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Keeping safe in 2017

Christmas is already a dim memory and we’re into the New Year, the time to make new plans and affirm our best intentions.

Choice Support’s Safeguarding Committee intends to make 2017 our safest year yet, so we’ve set some New Year resolutions for the whole organisation, which we shared in the staff newsletter just before Christmas. Here’s what we’re going to do:

Raise all concerns – even those that don’t seem serious.
Think something could be done better? Speak to the people involved or raise it with your manager. Don’t take offence if someone questions the way you do something. Committee member Deborah Kitson (Ann Craft Trust) says “promoting improvements to practice is important for abuse prevention as it avoids a culture developing where poor practice is acceptable.”

Ensure people we support know how and when to raise concerns.
People we support should know what abuse is and how to report it. You can encourage people to:

  • access our mixed session training groups to discuss safeguarding using videos and accessible resources

  • book Josephine and Jack workshops to explore safeguarding issues related to relationships and health matters (sexual and non-sexual).

Nicky Cook (Head of Quality and Safeguarding) says “it would be great to see a greater uptake of the available training for people we support.”

Attend safeguarding training.
While the Safeguarding Committee monitors organisational compliance for mandatory safeguarding training, all staff have a role in this and Lynda Frampton (Trustee and Chair of the committee) suggests that “all staff set themselves a personal resolution to attend their safeguarding update training.”

Be familiar with our safeguarding policy.
Our policy has been updated and includes implementation of Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP), which all staff should know about.

Support colleagues who raise concerns.
Raising a concern is the right thing to do but difficult if this is perceived as being disloyal to colleagues. Even if you disagree with a whistle-blower it is important that you respect them and encourage each other to keep raising concerns and speaking up. Dave Jackson (Regional Director North) says we need to “push for improvements for whistle-blowers – especially further safeguarding for them.”

Keep talking about safeguarding.
This links to all the resolutions above. The more we talk and raise awareness the less likely abuse is to occur or go unnoticed. Claire Bates (Quality Analyst/Researcher) has some ideas on ways this can be done: “Look at how you work on a day to day basis (routines, structures) and think who this benefits and if there are alternatives then discuss these with colleagues.”

Here’s to a happy and safe 2017

The Safeguarding Committee

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