The act of safeguarding is an essential component of our engagement with businesses and users, and this dedication is reflected in Hexitime’s core values which underpin and support our safeguarding effort as follows:
- People are assets
- Redefining work
Our approach involves treating others as they desire to be treated.
Hexitime operates as a digital timebank, working on the principle of reciprocity – reflected in our strapline of give an hour, get back! As our digital platform accommodates individuals and their networks to foster stronger partnerships, we are committed to minimizing the potential for abuse.
While networking sites can serve as effective tools for organizations and groups to communicate and interact, they can also present safeguarding risks if used inappropriately. We are dedicated to mitigating these risks in line with the 6 safeguarding principles as follows:
- Empowerment – We adopt a person-centered approach and uphold rights in our safeguarding endeavours.
- Prevention – We implement prudent measures to prevent abuse, which includes appropriate identity verification of timebank members, promoting safe working practices, and raising awareness of safeguarding.
- Proportionality – We employ the least intrusive response suitable for the risk at hand.
- Protection – We furnish policies, procedures, and information to enable all Hexitime personnel and clients to identify and appropriately respond to concerns of abuse.
- Partnership – We collaborate with our communities, which also play a role in preventing, detecting, and reporting neglect and abuse.
- Accountability – We strive for transparency in our approaches and acknowledge the need for continual learning and improvement.
Roles and Responsibilities
Employees and volunteers
Every individual working with Hexitime, regardless of their role, plays a role in safeguarding those in need of care and support. It is imperative that everyone familiarizes themselves with our Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.
Directors bear the responsibility of ensuring that safeguarding considerations are integrated, where applicable, into the strategic plans, risk assessments, and communications of their business. In certain cases, they may need to make decisions regarding complex or significant safeguarding concerns, in consultation with the Head of Safeguarding from the relevant client’s platform.
Managers are accountable for ensuring that they, along with the staff they oversee, are well-versed in our safeguarding policy and procedures and have access to relevant training. They should encourage discussions about safeguarding during team meetings and as part of supervision or one-on-one meetings. In cases involving complex or serious safeguarding concerns, they can seek guidance from the Head of Safeguarding as needed.
Head of Safeguarding – Hexitime
The Head of Safeguarding holds the designated role of safeguarding at Hexitime. They are responsible for developing and quality-assuring safeguarding activities across all platforms, while promoting best practices for clients using the Hexitime platform. The current Head of Safeguarding is Dr. Hesham Abdalla.
In the event of a safeguarding issue, the following procedure should be followed:
- Prior to Raising a Safeguarding Concern
- Observe and acknowledge that what is being seen, heard, or read may indicate potential abuse or neglect.
- Engage in a personal and empathetic conversation with the individual involved, seeking their preferences on how the matter should be handled.
- Exercise judgment by considering the individual’s wishes, mental capacity, risk level, gathering information from various sources, and identifying the need to involve others. In emergencies, call 999.
- Raising a Safeguarding Concern
Hexitime members wishing to report a concern should utilize the provided form on our standard ‘Contact’ page template. These messages will be directed to the Head of Safeguarding at Hexitime, who will devise an appropriate strategy to resolve or escalate the concern within 48 hours.
Allocation of Response Level
Utilize the scale below to determine the required level of response for each safeguarding concern:
- No inquiry/form misused
- Low: Addressable with one-on-one response and actions
- Medium: Notification to the platform administration team, with joint response planning
- High: Involvement of a multi-agency strategy meeting, including Hexitime and any platform partners
- Inquiry & Assessment of the Concern
Conduct the Inquiry
- Plan the approach in detail.
- Initiate a conversation with the individual involved.
- Carry out the inquiry.
- Determine whether a discussion or meeting is necessary to reach a conclusion and plan the next steps.
- Assess the satisfaction of the client with the inquiry and its outcome.
- Ensure that the six safeguarding principles underpin the inquiry and conclusion.
- Consider whether a more formal inquiry is warranted.
- Safeguarding Planning & Closure of the Concern
Contemplate the need for a meeting to agree on the plan.
- Collaborate with the individual and relevant agencies to define the plan, roles, responsibilities, and timelines.
- Disseminate the plan.
- Review the plan or conclude it.
- Solicit feedback.
Instances of non-compliance with Hexitime’s safeguarding policy may be addressed in various ways, depending on the nature and consequences of the incident. In some cases, a combination of responses may be necessary, including:
- Local authority-coordinated safeguarding investigations
- Police investigations
- Referral to the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)
- People & Performance disciplinary processes
- Internal reviews or collaboration with external reviews
Online Safeguarding – The Hexitime Timebank
In addition to our standard safeguarding policy and processes, we provide supplementary recommendations for our clients hosting their networks on Hexitime.
To join Hexitime, individuals must share contact details. This enables platform administrators to conduct additional safeguarding checks on members.
We suggest the following minimum data capture requirements to facilitate basic safeguarding checks:
- First name
- Last name
- Email address
- Hexitime Terms and Conditions
Last Updated: 26/07/2022
Safeguarding is a fundamental part of our work with communities and this commitment is reflected in the values of Hexitimeas a business, which inform and support all our safeguarding activity.
