“The Management Committee, staff and all volunteers recognise and accept our responsibility towards all children who use our services. As such, the Association is committed to practices that protect children from harm.”
For the purposes of these policies and procedure children are any person under the age of 18 years, or those whom are considered vulnerable.
We will endeavour to safeguard children by:
- Adopting child protection policies and guidelines through a code of behaviour for staff and volunteers.
- Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
- Ensuring that Access NI checks are carried out on all staff and volunteers with access to children.
- Making all new staff and volunteers aware of this child protection policy and the reporting procedure.
- Ensuring staff and volunteers receive appropriate child protection training.
- Appointing a designated person to enable any concerns to be reported in accordance with our procedures.
- We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice at regular intervals.
Code of Behaviour – for All Staff and Volunteers
You must not:
1. Staff and volunteers should not spend time alone with children, away from others. Meetings with individual children should be avoided or take place within sight of others. If privacy is needed, the door should remain open and other staff or volunteers should be aware of the meeting.
2. Staff and volunteers are advised not to have unnecessary physical contact with children. However, there may be occasions when physical contact is unavoidable, such as providing comfort at times of distress, or physical support in contact sports or similar. In all such cases contact should only take place with the consent of the child.
3. It is not good practice to take children alone in a car or minibus, however short the journey. Where this is unavoidable, it should be with the full knowledge and consent of the parents (or guardians) and the leader-in-charge.
4. Staff and volunteers should not meet children outside of organised activities, unless it is with the knowledge and consent of the parents and the leader-in-charge.
5. Staff and volunteers should not start an investigation or question anyone after an allegation or concern has been raised. This is the job of the authorities. You should just record the facts and report these to a designated person.
6. Staff and volunteers should never (even in fun):
a. Initiate or engage in sexually provocative conversations or activity.
b. Allow the use of inappropriate language to go unchallenged.
c. Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do themselves.
d. Allow any allegations made by a child go without being reported and addressed, or either trivialise or exaggerate child abuse issues.
e. Make promises to keep any disclosure confidential from relevant authorities.
7. Staff or volunteers should not show favouritism to any one child, nor should they issue or threaten any form of physical punishment.
1. Staff and volunteers must respect children’s rights to privacy and encourage children and adults to feel comfortable enough to report attitudes or behaviour they do not like.
2. Staff and volunteers must refrain from consuming alcohol for a period of at least 12 hours prior to assuming responsibility for any child or children.
3. All staff and volunteers should be aware of the procedures for reporting concerns or incidents, and should familiarise themselves with the contact details of the designated person.
4. If a member of staff or volunteer finds himself or herself the subject of inappropriate affection or attention from a child, they should make others aware of this.
5. If a member of staff or volunteer has any concerns relating to the welfare of a child in their care, be it concerns about actions/behaviours of another staff member or volunteer or concerns based on any conversation with the child (particularly where the child makes an allegation), they should record the facts and report this to the designated person.
6. The leader-in-charge must ensure appropriate ratios of leaders to children are adhered to at all times.
Procedures for Reporting Abuse
STAFF MEMBER / VOLUNTEER
Name: Claire Patience
Tel: 07538 094216
CHILDREN’S SOCIAL WORK GETAWAY SERVICE
Tel: 028 3741 5285
Out of Hours: 028 9504 9999
Flowchart of Child Protection Procedures if Abuse is Suspected
This Policy was reviewed on 12/08/21