Policies and Procedures

Child Protection at RASASC NW



We will strive to protect and safeguard the welfare of all children and young people who either use our service or are connected in any way to people who do. If it is disclosed to us that a child, aged 17 or under, is at risk of harm, we will work, with our service user if possible, to report this danger to the police, social services or the NSPCC Child Protection Help-line. Our organisation aims to support anyone who has experienced any form of sexual violence, we are unable to offer support to perpetrators of sexual violence.


  • We believe in the right of all children to a happy, healthy and secure childhood.
  • We will listen to, value and strive to protect all children and young people who use our service.
  • We will support parents, carers and those close to the child.
  • We will ensure all our workers receive continual support, supervision and training.
  • We will ensure all members of our group go through the CRB Disclosure process.
  • We have clear steps for dealing with concerns about harm.
  • We maintain good links with other local agencies.
  • The welfare of the child is paramount.
  • All children without exception have the right to protection from abuse.
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately; and
  • All the charity’s trustees, workers and volunteers have a responsibility to report concerns.


  • Service user focused: Our work is shaped by the needs of our service users.
  • Committed to empowerment: Most, if not all, of our service users have felt powerless as a result of their abuse and we strive to counter this experience by offering service users as much choice and control as possible.
  • Accountable: We are responsible to those that we serve; survivors of sexual violence, as well as those who support them. We also have a responsibility to those who support our work. Professionally and financially we are honest, scrupulous, effective and measurable.
  • Respect: Respect is the foundation of all our work. Every person, who uses our service, trains to be part of our service, works in our service will be treated with respect.

Types of abuse

As recommended by the department of health ‘Working Together under the Children Act 1989’:

  • Physical Injury: Actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury (or suffering), including deliberate poisoning, suffocation and Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy.
  • Sexual Abuse: Actual or likely sexual exploitation of a child or adolescent. The child may be dependent and/or developmentally immature. Sexual exploitation represents the involvement of dependent, developmentally immature children and adolescents in sexual activities they do not truly comprehend, to which they are unable to give informed consent or that violate social taboos or family roles (Kempe T.S. & Kempe C.H. (1978) Child Abuse. London: Fontana/Open Books)
  • Neglect: The persistent or severe neglect of a child or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold and starvation or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the child’s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive.
  • Emotional Abuse: Actual or likely severe adverse effect on the emotional and behavioural development of a child caused by persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection. All abuse involves some emotional ill treatment. This category is used where it is the main or sole form of abuse

The department of health in February 1998 proposed the following additional category:

  • Organised Abuse: Organised or multiple abuse may be defined as abuse involving one or more abuser and a number of related or non-related abused children and young people. The abusers concerned may be acting in concert to abuse children, sometimes acting in isolation, or may be using an institutional framework or position of authority to recruit children for abuse. Organised and multiple abuse occur both as part of a network of abuse across a family or community and within institutions such as residential homes or schools.

If we learn that a child aged 17 or under is suffering, or is likely to suffer in any of these ways, we will work with our service user to report this danger to the police or social services in order to try and prevent further suffering.

Date Reviewed: 10.03.2020
Next Review Date: March 2021


Child Protection Policy RASASC NW



  • To assist RASASC NW workers/volunteers/Sessional Worker in understanding their responsibilities for responding to and dealing with any concerns about the safety of a child which is disclosed to them.
  • To ensure that any allegations of abuse or neglect that are made to RASASC NW workers/volunteers/Sessional Worker are promptly referred on to the most appropriate people to deal with them and so ensuring that children are protected.
  • To give guidance and support to workers/volunteers/Sessional Worker on how to respond to people who disclose that they have been abused to them.


All RASASC NW workers, volunteers/sessional workers and Trustee’s.


This policy and procedure applies to all RASASC NW workers/volunteers/Sessional Worker and provides direction on the course of action to be followed in relation to concerns about children which may arise in the following circumstances:

  1. An individual reports concerns about a child being abused or neglected
  2. A worker or volunteer has concern about an individual’s attitude/ behaviour towards a child
  3. A child wishes to confide or disclose abuse or neglect

Action to be taken: in 1 – 3 above, workers/volunteers/Sessional Worker have a responsibility to act on any concerns they may have and when necessary contact the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline and, if the child is in any immediate danger, to contact the relevant emergency services immediately. Workers/volunteers/Sessional Worker must also keep a written record of their actions, and inform the Chief Executive , Operations Manager or Lead Clinician. In their absence, contact a member of the Trustee Board.

Everyone has a responsibility to act on any information they receive about concerns about a child and must refer it on.

Date Reviewed: 10.03.2020
Next Review Date: March 2021


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.


  • 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.

I understand the information supplied on this form will be used for statistical purposes.

I understand minimal information is kept by the organisation relating to counselling sessions and contact made by and to the organisation.


