Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding the wellbeing of young people is fundamental to our approach. We aim to both protect users from harm and ensure that their right to confidentiality is properly upheld, in keeping with the law and good practice guidance.

Our approach

While most of our users simply need a little extra advice or support, some are more vulnerable. We have procedures in place to safeguard the welfare of all our users in line with our commitment to enabling young people to be curious, open and reflect honestly about their experiences without harm or fear of reprisal.

The States of Mind Online education programme incorporates a secure database of young people’s personal information. If information that is submitted to us indicates that you may be at risk of harm to yourself or others we will contact you to offer further support and will refer you to a safeguarding officer in your school or college.

We will use the contact information that you provide us with when signing up to the online education programme to contact you.

Our commitment to confidentiality

Young people have told us that confidentiality is one of their top concerns when seeking answers to private or personal questions or problems. Perceived lack of confidentiality significantly deters young people from seeking support and advice from teachers, peers, parents or support agencies.

Upholding young people’s right to confidentiality, except when they are at risk of serious harm, is a crucial factor in supporting young people’s access to high quality confidential services that can promote wellbeing. It encourages the development of a relationship of trust that enables young people to talk freely and honestly about their situation. This enables us to assess whether the individuals are at risk of harm and take appropriate steps to safeguard their well-being.

Confidentiality at States of Mind means that no identifiable information about any individual is disclosed or passed to anyone, or any agency outside States of Mind, other than in the most exceptional circumstances. See our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for more information on how we use data.

States of Mind recognises legal restrictions such as the age of consent or the use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs and where appropriate we will offer guidance and support on health and safety. However, in line with our confidentiality policy, we would not necessarily refer young people to the authorities unless we felt that they were at risk of harming themselves or others.

States of Mind is not a crisis or emergency service. If your post suggests that you might be at risk of harm or harming others, in accordance with our safeguarding policy, we will send you a message with guidance on how you can get help and may notify a safeguarding officer in your school or college.

Safeguarding Policy Statement

September 2018

  1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy statement is:

  1. To protect children and young people who receive States of Mind CIC ’s services from harm. This includes the children of adults who use our services.

  2. To provide staff and volunteers, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.

  3. This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of States of Mind CIC, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff and students.

This policy sets out the national and local expectations in relation to safeguarding children and young people, when in relation to clients who use our service.

The purpose of this policy is to provide a clear statement about how States of Mind CIC will safeguard children and young people associated with users of our service, or in any work context where concerns or incidents in relations to a child have been raised or identified.

  1. Policy Scope

This policy applies to all staff and people using our services.

For the purpose of this policy, employees, associates, volunteers and members of our Advisory Board are referred to as ‘staff’. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and all staff who, during the course of their employment have direct or in direct contact with adults at risk have a responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare.

  1. Rationale

All children deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential and in order to do this they need to feel loved, valued, supported and protected. The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 and the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 have set out the principles for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and have moved the emphasis from protecting children from abuse to a much more holistic philosophy of safeguarding children in all aspects of their lives including reducing accidents and bullying.

The Children Act 2004 emphasises that we all share a responsibility to safeguard children and young people and provide for their welfare and that all members of the community can help to do this. The important message is therefore that safeguarding is everybody’s business. All staff have a responsibility to safeguard children. Disclosures may be made to or overheard by any member of staff in any setting and it is imperative that that member of staff is able to take appropriate action which includes listening, recording and passing on the information so it can be investigated.

Training should alert staff to the possibility of abuse ,enable them to recognise the signs of abuse and ensure that they know what action to take to protect all children and young people they come into contact with during their day to day work in the organisation.

This policy clarifies what action should be taken if a member of staff working for Talk For Health Ltd has concerns about a child’s safety where those concerns arise from their work.

  1. Definitions

The term ‘safeguarding’ refers to inward facing procedures such as awareness raising, reporting concerns, responding appropriately to issues of abuse and exploitation and preventing harm through sound recruitment and safe programming.

Section 42 of the Care Act 2014 states that safeguarding enquiries should be made where a person has needs for care and support; is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and as a result of their care and support needs, is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

An child/ young person with care and support needs may be:

a person with a physical disability, a learning difficulty or a sensory impairment someone with mental health needs, including dementia or a personality disorder a person with a long-term health condition someone who misuses substances or alcohol to the extent that it affects their ability to manage day-to-day living

  1. Policy Statement

We believe that every individual who accesses our services should be treated with dignity and respect, have their choice respected and not be forced to do anything against their will. We are committed to safeguarding everyone coming into contact with the service, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs.

The Company has put in place systems to ensure we fulfil our corporate responsibility to protect vulnerable children from abuse.

The Company is committed to involvement and empowerment at all levels of decision making within services and takes active steps to gain feedback from people using our services on a regular basis. Empowerment is considered to be an important level of protection against abuse. The aims and objectives of this policy are to promote and develop a culture that values and engages in regular safeguarding.

