Safeguarding Children and Youth Code of Behaviour Nov 18
A CODE OF BEHAVIOUR TO PREVENT ABUSE AND PROMOTE SAFE WORKING PRACTICES
These guidelines are compulsory for all who come into contact with children and youth in the name of the church. Please raise any concerns with the DESIGNATED PERSONS. Children and Youth should also be made aware of these safeguards as appropriate.
· Plan activities that involve more than one other approved adult being present or are at least within sight or hearing of others. This includes on church premises and in a public place such as in a cafe, on public transport, at an event.
· For Activities on Church Premises: do not allow children or youth in to the premises until at least 2 approved adults are present and can remain so until the end of the session, see ratio attached. Youth should only leave early with parental permission.
· Recognise that special caution is required even in counselling situations; another approved adult should be involved or on the premises, make the child aware of this. Leave doors open or use a room in use by others.
· A worker should never invite a child to their home alone. It may be acceptable to invite a group if another approved adult is in the house. Parents and a Church Leader should know the details, time and purpose.
· Avoid giving lifts to children on their own. If they are alone, ask them to sit in the rear of the car, (e.g. at beginning or end of pick-ups). Parents’ permission should be sought for lifts.
· Seat belts and appropriate child seats must be used, according to the Government Guidelines. Drivers must be sure that their insurance covers them for Voluntary Youth Work.
ONE TO ONE
Youth of High School age may meet with a worker in a one to one situation with the following conditions.
The worker should;
Discuss this and have it approved by a Designated Person. (Fran Poole, Jan Stone)
Keep a log of whom, when and where.
Make written notes of the conversation and advice/recommendations.
Report above to the DP. Contact should be in a public place or with another approved adult at least on the premises, with the door open, make the youth aware of this.
Films and games should be age appropriate.
(Be guided by the rating but also pre-view.)
Photographs may be displayed on the Church Premises or on Facebook/Church Website but not named, as long as parents and child consent.
The leaders may contact high school age youth via Electronic Communication including Social Media, abiding by the law (e.g. Facebook- over 13yr). The youth also have the right to decide if they wish a worker to have their email or mobile details, with the parent’s consent.
Keep messages in the public domain wherever possible, with copies sent to groups and another leader.
Messages should generally be for information giving, (sent between 8am and 9.30pm) but for pastoral reasons it is acceptable to send general enquiries over well being, for example, by text or other means. Urgent matters may need phone or face-to-face conversations, which will be guided by ‘One to One’ - see P6
In all contact use clear and unambiguous language, be careful to use appropriate endings. If there is any possibility of a message (sent or received) being misinterpreted, a copy should be sent to a Designated Person.
Carry out a Risk Assessment, give it to the DP.
Use the Pro Forma for Information Medical and Parental Consent
Do not invade the privacy of children, youth.
Best Practice ensures that workers do not share sleeping accommodation with the children or youth. If this is not possible, one worker alone must not share sleeping accommodation. Always ensure a minimum of two workers are present.
PERSONAL CARE- BEST PRACTICE
If a child needs a nappy change, this is the parent’s responsibility.
If under 5s need to be accompanied to the toilet, leave the door open and inform another adult.
Older children should be shown where the toilet is if necessary, but the worker should not need to go in.
The toilets in the vestibule should not be used during group times.
Be an example you wish others to follow.
Treat all children with respect and dignity; be aware of age appropriate language, tone of voice and actions/body language.
Avoid physical touching such as wrestling or tickling.
Remember someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.
Physical contact is sometimes appropriate, for example, in order to comfort someone. It is worth remembering that the contact should be for the benefit of the child rather than the worker.
YOU MUST NOT
Play games involving inappropriate physical contact.
Have any inappropriate physical or verbal contact with others.
Make suggestive, sexually provocative remarks or gestures.
Encourage inappropriate attention seeking behaviour.
Permit abusive youth peer activities (e.g. initiation ceremonies, ridiculing, bullying, racist behaviour).
Form a romantic relationship with a child or youth with whom you have a relationship of trust.
