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Safeguarding FAQ

Where can I find Woodcraft Folk’s safeguarding policy and guidance?

The safeguarding area of the website hosts Woodcraft Folk’s Safeguarding Policy, as well as a range of procedures and guidance to support volunteers in safeguarding young people in all aspects of our work. If you have a question that is not answered by the information available online, email for advice.

How many volunteers do we need to run the group?

There should always be two adult volunteers present who are members of Woodcraft Folk, and have been appropriately screened, before any Woodcraft Folk activity for young people takes place. In addition, there should be at least:

  • 1 volunteer to every 3 Woodchips
  • 1 volunteer to every 5 Elfins
  • 1 volunteer to every 8 Pioneers
  • 1 volunteer to every 10 Venturers

Complying with these ratios is the minimum that’s needed for appropriate adult supervision — the actual numbers of volunteers you require may be significantly higher depending on the needs of the young people in your group, the nature of the activity, and the level of experience of the volunteers.

How does Woodcraft Folk screen volunteers working with children?

Volunteers and staff regularly working with young people at Woodcraft Folk will be required to undergo screening before volunteering. This will include a criminal records check through the DBS or PVG scheme, and taking up references to ensure their suitability to work in a position of responsibility. Visit the Volunteer Screening page for more information.

A previous conviction is not necessarily a barrier to volunteering — any convictions or other information highlighted by a record check will be risk assessed. For more about this process, please see the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy.

Who should I go to with a concern?

Any queries or concerns should be shared with the Local Safeguarding Lead for your group or distirct, whether these relate to:

  • the wellbeing of a child or young person
  • behaviour or suitability of an adult volunteer
  • arrangements for safeguarding in the group

If you’re not sure who your Local Safeguarding Lead is, ask the Group Co-ordinator or another volunteer, or email for advice.

What do I do if a child approaches me with a concern?

If a child or young person discloses abuse to you, it is important that you:

  • Listen and accept what they tell you
  • Make notes of your conversation
  • Provide as much reassurance to the child as you can
  • Make it clear to the child what you have to do next and who you have to talk to.
  • Do not ask or allow the child to repeat anything to other staff.
  • Write up your notes as soon as possible, without throwing away any original notes — the Incidents & Disclosures page contains a template form which can be used to ensure you capture all the relevant information
  • Contact your Local Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible

Where can I get advice outside of Woodcraft Folk?

If you have concerns that you’d like to discuss or need impartial advice from safeguarding professionals, Woodcraft Folk recommends the NSPCC’s helpline service. Support can be obtained online or by calling 0808 800 5000.

What should I do in an emergency?

In a situation where you are concerned for the immediate safety of a child or young person, you should contact the local Social Care out-of-hours or duty team, or call 999 for the police — these agencies will act in an emergency to protect a child at risk.

Can DFs lead a group? 

Yes, DFs can lead activities for younger members at group nights or take on roles at camp, providing they have joined as full members and completed relevant screening checks. There should always be two members over the age of 18 years present and engaged in the activity — this is a condition of Woodcraft Folk’s insurance and will mean that younger DFs cannot lead a camp or activity without the support of older adult volunteers.

What do I do if a concern is raised at a camp?

Every camp or residential should have a named Safeguarding Lead who should be the point of contact for any safeguarding concerns.

How do I access training?

Training opportunities for volunteers in Woodcraft Folk include:

  • Regular webinars
  • Training session plans that you can work through with a group of other volunteers
  • Leader training weekends facilitated by experienced staff and volunteers
  • Online training modules
  • Archived webinar sessions you can watch at your leisure

Resources, more information and upcoming dates can be found on the Training page.


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