Safeguarding Policy

Deaf Rainbow UK Safeguarding Policy (Date of next review, December 2021)

Introduction

Deaf Rainbow UK seeks to support, inform and represent deaf people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Asexual Plus. We used to be called Deaf LGBTIQA+ UK, and we are currently sorting our new website www.deafrainbowuk.org.uk. Our current website is www.deaflgbtiqa.org.uk. Set up in 2018, we are a small project run by deaf volunteers and currently on the process application to become incorporated. We do have governing documents and a bank society account that is managed by two committee members. We are not able to do any direct work with anyone aged under 18 years old for the moment given insufficient safeguarding resources/abilities but would like to revisit this in the future.

Principles

This safeguarding policy’s aim is to protect Deaf Rainbow UK and to make our services as safe as possible for all our staff, volunteers and members. We plan to make all staff and volunteers aware of our Safeguarding Policy once they join Deaf Rainbow UK and will email them a copy.

We will do a Safeguarding Review regularly especially now we have become a registered charity. This is to remind ourselves of our responsibilities and understand when, where and how to make referrals.

We also will check which level of DBS check (basic, standard or enhanced) our volunteers or staff may require when we take them in, as new criteria may have been brought in since it was last checked. 

Confidentiality Statement

This agreement will be included for all staff, volunteers and members;-

Deaf Rainbow UK wants to ensure we provide a safe space for our members in person or digitally now and when we gain funding to expand.

All information is kept confidential except:

Where, in our opinion, there may be a danger to yourself or to others. In this situation, Deaf Rainbow UK will need to pass information on to ensure we are keeping you and others safe.

Information may be passed onto other relevant deaf organisations/ services, social services and/or the police as appropriate.

Supervision sessions are held with Deaf Rainbow UK committee members and volunteers to allow them to gain support and guidance and ensure we are working ethically and competently.

AGREEMENT: I have read and understood the above information and agree to conditions as made clear to me.

Signed:

Date:

Categorising Service Provision

Our provision is currently focused on digital sessions where we do informal meets and informative webinars that members may register to gain access. We do informative accessible videos and also advise organisations on improving access for their events/ services.

Our main audience beneficiaries live across the UK.

In the future we may have 1:1 sessions in a specified space, but never at beneficiaries’ homes, when offering support and information.

Safeguarding Statement

Deaf Rainbow UK is committed to safeguarding all vulnerable adults that it comes into contact with.

The purpose of this policy and its subsequent procedures are to outline a clear framework to protecting and safeguarding vulnerable adults so that all staff, volunteers and those working on behalf of Deaf Rainbow UK are aware of their roles and responsibilities in identifying concerns, sharing information, and taking action.

We expect everyone to have read, understood and adhere to this policy and its related procedures.  The Safeguarding Policy will be part of our Volunteer Agreement Statement.

This policy was developed in November 2020 and we will continually review/update if we increase our services to more face to face contact subject to specific funding.

Designated Staff Contact Details

Tyron Woolfe, the Chairperson of Deaf Rainbow UK is the Safeguarding Lead as he is available to ensuring all the committee and the staff/ volunteers adhere to the Safeguarding Policy. He also would be available for other staff and/or volunteers for advice.

Michelle Goodwin is the lead in relation to updating the policy and ensuring that all staff/volunteers attend at least Level One Safeguarding training. We are working with the LGBT Consortium, especially via its Thrive and Survive support, to always improve our work and increase our Safeguarding abilities.

Both Tyron Woolfe and Michelle Goodwin can be reached by email hello@deafrainbowuk.org.uk  and their textphone numbers are:

Tyron Woolfe: 07725461600

Michelle Goodwin: 07935063370

Both Tyron Woolfe and Michelle Goodwin will undertake training to fulfil their roles, as will successive people who will replace them if/when they step down.

Anyone on the committee or who works/volunteers for Deaf Rainbow UK can raise a concern about a child or vulnerable adult at any time.

If anyone has a concern with the Chairperson, then formal contact will be made with the Secretary, who will then contact the local Safeguarding board if necessary.

Minimising risks

We will check any possible risk factors before organising every event/ service to ensure we are protected and our members are protected also. This is included in the planning/organising of the event and we record any safeguarding issues and how we have resolved those issues if they have arised.

If there is any concern from the event/service, participants should notify the committee immediately particularly the Chairperson and Secretary, so that they can advise what further action can be done, and do a report on it and the consequences from the actions agreed to be undertaken.

