This page contains Inner Flame’s Safeguarding policy, which is subject to review from time to time. While we make every effort to keep details up to date, if you would like the latest version, please contact us.
SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN POLICY
Statement of intent
Inner Flame recognises its responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of all young people involved in its residential courses and other activities.
Inner Flame Management Committee has adopted the following principles in relation to Safeguarding children.
· The child’s welfare is paramount.
· Anyone under the age of 18 is considered as a child for the purpose of this policy.
· All children without exception have the right to protection from abuse regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs.
· All concerns and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously by trustees, staff and volunteers and responded to appropriately. They will not be ignored.
· This policy applies to all trustees, staff and volunteers who work with Inner Flame. Working in partnership with children, young people and their parents/carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young peoples’ welfare.
· Swindon is a partner in sharing procedures for safeguarding children with the South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Group.
What is Child Abuse?
Child abuse is the term used to describe how children are harmed, often by adults but also by other children and young people. Children with special needs are particularly vulnerable and in need of special care. Children are mainly abused by the people they know and trust. Abuse may happen at home within the family or within a public environment such as school or a sports centre.
Child abuse can take a number of forms but can be identified under four general categories:
· Physical abuse.
· Emotional abuse.
· Sexual abuse.
Bullying and domestic violence are also forms of abuse.
Listening to Children
If a child says that he or she is being abused or provides information that suggests that they are being abused, the person receiving that information shall:
· Be calm and reassure the child they have done the right thing. Do not make promises that may not be kept, e.g. telling the child you will keep it a secret.
· Ensure you are in an environment where they can talk confidentially.
· Listen carefully.
· Take what the child says seriously.
· Make accurate notes using the child’s words and do not ask leading questions (Do not interrogate the child.)
· Let the child know you understand what they have said and that you will act upon it.
In order to protect children/young people from abuse, the Management Committee will: -
- Ensure that all Management Committee members and workers, both paid and voluntary, undertake appropriate Child Protection training within the first year of their involvement.
- Appoint a designated Child Protection Officer from the Management Committee, to respond to allegations and concerns, and collate Child Protection data.
· Ensure that appropriate recording and monitoring systems are in place.
- Ensure that all users, workers and Management Committee members are aware of this policy and the role of the designated Child Protection officer.
· Enforce this policy.
· Evaluate and review this policy regularly.
The key telephone numbers to talk to Childrens’ Services are:
- Swindon Borough Council Emergency Duty Service Team – 01793 436699
- Wiltshire County Council Emergency Duty Service Team – 0845 60 70 888
Other useful contacts include:
Procedures for Referral
Alleged Abuse by someone outside of Inner Flame
All action is to be taken in line with the following legislation/guidance:
- South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Shared Procedures www.swcpp.org.uk
- Safeguarding Children in Education September 2004
- Working together to Safeguard Children 2006
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2006
Any member of staff or volunteer who receives a disclosure of abuse or suspects that abused may have occurred must report it immediately to the designated person for child protection David Wreathall or if unavailable to the deputy designated person Glenn Bridges. In the absence of either of the above, the matter should be brought to the attention of the most senior member of staff.
The designated person will inform Children Services Referral Team by telephone
Telephone number 01793 466903
Out of hours telephone number 01793 436699
The telephone referral to the Children Services Referral Team will be confirmed in writing using the form marked RF1, within a maximum of 48 hours and ideally within 24 hours with a copy to the designated person for child protection David Wreathall. Essential information will include the young person’s name, address, date of birth, family composition, reason for referral, name of person receiving the referral and any advice given. This written confirmation must be signed and dated by the referrer.
Confidentiality must be maintained and information related to individual young people/families shared with staff on a strictly need to know basis.
Alleged Abuse by Staff, Managers, Volunteers or Trustees
When an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer, then the allegation must be passed to the designated person for child protection David Wreathall or the deputy Glenn Bridges. If the allegation concerns them both, the allegation must be passed to the Local Authority Designated Officer Steph McQuade.
The designated person for child protection should contact one of the Local Authority designated officers for consultation.