I understand there are exceptional circumstances in which a worker may be legally obliged to disclose confidential information to other agencies. These are: -

  • When a child’s (under 18 years) 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
  • When requested by police, courts, and other bodies with powers to order to

Where possible, this decision would be agreed with the manager of the centre and we will endeavour to inform you of any disclosure that might be made.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

I am aware that in accordance with GDPR, my data is held for statistical purposes and kept within the organisation to receive the service. Data will only be passed to a third party i.e. mental health team, family member, police etc. Wherever possible with my signed written consent or if alerted to a safeguarding risk as outlined above.

My rights with the GDPR 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
  • The right to not be subject to automatic decision makingConfidentiality & Consent Statement to be read and signed by client

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:
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


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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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 RASASCNW, including staff/sessional worker/trainee/trustees and volunteers, for the purposes of this policy they will be referred to as ‘Practitioner’

  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. The Designated Safeguarding Persons (DSP) are:
    Fflur Emlyn (operations manager) & Samantha Taylor (Clinical Services Coordinator)
  2. All practitioners 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 practitioners 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 Practitioner 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:
  12. Level of concern


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

    • Contact the appropriate authority (Police)
    • Then call The Designated Safeguarding Persons to inform of action(s) taken.

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

    • Contact The Designated Safeguarding Persons, before informing the relevant authorities.
    • If unable to speak with them; phone NSPCC 0808 800 5000 for guidance.
    • Contact The Designated Safeguarding Persons to inform of action(s) taken.

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

    • Contact The Designated Safeguarding Persons to discuss the situation.

    Any other concern

    • Contact The Designated Safeguarding Persons 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.

  13. If the individual subsequently asks you about the action taken by RASASC NW you should refer him/her to the Manager.
  14. Dealing with child protection matters can be stressful. Practitioners are reminded to access support from the service and to take the experience to supervision if needed. See Appendix 6 for Safeguarding form.

RASASC believes that all victims of sexual violence have a right to access support following their abusive experiences, regardless of gender. However, circumstances may arise which would compromise the safety of others i.e. staff, volunteers, service users, and could lead to a referral on to other, more appropriate, services.

RASASC recognises that some victims of sexual violence may disclose, or have been accused of, investigated for or convicted of a sexual or violent offence. For the purposes of this policy, these clients are referred to as ‘dual status’ clients.

If the person accessing the service is subject to an ongoing police investigation which involves any form of sexual violence/abuse or any other offence where staff or other service users may be at risk of harm, RASASC NW may withhold support until outcome of police investigation has been closed/ended.

Due to the nature of the therapeutic process within the context of a victim focussed organisation, we do not usually provide full therapy to convicted perpetrators of sexual violence (where offences have been committed by an adult).

  • Where a dual status client is referred to RASASC, and an investigation into their experience of sexual violence is ongoing, we will offer telephone support as an interim/holding service
  • Referrals for people who have perpetrated sexual violence/harmful sexual behaviour will be considered on a case by case basis following investigation & discussion with clinical lead and/or senior management/trustees
  • Cases where disclosures of previous perpetrating behaviour are made, while a person is already engaged with RASASC services, will be discussed with clinical lead and/or senior management/trustees
  • Service users who pose a risk to workers or to the well-being of other service users (e.g. a history of violent behaviour) may be offered telephone support/online counselling in place of face to face sessions

In order to decide whether we are the most suitable service for someone who is dual status each person accessing either the counselling or support service will receive an initial assessment of need (IM) and a comprehensive risk assessment (undertaken by Lead Clinician and Management). The former will consider whether the person is accessing the most relevant service at the right time for them; the latter will consider whether the person poses a risk to themselves or to others.

If, during the assessment, a disclosure is made that the person has sexually abused others, or that information comes to light during the referral process, then the following investigations may take place:

  • In what circumstances did the offence(s) take place and against whom.
  • Has the person received any support/help/treatment for their offending behaviour?
  • Has the person been convicted of an offence involving sexual violence of others?
  • Does the person accept responsibility for their behaviour?
  • Does the person express victim empathy?
  • Whether working with the client could negatively impact on other clients, or on the centre’s reputation as a victim focused organisation.

If it is deemed necessary to talk to other professionals involved with the person in order to assess their suitability for our services, then consent will be sought. If consent has not been given, then RASASC has the right to refuse a service.

The person(s) carrying out the assessment must then discuss in detail the assessment process with lead clinician and/or management. If we become aware that any of the person’s victims are currently accessing our service, then the victim’s needs will be paramount and a service will be refused with a referral made to another agency due to conflict of interest.

Each case will be dealt with on an individual basis with all information being taken in to account. However, if there are any outstanding concerns about the person’s motivation for accessing support or concerns for the safety of others within RASASC, then the person will be refused a service and if possible signposted to a more appropriate service. Reasons for this will be given and can be presented in writing if requested.

Decisions on whether support will be offered will be made on a case by case basis and will be at the discretion of the centre.

All dual status clients receiving Initial Assessments and/or ongoing support will be seen at main centre (so that it can ensured that no other counselling sessions are taking place and that the office is manned) or via online counselling.

Anonymous data will be presented to the Trustee Board so that the situation can be monitored.

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