Recognising Abuse and Procedures to Respond to Concerns

Signs to look out for could be the individual exhibiting out of the ordinary behaviour, actions, appearance or different behaviour around people that may indicate them being victims of abuse, report to the Chairperson and Secretary immediately so the correct course of action could be decided. The Chairperson and/or the Secretary can contact the relevant Safeguarding Board anytime for guidance.

Procedures to Respond to Allegations involving Staff/Volunteers

All volunteers and staff who run events are to be told safeguarding reporting procedures and must tell attendees that if they feel uncomfortable about anything, they are free to report to the organisers of the event/service anytime in a safe way and are explained how to do so.

If possible, we will display safeguarding posters with a brief statement on how to report and contact details of the safeguarding lead. This will include their photograph to help members to identify the lead.

For staff and volunteers, they will have easy access to the safeguarding policy which include instructions on what the procedure is if needed. It must be explained to them to not ask leading or unnecessary questions when they receive a direct disclosure e.g. someone telling them that they have been assaulted. Instead they should pass on the information to the Safeguarding lead, to ensure the person’s safety and wellbeing.

It will be made clear that all allegations will be taken seriously and acted on.                    

Safer Recruitment     

DBS must be done for any staff employed by Deaf Rainbow UK whether it be basic or standard check. As Deaf Rainbow UK do not cater for under 18s, an enhanced DBS will not be required. Employees may not commence employment without supervision until the DBS has been received.

Employees must provide documents including a photograph and current address for identity verification. This will be done at a face to face meeting, where the name and date of birth on the DBS certificate will be checked against the employee application form. Deaf Rainbow UK will also check previous employment history and inquire for gaps in employment history.

Staff and volunteers who have contact with vulnerable adults at least once a week or four times a month must have a DBS check, and may not commence volunteering without supervision until the DBS check has been received.

For Transgender people who wish to volunteer or be employed, and do not want their gender identity be declared on their DBS applications are encouraged to contact the sensitive applications team by emailing the DBS team who can advise at sensitive@dbs.gov.uk. They are also advised that an applicant using the confidential checking service will still complete the same application form as any other applicant.

All volunteers including members are asked to always represent Deaf Rainbow UK in a professional manner.

Online Safety

We expect all volunteers and participants in any online events to sign to our ground rules around keeping safe and respect. It is essential that staff and volunteers maintain professional distance online. As we mainly use Zoom, we should adhere to it’s security settings to ensure privacy and security which can be found here https://it.cornell.edu/zoom/zoom-security-features-reduce-odds-zoombombing

We will always advise participants as to how to report concerns from online activities to the organisers and the committee.

When broken down into its component areas of risk, safeguarding is fundamentally concerned with behaviours and a considerable number of avenues through which safeguarding concerns might arise digitally.

The designated safeguarding lead will decide whether the person is at immediate risk of harm. If they are, they will take action. This could mean removing the person from the harmful situation, or removing the person causing the harm, involving the police, local safeguarding board or social services if relevant.

In order to ensure transparency and accountability, all evidence must be collected relevant to the apparent risk. Deaf Rainbow UK will not delete any evidence e.g. images, messages, They will also ensure this evidence is placed in a secure place so evidence cannot be destroyed or the individual further abused. Deaf Rainbow UK will not copy any evidence, screenshot or print where possible. In the case of evidence involving an illegal image, for example, pornography involving illegal acts or indecent images of children, Deaf Rainbow UK will seek advice from CEOP or the police around how best to handle such evidence.

The safeguarding lead will consider the individual’s situation and context as much as possible and react accordingly. The lead will find out on who they should contact, and what information should be provided. Contact will normally be made with the Contact Assessment Team/Adult Safeguarding Team. Depending on the Borough in which the person resides there will be a different contact/referral procedure. The safeguarding lead will visit the borough’s Local Authority website, and search for Safeguarding Referrals for up to date procedures and contact details and advise the worker accordingly. Further inquiry and protection measures might involve:

  • Discussing the issues with the adult themselves
  • Building up a more detailed picture of the situation at hand through partnership working and further investigation
  • Considering prevention measures that can be put in place to prevent the vulnerable adult from being abused and neglected

We do not share anyone’s contact details as per good GDPR practice. We are developing our Data Protection policy with support from the Consortium.

Information on this policy and further referrals can be found here;-

 Reference List to accompanying Relevant Policies and Procedures