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Policies and Procedures

Role of confidentiality
Confidentiality plays a vital role in developing a trusting relationship between service users and paid workers/volunteers/volunteers. It is important that ALL people using the service feel secure in disclosing personal details. This can only be achieved if confidentiality boundaries are ensured.

Confidentiality within RASASC
It should be made clear to people using our service that confidentiality is between them and RASASC, not necessarily the individual counsellor / volunteer.

The reasons for this should be made clear:

  • It enables the service user to have access to all the resources at RASASC e.g. moving from telephone contact to individual counselling.
  • It ensures that should a particular volunteer not be available, then an alternative form of support could be offered.
  • It ensures that workers/volunteers are able to get support / information from other workers/volunteers that might aid the needs of the service user.
  • It ensures that all service user work is ethically supervised.
  • It means that should a service user have an issue or situation that needs addressing immediately, other people could deal with the situation if the worker/volunteer was not available.

It is essential that workers/volunteers explain the confidentiality policy immediately they are in contact with a service user.

Exceptions of confidentiality

Whenever possible all details about service users will be kept confidential between the service user and RASASC.
However, there are some circumstances where service users may be in ‘immediate danger’ or ‘at risk’. In these situations certain guidelines need to be followed.

Examples of ‘immediate danger’ are:

  • A service user is not in control of their own safety e.g. suffering from a drug overdose.
  • A service user is under severe threat of immediate danger e.g. a caller who is being attacked.
  • A service user has placed others in immediate danger.

Examples of ‘at risk’ are:

  • Is experiencing abuse (sexual, physical or emotional)
  • Misusing a hard drug.
  • Self harming
  • Is at risk of sexual exploitation
  • Has experienced abuse and her / his siblings are currently at risk.
  1. It is the responsibility of the worker/volunteer to talk through with the service user anything that may indicate that they are in immediate danger or at risk.
  2. Should the service user and the worker / volunteer come to an agreement that the person falls into one of those categories then the appropriate action should be taken.
  3. It is only when someone is in immediate danger that external action is taken. In this instance, workers and volunteers have a duty to try to gain the consent of the service user if possible.

Action for immediate danger

If possible, a worker/volunteer must consult with the Manager, Committee member, Assistant Manager, Supervisor (if you have an agreement with them that it is ok to contact them in between sessions) or their mentor if they have one.

Contacts:

  • Manager
  • Assistant Manager

All members of staff and volunteers are given contact emails and telephone numbers for the above.

However, if it is an emergency e.g. an ambulance needs to be called, then the worker should use their own discretion and respond to the situation they find themselves in first, and then make contact with RASASC when it is more appropriate.

  • Only if you are unable to make contact with any of the above should you take any action without this consultation.
  • It is the responsibility of the worker/volunteer to talk through with the service user every possible course of action so that both parties understand the implications.
  • Where there is no appropriate course of action internally then it is the responsibility of the worker/volunteer to seek advice from a third party.
  • Only when all of the above points have been exhausted is an external agency contacted and details about the identity of the service user disclosed.
  • It is the responsibility of the worker/volunteer to ensure that the service user understands the implications of contacting a third party. It is recognised that you might not be able to gain the approval of the service user. However you have a duty of care to protect the service user.
  • Revealing the identity of a service user should only be done when they are in ‘immediate danger’.

Action for at risk

  • It is the responsibility of the worker/volunteer to discuss with the service user any issues that make the service user at risk.
  • Any ‘at risk’ situations should be defined and agreed between the worker/volunteer and service user. Any action taken should be to empower the service user.
  • It is important to monitor the situation so that if the service user moves from ‘at risk’ to ‘immediate danger’ then appropriate measures can be taken.
  • For instance if a service user is self-harming the worker/volunteer could look at ways of harm minimisation.
  • Where siblings are at risk we would encourage the service user to report this information to the police or social services. This can also be done by contacting the RASASC Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000 and can be done anonymously.
  • It is important to talk through with the service user the implications of any actions taken. For instance, it is quite difficult to leave information anonymously and external workers may pressurise callers to reveal their identity.
  • Workers/volunteers should seek the advice or their supervisor, mentor, or Manager to explore the best possible course of action.