Safeguarding Children and Young People therefore means:

protecting children from maltreatment preventing impairment of children’s health and development ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care

  1. Roles and Responsibilities

All staff who come into contact with our service users are responsible for:

Understanding the safeguarding policies and procedures of States of Mind CIC and understanding that the organisation adheres to the safeguarding procedures of the school/ college or learning provider in which the services are provided.

Treating all allegations of abuse seriously, regardless of the source of information. It is important for staff to share information or concerns immediately to their line manager. Directors are responsible for:

Ensuring staff are vetted and trained, and receive a briefing on our child safeguarding policies and procedures on an annual basis

Ensuring that safeguarding awareness is integrated into our practice

Ensuring that staff feel confident and have opportunities to:

a) ask questions about and clarify their safeguarding responsibilities and b) report suspected abuse Taking concerns and allegations of abuse seriously, and responding appropriately Consulting appropriately with other Directors and/or qualified experts in reaching decisions about referral of safeguarding concerns

The Founder/ Director of States of Mind CIC is the Designated Safeguarding Officer. The Advisory Board are responsible for reviewing and ratifying our Safeguarding policy

  1. Procedure

Safe Recruitment

For all staff who come into contact with our service users, the following vetting checks are carried out prior to confirming the appointment:

Identity documents including photographic identity References Qualification certificates if required for the role Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check.

  1. Child and adult protection in the context of our activities

States of Mind CIC provides services to children and young people. We deliver psycho-education and project based learning programmes that explore topics and issues related to mental health and wellbeing. Staff may hear information that raises concerns about a child’s welfare. The Company has contact with young people who may be at risk face to face, by email, over the telephone and in writing.

These situations include:

Delivery of training Focus group or engagement session Research interviews Social media Events

Concerns and allegations of abuse - whether by service users, members of the public or members of staff, will be taken seriously and responded to appropriately by following the safeguarding procedures of the host institution at which the service is being delivered. If for any reason a safeguarding issue is raised outside of the host institution, for example while hosting a work experience placement, States of Mind CIC will report to the local authorities Safeguarding service.

  1. Dealing with a Safeguarding issue

Our Role

Our role in protecting young people at risk is to respond to information that a young person may be experiencing abuse and need protecting, and pass this information to those who can assess the situation and act when required.

In this case, States of Mind CIC will report the concern using the safeguarding policies and procedures of the host institution / School/ College or Learning Provider.

‘Abuse’ is a violation on an individual’s human and civil rights by a person or persons. This includes the following types of abuse that are listed

Physical Abuse: includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication or inappropriate sanctions or restraint. Sexual Abuse: includes rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the young person at risk has not consented, or could not consent Psychological Abuse: includes threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks. Financial or material abuse: includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits. Neglect and acts of omission: includes ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating. Discriminatory abuse: includes racism, sexism, or those based on a person’s disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment Institutional abuse: includes systemic abuse that goes beyond an individual’s abusive practice and transcends a whole organisation. The above are only examples.

If a staff member feels they have come across something which may be abuse but is not sure, they should discuss this with the Director of States of Mind CIC and the designated Safeguarding lead of the school/ college or learning provider.

Abuse can take place in many settings, but the majority of it takes place in a person’s own home and may be carried out by a carer or family member. Abuse can also be carried out by professionals working with the child or the adult at risk. Abuse is a hidden subject, and calls for vigilance.

Concerns or allegations of abuse should always be recorded on the Incident Reporting Form and emailed to the Safeguarding Officer in the educational institution immediately.

Concerns should then be discussed with the person at risk, and decisions should be reached by a Company Director in consultation with the Safeguarding Lead, so that no staff member is making decisions on their own.

To determine the appropriate course of action it is important to consider:

Does the service user understand the nature and consequences of any risk they may be subject to, and do they willingly accept such a risk?

Is the service user able to make their own decisions and choices, and do they wish to do so?

How serious is the risk?

The perception of the victim must be the starting point. Factors informing assessment of seriousness will include:

The extent and duration of the abuse The impact on the individual The risk of repetition or escalation involving this or other people Is a criminal offence being committed?

After consideration of these issues, a referral must be made if appropriate to the relevant Local Authority’s Social Care Team. The Safeguarding Officer is responsible for making the referral or in their absence the Director of Risk, Complaints and Incidents.

The Local Authority’s Social Care Team will make a decision whether the allegation meets their threshold for investigation. We will co-operate fully if the Local Social Care Services decides to investigate.

9.3 Action against Perpetrators of Abuse

If a staff member is found to have been involved in a potential safeguarding issue, the organisation will refer the individual to the appropriate national professional regulator or the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The Directors are responsible for ensuring this occurs. Any internal report should be forwarded on to the DBS.

