Policy on Working with Young People & Vulnerable Adults
• All staff working on behalf of Surge accept responsibility for the welfare of the young people and vulnerable adults who come into contact with the company in connection with its tasks and functions, and that they will report any concerns about a young person, a vulnerable adult or somebody else’s behaviour using the procedures laid out. Information relating to any allegation or disclosure will be clearly recorded as soon as possible.
• There are designated child protection person(s) who will take action following any expression of concern and the positions of responsibility in respect of young people’s and vulnerable people’s protection are clear. The point of contact for Surge is Alan Richardson.
• All staff will play a part in helping to develop an ethos where all people matter and are treated equally, and with respect and dignity. Never underestimate the contribution that you can make to the development of safe communities for young people and vulnerable adults.
• It is the aim of the Surge to allow young people, vulnerable adults and the staff who work with them, a safe, happy and open environment. The best interests of the young people and vulnerable adults should always be a primary consideration. All young people and vulnerable adults should be treated fairly and with dignity and respect.
• All young people and vulnerable adults have the right to protection from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Staff should avoid putting themselves in a position where they or the young person or vulnerable adult are vulnerable.
• All staff should avoid using inappropriate language and never make sexually suggestive comments, even in fun.
• Always identify the appropriate person within the organisation whom you should go to if you have any concerns.
• Never allow or engage in inappropriate touching. Where physical contact is necessary in the teaching of circus/ physical theatre skills, this contact shall be used with respect and consideration and in cases where a member of staff may be asked to deal with young people or vulnerable adults with a disability, which may involve lifting, please take advice from parents or carers. (If in doubt, refer to the organisation contact)
• Only restrain a young person or vulnerable adult who is at imminent risk of inflicting harm to themselves or others or is at risk of damaging property.
• If any member of staff notices a breach of these regulations, immediately inform the organisation contact. Surge has a responsibility to refer information to Disclosure Scotland if they have moved or dismissed an individual because of harm or risk of harm to a young person or vulnerable adult.
• All young people and vulnerable adults have the right to express their views on matters that directly affect them. Young people and vulnerable adults involved in projects delivered by Surge should be encouraged to put forward their views and these will be listened to attentively.
• Staff should always treat young people and vulnerable adults as individuals, never presuming that all are alike. Particular needs may arise due to -
Their religious, cultural or ethnic background;
Emotional and behavioural difficulties.
• Always respect a young person or vulnerable adult’s right to privacy and personal space.
• Never exaggerate or trivialise another worker’s concerns about a young person or vulnerable adult or ignore an allegation or suspicion of abuse in the hope that it will either ‘go away’ or that ‘someone else will deal with it’. Similarly, never dismiss what a young person or vulnerable adult tells you as ‘lies’ or exaggeration.
• No staff will ever invite or allow a young person or vulnerable adult to stay with them at their home
• Whilst contracted by Surge, staff members will not send or accept ‘friend requests’ on Facebook and similar social media platforms from young people, vulnerable adults or other group members that they work with, unless specifically required to do so for the fulfilment of the project/role.
• Written consent via the Participant Information Form should be obtained to take pictures / film young people and vulnerable adults.
• This policy should be read in conjunction with the Digital Safeguarding Policy and the Digital Code of Conduct where there is work online being undertaken with the young people and/ or vulnerable adults.
• All staff and anyone in paid or unpaid work on behalf of Surge with direct access to young people and vulnerable adults will be checked appropriately and be in receipt of a satisfactory Disclosure check prior to commencement of employment or work with these organisations.
• Surge will ensure that staff who are working with young people and vulnerable adults on behalf of Surge, whenever practicable, are always in the company of another appropriately qualified adult (parent, guardian, teacher, PVG checked adult).
• The Surge policy on working with young people and vulnerable adults will be referred to and included in recruitment and policy materials, where relevant. This policy is available to all staff and actively promoted within the project.
• Report immediately any suspicion that young person or vulnerable adult could be at risk of harm, abuse, bullying or harassment.
Note 01: Section 93(2) (a) and (b) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 defines a child in relation to the powers and duties of the local authority. Within Glasgow, Child Protection Procedures apply to children and young people who have not yet attained the age of sixteen. However, young people between the age of sixteen and eighteen who are still subject to a supervision requirement by a Children’s hearing can still be viewed as a child.
Equally, young people over the age of sixteen with special needs may require intervention under child protection procedures. However, the Children’s Hearing system cannot deal with such cases unless the young person is already subject to a supervision requirement.
Note 02: The Surge Policy on working with young people and vulnerable adults should be given to all relevant staff, whether permanent of temporary.
Note 03: The term “Young People” employed in the policy qualifies for children and young people without discrimination of age, considering all infants, children, teenagers and young adults equally as young persons.
This policy was last reviewed on 08.11.2023 by Karen Veitch