By law, all agencies, professional and public bodies, and services that deliver adult and/or child services and work with children and their families have a responsibility to recognise and actively consider potential risks to a child, irrespective of whether the child is the focus of their involvement. They are expected to identify and consider the child's needs, share information and concerns with other agencies and work collaboratively with other services (as well as the child and their family) to improve outcomes for the child.
Child protection means protecting a child or young person from child abuse or neglect. We all need to be curious about the wellbeing of children and young people. All professionals and members of the wider university communities have a role to safeguard children and young people. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure all our children and young people are safe and protected from harm and to act if we are worried or notice something that causes concern.
Child Protection procedures are what we follow for children who have been harmed or who we suspect are at risk of abuse, harm, or neglect. Abuse or harm need not have taken place for the First Responder Team to escalate a concern.
Abuse or neglect need not have taken place for action to be taken to protect a child or young person; action can be taken when there is a likelihood or risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect, whether physical, emotional, or sexual.
All forms of child abuse and neglect have an adverse impact on a child or young person’s health and wellbeing. The impact can be immediate, or it can build up over time, leaving children and young people with vulnerabilities and challenges throughout their lives.
It is, therefore, important to try and prevent child abuse and neglect from happening at all. Where it does occur, it is best to identify it early and respond quickly to help the child or young person. This will minimise harm both immediately and in the longer term.
The university views all children under 18 as vulnerable, some more so than others. The specific response will depend upon what is known about their vulnerabilities or trauma.
Report any concern relating to a child or unborn child using Report and Support. Our relationship with the Local Authority and Social Work Services is fundamental. When there is a concern that a child or young person might be at risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect, the First Responder Network always share a concern with Social Work Services or Police.
The University Compliance Officer is the Lead for the overall Safe360°Safeguarding Framework and is responsible for the application of the procedures associated with this Policy.
Approval of this Policy and procedures is authorised by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, followed by Staff Committee and Court (Staff) or Education Strategy Committee and Senate (Students). A consolidated and anonymised dashboard of safe-related incidents and concerns is regularly produced for Executive Team by Security, Safety, Health and Wellbeing and Student Experience. It is shared with key committees in order that a responsive structure of support is supervised and continually discussed at senior level.
The Director of Student Experience is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Safeguarding Policy and implementation of related procedures and support for matters relating to students.
The Director of Human Resources is responsible for supporting staff with safeguarding concerns, the procedures relating to disclosures, allegations or reports involving staff, including support sought by staff.
The First Responder Network of key contacts are promoted widely for disclosures, reporting, support, or guidance relating to a safeguarding incident for any member of the University community.
The University of Strathclyde expects partner organisations of the University to have their own safeguarding policies and child protection reporting procedures in place. Strathclyde University representatives should never be complacent. University staff must always demonstrate leadership in checking for and applying risk assessment to interrogate safeguarding processes.
Everyone within the scope of this policy, outlined in Section 1, acting on behalf of the University of Strathclyde in any capacity, on campus, off campus, or across digital platforms, in the UK, or other countries should be aware of, and uphold this policy. They are expected to:
- Contribute to a safe and respectful learning and working environment.
- Undertake all provided training associated with this policy commensurate to your role.
- Respond promptly to all safeguarding concerns or incidents. Never be a bystander, fail to act upon, or address a safeguarding concern.
- Report any concerns, suspicions, or information regarding safeguarding violations through the university’s safeguarding reporting system, Report and Support.
- Maintain respectful confidentiality about any suspected, or actual incidents, and uphold the ongoing protection of sensitive information of parties involved or referred to.
- Be diligent to the University PVG guidance. If in doubt, contact HR or your Line Manager to clarify the appropriate level of Disclosure or PVG check that a role you undertake may require. Advise HR or your Line Manager of any violation to Disclosure or PVG regulations in relation to your own record, or others, that impacts on work with children and adults at risk.
- Co-operate fully with internal or external investigation into reported concerns.
- The university expects that its staff will ensure that any student having trouble will be signposted to appropriate support services in order that the individual can be supported appropriately.
- Treat safeguarding seriously. We need to uphold safeguarding standards to create safe environments for one another, noting that some remits, for example, undertaking research can often expose individuals and teams to challenging opinions and behaviours such as harassment or hate-related threats. These may compromise their safety and can constitute a crime.