Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy
It is the intention of the trustees of the HPFRGC to ensure that children and vulnerable adults who come into the premises (including the playing field site) are provided with a safe and secure environment and every reasonable effort will be made to protect them from harm. Members of the board of trustees and the management committee of the Barn will be DBS checked as and when a risk assessment demonstrates that they are regularly having contact with children and/or vulnerable adults. Volunteers regularly organising events for children and vulnerable adults will also be required to be DBS checked if a risk assessment deems this appropriate. The trustees will appoint a child and vulnerable adult safeguarding officer who will ensure compliance with this policy. The C&VA officer will have received specific training to enable them to support and guide any person who has identified a CP/VA problem through the necessary procedures. The trustees will ensure that volunteers and staff are provided with guidance (below) to prevent their being left alone with children and vulnerable adults to protect them against false allegation. The trustees require that the same responsibilities and conditions of hire which apply for the use of the Barn in general, also apply to use for activities for children and vulnerable adults (i.e. licensing regulations, health and safety and fire regulations etc). In addition, the trustees have set out conditions in appendix 1 of this policy which the event organiser must comply with for activities that include children and/or vulnerable adults as a condition of hire of the premises. Appendix 2 provides information for staff, volunteers, parents and organisers of events for children aged 16 and under.
Children and vulnerable adult safeguarding policy HPFRGC recognises its duty of care under the relevant Acts of Parliament to provide a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults (C&VA). HPFRGC recognises that abuse can take many forms, whether it be physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. HPFRGC is committed to practice which protects C&VA from harm. All members of HPFRGC trustees and management team accept and recognise their responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause C&VA harm. HPFRGC believes that:
- The welfare of C/VA is paramount.
- All C/VA, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to safeguarding from abuse.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All committee members, volunteers and employees of HPFRGC should be clear on how to respond appropriately.
HPFRGC will ensure that:
- All C&VA will be treated equally and with respect and dignity.The duty of care to C&VA will always be put first.
- A balanced relationship based on mutual trust will be built which empowers C/VA to share in the decision-making process.
- Enthusiastic and constructive feedback will be given rather than negative criticism.
- Bullying will not be accepted or condoned.
- All adult committee members, volunteers and employees of HPFRGC provide a positive role model for dealing with other people.
- Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour.
- It will keep up-to-date with health & safety legislation.
- It will keep informed of changes in legislation and policies for the safeguarding of C&VA.
- It will undertake relevant development and training.
- It will hold a register when C/VA are involved in activities run by HPFRGC and will retain a contact name and number close at hand in case of emergencies.
HPFRGC has C&VA safeguarding procedures which accompany this policy. This policy should also be read in conjunction with HPFRGC’s equal opportunities policy and health & safety policy. HPFRGC has a dedicated C&VA safeguarding officer, who is in charge of ensuring that the C&VA safeguarding policy and procedures are adhered to.
Children and vulnerable adults safeguarding procedures
Responsibilities of HPFRGC
At the outset of any activity involving C&VA HPFRGC will:
- Undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the process.Identify at the outset the person with designated responsibility for C&VA safeguarding.
- If appropriate engage in effective recruitment of chaperones and other individuals with responsibility for C&VA, including appropriate vetting (if necessary in consultation with the local education authority).
- Ensure that C&VA are supervised at all times.Know how to get in touch with the local authority social services, in case it needs to report a concern.
Responsibilities of parents
HPFRGC believes it to be important that there is a partnership between parents and HPFRGC. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the activities of HPFRGC and to share responsibility for the care of C&VA.
- All parents will have access to a copy HPFRGC’s C&VA safeguarding policy and procedures.All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their C/VA. It is NOT the responsibility of HPFRGC to take C&VA home.
HPFRGC will attempt to ensure that no adult has unsupervised contact with C&VA.
- If possible there will always be two adults in the room during C&VA activities.
- If unsupervised contact is unavoidable, steps will be taken to minimize risk. For example, activity will be carried out in a public area, or in a designated room with a door open.
- If it is predicted that an individual is likely to require unsupervised contact with C&VA, he or she may be required to obtain a DBS disclosure.
- All adults will maintain a safe and appropriate distance from C&VA.
- Adults will only touch C&VA when it is absolutely necessary in relation to the particular activity.
- Adults will seek the consent of the C/VA prior to any physical contact and the purpose of the contact shall be made clear.
