where harm or abuse has been disclosed or is suspected. The record must be made as soon as possible or within 24 hours of receipt of the information.|
Record the 4Ws: ‘who, what, where, and when’ of the event. Include details about witnesses. This will provide the information that you will need to share with the Safeguarding Service, Social Work Service or Police Scotland.
Record all discussions, telephone calls, interviews, decisions etc. electronically and in the child or young person’s case file.
Include details of the event in the child or young person’s chronology of significant events where this is held.
The Care Inspectorate has published updated practise guidance in relation to Chronologies which can be accessed at http://www.careinspectorate.com/images/documents/3670/Practice%20guide%20
Safe Storage, Retention and Disposal of Records
Records should always be stored in a secure and confidential place. Paper records must be kept in a locked cabinet on eXp premises. If records are stored electronically then care should be taken to ensure that they are stored on the eXp network which is secure. They should also be saved in an area that has restricted access so they are only accessible to those employees who should need them to undertake their job. Records should only be retained for as long as is necessary and destroyed in line with CrossReach’s Data Protection Policy and Retention Schedule.
|Referring to Partner Agencies e.g. Police Scotland, Social Work Services||When a decision has been made to make a referral to Police Scotland or Social Work Services it is preferred practice to phone and speak to someone in the first instance. This is to ensure that the referral is picked up by someone who can act on it straight away. It is then helpful to follow up the phone call with a written referral which includes all the relevant details of the person and the event/incident. Emails containing confidential personal information should only be sent to named email addresses and not a generic account. |
It is necessary to establish, as far as possible, what action the police or social work service intends to take. This will ensure that any internal processes e.g. disciplinary processes, internal fact-finding, etc. do not cut across police investigations and ensure that employees can support the child or young person appropriately.
Confidentiality, Consent and Information Sharing
eXp expects all employees, volunteers and trustees to maintain confidentiality at all times. Employees should only share confidential information when necessary and in line with Data Protection law. It is appropriate to seek the views of a child or young person and in some circumstances to seek their consent to share information. Please speak to your line manager if you are in doubt in what circumstances this would apply.
However, if a child is deemed to be at risk of immediate harm information should be shared with authorities i.e. police and/or social work services. Sharing the right information, at the right time, with the right people can make all the difference to preventing harm and is an essential part of safeguarding activity.
Information Sharing with the Named Person
The Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill was introduced in June 2017. It aims to bring clarity and consistency to sharing information for the named person service and child’s plan.
The Bill’s objective is to give families, practitioners and the wider public greater confidence in how the safeguards to information sharing will operate in relation to the named person service and provision of a child’s plan, for example, human rights, data protection and confidentiality. More information on the Bill can be found at https://www.parliament.scot/ResearchBriefingsAndFactsheets/S5/SB_17-59_Children_and_Young_People_Information_Sharing_Scotland_Bill.pdf
Please speak to your line manager if you are in doubt about what circumstances you would share information with the Named Person.
|Notifications – Who to Contact||Next of Kin|
If appropriate, the next of kin should be notified as soon as possible about the safeguarding concern and the actions taken to mitigate risk. It is best to seek advice from social work services or police about this in the first instance if the matter has been referred to them to ensure that the child or young person is not being placed at risk of harm.
OSCR – Charity Regulator
Consideration should be given to whether notification to the Charity Regulator is necessary and or relevant. Referrals to OSCR will be made via the Legal Team at the Church of Scotland. If you believe a referral should be made to OSCR then please speak to the Business Partner – Quality, Compliance and Improvement.
Planning and Commissioning Teams
In line with guidance, consideration should be given to whether a notification to the appropriate planning and commissioning team(s) is necessary and or relevant. This is a decision for the Service Manager to make.
9.2. Allegations Against Paid Employees, Volunteers
Allegations may be made against employees or volunteers currently working with children or
Allegations can come from any source-children and young people, from adults, from parents/carers, other employees, members of the general public, or from external professionals e.g. police, NHS services, social work. Some allegations may be historical, against individuals no longer working with children or young people. Serious concerns about the safety and wellbeing of any child or young person should always be reported to the police and/or social work department in the first instance.
The senior employee on duty and the Safeguarding Service should be notified immediately or as soon as possible thereafter if there is any doubt about whether the concern constitutes a child protection matter that needs investigation.
A timely response is crucial to preserve evidence if a crime is suspected.
