24/7 support line:

Rape Crisis England & Wales

0808 500 2222

Admin line & email:

01452 305421

24/7 support line:

Rape Crisis England & Wales

0808 500 2222

Safeguarding Children Policy

Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedure

Reviewed: September 2023 (updated/revised November 2023)
Next Review: September 2024

Safeguarding Children Policy:
This document sets out GRASAC’s overall approach to safeguarding children. It is
supported by detailed procedures which detail how this policy is to be carried out by staff, volunteers and Trustees.

Legal Framework
Laws protecting children exist to protect children, namely:
• Children Act 1989
• United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
• Data Protection Act 1998
• Human Rights Act 1998
• Sexual Offences Act 2003
• Children Act 2004
• Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
• Protecting of Freedoms Act 2012
Children and Families Act 2014
• Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) code of practice: 0-25 years –
Statutory Guidance
Local Context
This policy must be read in conjunction with the following external documents:
• NHS England Safeguarding Policy – NHS England » Safeguarding Policy v3 19.06.23
• Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board (GSCB) Working Protocol
• Gloucestershire Children’s Partnership and Gloucestershire Health and Well-Being
Partnership: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/gloucestershireschildrens-
• Gloucestershire County Council: How to report a child who is at risk

Safeguarding Children Policy
1. Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC) believes that all children
referred to GRASAC have experienced significant harm and the role is to support and protect the child from further risk and will take all relevant action in relation to its duty to protect children from further harm. The organisation has statutory responsibilities in respect of child protection.

2. Safeguarding is a specific activity that is undertaken to protect children who are
suffering, or are at risk of suffering, significant harm. All agencies that work with
children, young people and adults who are carers have a statutory responsibility to
safeguard children.

3. Abuse and neglect of children includes;
• Physical abuse, which can include a carer inducing or fabricating the symptoms of
illness in a child
• Emotional abuse, which can include a child seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of
• Sexual abuse, which can include non-contact activities involving children looking at or producing sexual images
• Neglect, which is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical or
psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or

4. GRASAC will;
• Ensure that all staff, volunteers, Trustees and those delivering direct support to
clients and staff have Enhanced DBS clearance
• Ensure that all individuals providing one-to-one support to children as a minimum
requirement complete Gloucestershire Safeguarding Inter-Agency Training
• Provide clear and detailed procedures on decision making, accountability and
recording of children’s safeguarding situations
• Provide thorough and effective training to staff and volunteers on safeguarding
children policies and procedures
• Appoint a member of staff to be the Designated [Children’s] Safeguarding Lead
• Provide regular and consistent supervision and support to volunteers and staff which have as their basis, the safety and welfare of clients (whether adults or children).
• Ensure that the organisation is able to learn from specific safeguarding situations
and to review policy as a result if necessary.
• Everyone at GRASAC maintains a current knowledge of safeguarding procedures
nationally and within Gloucestershire.
• Report any serious safeguarding incidents to the Charity Commission in line with
regulatory requirements for charities in England and Wales
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission and make
contact with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for advice and

5. GRASAC works with children and adults. It is not the policy of the organisation to ask
a caller’s age on the telephone but if it emerges that they are aged below 18 years
safeguarding procedures must follow. For those over 18, please refer to the Adults at
Risk Safeguarding Policy.

6. The organisation operates a confidential service but if it is felt that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, then confidentiality can be breached. In this event, a volunteer/ staff member is expected to discuss the action they need to take with the child, unless it is their trained assessment that this would place a child at greater risk. This is always to be discussed with the safeguarding lead on duty.

7. All callers and clients contacting GRASAC are informed about GRASAC’s
confidentiality and safeguarding policies, and procedures, in order that clients and
callers are aware of the disclosure procedures. In addition, all external referrers will be asked what safeguarding procedure has been followed prior to referral to GRASAC.
This is important because prior safeguarding issues are the responsibility of the professional referrer to ensure that GRASAC engagement with the client is positive from the outset.

8. If it is felt that a child is at risk of significant harm through abuse or neglect and the details of the child are known, the designated agency in Gloucestershire will be
contacted following discussion and agreement of any actions with GRASAC’s DSL.

9. All discussions about specific safeguarding situations need to be recorded by the volunteer/worker and the DSL, regardless of the eventual action.

Safeguarding Children Procedures

This document sets out what action will be taken if it is suspected that a child is at risk of harm through abuse or neglect. It is supported by the Safeguarding Children Policy which sets out the overall approach of GRASAC to safeguarding children.

