Date: 6th January 2021. Review date: 5th January 2022.
The child protection standards in this procedure are consistent with the Government publications: ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2015) and ‘What To Do If You’re Worried a Child is Being Abused (2015)’. Please note that this document is designed to complement and provide a context for the more detailed Child Protection Procedures and does not replace them. For more detailed information see: www.cscb.org.uk
YES OUTDOORS’ SAFEGUARDING POLICY
YES Outdoors Youth and Community Centre (YES Outdoors) aims to provide for people of all ages to use its facilities to carry out a range of activities where they will feel welcome and safe, and where children using YES Outdoors’s facilities can benefit from being with each other and developing their potential. YES Outdoorsis committed to providing systems for recognition and referral for all staff in child protection and safeguarding issues.
YES Outdoors believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to practice which protects them.
We recognise that:
•the welfare of the child/young person is paramount
•all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
•working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
The purpose of the policy is:
•to provide protection for the children and young people who receive YES Outdoors’s services, including the children of adult members or users
•to provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.
This policy applies to all staff, includingthe board of directors, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of YES Outdoorsor any of its user groups.
We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
•valuing them, listening to and respecting them
•adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and thiscode of conduct for staff and volunteers
•recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
•sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
•sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, andinvolving parents and children appropriately
•providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.
We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.
WHAT IS ABUSE AND NEGLECT?
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment –a person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.Children and young people may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.
•Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
•Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or only valued insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatmentof another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
•Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual on-line images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
•Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born it may involve a parent failing to: –provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment) –protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger –ensure adequate supervision(including the use of inadequate care-givers) –ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
The role for all staff, volunteers and user groupsin safeguarding children who may be in need of child protection services is in identifying children or young people who may be at risk and alerting the appropriate service.
•Staff and volunteers should be alert to the potential need for early help for any child who:
is disabled and has specific additional needs;
has special educational needs;
is a young carer;
is showing signs of engaging in anti-social or criminal behaviour;
is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health, domestic violence; and/or
is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect.
•All staff at YES Outdoorsand itsuser groups must ensure that they know the child protection procedures that are in force at YES Outdoorsand which staff member is responsible for child protection issues.
•In some cases advice can be first sought from YES Outdoors’s Co-ordinatoror directorresponsible for child protection support at YES Outdoors. However, this should not preclude a direct referral to MASH, particularly if there is any element of immediate risk and the Co-ordinator/responsible director cannot be contacted.
•Referrals must always be made to the Camden Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (“MASH”) on at 020 7974 3317 (9am to 5pm) or 020 7974 4444 (out of hours)if there are signs that a child under the age of 18 years, or an unborn baby (in the case of a teenage parent):
- Is suffering or has suffered abuse and/or neglect
- Is likely to suffer abuse and/or neglect
- (With agreement of a person with parental responsibility) would be likely to benefit from family support services.
The timing of referrals must reflect the perceived risk, and should normally be within one working day of recognition by telephone followed by a written referral within 48 hours. If, for any reason, you cannot contact the Co-ordinator at YES Outdoors you should go ahead and contact the MASH directly. If you are not sure whether a referral should be made you can call the Camden Social Worker in the MASH on 020 7974 3317 on a no names basis for advice and guidance.
When a referral is made to the MASHyou must agree with them what the young person and parents will be told, by whom and when. Do not just leave messages. Always speak to someone. You must confirm verbal and telephone referrals in writing, within 48 hours to:
9th Floor, 5 St Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG
Written referrals must be done on Common Assessment Framework (CAF) referral forms, and any other written evidence needs to reflect a verbatim account of what the child has said. Any CAF that has been undertaken should be attached to the referral. MASHshould acknowledge your written referral within one working day of receiving it. Should you not have had a response within 3 working days, contact them again.
Under no circumstances should you speak to or confront the abuser.Do not share suspicions or information with any other person other than your line manager, MASHand the Police. Information given to MASHor the Police will be taken seriously, handled sensitively and shared only on a ‘need to know’ basis, wholly to protect the child. However, in order to ensure that children are safeguarded on the basis of proper evidence, the source of the referral cannot be kept anonymous.
