Safeguarding Adults and Child ProtectionIf you have a safeguarding concern about anyone involved in our projects, please report it using this form
Beneficiary/ Service User: Someone who directly receives goods or services from Legs4Africa’s programmes. Note that misuse of power can also apply to the wider community that Legs4Africa serves, and also can include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power.
Child – A person below the age of 18
DPO – Disabled Person’s Organisation
Harm – Psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights
Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) – The term used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or associated personnel. The term derives from the United Nations Secretary General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13)
Sexual Abuse: The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
Sexual Exploitation: The term ‘sexual exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This definition incudes human trafficking and modern slavery.
Services: Legs4Africa’s activities constitute multiple different prosthetic and orthotic services, which include, but are not limited to: prosthetic leg fitting, psychosocial counselling, home visits and support groups; all of which must be monitored and evaluated in terms of their safeguarding risks.
Vulnerable Adult: A person who is or may be in need of care by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
1. Purpose and Aims
Legs4Africa recognises the need to protect all people, particularly children, at risk adults, and beneficiaries of assistance, from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with our organisation. This includes harm arising from:
• The conduct of staff or personnel associated with Legs4Africa
• The design and implementation of Legs4fAfrica’s programmes and activities
Legs4Africa believes that all those who come into contact with us should be, and feel, safe, and have a zero tolerance attitude towards any abuse of a child or vulnerable adult by anyone associated with Legs4Africa
We are also committed to work in a way that promotes the welfare of all the above and protects them from harm, as well as all beneficiaries and service users of Legs4Africa activities and donations of prosthetic limbs.
The hospitals and clinics that receive donations of prosthetic components from Legs4Africa have a responsibility towards the safeguarding of their own personnel and service users, however Legs4Africa recognises the need to ensure that every hospital/clinic that we work with:
- provide a safe and trusted environment which safeguards anyone who comes into contact with it including beneficiaries, staff and volunteers
- promote an organisational culture that prioritises safeguarding, so that it is safe for those affected to come forward and report incidents and concerns with the assurance they will be handled sensitively and properly
- have adequate safeguarding policies, procedures and measures to protect people
- provide clarity as to how incidents and allegations will be handled should they arise, including reporting to the relevant authorities.
This policy lays out the commitments made by Legs4Africa, and informs staff and associated personnel of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
2. Partners and friends:
Legs4Africa recognises that while concepts such as ‘safeguarding’ and ‘whistleblowing’ are not always universal, every organisation and healthcare provider has a responsibility to protect children and adults from harm. Therefore, whilst avoiding managerialist and paternalist practices, Legs4Africa will at the outset of any partnership, investigate the practices our collaborative and implementing partners put in place to safeguard the wellbeing of all children and adults, and collaborate to sustainably and appropriately improve procedures and mechanisms where necessary.
3. Scope of the Policy
This policy applies to:
- All Legs4Africa staff
- Legs4Africa volunteers and representatives
- Implementing Partners
- Partner organisations
- Partner mobility centres
4. Policy statement
Legs4Africa believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Legs4Africa will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by staff or associated personnel.
This policy will address the following areas of safeguarding: child safeguarding, adult safeguarding, and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse. These key areas of safeguarding may have different policies and procedures associated with them (see Associated Policies).
Legs4Africa commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.
Legs4Africa will ensure that decisions made will allow adults and children to make their own choices and include them in any decision making. Legs4Africa will also ensure that safe and effective working practices are in place.
5. Legal Background
This policy is based upon:
- The Human Rights Act 1998, under which everyone in the UK has the right to live free from abuse and neglect.
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
- UNICEF’s Child Protection Strategy
- The Care Act 2014
This policy has been developed using the Guidance for NGOs from Bond: the UK network for organisations working in international development. Further safeguarding information and resources can be found here: https://www.bond.org.uk/resources-support/safeguarding.
6. What is Safeguarding?
In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect
In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes. One donor definition is as follows:
Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriately when harm does occur.
This definition draws from our values and principles and shapes our culture. It pays specific attention to preventing and responding to harm from any potential, actual or attempted abuse of power, trust, or vulnerability, especially for sexual purposes.
Safeguarding applies consistently and without exception across our programmes, partners and staff. It requires proactively identifying, preventing and guarding against all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable and transparent systems for response, reporting and learning when risks materialise. Those systems must be survivor-centred and also protect those accused until proven guilty.
Safeguarding puts beneficiaries and affected persons at the centre of all we do.
