World Horizons UK —
Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk Policy
The law requires all organisations, and specifically UK registered charities, working with children and adults at risk to ensure that all those vulnerable to abuse are properly cared for and not harmed in any way through contact with it.
World Horizons works with children and adults at risk through various ministries in the UK and overseas we therefore must always act in the best interest of those vulnerable to abuse and ensure all reasonable steps are taken to prevent them coming to harm.
Having safeguards in place protects and promotes the welfare of those who benefit from the charity, as well as our staff, volunteers and others that encounter World Horizons through its work. Such safeguards can enhance the confidence that staff, volunteers, parents, carers and the general public can have in what we do. In some circumstances these safeguards will also help protect staff from false allegations regarding their behaviour towards children and vulnerable adults.
The necessity to safeguard the vulnerable applies both to our work throughout the UK and when our staff work vulnerable groups in other countries, where they may face different or additional risks of abuse or exploitation.
Every child and adult at risk always has, in all situations, the right to feel safe and protected from any situation or practice that could result in them being harmed in any way.
‘We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and adults at risk and protecting them from abuse. We believe that it is never acceptable for anyone to experience abuse of any kind and that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility within World Horizons’.
World Horizons recognises that it has a duty of care to safeguard from harm all children and adults at risk when they encounter World Horizons through the work we do. World Horizons will endeavour to ensure the safety and protection of all children and adults at risk entrusted to them through adherence to this policy.
A child is a person under the age of 18 years of age.
An adult at risk or vulnerable adult is someone who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
This definition of an Adult covers all people over 18 years of age.
Regulated Activity is work unsupervised or with children: to teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice/ guidance on well–being, or drive a vehicle only for children. Regulated activity is also to work unsupervised with adults at risk: to provide personal care and assist with household matters such as finance.
- As part of the mission of World Horizons UK Field, we are committed to ensure the following:
- The welfare of the child or adult at risk remains paramount, in line with UNCRC, which is law in Wales. (Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measures 2011), and UK wide law on safeguarding children and adults at risk including children’s act 1989 and 2004, protecting vulnerable groups act 2006 (see below for further relevant legislation).
- All children and adults at risk, whatever their sex, race, marital status, colour, ethnic or national origin, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, union membership, union activities or employment status are protected from harm and are provided with appropriate safety and protection whilst involved in World Horizons activities.
- World Horizons UK field members working in a regulated activity are vetted to ensure they are suitable for such a position. A robust recruitment process will ensure all positions for a regulated activity are appropriately advertised, and all appointments subject to a satisfactory interview, references and enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme memberships in Scotland or equivalent criminal background check from another country.
- All those working in regulated activity are trained in safeguarding best practice and empowered to make informed and confident responses to specific safeguarding issues, including contacts for safeguarding officers and local emergency and support services for each activity/centre/building.
- All positions responsible for recruitment decisions and overseeing workers in regulated activity for World Horizons have a current satisfactory criminal background check (DBS disclosure at appropriate level and for the relevant workforce adult and/or child), in Scotland PVG Scheme membership.
- World Horizons staff and volunteers on short-term placement or mission trip overseas will be supervised or suitably vetted when working with vulnerable groups.
- All those working with vulnerable groups understand their responsibility to report concerns to the relevant safeguarding officer.
- All concerns and allegations of abuse and poor practice are taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- Appointment of a board member who will have oversight of safeguarding.
- Appointment of a safeguarding officer to oversee implementation of safeguarding policy and procedures UK wide, with responsibility for reporting and referral of concerns, safe recruitment practice and staff training.
- Appointment and training of deputy safeguarding offices for regional hubs.
This policy is reviewed and updated annually in line with new legislation and UK government guidance.
The following policies, procedures and systems are in place to facilitate the implementation of this policy.
Copies of these policies are held on World Horizons internal Microsoft 365 Share Point.
- Safeguarding Good Practice guidelines including: signs and symptoms of abuse; guidelines for residential, outdoor activities, mission trips, working with refugees; incident report form.
- Health and Safety policy
- Food Safety policy
- Secure Handling and Storage of Disclosure Information policy
- Disciplinary policy
- Recruitment of Ex-offenders Policy
- Safer recruitment procedure and risk assessment
- Whistle-blowing policy
- Complaints policy
- Data protection policy
- Equality policy
The principles and law as laid out in the following legislation and UK government guidance underpin this policy:
- The Children’s Act 1989 and 2004
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Protecting Vulnerable Groups(PVG) scheme Scotland 2020
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Charities Act 2011
- UK Government Guidance: Safeguarding Duties for Charities and Governance Code
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) including the Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measures 2011