Our consultancy services offer a vast range of benefits for being safeguarding compliant, bespoke policy and procedures, audits and reviews and independent advice and guidance. We work closely with your organisation to understand their capacity to respond to safeguarding. We are proud to boast that our consultancy has a unique ability to build in the ‘reality factor’ ensuring products are the least impactful on the day-to-day business but yet maximise existing resources. Our consultancy services can be delivered over various time frames and driven by a dedicated and experienced project manager to ensure timely completion.
We offer a consultancy service that is personal, tailored to your specific needs and provides a strategic overview for safe processes. Our expertise in developing your procedures, toolkits, handbooks, and audits will optimise your resources. Our cascade train the trainer models will facilitate sustainability, durability, and reduction of risks.
Our safeguarding packages encompass anything you desire. We act as a safeguarding children and adults at risk one stop shop, where you simply buy our time and pick and mix from our services. This is in keeping with our flexible approach and gives you choice over the period and length of time your project may take to complete.
Our Consultancy Services
Policy and Procedures
We provide bespoke and up-to-date Safeguarding Policy and Procedures which are relevant and specific to your organisational needs. It will reduce the risk to your organisation by delivering a concise workable guidance to ensure safer staff, safer volunteers, safer cultures and a safer organisation. We will ‘future proof’ your Safeguarding Policy and Procedures where possible to reduce the need for continual updates. They will include your organisations safeguarding governance arrangements, strategic responsibilities to Safeguarding as well as Safeguarding ‘action’ documents which will guide your staff into safer conduct and practices.
- We write bespoke safeguarding policy and procedures for children, young people and adults at risk
- We review safeguarding policy and procedures offering independent quality assurance, feedback and recommendations
- We review and update safeguarding policy and procedures ensuring they are legally compliant
- We write, review and update policy and procedures associated and/or cross referenced with safeguarding
Safeguarding Audits and Reviews
Our Safeguarding audit and reviews aims to identify any risks and gaps in your safeguarding compliance, at all levels of the organisation. The way we undertake audits and reviews is in partnership that provides honest, independent and factual feedback and recommendations about your organisation’s safeguarding compliance.
Audit methods can be tailored to fit your organisation’s needs and can include policy and procedures reviews, site visits and observations, detailed interviews and self-assessment tools. All Safeguarding audits will be evidence based and documented in a balanced audit report to include areas of good practice and areas of weakness or gaps in operational or strategic areas of business, as well as recommendations to form an organisational safeguarding action plan.
- Flexible approach
- Strategic and/or operational
- Forms part of safeguarding organisational action plan
- On-site visits, face to face individual/ group interviews (in person or online), conference calls and timely follow ups
- Includes all relevant policy and procedures
- Cross referenced with relevant statutory and national guidance
Reviews can include:
- A review of Governance arrangements
- A review of all policies and procedures for example safeguarding children and adults policies, safer recruitment, code of conduct, training frameworks, training materials, whistle blowing, complaints, serious and untoward incidents, supervision, dealing allegations, induction, volunteers, members, helpline lines and web chat, social media etc.
- On-site visits, face to face individual/ virtual / group interviews, conference calls and timely follow ups
- Audit of case records / case management files including historical records subject to agreement of scope of work.
- Focus groups that may include all levels of staff and managers, volunteers and service users/beneficiaries.
Safeguarding Champion Models
Our bespoke safeguarding champion models are unique to The Athena Programme and highlighted as a true area of expertise and specialism. We will analyse the internal workings of your organisation to identify the most efficient and workable Safeguarding Governance and structures. We identify designated ‘Safeguarding Champions’ from positions or roles within your organisation that are best placed to direct, manage and supervise safeguarding concerns and issues. Internal monitoring of Safeguarding concerns in your organisation will also be included in your Safeguarding Structure as management teams will be internally linked. This internal monitoring of safeguarding compliance will provide your company with the reassurance that there is a clear line of accountability and governance.
- Cascade model
- Bespoke to your organisation and internal structures
- Map their role and responsibilities
- Development days
- Safeguarding knowledgeable and confident staff or volunteers
- Clear line of accountability and governance
Safeguarding handbooks is a true flair for us as we take creative approach to the task with fun, useable, relevant end products. We will work with you and create useful, practical, purposeful information for your staff and volunteers. This is to generate a safer culture of attitudes, values and behaviours that form part of best practise for your organisation. Only this relevant information will be incorporated into a handy pocket sized or an app or cue card, easy to read Safeguarding Handbook. Having individual handbooks with readily available information will assist in making your organisation a safer environment and provide ongoing support for staff.
- Bespoke and creative that can be produced in a variety of formats
- Promotes safer practices
- Includes relevant case studies
- A go to safeguarding tool kit for staff and volunteers
- Purposeful and written in partnership
Advice and Guidance
Professional, expert advice and guidance is in our blood. Our quick reliable response will provide you with safeguarding advice and guidance in a helpful and compassionate manner. We will take the time to listen to your concerns, providing accurate and honest advice in a non-judgmental way.
Our experienced consultants concentrate on facts and evidential points and will remain in contact until significant risks are reduced. Our motto “you are not on your own” serves us well in the delivery of this service. Athena advice and guidance is clear, succinct and solution focused, providing you with actions on ‘what to do next’. This specialist support for your organisation will help to reduce risks to children or adults at risk, as you will know exactly what to do, who to contact and record the relevant information in the event of a safeguarding concern.