Managing sensitive information
- HPFRGC will develop a policy and procedures for the taking, using and storage of photographs or images of C&VA.
- Permission will be sought from the parents for use of photographic material featuring C&VA for promotional or other purposes.
- HPFRGC’s web-based materials and activities will be carefully monitored for inappropriate use.
- HPFRGC will ensure confidentiality in order to protect the rights of its management committee, volunteers and employees, including the safe handling, storage and disposal of any sensitive information such as DBS disclosures.
Suspicion of abuse
- If you see or suspect abuse of a C/VA while in the care of HPFRGC, please make this known to the person with responsibility for C&VA safeguarding. If you suspect that the person with responsibility for C&VA safeguarding is the source of the problem, you should make your concerns known to the chairman.
- Please make a note for your own records of what you witnessed as well as your response, in case there is follow-up in which you are involved.
- If a serious allegation is made against any member of HPFRGC, chaperone, volunteer etc., that individual will be suspended immediately until the investigation is concluded. The individual will be excluded from the hall and will not have any unsupervised contact with any other C/VA at the Barn.
Disclosure of abuseIf a C/VA confides in you that abuse has taken place:
- Remain calm and in control but do not delay taking action.
- Listen carefully to what has been said. Allow the C/VA to tell you at their own pace and ask questions only for clarification. Don’t ask questions that suggest a particular answer.
- Don’t promise to keep it a secret. Use the first opportunity you have to share the information with the person with responsibility for C&VA safeguarding. Make it clear to the C/VA that you will need to share this information with others. Make it clear that you will only tell the people who need to know and who should be able to help.
- Reassure the C/VA that ‘they did the right thing’ in telling someone.
- Tell the C/VA what you are going to do next.
- Speak immediately to the person with responsibility for C&VA safeguarding. It is that person’s responsibility to liaise with the relevant authorities, usually social services or the police.
- As soon as possible after the disclosing conversation, make a note of what was said, using the C/VA’s own words. Note the date, time, any names that were involved or mentioned, and who you gave the information to. Make sure you sign and date your record.
- In all situations, including those in which the cause of concern arises from a disclosure made in confidence, the details of an allegation or reported incident will be recorded, regardless of whether or not the concerns have been shared with a statutory C&VA safeguarding agency.
- An accurate note shall be made of the date and time of the incident or disclosure, the parties involved, what was said or done and by whom, any action taken to investigate the matter, any further action taken eg. suspension of an individual, where relevant the reasons why the matter was not referred to a statutory agency, and the name of the persons reporting and to whom it was reported.
- The record will be stored securely and shared only with those who need to know about the incident or allegation.
Rights and confidentiality
- If a complaint is made against a volunteer, employee or committee member of HPFRGC, he or she will be made aware of his rights under HPFRGC’s disciplinary procedures.
- No matter how you may feel about the accusation, both the alleged abuser and the C/VA who is thought to have been abused have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998. Remember also that any possible criminal investigation could be compromised through inappropriate information being released.
- In criminal law the Crown, or other prosecuting authority, has to prove guilt and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
- To avoid accidents, volunteers and C&VA will be advised of ‘house rules’ regarding health and safety and will be notified of areas that are out of bounds.
- C&VA will be advised of the clothing and footwear appropriate to activities that will be undertaken.
- If a C/VA is injured while using the premises the injury will be recorded in HPFRGC’s accident book.
- If a C/VA joins an activity with an obvious physical injury a record of this will be made in the accident book. This record can be useful if a formal allegation is made later and will also be a record that the C/VA did not sustain the injury while participating in an activity.
- If HPFRGC believes it is in its best interests to obtain DBS disclosures for volunteers or other personnel, it will inform the individual of the necessary procedures and the level of disclosure required. A standard disclosure will apply for anyone with supervised access to C&VA. An enhanced disclosure will be required for anyone with unsupervised access.
- HPFRGC will have a written code of practice for the handling of disclosure information.
- HPFRGC will ensure that information contained in the disclosure is not misused.
HPFRGC policy statement children and vulnerable adults
APPENDIX 1. CONDITIONS OF HIRE FOR ORGANISED ACTIVITIES INVOLVING CHILDREN AND/OR VULNERABLE ADULTS
1. The event organiser must comply and produce evidence to the trustees of any legal requirements that may relate to their hiring (e.g. playgroups and OFSTED registration).
