Safety/Safeguarding

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rLab Safeguarding Policy

What is safeguarding ?

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to protect the health, well-being and human rights if individuals, which allows people - especially children, young people and vulnerable adults, to live free from abuse, harm and neglect

rLab Guiding Principles on Safeguarding

The members of rLab are committed to making rLab an inclusive and safe space for both members and visitors, including children,young adults and vulnerable adults.

rLab member responsibilities and code of conduct on safeguarding

Members should not tolerate harassment of individuals or discriminatory behavior of any form.

Members must manage their own behavior and that of their guests while at rLab, to avoid harassment or discriminatory behavior.

Members must moderate their behavior whilst using rLabs' online resources to avoid harassment or discriminatory behavior.

Specifically:

  • Do not engage in homophobic, racist, transphobic, ableist, sexist, or otherwise prejudiced behaviour.
  • Do not harass people. Stalking, physical contact without consent, or sexual attention is harassment. Dressing or acting in a certain way is not consent.
  • rLab is a shared space, but every participant's personal space is their own. If you are asked to leave someone alone you must respect this.
  • Some visitors and members may not want to be filmed or photographed. Respect their wishes.
  • Aggression and elitism are not welcome — nobody should be afraid to ask questions, they should be encouraged to do so.

Members should make themselves aware of legal and community responsibilities relating to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults to avoid or manage situations where there is potential for abuse or persons might be accused of such.

Members organising events and activities must actively investigate any risks with respect to safeguarding. If any specific risks are identified the rLab safeguarding team must be involved and an rLab safeguarding team member must agree the control measures.


If you are being harassed or witness a breach of this code of conduct, please contact the rLab safeguarding team. All reports will be treated in accordance with the confidentially statement below, and will be examined seriously.

rLab Safeguarding Team

The team are:

  • Matthew Daubney, rLab Member
  • Mat Lifford, rLab Member

The team comprises members who have volunteered for this role, and their appointment on behalf of rLab will be confirmed at the next quarterly meeting of rLab. The team are the first point of contact for all incidents and questions relating to safeguarding at rLab. They have direct access to the directors of Reading Makerspace Ltd, external authorities, and trained external professionals. They will also be undertaking training to see how might improve our actions on safeguarding.

Confidentiality

Members, the rLab Safguarding Team, and the officers of Reading Makerspace Ltd, have the responsibility to share relevant information about protection with other professionals, particularly investigative agencies and social services.

Clear boundaries of confidentiality will be communicated to all.

All personal information will be kept confidential. All written records will be kept in a secure area for a specific time as identified in data protection guidelines. Records will only record details required in the initial contact form.

If a child or adult confides in a member and requests that the information is kept secret, it is important that the member tells the child or adult sensitively that he or she has a responsibility to refer cases of alleged abuse to the appropriate agencies.

Within that context, the child or adult should, however, be assured that the matter will be disclosed only to people who need to know about it.

Where possible, consent should be obtained from the child or adult before sharing personal information with third parties. In some circumstances obtaining consent may be neither possible nor desirable as the safety and welfare of the child or adult is the priority.

Where a disclosure has been made, rLab Safeguarding Team member should let the adult or child know the position regarding their role and what action they will have to take as a result.

Staff should assure the adult that they will keep them informed of any action to be taken and why. The adult’s or child’s involvement in the process of sharing information should be fully considered and their wishes and feelings taken into account.

Event Considerations

If you're planning a workshop, hack day or other event, you must assess and include a section on safeguarding in your risk assessment. Ensure to include who is the point of contact(s) should an issue arrive and steps for mediation. Please ensure that your guests are read this as well as any other pertinent information. The general policy outlined above can be used in most cases. Please consider the boundaries of activities which are "regulated activities" and described in appendices A,B, and C of this document Safeguarding for Volunteer organisations If in doubt contact the rLab safeguarding team.

Risk Assessment

Day to day operational activities at rLab (Reading Hackspace) do not allow members to have unaccompanied contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults. Children are only allowed in rLab if accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian. Vulnerable adults must be accompanied by a qualified carer. Internal and external events are subject to individual risk assessments and may require specific controls to avoid or manage the risks related to children and vulnerable adults. This safeguarding policy and process is in place to support those assessments and controls. This policy is considered to be proportionate to the risk and give an acceptable risk rating. Ryan White 19th April 2016 Robot army (talk) 21:29, 19 April 2016 (BST)

Meta - Policy about this policy

The local safeguarding board is a body which exists to 'prevent abuse occuring and to stop it when it happens'. If you suspect a potential failure of this safeguarding policy which is not addressed adequately by the safeguarding team, directors of Reading Maker Space Ltd., or other members , the local safeguarding boards can be contacted at http://www.reading.gov.uk/adultabuse for vulnerable adults, or http://www.readinglscb.org.uk/ for children.

Context - Vulnerable adults

For the purpose of this document ‘adult’ means a person aged 18 years or over.

Some adults are less able to protect themselves than others, and some have difficulty making their wishes and feelings known. This may make them vulnerable to abuse. The broad definition of a ‘vulnerable adult’ referred to in the 1997 Consultation Paper ‘Who decides?’ issued by the Lord Chancellor’s Department, is a person:

“Who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation”.

The first priority should always be to ensure the safety and protection of vulnerable adults. To this end it is the responsibility of all staff to act on any suspicion or evidence of abuse or neglect (see the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998) and to pass on their concerns to a responsible person/agency.

For purposes of ensuring consistent and widely understood terminology, this policy and procedure will use the phrase ‘Vulnerable Adults’ to identify those eligible for interventions within the procedures.

Context – Children and young people

For the purpose of this document a child is defined as a person under the age of 18 [The Children’s Act 1989].

All children have the right to protection from all forms of abuse including exploitation, neglect, physical and mental abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. The role of staff, volunteers and trustees


Context - What is abuse?

Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons.

Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and it may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it.

  • Physical abuse- including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
  • Sexual abuse- including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult or child has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting. It may include non-contact activities involving children in looking at or be involved in sexual online images and or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
  • Psychological abuse- including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
  • 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.
  • Neglect and acts of omission- including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
  • Discriminatory abuse- including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability, age or sexuality and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
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