We treat others as they would want to be treated. We work together, we involve, and we consult; we support and enable others to achieve their goals.
Hexitime is a digital timebank working on the simple premise of reciprocity (e.g. give an hour and get one back). As our digital platform hosts individuals and their networks to build stronger partnerships, we are committed to reducing the risk of abuse.
Social networking sites can be great tools to help organisations and groups communicate and interact. However, if used inappropriately, they can also pose potential safeguarding risks and this may lead to abuse, both online and offline. We are committed to minimising these risks.
The six principles of safeguarding
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility andeveryone has a responsibility to keep people who need care and support safe from abuse and neglect. We uphold the six principles of safeguarding as outlined by the Social care Institute for Excellence:
- Empowerment– We will be person-centred and uphold rights in our safeguarding work.
- Prevention– We will put sensible measures in place to prevent abuse, including appropriate identity checks of timebank members, promoting safe working practice and raising awareness of safeguarding.
- Proportionality – We will adopt the least intrusive response that is appropriate to the risk presented.
- Protection– We will provide policy, procedures and information to enable all Hexitime staff and clients to identify and respond appropriately to concerns about abuse.
- Partnership – we will work with our communities who also have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
- Accountability– We aim to be transparent in our approaches and recognise the need for continuous learning and improvement.
Roles and Responsibilities
All staff and volunteers
Every individual working with Hexitime, irrespective of their role, has a part to play in safeguarding people who need care and support. Everyone must familiarise themselves with our Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.
The Directors have a responsibility to ensure that safeguarding is included, where appropriate, in the strategic plans, risk assessments and communications of their business. In some cases, they may be required to make decisions in relation to complex or serious safeguarding concerns, in consultation with the Head of Safeguarding from the relevant client’s platform.
Managers are responsible for ensuring that they, and the staff that they supervise, are aware of our safeguarding policy and procedures and access relevant training. They should promote the discussion of safeguarding at team meetings and as part of supervision or one-to-one meetings. They may be required to make decisions relating to complex or serious safeguarding concerns and can seek advice from the Head of Safeguarding where required.
Head of Safeguarding-Hexitime
The Head of Safeguarding is the designated person for safeguarding at Hexitime. They are responsible for developing and quality assuring safeguarding activity across all platforms and supporting best practice for clients licencing the Hexitime platform. This is Dr. Hesham Abdalla.
If a safeguarding issue arises, the following process should be used:
1) Before raising a Safeguarding concern
Recognise what you are seeing/hearing/reading may be potential abuse or neglect.
Talk to the person
Make safeguarding personal: share your concerns with the person. Ask them what they want to happen.
Make a judgement
Have regard to person’s wishes and views, consider their mental capacity, level of risk, gather information from other sources, details of who else may need to be informed. What options are open to you? Do you need to take advice? In an emergency ring 999.
2) Raise a Safeguarding concern
Order of escalation
Hexitimemembers wishing to report a concern can do so using the form provided on our standard ‘Contact’ page template.
Messages will be sent to the Head of Safeguarding at Hexitime who will identify an appropriate strategy to take to resolve or escalate the concern within 48 hours.
Use the scale below to allocate the level of response needed to each safeguarding concern:
- No enquiry/form mis-used
- Low: one-on-one response and actions can be taken
- Medium: notify platform administration team and prepare response together
- High: multi-agency strategy meeting involving Hexitime and any licensing partners of the platform
3) Enquiry & evaluation of the concern
Undertake the enquiry
- Plan detail of approach
- Initial conversation with the individual
- Undertake the enquiry
- Is there a need for a discussion of meeting to form the conclusion and next steps?
- Is the client satisfied with the enquiry and the outcome?
- Have the 6 safeguarding principles underpinned the enquiry and conclusion?
- Is a more formal enquiry required?
4) Safeguarding planning & closing of concern
Consider if a meeting should be held to agree the plan.
- With the individualand relevant agencies, agree the plan, roles, responsibilities and timescales.
- Distribute plan.
- Review plan or end plan.
- Ask for feedback.
Breaches of Policy
Failure to comply with Hexitime’s safeguarding policy may be managed in a number of ways, depending on the nature and consequences of any incident. In some cases, a combination of responses may be required.
- Local authority co-ordinated safeguarding investigation
- Police investigation
- Referral to the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)
- People & Performance disciplinary process
- Internal review or co-operation with an external review
Online safeguarding – The Hexitime timebank
In addition to our standard safeguarding policy and processes, we have additional recommendations for our clients hosting their networks on Hexitime.
Registering to join Hexitime requires completion of a separate data-capture form within a member’s dashboard (e.g. post-registration). This allows the platform administrators to conduct an extra safeguarding checks on members. Once approved, members can use the timebank freely.
We recommend the following minimum data capture requirements to help platform administrators conduct basic safeguarding checks.
- Email address
Advice from Jess McBeath, Online Safety Consultant for UKSIC and SWGfL looks at how online life can expose vulnerable groups to a range of risks, highlighting the importance for professionals to quickly identify and manage them effectively