Action for Children at risk

  • It may be that the service user has information about someone else that puts that person in the immediate danger or at risk category.
  • Under the Children’s Act 1989 and in line with the All Wales Child Protection Policies and Procedures we have an ethical obligation to promote the welfare of children. It is therefore the responsibility of the worker/volunteer to ensure that procedures are followed with regard to any child being at serious risk of harm.
  • When children are at risk please refer to our child protection policy.

Taking into account all the above procedures everyone who has contact with RASASC NW will be asked to sign the following confidentiality statement at their initial assessment meeting:

Rwy’n deall y bydd y wybodaeth a gyflwynir ar y ffurflen hon yn cael ei ddefnyddio at ddibenion ystadegol. Rwyf hefyd yn deall y bydd cyn lleied â phosib o wybodaeth yn cael ei gadw am y sesiynau cynghori a’r cyswllt a wneir gyda’r elusen. Esboniwyd Polisi Cyfrinachedd y grwp i mi yn ystod y cyfarfod hwn, ac rwy’n deall bod yna amgylchiadau ¬eithriadol lle y gall fod rheidrwydd cyfreithiol ar gynghorydd i ddatgelu gwybodaeth gyfrinachol i asiantaethau eraill e.e. pan fydd perygl i ddiogelwch neu les plentyn, petawn i neu rywun arall mewn perygl o gael niwed difrifol, pan fydd rhwystro ar ganfod trosedd neu rhwystr yn debygol i arestio neu erlyn troseddwyr, a phan ofynnir gan yr heddlu, llysoedd a chyrff eraill sydd â grymoedd a phwerau i orchymyn datgeliad. Os yn bosib, fe wneir y penderfyniad hwn mewn cytundeb gyda rheolwr y ganolfan, ac fe geisiwn rhoi gwybod i’r cleient am unrhyw ddatgeliad y gellid fod angen ei wneud. Rwyf hefyd yn ymwybodol, yn unol â'r Rheoliad Cyffredinol ar Ddiogelu Data, bod fy data yn cael ei chadw at ddibenion ystadegol a'i gadw o fewn y sefydliad i dderbyn y gwasanaeth. Dim ond i drydydd parti, ee tīm iechyd meddwl, aelod o'r teulu, yr heddlu ac ati y bydd y data yn cael ei drosglwyddo gyda'm caniatâd ysgrifenedig wedi'i lofnodi neu gyda pholisïau diogelu a amlinellir uchod. Fy hawliau gyda'r rheoliad diogelu data cyffredinol yw: Yr hawl i gael gwybod, yr hawl i gael mynediad, yr hawl i unioni, yr hawl i ddileu, yr hawl i gyfyngu ar brosesu, yr hawl i gludo data, yr hawl i wrthwynebu a'r hawl i beidio â bod yn destun gwneud penderfyniadau awtomatig.

I understand that the information supplied on this form will be used for statistical purposes. I also understand that minimal information is kept by the organisation relating to counselling sessions and contact made by and to the organisation. The Confidential Policy of the group has been explained to me at this meeting, and I understand that there are exceptional circumstances in which a worker may be legally obliged to disclose confidential information to other agencies e.g. when a child’s safety or welfare is at risk, if I or another person may be at risk of serious harm, when prevention or detection of crime, or arrest or prosecution of offenders is likely to be restricted, and when requested by police, courts and other bodies with powers to order to disclose. Where possible, this decision would be agreed with the manager of the centre and we will endeavor to inform you of any disclosure that might be made. I am also aware that in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, my data is held for statistical purposes and kept within the organisation to receive the service. Data will only be passed onto a third party i.e. mental health team, family member, police etc. with my signed written consent or with safeguarding policies outlined above. My rights with the general data protection regulation are: The right to be informed, the right of access, the right to rectification, the right to erasure, the right to restrict processing, the right to data portability, the right to object and the right to not be subject to automatic decision making.

It should be verbally explained to all service users that this means we may need to break confidentiality in the following circumstances.

