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Craignish Community Company (C3)

Equal Opportunities Policy

POLICY STATEMENT
Craignish Community Company (C3) is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of rural regeneration for the public benefit following principles of sustainable development, within the geographical area defined in its Memorandum and Articles of Association.

C3 recognises that not all sections of society have equal power and influence in terms of employment, community participation, decision making or access to facilities, recreation and their environment.

The purpose of this Equal Opportunities policy is to confirm C3’s commitment to preventing discrimination and providing equal opportunities in all of its activities. C3 is trying to make sure that inequality is addressed in a positive way in all its work and that all those involved with the organisation, both members and non members, are treated fairly and without prejudice. Towards this aim the committee is determined to mainstream equality issues in all aspects of the project, using the definition of mainstreaming in the Scotland Act (1998):
“Mainstreaming equality is the systematic integration of an equality perspective into the everyday work of government, involving policy makers across all government departments, as well as equality specialists and external partners.”

Objectives of Policy
The legal requirements of equal opportunities are covered by:-
the Disabled persons Act (1958 and 1994)
the Equal Pay Act (1970 and (1983)
the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974)
the Sex Discrimination Act (1975 and 1986)
the Race Relations Act (1976)
the Disabled Persons Discrimination Act (1995)
as well as the European Commission’s equal treatment Directive.

Following the above legislation, this policy aims to make sure that:-

•Nobody suffers discrimination in a direct way. This means that no person should be treated less favourably because of their age, class, childcare or care responsibilities, colour, culture, disability, ethnic origins, gender, health status, marital status, nationality, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, Trade union membership or being an ex-offender.

•Nobody suffers any form of discrimination in an indirect way. That is where any conditions are imposed which have the effect of discriminating against any of the groups noted in the previous paragraph, whether this is intentional or not.

•C3 supports the elimination of illegal discriminatory practices and the promotion of resisting the effects of past discrimination.

•Nobody is victimised because they have made a complaint, or intend to make a complaint or supply evidence or information under the race or sexuality laws.


Statement
C3 intends to make sure that people are treated equally and fairly in all its activities. These activities include training, conferences, information, membership services and field work as well as policies and public statements. C3 also intends to do this in any promotional activity.

C3 believes that no one should suffer less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, care responsibilities, childcare, class, disability, ethnic origin, gender, health status, nationality, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, being an ex-offender, or trade union membership.

Areas Covered
C3 is committed to equal opportunities, which supports every area of its operation; it is included in all areas of policy thinking and decision making particularly:

•Employment

The principle of equal opportunities is included in all areas of staff and volunteer recruitment, supervision, review and development. Examples are:- advertising, application forms, disciplinary/grievance procedures, interviewing, job specifications, monitoring, promotion, supervision and training.

Staff contracts and job descriptions will include the equal opportunities policy.

•Delivery of Services

The principles of equal opportunities will be included in the delivery of all C3’s activities.

•Organisational Policy and Development of C3

The principles of equal opportunities will be included in all marketing and promotion of C3 and will be considered in the development of and evident in the strategy of, both image and public statements.

Day to Day Running
The principles of equal opportunities will be included in the day to day running of the organisation. Different cultural and religious backgrounds will be considered and people given respect and dignity.

Implementation and Responsibilities
•All staff, Directors, sub committee members and volunteers have a responsibility to make sure that the policy is carried out effectively.

•A member of the Board of Directors will be responsible for ensuring the policy is monitored, reviewed and developed. The Board of Directors will take the final decision if there is any dispute.

•The Director representing each sub committee will be responsible for putting equal opportunities policy in place and giving reports to the Board.

•The Membership Secretary will be responsible for making sure the terms of the policy are followed on membership and administrative matters.

Grievance and Complaints Procedure
•Any breach of the equal opportunities policy or act of discrimination, victimisation or harassment towards staff, Volunteers, providers or users of C3’s services will be taken seriously and dealt with promptly by the Directors.

•Staff members who want to make a complaint and anyone who supports them or gives evidence on their behalf will be guaranteed not to suffer any harassment or any unfair treatment as a result.

