Safeguarding Policy

  1. This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of the Apple Tree Centre, including Directors, employees, associates, students and volunteers (referred to hereafter as ‘staff’). The purpose of this policy is to protect all children and young people who receive services through the Apple Tree Centre, and to provide staff with a clear guide to the principles which guide our approach to safeguarding.
  1. The Apple Tree Centre believes that no child or young person should experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, and to keep them safe. We are committed to working in a way which protects them.
  1. This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance which seeks to protect children and young people, including:
    • Children Act 1989
    • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1991
    • Data Protection Act 1998
    • Education Act 2002
    • Adoption and Children Act 2002
    • Sexual Offences Act 2003
    • Children Act 2004
    • Children and Adoption Act 2006
    • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
    • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

All staff are expected to follow the guidelines issued by Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board, which are available online at, and are regularly updated.

  1. The Apple Tree Centre is committed to safer recruiting practices, as outlined in our Associates Policy, and to providing effective management for staff and volunteers through therapist meetings, training and ongoing support.
  1. We recognise that the welfare of the child is paramount, and that all children have equal right to protection from all types of abuse or harm, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity.
  1. We recognise that working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers, and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
  1. The Children Act (1989) identifies four categories of abuse: Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. All staff are expected to understand and recognise signs of abuse.


  1. Therapists are expected to update their knowledge and awareness of Safeguarding issues, policies and procedures at least bi-annually.  This might include reading the relevant guidelines, attending training events and/or undergoing online training, and may involve a ‘refresher’ course, more in-depth core training or training around specific issues, depending on the therapist’s learning needs and in agreement with their line manager.  Therapists should provide evidence of relevant training, including copies of any certificates, to be kept on file at The Apple Tree Centre.
  1. The role of Designated Safeguarding Person will be carried out by both Directors of the Apple Tree Centre, Rosie Dymond and Jenny Reid.
  1. If an Associate Therapist is concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a client, they should record all relevant information in the client’s file on the Safeguarding Record sheet.  Associates should also make the Directors aware of any concern within 24 hours, or sooner if the concern is of an urgent nature.  If one of the Directors has a Safeguarding concern, they should alert the other within 24 hours. Concerns will then be discussed between one or both Directors and the Associate concerned, and a decision made regarding what action needs to be taken. This decision should also be recorded in the client’s file.
  1. Children, Young People and Parents will be made aware of the Confidentiality and Record Keeping Policy, including the limits of confidentiality. 
  1. Whenever possible, the Apple Tree Centre will seek the consent of both the child/young person and their parents/carers (if the young person is under 18 years of age) before sharing information with any third party. The exception to this is when informing the parents or carers would place the young person at more risk, for example by introducing undue delay or when the safeguarding concern is about a parent or carer. 
  1. Where a child, young person or vulnerable adult is identified as being at risk of significant harm, this concern should always be shared, which may mean sharing information without their consent. This decision should always be taken jointly in discussion with one of the Directors, and wherever possible the client and their parents / carers should be informed of any action to be taken. This decision will be noted in the client’s file and reasons given. 
  1. All decisions regarding what action should be taken will be made with reference to the Decision Making Flowchart which is available to all staff.
  1. When an allegation is made against a professional who works with children (in either a voluntary or paid capacity), this information should be passed on to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) as well as to the police or social care. This referral will usually be made by the Directors. Support should be given to the professional involved in any allegation, which may include independent counselling.
  1. If an allegation is made against one of the Apple Tree Centre’s staff, please refer to the ‘Whistleblowing Policy’.
  1. When taking private referrals, we will collect contact details for GPs, schools, and any social care involvement, in order to facilitate information sharing.
  1. When taking professional referrals, the referrer will usually be the first point of contact and will retain a duty of care in relation to any urgent safeguarding concerns.