  • Where a service user poses a serious risk of harm to themselves or others e.g. a service user being in serious danger of suicide or death from self harm.
  • Where it becomes apparent that a service user is abusing a child or tells us that someone else is abusing a child.
  • Where the counsellor/worker would be subject to civil or criminal legal proceedings if information were not disclosed e.g. if details of an act of terrorism were disclosed or a counsellor/worker were ordered to appear in court as a witness for the service user.

‘If we have to disclose any information we will strive to disclose the least information in the circumstances. We would try to talk any disclosure through with you first, where possible’.

  • This statement should be given verbally to all service users.
  • A written copy of this statement should be given to anyone receiving any individual work.

Records

  • RASASC will keep first names and telephone numbers of service users. RASASC will also record non-identifiable details about the different issues service users present, gender, employment status and age.
  • Counsellors will keep brief non-identifiable session notes. These notes can be used in the supervision process and will also be used to update the database.
  • Occasionally workers are required to provide details of work undertaken for funding purposes. Any statistics collated for this purpose will be done anonymously.

External agencies

  • We will not share information with external agencies about service users unless they are in immediate danger.
  • Service users deemed to be in danger can request us to share information about them.
  • It is the responsibility of the worker / volunteer to ensure that the service user has given written consent and that all parties are quite clear about what information is to be shared.

Complaints

Principles

RASASC NW encourages all paid workers/volunteers; volunteers and external paid workers/volunteers to resolve grievances informally. We believe that anyone with a grievance has a right to express it. Every grievance will be kept as confidential as possible and not discussed with anyone outside of the process.

Informal

In the first instance the grievance should be discussed with the person concerned. In most cases it is hoped that the matter can be resolved at this stage before invoking a formal procedure. The preferred procedure is that the grievance should be raised with the person concerned before going ahead with the formal process
However we do recognise that sometimes if the grievance is against paid workers/volunteers then volunteers, especially those in training, might be more comfortable talking to another volunteer. They will discuss the issue with both parties involved and work towards achieving a solution. This meeting should take place within 7 days of the grievance being raised.
In most cases it is envisaged that the most appropriate person to talk to is the Manager who is responsible for all volunteers. In some cases it might be an organisational policy that is the grievance, so it might be more appropriate for the Manager to take the matter to the Board of Trustees before implementing the formal procedure.

Formal

If the grievance cannot be resolved informally then it will be passed onto the Board of Trustees. Two appropriate nominated members who are able to remain independent throughout the process will then arrange a meeting between both parties at the earliest opportunity. In all cases both the person making the grievance and the person the grievance is against are entitled to bring along a representative. This can be a trade union official or other member of staff. Members of the Board of Trustees will then try and resolve the grievance. A written note of the results of this meeting will be taken and agreed by all parties. If the grievance is still not resolved then a further meeting will take place within 14 days.
At this final meeting it is hoped that the grievance can be resolved. However it is at this stage after giving the matter full consideration the representatives of the committee will make their final decision on the grievance.

 

Additional notes

Paid Workers/volunteers

Paid workers/volunteers are subject to a disciplinary procedure, therefore if the grievance were proved against paid workers/volunteers this procedure would become operational. This could then result in disciplinary steps being taken against paid workers/volunteers. Details of this are contained in all employees contracts of employment.

Service Users

All service users are informed at the initial meeting that they have a right to make a complaint if they are unhappy with any aspect of the service. We will also ensure signs are in each counselling room explaining the complaints procedure or ensure that each service user is given a leaflet explaining how they can make a complaint if they need to.
Complaints can be a made to the Manager or the Chairperson. They will then contact the supervisor and counsellor to investigate the matter. Complaints raised informally will be discussed with the Manager, volunteer/worker, supervisor if appropriate, and service user (if requested). The same procedure as above will then be followed.

Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales regards the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to successful working, and to maintaining the confidence of those with whom we deal.

Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales intends to ensure that personal information is treated lawfully and correctly.
To this end, Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales will adhere to the Principles of GDPR, as detailed in the General Data Protection Regulation 2018.