ACTING ON CONCERNS REGARDING AN ADULT’S BEHAVIOUR
If you have any concerns about an adult’s behaviour towards children or young people (not an employee or volunteer working for YES Outdoors):
•Do not ignore it –the service will take any concerns very seriously.
•You must discuss your concerns with the Centre Manager at YES Outdoors/Director responsible (if applicable), who will support you in liaising with the statutory agencies should any child protection matter arise.
•Do not confront the adult but seek the advice of the Centre Managerat YES Outdoors.If they are not available seek advice from the director responsible for Safeguarding Issues or from MASH.
DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OR CONCERNS AGAINST ANY EMPLOYEE OR VOLUNTEER WORKING FOR YES OUTDOORS
Concerns for the safety and well-being of children could arise in a number of different ways and in a range of settings. It is essential to act quickly and effectively if an allegation is made, or if there is suspicion or concern about a professional or volunteer’s relationship with a child, young person or group of children/young people, particularly if they have:
•Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child;
•Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to, a child; or
•Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates she/he is unsuitable to work with children.
If an allegation is made, or a concern arises, about a member of staff or volunteer, ensure that the Centre Managerat YES Outdoorsis informed immediatelyor if they cannot be contacted, a Director. The Co-ordinator will contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (020 67974 3317) at the MASH within 24 hours. The LADO is available to provide advice or support in any allegations process, including advising whether or not immediate suspension of the person concerned should be initiated. YES Outdoors’s Directors must ensure that advice is sought at the earliest opportunity. If the concern is raised out of hours you should contact the MASH on the out of hours service number or, in an emergency, the police. Records should bestored in asecuredplace and access to them will be strictly limited to relevant staff and external professionals on a need to know basis. The member of staff or volunteer should be treated fairly and honestly, helped to understand the concerns expressed, the process being followed and any outcomes of the process. Directorsshould seek advice from the MASHbefore informing the person who is subject to an allegation.
GUIDANCE RESPONDING TO A DISCLOSURE
If someone tells you that they, or someone they know, is being abused:
•Believe what the person is saying and take it seriously.
•Reassure the person who has made the disclosure to you that they have done the right thing.
•Give the child time to talk and do not probe or ask leading questions. Investigation is not your responsibility.
•Do not promise to keep secrets. All allegations of harm or potential harm must be acted upon.
•Explain to the child that you will share this information with a senior member of staff who will ensure the appropriate procedures will be followed.
•E-mails or text messages received detailing suspected abuse should be immediately responded to within 24 hours by contacting the young person by phone orface-to-face to obtain further information.
•Record the event in accordance with the reporting form at the end of this document.
•All allegations, even those that appear less serious, need to be followed up and examined objectively by someone independent of the organisation concerned. All allegations will be considered by the LADO, who acts for the Camden Safeguarding Children Board to monitor allegations and ensure that the actions in response to the allegation are in accordance with the Camden Safeguarding Children Board Procedures.
•Advice on the storage of all documentation must be sought from YES OutdoorsCo-ordinatoror one of the Directors (as appropriate)who must ensure that access is strictly limited to relevant staff and external professionals on a need to know basis.
STAYING SAFE ONLINE…ADDITION DURING COVID LOCKDOWN
It is essential that all staffare brought up to date on the delivery changes and operating procedures as a result of COVID lockdown.
Coronavirus lockdown will mean that children and young are likely to be spending more time online while at home. Online games can be a great way for them to keep busy and stay in touch with friends and family but it’s important that children play safely.
For parents that have more than one child in your home, remember that games suitable for one child to play or watch, may not be suitable for another.
What are online games? Gaming is a great way for young people to relax, socialise with their friends and have fun. Children can play on games consoles, apps or websites, mobiles, tablets, PCs, or through smart speakers and virtual reality headsets. They can also chat to other players using messaging platforms for gamers, or watchlivestreamsof well-known gamers.You can find out more about the different types of games children like to play onNet Aware. Why young people play online games:
Some of these reasons young people like to play games online include:
socialising with friends. When gaming children can play together on the same team, or play against each other.
games based on location, such as Pokémon Go and Wizards Unite, encourage players to go outside and explore.
watching videos and livestreams of other people playing, or share tips with other players to develop their own gaming skills.
games are designed to be entertaining and can be fun and engaging for young people.
watching their favourite gamers on YouTube or livestreaming on Twitch.
