Safeguarding Policy

Scope & Purpose

This Safeguarding policy applies to all volunteers, helpers, members, staff, including senior managers, trustees, sessional workers, freelancers or anyone working or volunteering on behalf of Woodcraft Folk.

The purpose of this policy is:

  • to protect and empower children and young people who attend Woodcraft Folk groups and events
  • to provide volunteers and staff with the overarching principles that guide Woodcraft Folk’s approach to safeguarding and child protection

For guidance on the wellbeing of adults and staff, or concerns please see the

following documents:

  • Volunteer policy
  • Health, Safety and Well-being policy
  • Working Together guidelines
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Managing Behaviour guidance
  • Social media, online communication and networking guidance
  • Complaints procedures
  • Whistle-blowing Policy
  • Staffing policies

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding children is defined in Working together to safeguard children as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

Charities which work with children must always act in their best interests and ensure they take all reasonable steps to prevent harm to them. Woodcraft Folk’s safeguarding checklist sets out the minimum safeguarding requirements which all groups should meet, e.g. supervision ratios, risk assessments, screening, training and other actions which create a safe environment for all.

Child protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. Child protection refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm, e.g. referral, support plans and other intervention.

Woodcraft Folk’s Commitment

Woodcraft Folk believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind, that they should be supported to feel comfortable and confident when participating in our activities and the wider society.

Woodcraft Folk has a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe.

Woodcraft Folk is committed to practice in a way that protects children and supports them to engage in activities that support our aims and principles.

Woodcraft Folk will not tolerate any behaviour which may harm children or young people emotionally, physically or psychologically. Such behaviour includes physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse, bullying, harassment, undue or harsh criticism or violence directed towards individuals or groups.

Woodcraft Folk will take serious measures against any volunteer or staff member found in violation of this policy.

Woodcraft Folk strives to maintain a culture of honesty and openness, supporting children and young people to work co-operatively with adults to identify what they consider likely to affect them and their safety.

Children have said that they need:

  • Vigilance: to have adults notice when things are troubling them
  • Understanding and action: to understand what is happening; to be heard and understood; and to have that understanding acted upon
  • Stability: to be able to develop an ongoing stable relationship of trust with those helping them
  • Respect: to be treated with the expectation that they are competent rather than not
  • Information and engagement: to be informed about and involved in procedures, decisions, concerns and plans
  • Explanation: to be informed of the outcome of assessments and decisions and reasons when their views have not met with a positive response
  • Support: to be provided with support in their own right as well as a member of their family
  • Advocacy: to be provided with advocacy to assist them in putting forward their views
  • Protection: to be protected against all forms of abuse and discrimination and the right to special protection and help if a refugee

Safeguarding Principles

Woodcraft Folk recognises that:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare

Woodcraft Folk’s underlying safeguarding principle is that young members (children and young people) and volunteers should be protected at all times from behaviour and attitudes they find uncomfortable. To achieve this aim:

  • The needs of the children and young people are central to all activity planning
  • Open communication with beneficiaries and volunteers and effective planning will support safeguarding of children, young people and adults
  • Anyone has the right to speak out about behaviour and attitudes they find uncomfortable, they know who they should speak to in advance and be confident they will be listened to
  • Every Group, Centre, project and event organiser must nominate a named volunteer to take the lead on safeguarding issues and to develop a tailored safeguarding plan
  • Groups of children and young people should be supervised by a minimum of 2 adult volunteers
  • Any physical contact should be instigated or consented to by the child or young person, and should be relevant to their needs or safety
  • Appropriate screening and checks need to be undertaken in respect of all adults regularly working with children, but these are only effective when supported by good communication, training and ongoing observation (link to screening procedures)
  • All volunteers and staff are required to undertake appropriate Safeguarding training relevant to their role in the Woodcraft Folk
  • Risk assessments must be completed for all venues and activity types
  • Personal details of all volunteers, children and young people are held securely in accordance with Woodcraft Folk’s data protection policy
  • All children, young people and their parents/carers should be made aware of this policy and who they should speak to about safeguarding or child protection issues
  • All concerns and allegations will be taken seriously and responded to following the appropriate procedure. This may include a referral to child protection teams or other agencies

Review & Learning Lessons

Woodcraft Folk is committed to reviewing its policy and practice. The Lead Safeguarding Trustee will work with Woodcraft Folk’s Lead Safeguarding Officer to co-ordinate the Members Safety and Well-Being Review Group. The review group will meet twice a year to ensure that:

  • Policies and procedures are kept up to date
  • Appropriate training is provided to members and staff
  • All groups, centres and projects have identified a Safeguarding Lead and produced a local safeguarding plan
  • Best practice in safeguarding and Health & Safety is embedded at every level of the organisation
  • Sound systems are in place locally and nationally

The Review Group shall will also:

  • Maintain an overview of screening decisions, ensuring appropriateness and consistency of decision-making.
  • Review all safeguarding and health & safety incidents

The Lead Safeguarding Officer will report to the group and General Council every six months, and together they will review this policy annually.

Whose responsibility is it?

All volunteers are responsible for:

  • Being familiar with safeguarding policy and child protection procedures
  • Ensuring parents, carers, children and young people are aware of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures
  • Sharing concerns promptly with their Local/Event Safeguarding Officer

Local/Event Safeguarding Leads are responsible for:

  • Being familiar with local Safeguarding Partnership procedures
  • Co-ordinating safeguarding training on a local level
  • Keeping safeguarding on the agenda, creating space for discussion
  • Acting as the first point of contact for volunteers concerned about the safety and
  • welfare of a child
  • Contacting children’s social care in cases where a child is at risk of harm
  • Ensuring that all volunteers know where they can find the safeguarding policy, local
  • safeguarding plan and child protection procedures
  • To support volunteers after they have shared their concerns about a child
  • To liaise with appropriate local agencies for support and advice and keep a list of local contacts

Woodcraft Folk’s Lead Safeguarding Officer and their deputy are responsible for:

  • Developing safeguarding policy and procedures
  • Advising and providing guidance to staff and volunteers concerned about a child
  • protection issue
  • Communicating to staff and volunteers any changes in policy and procedures
  • Creating an environment which encourages all members to discuss concerns
  • Training staff and volunteers about how to respond to child protection concerns
  • Keeping accurate records of concerns about children and actions taken
  • Collecting monitoring data on all safeguarding activities across the organisation
  • Ensuring that the organisation meets the requirements of its insurers regarding its safeguarding responsibilities
  • Promoting the importance of safeguarding across the organisation
  • Managing complaints about poor practice of either staff or volunteers
  • Making decisions about appointing someone who has a criminal record
  • Carrying out risk assessments to assess the suitability of adults to work with children and young people
  • Supporting Local Safeguarding Officers in their role

The Members’ Safety and Well-Being Review Group is responsible for:

Woodcraft Folk’s Board of Trustees is responsible for:

  • Nominating a lead Trustee for safeguarding
  • Nominating a Lead Safeguarding Officer and deputy
  • Overseeing the Members Safety and Well-Being Review Group
  • Ensuring effective reporting of serious incidents to the Charity Commission and other relevant bodies
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of safeguarding within the organisation
  • Reviewing and updating the organisation’s policy and procedures on safeguarding every year

The Lead Safeguarding Trustee is responsible for:

Approval Date: November 2020

Review Date: November 2021

Attachments:

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