Abuse Allegations Received as Complaints

If a complaint received by the Company involves an allegation of abuse, the complainant must be informed that the allegation will be investigated using the Safeguarding Adults Policy. The complainant must be asked if they will accept the Safeguarding Adults investigation as the resolution of the complaint.

  1. Records Keeping Record keeping is essential in relation to safeguarding.

Written records must be made and updated on the Incident Reporting Form at the school/ college or institution at which the incident has taken place. .

These records must include: · The name of the alleged victim · The nature of the concerns (record as much detail as possible); · The time(s) and date(s) abuse is alleged to have taken place; · The place where abuse is alleged to have taken place; · Name of alleged abuser and relationship to alleged victim; · Who the concerns have been discussed with within the Company and outside (e.g. in clinical supervision) · Actions taken including contact with social services and the police; · The reasons for the action.

Staff should check with a Director if they are required to report individual safeguarding incidents to commissioners or funders for monitoring purposes, and to carry out such reporting as required in individual contracts.

  1. Equality and Diversity

States of Mind CIC is committed to ensuring that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the way we provide services to the public and the way we treat our staff reflects their individual needs and does not discriminate against individuals or groups on any grounds. This policy has been appropriately assessed.

Contact details

Nominated child protection lead

Name: Beatrice Caroline Herbert

Phone/email: / 07746631730

This policy statement came into force on 1st September 2018

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

Signed: Beatrice Caroline Herbert

Position: Founder and Director of States of Mind CIC

Date: 1st September 2018

States of Mind CIC Complaints Policy and Procedure

  1. Purpose

States of Mind CIC believes that in order for us to provide high quality services which meet the needs of our customers – i.e. the people who use our services - we must listen and respond to their comments and complaints.

It is our policy as an organisation to actively seek feedback on our services. By taking this approach it is hoped that dissatisfactions can be resolved at the earliest possible stage and positive organisational learning and development can take place.

We want to ensure complaints are dealt with in a transparent and efficient way. Anyone wishing to complain should be able to do so easily and understand the process, including how decisions are reached.

The aim of this policy and procedure is to help us take a service-oriented attitude, to resolve complaints quickly and effectively, and ensure we learn from mistakes.

  1. Policy Scope

For the purpose of this policy, employees, associates, volunteers and members of our Advisory Board are referred to as ‘staff’.

The policy covers complaints made by our customers to the Company or its staff, arising out of the Company’s delivery of psycho-educational and social action programmes, primarily our Selfology and Wellbeing Ambassadors programme.

  1. Definition of a complaint

The Citizen’s Charter Complaints Task Force has defined a complaint as “an expression of dissatisfaction requiring a response”.

3.1 General Principles

Complaints and concerns are part of everyday life and provide a valuable insight for an organisation to monitor its performance and give attention to areas, which require improvement. Although they are not the only way to show how it is performing, complaints and concerns do offer a unique opportunity to view the services provided from the patient/relatives’ perspective. When used in conjunction with other performance indicators they can help to maintain and ultimately improve the quality of service provided.

In a perfect world, our services would meet all expectations -but realistically we cannot hope to meet the needs or desires of everyone all of the time. However, the manner in which a concern or complaint is processed, from the first point of contact to the completion of an investigation, does make a difference to how we are viewed. It is therefore essential to have an effective, efficient and sensitive system to respond to complaints and concerns; a well-handled complaint can enhance an organisation’s reputation

  1. Complaints Processes and Procedure

4.1 Actively seeking feedback

We actively seek feedback on our services. In the case of our programmes, we obtain formal feedback from participants after each programme. This explicitly invites participants to comment on likes and dislikes about the programme, and to make suggestions for improvement.

The programme itself explicitly teaches participants to make ‘complaints with recommendations’, and participants are encouraged to articulate complaints they may have in relation to the Programme Leader or other programme participants.

States of Mind CIC;s programmes are updated annually to reflect consistent themes in participant feedback.

4.2 Raising awareness

People need to know how to use our complaints procedure. We raise awareness through:

  1. staff informing new customers about the process
  2. written introductory information given to participants as part of their introduction to States of Mind CIC’s programmes
  3. a copy of this policy is made available free of charge to any person on request

4.3 Channels for receiving complaints

STATES OF MIND CIC will accept complaints made in the following ways:

  1. in person
  2. by letter
  3. by phone
  4. by email

4.4 Responding to complaints

The procedure for responding to complaints involves the following stages:

Stage 1: Informal complaints Stage 2: Formal complaints Stage 3: Advisory Board reviews

Our time limit for receiving complaints is within 6 months of the incident giving rise to the complaint.

4.5 Informal complaints

An informal complaint refers to any comment of dissatisfaction, whether verbal or in writing, and may be dealt with by any member of staff. In most cases informal complaints will be resolved through active listening, acknowledging the complainant’s dissatisfaction, apologizing, and negotiating appropriate solutions.

