Lone Working Policy

Door 84 Lone Working Policy

The purpose and scope of this policy statement:

Door 84 Youth and Community Centre works with children, young people, vulnerable adults and where possible with their carers’ and families. We additionally work with local community members and other building users. Door 84 Youth and Community facilitates and coordinates various activities including: open access youth and community sessions, community events, open days, residentials, day trips; which may include remote supervision, specific project work, mentoring, one to one support working and engagement with other building users.

This policy is to be read in conjunction with our safeguarding policy and other related policies within the safeguarding category. Within this policy, children, young people, vulnerable adults and any other building users who use Door 84’s building or services will be referred to for the purpose of the policy as ‘participants.’

This policy statement applies to anyone working on behalf of Door 84 Youth and Community Centre, including senior managers, the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, project workers, agency staff and students. For the purpose of this policy all of the above will be referred to as “worker”, whether they are staff in a paid capacity or as an unpaid volunteer.

The aim of this policy statement is:

  • To work to protect children, young people, vulnerable adults and workers who are involved with our organisation from risks associated with lone working
  • To ensure workers are aware of what constitutes as lone working and what measures they should take to reduce risk.
  • To provide information to all workers, participants and their families about what we class as acceptable lone working.
  • To provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to lone working
  • To provide a working document with details of the procedure’s workers must follow whist lone working, who is authorised to lone work and guidance on how to manage this safely.

We believe that:

  • Some circumstances mean that lone working is required so that the need of a child, young person or vulnerable adult can be met
  • Children, young people and vulnerable adults who access Door 84’s services have the right to privacy which can sometimes only be facilitated by lone working
  • Lone working can be carried out with minimal risks if correctly planned and risk assessments are made
  • It is essential that whilst carrying out lone working, workers keep their staff team informed of their plans

Lone Working – Personal Safety Guidelines

In most situations it’s best practice to have at least two workers present when working with participants. Sometimes it may be appropriate or necessary for a worker to work one-to-one with a child, young person or vulnerable adult or supervise a small group on their own.

Lone working will only be undertaken by workers who have completed the induction process, including a minimum of online local government safeguarding training. They must also have a satisfactorily DBS check and references in place.

When lone working, it is essential that you follow some basic principles to ensure that all parties stay safe. Door 84 will ensure to gather as much information of the background of the participant and build a relationship with them before any ‘Lone Working’ takes place.

As with all areas of direct working, real time risk assessments must also be made by the worker. This includes assessing the mood and body language of the participant they are working with. Workers must do everything possible to minimise risk including making sure other duty staff are fully aware of where they are and how long they expect to be.

Workers must be mindful to check in regularly with their colleagues when lone working takes place.  This could include calling, texting or physically going to discreetly listen in or carry out a visual check in. Ideally an agreed time scale should be agreed for this prior to lone working taking place.

This lone working policy is to be read and followed in conjunction with our safeguarding policy and other policies within this category.

Lone Working may take place;

  • With Young Volunteers and Work Experiences Students
  • When a participant wishes to discuss something personal with a Worker
  • If a participant needs additional support to access additional services such a new support group session a medical appointment.
  • When for a participant’s safety is at risk, a Worker, where possible accompanied by another Team member can drive or walk a participant to a safer place.
  • In some cases, there may be a specific need for a senior member of staff or Manager transport a participant alone so that safe staffing levels can be maintained within the service. Examples of this include residential trips where it is deemed a young person needs to be returned home.
  • Some situations may mean it is not suitable for a service user to be onsite due to the risk to others. Senior worker or Managers may have catch ups off site to facilitate this. Ideally this will be done in areas which have CCTV and are in public view.

Support within each of these will include;

  • Young Volunteers – These are generally Young People known to Door 84 and are low risk of working alongside a member of staff alone.
  • Work Experiences Students – On a one to one basis they will often work with a Youth Worker or Administrator alone in the office. It would be the school or college’s responsibility to inform us of anything in particular we needed to be informed about. The Young Person would also complete application forms and a care plan if needed.
  • When a Young Person wishes to discuss something personal with a Youth Worker – This will generally be carried out within a session so other staff are on site unless specifically requested by a Young Person to meet in a separate time to sessions.
  • When a request is made by a participant to attend something off site with support.
  • Accompanying a participant to an initial appointment such as GP, benefit and/or housing assistance, CAMHs or other support services.

