Equal Opportunities Policy
Infection Control Policy
Registration of Children at Camp
Child Protection Policy - February 2015
Failure of a Parent or Carer to Collect a Child Procedure
Missing Child Procedure
ACH is committed to the health and safety of the children in its care. Other policies and procedures available on request are:
- Fire Procedures
- Health & Safety Policy Statement
Statement of Intent
The company is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our clients so they can play and learn in a relaxed and secure environment. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. If bullying does occur, all children should be able to report it and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff in the manner outlined below.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. It is known to cause pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
Emotional: being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting
Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, or any use of violence
Racist: taunts, graffiti, gestures
Sexual: unwanted physical contact or abusive comments
Homophobic: taunts, gestures
Verbal: name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
Cyber: Misuse of internet, mobile phones, camera & video
OBJECTIVES OF THIS POLICY
All staff, clients and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
All staff should know the policy on bullying and follow it when bullying is reported.
All clients and parents should know of the policy and what they should do if bullying occurs.
As a childcare provider, the company takes bullying seriously.
Children and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
Bullying will not be tolerated
If a member of staff suspects, observes or receives a report of any form of bullying, the following procedures should be followed:
Immediately inform the leader of the activity or a member of the management team.
The leader or manager should observe the behaviour of the group and challenge any form of bullying. It is important that bullying behaviour is investigated and quickly stopped. It is advisable to avoid the term “bullying”, and better to make clear the behaviour is “unacceptable”.
The leader of the activity must inform a member of the management team as soon as is practical.
The management team will decide on any further action. This may involve discussions with the people and parents concerned. In serious cases the police will be consulted
Incidents and actions should be recorded on the Confidential Incident Report form.
A person accused or suspected of bullying may be asked to apologise.
If possible, the company’s staff will attempt to encourage reconciliation between the children.
In serious cases, suspension or exclusion will be considered
After any incident/s have been dealt with, staff will monitor to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT POLICY
AIMS: To create a positive environment where staff consistently manage and encourage positive behaviour to promote the welfare and development of all children in the setting.
To encourage all children to respect themselves and others in a secure, stimulating, challenging and enjoyable environment.
To provide children in our care with clear boundaries and expectations.
The Company wants children to enjoy learning and to reach their full potential.
The Company’s staff are not authorised to use nor threaten physical punishment. Physical intervention will only be used as a last resort to prevent or curb personal injury to any person or damage to property.
The Company aims to do this by:
- Using praise and positive reinforcement.
- Encouraging sharing and negotiation
- Staff being good role models and setting good examples
- Staff explaining what is expected of every person
- Staff giving clear instructions about each activity
- Involving the children in the everyday running of activities and taking responsibility for themselves & others (according to age & stage)
- Informing staff of this policy during Induction and through the Staff Code of Practice.
- Reassuring children that they are valued as individuals even if their behaviour is sometimes unacceptable.
- Helping children to understand the consequences of their behaviour.
The Company’s staff will NOT
- Humiliate children
- Use physical punishment
- Withhold food or drink
Intervention Techniques in managing behaviour
Staff will consider using these approaches when dealing with inappropriate behaviour:
- The environment: considering where they choose to speak to a child – in front of others/away from others; sitting down together (for a friendly chat) or standing (a more formal approach);
- Praising appropriate behaviour; ignoring inappropriate behaviour (as long as it is minor and not affecting others)
- Reminding children in a gentle way what is expected of them.
- Giving a clear instruction to stop unacceptable behaviour.
- As the responsible adult, getting involved in a situation that arouses concern in order to diffuse it.
- Walking towards any situation that worries them.
- Distracting children away from what they are doing and direct them towards something else.
- Allowing a child time to calm down before discussing what happened.
- Listening to what the child has to say. Acknowledging their feelings.
- Giving their interpretation of what happened and suggest other ways for the child to behave/respond.
- Giving reassurance to a child who seems anxious, fearful or uncertain.
- Helping a child if they appear unsure or “stuck”
- Directing a child to move away to another area. Making sure they talk to the child about its behaviour.
USE OF PHYSICAL INTERVENTION: Only as a last resort, after trying “Intervention Techniques” listed above, and only to prevent personal injury or damage to property, staff may need physically to stop unacceptable behaviour.
