POLICY STATEMENT: The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for action by The Taxi Firm Ltd in the event of any concerns about the potential abuse of vulnerable adults and children.
POLICY AUTHOR: Zameer Ali, Company Director and safe guarding lead
What to do if you are concerned about a child or a vulnerable adult
Don’t keep it to yourself, if in doubt, seek advice. The contact details of the Zameer Ali (safe guarding lead) can be contacted on:
• 01733 305405
If a professional has a concern regarding a child or think a young person is at risk they must follow their agency’s policy, including communicating with the safeguarding lead or a safeguarding professional within their organisation.
If that is not possible they should contact:
Children’s Services Referral and Assessment 01733 864180
Children’s Services (out of hours) 01733 234724
Adult Social Care – Peterborough Direct 01733 747474
Out of hours 01733 234724
POLICE 24hrs 101
If you think the child or vulnerable adults are in imminent danger call 999.
The purpose of this document is to outline The Taxi Firm Ltd framework for protecting children, young people and adults at risk from harm, abuse and exploitation.
The policy will apply where people at risk are employed within the company environment or where employees may come into contact with vulnerable people whilst carrying out their duties. It details the action that will be taken within The Taxi Firm Ltd in response to concerns about children, young people and adults at risk, and to allegations of harm, abuse or exploitation. The policy is in support of our general duty of care.
Every member of staff has a role to play in safeguarding and as such this policy is relevant and applicable to all staff including temporary employees. Contractors, volunteers and other people working for or with The Taxi Firm Ltd will also be required to operate within the ethos and parameters of the policy and its associated procedure. Since safeguarding involves our general duty of care towards vulnerable people as well as ensuring the welfare and safety of all of those at risk, the policy and procedure apply to all areas where The Taxi Firm Ltd operates and its offices and to all staff and other contractors working there.
These definitions have been taken from a range of legal and statutory sources, including legislation relating to the protection of children and adults and guidance from the UK and Scottish governments and their associated agencies.
Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults to protect them from harm.
• Protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and maltreatment
• Preventing harm to children’s and vulnerable adults health or development
• Ensuring children and vulnerable adults grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
• Taking action to enable all children and young people (including vulnerable adults) to have the best outcomes.
Safeguarding is the process that focuses on protecting individual children and vulnerable adults, identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.
Duty of Care
The Taxi Firm has a duty of care to it passengers /service users, colleagues, employers and the public interest. Everyone has a duty of care – it is not something that you can opt out of. The Taxi Firm promote the best interests of employees. To ensure we exercise an appropriate level of care towards employees as is reasonable within the parameters of our relationship. To ensure this same level of care is mirrored towards children and vulnerable adults when our employees are working in environments where employees come into contact with such people.
A young person being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority (under 18 years).
Child Protection is a part of the overall area of safeguarding and refers to the activities undertaken to protect specific children who are being harmed or are at risk of suffering harm.
All permanent/ temporary employees, contractors, volunteers and other people working for or with THE TAXI FIRM LTD
The company is THE TAXI FIRM LTD
A vulnerable adult is described as a person aged 18 years or over who is in receipt of, or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
Harm is most broadly defined as being all harmful conduct, but more specifically is: conduct which causes physical, psychological, self-harm or unlawful conduct which appropriates or adversely affects property, rights or interests.
Bullying : Verbal, emotional and physical bullying is also a form of harm and there is a requirement for all within the Company to ensure that there are sufficient mechanisms to allow children to report instances of bullying. The Company must ensure that everyone understands bullying will not be tolerated in any form, and that the Company is prepared to take the problem seriously and investigate any incident and decide on appropriate action, also ensuring that children are able to report bullying to someone in authority.
A broad definition of abuse is all forms of physical and/or emotional ill treatment, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.
• Physical – any deliberate act to cause physical harm including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking and misuse of medication or restraint.
• Financial or Material – theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or misusing property, possessions and benefits.
• Sexual – involvement in a sexual act to which the vulnerable person has not consented, or to which he or she could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
• Neglect and Acts of Omission – ignoring medical or physical care needs and withholding the necessities of life such as nutrition, heating and medication.
