Welcome to the DMU Safeguarding. We provide information, advice and learning to staff to support their understanding of safeguarding and how they should respond to safeguarding situations.
Safeguarding is an umbrella term which considers all the activities we do aimed at respecting the fundamental right for adults and children to be safe. This includes the services we provide and policies and procedures in place to help prevent and minimise the risk of harm both to children’s and to adults’ welfare.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
As we all, staff and students, have a role to play in keeping each other and ourselves safe, we all have a duty to act where safeguarding issues present themselves.
DMU’s students come from a range of backgrounds and have a diverse range of needs. However, the way in which we listen to people and engage with them, our beliefs and attitudes and the information we pass over can all affect the way safeguarding issues are handled and resolved.
People who may be more vulnerable to the risk of harm are those whose circumstances make them less able to protect themselves. These circumstances may be for example, because an individual has a mental health condition or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
Safeguarding at DMU
Most people will go about their business on campus safely, and staff should follow best practice regarding health and safety and being alert to safeguarding issues. There will be children on campus, young people and adults with a diverse range of needs – this alone does not constitute a safeguarding issue that requires any action. Just being vigilant is what is required from most staff most of the time.
Sometimes people will make choices and decisions which we think are unwise. Safeguarding is not about policing people’s behaviour or intruding on people’s life choices.
At times, however, staff may encounter an issue that exposes vulnerable adults or children to a significant risk of harm. This is when issues are at the far end of the safeguarding spectrum, frequently referred to as Child and/or Adult Protection.
It is important that we report these issues, where appropriate, to services that are more qualified and have specific responsibilities in adult and child protection. DMU Safeguarding Coordinators will often determine what information is referred to external agencies, such as social services. They are only able to make such decisions when issues are referred to them; therefore, if you have a concern, but are not sure whether it is a safeguarding issue, it is always better to raise it.
In addition, all staff at DMU have a responsibility to respond to emergency or urgent situations. All staff should feel able to contact the police or social services direct when it is appropriate to do so. It would also be helpful if staff could advise a DMU Safeguarding Coordinator if they have needed to contact external agencies directly. This is because it is helpful for any follow-up communications that may occur.