Specifically, the Principles require that personal information:

  1. Shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless specific conditions are met,
  2. Shall be obtained only for one or more of the purposes specified in the Act, and shall not be processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes,
  3. Shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to those purpose(s)
  4. Shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date,
  5. Shall not be kept for longer than is necessary
  6. Shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Act,
  7. Shall be kept secure by the Data Controller who takes appropriate technical and other measures to prevent unauthorised or unlawful processing or accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal information,
  8. Shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal information.

Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales will, through appropriate management, strict application of criteria and controls:

  • Observe fully conditions regarding the fair collection and use of information,
  • Meet its legal obligations to specify the purposes for which information is used,
  • Collect and process appropriate information, and only to the extent that it is needed to fulfil its operational needs or to comply with any legal requirements,
  • Ensure the quality of information used,
  • Ensure that the rights of people about whom information is held, can be fully exercised under the regulation. These include:
    • The right to be informed
    • The right of access to client files and notes
    • The right to rectification
    • The right to erasure
    • The right to restrict processing
    • The right to data portability
    • The right to object
    • The right not to be subject to automatic decision making
  • Take appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal information,
  • Ensure that personal information is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards,
  • Treat people justly and fairly whatever their age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity when dealing with requests for information,
  • Set out clear procedures for responding to requests for information.

Informed consent
Informed consent is when

  • A Data Subject clearly understands why their information is needed, who it will be shared with, the possible consequences of them agreeing or refusing the proposed use of the data;
  • Then gives their signed consent

Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales will ensure that data is collected within the boundaries defined in this policy. This applies to data that is collected in person, or by completing a form.


When collecting data, Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales will ensure that the Data Subject:

  • Clearly understands why the information is needed
  • Understands what it will be used for and what the consequences are should the Data Subject decide not to give consent to processing
  • As far as reasonably possible, grants explicit consent, either written or verbal for data to be processed
  • Is, as far as reasonably practicable, competent enough to give consent and has given so freely without any duress
  • Has received sufficient information on why their data is needed and how it will be used

Data Storage
Information and records relating to service users will be stored securely and will only be accessible to authorised staff and volunteers.
Information will be stored for only as long as it is needed or required statute and will be disposed of appropriately.
It is Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales’ responsibility to ensure all personal and company data is non-recoverable from any computer system previously used within the organisation, which has been passed on/sold to a third party.

Data access and accuracy
All Data Subjects have the right to access the information Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales holds about them. Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales will also take reasonable steps ensure that this information is kept up to date by asking data subjects whether there have been any changes.


In addition, Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales will ensure that:

  • It has a Data Protection Officer with specific responsibility for ensuring compliance with Data Protection,
  • Everyone processing personal information understands that they are contractually responsible for following good data protection practice,
  • Everyone processing personal information is appropriately trained to do so,
  • Everyone processing personal information is appropriately supervised,
  • Anybody wanting to make enquiries about handling personal information knows what to do,
  • It deals promptly and courteously with any enquiries about handling personal information,
  • It describes clearly how it handles personal information,
  • It will regularly review and audit the ways it hold, manage and use personal information
  • It regularly assesses and evaluates its methods and performance in relation to handling personal information
  • All staff are aware that a breach of the rules and procedures identified in this policy may lead to disciplinary action being taken against them
  • Any breach of data must be reported to the ICO within 72 hours and failure to do so will be classed as gross misconduct.

This policy will be updated as necessary to reflect best practice in data management, security and control and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments made to the General Data Protection Regulation 2018

In case of any queries or questions in relation to this policy please contact the Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre North Wales Data Protection Officer:
Director
Tel: 01248 670628