• Psychological – emotional abuse, threats to harm or abandon the person, depriving them of contact, humiliating, blaming, controlling, intimidating, coercing or harassing them, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawing services and support networks.
• Discriminatory – based on cultural, sexual, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
• Institutional – Mistreatment or abuse by an organisation or the individuals within it.
• Domestic – any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (including any of the above) occurring between adults who are or have been in an intimate relationship or are family members – regardless of gender or sexuality.
The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or a position of vulnerability, or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
Exploitation refers to social relations where an ‘actor or character of actors uses others for their own end because of a fundamentally asymmetric power relationship between them’. When speaking about exploitation there is a direct affiliation with consumption in social theory.
Various forms are following
• Exploitation for the purpose of prostitution of another person (commercial sexual exploitation) and other forms of sexual exploitation;
•Forced labour or services;
• Slavery, servitude and other practices similar to slavery (debt slavery);
• Removal of organs for the purpose of illegal transplants.
• Child labour
Child sexual exploitation
Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive “something” (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.
• The Managing Director has overall strategic responsibility for the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure and for ensuring that all children and adults at risk involved in any way with Fare protected. Also, has overall responsibility for the implementation of the policy it’s review and execution of the procedures.
• Every member of staff a responsibility in safeguarding and as such this policy is relevant and applicable to all staff including temporary employees. Contractors, volunteers and other people working for or with The Taxi Firm Ltd will also be required to operate within the ethos and parameters of the policy and its associates.
The purpose of this procedure is to support the effective implementation of our Safeguarding Policy and to ensure that concerns about the welfare vulnerable people interfacing with the company are dealt with sensitively, effectively and promptly. The procedure provides step-by-step guidance on how to respond to a concern or disclosure.
Every member of The Taxi Firm Ltd has a role to play in safeguarding. This procedure is relevant and applicable to all permanent and temporary employees. Contractors, volunteers and other people working for or with THE TAXI FIRM LTD will also be required to operate within the ethos and parameters of the procedure.
Responsibilities Adhering to this procedure is mandatory and safeguarding is the responsibility of every member of THE TAXI FIRM LTD staff. (All permanent/ temporary employees, Contractors, volunteers and other people working for or with THE TAXI FIRM LTD)
Confidentiality In any safeguarding matter, the welfare of the child or adult at risk is paramount and as such, only a restricted number of people within THE TAXI FIRM LTD will have access to information that involves such issues. Information will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis in accordance with current legislation and Codes of Practice.
Staff Development and Support
To support staff in the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure, THE TAXI FIRM LTD will provide initial and ongoing appropriate training to all staff members on the policy and its associated procedure. THE TAXI FIRM LTD will also support staff by ensuring that they are aware of best practice relating to working with children and adults at risk in order that they can work within the parameters of our Duty of Care and protect themselves from wrongful allegations of harm. THE TAXI FIRM LTD will further support staff by providing an opportunity to talk through anxieties relating to Safeguarding issues with the Safeguarding Coordinator (Zameer Ali) and offer reasonable appropriate support from external agencies if requested.
Allegations against staff
A person at risk may make an allegation against a member of staff. If an allegation is made, the member of staff to whom the allegation is disclosed should immediately inform the Safeguarding lead. THE TAXI FIRM LTD may make an immediate decision to temporarily suspend an individual accused of harming a child or adult at risk pending further inquiries. The safe guarding lead will contact the appropriate department’s i.e. Children’s Services Referral and Assessment, Adult Social Care – Peterborough Direct, School s Transport and Police. Where substantiated cause for concern exists the Managing Director will immediately notify the Police.
Code of Conduct
Code of conduct for Staff at THE TAXI FIRM LTD recognises that it is not practicable to provide definitive instructions that would apply to all situations at all times where staff come into contact with children and adults at risk. However, below are standards of conduct that staff is required to meet in fulfilling their roles and duty of care within THE TAXI FIRM LTD.
This code aims to assist in the safeguarding (including Child sexual exploitation), and promotion of the welfare of children and adults at risk and in the protection of children, adults at risk and members of staff. The code also applies to volunteers and any other people who may work in an unpaid capacity on THE TAXI FIRM LTD premises. All staff and others working in THE TAXI FIRM LTD are required to implement the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure at all times and should routinely act to promote the welfare of children and adults at risk and to prevent harm and report any harm that is discovered or suspected.
