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Professional Boundaries and Safe Working Practice Policy

Professional Boundaries and Safe Working Practice Policy

 
The Attic
 
Professional Boundaries and Safe Working Practice Policy
 
 
Your role within The Attic is an important one and we The Attic that you approach it thoughtfully so that you can fulfil your duty of care, and avoid any misunderstanding.  The following guidance is provided to help you.
 
Your role requires you to have regular contact with young people and their families/carers. They will look to you to safeguard and promote their interests.  Such a position can be personally highly rewarding but can also bring some important responsibilities and possible risks.
 
All concerned will have expectations of how to relate to the individuals you are working with and it is important that you are clear in you own mind that the relationship is a professional and not a personal one.   You should also remember that others might see the relationship differently.  You must always be aware of the power and influence of you position, and the vulnerability of the young people you are in contact with.
 
Whilst warm and friendly relations are important to your role, overly familiar relationships can be misconstrued and lead to difficulties.  If you have concerns about these matters you need to raise them with your line manager or supervisor.  Don’t be worried to raise such matters as it is better to discuss them openly and frankly so that you can receive support and guidance.  All Attic staff need to be aware that inappropriate relationships or behaviour with young people/vulnerable adults are unacceptable, may be unlawful, and that such relationship should be avoided.
 
In your role you may need to use touch.  It is a misconception that touching an adult or young person is unlawful.  Touch may be necessary for example if a young person is in immediate danger.  Nursing, instructing in practical tasks eg sport, music, all require limited touch, and this may be appropriate at times when reassuring or comforting others however it must always be acceptable to the other person and never in a way, or on part of the body, where it could be construed as sexual or over familiar.  Staff need to take account of the young persons or adults own signals and factor such as cultural difference, age, gender, and maturity, so that the touch is not unwelcome or misunderstood.
 
Contact may be made not only in face to face meetings but also through other forms of communication.  Care needs to be taken when using electronic media e.g. mobile phones, email, and should be agreed with your manager.  Do not give out personal contact details.  If you are using social networking in your own time don’t publish anything that you would not want your manager or people you work with to see. 
 
agreed nationally.  Consult it for guidance when necessary, and discuss any issues this raises for you with your manager.
 
 
Safe Working Practice Agreement
 
The Attic is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
 
It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that pupils’ are cared for appropriately and safeguarded from any harm, and their duty of care to promote the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community.
 
It is acknowledged that the vast majority of employees behave appropriately whilst working with our young people. Whilst it is recognised that the individual members of an organisation may hold differing values and opinions, adults working in The Attic are in a position of trust and their conduct is, therefore, governed by specific laws and guidance and the policies and procedures agreed by the agency they are employed by.
 
Staff occasionally express uncertainty as to what is and is not acceptable and seek guidance regarding those behaviours which, whilst most probably innocent, may be perceived by others as inappropriate*.
 
The following is, therefore, a code of appropriate conduct for all adults working in or on behalf of The Attic, including those involved in home visits. Adherence to this code should ensure that both children and adults are safe from misconduct or unfounded allegations of misconduct.
 
 
You should always:
 
  • Adhere to all The Attic policies, many of which are specifically written with safeguarding in mind.
  • Behave in a mature, respectful, safe, fair and considered manner at all times.
  • Provide a good example and ‘positive role model’ to the young people.
  • Observe other people’s right to confidentiality (Unless you need to report concerns about a safeguarding issue).
  • Treat all children equally; never confer favour on particular children, or build ‘special relationships’ with individual children.
 
Report to the Headteacher or SDP (As soon as possible)
 
  • Any behaviour or situation which may give rise to complaint, misunderstanding or misinterpretation against yourself
  •  Any difficulties that you are experiencing, for example, coping with a child presenting particularly challenging behaviour; situations where you anticipate that you may not be sufficiently qualified, trained or experienced to deal with or handle appropriately.
  • Any behaviours of another adult in the school which give you cause for concern.
 
 
You should never:
 
  • Behave in a manner that could lead a reasonable person to question your conduct, intentions or suitability to care for other people’s children.
  • Touch children in a manner which is or may be considered sexual, threatening, gratuitous or intimidating.
  • Discriminate either favourably or unfavourably towards any child.
  • Give personal contact details, text email or telephone except for agreed work purposes using work IT, or make arrangements to contact, communicate or meet children outside of work.
  • Develop ‘personal’ or sexual relationships with children.
  • Push, hit, kick, punch, slap, throw missiles at or smack a child or threaten to do so
  • Be sarcastic, embarrass or humiliate, make remarks or “jokes” to children of a personal, racist, discriminatory, intimidating or otherwise inappropriate* or offensive nature
  • Behave in an illegal or unsafe manner, for example, exceeding the speed limit, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving a vehicle which is known to be un-roadworthy or otherwise unsafe or not having appropriate insurance, using a mobile phone whilst driving, fail to use seatbelts and drive in a safe manner at all time whilst transporting children.
  • Undertake any work with children when you are not in a fit and proper physical or emotional state to do so. For example: under the influence of medication which induces drowsiness; with a medical condition which dictates that you should not be caring for children; under extreme stress which is likely to impair your judgement.
 
* Please note:
 
It is the perception of the person subject to a remark or action rather than your stated intention that defines ‘appropriate’ or ‘inappropriate’. 
 
 
 
Date: August 15
 
Review: October 16

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NR33 0RQ

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