7. What is Child Protection?
Child protection is the protection of children from violence, bullying, harassment, exploitation, sexual abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the protection of children in and out of the home
Child protection systems are a set of usually government-run services designed to protect children and young people who are underage and to encourage family stability. UNICEF defines a ‘child protection system’ as:
“the set of laws, policies, regulations and services needed across all social sectors – especially social welfare, education, health, security and justice – to support prevention and response to protection-related risks. These systems are part of social protection, and extend beyond it. At the level of prevention, their aim includes supporting and strengthening families to reduce social exclusion, and to lower the risk of separation, violence and exploitation. Responsibilities are often spread across government agencies, with services delivered by local authorities, non-State providers, and community groups, making coordination between sectors and levels, including routine referral systems, a necessary component of effective child protection systems”
The scope of child abuse and the various signs and symptoms of abuse as discussed below. However, at this juncture it is worth highlighting two other areas of child abuse, for the avoidance of any doubt, as follows:
Below is the list of child protection issues that LegsAfrica should consider:
- Armed violence
- Birth registration
- Child labour
- Child marriage
- Child protection and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
- Child recruitment by armed forces or armed groups
- Child trafficking
- Children without parental care
- Children with disabilities
- Family separation in emergencies
- Female genital mutilation/cutting
- Gender based violence in emergencies
- Justice for children
- Psychosocial support and well-being
- Sexual violence against children
Legs4Africa responsibilitiesLegs4Africa will:
- Ensure all staff have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy.
- Design and undertake all its programmes and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with Legs4Africa. This includes the way in which information about individuals in our programmes is gathered and communicated.
- Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying staff and associated personnel.
- Ensure staff receive training on safeguarding at a level relevant to their role in the organization
- Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process.
- Ensure that partner organisations, including in-country implementing partners have a safeguarding policy and procedure in place and provide assistance where needed as well as access to a safeguarding training course through Kaya Connect
Staff responsibilitiesChild safeguarding
Legs4Africa staff and associated personnel must not:
- Engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18
- Sexually abuse or exploit children
- Subject a child to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect
- Engage in any commercially exploitative activities with children including child labour or trafficking
Legs4Africa staff and associated personnel must not:
- Sexually abuse or exploit at risk adults
- Subject an at risk adult to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect
Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse
Legs4Africa staff and associated personnel must not:
- Exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual activity. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance
- Engage in any sexual relationships with beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics
Additionally, Legs4Africa staff and associated personnel are obliged to:
- Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy
- Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations by a Legs4Africa staff member or associated personnel to the appropriate staff member
Please refer to the Legs4Africa Code of Conduct for further information on appropriate and prohibited behaviours.
What is Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP)?
MSP means a case should be person-led and outcome-focused. The individual should be involved in identifying how best to respond to their safeguarding situation by giving them more choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety.
Legs4Africa will not tolerate the abuse of adults or children. Legs4Africa has a zero-tolerance policy as regards all forms of abuse against adults or children including violence, bullying, harassment, exploitation, sexual abuse and neglect. If you have any concerns whatsoever about an individual being at risk, then you must follow the procedures outlined in this policy. Doing nothing is NOT an option.
Legs4Africa will ensure that adults and children are involved in their safeguarding arrangements and each individual is dealt with on a case by case basis. As individuals may have different preferences, histories and life-styles, the same process may not work for all.
Who do I go to if I am concerned?
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Legs4Africa is Stefanie Hadley: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 7732 544 302. The emergency safeguarding trustee contact in the UK is Sam Gibson (email@example.com). For staff in The Gambia, the local DSL is Alieu Touray (+220 981 0216).
All staff and volunteers should contact Stefanie Hadley for any concerns/queries they have in regard to safeguarding. A log of the concern must be kept.
If the staff member does not feel comfortable reporting to the DSL or the Managing Director (Phil Tunstall) (for example if they feel that the report will not be taken seriously, or if that person is implicated in the concern) they may report to any other appropriate staff member. For example, this could be a senior manager (Tom Williams) or a member of the HR Team (Evie Dickinson)
What should I do if I am concerned?
Staff and volunteers at Legs4Africa who have any adult safeguarding concerns should:
- Take emergency action if someone is at immediate risk of harm/in need of urgent medical attention. Dial 999 for emergency services in the UK
- Get brief details about what has happened and what the individual would like done about it, but do not probe or conduct a mini-investigation
- Seek consent to take action and to report the concern.