Procedures of Lone Working

Complete the Lone Worker log form which includes information stating;

  • Risk Assessment made considering travel, logging in and out via email? To whom?
  • How the meeting/off site visit was arranged
  • Why it is needed
  • Who has authorised it
  • What time you started the meeting/started to lone work and left Door 84
  • What time the meeting finished/ended lone work and returned to Door 84
  • What was the content of the meeting/visit?
  • Any concerns?
  • Concerns shared with who?
  • Actions required

The Manager and Senior Workers will be the first points of contact if you had concerns, unless it is an emergency that requires 999 to be called. For example, if you are immediately concerned about the safety or well-being of yourself or the Young Person.

Listen to your instincts – If your instincts tell you that something is not right, end the session immediately and inform someone at the earliest opportunity.

This Policy links into the Safeguarding and the Roles and Responsibly Policies.

Conduct whilst lone working

Always behave appropriately when you are around children, young people and adults. This will help keep professional boundaries in place and make sure everyone feels comfortable and protected.

  • Set appropriate boundaries and do not be overly familiar with children and young people
  • Never give participants your personal contact details. If you need to arrange meeting times, do this ideally via the participants carers or via a method which multiple staff supervise. Such as the Door 84 Facebook messenger or mobile phone
  • Don’t add, follow or interact with participants on your personal social media account
  • Any physical contact must be appropriate, justifiable, approached sensitively and agreed to by the participant

Consider implementing behaviour codes setting out how you will behave and how you expect the children you work with to behave. You can share these with participants and where relevant their carers before you start working with them. For example, if a child asks for a hug explain to them that this must be done as a side hug at times where it is needed as reassurance and not as a frequent greeting method. This should also be done in view of other workers.

Scenarios

 “Unintentional lone working or interactions”

As discussed within this policy, ideally lone working should be done in a well-planned and risk assessed manor. Due to the nature of youth and community work, with workers often living in the communities they work with, there will be occasions where workers find themselves in contact with participants outside of their working roles. Additionally, within contemporary society social media means that workers need to be mindful of what information they share to avoid participants attempting to contact them outside of their roles. Below are some scenarios and the suggested responses should they happen.

A participant attempts to add a worker on a social media platform

The correct response would be to block or reject the friend or follow request. The Manager or your senior worker must be notified of the situation so that they can ensure it is dealt with sensitively. They will follow this up by having a chat with the participant to explain the reason for the rejection. This will include reassuring them that it doesn’t not mean they are not liked as a person, but it is part of the safeguarding policy in place to protect everybody.

A participant approaches a worker outside of the workplace in a public place

It is inevitable that workers will occasionally end up at the same location as a participant, especially with Door 84 based in a small City such as York. Obviously, we do not want to completely ignore a participant if they greet us; it would be impolite not to greet them back. However, conversation should be kept professional and workers should aim to remove themselves from situation quickly. In cases such as this, it may be appropriate to use a white lie that you need to go due to been busy. This avoids making the participant feel rejected, whilst limiting the risk on for both sides.

In some circumstances it may become apparent a participant is regularly at a location at a certain time or day. Workers should be mindful about avoiding regularly meeting in such a way wherever possible. Each incident must be reported to a Manager or senior worker so that if an allegation is made, they are aware or the situation. Workers need to report the date, time, location, duration and basic overview of the interaction.

A participant attempts to make contact by arriving at a worker’s home.

This is completely unacceptable and an invasion of a worker’s privacy. Such an incident must be reported to a Manager immediately. Workers need to report the date, time, location, duration and basic overview of the interaction. The Manger will then follow this up with a conversation with the participant to make them aware that this is not acceptable. Consequences issued would include reporting this to the police as harassment should it continue. They would also be suspended from accessing the centres services if further attendances are noted. Furthermore, by reporting a situation if provides a level of protection for workers should an allegation be made in the future. There will be evidence that the participant was made aware that they are not welcome to be there.

