Safeguarding Policy 2020

This Policy is reviewed annually or sooner from lessons learnt by A2B Contract Cars Ltd or national developments by Mr Matthew Flowers – (Last review date 09.07.20)

Persons with overall responsibility:   Company Directors

Contract Persons responsible for ensuring safeguarding:   Lisa Brachtvogel & Megan Ockenden

A copy of this policy is given to all drivers and passenger assistants who work with the company. It forms part of the induction training for new members of staff. Staff acknowledge their understanding by signing a declaration.

The term ‘safeguarding’ can apply to both adults and children and is about protecting them, preventing their abuse or neglect, and educating those around them to recognise the signs and dangers.  Abuse can be physical, emotional, or psychological, sexual, or financial.

Safeguarding usually refers to those who may be vulnerable, this can include:

Children under the age of 18;

People with physical, visual, hearing or learning disability;

People with mental health issues;

The elderly, frail or ill;

Those suffering from any form of domestic abuse.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence, or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.  This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’.

Anyone can be affected by domestic abuse. Figures show it consists mainly of abuse by a man against a woman, but it can also occur between any family members, in same sex relationships and by a woman towards a man.

Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence, or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.

Examples of this behaviour are:

Psychological/emotional abuse – intimidation and threats, for example towards children or family pets, social isolation, verbal abuse, humiliation, constant criticism, enforced trivial routines

Physical violence – slapping, pushing, kicking, stabbing, damage to property or items of sentimental value, attempted murder, or murder

Physical restriction of freedom – controlling who the victim or their children see or do, where they go, what they wear, stalking, imprisonment, forced marriage

Sexual violence and abuse – includes a range of different behaviours, including sexual assault or rape. Regardless of any relationship between victims and perpetrators, this violence is still a crime

Financial abuse – stealing, depriving, or taking control of money, running up debts or withholding benefits or bank cards.

Safeguarding Children

Safeguarding young people is about more than acting to protect a child when the worst happens.  It also includes prevention by means of educating parents and those who work with young people.

By safeguarding young people we

Protect them from abuse or neglect

Ensure their mental, emotional, and physical health is maintained

Ensure they grow up safe and cared for, enabling them to become well adjusted adults.

Concerns about any form of child abuse should not be ignored.

Recognising signs of abuse

What is abuse and neglect?

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Someone may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or by a stranger, for example, via the internet.  They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.  Child abuse can have major long-term effects on all aspects of a child’s health, development, and wellbeing.  The main forms of maltreatment are:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to a child. This might involve punching, kicking, biting, burning, scalding, shaking, throwing, or beating with objects such as belts, whips, or sticks. It also includes poisoning, giving a child alcohol or illegal drugs, drowning or suffocation. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of illness in a child.  In pregnancy an unborn child can be harmed by domestic violence.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is where repeated verbal threats, criticism, ridicule, shouting, lack of love and affection causes a severe adverse effect on a child’s emotional development.  It includes conveying to children that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Emotional abuse may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.  It may feature inappropriate expectations being imposed on a child, over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from taking part in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person.  It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of children, or it may occur alone.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This may involve physical contact including penetrative sex, oral sex, masturbation, kissing, rubbing, or touching outside of clothing, or it may involve non-contact activities such as involving children in watching sexual activities, producing or looking at sexual images, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Abusers can be men, women, or other children.

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect is when a parent or carer fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), medical care, or protection from physical and emotional harm or danger.  It also includes failure to ensure access to education or to look after a child because the carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In pregnancy neglect may occur as a result of misusing alcohol or drugs.

Possible signs of abuse

The following signs may or may not be indicators that abuse has taken place, but the possibility should be considered.

Signs of possible physical abuse

Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them

Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls or rough games

Injuries which have not received medical attention

Reluctance to change for, or participate in, games or swimming

Bruises, bites, burns, and fractures, for example, which do not have an accidental explanation

The child gives inconsistent accounts for the cause of injuries

Frozen watchfulness

Signs of possible sexual abuse

Any allegations made by a child concerning sexual abuse

The child has an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour for their age, or regularly engages in sexual play inappropriate for their age

Sexual activity through words, play or drawing

Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains

The child is sexually provocative or seductive with adults

Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home

Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams, or nightmares which sometimes have overt or veiled sexual connotations

Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

 

Signs of possible emotional abuse

Depression, aggression, extreme anxiety, changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clingy

Obsessions or phobias

Sudden underachievement or lack of concentration

Seeking adult attention and not mixing well with other children

Sleep or speech disorders

Negative statements about self

Highly aggressive or cruel to others

Extreme shyness or passivity

Running away, stealing, and lying

 

Signs of possible neglect

Dirty skin, body smells, unwashed, uncombed hair, and untreated lice

Clothing that is dirty, too big, or small, or inappropriate for weather conditions

Frequently left unsupervised or alone

Frequent diarrhoea

Frequent tiredness

Untreated illnesses, infected cuts, or physical complaints which the carer does not respond to

Frequently hungry

Overeating junk food

Safeguarding Adults

A vulnerable adult is someone over 18 years of age who may be disabled, ill or frail and unable to care for or protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation.