2. Child safeguarding
a.) The trustees will ensure that any of the charity’s staff or volunteers who are likely to be in regular unsupervised contact with child based groups using the site, will be required to be checked via the DBS service provided by Momentum Norfolk as part of the conditions of their employment or role.
b.) Organisations hiring the Barn for activities for children will be asked to show their child safeguarding policy before the first booking commences.
c.) Organisations hiring the Barn for activities which may involve children will be made aware of this policy
d.) Individuals hiring the Barn for informal or private activities for children will be made aware of this policy.
e.) It is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure that any person who has contact with the children in their care is never left alone with a child unless they have been checked according to DBS requirements.
f.) The event organiser must comply with the trustees’ computer security policy to prevent access to inappropriate sites.
3. Employment of children
The trustees comply with legislation relating to the employment of children and event organisers are expected to do the same.
4. Young people – parties and clubs
A guidance note relating to arrangements for private events (e.g. children’s birthday parties) and clubs is attached which the event organiser is required to follow. Please note that the hire agreement can only be signed by persons over 18 years of age.
5. Children left behind
In the event that a child is not collected from an activity or event, the responsibility for dealing with this situation rests with the event organiser who, if necessary, must seek the advice or the involvement of the police or other authorities.
B. VULNERABLE ADULTS
1. The trustees extend the same duty of care in relation to vulnerable adults (such as elderly people, people with mental health problems, people with learning and/or physical disabilities) as to children. The trustees may, in the appropriate circumstances, require any event organiser to comply with the requirements of paragraphs 1 and 6 (above) in relation to vulnerable adults.
2. Organisations hiring the Barn for activities specifically involving vulnerable adults will be asked to show their vulnerable adults safeguarding policy before the first booking commences.
3. Organisations hiring the Barn whose activities may involve vulnerable adults will be made aware of this policy.
4. Individuals hiring the Barn for informal or private activities for vulnerable adults will be made aware of this policy
5. The premises provide access and facilities designed to facilitate use by vulnerable adults including those using wheelchairs but event organisers must satisfy themselves that the premises and its facilities are suitable for their users.
INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE FOR VOLUNTEERS, PARENTS AND ORGANISERS OF EVENTS INVOVING CHILDREN AGED 16 YEARS OR UNDER
- The event organiser must at all times adhere to the licensing regulations for the premises in all respects, including the safeguarding of children from harm.
- The event organiser will, under no circumstances, permit the consumption of alcohol by children under the age of 18
- The event organiser will be vigilant to the prospect of children smuggling alcohol onto the premises and will immediately arrange for the removal any child conducting itself in this way from the premises
- The event organiser will, under no circumstances, have alcohol on site when children are present without the written permission of the trustees and there being full safeguards in place that under-age drinking does not take place
- The event organiser must be fully prepared for emergencies – see standard conditions of hire.
- The event organiser will ensure that admission is by invitation or ticket only, and ensure gate crashers cannot gain entry.
- The event organiser will ensure that the party or event is not publicised on any social networking or other media site.
- The event organiser will ensure there is adequate adult supervision with minimum of two persons in charge and on the premises at all times. These responsible adults are in no circumstances to be under the influence of alcohol
- The event organiser will ensure that they bring a mobile phone to summon support if needed.
- The event organiser will set clear good conduct rules and enforce them i.e. no children in kitchen, none allowed outside building unless involved in organised activities, no noise or shouting outside the premises, no running or playing along the access or surrounding roads etc.
- The event organiser will regularly check the toilets (and changing rooms if used) to ensure good conduct in these areas.
- The event organiser will strictly enforce the no smoking ban.
- The event organiser will ensure that the internet connection at the Barn is not accessed unless it is part of an organised and supervised activity
- The event organiser is advised that people using the Laura Edgell Room will also have access to the main Barn toilets. The event organizer is recommended therefore to use the toilets in the reception area and the referees changing room and to keep the inner security door of the main access corridor locked.
- The event organiser will make arrangements in advance how they will deal with a child who is not collected at the end of the activity.
- The event organiser is advised that in the interests of child safeguarding, it is best practice not to leave a child alone with an adult that is not that child’s parent or guardian.
This policy will be reviewed and updated by the trustees every year at the charity's AGM.