Safeguarding Policy Statement
The purpose and scope of this policy statement:
Vajravarahi Kadampa Meditation Centre in Preston, Lancashire is a Buddhist meditation centre and a registered charity (number 292304).
It is part of the New Kadampa Tradition, the International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU).
This is an international association of study and meditation centers that follow the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism derived from the Buddhist meditators and scholars Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa and introduced into the West by the Buddhist Teacher Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
The purpose of the Centre is to provide an opportunity for people to experience meditation and to study Buddhist teachings. This is done through meditation classes, Buddhist study groups, prayer groups, and visits from groups, local schools and other educational facilities. It also provides residential accommodation for short term visitors and longer term for people who want to rent a room to live in.
The Centre also sometimes sends Buddhist Teachers to visit local schools and groups to give a talk and lead a meditation.
The purpose of this policy statement is:
- to protect children and young people who receive Vajravarahi Centre’s services from harm. This includes the children of adults who use our services.
- to provide staff and volunteers, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.
This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Vajravarahi Centre, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, and volunteers.
This document works alongside the ‘Safeguarding Policies And Procedures For Vajravarahi Kadampa Meditation Centre’ policy procedure, which goes into more detail.
We believe that:
- Children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind
- We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them
We recognise that:
- the welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse
- some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
- working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
- valuing, listening to and respecting them
- appointing a nominated child protection lead for children and young people
- adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies and procedures
- providing effective support and training so relevant people know about and follow our policies, procedures and behaviour codes confidently and competently
- recruiting and selecting staff safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- recording, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance
- using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately
- using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
- ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
Procedure for Raising Concerns:
- safeguarding concerns regarding a child or adult-at-risk should be raised with the Designated Safeguarding Officer “DSO” (presently Patrick Kenny), or in his/her absence the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer “Deputy DSO” (presently Dave Putwain)
- if such a concern implicates the DSO or Deputy DSO, then it should be raised with the Resident Teacher (presently Gen Kelsang Pagpa) instead
- the person raising the concern must record information about the concern on the same day. This record must be a clear, precise and factual account of their observations
- the DSO/Deputy DSO will check to determine the accuracy/truth of the concern, and decide whether the matter should be referred to the relevant local Adult’s or Children’s Social Care office.
Guidelines for Dealing with a Disclosure
If someone discloses that he or she has been abused, the person to whom it is disclosed should:
- listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief
- accept what is being said
- allow the person to talk freely
- reassure the person, but without making promises which might not be possible to keep
- not promise confidentiality, because it might be necessary to refer the case to the relevant Social Care Department
- reassure the person that what happened was not their fault
- stress that they were right to disclose the abuse
- listen, rather than ask direct questions
- ask open questions rather than leading questions
- not criticise the alleged perpetrator
- explain what has to be done next, and who has to be told
- use the following Guidelines for Recording a Disclosure.
Guidelines for Recording a Disclosure:
- make some brief notes as soon as possible after the conversation
- do not destroy these original notes, in case they are needed later by a court
- record the date, time and place of the disclosure, the words used by the person making the disclosure, and any unusual non-verbal behaviour that they displayed
- draw a diagram to indicate the position of any bruising or other injury – be careful to record statements and observations, rather than interpretations or assumptions
- pass the record of the disclosure immediately and directly to the DSO or Deputy DSO.
- any disclosure of abuse should immediately be passed to the DSO/Deputy DSO
- any access to personal information by staff/volunteers is strictly role-specific
- staff/volunteers are expected to treat information that they receive about a child or adult-at-risk in a discreet and confidential manner, regarding the safety and privacy of the child or adult-at-risk to be of the upmost importance
- all staff should be cautious when passing information to others about a child or adult-at-risk, and should check the appropriateness with the DSO/Deputy DSO.
‘Safeguarding Policies And Procedures For Vajravarahi Kadampa Meditation Centre’
0808 800 5000
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice regularly.
Date The Policy Statement Comes Into Force 1st July 2021