CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
This statement sets out a policy which requires all adults who seek to be involved in the work of All Yours Period Box CIC to accept the duty to safeguard the welfare of children and young people, and to prevent physical, sexual, neglect and emotional abuses of all children with whom they come into contact.
This policy document will be made available to:
all staff (including volunteers) of All Yours Period Box CIC
all parents and local supporters of All Yours Period Box CIC
all other interested parties
2. The aims and objectives of the policy are:
2.1 To develop a positive and proactive position to best protect all children and young people who access the services of All Yours Period Box CIC, enabling them to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment.
2.2 To demonstrate best practice in the area of child protection.
2.3 To promote ethics and high standards in all the activities of All Yours Period Box CIC.
3 The key principles underpinning this Policy are that:
3.1 The Child’s welfare is and must always be the paramount consideration.
3.2 All children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs, or sexuality.
3.3 All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
3.4 Working in partnership with children and young people and their parents/carers is essential. Social Services Department have a statutory responsibility to ensure the welfare of children and young people.
4 All Yours Period Box CIC Commitment
4.1 All Yours Period Box CIC recognises the need to demonstrate to parents and to the wider community the importance it gives to child protection issues. All Yours Period Box CIC is committed to procedures and philosophies which have been developed to protect children themselves, but which also protect adult members from misunderstandings and false accusations of abuse, and which promote the reputation of All Yours Period Box CIC.
4.2 All Yours Period Box CIC respects and defends children’s and young people’s individual rights. This means that All Yours Period Box CIC does not countenance any form of physical violence or abuse, whether committed by or inflicted upon either adults or young people. It also means that All Yours Period Box CIC does not countenance verbal insults or destructive criticism. The organisation encourages respect for others' background, appearance, personality, abilities, opinions or preferences.
4.3 While promoting the objectives of All Yours Period Box CIC within the community, adults working with the organization do not take advantage of a child’s or young person's immaturity or trust in an adult. It means that adults must accept the responsibility to exercise due care in all activities, so that children and young people are not exposed to risk through adult negligence or incompetence.
4.4 Child Protection requires good childcare and good group-work practice. It is a requirement in All Yours Period Box CIC that all adults involved with children should create a safe and open environment wherein social relationships can be confidently discussed and in which all members of the organisation may grow.
5. Vetting of Adults working with children
5.1 All adults applying to work with children shall be properly screened. It is important that a written reference is sought from people who know the applicants before they start working with children. If these cause any doubts, All Yours Period Box CIC will reserve the right to make further verbal or written contact with the referees before the adult can work with children in the organisation.
5.2 Staff will be told that the work and contact they will have with children requires All Yours Period Box CIC to ask them to declare any criminal convictions they may have which involve abuse against children, however old these convictions may be. This is an exemption from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
5.3 All adults who have responsibilities for children must abide by this Child Protection Policy. All Adults will be expected to sign an application form including a declaration that they have no such convictions or criminal proceedings pending which relate to alleged abuse of children. We will check this application against information held by the Department of Health and Department for Education and Employment.
5.4.1 All adults applying to work with children will have right of appeal should need arise.
5.4.2 All adults working with children through All Yours Period Box CIC will be asked to complete a DBS check. The relevant forms OR login details will be given to each person to complete, and they will be advised where to go to hand in the forms or logon.
6. Training and preparation of adults taking responsibility
All adults working with children shall be given proper induction and appropriate training.
7. Responding to concern about possible abuse of a child
7.1 It is possible that children and young people will take advantage of the trusting atmosphere in All Yours Period Box CIC to disclose or describe abuse which is affecting them.
7.2 Staff should always show they believe the child who is entrusting them with difficult or painful information. Adults should show support but should not try to counsel or lead the child with questions - this may hinder subsequent legal action.
7.3 Staff should reassure the child that they are not to blame for any abuse. Adults should be clear and honest in explaining what will happen next and that such information cannot be kept as a special secret. Other agencies will have to be involved, and it is sensible to keep individual notes which may seem to be relevant. However, it is the child who will need to share their concerns with an agency who is empowered to help and to deal with such situations.
7.4 If the young person is describing abuse which is happening within the All Yours Period Box CIC, advice should be sought immediately from the Executive Team and from the local Social Services Department. However, parents must be contacted in the first instance - they hold parental responsibility for the overall welfare of their child. Likewise, parents should be informed of all the details if the disclosure refers to abuse in the child's school or wider community.
7.5 If the abuse seems to emanate from the young person's home, a consultation with the local child protection services in Social Services should be made in the first instance. It is important to stress that an appropriate external agency is contacted and not dealt with internally within All Yours Period Box CIC.
7.6 If an abuse is disclosed or alleged which identifies an adult or another young person in All Yours Period Box CIC as the alleged perpetrator, it is important that this is responded to quickly and seriously. The advice of the Social Services will be for the alleged perpetrator to be asked to step down from the group and not to contact children from the group until investigations are completed.
7.7 However, it is important that the affected staff or young person receives support from All Yours Period Box CIC management during this period. It is important that they are kept informed of the procedures being followed, and that they have the chance to express their feelings. In some circumstances it will be difficult for a member of the Executive Team to provide this support, and it may also impinge on subsequent legal action. In these circumstances, a request may be made to have an independent representative appointed.
7.8 A full report will be compiled by an appropriate person appointed by the Executive Team.
7.9 Circumstances involving allegations or suspicion of child abuse require diplomatic and careful handling. Emotions can run high, and adults will need to be enabled to address their feelings purposefully in formal group meetings or in confidence with line managers. Informal discussions should be discouraged. Advice and support can be made available through the Social Services Department.
8.1 Any group of children should be supervised by at least two responsible adults on all activities.
8.2 For some groups this will mean parents staying with children they have brought to the group activity until named leaders for that activity have arrived.
8.3 Adults should be discouraged from meeting individually with children outside All Yours Period Box CIC activities. In exceptional circumstances where an adult may be alone with a child for a short period, the adults should ensure that management are aware of the situation and that they support this action groups should be aware of how they use premises for group activities.
8.4 Most activities are based on group-work, but if there is the need for an adult to work with an individual child, it is better that this is organised in clear view of the rest of the group.
8.5 Children should not be expected to make their way to an activity through poorly lit areas. Adults should know the safe arrangements for children to get home after the activity.
8.6 Adults should ensure that the touch and physical contact they use is not exploitative and is not open to misunderstanding. Touch as a medium of communication should be agreed with parents/carers.
8.8 Children and young people should be encouraged to say what they find acceptable and unacceptable in the way they are approached by adults or their colleagues in the group.
8.9 Confidential material that is collected on children relevant to their address, dietary needs, medical needs etc. should be treated with respect and should be shared between adults on a need-to-know basis.
8.10 Plans should include contingencies on how to deal with problems if they arise: This should include review meetings for adults to discuss openly and honestly their feelings about activities, and the behaviour of adults and young people to each other.
8.11 Written reports should be required for any significant incidents.
9 Groups Contact Details
Group Name – All Yours Period Box CIC
Child Protection Lead – Caroline Herman firstname.lastname@example.org / 07766 514246
Main Address – 14 The Close, Hampstead Norreys, RG18 0RY
This Child Protection Policy will be reviewed and updated annually and approved by the Executive Committee. All policies will be circulated again to volunteers and staff following the annual review.
Date: September 2023
Review Date: September 2024