PROCEDURE FOR RECORDING INCIDENTS OF PHYSICAL INTERVENTION
If physical intervention is used it must be reported to the Adventure & Computer Holidays Managing Director and recorded on a “Physical Intervention Report” form attached to the “Kids List” and in the Behaviour Management file.
A copy of this form should be given to parent or carer as soon as possible.
In the event of a complaint from a parent/client, our procedure is as follows:-
Telephone Complaint or Face to Face Complaint
1. The staff member will listen to the initial complaint
It is important that the parent/client has a chance to air their views.
2. If staff feel that they can answer the complaint:
- Go ahead and respond to any points raised.
- If the parent/client is completely satisfied with your response the conversation can be concluded.
- Even though the complaint is dealt with, the matter must still be reported to the Adventure & Computer Holidays’
Managing Director, who will record it and decide whether any further action should be taken.
3. If staff are not able to answer the complaint:
- Explain to the parent/client that you are not in possession of all the facts and that you are going to report to Adventure & Computer Holidays’ Managing Director. If the conversation is on the telephone the call should be put through to or reported to the Managing Director or a delegated member of the management team.
If the Managing Director or a delegated member of the management team is not available, explain this to the parent/client and then ask them to run through all the points they would like to discuss, so that you can write them down.
Explain that you will be passing these notes on to the Managing Director. It is important that the parent/client feels that you are taking them seriously.
- All complaints will be investigated by Adventure & Computer Holidays’ Managing Director.
- A plan of action will be made.
- The Managing Director or a delegated member of the management team must telephone the parent/client with an explanation/solution/apology/offer of a refund/other suggestion as appropriate.
- If an agreement cannot be reached with the parent/client at this point, the matter must be discussed with the Company Directors and a letter written to notify the complainant of the outcome of their investigation within 28 days.
- Parents/clients should be advised that they can also make a complaint to Ofsted, at Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD. Tel. 0300 123 1231
- In all cases, a written record of the complaint, actions taken and the outcome must be kept on file for a minimum of 3 years.
Equal Opportunities Policy Statement
Adventure & Computer Holidays will ensure that equal opportunities are incorporated into its policies and procedures, so that children are not discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexuality, age, class or disability.
It is the policy of Adventure & Computer Holidays to employ staff on the basis of their suitability for the job. There will be no discrimination on the basis of gender, race, marital status, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexuality, age, class or disability.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
Adventure & Computer Holidays is committed to an anti-discriminatory approach within the setting. In order to promote this, the Company will ensure that:-
- All members of staff receive copies of the Equal Opportunities Policy Statement in the Surrey Staff Code of Practice, and this is discussed with them at interview and during any performance review.They are required to sign a document to show that they have read and will abide by the policy.
- As far as possible the premises the Company uses allows disabled access.
- ACH works with parents/carers to ensure the physical, social & emotional needs of the child are met. All requests for holiday placements will be considered, and every effort will be made to accommodate children with Special Educational Needs.
- Diversity is respected and individual needs are met.
- Staff & children are encouraged to respect and value one another. Staff are required to help children to understand that it is wrong to act in a discriminatory way.
- Discriminatory behaviour is challenged and will not be tolerated.
- We cater for cultural, religious and medical differences in activities and mealtimes throughout the day.
- The policy is regularly reviewed to ensure that it is being met.
- We also have & implement an anti-bullying policy in line with our anti-discriminatory approach to all children.
Children who are unwell should not attend camp. ACH reserves the right to refuse to accept a child they consider to be sick or unwell. If a child becomes unwell during the day, parents will be informed and, if possible, asked to collect their child. If this is not possible, the sick child will be taken to the office, to be supervised by a member of staff, to rest in the quiet area, away from other children.
ACH Booking Form and Confirmation of Booking Letter, as part of the booking-in system, states that, in booking with us, parents/carers are agreeing to their child receiving emergency medical treatment. We also ask parents to sign the confirmation of booking, to acknowledge that they understand that ACH will seek emergency medical treatment for their child, should the need arise.
- Parents/ Carers are asked to supply medical information on each child at the time of booking and to update this if circumstances change.
- Parents/Carers are asked to inform ACH if their child is on regular, prescribed medication on each booking form.
- ACH will only administer prescribed medicines and non-prescribed medicines provided by parents.
- If a child requires administration of medication during their time at camp, parents/carers must provide the medication; complete a consent form, indicating the medical condition, the name of the medication, the dosage and the frequency of administration; sign to indicate consent for administration.