They may also want to livestream themselves playing games.
What are the risks of online games?
Being bullied. Being Trolled or exposed to Scams. In game purchases. Talking to people they don’t know.
Livestreaming and video apps
Livestreaming is broadcasting to an audience in ‘real’ time. The audience can leave commentsor give likesto the person streaming. Some platforms let several people livestream at the sametime.There are livestreaming apps likeTwitchandYubo, but young people can livestream on other social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. Many young people also post pre-recorded videos on video apps likeYouTubeand Vimeo, or video chat in groups or one-to-one, using apps like WhatsApp. Video conferencing apps such asZoomand IMO are also becoming increasingly popular during lockdown.Livestreaming is broadcasting to an audience in ‘real’ time. The audience can leave commentsor give likesto the person streaming. Some platforms let several people livestream at the same time. There are livestreaming apps like Twitch and Yubo, but young people can livestream on other social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. Many young people also post pre-recorded videos on video apps likeYouTubeand Vimeo, or video chat in groups or one-to-one, using apps like WhatsApp. Video conferencing apps such as Zoom and IMO are also becoming increasingly popular during lockdown.
Young people like to livestream and use video apps for lots of reasons. These include:
to learn or show others how to do something –livestreams of people playing video games are particularly popular
to stay in contact with family and friends
to take part in viral trendsoto be creative
to relax –many video apps have ‘satisfying content’, such food being prepared.
Understanding how the child may feel:
Children can feel both positive and negative feelings when using video and livestreaming apps.Some of the positive feelings children may feel include:
Some of the negative feelings children may feel if things go wrong or they see something that upsets them can include
It’s important to let a child know that they can always talk toyou or a parent or guardian about anything that they see online so that theycan be supported. If they wish they can call Childline on 0808 1111.
STAFF CONDUCT: SAFE WORKING PRACTICE
It is essential that all staffare conscious of how they should conduct themselves to minimise the risk of finding themselves the subject of any child protection processes.
All staff should be aware of the following summary of things to do and not to do when working with children.
Read and follow these procedures
•Report to YES Outdoors’s Centre Managerany concerns about child welfare/safety
•Report to YES Outdoors’s Centre Managerany concerns about the conduct of other staff/volunteers/contractors
•Record in writing all relevant incidents
•Work in an open and transparent way
•Discuss and report any incidents of concern or that might lead to concerns being raised about your conduct towards a child.
•Report to YES Outdoors’s Centre Manager any incidents that suggest a child may be infatuated with you or taking an above normal interest in you.
•Dress appropriately for your role
•Only use e-mail contact with childrenvia any authorised system
•Avoid unnecessary physical contact with children
•Ensure you only usephysical restraintas a last resort based on an assessment of immediate risk, use the minimum amount of force necessary, and NEVER use it as a form of punishment
•Where physical contact is essential for educational or safety reasons, gain pupil’s permission forthat contact wherever possible
•Allow children to change clothes with levels of respect and privacy appropriate to their age, gender, culture and circumstances
•Avoid working in one-to-one situations with children
•Avoid volunteering to house children overnight
•Be careful about recording images of children and do this only when it is an approved activity.
•Contact your professional association or trade union (if applicable) if you are the subject of concerns or allegations of a child protection nature
•Fully co-operate with any investigation into child protection issues at YES Outdoors. Listen to children when they express concern (rumours) about staff or volunteers which might appear to be just that, and check facts v fiction
•Take any action that would lead a reasonable person to question your motivation and/or intentions
•Misuse in any way your position of power and influence over children
•Use any confidential information about a child to intimidate, humiliate or embarrass a child
•Engage in activities out of the workplace/setting that might compromise your position with children or young people.
