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Safeguarding policy

1. Policy Statement ​​

Cocoon is committed to safeguarding and protecting the welfare of all who use or come into contact with its services. We recognise that we have a responsibility to protect the welfare of children and adults at risk at our Christmas Day Dinner and other support throughout the year and to ensure they are protected from harm. This policy signifies our commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults at risk.   

This policy applies to all trustees, volunteers or anyone carrying out work on behalf of Cocoon. The trustees will take responsibility to ensure that everyone involved with Cocoon is aware of this policy. 

2. Adults at Risk 

An Adult at Risk is defined as a person aged 18 years or over who is receiving or may be in need of community care services and is or may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from significant harm or serious exploitation.  

This may include a person who; Is elderly or frail; Has a mental illness; has a physical or sensory disability; has a learning disability; has a severe physical illness; Is a substance misuser and people who are experiencing homelessness. 


2.1 Principles  

This policy and following procedures are based on the following principles. All adults at risk who are receiving support from Cocoon, irrespective of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation, have the right to;​​

  • have their money, good and possessions treated with respect and to receive equal protection for themselves and their property; 

  • guidance and help in seeking assistance in cases of abuse;

  • be supported in making their own decisions about how they wish to proceed in the event of abuse and to know their wishes will only be over-ridden if it is considered necessary for their own safety or the safety of others;

  • be supported in reporting the circumstances of any abuse to independent bodies, have alleged, suspected or confirmed cases of abuse that come to light through Cocoon support dealt with as a priority. 


2.2 Safeguarding Guidelines  

It is important that as a charity every step is taken to ensure adults and children that receive support from Cocoon are not harmed. These are some of the steps that are taken to ensure people’s safety; 

  • All volunteers are interviewed, subjected to a basic DBS, and references sought. 

  • This safer recruitment process is highlighted at the start of the application, so all volunteers are aware. 

  • All volunteers have safeguarding training prior to the Christmas Day Dinner by a safeguarding professional. 

  • There are designated safeguarding leads available on the day.

  • If we deliver to the beneficiaries; the volunteers will never go to the residence alone. 

  • Risk assessments are undertaken on every guest based on the information received so they young people can be supported as effectively as possible. 

  • All volunteers must be 25 and over. 

  • All tradespeople offering support to young people in their homes must be subjected to a DBS. 

  • If there are any concerns identified the safeguarding leads will be told immediately. 

  • Safeguarding is taken into account when the taxis are being booked for Christmas Day to mitigate any potential safeguarding concerns. 


2.3 Managing Allegations 

It is the responsibility of all within Cocoon to report any concerns about abuse.  All incidents of alleged poor practice, misconduct or abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.  

Where there are concerns about the safety or welfare of an adult at risk this policy and these procedures will be followed, and information will be shared with the relevant agencies in order to protect them. Cocoon will take all possible steps to ensure that adults with whom it works are kept safe through; clear procedure for the raising of concerns about an adult at risk; safe recruitment processes for all trustees and volunteers including the obtaining of DBS as appropriate. 

The COO will hold the strategic lead and designated safeguarding responsibilities for the safeguarding of adults at risk within Cocoon; all these concerns must be discussed immediately with the safeguarding trustee.    

Where there are concerns about the safety or welfare of an adult at risk this policy and these procedures will be followed and information will be shared with the relevant agencies to protect the adult at risk.  

If anyone who is associated with Cocoon has concerns about the welfare of an adult they must raise those concerns and inform the designated person without delay. 

If an adult at risk discloses that they are being, or have been abused this information must be taken seriously and the information must be passed to the designated person for dealing with their concerns without delay and in any event within 48 hours of the information coming to light.  The first priority should always be to protect the safety of all vulnerable adults and it is the responsibility of all within Cocoon to act on any suspicion or evidence of abuse or neglect.  If an adult is at risk of immediate harm then the designated person will inform the appropriate agency without delay and in any event not later than 48 hours after the concerns have been raised. If the adult is not in immediate harm the information must be passed to the designated person who will respond as soon as possible but within 48 hours. If a volunteer or trustee is alleged to have put the welfare or safety of a vulnerable adult at risk, the designated person will inform the appropriate agency and cooperate fully with the authority in the manner in which the matter is dealt.  

Cocoon has no statutory remit or role to investigate but acknowledges a responsibility to pass on to the appropriate statutory agency concerns in relation to the safety or welfare of an adult at risk so that these concerns can be assessed. 


3. Children 

Whilst Cocoon will predominantly support adults, many of these adults have children and trustees, volunteers and supporters must understand the overarching principles that guide our approach to protecting children. 

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children includes protecting children from maltreatment, preventing the impairment of their health or development, ensuring that they are growing up receiving safe and effective care and acting to enable children to have the best outcomes. 

3.1 Principles 

  • The welfare of the child is paramount in accordance with the Children Act 2004 

  • All children regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm of abuse. 

  • Some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of life experience, level of dependency, communication needs or other issues. 

  • Working in partnership with children, their parents, careers and other agencies is essential in promoting their welfare of children. 

3.2 Safeguarding Guidelines  

  • Valuing children, listening and respecting them 

  • Adopting safeguarding practices through procedures and a code of conduct for trustees and volunteers and anyone representing Cocoon. 

  • Providing effective management of volunteers through support and training. 

  • Recruiting volunteers and paid tradespeople safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made. 

  • Sharing concerns with agencies who need to know if Cocoon are concerned and involving parents and children appropriately. 

3.3 Safeguarding Procedures for Children 

  • Safer recruitment for all volunteers. 

  • Clear safeguarding procedures to inform trustees and volunteers about the appropriate action to take in the event of concerns about a child. 

  • All hosts and helpers attend the training event prior to Christmas Day Dinner. 

  • All services providers that will enter beneficiaries’ homes on behalf of Cocoon will be subject to a DBS check and  be fully informed of what is expected of them in respect of their treatment of participants and their children.  


3.4 Ongoing support for volunteers

  • Safeguarding leads will be clearly identified prior to the Christmas Day event so all volunteers know whom to speak to if they have any concerns about someone who is under 18. 

  • All support people outside of the Christmas Day event will be informed that they must contact the Chief Operating Officer (COO) if there are concerns regarding a child. 

  • The COO must discuss these concerns with the safeguarding trustee. 

3.5 Trustee with Responsibility for Safeguarding Children 

The trustees retain the ultimate responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.  Cocoon has appointed Sian Thomas as the Trustee with special responsibility for safeguarding children.   

Her responsibilities include: 

  • Providing a sounding board for the COO and other trustees to consider the most appropriate course of action when there is a concern regarding a child 

  • Supporting the COO in regard to any safeguarding concern. 

3.6 Managing Allegations 

Legislation is clear that ALL children no matter what situation they are in should be protected from abuse. Cocoon understand that whilst their services are predominantly for adults, there will at times be children accessing our services. Cocoon understand that under Section 11 of The Children Act (2004) we have a duty to ensure that our services are prioritising children. If volunteers or trustees see or hear anything which causes them to have concerns or to suspect a child is being abused by someone within Cocoon they should follow procedures. 

  • The safeguarding trustees, if not the subject of concern, is primarily responsible for taking all reasonable steps necessary to secure the safety of any child who may be at risk. 

  • A referral must be made to the Designated Officer within the relevant local authority. 

  • These allegations will be confidential and only those who need to know should be privy to the details of the situation.

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