  1. Policy Statement
    The Data Protection Act 1998, its anticipated successor and the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 (“GDPR Laws”) do not specify specific periods for data retention, deletion or destruction. The policy of data retention under the Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 applies to a wide range of sources. This RASASCNW Data Retention & Destruction Policy will define how RASASCNW stores, retains, archives, retrieves and disposes of personal data (as defined in the GDPR Laws) that is receives, holds, uses and processes as it performs its services for service users.
    Inappropriate retention of such personal data may lead to a breach of contract as well as a breach of legislation leading to potential financial or reputational loss. Should RASASCNW be subject to unexpected events such as business continuity issues or litigation there may be occasions where it needs to have access to the original personal data to protect its interests and those of its direct counterparties and other service users.
  2. Responsibilities
    The DP Laws aim to reduce the time that personal data is held by entities after the original consented purpose of it being held or processed has finished. RASASCNW has considered the nature of the data it holds, the services it provides, and the needs of the police and criminal justice system to sometimes access that information with the service users consent.
    Directors and senior management of RASASCNW will ensure all employees are aware of this Data Retention & Destruction Policy and of the personal data retention periods as stated in this Policy. All personal data that is no longer required or used in accordance with the consent of the data subject (as defined in the DP Laws) will be destroyed in accordance with this Data Retention & Destruction Policy. Any personal data held in hard copy will be stored in locked cabinets or offsite in a secure location until that time.
    It is incumbent upon all RASASCNW staff to ensure accurate records are maintained electronically to match any hard copy records held within RASASCNW and that the location of the file is recorded
  3. Retention/Destruction Periods
    Personal data will, so far as technologically possible at the time be deleted/redacted or otherwise destroyed as soon as reasonably practicable after the said retention period, which is 8 years for service user information, and employee/volunteer record. This Data Retention and Destruction Policy will be reviewed annually by the Director and Trustees of RASASCNW to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

RASASC NW acknowledges that in our society groups and individuals have been discriminated against, both directly and/or indirectly. As an employer and service provider we are committed to implementing our equal opportunities policy.


Statement of Intent
RASASC NW is striving to be an equal opportunities organisation and is committed to ensuring that no service user, paid worker or unpaid worker is treated less favourably because of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability or mental health status, carer status or language spoken.
The committee will regularly monitor the effectiveness of its equal opportunity policy and is working to ensure that paid workers, unpaid workers, committee members and service users more accurately reflect the composition of the community it serves. The Board of Trustees will actively challenge all forms of discrimination either direct or indirect.

Equality and Diversity
RASASC NW is committed to promoting equality and valuing diversity, and non--discrimination is one of our core values.

More generally, this policy reflects the principles contained in the Equality Act 2010. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents

Objectives

Recruitment of workers/volunteers

All employment opportunities will be widely advertised in the local press and job centres.
Members of interview panels should be representative of the Board of Trustees
All workers/volunteers will be asked to affirm their commitment to the equal opportunities policy. All senior and strategic roles will be filled by women in line with the following:

Whilst RASASC NW recognise that sexual violence is a crime of violence and abuse of power, we also recognise that it is often the cause and consequence of gender inequality. Considering this inequality one of RASASC NW’s major purpose is to deliver services to women and girls. 75% of Trustees must be women, and all senior and strategic roles must be held by women.

Recruitment of volunteers

RASASC NW is committed to ensuring that volunteers are representative of the community it serves.
All volunteers will have access to the same grievance procedures as paid workers.
Volunteer recruitment campaigns will try and actively encourage all members of the community to consider volunteering for RASASC; all publicity will reflect our commitment to this.
Any oppressive or discriminatory behaviour by volunteers will be challenged

Volunteer training courses

RASASC NW recognises that many of our service users will have experienced or be experiencing direct or indirect discrimination we feel it is vitally important that all trainee volunteers should be aware of this. Therefore all our training programmes spend some time looking at discrimination and anti-oppressive practice. It is our intention to only use trainers who have experience of working in this field and are as committed to equal opportunities as we are.
Any volunteers, who act in an oppressive or discriminatory manner, after receiving training on the subject, will be challenged and may have disciplinary procedures brought against them.

Service Users

RASASC NW is committed to ensuring service users have equality of opportunity.
We will work towards ensuring that paid workers and unpaid workers accurately reflect the community that RASASC NW serve.
We recognise that certain disadvantaged groups might not access our service and our marketing campaign will specifically target those groups who do not access our service.
Service users will be made aware of our equal opportunities policy and any discriminatory or oppressive behaviour will be challenged by RASASC NW.
RASASC NW will work towards ensuring that our premises are accessible to all members of the community.

