Safeguarding Action Plan

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Do you suspect that a child or vulnerable adult may need safeguarding? These guidelines may help:

1. Act straight away. If you are unsure whether you need to contact an agency or the police, discuss your concerns with someone you know who works with children or vulnerable adults to sound out their reactions to the situation. If you don't know anyone personally, you could ask a discreet message on Central [1] as some of your fellow volunteers do work in these fields. If in any doubt, though, take action.

2. If you are concerned, call your local child protection unit. A list of some contacts is available at Safeguarding_Contacts. The child protection unit will be able to advise on concerns about vulnerable adults.

3. If you feel urgent action is needed because the child or vulnerable adult is at immediate risk of harm, contact the police on 999.

4. If you need to report a crime, but it is not an emergency, phone the police on 101.

5. All referrals, to the police or any other agency, are always taken very seriously.

6. As a member of the public, if you feel very strongly that you cannot give your name, you need not do so – your concerns for a child, young person or vulnerable adult will still be examined. Your name and address will be kept confidential if you request it.

7. The person you speak to will take your concerns very seriously and refer the matter to a social worker or person specially trained in child or adult protection who will contact you. The social worker will first check their records to see whether the person is already known to Children’s Social Work or other Services and will then discuss the case with a senior officer in the organisation. Enquiries often start with asking a teacher, a health visitor or a doctor who knows the child or person. In most cases there will be a discussion with the parents and the child.

If initial enquiries do reveal significant concerns about the child, young person’s or vulnerable adult's welfare, then formal enquiry procedures will begin immediately.

8. Because of the highly confidential nature of this work, you will not be given detailed information about the outcome of an enquiry. However, you will be told whether an enquiry is taking place and you may be contact for further information.

9. Email confidentially to let them know if you have taken some action regarding safeguarding - there is no need to give details, but it might help any further investigation or inform policy for others in Freegle if the incident is simply and confidentially logged.

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