Child Protection Policy

Change history

Version numberDate of releasePolicy ownerAuthorised by
1.122 October 2020Ryan Palmer, Director of Quality and ImpactBoard of Trustees

Policy statement

Central YMCA (‘The Charity’) takes its responsibility to safeguard all children from harm extremely seriously. We acknowledge that whilst all children have the right to protection, the needs of those who may be particularly vulnerable must also be taken into account. This policy aims to: 

  • Outline our approach to providing safety and protection of all children who engage with us 
  • Communicate our approach to child protection in a clear and transparent way 
  • Demonstrate compliance with relevant statutory guidelines 
  • Ensure that child protection responsibilities are clear and that staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers are informed and confident in how to respond to child protection issues. 

The Charity reserves the right to modify this policy from time to time at its discretion and in line with legislation. 


Scope 

This policy applies to all employees, self-employed contractors, volunteers, trustees and all other third parties who, through their involvement with the Charity work with children, young people or vulnerable adults.


Related Legislation 

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) 

Related Policies, Procedures, and Templates

  • Safeguarding Policy 
  • Prevent Policy 
  • Recruitment Policy 
  • DBS Policy 
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 
  • Safeguarding Procedure Flowchart 

Responsibilities

Board of Trustees
Overall responsibility for the policies and procedures that govern the work at Central YMCA. 

Chief Executive
Overall responsibility for ensuring Central YMCA’s resources are used effectively and appropriately. 

Policy Owner
Responsible for ensuring guidelines are in place and that policies and procedures reflect our charitable ethos and commitment to equality and diversity. 

All Line Managers
Responsible for ensuring all employees are aware of and follow this policy. 

All Employees and Volunteers
To follow policies and procedures, promoting best practice throughout the organisation.


Policy Review

Review of impact against the aims of policy:

This policy has been drafted for approval by Ryan Palmer, Director of Quality and Impact, and has been approved by the Board of Trustees and is deemed fit for purpose. All related procedures have been designed to match the contents of this policy.

The policy has been communicated successfully to employees and the policy has been made available on the Charity’s intranet.

Do there appear to be any patterns of equality related issues: Yes

If yes, please provide an Equalities Impact Assessment (if relevant): V1 provided

Reviewed by: Board of Trustees
Date: 22 October 2020

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Policy Owner and signed off by the Board of Trustees if any changes are made.

Next review date: 01 October 2021

Policy

1. Principles

The Charity recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances, to ensure that all feel safe. 

All children without exception have the right to protection from abuse. We aim to ensure that regardless of age, ability, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs, ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic background, all children have a positive and enjoyable experience in a safe and child centred environment and are protected from abuse whilst engaged with the Charity. 

The Charity acknowledges that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.

No child or group of children must be treated any less favourably than others in being able to access services which meet their particular needs.

We aim to create a culture of vigilance in relation to our child protection approach, while continually developing our knowledge and practice accordingly. This includes a strong commitment to safer recruitment, selection and vetting.

Where there is a possibility of abuse or neglect by a person or persons, everyone has a responsibility to report their concerns to the appropriate person. It is not the responsibility of anyone working/volunteering at the Charity to decide whether or not abuse has taken place; it is their duty to act on any concerns by reporting them to the appropriate person.

All concerns, and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously by trustees, staff and volunteers and responded to appropriately - this may require a referral to children’s social care services, or a local safeguarding partner for allegations against staff, trustees and other volunteers, and in emergencies, the police.

We will take all actions within our power to enable any child to have the best outcomes.

Central YMCA is committed to:

  • Valuing, respecting and listening to children; 
  • Ensuring all necessary safer recruitment checks are made when recruiting staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers, in line with the Charity’s Recruitment Policy; 
  • Maintaining strong child protection systems and procedures for staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers; 
  • Providing training and a common understanding of child protection issues; 
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children and parents/ carers; 
  • Sharing information about any concerns with the relevant external agencies and involving parents and children appropriately;
  • Providing effective management for staff through clear processes, supervision, and support. 

2. Key Definitions

Child Protection is a key aspect of the Charity’s approach to Safeguarding.

It is a term used to describe the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.

Safeguarding describes the actions we take to ensure the safety and well-being of children, young people and vulnerable adults in our care.

3. Disabled Children

Disabled children, including the visually impaired, may be more vulnerable to abuse than other children. However, safeguarding practices are essentially the same as those for non-disabled children. 

Where a child has communication or learning difficulties, attention must be paid to the child’s special needs and to ways of ascertaining their perception of events. The child’s wishes may be identified by use of non-verbal communication systems, interpreters or facilitators.