- Report concerns to the Legs4Africa DSL or chosen member of staff by your chosen method: phone, email (mark email “URGENT: CONFIDENTIAL”), in person, or through the reporting form which can be found here
11. Management of Reports
Legs4Africa will then take the following steps:
- The safeguarding officer must record concerns using the form in the appendix. These forms are kept in an online google drive folder that is password protected with only the safeguarding officers able to access the information
- Records should be written as soon as possible after the event, dated and signed.
In making a decision whether to refer or not, the designated safeguarding lead should take into account:
- the child or consent giver’s wishes and preferred outcome
- whether the child or adult has mental capacity to make an informed decision about their own and others’ safety
- the safety or wellbeing of children or other adults with care and support needs
- whether there is a person in a position of trust involved
- whether a crime has been committed
This should inform the decision whether to notify the concern to the following people:
- the police if a crime has been committed and/or
- The relevant government department in country of project for possible safeguarding enquiry
- relevant regulatory bodies such as the Charity Commission or in country office
- family/relatives as appropriate
The designated safeguarding lead should keep a record of the reasons for referring the concern or reasons for not referring.
Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple and may affect one person or more. Staff and volunteers should look beyond single incidents to identify patterns of harm. Accurate recording of information will also assist in recognising any patterns.
Legs4Africa will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of policy.
Legs4Africa is committed to ensuring that staff and volunteers who in good faith whistle-blow in the public interest will be protected from reprisals and victimization in accordance with Legs4Africa’s Whistleblowing Policy.
13. Confidentiality and information sharing
Legs4Africa expects all staff, volunteers and trustees to maintain confidentiality at all times. In line with Data Protection law, Legs4Africa does not share information if not required.
It should however be noted that information should be shared with authorities if an individual is deemed to be at risk of immediate harm. Sharing the right information, at the right time, with the right people can make all the difference to preventing harm. For further guidance on information sharing and safeguarding see:
14. List of appendices
Please also note that further information pertaining to the procedures described herein is appended to this policy, as follows:
Flowchart for responding to possible abuse or neglect
List of addresses, telephone numbers and websites
Child Protection Reporting Advice
Signs of abuse in adults and children
Staff Guidelines for International Travel
The policy is reviewed annually in accordance with:
- changes in legislation and/or government guidance
- as required by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, the Charity Commission for England and Wales.
- as a result of any other significant change or event.
This policy was adopted by Legs4Africa on 12/06/2018
Signed on behalf of the Management Committee by:
Name in Capitals PHIL TUNSTALL
Appendix A: Flowchart for responding to possible abuse or neglect
List of Addresses, Telephone Numbers and Websites
Designated Safeguarding Lead: Stefanie Hadley, +44 7732544302, firstname.lastname@example.org
Safeguarding emergency contact: Sam Gibson, Trustee : email@example.com
Gambia Safeguarding Officer: Alieu Touray:+220 9810216
If you have any suspicion of child abuse you should:
1. Listen to the child/young person.
2. Look at them directly and do not promise to keep any secrets before you know what they are, but always let the child/young person know if, and why, you are going to tell anyone.
3. Take whatever is said to you seriously and help the child/young person to trust his/her own feelings. Take notes of exactly what is said to you avoiding assumptions and conjecture.
4. It is not the role of the worker to investigate any allegations (this would contaminate evidence if a situation went to court). Any disclosure by a child/young person must be reported to the named child protection officer.
5. Speak immediately to the Local Authority or NSPCC for further advice and guidance.
What you should NOT do
1. Project workers/volunteers should not begin investigating the matter themselves.
2. Do not discuss the matter with anyone except the correct people in authority.
3. Do not form your own opinions and decide to do nothing.
Things to say or do:
• ‘What you are telling me is very important’
• ‘This is not your fault’
• ‘I am sorry that this has happened/is happening’
• ‘You were right to tell someone’
• ‘What you are telling me should not be happening to you and I will find out the best way to help you’
• Make notes soon after the event. Try to write down exactly what the young person or child said. Avoid assumptions or conjecture.
Things not to say or do:
• Do not ask leading questions – Why? How? What?
• Do not say ‘Are you sure?’