•Establish or seek to establish social contact with pupils outside of the workplace or setting
•Accept regular gifts from children
•Give personal gifts to children
•Communicate with children in inappropriate ways, including through the media of personal e-mails, social networkingand mobile telephones
•Pass your home address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal details to children or young people
•Make physical contact secretive
•Arrange to meet with childrenin closed rooms without other staff being made aware of this in advance•Use physical punishment of any kind
•Confer special attentionon one child unless this is part of an agreed plan or policy
•Transport pupils in your own vehicle without prior management approval
•Take, publish or share images of childrenwithout their parents’ permission
•Access abuse images (sometimes referred to as child pornography) or other inappropriate material
•Abuse your position of trust with children or young people
•Allow boundaries to be unsafe in more informal settings such as trips out
UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN IN PUBLIC SETTINGS
There will be situations when young children visit public settings unaccompanied by their parent or carer. Whilst not wishing to discourage children from visiting places such as YES Outdoors, staff and volunteers need to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the child and to inform parents / carers of their responsibilities. The way in which staff deal with unaccompanied children must be based on awareness of the responsibility of the parent or the loco parentis carer (i.e., the one taking the responsibility of parent), and the duty of careofthe service to all children on the premises. In no instance would staff be expected to take on parental responsibilities for children at YES Outdoors.
A suitable notice should be clearly displayed and staff should point to this poster when appropriate but especially if parents / carers are about to leave their children on the premises. For example:
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
Welcome. We hope you enjoy your visit.
Please remember, this is a community space, open to all.
Keep your child safe: please don’t leave them unaccompanied.
Children under 10 must never be left unaccompanied.
Parents and Carers remain responsible for their children at all times.
If you have any concerns about the safety or wellbeing of any child at YES Outdoors, please contact the Centre Manager either in person or on 020 8127 1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A good practice response on discovering an unaccompanied child on the premises is to:
•Try to avoid being left alone with a child. Try to ensure colleagues are present when you are dealing with unaccompanied children.
•Try to establish whether the child is allowed by the parent / carer to come and go alone.
If you are satisfied that the child is allowed to come and go alone, then allow the child to leave. If you gather this information only from the child then you will need to use your judgmentto ascertain whether the child is competent to leave alone.
Relevant factors may be:
•Whether the child exhibits signs of nervousness
•Whether the child appears to clearly understand your questions
•Whether the child seems physically capable
•Whether the child appears to know clearly and readily where he or she lives
•How far the journey is
•Whether you know of any particular hazards on the journey
•The child’s age and vulnerability
If you are in doubt, encourage the child to remain on the premises until you have been able to contact a parent or carer. Children under 10 years of age should not normally be allowed to leave alone unless you know that in the particular case the parent / carer allows it.
Ask the child if s/he is expecting to be collected by an adult. Even if the child is expecting to be collected soon, do not wait until closing time before taking the next step.
Try to contact the parent or carer. Ask the child for an address or telephone number.
YES OUTDOORS STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
AllYes Outdoorsstaff and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults must ensure that they have attendedchild protection training provided throughCamden Safeguarding Children Board. Staff and volunteers who are likely to be in infrequent contact with children, young people and/or parents/carers who as a result of their role may become aware of possible abuse or neglect are required to have received Group 1 level safeguarding training. See See CSCB Training Calendar: http://www.cscb-new.co.uk/?page_id=6223
Training will be organised and delivered in accordance with the requirements of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.
Any staff or volunteers who are likely to be in more regular contact with young people and/or parents/carers must liaise with YES Outdoors’s Centre Managerto ensure that they have received the appropriate Group level of training for their role, but shouldas a minimum have completed Group 2 level training.
All staff and volunteers are requested to provide YES Outdoors with evidence of training received, and to refresh their training every three years.
USER GROUP STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
Staff with responsibility for child protection training within individual user groupswill monitor attendance at relevant training to ensure all relevant staff are aware of the procedures and have received relevant training. User groups are required to provide YES Outdoors with documentary evidence that such training has been obtained and is current as described above.
