Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Acorns is committed to safeguarding all vulnerable people we engage with through our work and takes a zero-tolerance approach to any form of bullying, harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse.

We recognise that: 

  • the welfare of the child/young person or vulnerable adult is paramount
  • all people, regardless of age, ability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • working in partnership with children, young people, and parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting welfare.

We will seek to safeguard by: 

  • valuing, listening to and respecting children and vulnerable adults
  • adopting child and vulnerable adult protection guidelines through our procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • sharing information about child and vulnerable adult protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
  • sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents, vulnerable adults and children appropriately
  • providing effective management to staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training
  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern
  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored
  • prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals 
  • ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation. 

Responsibilities 

Every member of staff and volunteer working for Acorns has a responsibility to safeguard. Key members of staff take a lead in this area. We all have a duty to report concerns wherever they arise for instance through our work in support of families, at fundraising events, with regard to the behaviour or practice of staff, volunteers, other organisations or individuals. 

Key areas covered in our policy include: 

  • Importance of taking any concerns or allegations seriously and never keeping any concerns to yourself
  • Clearly detailing roles and responsibilities for safeguarding
  • Everyone understanding the need to discuss, report and record concerns as appropriate
  • Whistleblowing policies and procedures to deal with concerns about staff or volunteers.

As part of our safeguarding policy, Acorns will: 

  • promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults
  • ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns.

Diversity and inclusion

Acorns is committed to equality of opportunity and ensuring the needs of children, young people and families across our broad demographic are met.

To achieve this we consistently work on developing our knowledge, skill and awareness of diversity issues. The care we provide and the environment we create to deliver care reflects our ongoing commitment to respecting the diversity of the communities we serve.

Acorns provides care and support to people from all cultures; those with faiths, beliefs and religions and those without. We readily endeavour to provide the spiritual care and faith support required by the families and children who use Acorns. We have established links with faith leaders in the Midlands and each hospice has spiritual resources to aid spiritual comfort. A private and appropriate quiet place will always be provided for families wishing to pray, meditate or reflect.

In the hospices we plan for and celebrate the major cultural and religious festivals and holidays each year. In respecting the diversity of the community we live in, everyone can share in the enjoyment of these special times of the year.

Monitoring and review

Our policy will be reviewed every two years or in response to changes in legislation and/or government guidance or significant internal changes.

Copies of Acorns Safeguarding Policy can be obtained by contacting the Caldicott Guardian on 01564 825000.