This guidance is for staff providing services to the council where there will be contact with, or access to, children or vulnerable adults. The words ‘passenger’ or ‘service user’ refer to both children and vulnerable adults.
Some service users will have special education needs. This can include emotional, behavioural or social difficulties and may present challenging behaviour.
How staff react to service users is important. Particularly when it comes to safeguarding both the service users and themselves. We want to make operators and their staff aware of our expectations. These also protect staff by outlining an accepted safe practice.
Working together to keep staff, children, and vulnerable adults safe
Any contract should include requirements for safeguarding service users. It should also include expectations of appropriate and safe practice.
There must be an agreement with contactors on how to make sure drivers and Vehicle Passenger Assistants (VPAs):
- are clear about acceptable language, behaviour and dress
- are able to avoid actions or activities which are not appropriate
- have access to a named member of staff from the establishment and a council representative
- understand how to report any concerns about children and vulnerable adult’s welfare
- are aware of any specific special needs or health and safety requirements of passengers
- plan journeys properly and safely
- stick to approved routes and adhering to speed limits
- know what to do if passenger is absent or not responding or if parents/carers are absent at drop-off
- know what to do if passengers are misbehaving or behaving inappropriately
- are clear about the VPA role and where the VPA will sit
All contracted staff must agree to the code of conduct for drivers and VPAs. We advise that operators confirm in writing that staff have read, understood and will work within the code.