1. General
The DSL GRASAC is the Service and Training Manager (Rachel Hole). If the Service and Training Manager is not available, the Team Leader/s need to be contacted. If none of the aforementioned are available, then liaise with the CEO.
It is GRASAC policy that at least one member of the leadership team is available at all times.

No individual volunteer or staff member will make a decision regarding the safeguarding of children alone.

No volunteer/staff member should make a referral regarding a child who may be at risk
or break confidentiality without prior discussion with the DSL.

2. Confidentiality
Confidentiality in this respect refers to the requirement not to share anything about a
client without their consent to anyone outside of GRASAC. It is vital that information is shared within the organisation so that the safest decisions are made.
Maintaining the confidentiality of those who use GRASAC is a vital part of the ethos of
the organisation and, generally, this can be assured. However, when a staff member
or volunteer has a strong suspicion that a child is at risk of harm, the responsibility to
safeguard the child overrides that of confidentiality to a client or colleague. Volunteers and staff members MUST break confidentiality, if necessary, in these circumstances.
At the start of any work being carried out, it will be clearly explained that confidentiality
cannot be maintained where the volunteer/staff member believes that there is danger to a client or risk to others by the client.
Whenever there is either evidence or suspicion of abuse the volunteer/staff member concerned will note these concerns with the child/young person. The volunteer/worker will explain clearly to the child/young person the reasons for having to pass information on to other professionals and the procedures for dealing with safeguarding.
If confidentiality cannot be maintained, the information will only be shared with relevant people, and this will be communicated to parties concerned.

3. Consent
Generally, GRASAC works on the basis of consent based on the framework laid out in
the Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines. In many situations consent to take action to safeguard a child can be sought and will be given but consent must not be sought if it may place a child at greater risk. If the child is deemed to be at risk of immediate harm, the DSL can decide to make a report without the consent of either the child or child’s caregiver.

4. What to do if you think a child is being abused or neglected in any situation
A volunteer/staff member may be given direct information about a child who is currently at risk of harm, or they may be given information which leads them to a professional judgement that a child is being harmed or is at risk of harm. The volunteer/ staff member with immediate concerns about safeguarding should report the matter to the DSL immediately. The DSL will discuss the situation with the volunteer/staff member which will be recorded on the casework/ case management system. The DSL will
decide whether to report to the Police (if the child is in immediate danger) or Local
Children’s Safeguarding Board (if risk of harm is not imminent).
If there is consent from the client to make a safeguarding referral then this can be
agreed and made immediately by telephone by the Service and Training Manager/CEO/Team Leaders and followed up in writing within 24 hours. The contact
details are provided at the end of this document.
If gaining consent from a client may place a child at greater risk of harm, then this route
is not an option, and referrals should only be made by GRASAC.
If there is no consent from the child or adult client to make a safeguarding referral and
no identifying details are available regarding the child, then no referral can be made by
GRASAC, but the child or adult client can be encouraged to make the referral
Situations where no referral is possible may still leave volunteer/staff member with
uncomfortable feelings and these should be discussed in person with the Safeguarding
Lead or Deputy and/or at supervision meetings.

5. What to do if you suspect a Staff Member, Volunteer or Trustee is abusing a child
If the information you have regarding risk to a child relates to abuse by a member of
GRASAC you should immediately inform the CEO. If the allegation concerns the CEO,
you should speak directly to one of the Co-chairs.
The member of GRASAC will be suspended immediately for the duration of the Police
or social work investigation and any subsequent disciplinary action (as laid out in the GRASAC Staff Handbook) on the authority of the DSL and a member of the Board of Trustees. This is not an assumption of guilt but serves to allow the appropriate
investigation to take place and protects the member of staff or volunteer from further

6. Record Keeping
Records must be made of discussions, decisions and actions taken at all stages of the procedure, clearly indicating who was present. All records will be placed on the
casework management system (Oasis).

7. Contact details in relation to concerns for a child or young person:
GRASAC Office – 01452 305421 in the first instance
Service and Training Manager – Rachel Hole – 07508 614809
Team Leader- Rachael Howells- 07867 947381
Team Leader – Alice Webb – 07765 992813
CEO – Gilli Appleby – 07760 787856

Co-Chair of Trustees: Dr Cate Hemingway – 07786808615
Trustee: Honor Binning – 07482117787

Children and Families Help Desk – Office hours 01452 426565
Out of hours 01452 614194
email: childrenshelpdesk@gloucestershire.gov.uk

If you are concerned about the immediate safety of a child the Police should be
contacted on 101 or 999 as appropriate, at any time.