Cats Protection (CP) is committed to safeguarding children and adults at risk and protecting anyone that comes into contact with us from harm.
As a socially responsible organisation we will not tolerate abuse, neglect and/or exploitation wherever it occurs or whoever is responsible. Cats Protection recognises that safeguarding is a priority. We will adopt the highest standards of safeguarding practice across all areas of our work.
Safeguarding means protecting the rights of adults to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action.
It means protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of health or development; ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable them to have the best outcomes.
In line with the wider safeguarding expectations of the Charity Commission we are committed to ensuring that every person who works for us, volunteers with us or comes into contact with our charity will be treated with dignity and respect. We value and promote wellbeing and good mental health and will do everything possible to maintain an environment conducive to both.
This policy applies to all trustees, employees, volunteers and contractors and underpins all of the charity’s activities, both in person and across our digital spaces.
Safeguarding legislation is a devolved matter and each of the four UK nations has its own legislation and statutory guidance. This policy has been developed in accordance with the requirements and principles established by the relevant legislation and statutory guidance in each of the four UK nations.
In England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and Wales a child is defined as ‘any person under the age of 18, whether living with their families, in state care or living independently’
In Scotland, the definition of a child varies in different legal contexts, but statutory guidance which supports the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, includes all children and young people up to the age of 18.
Adult at risk
In England, Isle of Man and Wales an adult at risk is defined as a person over the age of
In Northern Ireland an adult at risk is defined as a person over the age of 18 whose exposure to harm through abuse, exploitation or neglect may be increased by their personal circumstances and/or life circumstances (HSCB Northern Ireland).
In Scotland adults at risk are defined as persons over the age of 16 who:
The purpose of this policy is to:
a) the conduct of employees or volunteers associated with the charity
b) the design and implementation of any of our work, activities and events
If you are unsure what this policy means, or how it relates to you, please speak to your line manager or coordinator in the first instance or contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO). It is essential that everyone understands and follows this policy.
The safeguarding policy should be read in conjunction with all other relevant policies and procedures, as set out in appendix two. We will treat any breach of this policy very seriously. For employees, breach of this policy could lead to disciplinary action including summary dismissal for gross misconduct. In the case of volunteers, breach of this policy could, in some cases, lead to termination of branch office and branch and charity membership.
In all cases where the charity has reasonable grounds to suspect that criminal offences have been committed, the matter will always be reported to the police.
We will seek to keep children and adults at risk safe by:
In addition, volunteers must follow the Code of Behaviour which sets out expectations relating to safeguarding responsibilities.
Safeguarding is embedded in all our work through the three pillars of:
The following table outlines our approach to safeguarding within our charity.
We expect our people to:
We recognise the equal importance of safeguarding in the online and digital space. It is our policy to apply the same rigorous level of safeguarding protection to issues which arise in our digital space (eg web, social media and online communications) as our in-person work.
We are committed to the safeguarding and protection of all our people and any other users of our digital services and social media channels, and we apply the same safeguarding principles to our activities whether they are offline or online.
This means protecting our people from online harms caused by content, contact or conduct such as:
Safeguarding considerations and responses apply across all our online and digital activities, plus all digital activities undertaken on the charity’s behalf at a national level and through third-party social media and devices.
This includes but is not limited to:
We promote safe use, but we also recognise that some issues will only be able to be handled by the service provider and the user themselves.