We want to ensure that we embed practices throughout The Social Change Nest that protect children and vulnerable adults in the work that we do and respond to circumstances that arise.

This includes the conduct of staff or personnel associated with The Social Change Nest and in the design and implementation of The Social Change Nest’s programmes and activities.

What is safeguarding?

In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. We understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes. 

The Social Change Nest believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. We will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by staff or associated personnel. 

We commit to addressing safeguarding throughout our work. We will: 

  • Ensure all staff have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities with regards to safeguarding and how to report any issues; 
  • Design and undertake all its programmes and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with The Social Change Nest. This includes the way in which information about individuals in our programmes is gathered and communicated 

Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying staff and associated personnel

Working with children and young people.

We recognise our responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect children (under the age of 18) from harm, abuse and exploitation. 

Staff and personnel associated with SCN will work together to embrace difference and diversity and respect the rights of children and young people.

We are committed to the following principles: 

The welfare of children is the primary concern. 

All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from all forms of harm and abuse. 

Child protection is everyone’s responsibility. 

Children have the right to express views on all matters which affect them, should they wish to do so. 

Organisations shall work in partnership together with children and parents/carers to promote the welfare, health and development of children.

We will promote the health and welfare of children by providing opportunities for them to take part in our work and activities safely, respecting and promoting the rights, wishes and feelings of children. 

When working with children, we will promote and implement appropriate procedures to safeguard the well-being of children and protect them from abuse. This includes recruiting, training, supporting and supervising staff, members and associates to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children from abuse and to reduce risk to themselves. They will be trained in our safeguarding procedures. Our team and anyone working with us to deliver our work will contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations. 

Communications, training and support for staff

  • The Social Change Nest commits resources for induction, training of staff (paid and unpaid), effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding 

    Induction will include: 

    • Discussion of the Safeguarding Policy to ensure they understand it and know how to handle any safeguarding issues 
    • Discussion of other relevant policies that will support them with managing safeguarding 
    • Ensure they are familiar with reporting processes 

    Anyone reporting concerns or complaints through formal whistleblowing channels (or if they request it) will be protected by our Whistleblowing Policy (available upon request)

    The Social Change Nest will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies. Please view our complaints policy for further details. 

Professional boundaries

Professional boundaries are what define the limits of a relationship between a support worker and a client. They are a set of standards we agree to uphold that allows this necessary and often close relationship to exist, while ensuring the correct detachment is kept in place. The Social Change Nest expects our staff and associated personnel to protect the professional integrity of themselves and the organisation with the people we work with. The following professional boundaries must be adhered to: 

  • Giving and receiving gifts from adults: The Social Change Nest does not allow paid or unpaid staff to give gifts to or receive gifts from adults. However appropriate gifts may be provided by the organisation as part of a planned activity. 
  • Staff contact with user groups: Personal relationships between a member of staff (paid or unpaid) and a vulnerable adult who is being provided with support is prohibited. This includes relationships through social networking sites. 
  • It is prohibited to enter into a personal relationship with an adult who has been provided with a service over the past 12 months. 

How to report a safeguarding concern

Any member of our staff or associated personnel, or anyone external to the organisation, who has a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding will report it to our designated safeguarding lead. This can be done through emailing as per our complaints process

Response: The Social Change Nest will respond/acknowledge receipt of the initial concern in a maximum 24hrs. The Social Change Nest will investigate and apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of policy. We will offer support to survivors of harm caused by staff or associated personnel, regardless of whether a formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation). Decisions regarding support will be led by the survivor.

Confidentiality: It is essential that confidentiality is maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need to know basis only, and should be kept secure at all times. 

Glossary of Terms

Beneficiary of Assistance: Someone who directly receives goods or services from The Social Change Nest’s programme. Note that misuse of power can also apply to the wider community that the NGO serves, and also can include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power. 

Child: A person below the age of 18 

Harm: Psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights. It can be caused through a number of forms, including the following: physical abuse, domestic violence and domestic abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, financial or material abuse, modern slavery , discriminatory abuse, organisational abuse, neglect and acts of omission, self-neglect. 

Psychological harm: Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) humiliating and degrading treatment such as bad name calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement and isolation 

Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA): The term used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or associated personnel. The term derives from the United Nations Secretary General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13) 

Safeguarding: In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect 

In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes. 

Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriately when harm does occur. 

Sexual abuse: The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. 

Sexual exploitation: The term ‘sexual exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This definition includes human trafficking and modern slavery. 

Survivor: The person who has been abused or exploited. The term ‘survivor’ is often used in preference to ‘victim’ as it implies strength, resilience and the capacity to survive, however it is the individual’s choice how they wish to identify themselves. 

At risk adult: Sometimes also referred to as vulnerable adult. A person who is or may be in need of care 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. This may include a person who: is elderly and frail, has a mental illness including dementia, has a physical or sensory disability, has a learning disability, has a severe physical illness, is a substance misuser, is homeless.