4.1 Those working with children and adults at risk may:
- have alleged abuse disclosed to them
- suspect abuse is being carried out
- be accused of abusing those in their charge
4.2 Whilst these issues may require very different courses of action (see the Guidance for those carrying out activities involving adults at risk or children) it is essential that the safety and welfare of the child or adult at risk is prioritised. The risk assessment for any activity involving adults at risk or children should identify at least one individual who will act as the key contact point to deal with such matters. The nominated safeguarding contact for the activity is responsible for ensuring that concerns and allegations are escalated to the appropriate University Safeguarding Officer without delay.
- Allegations against a member of staff, non-student volunteers or academic visitors, or suspicions of abuse involving a staff member who is considered to be an adult at risk or is under 18 years of age should be reported to the University’s Director of HR
- Allegations against a student, or suspicions of abuse involving students who are considered to be an adult at risk or are under 18 years of age should be reported to the Director of Student Welfare and Support Services
4.3 Where both groups may be involved the University Safeguarding Officers will jointly agree the most appropriate response. Where allegations relate to one of the Safeguarding Officers, the other Safeguarding Officer should be contacted.
4.4 The University Safeguarding Officers are responsible for nominating deputies to ensure that a nominated individual is available during normal working hours, to ensure that all allegations can be dealt with without delay.
4.5 Any allegations or suspicions of abuse must be reported without delay to a relevant person, as listed below, who must then take prompt action.
- Where a child or adult at risk discloses alleged abuse, or a member of the University suspects abuse, this should be referred to the relevant University Safeguarding Officer who will assess and, where appropriate, contact the relevant statutory agency for advice. Students should approach the Director of Student Welfare and Support Services and staff, non-student volunteers and academic visitors should contact the University’s HR Director.
In the event that an allegation is made against University staff, students, volunteers or academic visitors this must be referred to the relevant University Safeguarding Officer who will assess and, where appropriate in cases involving children, refer the matter to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub. This referral must be made within one working day of the allegations being made. The Local Area Designated Officer will advise on the appropriate action to be taken. In cases involving adults at risk of harm, referral will be made to the relevant statutory agency.
In the event there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child or an adult at risk the emergency services should be contacted via 999 or the police via the 101 service. Anybody can make a referral in these circumstances. The relevant University Safeguarding Officer should then be notified of the case.
4.6 University Safeguarding Officers will share information, as appropriate with relevant colleagues to ensure that the relevant authorities both within and outside of the University are involved and that any necessary processes can be followed (for example, depending on the nature of the allegations, it may be necessary to make a disclosure to the Disclosure and Barring Service.)
4.7 Appropriate records will be retained in accordance with the University’s Data Protection Policy. Where the matter may relate to both staff and students, the University Safeguarding Officers will agree on where the file will be kept.
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