GUCU values young people and children as being a vital part of the organisation and desires to see them grow, mature and be challenged in a healthy and safe environment.
David Vipond is the child protection officer for the group, and a copy of this child protection policy will be kept with the him.
The purpose of GUCU’s children and young people’s programme is to offer the children a safe and welcoming environment with fun activities where the children can grow and learn. Whether this be through our activities or through other independent groups working in partnership with us
- To provide activities for children and young people to help them develop from childhood into adulthood and to provide support for them.
- To enable the children to express themselves.
- To assist the children in integrating into the community.
- To help children/young people appreciate the diversity of their cultures.
- Each child and young person should be formally registered within the group. The information includes an information/consent form which their parent/guardian must complete. These forms have vital information about health and emergency contacts and will be kept securely and brought to each session. (see Appendix B)
- Attendance register: a register will be kept for each session.
Child Protection Representative
GUCU has appointed a child protection representative, whose name is David Vipond. If any worker has any child safety concerns, they should discuss them with him. He will take on the following responsibilities:
- Ensuring that the policy is being put into practice;
- Being the first point of contact for child protection issues;
- Keeping a record of any concerns expressed about child protection issues;
- Bringing any child protection concerns to the notice of the PCC and contacting the Local Authority if appropriate;
- Ensuring that paid staff and volunteers are given appropriate supervision;
- Ensuring that everyone involved with the organisation is aware of the identity of the Child Protection Representative.
The policy will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that it is meeting its aims.
- When organising a trip/outing make sure a trip/outing slip is completed. This includes details about the trip and a section for parents to give their consent. These slips must be returned before the event takes place and must be brought on the trip with the completed group information/consent forms. (If a group information/consent form has not already been completed for a child or young person, then it will need to be completed).
- Ensure that there is adequate insurance for the work and activities.
- A group of young people under sixteen will not be left unattended at any time.
- Avoid being alone with an individual child or young person for a long time. If there is a need to be alone with a child or young person (e.g. first aid or he/she is distressed) make sure that another worker knows where you are and why.
- At no time should a volunteer or worker from any external organisation arrange to meet a young person away from the activity without someone else being there.
- Teenage assistants will always be supervised.
- We will make sure that the area we are using for activities is fit for the purpose, e.g. remove furniture, which could cause injury in energetic games.
- We will make sure that all workers and assistants know
◦ Where the emergency phone is and how to operate it
◦ Where the first aid kit is
◦ Who is responsible for First Aid and how to record accidents or injuries in the incident book
◦ What to do in the event of a fire or other emergency
- Once a year there will be a fire practice
- As our private cars are used for outings, the drivers will be approved by the committee, be properly insured, have rested before driving, and will have clean licenses. There will always be at least one other responsible person (16 or over) in each vehicle. All vehicles will be fitted with full seatbelts, not just lap belts. Full seatbelts will always be used.
Under normal circumstances, workers should only give a lift home to a young person from group activities if the parents of the young person have specifically asked for them to do so. (If workers are asked to give a young person or child a lift home, they are not obliged to do so, it is left to their discretion).
In the case of trips or outings, it will be made clear if workers’ cars are being used and where the young people will be returned to.
Workers and assistants are by far the most valuable resource the group has for working with young people. When recruiting and selecting paid workers and volunteers the following steps will be taken:
- Completion of an application form;
- Checking of the applicants’ identity (passport, driving license, etc);
- Ensuring criminal record checks have been carried out through relevant local agencies approved by the Criminal Records Bureau;
- Taking appropriate advice before employing someone with a criminal record;
- Allowing no unaccompanied access to children until all of the above have been completed;
- A probationary period of 3 months for new paid workers and volunteers;
- On-going supervision of paid workers and volunteers;
- Ensuring good practice is followed in working with children and young people by providing appropriate training and guidance;
- A nominated child Protection representative on the PCC.
It is a great benefit if workers undertake regular training for this type of work. We will keep workers informed of relevant courses.
What is child protection?
Child protection is the response to the different ways in which a young person’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health are damaged by the actions of another person.
What you should do
- Listen to the young person
- Look at them directly and do not promise to keep any secrets before you know what they are, but always let the young person know if, and why, you are going to tell anyone
- Take whatever is said to you seriously and help the young person to trust his/her own feelings. Take notes of exactly what is said to you avoiding assumptions and conjecture.
- It is NOT the role of the worker to investigate any allegations (this would contaminate evidence if a situation went to court). Any disclosure by a young person must be reported to David Vipond.
- Speak immediately to the Local Authority or NSPCC for further advice and guidance.
What you should not do
- Project workers/volunteers should not begin investigating the matter themselves.
- Do not discuss the matter with anyone except the correct people in authority.
- Do not form your own opinions and decide to do nothing.
Things to say or do:
- ‘What you are telling me is very important’
- ‘This is not your fault’
- ‘I am sorry that this has happened/is happening’
- ‘You were right to tell someone’
- ‘What you are telling me should not be happening to you and I will find out the best way to help you’
- Make notes soon after the event. Try to write down exactly what the young person or child said. Avoid assumptions or conjecture.
Things not to say or do:
- Do not ask leading questions – Why? How? What?
- Do not say ‘Are you sure?’
- Do not show your own emotions e.g. shock/disbelief
- Do not make false promises
Richard and Anna Brown (Main Leaders) 07747 343637
David Vipond (Child Protection Officer) 01208 872648
Rev Paul Beynon (Vicar in charge of the Benefice) 01208 623577
This policy was adopted by GUCU on 1st January 2018
Signed on behalf of the PCC by:
Name in Capitals Richard Brown