Adult safeguarding is about protecting vulnerable people from abuse by others.  Abuse can be something that is done to a person or something that is omitted from being done. It is a violation of an individual’s rights and can happen anywhere, including in someone’s home, a residential home, a nursing home, a day centre or hospital.  It can happen once or repeatedly.

Abuse includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, psychological abuse, neglect in an institution (such as a care home) or discriminatory (because of someone’s disability, age, or sexuality).

Abuse can be intentional or it can be because someone is doing what they think is right, such as locking the front door to stop an adult suffering from dementia leaving the house unaccompanied.  This is actually not in the best interests of the vulnerable individual.

Any concerns about possible abuse should not be ignored.

Recognising adult abuse

Abuse of vulnerable adults can occur in many different forms in our society. The information on this page will help you to recognise the signs of abuse. If you suspect someone is being abused, you should report it as soon as possible.

Why do we need to protect vulnerable adults?

Vulnerable adults have the right to live their lives free from abuse. Everyone should treat vulnerable people with respect and dignity. They should be able to choose how to live their lives independently, and receive support in doing this.

What is adult abuse?

Abuse is a violation of a person’s human and civil rights by any other person. Abuse can take many forms:

Physical abuse:

Hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, burning, giving medication that may harm, disciplining in an inappropriate way,

Possible signs:

Fractures, bruising, burns, pain, marks, not wanting to be touched.

 

Psychological abuse:

Emotional abuse, verbal abuse, humiliation, bullying, the use of threats,

Possible signs:

Being withdrawn, too eager to do everything they are asked, showing compulsive behaviour, not being able to do things they used to, not being able to concentrate or focus.

 

Financial or material abuse:

Stealing from the person, cheating them, using them for financial gain, putting pressure on them about wills, property, inheritance, or financial transactions,

misusing or stealing their property, possessions, or benefits

Possible signs:

Having unusual difficulty with finances, not having enough money, being too protective of money and things they own, not paying bills, not having normal home comforts.

 

Sexual abuse:

Direct or indirect sexual activity where the vulnerable adult cannot or does not agree to it.

Possible signs:

Genital itching, soreness or having a sexually transmitted disease, using bad language, not wanting to be touched, behaving in a sexually inappropriate way, changes in appearance.

 

Neglect or acts of omission including:

Withdrawing or not giving the help that a vulnerable adult needs, so causing them to suffer.

Possible signs:

Having pain or discomfort, being very hungry, thirsty, or untidy, failing health.

 

Discriminatory abuse including:

Abusing a person because of their ethnic origin, religion, language, age, sexuality, gender, or disability.

Possible signs:

The person is not receiving the care they require, their carer is over critical or makes insulting remarks about the person, the person is made to dress differently from how they wish.

 

Institutional abuse:

Abuse or mistreatment by an organisation or by any individual within a building where the person is living or receiving care.

Possible signs:

The person has no personal clothing or possessions, there is no care plan for them, he or she is often admitted to hospital, there are instances of professionals having treated them badly or unsatisfactorily or acting in a way that cause harm to the person.

 

Summary

Whilst working with A2B Contract Cars Ltd, please be aware of all of the above information.

If you suspect that something is not right with either a child or an adult that we transport, then the following procedure needs to be adhered to:

All incidents to be reported with immediate effect verbally to a member of the administration staff on 01279 211694, this should be followed up with an email to  admin@a2bcontractcars.com explaining in as much detail as possible your reasons for concern.  Any previous journey notes confirming dates and incidents should be supplied as well.

The procedure that the administration staff will take will include some or all of the following depending on the circumstances surrounding the concern.

  • Contact the Police
  • Contact Social Services
  • Contact Essex County Council
  • Contact Social Worker
  • Contact School / College / Care Home
  • Contact Parent / Carer
  • Contact Next of kin

All correspondence to be followed up in writing and kept in a secure environment under password protected files. Information is to be treated with the upmost care and should only be shared with people / organisations on a need to know basis. Any written correspondence with ECC should be submitted via Egress Switch secure email system.

The administration staff is to delegate their responsibilities accordingly, allowing themself sufficient time to dedicate to the matter in hand proactively. Involvement of A2B Contract Cars Ltd to remain until an official department or organisation confirms that the matter is either closed or is being investigated by the relevant professionals.

Follow up to ensure you are happy that the correct measures have been taken. If not satisfied that the correct measures have been taken, then inform the company directors via email matt.flowers@a2bcontractcars.com and phil.hudson@a2bcontractcars.com