• Do not show your own emotions e.g. shock/disbelief
• Do not make false promises
Signs and symptoms of abuse
What does “abuse” mean? The World Health Organisation distinguishes between four types of abuse (emotional, sexual, physical and neglect). The signs and symptoms of such are as follows:
- Withdrawal from friends or usual activities
- Changes in behaviour — such as aggression, anger, hostility or hyperactivity — or changes in school performance
- Depression, anxiety or unusual fears or a sudden loss of self-confidence
- An apparent lack of supervision
- Frequent absences from school or reluctance to ride the school bus
- Reluctance to leave school activities, as if he or she doesn’t want to go home
- Attempts at running away
- Rebellious or defiant behaviour
- Attempts at suicide
- Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, fractures or burns
- Injuries that don’t match the given explanation
- Untreated medical or dental problems
- Sexual behaviour or knowledge that’s inappropriate for the child’s age
- Pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection
- Blood in the child’s underwear
- Statements that he or she was sexually abused
- Trouble walking or sitting or complaints of genital pain
- Abuse of other children sexually
- Delayed or inappropriate emotional development
- Loss of self-confidence or self-esteem
- Social withdrawal or a loss of interest or enthusiasm
- Headaches or stomach aches with no medical cause
- Avoidance of certain situations, such as refusing to go to school or ride the bus
- Desperately seeks affection
- A decrease in school performance or loss of interest in school
- Loss of previously acquired developmental skills
- Poor growth or weight gain
- Poor hygiene
- Lack of clothing or supplies to meet physical needs
- Taking food or money without permission
- Eating a lot in one sitting or hiding food for later
- Poor record of school attendance
- Lack of appropriate attention for medical, dental or psychological problems or lack of necessary follow-up care
- Emotional swings that are inappropriate or out of context to the situation
Appendix E: Signs of Abuse in Adults
What are the types of safeguarding adults abuse?
The Care and Support statutory guidance sets out the 10 main types of abuse:
- Domestic violence
- Modern Slavery
However, you should keep an open mind about what constitutes abuse or neglect as it can take many forms and the circumstances of the individual case should always be considered (for more information, read section 14.17 of the Care and Support Statutory Guidance).
What are the possible signs of abuse?
Abuse and neglect can be difficult to spot. You should be alert to the following possible signs of abuse and neglect:
- Depression, self-harm or suicide attempts
- Difficulty making friends
- Fear or anxiety
- The person looks dirty or is not dressed properly,
- The person never seems to have money,
- The person has an injury that is difficult to explain (such as bruises, finger marks, ‘non-accidental’ injury, neck, shoulders, chest and arms),
- The person has signs of a pressure ulcer,
- The person is experiencing insomnia
- The person seems frightened, or frightened of physical contact.
- Inappropriate sexual awareness or sexually explicit behaviour
- The person is withdrawn, changes in behaviou
You should ask the person if you are unsure about their well-being as there may be other explanations to the above presentation.
Who abuses and neglects adults?
Abuse can happen anywhere, even in somebody’s own home. Most often abuse takes place by others who are in a position of trust and power. It can take place whether an adult lives alone or with others. Anyone can carry out abuse or neglect, including:
- other family members;
- local residents;
- people who deliberately exploit adults they perceive as vulnerable to abuse;
- paid staff or professionals; and
- volunteers and strangers
Appendix F: Staff Guidelines for international travel
Legs4Africa is aware of the necessity of procedures for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff when undertaking international travel in a professional capacity on behalf of Legs4Africa. Staff are required to familiarise themselves with the following procedure and take appropriate measures to keep themselves safe and report all concerns in accordance with this policy.
- Field-workers undertaking extended periods of work in another country are required to make a brief check-in to one of the directors (Phil Tunstall or Tom Williams) every 48 hours with their location.
- Field workers’ participation is expected via phone or video link in weekly catch-up meetings. If unavailable, staff must give notice of their non-attendance and provide a summary of their previous week’s activities.
2. Risk Assessment and Mitigation
- All staff travelling internationally are required to familiarise themselves with the particular risks in the country to which they are travelling, in particular by checking the FCO travel advice for that country (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice) and submitting confirmation via checklist to the Charity Director at least 1 week prior to travel.
- A risk assessment must be completed at least 1 week prior to travel by each member of staff and signed off by the charity director
- As included within the risk assessment, staff are responsible for taking all necessary medical precautions for travel, such as vaccinations and anti-malarial medication.
If booking own accommodation, as well as adhering to Legs4Africa’s guidelines on room rates, employees should receive Charity Director approval on accommodation choice before booking to ensure appropriateness and safety of location and security measures. Female staff are encouraged at their discretion to avoid accommodation close to busy bars and maintain vigilance.