The Head of Service, in conjunction with Human Resources, will determine if disciplinary action is required at the same time as responding to the child protection concern. It may be necessary to immediately suspend an employee(s), or remove them from their role, pending an investigation. This will depend on the nature of the allegation and could be for one or more of the following reasons:
- To avoid further possible risk to children or young people
- To avoid possible risk of further allegations against the employee
- To prevent contamination or destruction of evidence
Advice on whether these steps are necessary must be sought from the senior employee on duty who will seek advice from the Human Resources department. This step should be taken at the earliest opportunity to ensure that risk is reduced and/or managed and that the employee or volunteer is appropriately supported throughout the process.
9.3 Appendix 7 provides eXp employees with a structured framework for undertaking
internal fact-finding investigations.
10. Internal Fact-Finding/Investigations
10.1 An internal fact-finding investigation generally takes place by eXp after police and/or social work investigations have taken place. The investigation is often conducted to establish the facts i.e. the who, what, when, where and why of the situation, to determine ‘on the balance of probabilities’ if there are grounds for disciplinary action, to assess the needs of the person for protection and support and to make decisions about what follow up actions are required. Learning identified from an investigation to minimise the risk of a similar situation occurring again in the future should be implemented at the earliest opportunity and need not necessarily wait until the outcome of a disciplinary process (see Appendix 5).
10. Whistleblowing – Reporting Inappropriate Behaviour
10.1 eXp takes seriously any form of abuse, poor practice and fraud that may take place in the workplace and places importance on maintaining high standards of honesty, openness, integrity and accountability within our services. We will support all workers who make a disclosure (whistleblowing) where the disclosure is a genuine concern made in good faith.
10.2 Whistleblowing is where an individual raises a concern about malpractice or wrongdoing or provides information about illegal or dishonest practices within an organisation. Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (1998) employees are allowed to make a “protected disclosure”. This provides protection against victimisation or dismissal for workers (this includes permanent and temporary employees, agency staff, contractors, home workers and trainees/students) who blow the whistle on criminal behaviour or other wrongdoing. Please refer to eXp’s Whistleblowing Policy for further information on the process.
eXp employees are encouraged to raise concerns with their own line manager in the first instance. If the concern is about their line manager, then call Safeguarding Service – 0131 240 2256.
11. Training and Supervision
eXp employees work with children and young people.
Safeguarding training, supervision and support for employees is essential to create and maintain a culture of informed vigilance to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children and young people.
To this end eXp, in partnership with the Safeguarding Service, offer an ongoing programme of child protection training that supports existing policies and procedures in the organisation.
eXp line managers ensure that the highest standards of practice are supported by formal employee supervision and annual development plan meetings in line with eXp Policy.
130b John Street
Telephone: 07470 593935
Church of Scotland
121 George Street
Telephone: 0131 240 2256
Legislation – Children and Young People
Children (Scotland) Act 1995: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/36/contents
Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2014/8/contents
The Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill was introduced in 2017.
It aims to bring clarity and consistency to sharing information for the named person service and child’s plan. The progress of the Bill can be found at: https://www.gov.scot/policies/girfec/information-sharing/
Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2011/1/contents
Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2005/9/contents
Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2017/3/contents
Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/49/contents
Human Rights Act 1998: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/contents
Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2007/14/contents
Equality Act 2010: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents
Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2014/3/contents/enacted
Digital Economy Act 2017: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/30/contents/enacted
Data Protection Act 1998: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents
Policy and Guidance – Children and Young People
National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2014: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2017/3/introduction/enacted
Getting it Right for Every Child: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): https://www.eugdpr.org/
Appendix 2 Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)
The idea of ‘wellbeing’ is at the core of GIRFEC. The approach uses eight areas of wellbeing in which children and young people need to make progress in order to do well now and in the future. These eight indicators of wellbeing are illustrated below in the Wellbeing Wheel.
The eight indicators of wellbeing are: safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible, and included. This approach sets child protection, or risks to wellbeing, in the context of the child’s wider wellbeing.
The GIRFEC National Practice Model
When assessment, planning and action are needed, practitioners can draw on the GIRFEC National Practice Model. This can be used by a single agency, such as eXp, or multiple agencies when for example education, health, social care and housing services are working together with a child. The National Practice Model is illustrated in Figure B.
Five key questions when there are concerns about the wellbeing of a child or young person:
- What is getting in the way of this child or young person’s wellbeing?