- Local Authority Designated Person 01793 466849
- Head of Safeguarding 01793 464366
- The designated officer contacted will record a note of the consultation and will advice on the appropriate action that needs to be taken.
For further, detailed information on the steps to follow, refer to Appendix 2.
Any member of staff or volunteer receiving a disclosure of abuse or noticing possible abuse, must make an accurate record as soon as possible; noting what was said or seen, putting the event into context, and giving the dare, time and location. All records must be dated and signed.
All hand written reports will be retained, even if they are subsequently typed up in a more formal report. Written records of concerns about children should be kept, even where there is no need to make a referral immediately. All records relating to child protection concerns will be kept in a secure place and remain confidential.
The following information shall be recorded:
- Name and address of child
- Age, date of birth
- Name and address of adults involved if known
- Date and time of the alleged incident
- Nature of injury or behaviour
- If the child arrived with an injury
- Child’s explanation of what happened in their own words
- Adult’s explanation of what happened
- Date and time of the record
- Any questions that were asked
- Signature of person recording the incident
Recorded information shall be based only on facts. It shall not include assumptions and shall not refer to child abuse. NB. The person recording information may be required to give this information to a Social Worker, the Police or the Court at some future date.
Storing of information
Please refer to Inner Flame’s Data Protection policy.
Recruitment of paid staff
Inner Flame will endeavour to take all possible steps to prevent unsuitable people working with children.
When interviewing potential staff Inner Flame shall ensure:
- There is an open recruitment process
- There is a rigorous interview
- References are taken up by direct contact with referees
- Evidence of the date of birth and address of the potential employee is sought
A job offer shall only be made subject to the necessary checks being satisfactory. Please refer to Inner Flame’s CRB check policy.
Code of Behaviour for working with young people
It is essential that care be taken to minimise the possibility for abuse and misunderstanding and misinterpretation. False allegations are rare but general good practice will help prevent them.
- Treat all young people with respect
- Provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow
- Ensure that, whenever possible there is more than one adult present during activities with young people or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others.
- Avoid being alone with young people out of public view, except when offering 1-1 coaching and there are no suitable facilities (e.g. rooms with glass doors). If a young person appears uncomfortable with the facilities offered, they should be given the choice of meeting in a quiet corner of a public room.
- Avoid giving a child a lift in your car without another trusted adult (preferable) or another child present, except in emergencies. Your car must be insured for business use.
- Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy.
- Encourage young people to be comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like.
- Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, not matter how well-intentioned.
- Recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with young people.
- Operate within Inner Flame’s principles and guidance and any specific procedures.
- Establish professional boundaries with the young people you are working with.
- Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse.
You Must Not
- Have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with young people.
- Allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking behaviour, make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of young people.
- Invite or allow young people into your home.
- Use personal email accounts including MSN and similar instant messaging applications, social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo) or other electronic communication to communicate with young people including text messaging.
- Jump to conclusions without checking facts.
- Either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues.
- Show favouritism to any individual.
- Rely on your good name of that of Inner Flame to protect you.
- Believe “it will never happen to me”
- Take a chance when common sense, policy or practice suggests another more prudent approach.
Code of Conduct for Trustees, Staff and Volunteers
Please refer to Inner Flame’s Code of Conduct policy.
Please refer to Inner Flame’s Complaints Procedure. The hierarchy for referring complaints is:
· Whoever the client has been dealing with
· David Wreathall, co-founder
· Elaine Godley, Chair of Trustees
· Your county or borough council’s Youth Services department
Staff Monitoring and Supervision
Please refer to Inner Flame’s Staff monitoring and supervision guidelines.
Inner Flame’s Main Activities
Open days and events
- Young people will take part in a physical activity. This will be risk assessed and comply with Inner Flame’s Health and Safety policy.
- Registration forms will be collected. Young people’s data will be used and stored appropriately in line with Inner Flame’s data protection policy. Team members who are handling personal data must be CRB checked.
- Trustees, staff and volunteers working at the open day will have been CRB checked as required in Inner Flame’s CRB check policy.
