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Safeguarding policy

Safeguarding at Collaborative Hong Kong Women CIC: Our Commitment to Safety and Well-being

At Collaborative Hong Kong Women CIC, we are steadfast in our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of all individuals, particularly vulnerable adults and children, who engage with our services. This article outlines our safeguarding policy, which serves as a comprehensive guideline for all staff, volunteers, and partners to recognize, report, and respond to safeguarding concerns appropriately.

**Scope of Our Policy**

Our safeguarding policy applies to all employees, volunteers, contractors, and partners working with Collaborative Hong Kong Women CIC. It encompasses all activities and services provided by our organization, whether conducted on-site, off-site, or online.

**Understanding Safeguarding**

Safeguarding is about protecting individuals' health, well-being, and human rights, ensuring they live free from harm, abuse, and neglect. It involves recognizing various forms of abuse, such as physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, as well as neglect, and taking appropriate actions to address them. Our policy also defines key terms:

- **Child:** Any person under 18 years of age.

- **Vulnerable Adult:** An individual aged 18 or over who may need community care services due to illness, disability, age, or other reasons, and who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.

**Principles Guiding Our Approach**

Our safeguarding policy is grounded in several core principles:

- **Zero Tolerance:** We have a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and neglect. All allegations and concerns are taken seriously and acted upon promptly.

- **Empowerment:** We support individuals in making their own decisions and providing informed consent.

- **Prevention:** We believe it is better to act before harm occurs and actively promote a culture of safeguarding.

- **Proportionality:** Our responses to safeguarding concerns are appropriate to the level of risk presented.

- **Protection:** We are committed to supporting and representing those in greatest need.

- **Partnership:** Effective safeguarding requires collaboration with multiple agencies.

- **Accountability:** We ensure transparency and accountability in all safeguarding practices.

**Roles and Responsibilities**

At the heart of our safeguarding efforts is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), who oversees the implementation of our safeguarding policy and procedures. The DSL acts as the main point of contact for all safeguarding issues. All staff and volunteers are responsible for adhering to this policy, reporting concerns, and participating in safeguarding training. Additionally, our senior management team ensures that sufficient resources are allocated for safeguarding and that the policy is regularly reviewed.

**Recognizing and Reporting Abuse**

Recognizing signs of abuse is crucial for effective safeguarding. Staff and volunteers at Collaborative Hong Kong Women CIC are trained to identify indicators of physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, as well as neglect. If a staff member or volunteer suspects abuse or neglect, they must report their concerns immediately to the DSL. For instances of immediate danger, emergency services should be contacted without delay.

The reporting process involves:

- Reporting non-urgent concerns to the DSL using the safeguarding concern form.

- Maintaining confidentiality by sharing information only with those who need to know.

**Responding to Concerns**

Upon receiving a report, the DSL will assess the concern to determine the level of risk and decide on the necessary action. This includes documenting all details accurately and securely, contacting relevant authorities (such as social services or the police), and providing support to the individual involved. Ongoing monitoring and support are also ensured as needed.

**Safe Recruitment Practices**

To prevent unsuitable individuals from working with vulnerable groups, we conduct thorough background checks, including DBS checks for all employees and volunteers. Our recruitment process includes interviews, references, and induction training that emphasize safeguarding responsibilities. We also provide ongoing safeguarding training to keep our staff and volunteers' knowledge current.

**Training and Awareness**

All staff and volunteers at Collaborative Hong Kong Women CIC receive induction training on safeguarding policies and procedures, along with regular updates and refreshers on safeguarding practices. Specialized training is provided for those in roles with additional safeguarding responsibilities.

**Confidentiality and Information Sharing**

Information about safeguarding concerns is shared on a need-to-know basis, ensuring individuals' confidentiality is maintained. We share information with authorities when legally required and follow organizational guidelines for documenting and sharing information.

**Monitoring and Review**

Our safeguarding policy is reviewed annually by the DSL and senior management team to ensure it remains effective and up to date. Feedback from staff, volunteers, and service users is considered in these reviews.

**Encouraging Whistleblowing**

We encourage a culture where staff and volunteers feel confident to report any concerns about malpractice or misconduct related to safeguarding. Whistleblowers are protected from reprisal or victimization.

**Contact Information**

For safeguarding concerns, you can reach out to our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), Oi Ki Ng, at In cases of immediate danger, contact emergency services directly.


Safeguarding is a collective responsibility that requires vigilance, cooperation, and a commitment to protecting the most vulnerable. Collaborative Hong Kong Women CIC is dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment for all, ensuring that our practices uphold the highest standards of care and protection.

By adhering to this policy, we aim to foster a culture of safety and respect, where every individual feels valued and secure.

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