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6.5 Developing a Whistleblowing Policy

RELATED NATIONAL GUIDANCE AND INFORMATION

Ofsted Website

Raising Concerns at Work –Whistleblowing Guidance for Workers and Employers in Health and Social Care

Whistleblowing to Ofsted about Children’s Social Care Services - Policy and Guidance for Whistleblowers

RELATED LOCAL GUIDANCE

Examples of LSCBs individual agency whistle blowing policies can be accessed via the electronic link on the Blackburn with Darwen LSCB website.

RELATED CHAPTERS

Safe Recruitment, Selection and Supervision of Staff Procedure

AMENDMENT

In November 2016, an updated version of Whistleblowing to Ofsted about Children’s Social Care Services - Policy and Guidance for Whistleblowers in Related National Guidance and Information was added. This document outlines what Ofsted will do when it receives certain concerns about Children’s Social Care services from a whistleblower.


Contents

  Introduction
  Whistle Blowing Policy Should
  Whistle Blowing Policy Should Not


Introduction

  1. Safeguarding children and young people requires staff and volunteers who work with children and young people and their families to be committed to the highest possible standards of openness, integrity and accountability. In line with that requirement the LSCB expects all member agencies to have in place a whistle blowing / confidentiality reporting policy so that any employee, volunteer or others with whom it deals who have genuine concerns about any aspect of their agency or organisations work, will be encouraged to come forward and speak out under the auspices of that policy and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Each organisation will have their own whistle blowing policy for staff which reflects the principles in Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak Up review. These principles should be suitably referenced in staff training and codes of conduct, and a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to be addressed.

    Please see your agency policy for details.


Whistle Blowing Policy Should:

  • Cover major concerns about the actions of an employee or worker of the agency/organisation e.g. temporary, supply, casual workers, any contractor, supplier, agency staff or consultant employed by the agency or organisation, any volunteers working on behalf of the agency/organisation, or any elected members of a council;
  • Encourage a person to feel confident in raising genuine concerns and to question and act upon these;
  • Provide avenues for them to raise those concerns inside the agency/organisation and subject to any legal constraints, receive feedback on any action taken;
  • Reassure them that they will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation if they have made any disclosure in line with the policy;
  • Allow a person to voice their concerns outside the agency in some circumstances;
  • Increase the likelihood that the agency/organisation will hear of any wrongdoing in time to prevent any serious accidents or damage;
  • Cover major concerns that fall outside of the scope of the other procedures e.g.
    • Health and safety risks, including risks to other employees as well as other members of the public;
    • Sexual or physical abuse of clients, or other unethical conduct;
    • Serious failure to comply with appropriate professional standards;
    • Breach of the agency/organisations or statutory standards of proficiency;
    • Deliberate breach of the agency/organisations policy or procedure;
    • Abuse of power, or use of agency/organisations powers and authority for any unauthorised use or personal gain;
    • Conduct which is an offence or a breach of law;
    • Disclosures related to miscarriages of justice;
    • The unauthorised use of public funds;
    • Possible fraud and corruption;
    • Damage to the environment.
  • Clarify:
    • The entitlement to protection when raising a concern/ complaint;
    • How to raise a concern within the agency or organisation;
    • How the agency/organisation will respond to a person raising a concern or complaint;
    • What action can be taken if a person is not satisfied with any action taken, or they remain concerned having exhausted all internal procedures and believe it is right to take the matter outside the agency/organisation.
  • Address the issues of:
    • Making allegations anonymously;
    • Making allegations which are frivolous, malicious or for personal gain;
    • How the policy will be monitored.


Whistle Blowing Policy Should Not:

  1. Replace other complaints or reporting procedures for example:
    • Financial regulations;
    • Child protection procedures;
    • Any policy designed to deal with harassment and bullying involving employees;
    • The complaints procedure;
    • The grievance procedure, which an employee would use to resolve contractual disagreements relating to conditions of service;
    • Investigation into the misconduct for example elected members of the council under the auspices of the standards board.

End