Child Protection Policy
Adopting a Child Protection policy sends a clear message that your group is committed to ensuring the safety of children. A Child Protection policy should outline your group’s recruitment procedures, as well as setting out the requirement for everyone (members, staff and volunteers) to be aware of their responsibilities and to comply with agreed procedures.
What to include:
begin with a statement of your group’s belief in a child's right to feel safe and protected
that you will ensure your staff and volunteers are aware of child protection issues and what they should do if they have any serious concerns about a child's safety
who your local contact should be for anyone with serious concerns about a child
an outline of your group’s commitment to ensuring that group members/staff/volunteers have an appropriate level of child protection training (which is regularly reviewed and refreshed)
make reference to any related policies, for example recruitment and selection policy; recruitment of ex-offenders policy; data protection policy; induction policy; staff training and development policy and anti-bullying policy
Agree guidelines for staff, volunteers and committee members to:
encourage respect and care for others
keep a register of every child involved with your group (including any relevant medical details and a contact name and number in case of emergencies)
wherever possible ensuring activities are held with more than one adult present, or within sight and hearing of others
respect a child's right to personal privacy
provide time for children to ask questions
take action to stop any inappropriate physical or verbal behaviour
adopt a group policy for the collection of children
refer any suspicions or allegations of abuse – do not try and investigate
share any concerns you might have with the group's designated monitor for child protection
complete a vetting checklist
Once your policy is agreed, a member of the committee should sign and date it on behalf of the group. The next review date should also be noted on the policy. Do not put your policy in a drawer and forget about it – it will only be effective if everyone is aware of what is being asked of them and what they have agreed to do.
Hold awareness sessions for your staff or volunteers on how to recognise signs of child abuse. Remember to evaluate and review your policy annually and to update it when required.