If they are in doubt about whether staff have received adequate training they should consult with the Centre Managerat YES Outdoorswho will assist them with ensuring that the correct level of training is in place for staff.
DISCLOSURE AND BARRING
All staff and volunteers working at YES Outdoors who will or could be working with children or vulnerable adults must provide YES Outdoors with a copy of a recent (not more than six months old) DBS Disclosure Certificate (previously known as CRB Disclosure Certificate). Any individual who does not hold a certificate is required to obtain one via Queen’s Crescent Community Centre, who holds the necessary application forms. That individual will not be permitted to work unaccompanied with children or vulnerable adults until a copy of their DBS certificate has been provided to YES Outdoors for its records.
Staff and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults will be requested to renew their CRB/DBSCertificates every three years.
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
Advertisement of posts and application packs for roles which involve any safeguarding element should make explicit reference to the commitment of the organisation to Safeguarding, including:
i.Compliance with Disclosure& Barring regulations
ii.Clear statements in the Job Description and Person Specification that explicitly reference the individual’ssafeguarding responsibilities
iii.Providing information about Safeguarding Policy and Practices to applicants.
The selection process should:
•Comply with Disclosure& Barring regulations
•always use application forms (CVs should not be accepted)
•a minimum of two people should check for anygaps in employment history and explore these gaps during interview
•ensure at least one reference is from a previous employer and specifically asks if there have been any concerns or allegations about the applicants behaviour towards children; any disciplinary action; and confirmation of the applicant’s responsibilities. Compare this information with that provided by the applicant. Any inconsistencies or concerns regarding the information provided in a personal reference must be followed up directly with the referee
•ensure that any concerns arising from the applicant’s medical reference are followed up directly with the applicant and with the employing agency’s medical adviser. Seekto explore the applicant’s attitudes towards children and young people, their motivation for pursuing the role, and managing boundaries, at interview.
•Always ensure that any other uncertainty or inconsistency about the information provided about the applicant is followed up and resolved.
REPORTING OF INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR
YESOutdoors is required by law to notify the Disclosure & Barring Service if it has dismissed or removed any volunteer or employee (or would have if they had not already resigned) because they have:
•been cautioned or convicted for a relevant offence; or
•engaged in action or inaction (neglect) that has harmed a child or vulnerable adult or put them at risk of harm; or
•satisfied the Harm Test in relation to children and/or vulnerable adults. (i.e. there has been no relevant conduct (i.e. no action or inaction) but a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult still exists).
This policy and procedure will be reviewed annually.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Yes Outdoors Operations Manager (Tony Quinn) Office Number 020 8446 2387
MASH 020 7974 3317
MASH (out of hours) 020 7974 4444
Local Authority Designated Officer 020 7974 3317
London Metropolitan Police non-emergency 101
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000
Child-Line: 0800 1111
Camden Safeguarding Children Board www.cscb.org.uk
Working Together to Safeguard Children’, March 2015, HM Government
List of regulated activities requiring DSB checks:
Disclosure & Barring Service
Duty to notify DBS of inappropriate behaviour:
The following sets out the responsibilities of YES Outdoors’s Centre Manager as the person responsible for safeguarding issues:
•Refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies.
•Act as a source of support, advice and expertise when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies.
•Liaise with YES Outdoors’s directorsto inform themof any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for this role.Training
•To recognise how to identify signs of abuse and when it is appropriate to make a referral.
•Have a working knowledge of how the Camden MASH operates, the conduct of a child protection case conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so.
•Ensure each member of staff and volunteer has access to and understands YES Outdoors’s Safeguarding Policy especially new or part time staff who may work with different establishments.
•Ensure all staff and volunteers have induction training covering child protection and are able to recognise and report any concerns immediately they arise.
•Be able to keep detailed accurate secure written records of referrals and or concerns.
•Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses at least every two years.
•Ensure YES Outdoors’s Safeguarding Policy is updated and reviewed annually and work with the board of directors regarding this.
•Ensure all users have access to YES Outdoors’s Safeguarding Policy which alerts them to the fact that referrals may be made and the role of the establishment in this to avoid conflict later.