- Ongoing contracts
- Always part of our safeguarding packages
- Independent expert witness and audits
- We walk with you in a compassionate and supportive manner
Train the Trainer Packs
Train the trainer packs are popular with organisations who either have existing training expertise, or who require more dynamic and creative training techniques. Furthermore, it’s a less expensive way to commission and cascade training, becoming a sustainable option.
It provides you with:
- A bespoke safeguarding training package to enhance training and safeguarding knowledge deliverable in house
- It’s for you and owned by you
This service includes planning time in partnership with your staff, preparation of the creative training materials and back office support services.
Our bespoke ‘train the trainer’ pack includes:
- Trainer’s Scripts
- PowerPoint slides (with Trainer’s Notes and as a Handout)
- Relevant Handouts
- Copies of Exercises (With Answers Where Appropriate)
- Relevant subject matter materials – legal guidance or internal documents
- Copy materials for exercises
Our training skills reflect current theory practice in delivering training in your organisation.
In addition our support section of the pack would include general training tips e.g. equipment and preparation, tips for using trainer’s notes, supporting information and reading list, glossary of terms and key legislation and guidance.
Your staff will feel confident in their knowledge and newly acquired trainer skills to cascade safeguarding information across the workforce or volunteers.
Your organisation will become self supporting in the delivery of safeguarding training.
Training Needs Analysis
We pride ourselves on being passionate about learning and development. A key part of this process is identifying need and target audience. We can undertake a training needs analysis on a single agency or multiagency basis. This includes scoping and mapping of all relevant national and local strategic documents, and drawing up a project plan for the way in which qualitative and quantitative data is to be sourced.
We then provide analytical evidence and report back the findings, leaving you with a clear foundation for a training strategy, training plan and training framework.
- Scope out the aims and objectives of the TNA
- Prepare worksheets for all Trustees, Directors, Managers staff and volunteers
- Conduct worksheet as questionnaires to be completed by email or telephone interviews
- Analysis of feedback into a report with recommendations
- Overview and feedback; organisational issues; recommendations for a training framework and/or training strategy; summary of individual development plans; costing and any other areas to be agreed.
Safeguarding Training Frameworks and Training Strategy
We are passionate about enabling your workforce to know what they need to know, where they’re going and how they are going to get there, and our training strategies and frameworks are a useful tool in meeting this objective.
By taking a strategic overview of the roles and responsibilities of your staff and/or volunteers we are able to map put their safeguarding training needs. All training pathways are strategically mapped against relevant national and local guidance, standards, and competency frameworks. The safeguarding training strategy can also be embedded within the organisation safeguarding policy and procedures.
In the long term the framework will have to serve a number of purposes:
- Clear framework of training with learning outcomes and levels of training for everyone within the organisation.
- The areas covered with in a safeguarding training strategy includes the follow: roles and responsibilities blended training approaches; monitoring and assurance; success criteria of the learning and development strategy; training resources and budget and underpinning Legislation.
- Competency Framework and Levels of Training (Matrix) .
- Administration tasks for booking venues, allocating trainers, updating materials.
- Good practice as outlined within guidance or standards.
- A sustainable annual training calendar.
- Be provided in a number of ways that is understood and informative to your workforce, for example: leaflets, diagrams, pictorial information, posters, booklets, etc.
Trustee Development Days
We provide bespoke development days for the Board of Trustees of Charities. Using our creative techniques, experience of the voluntary sector combined with understating issues of compliance. This makes for a fun development day, combined with a serious understanding for the safeguarding agenda and how it can impact on the work of your Charity.
Areas for the day can cover:
- To have an understanding of Governance safeguarding arrangements and promoting a safer culture
- To set the Vision and strategic action plan for achieving the version with shared ownership
- Understanding of safeguarding roles and responsibilities of the Trustees
- Undertake a skills audit
- Understand and agree reporting structures, decision making, advice and guidance
- Explore key themes of safeguarding as a leader
- To have a basic understanding of safeguarding legislation and what this means for children, young people and adults at risk
- Explore key themes of safeguarding
- Focus on the end users and capacity building for a safer culture and sustainable services
Safeguarding Facilitation Day
To ensure effective governance and understand the best safeguarding model of best practise for your organisation we offer a facilitation day.
- This includes understanding and exploring, mapping and scoping areas such as governance, accountability and evidence, senior management safeguarding leadership, policy and procedures inclusion areas and gaps, reporting pathways, designated safeguarding leads roles and responsibilities, internal safeguarding groups, safeguarding champion models, review and audits functions.
- We recommended attendance by your senior management team for this internal scrutiny process.
Independant Safeguarding Investigations
We have a proven track record of carrying out complex, sensitive, security cleared or high-profile investigations in an efficient and timely manner.
- We will review all relevant documentation (including, interview transcripts (ABE Videos), minutes of meetings, policy and procedures, code of conduct, disciplinary records, safeguarding files, training history etc).
- We will undertake (where applicable) additional interviews ( by telephone or face to face, video calls) with staff and/or volunteers to ensure all evidence is tested for validity.
- We will advise on further lines of enquiry if discovered to ensure the investigation exhausts all potential evidence.
- We will report on the findings of the investigation which will offer:
- Independent findings
- Be clear about what – if anything – went wrong
- Make recommendations for the delivery of your services to minimise the possibility of a reoccurrence of similar events in the future.
- We will provide continual feedback on the investigations progress in order to support those involved and prevent impediments to the completion of the investigation.