Rely on just your good name to protect you.
Believe ‘it could never happen to me’.
Exaggerate or trivialise Child Protection issues
The Fellowship will be reminded of Key Safeguarding Points at the Act of Dedication each year. See ‘Keep our Children Safe’
GROUP LEADERS* SHOULD
Make it hard for anyone to target our Children, by ensuring that no one has contact with the Children’s groups unless they are there for a specific purpose and accompanied by approved persons.
Keep a register of those present-including adults. There should be a minimum of 2 children for a group to continue.
Log any accidents or incidents. First Aid Box,
list of First Aiders, Accident Book are situated in the kitchen.
Keep registration and consent/medical details up to date. The files for under 12 and 11 + forms are in the cupboard under the photocopier in the small office, opposite the Stars room.
Mary Lishomwa and Fran will check these annually
Listen well to the children and youth and observe how they are feeling.
Encourage children, youth and adults to feel comfortable and confident enough to point out attitudes and behaviours they don’t like. At least annually, group leaders should make the children and youth aware that WBC has a Policy to keep them safe and who they can approach with any concerns. Also include discussion about good and bad secrets as appropriate to the age and needs of the children.
Give warnings about Internet Access to parents and children, as appropriate.
For activities away from the church premises,
see attached ratio of children to adults. Prepare a Risk Assessment and give parents a letter of information including the time, place, supervision, contact details, travel arrangements and provision of car seats. Parents must fill in the appropriate Consent/Medical Form. (Use the Pro-forma). These forms should be kept on file. During the event the Leader should register arrival and leaving times along with the names of youth and adults present.
*WBC are working towards ensuring that only workers who have completed Baptist Union L2 ‘Excellence in Safeguarding’ Training should be in a Leading Role.
RECOGNISE/ RESPOND/ RECORD/ REPORT
Responding to concerns
If you are concerned about the wellbeing of a child or adult, or if you spot something that worries you, use ‘the 4 Rs’ to help you know what to do next:
1) Recognise Does it look right? Does it sound right? Does it feel right? Trust your gut instinct; if it feels wrong, then it probably is wrong.
Remember that abuse can take many forms and sometimes it’s hard to know what to look out for. In the press we often hear about physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect, but there are also other ways that abuse can happen, too. You will learn more about this on the Level 2 Excellence in Safeguarding training course.
Always pass on any concerns you have to the Designated Person for Safeguarding at your church. It is their job to listen and decide whether or not further action is needed. They are best placed to decide how the situation needs to proceed and whether or not anyone else needs to be involved.
2) Respond If you have recognised something that causes you concern, or if a concern is disclosed to you, please don’t ignore it - RESPOND. Share your concerns with the Designated Person for Safeguarding at your church. It is not your job to investigate or to tell anyone apart from the Designated Person for Safeguarding, but you need to speak to them quickly and promptly.
3) Record Write down what concerns you have or what was disclosed to you without delay, using the person’s own words where possible. The four W’s are a useful tool: What? When? Where? Who?
• Who was involved? – names of the key people
• What happened? – facts not opinions
• Where did it happen?
• When did it happen – date and time
To help make sure you record everything clearly, a safeguarding incident form is available from your Designated Person (Fran or Jan) for Safeguarding.
4) Report Report any concerns or disclosures to your church’s Designated Person for Safeguarding without delay. The next steps will vary depending on whether a child or adult is involved, as well as the individual circumstances. The Designated Person for Safeguarding will know what to do next, or who best to contact for advice and support.
Occasionally children and young people do make false allegations and we need to be aware of that possibility. An adult who is unjustly accused will suffer. We must follow the guidelines fully to prevent, as far as possible, such allegations being made.
However, if allegations are made they must be treated seriously.
In all circumstances, these three principles will guide decision-making.
The responsibility is to the child.
Allegations must be taken seriously.
Help and advice must be sought
To report any concerns or for more details please contact
Fran Poole on 020 8669 8733,07754899595 or
or Jan Stone on 0208 669 9766