* AwF PC Safe Guarding Policy

Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults, Policy and Procedures



  1. This policy is for all elected members of Ardley with Fewcott Parish Council Parish Council (AwF PC), directly or indirectly employed staff thereof, Parishioners of Ardley and Fewcott and anyone who in any way should be directly associated with affairs regulated by AwF PC who may come into contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults in the course of those activities, whether it is in someone’s home or in the community.
  2. AwF PC aims to work in a way that helps, as far as possible, to safeguard the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
  3. Awareness Raising is a crucial element in supporting individuals to meet their responsibilities towards safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. To this end AwF PC will endeavour to utilise training presentations provided by Cherwell District Council (CDC) wherever possible as part of the induction of Parish Councillors.

Definitions of Abuse

  1. Abuse may arise through neglect or through infliction of harm, or by failure to act to prevent harm. Children, young people and vulnerable adults may be abused in a wide variety of settings, by people known to them, or by strangers. Further information on the categories of abuse can be found at Appendix 1.

Responding to Disclosure, Suspicions and Allegations of Abuse

  1. It is not the responsibility of AwF PC to decide whether or not abuse is taking place. False allegations of abuse do occur, although they are extremely rare. If a person says or indicates that they are being abused or information is obtained which gives concern that a person may be being abused, immediate action should, however, be taken.


  1. Confidentially is a key issue in safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. Whilst information generally should not be shared, it must be shared with appropriate agencies to ensure that a person is not left unprotected.

Data Protection

  1. Occasionally there will be a need or requirement to collect and use certain types of information on children, young people and vulnerable adults. This personal information must be dealt with properly however it is collected, recorded and used – whether on paper, in a computer, or recorded on other material – and there are safeguards to ensure this in the Data Protection Act 1998. (Personal information is data that relates to a living individual who can be identified from the data).
  2. The lawful and correct treatment of personal information is very important and wherever such information is kept there is a need to comply and adhere to the principles of data protection, as enumerated in the Data Protection Act 1998. CDC’s Data Protection Policy is available on the intranet.

Reporting Concerns

  1. If anyone associated with AwF PC has any concerns, or concerns are reported to the PC all that has been seen, heard or reported that gives concern should be written down, that written document kept safe and confidential, and CDC’s Nominated Officer contacted, as detailed at Appendix II, as soon as possible. A reporting form can be found on CDC’s intranet (Annex A).
  2. If there is an imminent risk of harm then an appropriate person should phone 999; otherwise they may phone 101. Also the reporting form should be completed and forwarded it to the Designated Officer.

Nominated Officer

  1. This person is available to advise Parish Councillors and members of the public and are required to:
    • be familiar with protection procedures;
    • ensure there are effective internal procedures to handle concerns;
    • be the link person with relevant agencies;
    • attend appropriate training.

CDC has published Safeguarding Guidance to support employees and elected members in understanding what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour when working with children, young people or vulnerable adults

(Annex B).

  1. CDC has a duty to have a designated officer to be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases. This person has responsibility for:
  • Ensuring that CDC operates procedures for dealing with allegations in accordance to Oxfordshire Safeguarding Boards’ guidance resolving inter-agency issues;
  • Liaison with the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Boards on any issues.






Appendix 1

Categories and signs of abuse

Physical abuse

May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a person for whom they are caring.

Emotional abuse

Is the persistent emotional ill-treatment such as to cause severe adverse effects. For example, it may involve conveying to children, young people and vulnerable adults that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed. It may involve causing children, young people and vulnerable adults to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or their exploitation or corruption. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment, though it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse

Involves forcing or enticing a person to become involved in any way in sexual activities, whether or not they are aware of what is happening.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s or young person’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.

Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet basic physical and/or psychological needs, and is likely to result in the serious impairment of health or development.

Financial or material abuse, including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits of vulnerable adults.

The Signs of Abuse

The following factors should act as indicators in situations of potential or actual abuse:

  • unexplained or suspicious marks, bruises, fractures, burns/scalds or injuries to the mouth and eyes;
  • poor physical condition or delayed speech and language development in children
  • a change in behaviour or appearance;
  • inappropriate sexual awareness in children
  • a statement by a child or person that he or she has been victimised;
  • distrust of others, particularly those with whom a close relationship would normally be expected;
  • difficulty making friends or socialising;
  • prevention from socialising with other children, young people or adults.

It should be recognised that this list is not exhaustive and the presence of one or more of these indicators is not proof that abuse is actually taking place.

Appendix II

Nominated Officer

Nicola Riley

Communities, Partnerships and Recreation Officer




Annex B

Promoting Good Practice when working with children, young people and vulnerable adults

It is possible to reduce situations in which abuse can occur and help protect employees by promoting good practice.

The following guidelines should be used to ensure this can be achieved:

  • Always ensure that you follow safer recruitment practices and undertake DBS checks;
  • always work in an open environment, avoiding private or unobserved situations;
  • Treat all children, young people and vulnerable adults with equal dignity and respect
  • always put the welfare of the person first;
  • maintain a safe, appropriate and professional distance with children, young people and vulnerable adults
  • build balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children, young people and vulnerable adults to share in the decision making process;
  • make activities fun, enjoyable and promote fair play;
  • ensure that if any form of manual / physical support is required, it should be provided openly and with due care;
  • keep up to date with the appropriate technical skills and qualifications; ensure that if children are supervised that they are accompanied by at least two employees;
  • be an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of children, young people and vulnerable adults give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism;
  • recognise the developmental needs and capacity of children, young people and vulnerable adults;
  • ensure that equipment and facilities are safe and appropriate to the age and ability of the person
  • ensure that high standards are maintained at all times.

Practice to be avoided. The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of a senior officer, guardian or carer or the child’s parent, for example:

  • spending excessive amounts of time alone with children, young people and vulnerable adults away from others oversight;
  • taking unaccompanied children, young people or vulnerable adults on car journeys, however short, on your own
  • taking children, young people and vulnerable adults to your home.

Parish Counsellors and others in positions of responsibility should never:

  • engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay;
  • allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching;
  • allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged;
  • make sexually suggestive comments to a person, even in fun;
  • allow allegations made by a person to go unrecorded or not acted upon;
  • do things of a personal nature for children, young people and vulnerable adults that they can do for themselves
  • invite or allow children, young people and vulnerable adults to stay at their home
  • constantly shout at and/or taunt a person.