Safeguarding Policy

Schedule 3 Safeguarding policy (protection of children and adults at-risk)

1.About this policy

1.1 The Society of Mary and Martha takes the safety of all our guests very seriously, especially children and adults at-risk. We acknowledge that they can be victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.

(a) For the purposes of this document, a child is defined as under 18 years (Children Act 1989).

(b) For the purposes of this document, an adult at-risk a is defined as a person aged 18 years or over who is unable to look after their own wellbeing, property, rights, or other interests, and is experiencing or at risk of harm (either from another person’s behaviour or their own behaviour) because they have a disability, mental disorder, illness, addiction, specific frailty or vulnerability, or physical or mental infirmity. An adult at-risk is more vulnerable to being harmed than other adults, and risk status can change rapidly with circumstances as a whole. The presence of a particular condition or disability does not automatically mean that an adult is an adult at-risk: a person can have a disability but be perfectly able to look after their own well-being, etc.

1.2 Children and adults at-risk will not normally be guests at Sheldon on their own, but will have a responsible person such as parent, teacher or carer with them.

1.3 We provide 1:1 support resources to some of our adult guests who might be categorised as ‘at-risk’.

1.4 Our policy is designed to protect

(a) children and adults at-risk staying at Sheldon from abuse by members of the Sheldon team

(b) children and adults at-risk staying at Sheldon from abuse by guests also staying at Sheldon who are not part of the same family or group

(c) children and adults at-risk who may, while staying at Sheldon, disclose abuse that occurred outside Sheldon or within their group or historically

(d) children and adults at-risk from risk to themselves, such as self-harm

(e) adults (guests and team) on the Sheldon site from malicious or unfounded allegations of abuse or improper conduct

2.Recruitment and training

2.1 The Society of Mary and Martha is committed to ensuring that all community, staff and volunteers are recruited, appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment. This will include written role and person specifications, self-declaration and written references.

2.2 Where indicated by the role, an identity check and a disclosure and barring (DBS) check will be carried out on community members, staff members and volunteers. DBS checks are carried out through thirtyone:eight (, an independent safeguarding specialist Christian charity.

2.3 Staff will be provided with training appropriate to their level of responsibility for and contact with guests. All staff are expected to maintain appropriate vigilance and report to the Warden anything that arouses their concern, suspicion or discomfort.


3.1 All conversations and data records pertaining to safeguarding procedures activation are to be treated as strictly private and confidential.

4.1:1 support resources

4.1Providers of 1:1 support resources will

(a) Be subject to selection procedures and supervision

(b) Be alert to risk of harm to self or others

(c) Report to the Warden any disclosure that leads them to suspect a child or adult at-risk could be at risk

(d) Be aware of appropriate reporting channels for non-statutory reporting of inappropriate behaviour

4.2 If a guest makes a disclosure of harm to a child or adult at-risk and there is the possibility that they (or another child or adult at-risk) are currently at risk, then the Warden will take advice from thirtyone:eight and refer as appropriate.

5.Responsible persons and agencies

5.1 Procedures to follow in case of a safeguarding complaint, concern or disclosure are kept in Reception (Help File) and all Community and staff members are trained in them.

5.2 Responding to allegations or suspicions

(a) The Warden is the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and is responsible for dealing with allegations or suspicions of abuse, following the set reporting procedure.

(b) In the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, then the report should be made to the Lay Chaplain.

(c) If the suspicions implicate both the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and the Lay Chaplain, then the report should be made to Trustee Responsible for Safeguarding.

(d) If the suspicions implicate all of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, the Lay Chaplain and the Trustee Responsible for Safeguarding, then the report should be made in the first instance to thirtyone:eight, PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ. Telephone 0303 0031111. Email Social Services or the police should be contacted.

(e) In all cases where suspicions do not implicate them, the Trustee Responsible for Safeguarding shall be informed of any allegation or suspicion raised at the earliest reasonable time.

5.3 Some guests may be at risk of self-harm. The Warden and Lay Chaplain are responsible for assessing and monitoring (before and during their visit) guests who may be at risk. If a guest is considered to be at significant risk to themselves then their own, or Sheldon’s local, medical or mental health practitioners will normally be involved.

5.4 If there are reasons to consider that a guest may be a risk to others (at Sheldon or elsewhere), the Warden or Lay Chaplain are responsible for assessing and deciding what actions to take.

5.5 If there are reasons to consider that a person presents a risk of harm to a child or adult at-risk then safeguarding authorities should be informed.