Milton Keynes Council Safeguarding Children and Adults Corporate Policy Statement

Milton Keynes Council is committed to making sure that everyone living in Milton Keynes is safe and protected and that our specific statutory responsibilities to safeguard children and adults at risk are effectively met.

The Milton Keynes Council Safeguarding Children and Adults Corporate Policy Statement (Feb 2021) sets out how we will do this.

 

Corporate Policy Statement

Milton Keynes Council is committed to making sure that everyone living in Milton Keynes is safe and protected and that our specific statutory responsibilities to safeguard children and adults at risk are effectively met.

 

1) Safeguarding children and adults from abuse is everybody’s business.

1.1 We all share a responsibility, both corporately and individually, to ensure that every person in society is treated with dignity and respect and protected from others who may abuse them. All council employees, elected members and contractors who come into contact with children or adults at risk in the course of their work have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their welfare and to work to prevent, detect and report neglect and abuse.

1.2 As part of the council’s commitment to safeguarding, we actively work with our partners in MK Together to ensure that statutory guidance is followed, awareness and good practice is promoted, and the workforce is safe and effective.

2) What is safeguarding?

“Protecting children from maltreatment; preventing the impairment of health or development; ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.” Working Together to Safeguard Children - HM Government 2018 Appendix A - Glossary).

“Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm” (Working Together to Safeguard Children - HM Government 2018 Appendix A - Glossary).

Safeguarding Adults “means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. (Care and Support Statutory Guidance – HM Government Section 14.7)

Adult safeguarding enquiries. Local authorities must make enquiries, or cause others to do so, if they reasonably suspect an adult:

  • “has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect”

(Care Act 2014 – HM Government Section 42)

3) The responsibilities of Milton Keynes Council

3.1 Milton Keynes Council has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults who may be at risk of harm. The council endeavours to ensure that everyone working with, or on behalf of, children and/or adults is competent, confident and safe to do so.

3.2 The council promotes safer recruitment policy and practices. Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks are undertaken for employees in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements (Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). Checks are undertaken to ensure that staff, where appropriate, are registered with relevant professional and other bodies e.g. social workers and teachers. Safeguarding responsibilities for all employees must be included in recruitment materials, including job descriptions, and routinely discussed as part of management and supervision processes. There must be clear and well understood lines of accountability and support regarding safeguarding in each service area throughout the council. These must be clearly understood and supported by relevant staff guidance, the code of conduct and disciplinary procedures.

3.3 The council has a range of policies and guidance that encourage and support staff to raise concerns about the safety and welfare of children or adults towards whom we have safeguarding responsibilities. These include the ‘Whistle Blowing Policy’, which provides guidance for staff and the public to report concerns about other employees/contractors or about the way the council operates.

3.4 The council endeavours to ensure that, through procurement processes, services commissioned and contracted on its behalf have safeguarding responsibilities built into contracts and that appropriate policies and staff training are in place. This includes an expectation that any person or organisation using the council premises or resources adheres to the council’s safeguarding standards.

3.5 All employees whose work brings them into contact with children and/or adults at risk should complete safeguarding training as set out in the MK Together Joint Children and Adults Safeguarding Competency Framework (2020). Training is available through the council’s intranet, either as e-learning or through its induction materials and training brochures provided. More specialist single and inter-agency training opportunities are available for those who work routinely with children and/or adults at a level appropriate to their role and responsibilities.

3.6 Elected members, led by the lead members for children and for adults, have a responsibility to be aware of, and support, the council’s safeguarding responsibilities and to scrutinise how these are carried out in the planning and delivery of services.

4) Safeguarding responsibilities of employees of Milton Keynes Council

4.1 The council expects all employees to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of any child or adult involved in any activity or interaction for which they are responsible. Any person responsible for or working with children or adults in any capacity, whether paid or unpaid, is considered, both legally and morally, to owe them a duty of care. This includes a duty to behave in a manner that does not threaten, harm or put people at risk of harm from others. All employees also have a responsibility to conduct themselves in their private lives in a manner that does not compromise their position in the workplace or call in to question their suitability to work with children or vulnerable adults.

4.2 All members of the council’s workforce should:

be alert to the possibility of abuse and neglect;

participate in relevant safeguarding training and multi-agency partnership working to safeguard children and adults;

be familiar with local procedures and protocols for safeguarding children and adults and follow the employer’s and any other relevant professional codes of conduct;

report any concerns about the safety or welfare of a child or adult.

4.3 Milton Keynes Council’s HR Disciplinary Policy and Code of Conduct make it clear that failure to report on a safeguarding matter may result in disciplinary proceedings.

5) Safeguarding Advice and Raising a Concern

5.1 When required, service areas can seek advice and/or raise safeguarding concern. They should be familiar with and refer to the MK Together Interagency Safeguarding policies and associated guidance. Further information and contact details are available on the Milton Keynes Council Website via

• Safeguarding Adults and Children https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/safeguarding-people-at-risk

6) Monitoring

6.1 The monitoring of this statement across the Council will be carried out in a range of ways, including through internal audit and HR recruitment, induction processes and performance challenge.

6.2 The statement will be reviewed in three years unless statue or learning from practice require this sooner. Changes must be approved by the DASM and LADO.

7) Safeguarding Contacts and further information

General:

• Safeguarding Adults and Children https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/safeguarding-people-at-risk

• MK Together https://www.mktogether.co.uk/

Queries/concerns about children:

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): Tel: 01908 253169 or 253170 during office hours or 01908 265545 out of office hours email: children@milton-keynes.gov.uk

For allegations about people who work with children: Local Authority Designated Office (LADO) Tel: 01908 254306 email: lado@Milton-keynes.gov.uk

Queries/concerns about Adults

Adult Social Care Access Team: Tel: 01908 253772 during office hours or 01908 725005 out of office hours Minicom: 01908 253394 email: Access.Team@Milton-Keynes.gov.uk

Safeguarding Adults Duty/Consultation line 01908 252835