Safeguarding Policy Statement
The purpose of this policy statement is to set out how The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Akshaya Patra UK Ltd (collectively, TAPF UK) will seek to protect children, young people and any at-risk people from any harm that may be caused by coming into contact with, assisting or receiving any assistance and services from TAPF UK including staff, volunteers, their respective families and their respective children.
TAPF UK’s safeguarding policies, procedures and controls have been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to safeguard children, young people and any at-risk people in the United Kingdom.
TAPF UK’s safeguarding policies, procedures and controls apply to anyone working on behalf of TAPF UK, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers, donors, consultants, advisers, contractors, students and programme visitors including journalists, celebrities and politicians (TAPF Personnel), who are all expected to comply with such policies, procedures and controls.
This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies, procedures, guidance and other related documents, including the TAPF Safeguarding Policy.
TAPF UK believes that:
- Children, young people and any at-risk people should never experience abuse, harm, neglect and/or exploitation of any kind; and
- we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children, young people and any at-risk people, to keep them safe and to operate in a way that protects them.
TAPF UK recognises that:
- the welfare of children, young people and any at-risk people is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take;
- all children, young people and any at-risk people, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of abuse, harm, neglect and/or exploitation;
- some children, young people and any at-risk people are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues; and
- working in partnership with children, young people, at-risk people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting their welfare.
TAPF UK will seek to keep children, young people and any at-risk people safe by:
- valuing, listening to and respecting them;
- appointing a designated safeguarding officer and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding;
- adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers;
- providing effective management for TAPF Personnel through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures so that all TAPF Personnel know about and follow our policies, procedures and behaviour codes confidently and competently;
- recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all legally necessary checks are made;
- recording, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation;
- using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, any at-risk people, parents, families and carers appropriately;
- using our policies, procedures and controls to investigate and manage any allegations against TAPF Personnel appropriately;
- creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise;
- ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place;
- ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, any at-risk people and TAPF Personnel, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance; and
- building a safeguarding culture where TAPF Personnel, children, young people, any at-risk people and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.
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We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.