Responsibility

All paid workers, unpaid workers and committee members have a collective responsibility to ensure that RASASC NW is working towards equality of opportunity. However, direct responsibility lies with the Board of Trustees.

Monitoring
EO monitoring forms are sent with job applications and volunteer applications. It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to regularly review the results and to take action on any inequalities.
RASASC NW realises it is difficult to monitor helpline calls and is committed to ensuring that publicity about the service reaches all members of the community.

Legislative obligations
RASASC NW recognises the organisation legal requirements to comply with existing legislation including The Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Sex Discrimination Acts and Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

Policy

To that end, the purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness for all in service delivery as well as in both volunteering and employment. We will not discriminate unlawfully or unfairly because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, ethnic origin, nationality, national origin, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
All volunteers and employees, whether part-time, full-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability. All volunteers and employees will be encouraged and supported to develop their full potential, and their talents will be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of RASASC NW

Our commitment:

  • We will endeavour to ensure our services are known, accessible and relevant to people from all sections of the community
  • We will create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff/volunteers are recognised and valued, and everyone who has contact with the Centre experiences an environment that promotes dignity and respect for all
  • We will make every effort so that training, development and career opportunities are available to all staff and, as appropriate, to all volunteers
  • We will carry out equality impact assessments and regular reviews (of policies, practices and procedures) to identify and tackle any unintentional discrimination we may find in the provision of our services and internal practices
  • We will challenge discrimination in all its forms, in line with our organisational values
  • Our recruitment processes for staff, volunteers and trustees will be fair, transparent and open in line with our Recruitment and Selection Policy
  • Every person volunteering or working for RASASC NW has a personal responsibility for implementing and promoting our principles in their day-to-day dealings with everyone – including members of the public, other volunteers and staff. Breaches of our equality and diversity policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings, in line with our grievance policy.

Breaches of this policy
Should any member of the organisation or a service user be concerned about a breach of this policy they should follow guidance as outlined in the Complaints Procedure and/or Harassment and Bullying Policy as appropriate.

Principles
RASASC NW encourages all paid workers/volunteers; volunteers and external paid workers/volunteers to resolve grievances informally. We believe that anyone with a grievance has a right to express it. Every grievance will be kept as confidential as possible and not discussed with anyone outside of the process.

Informal
In the first instance the grievance should be discussed with the person concerned. In most cases it is hoped that the matter can be resolved at this stage before invoking a formal procedure. The preferred procedure is that the grievance should be raised with the person concerned before going ahead with the formal process.
However we do recognise that sometimes if the grievance is against paid workers/volunteers then volunteers, especially those in training, might be more comfortable talking to another volunteer. They will discuss the issue with both parties involved and work towards achieving a solution. This meeting should take place within 7 days of the grievance being raised.
In most cases it is envisaged that the most appropriate person to talk to is the CEO who is responsible for all volunteers. In some cases it might be an organisational policy that is the grievance, so it might be more appropriate for the CEO to take the matter to the Board of Trustees before implementing the formal procedure.

Formal
If the grievance cannot be resolved informally then it will be passed onto the Board of Trustees. Two appropriate nominated members who are able to remain independent throughout the process will then arrange a meeting between both parties at the earliest opportunity. In all cases both the person making the grievance and the person the grievance is against are entitled to bring along a representative. This can be a trade union official or other member of staff. Members of the Board of Trustees will then try and resolve the grievance. A written note of the results of this meeting will be taken and agreed by all parties. If the grievance is still not resolved then a further meeting will take place within 14 days.
At this final meeting it is hoped that the grievance can be resolved. However it is at this stage after giving the matter full consideration the representatives of the committee will make their final decision on the grievance.

Additional notes

Paid Workers/volunteers

Paid workers/volunteers are subject to a disciplinary procedure, therefore if the grievance were proved against paid workers/volunteers this procedure would become operational. This could then result in disciplinary steps being taken against paid workers/volunteers. Details of this are contained in all employees contracts of employment.

