The bpf are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults at risk, and to supporting our members to recognise, share and report safeguarding concerns. Safeguarding legislation may vary between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We recognise that we all have a duty of care to safeguarding children and adults at risk from harm, including abuse and neglect. Our safeguarding policy sets out our commitment to: ensuring that practices are in place which protect and safeguard the welfare of children and adults at risk from harm and creates a safer environment that promotes wellbeing and safety; that our staff understand the importance of safeguarding children and adults at risk and that we have processes in place to keep them safe; and that we will provide advice and support to our staff and members to fulfil our commitment to safeguarding children and adults at risk.
Safeguarding children, adults and those vulnerable to radicalisation
- A child is anyone under the age of 18 years old (United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child 1989). Children have a right to be safe and should be protected from all forms of abuse and neglect, which may include: bullying and cyberbullying; child sexual exploitation; child trafficking; criminal exploitation and gangs; domestic abuse; emotional abuse; female genital mutilation; grooming; neglect; online abuse; physical abuse; and/or sexual abuse. We recognise that non-recent abuse may continue to have an injurious impact on physical, emotional and psychological well-being and may require action to validate, protect or remedy ongoing sequelae.
- An ‘adult at risk’ is someone who has needs for care and support (whether or not a local authority is meeting any of those needs) and is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, abuse or neglect, and 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). An adult at risk may be at risk of: physical abuse; domestic violence or abuse; sexual abuse; psychological or emotional abuse; financial or material abuse; modern slavery; discriminatory abuse; organisational or institutional abuse; neglect or acts of omission; and/or self-neglect.
- A child, young person or adult may be vulnerable to radicalisation. Terrorism is an action or threat designed to influence the government or intimidate the public with the purpose to advance political, religious or ideological cause (Terrorism Act 2006). The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on ‘specified authorities’, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
If you think a child or adult is at immediate risk of harm to themselves or others, contact the police on 999.
If you are worried about the safety and welfare of a child or adult at risk, or you are concerned that they are at risk of abuse and / or neglect, you should:
- alert your supervisor and speak with them at the earliest possible opportunity to make a decision about information sharing to protect the child / adult at risk in the context of a therapeutic relationship
AND report your concerns to one of the following statutory bodies:
- the local safeguarding board where the child or adult at risk lives
- the NSPCC
- the Police on 101
Please note that reporting concerns should NOT be delayed by waiting for a meeting with your Supervisor, the primary duty of care is to protect and prevent future harm, both the NSPCC and the local safeguarding board will be able to advise on whether your concerns meet their threshold for further action.
Sharing information must be necessary, proportionate, relevant, adequate, accurate, timely and secure and only necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it. Where possible, information should be shared with consent, although this may not always be practicable or appropriate. It is important that you keep a record of what information you have shared, when, why and to whom.
If your concern is about your supervisor or another psychotherapist, you should follow bpf‘s complaints procedures.
- The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Child) is a UK wide charity that provides advice and support to children, families, carers and those providing services to children. The NSPCC National Helpline can be contacted to report a concern about a child’s safety and wellbeing, as well as for guidance and support on issues affecting children. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
- The Ann Craft Trust publishes information and resources on safeguarding young people and adults, guidance on how to raise a safeguarding concern, and also provides e-learning training on safeguarding adults, the Mental Capacity Act and safeguarding young people. https://www.anncrafttrust.org/
- ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) Early provides guidance on how to spot the signs of radicalisation and provides an advice line for sharing concerns that a person is vulnerable to radicalisation. ACT Early is part of UK Counter-Terrorism policing who work locally with professionals in health, education, local authorities and charities as well as faith and community groups to support vulnerable people move away from extremism. www.actearly.uk
- The Information Sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (July 2018) provides advice and guidance for those who have to make decisions about sharing information. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-practitioners-information-sharing-advice
- The NHS Safeguarding app, Safeguarding Wales app and the Safeguarding Board for NI app provide information of key legislation and guidance on how to report a safeguarding concern. The NHS Safeguarding and Safeguarding Wales apps also have a directory of local authority safeguarding contacts.
- Association of Child Psychotherapists Safeguarding Policy https://childpsychotherapy.org.uk/acp-register-standards/standards-practice/safeguarding-policy
- British Psychoanalytic Council Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy Guidance https://www.bpc.org.uk/professionals/registrants/safeguarding/
Contact [email protected]
If you contacting the bpf because you are concerned that a child or ‘adult at risk’ may be at risk of abuse or neglect, please do not disclose any personal information about the person in your email. If you are concerned that the person may be at immediate risk to themselves or others, you should contact the Police immediately.