Meetings and focus groups
- These sessions will be held in groups. Unless working under the supervision of a teacher or other youth professional, Inner Flame trustees/staff/volunteers/ speakers will be CRB checked as required in Inner Flame’s CRB policy. In short – if they are in any unsupervised position of influence with young people, they must have an enhanced CRB check.
Pre course coaching
- These sessions will take place on a 1 to 1 basis. Any staff or volunteers leading these sessions must have enhanced CRB clearance.
- These should take place in suitable facilities (e.g. rooms with glass doors). If there are no suitable facilities and a young person appears uncomfortable with the facilities offered, they should be given the choice of meeting in a quiet corner of a public room. Report form to be completed.
· Trustees, staff and volunteers working on these sessions will have been fully CRB checked and comply with Inner Flame’s CRB check policy.
· Physical activities will be risk assessed and comply with Inner Flame’s Health and Safety policy.
· Any 1 to 1 sessions will take place in an appropriate venue, ideally where others can observe the session from outside.
· The course director ensures all trustees, staff and volunteers are familiar with the procedures and systems regarding safeguarding young people and their responsibilities.
Post course telephone coaching
- These sessions will take place on a 1 to 1 basis.
- Any staff leading these sessions will have been fully CRB checked in accordance with Inner Flame’s CRB check policy.
- Staff should record the time, date and brief summary of the conversation, using the standard report form.
- Staff should not give out their personal telephone number, but it is recognized that Caller Display means that this cannot always be prevented. If using a personal mobile phone, change the call settings so it does not display the number. If using a landline, dial 141 before dialling the number you wish to call.
- Establish boundaries with the young person about circumstances when/if it may be appropriate or necessary for them to call staff or volunteers.
Social networking sites and the Internet
- Young people will be participating in social networking sites, blogs and forums etc on behalf of Inner Flame.
- Young people will be made aware of the basic principles of internet safety and it is the responsibility of staff to ensure young people keep themselves safe.
- Make young people aware that they should report any online abuse or bullying to staff or volunteers. They must then report it to the Exploitation and Online Protection Centre – www.ceop.gov.uk
- Staff, volunteers and trustees must maintain professional boundaries. They must not use personal email accounts including MSN and similar instant messaging applications, social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Bebo) or other electronic communication to communicate with young people including text messaging.
NB Staff should maintain report forms to record any meetings with a young person that take place off site, on a 1 to 1 basis or any (substantial) contact they have with a young person via telephone, text or electronic means. The time, date, place and a brief summary of what took place should be recorded. All electronic correspondence such as email should be sent from a designated Inner Flame email address and stored.
Adopted by Inner Flame Management Committee
Signed …………………………………….Chair Date ………………
Appendix 1 – Legislation
There is a considerable body of legislation designed to ensure that children are protected and it is important to understand that everyone is responsible for the safety of children. The main Acts include:
Children Act 1989
The intention of the Children Act is to protect children and ensure that their welfare and development is paramount and promoted. The Act gives local authorities a responsibility for ensuring that this happens by working together with all relevant agencies. The act says that only the police, Social Services and the NSPCC have the legal right and responsibility to investigate concerns about child abuse.
The Children (Protection from Offenders) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1997
These regulations came into force in October 1997. They are mainly concerned with preventing the approval of people as foster carers or adoptive parents where either they or any other member of their household over the age of 18 is known to have been convicted of, or cautioned for, relevant offences. These regulations also apply to childminding, private fostering and residential care.
The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of The Child
The United Nations Convention sets out the rights of all children, including their right to be protected from harm.
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
This act allows people not to declare convictions to employers. People who are involved in situations where they have sustained or prolonged access to children are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders legislation. This means that prospective employees, self-employed workers and volunteers must declare all criminal convictions relating to children, however long ago; and that these will be taken into account when deciding on their suitability for working with children.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work Act gives all organisations a legal responsibility to prevent injuries and ill-health to employees and others, including members of the public. Much of this responsibility is delegated to managers who have control of work activities but the legislation also provides all employees with an obligation to take reasonable care of themselves and others.