•C3 will make sure people of one racial group or sex, or with disability are not disciplined or dismissed for performance or behaviour which may be ignored or accepted in other groups.

•C3 will aim to make this an on-going practice process rather than a formal legal process. The C3 Board of Directors will arbitrate in the event of dispute with, or complaint from, service users.

•Anybody contracted to C3 for specific work will be bound by the code of practice on equal opportunities which will form part of the contract. If the code is not followed the contract may be deemed to be broken. C3 will have the right to end a contract if this should happen and also to take legal action to recover any losses that result from the contract being broken.

Monitoring and Review
Review
The staff and Directors should expect regular discussion and debate on the operation of this policy as part of their responsibilities. The policy will also be reviewed regularly by the Board and updated as necessary.

Monitoring
Regular assessment and monitoring of the policy will be carried out to make sure that the objectives of the policy are being met.

Resources
C3 will try to make sure that appropriate support is available to carry out this policy. In particular:
C3 undertakes to::

· Ensure that the policy is known to all C3’s Directors, staff, sub committees and ordinary members and that all are aware of their obligations.

· Display a copy in the registered office, and make a copy available to anyone who requests one. It will also appear on C3’s website www.craignishcommunitycompany.org.uk and reference will be made to it on all relevant publicity materials.

· Make available and provide training and guidance for all users and potential users, to ensure an understanding of their responsibilities under the law and under this Equal Opportunities Policy.

· Examine and regularly review procedures and criteria and make appropriate changes where they are found to be actually or potentially discriminating.

LEGISLATIVE BACKGROUND
The European Community Treaty: Article 12, 13 and 141 (Cited in Scottish Executive: 2000: 32).
The European Convention on Human Rights, incorporated into the Scottish legislative framework. (Human Rights Act, 1998, Article 14, Ibid.: 32).
The relevant UK legislation which relates to equal opportunities are:
The Equal Pay Act 1970
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
The Race Relations Amendment (RRA) Act (2000) and the RRA 1976
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Employment Act 1989 and Employment Rights Act 1996.


Child Protection Policy


Craignish Community Company - C3 is fully committed to promoting children’s rights, notably their right to be protected from harm, abuse and exploitation and to be involved in any decisions that are made about them. C3 has a duty of care to implement effective policies and procedures for safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. In order to achieve this we will ensure our staff and volunteers are carefully selected, screened, trained and supervised. Furthermore we will endeavour to keep up to date with national developments relating to the care and protection of children and young people.

C3 will:
Ensure that all workers understand their legal and moral obligations to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation.

Develop best practice in relation to the recruitment of all workers (paid staff and volunteers).

Provide opportunities for all newly appointed workers (paid and unpaid) through the provision of induction training, which gives an overview of C3’s purpose, values, structure and services.

Ensure that all workers understand their responsibility to work to the standards and procedures detailed in C3’s Code of Good Practice and Child Protection procedures.

Ensure that all workers understand their obligations to report care or protection concerns about a child/young person, or a worker’s conduct towards a child/young person, to C3’s designated Child Protection Officer.

Ensure that all procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner.

Ensure that the designated child protection officer understands his/her responsibility to refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. police and/or social work).

Ensure that C3 meets all its responsibilities in adhering to the requirements of the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003.

Provide opportunities for all workers (paid and unpaid) to develop their skills and knowledge particularly in relation to the care and protection of children and young people.

Ensure that children and young people are enabled to express their ideas and views on a wide range of issues and will have access to C3’s complaints procedures.

Endeavour to keep up to date with national developments relating to the care and protection of children and young people.

Child Protection Procedures:

Section 1 – Introduction

The purpose of the procedures is to ensure that all concerns about the care and protection of children/young people are effectively and sensitively managed.

All workers (paid or unpaid) for C3 are required to implement the child protection procedures.