- Do I have all the information I need to help this child or young person?
- What can I do now to help this child or young person?
- What can my service do to help this child or young person?
- What additional help, if any, may be needed from others?
My World Triangle
When working with children or young people in eXp services the My World Triangle can be used at every stage to think about the whole world of the child or young person. See Figure C below.
On the Wellbeing Wheel and in the My World Triangle ‘keeping me safe’ is about:
- Protection from physical, social and emotional dangers such as bullying.
- The care giver being able to protect the child consistently and effectively.
- Seeking help and solutions to domestic problems such as mental health needs, violence and offending behaviour.
- Taking an interest in the child’s friends and associates, use of the internet, exposure to situations where sexual exploitation or substance misuse may present risks, staying out late, staying away from home, etc.
- Encouraging the young person to find out about risks and become confident about being safe.
- Ensuring that the child’s concerns are being listened to, and acted upon.
eXp services are partners in meeting the wellbeing indicators of some of Scotland’s children who are most adversely affected by disability, social disadvantage, substance misuse by parents, abuse and lack of access to educational and health services. GIRFEC provides a common language for working with other professionals and agencies and for making a real difference in the lives of some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged children and young people.
Appendix 3 Indicators of Risk, Harm, and Abuse – Children and Young People
|Main Types of Abuse||Signs of these types of abuse|
|Physical: Physical abuse is the causing of physical harm to a child or young person. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding,|
drowning or suffocating. Fabricated or induced illness is physical harm that may be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of or deliberately causes ill health to a child they are looking after.
|Unusual or unexplained injuries.|
Misuse of medication: giving too much, too little, withholding or giving the wrong medication, or giving it late.
Fear of another person, disturbed behaviour.
Physical or electronic barriers to freedom of movement and choice; medication which limits physical movement or behaviour.
|Sexual abuse is any act that involves the child in any activity for the sexual gratification of another person whether or not it is claimed that the child either consented or assented. Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child 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 or non-penetrative acts.
They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or on in the production of indecent images or in watching sexual activities, using sexual language towards a child or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Harming Sexual Behaviour Between Children and Young People
Some children and young people can develop harmful sexual behaviour which harms others and themselves. Indications of abuse include a lack of consent between the children involved, inequalities of age, development age or size; and the use of force or threats.
|Sexual acts or actions involving genital contact or no physical contact.|
Talking in sexual language that is inappropriate or uncomfortable.
Touching or attempting to touch in a sexual way against the person’s will or understanding.
Sexual intercourse or attempted sexual intercourse.
Lewd or libidinous practices toward a child.
Non-contact sexual activity e. g. exposing sexual parts to the child or having them witness adult sexual acts.
Rape, sodomy, incest, sexual assault and inappropriate touching of genitals.
|Child Sexual Exploitation – the sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 is an often hidden form of child sexual abuse, with distinctive elements of exploitation and exchange. For example, this might involve them being coerced, manipulated, forced or deceived into performing sexual activities in exchange for receiving some form of material goods.||Staying out late and going missing;|
Excessive use of a mobile phone or multiple mobile phones;
Expressions of despair;
Disclosure of abuse followed by withdrawal of allegation;
Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies;
Drug and alcohol misuse;
Truancy or exclusion;
A high number of sexual partners and/or older boyfriends;
Unexplained amounts of money or other material items.
|Emotional Abuse – Emotional abuse is persistent emotional neglect or ill-treatment that has a severe and persistent adverse effect on a child’s|
emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve the imposition of age-or developmentally inappropriate expectations on a child. It may involve causing children to feel frightened or in danger, or exploiting or corrupting children. Some level of emotional abuse is present in all types of ill-treatment of a child; it can also occur independently of other forms of abuse.
|Pressure exerted by another person to do something that they do not want to do;|
Depression, withdrawal, noticeable or uncharacteristic changes in behaviour, less communicative;
Fear of another person;
Hostile or rejecting behaviour by the caregiver;
Kept isolated from other people or depriving them of health or social care services.
|Neglect – Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.|
It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or to ensure
access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or failure to respond to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Neglect may also result in the child being diagnosed as suffering from ‘nonorganic failure to thrive’, where they have significantly failed to reach normal weight and growth or development milestones and where physical and genetic reasons have been medically eliminated.
