Last reviewed: 18/01/2021

Next review: 18/01/2022

1. Introduction

1.1 Stemettes and Stemette Futures (“Stemettes”, “we”, “us” or “our”) makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe.

1.2 The Stemettes project was set up to inspire the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) fields and comes into contact with children and/or vulnerable adults through various activities including panel events, hackathons, exhibitions and workshops. The types of contact with children and / or vulnerable adults will be controlled.

1.3 This policy seeks to ensure that Stemettes undertakes its responsibilities with regard to protection of children and / or vulnerable adults and will respond to concerns appropriately. This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and Stemettes may amend it at any time. Stemettes will continue to review this policy to ensure it is achieving its aims.

2. Definitions

2.1 Abuse is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture. It can take a number of forms, including the following: 

·       Physical abuse

·       Sexual abuse

·       Emotional abuse

·       Bullying

·       Neglect

·       Financial (or material) abuse

2.2 A child is under the age of 18 (as defined in the United Nations convention on the Rights of a Child).

2.3 Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children and / or vulnerable adults wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.

2.4 A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited. This may include a person who:

·       Is elderly and frail

·       Has a mental illness including dementia

·       Has a physical or sensory disability

·       Has a learning disability

·       Has a severe physical illness

·       Is a substance misuser

·       Is homeless

3. Responsibilities

3.1 All staff (paid or unpaid) have a responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies.

3.2 We expect all staff (paid or unpaid) to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.

3.3 Any safeguarding concerns should be immediately reported to Anne-Marie Imafidon.

4. Implementation

4.1 The scope of this policy is broad ranging and, in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies and procedures within the organisation.

4.2 Stemettes ensures safe recruitment and commits resources to providing Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on staff (paid or unpaid) whose roles involve contact with children and /or vulnerable adults, as required by law.

4.3 Interviews are conducted according to equal opportunity principles and interview questions are based on the relevant job description and person specification.

4.4 DBS checks will be conducted for specific roles for all staff (paid or unpaid) working with children and vulnerable adults, as required by law. Portable/ carry over DBS checks from another employer will not be deemed to be sufficient. It is a criminal offence for individuals barred by the DBS to work or apply to work with children or vulnerable adults in a wide range of posts.

4.5 No formal job offers are made until after checks for suitability are completed (including DBS).

4.6 For volunteer roles, Stemettes will ensure the volunteer is supervised in their duties by an existing team member who will have completed a prior DBS check.

5. Communications, Training and Support for Staff

5.1 Stemettes commits resources for induction, training of staff (paid and unpaid), effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding. All staff who, through their role, are in contact with children and /or vulnerable adults will have access to safeguarding training at an appropriate level and adequate supervision to enable staff to perform their work competently and safely.

5.2 We recognise that involvement in situations where there is risk or actual harm can be stressful for staff concerned. Stemettes will ensure all staff are sufficiently supported should these events occur.

6. Professional Boundaries

6.1 Professional boundaries are what define the limits of a relationship between a support worker and a service user. They are a set of standards we agree to uphold that allows this necessary and often close relationship to exist while ensuring the correct detachment is kept in place.

6.2 Stemettes expects staff to protect the professional integrity of themselves and the organisation.

 6.3 Examples of behaviours which should be considered to cross professional boundaries include:

·       Use of abusive language

·       Response to inappropriate behaviour / language

·       Use of punishment or chastisement

·       Passing on service users’ personal contact details

·       Degree of accessibility to service users (e.g. not providing personal contact details)

·       Taking family members to a service user’s home

·       Selling to or buying items from a service user

·       Accepting responsibility for any valuables on behalf of a service user

·       Accepting money as a gift/ borrowing money from or lending money to service users

·       Personal relationships with a third party related to or known to service users

·       Accepting gifts/ rewards or hospitality from an organisation as an inducement for either doing/ not doing something in their official capacity

·       Cautious or avoidance of personal contact with service users

 6.4 If the professional boundaries and/or policies are breached this could result in disciplinary procedures.

7. Monitoring and Evaluation

Stemettes will systematically monitor and evaluate this policy on a regular basis.