In carrying out our work with children and young people in the Craignish community, C3 has a ‘Duty of Care’ that is placed on all those who work with children and young people - Section 5 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 states that “it shall be the responsibility of a person who is 16 or over and who has care and control of a child under 16, to do what is reasonable to safeguard the child’s health, development and welfare”

C3 has a commitment to children’s rights, notably their right to be protected from harm, abuse and exploitation and to be involved in any decisions which directly affect them.

The child protection Officer is responsible for developing and reviewing C3’s Child Protection policy statement and other care and protection policies and guidelines in agreement with C3 Directors.

C3 is committed to ensure that equality of opportunity is embedded in our thinking, in our different areas of work and in recruiting paid staff, volunteers and members. This means that we will endeavor to create a culture where people of all backgrounds and experience feel appreciated and valued. C3 is totally committed to achieving equality. All members of the community who use our services or join our group in whatever capacity, will be fairly treated and without discrimination. Discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, gender, marital status, sexuality, disability, age or any other unjustifiable criterion will not be tolerated.


Section 2 – Recruitment

All applicants (staff and volunteers) will be asked to complete an application form.
All suitable applicants (paid and unpaid positions) will be asked to attend an interview.
All successful applicants (paid and unpaid positions) will be asked to provide suitable references.
All successful applicants (staff and volunteers) for work in child care positions will be asked to complete a self declaration form.
All successful applicants (paid and unpaid) for work in childcare positions will be asked to complete an enhanced disclosure certificate.

Any applicant found to be fully listed on the Disqualified from Working with Children’s List will not be appointed to work (paid or unpaid) in a childcare position.


Section 3 - Training

All newly appointed workers (paid and unpaid) will have access to and be made aware of C3’s policies and procedures.

Details of the Organisation’s Overview detailing C3’s structure and aims and objectives will be provided.

Training, information and a copy of this Child Protection Policy Statement will be provided.

Training, information and a copy of the C3’s Code of Conduct for Working with Young People will be provided.

Training, information and a copy of the C3’s Code of Good Practice for Working with Young People will be provided.

Training Information and a copy of the C3’s Health and Safety Policy Statement will be provided.

The contact details and roles and responsibilities of the C3‘s Child Protection Officer will be provided.

All newly appointed workers (paid and unpaid) will complete an agreed probationary period.

An assessment of staff (paid and unpaid) training and development requirements will be completed.

The roles and responsibilities of staff and volunteers within C3 will be clarified.

Clear details of the expectations, roles and responsibilities of all newly appointed staff and volunteers will be provided.



Section 4 – Types of Abuse and a summary of sign and indicators

For child protection purposes this is the way in which abuse/neglect are categorised (i.e. physical injury; sexual abuse; emotional abuse and neglect - non-organic failure to thrive)

Also to be aware of other factors which increase the risk of abuse and neglect of children (for example, domestic abuse; children and families affected by substance abuse; severe and on-going bullying and harassment).


Section 5 – C3 Procedures for responding to concerns about abuse /neglect

The procedure to be followed where a concern is raised that a child/young person may be experiencing abuse/neglect by an individual outwith C3, a concern of this nature may come to light because (for example):

A child/young person has alleged that they are being abused;
or
C3 has received a third party report that a child/young person is being abused/neglected;
or
There are signs and indicators which could point to abuse/neglect.

The worker / volunteer will report their concern to C3’s designated person responsible for Child Protection. The child protection officer will follow local area guidelines and refer to local Child Protection agencies (i.e. local area police and/or social work).


The procedure to be followed where a concern is raised that a child/young person is being harmed or abused by a worker from within C3, a concern of this nature may come to light because (for example):

A child/young person alleges that they have been harmed by a worker;
or
A parent/carer or other individual from outwith C3 alleges that their/a child has been harmed by a worker;
or
Other workers may have witnessed or have concerns about a worker’s behavior towards children/young people.

In this instance the first priority is to make the child / young person safe, then follow C3 Disciplinary Procedure and Complaints Procedure with the worker / volunteer.

C3’s designated person responsible for Child Protection will ensure that any Child Protection concerns are referred on to local police and/or social work.