All staff shall:
Safeguard in the course of your work, your passengers may choose to talk to you about something which concerns them. It is important to:
• Never promise to keep a secret.
• Always take what the person says seriously.
• Listen but do not ask any questions
• Tell the person that you have to tell someone.
• Report and record all concerns, incidents of inappropriate and disruptive behaviour to the school/operator or the council
• Be friendly but remember not to make particular favourites
• If you are ever concerned about the welfare of a passenger, contact your safe guarding lead and follow the process on process What to do if you are concerned about a child or a vulnerable adult
• When a passenger is hurt or falls and physical contact is necessary, always report incidents to the school/centre and record with your employer.
• Be aware of how your actions may look when seen by someone from the outside. If you are in any doubt about how your action may appear to an objective observer then don’t do it.
Abuse MUST be reported
Physical e.g. shaking, slapping, pushing, kicking someone.
Sexual e.g. any sexual activity that the person does not want, understand or agree to.
Psychological/emotional e.g. threats of harm or abandonment or humiliation, intimidation or verbal abuse.
Financial e.g. stealing someone’s money or denying the access to their money or possessions
Neglect e.g. ignoring someone’s medical or care needs, or withholding food, drink, aids to daily living.
Discriminatory e.g. abusive remarks or actions regarding a person’s age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or abilities. Domestic abuse e.g. emotional and physical violence, bullying, threats, mental and verbal abuse, financial and social control over one person/persons by another within the home or family.
Professional abuse e.g. the misuse of power and abuse of trust by professionals, the failure of professionals to act on suspected abuse/crimes, poor care practise or neglect in services.
Institutional abuse e.g. involves the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to vulnerable people.
If possible, the first time you meet the parents/carers, introduce yourself and ask if there is anything you should know about the person whilst he/she is in your care. Additionally, each day you should try and liaise with the parents/carers to see if there is anything you should know about the person that will affect their travel. All drivers will be checked by the DBS (Disclosing and Barring Service). You should work together with your passenger assistant (if applicable) as a team to ensure that the people for whom you are responsible for have a comfortable, safe and stress free journey.
• Be punctual
• Only stop at the designated pick up or set down point
• Keep the door(s) closed until the bus is at a complete standstill
• Hazard lights should be used when passengers and boarding or alighting
• Check that no bags or clothing are caught in the door when closed
• Where seatbelts are fitted, always request that the passengers use them
• Do not drive away until all the passengers are seated
• On school transport, the school bus signs should only be used when transporting pupils. When in use ensure they are displayed in an appropriate position.
• Always park so that passengers alight on the footway and not on the carriageway
• Please be aware that if you are transporting school age children, your clothing, behaviour and language must all be appropriate
• On school transport, you should park on the same side of the road as the school entrance unless this is impossible
• Beware of passengers running back for items they may have left on the vehicle
• If passengers have to exit by the rear of the minibus you should supervise this operation
• Reversing in and around schools should only be attempted when absolutely necessary and preferably with guidance
• Bad behaviour should be reported to the school and a record kept
• You should know how to use the fire extinguisher and first aid kit
If possible, the first time you meet the parents/carers, introduce yourself and ask if there is anything you need to know about the person whilst he/she is in your care.
Additionally, each day you should try and liaise with the parents/carer/centre to see if there is anything you should know about the person that will affect their travel.
All passenger assistants will be checked by the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) and will need to attend an information day.
You should work together with your driver as a team to ensure that the people for whom you are responsible for have a comfortable, safe and stress free journey.
You should agree in advance with the driver on how to handle any exceptional or unexpected difficulties.
We recommend smart, casual and comfortable clothing that is appropriate for the role. For example, flat shoes (no flip flops) can help to avoid ankle injuries and minimal body jewellery can help to avoid accidents involving items being caught on clothing or students pulling on them.
ACCIDENTS, BREAKDOWNS & EMERGENCIES
In the events of a breakdown or a passenger is taken ill you must act to ensure the safety of all your passengers.
Pull over to a safe spot on the road and switch on headlights and hazard warning lights.