- No medication will be administered without proper consent.
- No medication will be administered against the wishes of the child.
- ACH staff will complete an entry into the Medication Records each time they administer medicine to a child, indicating the time and dosage.
- All medicines and records will be kept in a secure box.
Infection Control Policy
click to view
REGISTRATION OF CHILDREN AT CAMP (Safeguarding Children)
1. All children are registered in the morning at the point of arrival (either on the transport or at the centre) and registered out at the point of collection by parents/carers. Children may only be handed over to parents/carers or specified individuals nominated and named by the parent/carer.
2. Children are registered into their activity groups at the beginning of the morning and afternoon activity, and group numbers recorded.
3. It is the responsibility of the activity leader to take the register at the beginning and check that all children are present during and at the end of the session.
4. When the activity is off-site, the register must be taken as normal and, additionally, children must be checked onto the transport before leaving camp and again before leaving the activity site.
5. Off-Site, the leaders must clearly specify a meeting point to all children in case of separation from the group (see missing child policy).
6. Off-site, for large groups, children must be separated into small groups under the leadership of a designated member of staff, who will be responsible for them at all times.
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY February 2015
Everyone who participates in activities with ACH is entitled to do so in an enjoyable and safe environment. ACH have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for young people, coaches and staff provide them with the highest possible standard of care.
ACH is committed to devising and implementing policies so that everyone in the company accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse. This means to follow procedures to protect children and report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities.
The aim of the policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young people with appropriate safety/protection whilst in the care of ACH and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
A child/young person is defined as a person under the age of 18 (Children’s Act 1989)
1.2 Policy Statement
ACH is committed to the following:
- the welfare of the child is paramount
- all children, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity should be able to participate in an activity in a fun and safe environment
taking all reasonable steps to protect children from harm, discrimination and degrading treatment and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings
- all suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
- all ACH employees who work with children will be recruited with regard to their suitability for that responsibility, and will be provided with guidance and/or training in good practice and child protection procedures
- working in partnership with parents and children is essential for the protection of children
1.3 Responsible person
The company director will appoint a Responsible Person for child protection. They would be the first point of contact if any member of staff has concerns about a possible child protection issue. They will also ensure that the training sections are implemented, and that the policy is monitored and reviewed.
The safeguarding officer within the company is: Su Jones, Director (01306 711005/07779 firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Monitor and review the policy and procedures
The implementation of procedures should be regularly monitored and reviewed. The welfare officer (herein the “company director”) should regularly report progress, challenges, difficulties, achievements gaps and areas where changes are required to the management committee.
The policy should be reviewed every 3 years or whenever there is a major change in the organisation or in relevant legislation.
2 Promoting Good Practice
To provide children with the best possible experience and opportunities in activities, everyone must operate within the ACH Code of Practice (issued to every member of staff during training) and the regulations of Ofsted and British Activities Providers Association.
It is not always easy to distinguish poor practice from abuse. It is therefore NOT the responsibility of employees or participants on activity days to make judgements about whether or not abuse is taking place. It is however their responsibility to identify poor practice and possible abuse and act if they have concerns about the welfare of the child, as explained in section 4.
This section helps identify what is meant by good practice and poor practice.
2.2 Good Practice
All personnel should adhere to the following principles and action:
- always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets)
- make the experience of the activity fun and enjoyable: promote fairness, confront and deal with bullying
- treat all young people equally and with respect and dignity
- always put the welfare of the young person first
- maintain a safe and appropriate distance with clients (e.g. it is not appropriate for staff or other adult clients to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them alone)
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact with young people. Where any form of manual/physical support is required, especially in the water, it should be provided openly and with the consent of the young person. Physical contact can be appropriate so long as it is neither intrusive nor disturbing and the young person’s consent has been given
- Involve parents/cares wherever possible, e.g. where young people need to be supervised in changing rooms, if parents are on the activity holiday with their child, encourage them to take responsibility for their own child. If groups have to be supervised in changing rooms always ensure parents, coaches etc work in pairs
- request written parental consent if ACH staff are required to transport young people in their cars
- gain written parental consent for all significant travel arrangements e.g. overnight stays, flights and other long-distance travel
- ensure that if mixed gender young adults and children groups are taken away, they should always be accompanied by a male and female member of staff
- ensure that at away events adults should not enter a young person’s room or invite young people to their rooms alone
- be an excellent role model, this includes not smoking or drinking excessive alcohol in the company of young people
- always give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
- recognise the developmental needs and capacity of the young person and do not risk sacrificing welfare in a desire for company or personal achievements. This means avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will
- secure written parental consent for ACH to act in loco parentis, to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid or other medical treatment if the need arises
- keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with details of any treatment given
2.3 Poor Practice
The following are regarded as poor practice and should be avoided by all personnel:
- unnecessarily spending excessive amounts of time alone with young people away from others
- taking young people alone in a car on journeys, however short
- taking young people alone to your home where they will be alone with you
- sharing a room with a young person alone
- engaging in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
- allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
- allowing young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged
- making sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun
- reducing a young person to tears as a form of control
- allow allegations made by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
- do things of a personal nature that the young person can do for themselves
When a case arises where it is impractical/impossible to avoid certain situation e.g. transporting a young person on you car, the tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the parent/care and the young person involved.
If during your care you accidentally hurt a young person, the young person seems distressed in any manner, appears to be sexually aroused by your actions and/or if the young person misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done, report any such incidents as soon as possible to another colleague and make a written note of it. Parents should also be informed of the incident.
3 Defining Child Abuse
Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm, it commonly occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility and is an abuse of power or a breach of trust. Abuse can happen to a young person regardless of their age, gender, race or ability.
There are four main types of abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. The abuser may be a family member, someone the young person encounters in residential care or in the community, including sports and leisure activities. Any individual may abuse or neglect a young person directly, or may be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person harming the young person.
Abuse in all of its forms can affect a young person at any age. The effects can be so damaging that if not treated may follow the individual into adulthood.
Young people with disabilities may be at increased risk of abuse through various factors such as stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, isolation and a powerlessness to protect themselves or adequately communicate that abuse had occurred.
3.2 Types of Abuse
Physical Abuse: where adults physically hurt or injure a young person e.g. hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, biting, scalding, suffocating, drowning. Giving young people alcohol or inappropriate drugs would also constitute child abuse.
This category of abuse can also include when a parent/carer reports non-existent symptoms or illness deliberately causes ill health in a young person they are looking after. This is call Munchauser’s syndrome by proxy.
In an activity situation, physical abuse may occur when the nature and intensity of training disregard the capacity of the child’s immature and growing body
Emotional Abuse: the persistent emotional ill treatment of a young person, likely to cause severe and lasting adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve telling a young person they are useless, worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued in terms of only meeting the needs of another person. It may feature expectations of young people that are not appropriate to their age or development. It may cause a young person to be frightened or in danger by being constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted which may make the young person frightened or withdrawn.
Ill treatment of children, whatever form it takes, will always feature a degree of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse in an activity situation may occur when the young person is constantly criticised, given negative feedback, expected to perform at levels that are above their capability. Other forms of emotional abuse could take the form of name calling and bullying.
Bullying may come from another young person or an adult. Bullying is defined as deliberate hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. There are three main types of bullying.
It may be physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, slapping), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, name calling, graffiti, threats, abusive text messages), emotional (e.g. tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, ignoring, isolating form the group), or sexual (e.g. unwanted physical contact or abusive comments).
In an activity scenario bullying may arise when a parent or coach pushes the young person too hard to succeed, or a rival competitor or onstructor uses bullying behaviour.
Neglect occurs when an adult fails to meet the young person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, to an extent that is likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development. For example, failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect from physical harm or danger, or failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Refusal to give love, affection and attention can also be a form of neglect.
Neglect in a physical activity could occur when an instructor does not keep the young person safe, or exposes them to undue cold/heat or unnecessary risk of injury.
Sexual Abuse occurs when adults (male and female) use children to meet their own sexual needs. This could include full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse and fondling. Showing young people pornography or talking to them in a sexually explicit manner are also forms of sexual abuse.
With activities which might involve physical contact with young people situations could potentially be created where sexual abuse may go unnoticed. Also the power of the instructor over young participants, if misused, may lead to abusive situations developing.