Particular attention needs to be paid to promoting high standards of care and raising awareness of the risks to disabled children in order to strengthen the capacity of children and their families to protect themselves. Measures include: o Helping disabled children make their wishes and feelings about their care and treatment known; 

  • Ensuring that all disabled children know how to raise concerns if they are worried or angry about something; 
  • They should have access to people with whom they can communicate; 
  • Disabled children with communication difficulties should have a means of being heard available to them at all times; 
  • Commitment to and understanding of all children’s safety and welfare needs among providers of services; and 
  • Close contact with parents and carers; and 
  • Demonstrating a culture of openness and vigilant throughout the Central YMCA group. 

 

4. Training and Support

Training on Child Protection will be delivered for all staff, volunteers and self-employed contractors.

Ongoing support will also be provided to make sure that staff are informed and confident to take appropriate preventative and responsive steps. Information, advice and guidance for staff will be available and regularly updated through briefings at staff meetings and training interventions.

If you feel that you could benefit from further training on child protection, then please contact your local Safeguarding officer. 

4.1 eLearning Modules 

The Charity’s mandatory Safeguarding eLearning modules cover child protection as key content.

Everyone who engages with the Charity, all the way up to Board level, is required to successfully complete these on an annual basis. New members of staff, volunteers or self-employed contractors will receive this training as part of their induction.

Anyone working in a regulated activity, is required to undertake the enhanced eLearning modules. Everyone else is required to complete the standard eLearning modules, to ensure everyone’s knowledge is at the correct level.

Line managers are also required to successfully complete the Safer Recruitment in Education eLearning modules. Full details on the Charity’s Safer Recruitment procedures can be found in the Recruitment Policy and Disclosure and Barring Service Policy, on the Grapevine.

4.2 Designated Safeguarding Leads and Local Safeguarding Officers 

Designated safeguarding leads and local safeguarding officers will be required to successfully complete an external Level 2 child protection training 

5. Roles & Responsibilities

5.1 Employees, self-employed contractors and volunteers

Are required to familiarise themselves with this policy and procedure and follow this at all times

If you have concerns about the welfare of a child, young person or vulnerable adult and believe that they may be at risk of, you must share that concern confidentially with a local safeguarding officer immediately

Any information shared should always be accurate, up to date and shared appropriately and securely with only the person or people who need to know and limited to information relevant for the purpose. If you have any doubts about when to share safeguarding information, discuss the situation with a safeguarding lead

It is essential that all our people ensure children and young people involved with the Charity are: o Valued and respected as individuals; 

  • Listened to; 
  • Involved in decision making as appropriate; 
  • Encouraged and praised as appropriate. 

Employees, self-employed contractors and volunteers are expected to contribute and take responsibility to ensure a positive working environment and to conduct themselves accordingly. 

Employees, self-employed contractors and volunteers need to be aware of a visually impaired child’s need for physical contact, but ensure that contact is appropriate and given only with the consent of the child or young person – in the case of restraining a child to prevent injury or comforting a distressed child, ensure physical contact is ceased at the earliest possible moment. 

Ensure that at least two adults are present when supervising children or young people. Do not spend excessive amounts of time alone with children, away from others – meetings with individual children or young people should take place as openly as possible. If privacy is required, the door should be left open and other staff or volunteers informed of the meeting. 

Avoid taking individual children on car journeys, however short – where this is unavoidable, it should be with the full knowledge and consent of parents/carers and a member of management. 

Do not meet with children outside organised activities, unless it is with the knowledge and consent of parents and a member of management. Never do things of a personal nature for a child or young person that they can do themselves. Never let allegations a child or young person makes go without being addressed and recorded. 

The following forms of behaviour between staff, self-employed contractors or volunteers and children or young people are not allowed under any circumstances: o Sexual conduct; 

  • Lending or borrowing of money or property; 
  • Giving or receiving gifts; and 
  • Exclusive or secretive relationships.

5.2 Line Managers 

Ensure the Charity’s safer recruitment practices are upheld, in line with the Recruitment Policy. 

Support and encourage the completion of required Child Protection Awareness Training.

Adopt the Charity’s culture of vigilance and lead by example. 

5.3 Board of Trustees and the Senior Leadership Team 

The Board of Trustees and the Senior Leadership Team are responsible for understanding the nature of the threat and the risks within the Charity

They will ensure that the Charity effectively manage risks and is able to deal appropriately with safeguarding issues by:

  • Creating an ethos which upholds core values of shared responsibility and wellbeing for all, while promoting respect, equality and diversity and understanding 
  • Adopting stringent and transparent child protection practices which recognise, support and protect individuals 
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with other key stakeholders and external agencies 
  • Providing training opportunities for staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers to enable them to continually update their child protection knowledge 
  • Sharing information and concerns with agencies who need to know and ensuring we involve learners, parents, staff and others in an appropriate way 
  • Providing effective management for staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers through supervision, support and training. 

