Open Hands believes that no child or young person with whom it works or to whom it provides services should experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all such children and young people through adopting practices and procedures which protect them from harm.
Open Hands also extends the principles in the previous paragraph to all other people with whom it works or to whom it provides services who can be described as vulnerable adults, that is those adults are those who are or may need community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age and illness and who may be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.
The welfare of such children/ other persons is paramount.
All children and other people, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief and sexual orientation or identity can legitimately expect protection from physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and discriminatory abuse in their interaction with Open Hands.
Working in partnership with parents, carers and other agencies is key in promoting the welfare of children and young people.
Its staff (as defined below) must be carefully selected and trained and its recruitment, appraisal and training processes need to reflect its commitment to prevent abuse and to provide a safe environment.
Appropriate health and safety practices need to be applied.
In consequence Open Hands has made clear procedures and guidance available to help staff apply this policy in accordance with relevant law and best practice, including in the event that they suspect that a child, young person or vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or be at risk from, some form of abuse.
This policy (and the procedures adopted pursuant to it) apply to all staff. In this instance “staff” relates to all employed staff, as well as volunteers (including mentors and students), agency, contract and sessional workers and seconded staff working on behalf of Open Hands in any capacity and in any setting. Failure on the part of any such persons to follow this policy and procedures adopted pursuant to it will be seen as serious and may lead to disciplinary action for employed staff.
It also applies to Open Hands trustees.
This policy has been adopted by Open Hands’ Romanian arm, Fundatia Open Hands.
Open Hands will endeavour to ensure that organizations that it partners with have a similar policy where their activities overlap with those of Open Hands.
This policy and related procedures were adopted by the trustees on 6th October 2021. They will be reviewed as and when deemed appropriate by the trustees but in any event by 31st December 2022.