In its extreme form children can be at serious risk from the effects of malnutrition, lack of nurturing and stimulation. This can lead to serious long-term effects such as greater susceptibility to serious childhood illnesses and reduction in potential stature. With young children, in particular, the consequences may be life-threatening within a relatively short period of time.
|Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children;|
Constantly dirty or ‘smelly’;
Loss of weight, or being constantly underweight;
Inappropriate clothing for the conditions;
Complaining of being tired all the time;
Not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments;
Having few friends;
Mentioning being left alone or unsupervised.
|Self-harm – children who need protection from|
themselves. Their intention may be to injure themselves
but not to endanger their own life, or it may be to
Refusal to eat or drink;
Cutting, burning hitting, etc., parts of the body.
Calculated and dangerous risk-taking.
|Other types of abuse – There is no universally agreed definition of ‘child abuse’. The types of behaviour defined as abusive, and the range of people deemed to be perpetrators of abuse, are continually expanding. They are defined by society’s changing awareness and attitudes.|
For the most recent Scottish Government child protection guidance see The Scottish Government’s National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland, 2014.
|Organised, multiple or institutional abuse:|
Abuse by organised groups of people targeting children. Such abuse can occur both as part of a network of abuse across a family or community and within institutions such as residential settings, in daycare and other provisions such as youth services, sports clubs and voluntary groups. There may also be cases of children being abused via the use of the Internet.
Child trafficking is a crime involving the movement of children for the purpose of their exploitation.
Online Abuse: Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the web, whether through social networks, playing online games or using mobile phones. Children and young people may experience cyberbullying, grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or emotional abuse. Children can be at risk of online abuse from people they know, as well as from strangers. Online abuse may be part of abuse that is taking place in the real world (for example bullying or grooming). Or it may be that the abuse only happens online (for example persuading children to take part in sexual activity online). Grooming is when someone builds an
emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking.
Fabricated or induced illness (FII) is a rare form of child abuse. It occurs when a parent or carer exaggerates or deliberately causes symptoms of illness in the child. FII is also known as “Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy”.
Domestic abuse: Around 1 in 5 children have been exposed to Domestic Abuse. Domestic abuse can seriously harm children and young people. Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships. Children living in a home where domestic abuse is happening are at risk
of other types of abuse too. For more information on domestic abuse see Safeguarding Handbook 6.
Foetal abuse: where the foetus may be damaged in utero by the mother’s tobacco, alcohol or drug use; or harm by another person physically assaulting the mother.
Children affected by drug abuse and addictions of parents/carers.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuse. It’s dangerous and a criminal offence. There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It doesn’t enhance fertility and it doesn’t make childbirth safer. It is used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health.
Forced Marriage where the child is under 16 years.
NAPAC (The National Association for People Abused in Childhood)
Phone: 0808 801 0331
Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 9 pm
Friday 10 am to 6 pm
A UK-wide charity supporting adults who were abused in childhood. Find support in your local area or call the support line – calls won’t show up on your bill and are free from all landlines and mobiles.
Victim Support Scotland
Phone: 0345 603 9213 (Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm)
Provides information and support for victims of crime. It doesn’t matter whether the crime was reported to the police or if the crime took place a long time ago. You can also search for victim support in your area for local help and advice.
Provides local support for children who have experienced abuse to rebuild their lives, and a dedicated support line for anyone abused while at Fort Augustus or Carlekemp schools.
Call 0800 345 7457 Monday to Friday 9 am to 10 pm, weekends 12 noon to 8 pm.
Speak out Scotland
Phone: 0141 332 9326
Provides support services for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Glasgow and the surrounding area, including specialist counselling, a self-help group and a support helpline.
Rape Crisis Scotland
Phone: 08088 01 03 02 (6 pm to midnight, 7 days a week)
Provides a rape crisis helpline and email support for anyone affected by sexual violence at any time in their lives. They can also put you in touch with centres or other services for ongoing support.
Wellbeing Scotland – Open Secret, In Care Survivors, Children and Families Services
Phone: 01324 630100
Monday to Thursday, 9 am to 5 pm, Friday 9 am to 3 pm
Wellbeing Scotland provides confidential support for survivors of childhood abuse and trauma. Wellbeing Scotland also provides other services and support to children and families. Most services are based in the Forth Valley area, but some are available throughout Scotland.
National Confidential Forum
Phone 0800 121 4773 or fill out an online form at https://www.nationalconfidentialforum.org.uk/contact-us/.