In addition where a worker has harmed a child or placed a child at risk of harm and has been removed from a childcare position and therefore, the grounds for a referral under the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 legislation, have been met, C3 has a responsibility to make a referral to Scottish Ministers to allow Ministers to consider if the referral requires for the worker concerned to become Fully Listed on the Disqualified from Working with Children List.

C3‘s Child Protection Officer and The Directors of the company are responsible for carrying out these required procedures.


Section 6 – Summary of the referral process to child protection agencies

In circumstances where there are concerns about child protection, the priority is the welfare of the child/young person so it is important that the referral process is as short as possible and involves as few individuals as possible. In most cases workers/volunteers should follow the guidelines below. If there are any other concerns that are unclear or confusing for the worker/ volunteer they should seek the advice of C3’s Child Protection Officer and not discuss issues with other staff / volunteers.

1.Any worker, volunteer or member of C3 who has a concern about the welfare of a child or young person must report their concerns immediately to the designated Child Protection Officer. Workers and volunteers must respect the confidential nature of any concerns and speak only to the Child Protection Officer of C3. If the Child Protection Officer is unavailable they must report their concerns to C3’s lead director for Children and Young People committee. Under no circumstances should the worker/volunteer question or investigate any concerns or allegations themselves.
2.The Child Protection Officer (CPO) will meet with the young person or child (where appropriate) and inform him/her of the need for referral to local Child Protection Agencies. Under no circumstances will the CPO of C3 attempt to ask questions or investigate allegations. This meeting is to support the child/young person and to let them know what is happening.
3.The CPO of C3 will make the initial referral; this may be done verbally and must be followed up by a written referral within 48 hours.
4.In cases where allegations have been made against a parent or carer,C3 will seek advice from local Child Protection Agencies as to the appropriateness of sharing concerns with parents/ carers or other services involved with the young person/child.
5.In cases where an allegation has been made against a C3 worker or volunteer the CPO will follow steps 1-3. Additionally the board of directors ofC3 will be informed and complaint and/or disciplinary procedures will be initiated. Where grounds for a referral under the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 legislation, have been met, C3 has a responsibility to make a referral to Scottish Ministers to allow Ministers to consider if the referral requires for the worker concerned to become Fully Listed on the Disqualified from Working with Children List.
6.In instances of child protection concerns the CPO will seek the advice of the local Child Protection Agencies.
Section 7 – Protection of Workers who report care and protection concerns

Where workers/volunteers report Child Protection concerns they should be aware that all reporting should only include non-judgmental observations and factual information. Workers are protected by the law from actions by those individuals who have been implicated in the abuse, harm and/or neglect of a child or young person as long as the worker’s report was not malicious or vexatious.

Section 8 – Data Protection and management of confidential information

C3 is aware of the necessity of Data Protection and management of confidential information. Disclosure information will be handled by the registered person and their nominee in a sensitive and responsible manner. All disclosure and other personal confidential information will be stored in a locked, static cabinet. Confidential information will not be stored on computers or digital removable storage devices. Confidential information will only be stored for the necessary required time and will be disposed of by shredding when appropriate.

C3 recognises the UN convention of The Rights of the Child:

Basic principles of the Convention
• All children have the same rights and are of equal worth.
• Every child has the right to have his/her basic needs fulfilled.
• Every child has the right to protection from abuse and exploitation.
• Every child has the right to express his/her opinion and to be respected.

All Young people and children who useC3 services have a right to confidentiality.C3 understands the sensitive nature of child protection work and is committed to ensuring that confidential issues are managed carefully with respect for the child’s/young person’s feelings and wishes. Referral to other agencies and the sharing of information with third parties will only happen with the child/young person’s consent and knowledge. Where the young person has not given consent and the CPO considers that there is a risk of abuse or harm, only then would C3 make a referral or pass on information - for the protection of the young person or child.
In the following instances we would inform the young person/ child of our Child Protection responsibilities and refer to local Child Protection Agencies even without their consent:
Where a child or young person is at risk from others; is a risk to themselves; or is a risk towards others.