Staff should not be defensive in their attitude to complaints but accept that the issues are important to the complainant. Comments and complaints should be used by all staff to enable us to see things from our customers’ point of view.

It is recognised that staff are dealing with queries and issues all the time, and it is therefore left to the discretion of the staff member as to whether to record the issue in the Register of Complaints. Typically, it would be worthwhile recording if the member of staff feels that the issue may not be fully resolved and the customer may raise it again or make a formal complaint.

4.6 Formal complaints

Any complaint that cannot be resolved informally will be subject to a formal procedure. At this point the complaint will be recorded in the Register of Complaints, as will the subsequent actions taken.

Where possible, the complaint should be put in writing to the Founder of STATES OF MIND CIC– either by email or post.

If the complainant wishes not to engage with the Founder (because, for example, the complaint is about her, it should be addressed to the Director with special responsibility for Risk, Complaints and Incidents.

If the complainant is unable to put their complaint in writing, a member of staff should record the complaint in writing and check its accuracy with the complainant either by reading it out or showing it to the complainant.

All complaints will be treated within the STATES OF MIND CIC Confidentiality and Data Protection policies.

Once the formal complaint has been put in writing an investigation will be carried out by either the Founder or by the Director with responsibility for Complaints and will ascertain:

  1. What was expected by the complainant?
  2. What actually happened?
  3. What is the difference between the above?
  4. What should be done to put things right?
  5. What should be done to prevent a recurrence?

When the investigation is complete the investigator will decide whether or not there are grounds for the complaint and will recommend what action(s) need to be taken to put things right and prevent recurrences. These actions will then be taken.

The investigator will write to the complainant with the outcomes of the investigation in terms of actions taken or organisational changes made as a result. Our target for completing investigations and writing to complainants is 28 days.

4.7 Service User Suggestions and Compliments

From time to time, service users will feedback verbal/written suggestions directly to staff/volunteers and/or compliments. Any communications should be fed back to the relevant staff member/volunteer. Managers should also be made aware of any feedback, regardless of whether it constitutes an informal complaint/comment.

As with complaints, staff should acknowledge suggestions and comments, make a note, where necessary, and also assure the service user that the information will be processed in line with their wishes, where practical.

4.8 Appeals to Advisory Board

If the complainant is dissatisfied with this outcome, they can request that it be reviewed by the States of Mind Advisory Board and it will be discussed at the next Advisory Board meeting. These happen three times a year. The complainant will be informed of timescale. The Advisory Board will look at whether the informal/formal complaints procedures were correctly followed; not the detail of the complaint. If the procedure was followed then this group will re-consider the original complaint.

The decision of the Advisory Board, and any actions to be taken, will be made in writing to the complainant within 5 days of the meeting.

The internal complaints procedure has now been completed. However, if the complainant wishes to take up the issue with bodies outside the organisation, appropriate information on how to access these will be given.

4.9 Outcomes/recommendations

Staff responding to or investigating complaints, whether informal or formal can, if appropriate, the following actions to States of Mind CIC as a consequence of a complaint:

  1. changes in organisational policy
  2. changes in organisational practice
  3. changes in an individual staff members’ practice
  4. additional staff training
  5. disciplinary procedures

  6. Training

All States of Mind CIC staff will be given this policy and guidance on handling complaints.

  1. Monitoring and Compliance

The Founder will be responsible for the administration of the complaint procedure, ensuring appropriate records are kept, meetings organised, and information given to the Advisory Board and to funders. Where the Founder is the subject of the complaint and it cannot be resolved through informal means, the complainant will be referred to the Director with special responsibility for Risk, Complaints and Incidents.

  1. Equality and Diversity

States of Mind CIC is committed to ensuring that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the way we provide services to the public and the way we treat our staff reflects their individual needs and does not discriminate against individuals or groups on any grounds. This policy has been appropriately assessed.

  1. Consultation and Review

This policy will be reviewed every two years from the effective date.

Appendix 1: Complaints Investigation and Action Plan

APPENDIX 2: Complaints Information


States of Mind CIC aims to give high standards of service to everyone but acknowledges that complaints do happen.

We are committed to investigating complaints fully and fairly.

Complaints are a valuable and important part of user feedback which can aid our service improvement.

Making a Complaint

You may make a complaint to any member of staff:

  1. In person (verbally)
  2. By letter
  3. By telephone
  4. By email

Please notify us of:

  1. your name and contact details
  2. the details of your complaint

How your complaint will be dealt with

There are three ways that your complaint may be resolved:

Informally: where staff members can resolve the issue for you Formally: which will involve a formal investigation by a Director of States of Mind CIC By review: if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the formal investigation, our Advisory Board will review the complaint and take a final decision.