The Forum is about understanding and acknowledging the experiences of those of us who were in institutional care in Scotland as a child. You can tell the Forum about your experiences, including any abuse you may have suffered, how it was dealt with at the time, and the effect these experiences have had on you.
Ritual Abuse Network Scotland (RANS)
Phone: 01382 224737
Confidential support and information for survivors of organised/ritual abuse, including a survivor’s forum.
Your rights As a victim of crime, you have rights. The Victims’ Code for Scotland sets out these rights and who to contact for help and advice.
Appendix 5 Fact-finding Investigations: Safeguarding and Disciplinary
Appendix 6 Making a Referral to Social Work, Police or the Safeguarding Service and What Information to Provide
The police officer or social worker will let you know what information is required. But the
following is a useful checklist to help you to prepare to share information:
- Name and date of birth (if known) of child.
- Address of child.
- Is the child and/or their parent or carer aware of the referral and what are their views and wishes?
- Details of witnessed, suspected or reported harm or risk of harm.
- What happened before, during and after the harmful event? Use the person’s own words if known.
- When did the event happen? Include times and full dates.
- Where did it happen?
- Who was allegedly involved and what did they say or do?
- Names of witnesses.
- If known give details of any previous concerns about witnessed, suspected or reported harm or risk of harm.
Appendix 7 Suggested Structure and Process for Fact-finding Investigations
This format provides a structure for investigations and can be adapted to meet the needs of your particular task. If the fact-finding investigation uncovers actual or suspected criminal activity this should be referred to police as per the standard adult protection procedure introduced earlier in the policy document.
- Executive summary – The main points, findings and conclusion summarised for quick reading in 3–5 paragraphs. This should be the first section on page one.
- Purpose of the report – Clearly identify the remit. Agree this with the person commissioning the report and get it in writing. Is it just to report findings (what happened) or to make recommendations too (what needs to be done to address the findings)?
- The process of producing the report – Details about who has written it and the process, e.g., who was interviewed and when, supporting information such as the write-ups of the interviews, other agencies who contributed, examination of case records and files, telephone calls, etc.
- Two or three key questions for the investigation to address – It is useful to identify three to five key questions for the investigation to address. Write them down. This helps to maintain the focus and ensures that at the conclusion the investigation achieves what it set out to do.
- Background and contextual information – Brief history of the circumstances and support/care provided for the person who uses our services; description of the service provided; description of the abilities and needs of the person who uses our services; perhaps details about the alleged perpetrator(s) if known.
- Detailed description of the alleged harmful event: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, AND WHEN.
Write this up in detail. Sources will include interviews with the people who use our services, employees, witnesses and significant others.
- Assessment of the impact of the alleged harmful event on the person who uses our services – Identify the emotional, psychological, social and physical impact on the person who uses our services e.g. withdrawal, injuries, changes in mood and behaviour that are out of character, effect on
mental health and relationships, impact of loss of property or money etc. Use the person who use our services own words to describe the impact on them.
- Chronology of events, actions and decisions – Insert a two column table that summarises the (1) main events and what happened when and where with (2) day, date and time. This enables an at-a-glance summary of events and can be used like a map to find your way around the report (Otherwise It is too easy to lose track of what happened, who was involved and when).
- The facts that were established – State what facts were established using your three to five key
questions – Identify what facts are:
- Substantiated: on ‘the balance of probabilities’ harm occurred and a particular person(s) was, or was not, identified as being responsible. Or the facts fully support the findings ‘beyond all reasonable’ doubt.
- Unsubstantiated: on ‘the balance of probabilities’ it is not known whether harm has occurred. Therefore it is not known who was responsible either. In such cases it is often one person’s word against another‘s with no witnesses to confirm either account.
- False: the facts prove beyond reasonable doubt that harm did not occur and/or the person did not perpetrate it. The reported harm is thus false or malicious.
- Possible explanations for key questions – Suggest possible explanations based on the above section.
- Additional findings – Opportunity to make other observations that may be strictly out with the original remit but have emerged and are relevant.
- Next steps – The Team Lead will decide how to convert the findings into recommendations and produce an action plan. Consider the findings for the particular service area and for eXp as a whole.
- Action plan – In addition to ensuring the prevention of further harm to the individual, there should be wider recommendations for the whole organisation. This will identify who will do what by when, resources needed and arrangements for monitoring to ensure that change has been lasting.