SWVG is committed to supporting and befriending asylum seekers and refugees. We focus our work with adults over the age of 18. We do not take referrals of children, but recognize that some clients may have children. We take seriously our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all, especially vulnerable adults, young people and children.
Safeguarding Policy Statement
- We recognise that it is the responsibility of each one of our members to be alert to and take action to prevent where possible the neglect, physical, sexual or emotions abuse of vulnerable adults, young people and children and to take action in accordance with agreed procedures.
- We recognise our responsibility to implement, maintain and regularly review our policy and procedures that are designed to be alert to and prevent such abuse.
- We are committed to supporting, resourcing, training and supervising all our visitors and staff who work with vulnerable adults, young people and children.
- All those working with vulnerable adults, young people and children are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service and comply with the requirements of the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
This is the main document including policy, procedure, reporting forms etc.
Lead Safeguarding Officer
In 2023 this role is taken collectively by the SWVG Trustees.
Implementation of Safeguarding Policy
Potential visitors attend an initial meeting to assess whether they wish to join. Issues concerned with working with vulnerable people are discussed. All visitors and staff are checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service.
New visitors and staff are given a Training Course covering all aspects of the work, including a specific section on working with vulnerable people. The course and the handbook that accompanies it covers: Visitor behaviour; Limits of competence of befrienders; Assessment of risks; Referring clients to specialist care; Empowerment; Non-judgementally working from the client’s perspective and respecting their religion and customs. Initial visits are supervised.
Visitors work individually with a client, but always have a back-up visitor, who also knows the client and is available to discuss any issues.
When working with clients:
- Visitors are strongly advised to meet clients in public places
- Visitors are strongly advised never to see children unless a parent or carer is present
- Clients are given the contact details of a visitor, back-up visitor and of the SWVG coordinator.
Regular training meetings and visitor support groups provide the forum for discussing issues that arise from the work.
- The visitor coordinator makes every effort to match the skills of the visitor with the needs of the client, eg, by gender.
- Visitors are advised to respect the client’s decisions.
- Visitors are encouraged and expected to discuss issues with their back-up visitors, their support groups and/or the coordinator.
- If a visitor suspects abuse they must discuss this immediately with the coordinator who will take appropriate action following Independent Safeguarding Authority Referral Guidance and will also inform the chair. (see the pdf ISA Referral Guidance)
All visitors staff and members are given a copy of this policy. Referring Agencies are made aware of this policy.
The Trustees are committed to monitoring the effectiveness of this policy. They do so by phone contact between visitors and the coordinators, and by the regular visitor meetings and support groups.
Last Updated: 09/03/2023 – Next Update Due: