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Child Safeguarding

Our child & young person safeguarding policy

Child Safeguarding Policy of WAVE

 

 

Policy Statement

 

WAVE 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:

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. 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, Bolton Safeguarding Board and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

 

The purpose of the policy:

  • To provide protection for the children and young people who receive WAVE services, including the children of adult members or users.

  • To provide trustees, volunteers and any workers we may employ in the future, 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 everyone including the board of trustees, volunteers and sessional workers or anyone working on behalf of WAVE.

  • To ensure Trustees, Volunteers & any other staff regularly update their Safeguarding training.

 

We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them.

  • adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for volunteers.

  • recruiting volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made, sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers.

  • responding appropriately to disclosures and passing any information about concerns to Wave’s Safeguarding trustee who will advise on taking the concern forward.

  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

  • All staff, including volunteers to undertake the initial on-line safeguarding training & follow up with more in depth courses when available.

  • We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

Policy and Procedures

 

1:0 Aims and Objectives:

 

This policy ensures that our trustees and volunteers (and any workers employed in the future) are clear about the action necessary with regard to a child protection issue. Its aims are:

 

  • To raise the awareness of all volunteers and identify responsibility in reporting possible causes of abuse.

  • To ensure effective communication between all volunteers when dealing with child protection issues.

  • To establish the correct procedures for those who encounter an issue of child protection.

  • To identify a named management committee member to take responsibility for child protection issues.

2:0 Definitions of Abuse:

 

It is important that all our volunteers are aware of the different types of abuse and are able to recognise the signs. These are important to know as any action taken by the Police, Social Services, etc. will be based on the four broad definitions of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.

 

Physical Abuse: may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.

 

Signs to look out for:

 

  • Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries

  • Bruises, which reflect hand marks or fingertips

  • Cigarette burns

  • Bite marks

  • Broken bones

  • Scalds

  • Running away

  • Withdrawn

  • Anxiety

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate physical abuse may include:

 

  • Fear of parents being approached for an explanation

  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts

  • Flinching when approached or touched

  • Reluctance to get changed, for example wearing long sleeves in hot weather

  • Depression

  • Withdrawn behavior

 

 

Emotional Abuse: iis the emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve someone telling children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. Children may frequently feel frightened or in danger. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

 

Signs to look out for:

  • A failure to thrive and grow

  • Sudden speech disorders

  • Developmental delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress

 

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate emotional abuse may include:

  • Neurotic behaviour, e.g. hair twisting, rocking

  • Being unable to play

  • Fear of making mistakes

  • Self-harm

  • Withdrawn

  • Anxiety

  • Impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another

 

 

Sexual Abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether the child is aware of what is happening or not. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts, (e.g., rape, etc.). They may involve non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, for example offering favours for gifts.

 

Signs to look out for:

  • Addictive use of social media

  • Pain or itching in the genital /anal areas

  • Bruising or bleeding near genital /anal areas

  • Sexually transmitted disease

  • Vaginal discharge or infection

  • Stomach pains

  • Pregnancy

  • Withdrawn/over familiar

 

Changes in behaviour, which can also indicate sexual abuse may include:

  • Fear of  being  left  with  a  specific  person  or group of people

  • Sexual knowledge, which is beyond their age or developmental level

  • Sexual drawings or language

  • Self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts.

  • Substance or drug abuse

  • Suddenly having unexplained sources of money/ gifts

  • Not being allowed  to  have  friends  (particularly in adolescence)

  • Acting in a sexually explicit way towards adults

  • Eating problems, such as anorexia or overeating

  • Having nightmares

  • Sudden or unexplained changes in behavoir

  • Constantly trying to please

  • Angry/aggressive behaviour

 

 

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. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

 

Signs to look out for:

 

  • Running Away

  • Constant hunger, loss of weight including stealing food from other children

  • Poor personal hygiene

  • Inappropriate dress for the conditions

  • Untreated medical problems

  • Stealing

  • Sores-Scabies

 

3:0 Procedures:

If a child should make a disclosure to a volunteer within our group or should a volunteer recognise/identify possible signs of abuse, then the following actions should apply:

 

If a child talks to you about abuse or neglect:

 

Tell the child they are not to blame and that it was right to tell.

 

Reassure the child but do not make promises of confidentiality, which may not be feasible in the light of subsequent developments. Explain early on that the information will need to be shared and what you will do next (as simply as possible).

 

Do not show disgust or anger

 

Do not ask direct or leading questions – who, what, where, when

 

Do not stop the free recall of significant events

 

Do not ask a child to repeat their account to anyone else

 

Do not put words into the child’s mouth by suggesting what has happened and by whom

 

Take what the child says seriously, recognising the difficulties in interpreting what a child who has speech or language difficulties says

 

Keep calm and even if you find what they are saying difficult or painful, keep listening

 

Make a full record of what has been said, heard and/or seen as soon as possible using the child’s own words – record the facts clearly, including details of the child, date, time, parties involved, action taken and any referrals made to statutory agencies. Sign it.

 

Do not contact or confront the individual who is alleged to be responsible

 

Inform the Named Child Protection Officer within the group of this incident. They will then report any concerns to the relevant agency

 

The WAVE Designated Safeguarding Officer is: Tom Miller

Contact details:

Email: tmiller0810@gmail.com

Mobile: 07772183520

 

If the Named Child Protection Officer is unavailable then contact the following to disclose any concerns:

 

In an emergency call 999 or you can contact Bolton’s Referral and Assessment Team, part of the Multi-agency Screening and Safeguarding Service (MASSS) on 01204 331500.

 

The above number is office hours only – 9am - 5pm.

 

If you have a concern outside these times you can contact Bolton Emergency Duty Team – 01204 337777.

 

Or alternatively discuss your concerns with the NSPCC:

 

Freephone 0808 800 5000

Email help@nspcc.org.uk

Text 88858

 

 

If you recognise/identify any possible signs of abuse which concern you:

 

Do not challenge the child

 

Record your concerns

 

Inform the named child protection person within the group of your concern who will then liaise with the relevant agency

 

It is very important to record incidents as this information may be needed at a later stage during the assessment of a child or in court if criminal proceedings are brought against someone

4.0 Managing allegations against a person in a position of trust

 

All safeguarding concerns should be recorded on the appropriate form (see appendix i).

This form should be filled out and sent to the designated safeguarding lead. (Tom Miller, tmiller0810@gmail.com or to WAVEadventure@outlook.com).

The aim of the form is too accurately record

  • The date and time of the incident/disclosure

  • The date and time of the report

  • The name and role of the person to whom the concern was originally reported and their contact details

  • The name and role of the person making the report (if this is different to the above) and their contact details

  • The names of all parties who were involved in the incident, including any witnesses

  • The name, age and any other relevant information about the child who is the subject of the concern (including information about their parents or carers and any siblings) what was said or done and by whom

  • Any action taken to look into the matter

  • Any further action taken (such as a referral being made) the reasons why the organisation decided not to refer those concerns to a statutory agency (if relevant)

 

Once a concern, incident or allegation has been documented and raised with the designated safeguarding lead, the record shall be stored in a safe and secure location.

  • Once these concerns have been reviewed, they should be stored securely and confidentiality in compliance with GDPR regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018.

  • The sharing of information with relevant agencies or professionals should be relevant and in line with GDPR regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018

  • All safeguarding concerns are to be stored securely 

  • The file should be kept until the child is 25 (this is 7 years after they reach the school leaving age) (Information and Records Management Society (IRMS), 2019).

  • All information about the child will be kept confidential and only shared with relevant agencies or professionals involved. The welfare of the child will be the most important consideration in relation to the sharing of information and breaching confidentiality.

WAVE Adventure are committed to supporting children and young people who are involved with Child Protection cases. We will ensure that their wellbeing and welfare and the main consideration at all times and will continue to observe and liaise with any relevant agencies or professionals.  

Is this suitable for a statement to supporting children in child protection cases?

5.0 Managing allegations against a person in a position of trust

 

What to do if an allegation or incident against a volunteer or staff member is received

 

“The First Five Minutes”

Designated Safeguarding Officer receives complaint

(The Designated Safeguarding Officer will be named in your Child Protection Policy)

Make sure children are safeguarded

(E.g., a child with injury)

At this stage DO NOT question the victim or alleged perpetrator or witnesses

In an emergency call 999 or if a child is at significant risk of immediate harm and it is not safe to wait for the online referral form to be assessed call 01204 331500.

 

The Integrated Front Door operates from 8:45 – 17:00, Monday to Friday. Out of hours or bank holidays, call the emergency duty team 01204 337777.

Designated Safeguarding Lead will discuss with LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) and agree course of action

3 possible courses of action

                                 

6.0 Recruitment and Selection of Volunteers

 

 

All volunteers shall be subject to a careful and rigorous selection process with the following elements:

 

  • Completion of application form and checking identity by birth certificate or passport

 

  • References from at least 2 people who are not related to the volunteer

 

  • Completion of a criminal record check through a local umbrella agency with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

 

  • Volunteers will undertake a probationary period of 3 months

 

  • Volunteers will have no unsupervised access to children and young people until checks have been completed

 

 

7.0 Supporting Volunteers

 

WAVE will ensure that volunteers have the appropriate child protection training with regular updates via team meetings and access to relevant training

 

WAVE will provide support to volunteers by setting time aside to talk through any issues and concerns they may have

 

Access to emergency services, counselling services numbers for volunteers

 

 

8.0 Other actions WAVE will do to minimise harm to children and young people

  • Ensure volunteer’s roles are defined.