Paramount Importance

Information surrounding all lone working or unintentional outside interactions should always be shared with senior workers and Managers. Even if you feel it was a short interaction it’s important to share details as per this policy. This allows a clear overview by management of any issues surround a participant’s interactions and whether it is appropriate. For example, if a participant is starting to cross boundaries by becoming too dependent on one particular worker. Or there is a pattern of frequently visiting a place in order to see a specific worker and chat outside of session times. This procedure ensures that workers can evaluate next steps and ways to discourage unhealthy dependency or uninvited attention outside of work form participants.

“Safeguarding is only effective when it is effectively communicated”.

Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect people in England. For the purpose of this policy children are people aged up to 18 years.

A vulnerable adult is a person who is aged over 18 years and who is or may be for any reason unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

The core principles of this policy are taken from the following:

  •  Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
  •  The Children’s’ Act. (1989) & (2004)
  •  The Children and Families Act (2014)
  •  Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)

 

References;

 

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/779401/Working_Together_to_Safeguard-Children.pdf
  • The Children’s’ Act. (1989) Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/data.pdf
  • The Children’s Act (2004) Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/pdfs/ukpga_20040031_en.pdf
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (2006) Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/47/contents

 

Related policies and procedures

This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies and procedures, including:

  • Safeguarding
  • Professional responsibilities and duties.
  • Dealing with allegations against staff and volunteers
  • Role of the designated safeguarding Lead
  • Managing allegations against staff and volunteers
  • Recruitment policy and procedures
  • Adult to child supervision ratios
  • Code of conduct for staff, trustees and volunteers
  • Staff and volunteer contact with participants outside of working roles policy
  • Staff and volunteer induction policy
  • Anti-bullying policy and procedures
  • Behaviour policy
  • Sexual health policy
  • Social media policy – Including: Photography and image sharing guidance
  • Confidentiality – Child protection records retention and storage policy- GDPR
  • Whistleblowing policy

 

More information about what these policies and procedures include is available from our website: www.door84.co.uk.

 

For Further Support Agencies Telephone Contact Details:

  • Children’s Front Door: 01904 55190
  • Emergency Duty Team (Children & Adults): 01609 780780
  • York Local Area Designated Officer: 01904 551783
  • Crisis Home Resolution Team Tel: 01904 615348 (young people:10am – 10pm)
  • Lime Trees (Mental Health) 01904 615300 (office hours)
  • NHS (non-emergency) 111
  • Police Non-emergency 101
  • Police emergency 999
  • York Adult Crisis Team (after 10pm for ages 16+) 01904 526582
  • 30 Clarence Street, Young Peoples Service: Text: 07624 802244.
  • Tel: 01904 555400
  • IDAS Domestic Violence 0300 011 0110
  • IDAS Sexual Abuse: 03000 110 110
  • Changing Lives (Substance Misuse): 01904 621776
  • Hand in Hand Project (Child Exploitation) 0113 387 6410/ 07715 122569 Email:  handinhand@childrenssociety.org.uk
  • PACE (Parents against child exploitation) 0113 240 5226 or 0113 240 3040 (Main Office)
  • Survive 01904 638813
  • York Mind 01904 643364

 

Contact details

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Name: Julie Arrowsmith

Phone/email: 01904 623177 / Julie.door84@hotmail.com

Deputy Safeguarding Lead

Name: Heidi Haywood

Phone/email: 01904 623177 / heidi.haywood@door84.org.uk

Deputy Safeguarding Lead

Name: Chris Bloomfield

Phone/email: 01904 623177 / Chris.door84@hotmail.com

 

Lead Trustee for Safeguarding

Name: Sheelegh Salter – contact details to be confirmed.

 

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually and will amend more frequently should legislation or reflective practice highlight the need for amendments.

 

Staff and Trustee Lead Signatures;

 

Staff Lead;

Name: __________________________________

 

Position: __________________________________

 

Date: __________________________________

 

Trustee Lead;

 

Name: __________________________________

 

Position: __________________________________

 

Date: __________________________________