3.3 Indicators of Abuse
Even for those experienced in working with child abuse, it is not always easy to recognise a situation where abuse may occur or has already taken place. Most people are not experts in such recognition, but indications that a child is being abused may include one or more of the following:
- unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries
- an injury for which an explanation seems inconsistent
- the young person describes what appears to be an abusive act involving them
- another young person or adult expresses concern about the welfare of a young person
- unexplained changes in a young person’s behaviour e.g. becoming very upset, quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper
- inappropriate sexual awareness
- engaging in sexually explicit behaviour
- distrust of adult’s, particularly those whom a close relationship would normally be expected
- difficulty in making friends
- being prevented from socialising with others
- displaying variations in eating patterns including over eating or loss of appetite
- losing weight for no apparent reason
- becoming increasingly dirty or unkempt
Signs of bullying include:
- behavioural changes such as reduced concentration and/or becoming withdrawn, clingy, depressed, tearful, emotionally up and down, reluctance to participate
- an unexplained drop off in performance
- physical signs such as stomach aches, headaches, difficulty in sleeping, bed wetting, scratching and bruising, damaged clothes, bingeing e.g. on food, alcohol or cigarettes
- a shortage of money or frequents loss of possessions
- It must be recognised that the above list is not exhaustive, but also that the presence of one or more of the indications is not proof that abuse is taking place. It is NOT the responsibility of those working for ACH to decide that child abuse is occurring. It IS their responsibility to act on any concerns.
Use of Photographic/Filming and Digital Imaging Equipment
It is not the intention of this document to prevent the use of video or photography equipment. Video used in an appropriate way can be a valuable coaching aid and photographs of participation are valued by visiting groups and individuals. Photographs are also invaluable for promotion of the work of the centre through use in printed material on social media and other means.
In all cases the person being photographed should not be distracted during an activity. The person(s) being photographed should be made aware that photography is possible.
The permission of the person (their parent/guardian - if 18 years or under), must be obtained before images are recorded. Each ACH consent form has a section for photography and video - this must be checked before taking any images.
Where permission has been given for recording images but not for public use, this must be made clear to the photographer who must ensure that images not permitted for publicity are identified and stored separately from those where permission has been given.
Must have received a clear brief from the person in charge of the activity regarding the aims of the images before commencing recording.
Must be able to justify all of the images in their possession.
All staff should be vigilant to ensure that outdoor activity events are not used as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled people in vulnerable positions.
Must focus on the activity taking place rather than the individual.
People featured in the images must be appropriately dressed (e.g. a minimum of vest or shirt and shorts).
Must be securely stored and only accessed and used by staff who are authorised to do so.
- Detailed personal information with an image - do not use the first of last names of individuals in a photograph.
- Use of an image for something other than that which it was initially agreed with the consent giver.
Images recorded in changing rooms, showers or toilets.
Any concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography should be reported to the ACH director and handled in the same manner as any other Safeguarding concern.
4 Responding to Suspicions and Allegations
It is not the responsibility of anyone working for ACH in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities so that they can then make inquiries and take necessary action to protect the young person. This applies BOTH to allegations/suspicions of abuse occurring within ACH and to allegations/suspicions that abuse is taking place elsewhere.
This section explains how to respond to allegations/suspicions.
Receiving Evidence of Possible Abuse
We may become aware of possible abuse in various ways. We may see it happening, we may suspect it happening because of signs such as those listed in section 3 of this document, it may be reported to us by someone else or directly by the young person affected.
In the last of these cases, it is particularly important to respond appropriately. If a young person says or indicates that they are being abused, you should:
- stay calm so as not to frighten the young person
- reassure the child that they are not to blame and that it was right to tell
- listen to the child, showing that you are taking them seriously
- keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said.
- The law is very strict and child abuse cases have been dismissed where it is felt that the child has been led or words and ideas have been suggested during questioning. Only ask questions to clarify
- inform the child that you have to inform other people about what they have told you. Tell the child this is to help stop the abuse continuing.
- safety of the child is paramount. If the child needs urgent medical attention call an ambulance, inform the doctors of the concern and ensure they are made aware that this is a child protection issue
- record all information
- report the incident to the company director
In all cases if you are not sure what to do you can gain help from NSPCC Hour help line (Mon – Fri 10.00am – 6.00pm). Tel No: 08081002524 or the NSPCC 24 hour help line Tel No: 0800800500
To ensure that information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern. In recording you should confine yourself to the facts and distinguish what is your personal knowledge and what others have told you. Do not include your own opinions.
