The safety and well-being of the young people placed at Acorn Homes is the primary concern and their welfare is paramount. All staff members are familiarised with the Child Protection Policy on induction. They undergo further Safeguarding training to ensure they have knowledge and skills to identify any causes for concern and deal with disclosures and allegations of abuse during their employment.
If a young person makes a disclosure to a member of staff they will be advised that the information will have to be shared with the Registered Manager, social services and the police if necessary. Staff will not ask any leading questions and the young person will be allowed to explain in their own words. A detailed record of the conversation will be completed and a referral will be made to the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board under Local Child Protection Procedures.
Any member of staff who has reason to believe that a young person is at risk is required to report their concerns to management immediately.
Staff are aware of the procedures for allegations against staff and child protection referrals procedures.
All staff are aware that abuse can occur anywhere and that anyone may be a perpetrator of abuse. If the involvement of the Registered Manager is suspected staff are aware that they must use the Confidential Reporting Policy (this is also referred to as Whistle-Blowing).
If the alleged abuser is a member of staff they may be suspended without prejudice until a full investigation has been completed. If another child is the alleged abuser both social workers will be contacted to determine what action should be taken.
In the Registered Manager’s absence the person responsible for managing the allegations will be the senior member of staff on duty in consultation with the responsible individual.
All staff undergo child sexual exploitation training and regular safeguarding training as part of core training whilst employed. Each young person is cared for differently in accordance with their needs in terms of safeguarding and CSE. The team at Acorn Homes work closely with local authorities, and public services to formulate personalised care plans to protect each young person.