  • Ensure adequate ratios of children to adults.

  • Take out appropriate insurances to cover activities undertaken.

  • Perform risk assessments where appropriate.

  • Keep an accident/incident book.

  • Gain appropriate authorisation where required from parents/ carers for children undertaking group activities.

  • Displaying counselling services details so that children can access these if they so prefer.

 

9.0 Online Safeguarding

 

Children may be exposed to upsetting or inappropriate content online, particularly if the platform you’re using doesn’t have robust privacy and security settings or if you’re not checking posts. This content might be sexually explicit or it might be harmful in other ways, such as radicalisation, bullying, or content that's upsetting.

 

Children may be at risk of being groomed if they have an online profile that means they can be contacted privately.

 

Children’s posts or profile information may expose personal information and put them at risk. For example, they may talk about their home life, feelings, or thoughts they’ve been having. There may be information that makes them identifiable such as locations of events they are taking part in or visual clues in photographs. Perpetrators may use this information to groom, abuse or exploit children.

 

Perpetrators of abuse may create fake profiles to try to contact children and young people through the platform you’re using, for example an adult posing as a child. They may also create anonymous accounts and engage in cyberbullying or trolling. People known to a child can also perpetrate abuse.

 

On many platforms, children can be contacted anywhere and at any time through private messaging or notification alerts. This means it’s harder for them to escape from abusive messages or upsetting content that they are tagged in.

WAVE utilises social media to promote services and engage with young people; these services include Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and Zoom. In order to safeguard young people WAVE will:

  • When utilising WhatsApp groups for young people, those under 14 and under will also have their parents present

  • Zoom conference calls (or any video conferencing application) will be an invite only session and include the parents for those 14 and under

  • Social media channels to be maintained by WAVE staff

  • All content placed on any social media to be age appropriate

  • Ensure that young people's data or social media information are kept safe

 

 

10.0 The transportation of children and young people

When transporting Children and Young People

 

  • Best practice is clearly to avoid transporting a child alone, but we recognise that in some circumstances it is an essential part of a child’s participation in training and competition. If all alternatives have been exhausted and an adult has to transport a child, there are a number of safety measures that should be put in place to minimise the risk:

  • The organisation must establish the suitability of any driver. The driver should have agreed to a vetting check (where appropriate).

  • A person other than the planned driver should talk to the child about transport arrangements to check they are comfortable about the plans.

  • The organisations must ensure drivers have valid car insurance, MOT and driving licence prior to carrying any passengers.

  • The individual should check with their own insurance company if they want to use their car as part of their paid/volunteer role.

  • When transporting children after an event or training session staff/volunteers should alternate which child is dropped off last. Ideally two children would be dropped off at an agreed point such as one of their family homes.

  • Drivers must register their vehicle with the organisation.

  • Parents/carers should be informed of transport arrangements including the person who will be transporting their child, the reasons why and how long the journey will take.

 

Drivers must only use vehicles with seat belts and ensure that their passengers are wearing these when in transit.

 

 

Drivers must be aware of their legal obligations when transporting children.

 

Parents/carers must give written permission if their child is being transported in another adult’s car.

 

Clear information on the expected time of departure and arrival needs to be communicated to relevant people, i.e. parents/carer.

11.0 Code of Conduct

It is important that both service users and volunteers can participate in WAVE activities in a safe and secure environment. This Code of Conduct has been developed for the protection of both service users and volunteers. WAVE expects all its volunteers to abide by this Code of Conduct.

Volunteers:-

Will abide by the guiding principles of WAVE in all activities as a volunteer

Will inform WAVE of any relevant police record or other factor, or any change in his/her circumstances, which may make him/her unsuitable either as a WAVE volunteer or for any particular WAVE activity.

Recognises that the role of a WAVE volunteer places him/her in a position of trust with regard to all children who are service users participating in WAVE programmes, the WAVE organisation, and to colleagues, and undertakes to uphold that trust at all times.

Undertake to maintain, within the organisation’s procedures, the confidentiality of any information relating to other volunteers made available to him/her in the course of the role as a WAVE volunteer.

Will not knowingly place him / herself in a situation where the volunteer is alone with a child or young person and will endeavour to ensure, as far as possible, that there is another adult in attendance at any meetings.

Will ensure that any WAVE activities involving children outside the normal activities are agreed and approved by the trustees in advance.

 

Will not behave in any way, physically or verbally, that could be offensive.

Appendix

 

i, copy of incident recording form

INCIDENT REPORTING FORM

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Action by your organisation

No further action

Strategy meeting

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Policy: Child Safeguarding & Protection Policy 

Version: 04

Written by: Tom Miller

Ratified on: 05/02/2024

Review due: February 2025

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