The welfare of the child is paramount and all reasonable steps must be taken to protect them from harm.
Appendix 2 – Referral Process
Responding to Signs of Abuse
Child shows signs of injury, neglect, emotional or sexual abuse
Is immediate treatment necessary?
Take the child to Hospital or call an ambulance.
Inform doctor of concerns.
Doctor will take any further action.
Inform the designated CP officer
Are the signs sufficient to take action?
Designated CP officer seeks advice from Childrens’ Services. *
Check register. Any record of previous incident?
Does there seem to be a pattern?
Make notes of incident. Co-operate with any investigation
Record details including dates, times etc. Monitor situation.
This stage of
*Contacting childrens’ services – You should do this by telephone, following up in writing by fax, secure email, letter or their referral form. If fax, email or letter is used, this must then be followed up with a referral form within 48 hours. If you send in a written referral and children’s social care haven’t contacted you then you must contact them within three working days of making the referral.
Dealing with an Allegation* of child abuse made against someone working for Inner Flame.
*An allegation is a statement that an adult or child is harming a child
An allegation of abuse is made against someone working for Inner Flame
The safety of the child is paramount. Be calm and reassuring. Be honest, do not promise not to tell anyone. Do not interrogate the child. Keep the child informed of what is happening. Make notes of the incident in the child’s own words.
Is the allegation about the designated CP officer?
Inform the designated CP officer
Is the child in any immediate danger?
Keep the child with you. Contact the police without delay. Co-operate with the investigation
Ensure the child is safe and comfortable.
Allow child to continue activity if appropriate.
Contact Childrens’ services or police. LADO officer at local authority
Is the person involved in the allegation working with children now?
Agree arrangements for informing
If the designated CP officer is involved in the allegation or absent, another member of staff must take the necessary action.
Remove the person from the situation.
In private, explain only that there has been a complaint.
Await investigation team.
Contact the Management Committee who will consider:
- Implementing disciplinary procedure if a member of staff.
- Suspending involvement with Inner Flame if a volunteer.
Make notes of incident.
Co-operate with any
This stage of the process is
Dealing with an Allegation* of child abuse made against someone outside of Inner Flame.
*An allegation is a statement that an adult or child is harming a child
An allegation of child abuse is made. A child confides to a member of staff / volunteer about abuse
The safety of the child is paramount. Be calm and reassuring. Be honest; do not make promises you can’t keep. Do not interrogate the child. Keep the child informed of what is happening. Make notes of the incident in the child’s own words.
Ensure the child is safe and comfortable. Let the child continue activity if appropriate.
Inform the designated CP officer
Keep the child with you. Contact the police. Co-operate with the investigation.
Is the child in any immediate danger?
Does the allegation involve a parent, family member or carer?
Do not inform parents without discussing with Childrens’ Services or police first.
Inform the parents with the agreement of Childrens’ Services and the police.
Person in charge to contact Childrens’ Services or the police. In the absence of the person in charge another member of staff must take necessary action and contact one of the above agencies
Await Childrens’ Services officers or police. Co-operate with the investigation.
This stage of the process is complete.
*Contacting childrens’ services – You should do this by telephone, following up in writing by fax, secure email, letter or their referral form. If fax, email or letter is used, this must be followed up with a referral form within 48 hours. If you send in a written referral and children’s social care haven’t contacted you then you must contact them within three working days of making the referral.
Inner Flame – Safeguarding Children
Concern recording form
This form must be completed as soon as possible and handed to David Wreathall or Glenn Bridges immediately. It should be used whenever you receive information relating to abuse of a person under the age of 18, or you have any reasons for concern.
Name of child (and address if not already registered with Inner Flame)
Age or date of birth
Name and address of adults involved if known
Date and time of the alleged incident
Nature of injury or behaviour
Did the child arrive with an injury?
Child’s explanation of what happened in their own words
Adult’s explanation of what happened
Date and time of the record
Any questions that were asked
Person recording the incident