5.4 Designated Safeguarding Leads 

The Designated Safeguarding Leads are the figureheads for Safeguarding, and therefore Child Protection, taking responsibility for the Charity’s overall approach.

These roles will provide support, advice and guidance to trustees, board members and staff on an on-going basis and on any specified Prevent issues as required. Other responsibilities include: 

  • Ensuring the Charity is meeting its legal and statutory requirements 
  • Ensuring the Charity is able to deal appropriately with incidents through the adoption of robust and transparent policies and procedures which are aligned to best practice and the requirements of our regulators 
  • Undertaking an annual review of child protection policies 
  • Making sure all child protection policies and procedures are fully implemented and followed by staff, self-employed contractors, volunteers, children, young people under 18 and vulnerable adults 
  • Ensuring that the Charity’s child protection policies and procedures in relation are well communicated and are easily available 
  • Working with the local safeguarding officers to ensure that stringent and transparent child protection practices are in place which recognise, support and protect at risk individuals 
  • Supporting the Board to monitor the effectiveness of child protection practices in place, through regular and fit for purpose monitoring and reporting
  • Ensuring that everyone receives appropriate advice and training in relation to their responsibilities for child protection, enabling them to continually update their knowledge; including staff, self-employed contractors, volunteers and the Board 
  • Ensuring that everyone is aware of how to respond properly when incidents arise and report as necessary to social services, other agencies and the police if necessary 
  • Making sure all new staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers are inducted on the Charity’s approach to safeguarding and child protection 
  • Updating the Named Trustee on all child protection issues that need to be raised at Board level 
  • Providing support, supervision and advice for local safeguarding officers with a severe child protection concern

The contact details for the designated safeguarding leads and named trustees can be found on the Grapevine.

5.5 Local Safeguarding Officers 

The local safeguarding officers support the Charity’s Safeguarding and child protection approach at local level.

These roles take responsibility for safeguarding children, young people under 18 and vulnerable adults in their regions. They provide advice and support to staff, volunteers and self-employed contractors, and are responsible for liaising with external agencies. Other responsibilities include: o Managing child protection issues and cases in their region or operation 

  • Liaising with and making referrals to appropriate agencies about children, where there are child protection concerns, including the designated officer (previously LADO) 
  • Managing referrals and liaises with other agencies, like the DBS or Police as required 
  • Ensuring appropriate information is available at the time of a referral and the referral is confirmed in writing, confidentially as quickly as possible (e.g. within a working day) 
  • Keeping detailed, accurate and secure written records of child protection concerns, where appropriate (i.e. include a chronology of concerns, referrals, meetings, phone calls or emails) to include on the Charity’s internal risk register 
  • Recording incidents and actions on the Charity’s internal risk register, no matter how minor the incident 
  • Remaining familiar with local referral procedures and know how to contact and establish links with the local authority or police 
  • Providing support, supervision and advice to any staff member, self-employed contractor, volunteer, child, young person or vulnerable adult with a child protection concern 
  • Ensuring the effective and consistent communication and embedding of child protection policies and practice within their region or operation 
  • Providing regular briefings and updates at staff meetings to ensure that all staff are kept up to date and regularly reminded of their responsibilities
  • Ensuring that every member of their region or operation has access to and understands the 
  • Charity's child protection policy 
  • Making sure all staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers know how to raise concerns 
  • Ensuring all staff, self-employed contractors and volunteers have completed the Safeguarding eLearning 
  • Delivering face to face training for those working in a regulated activity on a regular basis 
  • Maintaining awareness of vulnerable service users within their region / operation 
  • Encouraging a culture of listening to children and embedding their views and wishes into policy and practice.

A full list of the contact details for the local safeguarding officers can be found on the Grapevine.

5.6 Central Services Support 

The HR, IT and Facilities teams from central services will provide assistance in support of the Charity’s child protection approach and action plans. This will include: o Sourcing appropriate training providers for Safeguarding eLearning modules 

  • Supporting with the logistical aspects of the roll out of the Safeguarding eLearning modules 
  • Supporting with ongoing reporting on eLearning completion; how to record the training, how to report on this, prompts for renewals etc. 
  • Creating and maintaining sufficient safeguards online 
  • Ensuring the security settings are fit for purpose 
  • Monitoring and filtering of appropriate site access for learners 
  • Ensuring all Central YMCA site locations are fit for purpose 

7. COVID-19

In line with the guidance issued in Keeping Children safe in Education (2020) the non-statutory interim guidance has been removed and it is expected all Central YMCA education centres are fully open and able to support the health, welfare and wellbeing of our learners in centre. Where necessary local interventions may enforce short term closures and each individual setting will be reviewed accordingly. 

It is important that all those who interact with learners during 2020-21, including online, continue to look out for signs a person may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with in line with this policy. We will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements and that members of staff are given relevant advice on keeping themselves and learners safe when using these.

Some processes are for internal use only.