Sensing Friends works from, and operates an open policy system. This ensures that management, staff, service users and all who interact with the organisation, are clear about Sensing Friends Policies and also have a voice in relation to the policy making
Sensing Friends Health and Safety Policy
1. Sensing Friends has a designated Health and Safety Staff Member (DHSSM) who has overall responsibility to carry out regular health and safety checks in relation to the venue, event or situation that Sensing Friends is facilitating.
2. The DHSSM will identify any risks in relation to the health and safety checks and resolve any identified risks to service users, staff and volunteers before attendance.
3. Any health and safety risk and the appropriate action taken is recorded in the health and safety risk book held by the DHSSM.
4. Sensing Friends has a designated First Aid Staff Member (DFASM) who has overall responsibility for dealing with any first aid. This Member of staff member will hold up to date appropriate first aid training and attend any event that Sensing Friends facilitates.
5. The DFASM needs to make himself known to service users, staff and volunteers but also all staff and volunteers need to make sure they are aware of who the relevant DFASM is.
6. Any medical or first aid incident and any action taken is recorded in the incident book held by the DFASM. All relevant information in relation to this incident is then passed onto parent/ careers or others that need to know about the incident.
7. Any relevant health, allergies or medical conditions related to service users, staff and volunteers must be identified prior to attendance. Any action or support required in relation these conditions must be clearly explained to staff who will make sure the DFASM is aware of the situation.
8. Sensing Friends aims to have all staff first aid trained at a basic level.
Sensing Friends Confidentiality Policy
1. At Sensing Friends we believe that everyone one has the rights to their own privacy and we respect that everyone we connect with through the organisation has the right to confidentiality. All aspects of a persons personal information will be treated by the organisation as confidential.
2. Any personal information about an individual that is specific to them will be treated in confidence.
3. When discussing individuals in relation to supporting them such as in supervision we will discuss only the relevant personal information in a confidential, impartial and non judgmental way.
4. It is important that a persons personal information is only shared with trusted members within the organisation and that, unless we are required by law or the person is in danger of coming to serious harm or harming other*, or permission has been granted from the person concerned stating clearly that relevant information can be passed on, this information will not be shared beyond trusted, emotionally qualified individuals within the organisation.
5. If we do have to take confidential information outside the organisation for legal or safeguarding reasons we will endeavour to discuss this matter first with the individual with a view to seeking their consent and agreeing on a suitable way of disclosure for the persons concerned.
6. Any records or notes will be recorded using a client number without using personal information, such as names, so as to maintain the individuals privacy.
7. Records and notes will be kept confidential and stored securely either electronically or as a hard copy.
Sensing Friends Safeguarding Policy
1. Sensing Friends has a designated safeguarding staff member (DSSM) of staff who has overall responsibility for dealing with the organisations safeguarding referrals. The DSSM will be suitably qualified to take overall leadership responsibility in this area.
2. All staff are responsible for familiarising themselves with the Sensing Friends safeguarding policy.
3. All staff will undertake essential safeguarding training overseen by the Sensing Friends DSSM. The training of all staff will be updated regularly.
4. All staff will have appropriate, satisfactory, DBS checks insuring that they meet the necessary current safeguarding legal requirements for staff working with vulnerable individuals. The DSSM will organise essential DBS checks for all staff
5. Sensing Friends staff who have Safeguarding concerns will raise the issues firstly with the DSSM and seek their advice. In extreme cases where a serious safeguarding threat has been disclosed and the DSSM cannot be reached a member of staff must contact the MASH team themselves.
6. If it is felt that a safeguarding issue is occurring at the current moment, while the disclosure is taking place staff must alert the police using 999.
7. Disclosures related to possible safeguarding concerns from a service user to a member of staff must be handled in a sensitive may, respecting where possible the service users autonomy and confidentiality.* Please see related Sensing Friends Standard Safeguarding Referral Procedures Document
8. In the case of disclosures that do not pose an imminent risk, to the service users or relevant others such as involved family members, it is important that safeguarding concerns are first discussed with the service user and relevant others before a Safeguarding referral is made to MASH. this is important to maintain trust with service users
9. All safeguarding referrals must be documented and where possible disclosed to service users, this is important to maintain trust with service users.
Sensing Friends Standard Safeguarding Referral Procedures
1. If a Sensing Friends member of staff or volunteer receives a disclosure from a service user that raises safeguarding concerns it is important that where possible this is discussed in a sympathetic way, in more detail with the service user. The aim in doing this is firstly to highlight to the service user that the member of staff or volunteer has recognised the disclosure as raising a safeguarding issue. Secondly further discussion will enable the member of staff to gather further important information that may need to be passed onto the MASH team.
2. With general safeguarding concerns, after consulting the DSSM and seeking their advice, the member of staff will speak to the service user and inform them that they are going to make a referral to the MASH team. This needs to be done sensitively after supervision has been received in relation to discussing this with the service user.
*Where disclosure about the pending MASH referral might cause more risk in relation to the safeguarding issue it might be advised by the supervisor or DSSM that MASH referral needs to happen before discussing it with the service user. These type of referrals will only happen if it’s deemed that vulnerable individuals may be at risk of more harm if the disclosure of the pending MASH referral was disclosed to the service user.
3. After carrying out the above steps the member of staff or volunteer will contact the MASH team and pass on the information to the team.
4. After the referral is made the member of staff or volunteer must record the incident in the Sensing Friends incident book
5. When the service user is next contacted or spoken to the member of staff or volunteer needs to inform the service user that the referral has been made and that someone from the MASH team will be contacting them.
6. Any further disclosures relating to the safeguarding issue need to be discussed in supervision and either also reported to the MASH team but also recorded in the incident book as they may be relevant and needed by the MASH team.
7. The service user will need support and reassurance in relation to the referral and it is important that the member of staff or volunteer facilitates this by talking it through individually with the service user. This process needs to be supported for the member of staff or volunteer with the aid and advice of the DSSM or supervisor.
Sensing Friends Equality Policy
1.1 Sensing Friends believes in equality for everyone and upholds equality for everyone in all its interactions with other people. There will be no case where not treating individuals equally and or discrimination against an individual or individuals will be accepted or tolerated within the organisation.
1.2 Sensing Friends recognised that discrimination exists in our society in many forms. Examples of discrimination, but not inclusive of all types, are prejudices around race, gender, disability, mental health, sexual orientation, belief and or religion. Sensing Friends challenges discrimination in any form.
Sensing Friends recognised that discriminating behaviour takes form in many ways. Discrimination can be direct and or indirect, conscious and or unconscious.
Examples of discriminating behaviour, but not inclusive of all types of behaviour, are stigmatising, bullying, discounting, name calling, *ostracising, *gas-lighting, excluding, using derogatory terms to refer to someone.
1.3 Staff and Volunteers at Sensing Friends have a responsibility to address any discrimination that is witnessed or suspected in relation to individuals involved with Sensing Friends. If such a situation arises then the member of staff or volunteer will discuss it with management and after considering the specific situation appropriate action will be taken to address it.
Such action might involve raising the issues with those who are discriminating against others and highlighting that Sensing Friends will not tolerate it within the organisation and will seek to address and eliminate it if it also occurs outside the organisation.
1.4 In the case where Sensing Friends staff, volunteers and or management feel that the discrimination has happened through a lack of awareness, knowledge or understanding in relation to the discrimination by individuals carrying it out, Sensing Friends staff, volunteers and management will seek to address this by assisting in informing/ educating those concerned about the implications and issues around such discrimination to others can have on them.
* Ostracising exclude from a society or group (smart Lookup)
* Gas-lighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief. (Wikipedia)