Safeguarding at Leap

We are committed to providing safe and supportive environments for everyone involved in our organisation and the work we do. We believe that everyone, specifically those who are in vulnerable circumstances and less able to protect themselves, has the right to be kept safe from harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect.

Every Leap representative has a personal responsibility for safeguarding children and adults. They do this by considering the safety and well-being of all those involved in our activities and by protecting children and adults from harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect, reporting concerns whenever this happens.

Our safeguarding commitment

Leap will:

  • promote the general safety and well-being of all
  • develop trusting and respectful relationships with those we work with, recognising that they have rights as individuals and should be treated with dignity and respect - and in doing so, provide them with a safe and supportive environment
  • take steps to ensure those involved in our organisation and the work we do are not discriminated against, by us, through being a child, or on grounds of age, sex, gender, disability, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, appearance or cultural background, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity
  • act quickly and appropriately where there are safeguarding concerns
  • take steps to minimise the possibility that harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect occur, which includes being drawn into terrorism and violent extremism.

To meet this commitment, we will ensure that:

  • every Leap representative, and the organisations we work with, has access to the safeguarding policy and guidance and understands their role and responsibilities, which includes what to do if they have a concern
  • we actively create safe and supportive environments for everyone involved in our organisation
  • there are appropriate risk assessments in place for all our programmes and activities
  • we encourage the active participation of children and adults in keeping themselves and others safe, encouraging them to voice their concerns and know where and how to seek help if needed
  • the safeguarding policy and guidance meet the requirements of legislation and statutory guidance (England and Wales) and the Charity Commission
  • the organisation continues to monitor the implementation of the safeguarding policy and guidance and take any measures required to strengthen and improve existing practice
  • effective procedures are in place for responding to safeguarding concerns
  • we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of Leap representatives, especially those who work with children or adults at risk.

Our safeguarding duty of care

At Leap we promote a proactive response to keeping children and adults safe, encouraging their active participation in keeping themselves and others safe. Some of the individuals we encounter may be in vulnerable circumstances, experiencing distress (for example due to family conflict or experience of violence) or have mental health needs. We recognise that Leap is not a ‘professional safeguarding organisation’. We will work in partnership with other organisations, including statutory services like the police and social care, to signpost to services who are better equipped to provide help and support and to protect those who have been or are at risk of harm, exploitation or abuse.

This means that Leap representatives will:

  • always act in the best interests of individuals, respecting and involving those who use our services, providing them with safe and appropriate advice and signposting to services that meet their needs and supports their rights
  • not knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results in harm to others
  • provide high-quality services to the best of their ability, acting within their competence and not taking on anything they do not believe they can safely do
  • protect confidential information except where the wider duty of care or the public interest might justify making it known.

What this means for our young people?

Young people will receive good quality services from people who have the skills and abilities to deliver them safely and to a high standard. This includes our duty to protect them from harm. Young people will be treated with dignity and respect, included in and given a choice over decision making which impacts them, unless they lack the capacity to do so or it would put them at serious risk of harm, exploitation or abuse.

What this means for people in the communities where we work

If we encounter individual cases of harm, exploitation or abuse in communities and places where we work, even if they are not directly related to Leap activities, our staff will refer them on to the appropriate persons or agencies. When the appropriate agencies fail to reasonably respond, we will escalate our concerns to the next appropriate authority.

If you are concerned

What is a safeguarding concern?

A safeguarding concern is when you are worried about the safety or well-being of a child or adult because of something seen or heard, or information which has been given to you. A safeguarding concern can also involve a Leap representative, or a representative from another organisation, endangering the safety or wellbeing of others, for example, by not following the code of conduct.

If you have a safeguarding concern

If you are concerned that Leap or one of its representatives, is endangering the safety or wellbeing of others please contact: Sam Matthews, Designated Safeguarding Lead – 020 7561 3700 or 07709 086 969.

If you are worried about the safety or welfare of a child you should call the NSPCC adult helpline for confidential advice on 0808 800 5000.

If you are worried about the safety or welfare of an adult you should call the police (if they are in immediate need of help) or your local adult social care team.