Information should include the following:
- the child’s name, age and date of birth
- the child’s home address and telephone number
- whether or not the person making the report is expressing their concern or someone else’s
- the nature of the allegation, including dates, times and any other relevant information
- a description of any visible bruising or injury, location, size etc. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes
- details of witnesses to the incidents
- the child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising/injuries occurred
- have the parents been contacted? If so what has been said?
- has anyone else been consulted? If so record details
- has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record detail
Reporting the Concern
All suspicions and allegations MUST be reported appropriately. It is recognised that strong emotions can be aroused particularly in cases where sexual abuse is suspected or where there is misplaced loyalty to a colleague. It is important to understand these feelings but not allow them to interfere with your judgement about any action to take.
ACH expects its members and staff to discuss any concerns they may have about the welfare of a child immediately with the person in charge and subsequently to check that appropriate action has been taken.
If the company director is not available you should take responsibility and seek advice from the NSPCC helpline, the duty officer at your local social services department or the police. Telephone numbers can be found in your local directory.
Where there is a complaint against an employee or volunteer, there may be three types of investigation.
Criminal in which case the police are immediately involved
Child protection in which case the social services (and possibly) the police will be involved
Disciplinary or misconduct in which case ACH will be involved
As mentioned previously in this document ACH are not child protection experts and it is not their responsibility to determine whether or not abuse has taken place. All suspicions and allegations must be shared with professional agencies that are responsible for child protection.
Social services have a legal responsibility under The Children Act 1989 to investigate all child protection referrals by talking to the child and family (where appropriate), gathering information from other people who know the child and making inquiries jointly with the police.
NB: If there is any doubt, you must report the incident: it may be just one of a series of other incidences which together cause concern
Any suspicion that a child has been abused by an employee or a volunteer should be reported to the company director of ACH who will take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk. This will include the following:
ACH will refer the matter to social services department
the parent/carer of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department
the company director should be notified to decide who will deal with any media inquiries and implement any immediate disciplinary proceedings
the company director should also notify the relevant governing body
if the company director is the subject of the suspicion/allegation the report must be made to the appropriate manager who will refer the matter to social services
Allegations of abuse are sometimes made sometime after the event. Where such allegation is made, you should follow the same procedures and have the matter reported to social services. This is because other children in a similar situation may be at risk from the alleged abuser. Anyone who has a previous conviction for offences related to abuse against children is automatically excluded from working with children.
Concerns outside the immediate site environment (e.g. a parent or carer)
Report your concerns to the company director
If the company director is not available, the person being told or discovering the abuse should contact their local social services department or the police immediately
Social Services and the company director will decide how to inform the parents/carers
Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:
- The company director
- The parents of the child
- The person making the allegation
- Social Services/police
- The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child)
Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser.
All information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws.
4.7 Internal Inquiries and Suspension
ACH company director will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries
Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the ACH company director will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision; especially where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases the ACH company director must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on the balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.
Recruiting and Selecting Personnel with Children
It is important that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent unsuitable people from working with children. This applies equally to paid staff and volunteers, both full and part time. To ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children the following steps are taken when recruiting.
Controlling Access to Children
Consent should be obtained from the applicant to seek information from the Disclosure and Barring Service
All staff and volunteers who have access to children to undergo a CRB check and this is to be received back before there is any contact with children
Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children should be obtained. These references MUST be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact and before the position is taken up.
Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo)
Interview and Induction
ACH highly values all the work its staff and volunteers do with young people. As part of the recruitment process it is important that all those concerned with this work are confident that recruitment procedures are as comprehensive as possible. The vetting of individuals to varying degrees is a necessary part of the recruitment process. This procedure in no way reflects any element of distrust about a possible volunteer it is merely a procedure that all individuals must go through.
To ensure individuals go through the correct vetting procedures the following guidelines are used:
Those who are considered to have unsupervised access must complete the following procedure:
- Go through and have a clear CRB check – this must be received back before there is contact with children.
- 2 references must be obtained and received back before there is contact with children.
- Be approved by the Director and Duty Manager to work on supported activities.
- Their qualifications should be substantiated.
- The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified.
- They should sign up to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.
- Child Protection Procedures are explained and training needs identified e.g. basic child protection awareness.
Those with supervised access must:
- Be approved by the Director and Duty Manager for the activity.
- Complete and submit CRB documents if working regularly and the check must be received back before there is contact with children.
