Polar Aspect is committed to safeguarding children, as well as adults-at-risk, who engage with us as learners, clients, volunteers or associates. We also recognise our duty of care to other adults who work with us as volunteers or associates. Likewise, we expect all those who work with us as volunteers or associates to commit themselves to this policy.
The following definitions apply in this policy:
- Adults-at-risk are persons 18 years of age or older who are or may be at risk of harm by reason of care or support needs, and who are or may not be able to protect themselves against harm or the risk of harm;
- Children are persons under 18 years of age;
- Harm is physical, psychological or sexual abuse, or any other infringement of a person’s rights.
The purpose of this policy is to safeguard children, as well as adults-at-risk, from harm as a result of contact with Polar Aspect. This harm includes harm arising from the conduct of Polar Aspect staff, volunteers or associates. It also includes harm from the design and implementation of Polar Aspect’s programmes or activities. This policy sets out how Polar Aspect operates in relation to safeguarding.
In the United Kingdom, safeguarding generally means to protect a person’s health, well-being and human rights, and to promote their freedom from harm, abuse or neglect. Polar Aspect understand it to mean protecting children, as well as adults-at-risk, from harm arising from contact with Polar Aspect staff, volunteers, associates or programmes. Safeguarding involves taking all reasonable steps to prevent such harm from occurring, and to respond appropriately to any such harm that does occur.
As an organisation based in the United Kingdom, Polar Aspect takes as fundamental to this policy the Human Rights Act 1998, as well as the various laws governing the protection of children and adults-at-risk in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as appropriate to the place in which Polar Aspect is operating at any given time. Polar Aspect also affirms the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the European Convention on Human Rights.
This policy statement should be read alongside our privacy statement.
We believe that:
- Children and adults-at-risk should never experience harm of any kind;
- All children and adults-at-risk, regardless of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief have an equal right to protection from all types of harm;
- We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and adults-at-risk, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them;
- The welfare of children and adults-at-risk is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take;
- Working in partnership with children and adults-at-risk, their parents or carers, and other responsible agencies is essential in promoting the welfare of children and adults-at-risk;
- Some children and adults-at-risk are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues;
- Extra safeguards may be needed to keep children who are additionally vulnerable safe from harm.
We will seek to keep children and adults-at-risk safe by:
- Valuing, listening to and respecting them;
- Creating and maintaining a safeguarding culture where children, adults-at-risk, their parents or carers, associates and volunteers treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns;
- Adopting safeguarding best practice in our work, and the work of our associates and volunteers;
- Ensuring that all associates and volunteers know about and follow our privacy and safeguarding policies;
- Recruiting and selecting associates and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made;
- Recording, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance;
- Making sure that children and adults-at-risk, and their parents or carers, know where to go for help if they have a safeguarding concern;
- Treating any safeguarding concern, whether from children, adults-at-risk, parents, carers, associates or volunteers, with appropriate respect and seriousness;
- Sharing concerns and relevant information with responsible agencies who need to know, and involving children and adults-at-risk, and their parents or carers, appropriately;
- Managing any allegations against associates and volunteers appropriately.