Call immediately for an ambulance if any of your passengers need medical help. If an ambulance is summoned be concise and accurate about the location of the incident.
Make the passengers comfortable and ensure that they are not at further risk.
Assess whether it is safe for passengers to stay on the vehicle until help arrives.
In the event of a breakdown summon help from your company/breakdown organisation.
If your vehicle is a serious obstruction, call the police.
Do not allow passengers off the vehicle unless there is a serious risk to them if they remained on board, consider your own safety, put on a high visibility before leaving the vehicle
If passengers must be taken of the vehicle they should (if possible) use the nearside door and move to the front of the vehicle or to a safe area
Passengers should not cross lanes of traffic or be put at further risk
Enlist any nearby help or responsible passengers to ensure that everyone stays safe while you deal with incident
Once you are satisfied that passengers are safe – advise your employer and the school or day care centre so that the parents/carers can be informed. Peterborough City Council Passenger Transport to advise them of the incident
Do NOT attempt even simple repairs, wait for help and ensure the safety of all passengers
Although it is the driver’s responsibility to operate tail lifts and wheelchair clamps, passenger assistants must ensure they have an understanding of how this and other safety equipment works. If your child is too big for a car seat or harness let Peterborough City Council Passenger Transport know. Make sure seats are fitted correctly.
PARENT/CARER NOT AT HOME
In the event that no-one is at home when you return in the afternoon, on no account must a passenger be left alone or with a neighbour. Prior arrangements with the parents/carers are therefore essential. If applicable, ring the school so that they can contact the parent/carer immediately. If there are other passengers on the vehicle they should be returned home first and the vehicle should return. If there is still no-one home, contact your office for further advice.
It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to take the passenger to and from the vehicle, although there may be occasions when this is not possible.
Always pick up and drop off at the arranged address
Waiting time should be limited to approximately 5 minutes
Always display your identity badge
IF IN DOUBT REPORT IT TO YOUR OFFICE
THE SAFEGUARDING OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE PEOPLE IS OF THE UPMOST IMPORTANCE
IT IS OUR CLAIM TO TRANSPORT EVERYONE AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE
• Do not exchange mobile phone numbers, email addresses. Full names, home addresses etc.
• Do not buy or give food or drink to passengers
• Do not accept or give gifts to passengers or parents/carers
• Do not use bad or inappropriate language
• Do not engage in conversation of a personal nature
• Do not enter into any contact via multimedia i.e. social media
• Do not under any circumstances take pictures of passengers
• Do not allow children to sit in the front of the vehicle
• Do not enter into any kind of relationship or have social contact with the passenger or their family
• Do not make unnecessary physical contact
• Do not allow food or drink in the vehicle
• Do not become involved in an argument. If challenged, please give them Peterborough City Council Passenger Transport telephone number Tel: 01733317452
• Do not leave the vehicle unattended
• Do not smoke. It is not acceptable when working on Peterborough City Council contracts.
• Do not accept transport changes from you passengers, these must come through your office, via Passenger Transport (as a contract variation)
• Do not be afraid to ask for help. If a passenger’s behaviour is causing a problem, don’t struggle alone. Ask the school/centre or your employer for advice or contact Peterborough City Council Passenger Transport.
• Do not transport students, wheelchairs without the proper seats or restraints
• Dress appropriately
• Report any incident that is ‘out of the ordinary’
• When transporting passengers, especially when alone, remember it is important to keep to the agreed timetable route
• Call the passenger by their name and not darling, sweetheart, love or other ‘familiar words’
• Maintain clear appropriate boundaries and be professional • Report any concerns about a passenger’s behaviour
• Be aware that some passengers due to disabilities and medical conditions may require extra help and time
• Record and report all incidents of inappropriate or disruptive behaviour without delay via your employer. Where possible, the journey should be completed. In a case of serious incident the vehicle should be stopped and the emergency services called
• If you should have any concerns that one of your passengers shows any signs of abuse, then you must record and report it
If you have any questions please contact:
Zameer Ghazanfar Ali Director at The Taxi Firm Ltd Office: 01733 305405
Policy Sign off Sign off by Zameer Ali Company Director
Sign off date 2rd April 2018
Policy review date 2rd April 2019