SARSAS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults in need of care and support who use its services. The welfare of all children is paramount and safeguarding is everyone’s business. Safeguarding is a specific activity that is undertaken to protect specific children and adults with care and support needs who are suffering, or are at risk of suffering harm. All children have the right to protection regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or faith and belief.
SARSAS works with young people aged 13 years and over. When we receive helpline calls from younger children (when they tell us they are under 13) we will support them to engage with Childline (0800 1111).
All agencies that work with children, young people and adults who are carers have a statutory responsibility to safeguard children.
SARSAS operates a confidential service but if it is assessed that a child is being abused or likely to suffer abuse, then confidentiality can be breached within procedural guidelines. (See Confidentiality Policy) In this event, a volunteer support worker/staff member is expected to discuss the action they propose to take with the service user beforehand. If it is their trained assessment that discussing this with them would place the child at greater risk, then this should be discussed with the Designated Protection Officer; the Director.
If it is felt that a child is at risk of significant harm through abuse or neglect and the details of the child are known, the designated local agency within Somerset and Avon should be contacted following discussion and agreement of any actions with the Designated Child Protection Officer of SARSAS.
No referrals will be made to external agencies in respect of suspected abuse of a child without prior discussion and agreement with the SARSAS Designated Child Protection Officer.