- 2 references must be obtained and received back before there is contact with children.
- Their qualifications should be substantiated.
- The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified.
- They should sign up to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.
- Child Protection Procedures are explained and training needs identified e.g. basic child protection awareness.
In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:
Analyse their own practice against what is deemed good practice, and to ensure their practice is likely to protect them from false allegations
Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice and/or abuse
Respond to concerns expressed by a child
Work safely and effectively with children
- All employees, volunteers and coaches to undertake relevant child protection training or undertake a form of home study, to ensure their practice is exemplary and to facilitate the development of positive culture towards good practice and child protection
- All staff and volunteers to receive advisory information outlining good/bad practice and informing them what to do if they have concerns about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person
- All coaches, trainee coaches and leaders should have an up to date first aid qualification
6 Missing child
Child going missing on the premises
As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing the key person/staff alerts the ACH company director.
The ACH team will carry out a thorough search whilst any other children and young adults are safely looked after by an appropriate person
An immediate vicinity check is undertaken
Next action would be to raise awareness of the missing child with Lifeguards if incident whilst at or around a beach
If the child is not found, the missing child is reported to the police.
The ACH company director talks to the staff and clients to find out when and where the child was last seen and records this.
The company director shall contact the Next of Kin and reports the incident.
The incident is reported under RIDDOR arrangements (see the Reporting of Accidents and Incidents policy, held by company director on every trip); the local authority Health and Safety Officer may want to investigate and will decide if there is a case for prosecution.
The insurance provider is informed.
Missing child incidents are very worrying for all concerned. Part of managing the incident is to try to keep everyone as calm as possible.
The staff will feel worried about the child. They may blame themselves and their feelings of anxiety and distress will rise as the length of time the child is missing increases.
Staff may be the understandable target of parental anger and they may be afraid. The company director needs to ensure that staff under investigation are not only fairly treated but receive support while feeling vulnerable.
The parents will feel angry, and fraught. They may want to blame staff and may single out one staff member over others; they may direct their anger at the setting leader. When dealing with a distraught and angry parent, there should always be two members of staff where possible (unless it is just the company director present).
No matter how understandable the parent’s anger may be, aggression or threats against staff are not tolerated, and the police should be called.
Any other children or young adults are also sensitive to what is going on around them. They too may be worried. The remaining staff caring for them need to be focused on their needs and must not discuss the incident in front of them. They should answer children’s questions honestly but also reassure them.
In accordance with the severity of the final outcome, staff may need counselling and support. If a child is not found, or is injured, or worse, this will be a very difficult time. The company director will use their discretion to decide what action to take.
Staff must not discuss any missing child incident with the press without taking advice.
Surrey Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB)
Surrey Contact Centre, Floor 3, Conquest House, Wood Street, Kingston Upon Thames KT1 1AB
Tel. 03456 009 009
Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD
Tel: 0300 123 1231
Surrey County Council’s Local Authority Child Protection Designated Officer (LADO)
Tel. 01372 833895 or 01372 833833
FAILURE OF A PARENT/CARER TO COLLECT A CHILD POLICY
1. After 15 minutes, a member of staff will be designated to stay with the child while the parent or carer is contacted by phone. The appointed member of staff will remain with the child.
2. In the event of no contact, no explanation and no show after 1 hour, a member of the Management Team will make the decision whether to contact the police and Social services.
MISSING CHILD PROCEDURE
1. If it is suspected that a child is missing, the Managing Director or senior member of staff present
must be alerted immediately.
The activity leader will establish the whereabouts of the child if possible, using available staff and the telephone. The other children in the group will be left in the care of a member of staff while an organised search is carried out. In the event of the child not being found in the expected area, with the possibility that the child has left the site, available staff will be detailed to conduct an immediate search of the surrounding areas.
2a. On-Site, if a child has not been discovered within 30 minutes, the parents and the Police will be
2b. Off-Site, if the child is not at the pre-arranged meeting point, the assistance of the activity site staff
must be sought. If the child has not been discovered within 15 minutes parents and police will be
3. Adventure & Computer Holidays staff will continue to search and will join forces with the Police if
necessary. All incidents of children going missing will be fully documented in the Incident File.
4. Adventure & Computer Holidays staff will, from time to time, cover issues relating to the dangers of this
behaviour in assembly time and in the activity sessions.