Service Users
All service users are informed at the initial meeting that they have a right to make a complaint if they are unhappy with any aspect of the service. We will also ensure signs are in each counselling room explaining the complaints procedure or ensure that each service user is given a leaflet explaining how they can make a complaint if they need to.
Complaints can be a made to the CEO or the Chairperson. They will then contact the supervisor and counsellor to investigate the matter. Complaints raised informally will be discussed with the CEO, volunteer/worker, supervisor if appropriate, and service user (if requested). The same procedure as above will then be followed.

Safeguarding and Protection of Children & Adults at Risk Procedure RASASC NW

These Procedures apply to everyone working for RASASC-NW, including; volunteers, employed staff, self-employed staff, sub-contracted workers and Trustees.

1. There is a named person for the Safeguarding & Protection of children and adults at risk who will be responsible for dealing with any concerns about the protection or welfare of children and adults at risk. This person is currently Jane Ruthe (Manager). If not available then Fflur Emlyn will take responsibility.

2. All staff and volunteers will be carefully selected and vetted to try and ensure they do not pose a risk to children or vulnerable adults and will be checked through the Criminal Records Bureau.

3. All RASASC-NW staff and volunteers will receive information and training in safe conduct and what to do if they have concerns about a child or adult at risk. This will include information on recognizing where there are concerns about a child or adult at risk, where to get advice and what to do if no one seems to have taken their concerns seriously.

4. The categories of abuse are detailed in RASASC-NW’s Safeguarding Policy and are also available on the NSPCC website. www.nspcc.org.uk

As a RASASC-NW worker / volunteer you may become aware of a child protection or adult at risk concern.

5. Stay calm and avoid jumping to conclusions.

6. Be sympathetic and be prepared to acknowledge how difficult it is for anyone to talk about matters like these.

7. Do not promise that you can keep this information to yourself.

8. When confidentiality will be over-ridden.
The legal principle that the “welfare of the child / person at risk is paramount”
Privacy and confidentiality should be respected where possible but if doing this leaves them at risk of harm then their safety has to come first.
Points to Remember. Legally:
• It is fine to share information, with the management at RASASC NW, if you are worried about the safety of a child or person at risk. (It is not the case that everyone needs to know, every time a ‘concern’ or ‘worry’ is raised. This respects the child’s, family’s and/or staff’s rights to privacy.)
• It is fine to say that a concern has been raised and it is being dealt with by following the group’s procedures.

9. If the individual gives you information about a child who may be being abused or neglected then you must pass it on regardless of their wishes. (In the event that the individual is reluctant for their own personal details to be passed on, reassure them that the information can be passed on anonymously should they wish it. [Although, it might be the case that the information within the referral may identify them.] Information passed anonymously will receive the same level of attention as if they agree to pass on their details.)

How to respond to signs or suspicions of abuse.
10. Please complete a Safeguarding Recording / Reporting Form (Children and Adults at risk) form whenever you are or have been given cause for concern. Complete as much as the form as possible with the information you have been told or provided with.
11. The following action must be carried out:

Level of concern

Action

If an immediate cause for concern - an emergency.
(Imminent or current risk of serious harm)

  • Contact the appropriate authority (Police)
  • Then call Jane or Fflur to inform of action(s) taken.

If an urgent concern
(Needs to be dealt with that day)

  • Contact Jane or Fflur in the first instance, before informing the relevant authorities.
  • If unable to speak with them; phone NSPCC 0808 800 5000 for guidance.
  • Contact Jane or Fflur to inform of action(s) taken.

If a non-urgent concern
(On-going situation)

  • Contact Jane or Fflur to discuss the situation.

Any other concern
(Unsure)

  • Contact Jane or Fflur to discuss the situation.

 

In ALL cases the Reporting Form must be completed and e-mailed to RASASC-NW within 24 hours. The e-mailed form must be ‘password protected’ using your first name.

12. If the individual subsequently asks you about the action taken by RASASC you should refer him/her to the Manager.

Dealing with child protection matters can be stressful. Workers/volunteers are reminded to access support from the service and to take the experience to supervision if needed.


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