child protection and safeguarding policy

SAFEGUARDING & CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Our Safeguarding statement

All children and young people linked with CICRA, wherever they are, whoever they are with, whatever they are doing, have the right to protection from neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

All members of the public, as well as professionals, have a responsibility for the protection of children and reporting concerns about a child’s welfare or safety.

CICRA ensures statutory requirements concerning Disclosure and Barring Service checks are met, maintains an up to date Safeguarding policy and procedures, and provides Safeguarding training to all staff and relevant volunteers.

All CICRA staff and volunteers who come into contact with children, young people and their families will:

  • be able to identify potential indicators of abuse or neglect
  • have read the Safeguarding Policy
  • know their role and responsibilities within their team
  • know how to communicate and record concerns
  • know to act upon concerns in line with the principles and procedures for local child protection management and Working Together to Safeguard Children.

Therefore, all children and young people in contact with CICRA will:

  • be treated with respect and afforded full civil and legal rights
  • be listened to and taken seriously, whatever their level of development or communication
  • be given time to do things for themselves, to understand and be understood
  • be involved in decisions that affect them
  • have their privacy respected at all times and in all places
  • have a right to confidentiality – all information about them will be treated carefully, be kept safe and only shared with those people who need to know.

The wellbeing of a child is the paramount consideration in all circumstances.

Child Protection Policy

Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:

  • Children Act (1989)
  • UN Convention Rights of Child (1991)
  • Protection of Children Act (1999)
  • The Children Act (Every Child Matters) (2004)
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
  • Children and Families Act (2014)
  • Working together to Safeguard Children (2015)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (2018)

Further Guidance

Working Together to Safeguard Children (HMG 2015)

What to do if you’re Worried a Child is Being Abused (HMG 2006)

Definitions

For the purposes of our child protection policy and procedures, we define a child as any person under 18 years, or those who are considered vulnerable.

CICRA’s child protection policy and procedures apply to all children regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or religion.

What is child abuse?

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. It commonly occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility and is an abuse of power or a breach of trust. Abuse can happen to a young person regardless of their age, gender, race or ability.

The main types of abuse are: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and bullying (which may or may not include aspects of the other forms of abuse). The abuser may be a family member, someone the young person encounters in residential care or in the community. Any individual could abuse or neglect a young person directly, or may be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person harming the young person.

Abuse in all of its forms can affect a young person at any age. The effects can be so damaging that, if not treated, they may follow the individual into adulthood.

Young people with disabilities may be at increased risk of abuse through various factors such as stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, isolation and a powerlessness to protect themselves or adequately communicate that abuse has occurred. 

Our policy

CICRA is committed to practices that protect children from harm and it is the duty of all CICRA staff, trustees and volunteers to take steps to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of all children with who they come into contact. This Child Protection Policy outlines how CICRA deals with child protection issues and is intended to safeguard the children who come into contact with CICRA staff, trustees and volunteers.

We will endeavour to safeguard children by:

  • adopting child protection procedures and a code of conduct for staff, trustees and volunteers who have direct contact with children
  • having a clear procedure for dealing with child protection issues and concerns about children’s welfare
  • ensuring that all CICRA staff, trustees and volunteers who have direct contact with children are subject to careful selection procedures, in line with the Disclosure and Barring Service guidance to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
  • ensuring that all CICRA staff, trustees and volunteers are aware of our child protection policy, procedures and code of conduct and understand their responsibilities
  • ensuring that children and their parents and carers are made aware of CICRA’s Child Protection Policy and who they should contact if they have child protection concerns
  • appointing two designated child protection representatives to enable any concerns to be reported in accordance with our procedures
  • reviewing our Child Protection Policy and procedures on an annual basis. Feedback from staff, trustees, volunteers, children, parents and carers about child protection issues will be taken into account in these reviews

Nominated child protection representatives
The nominated child protection representatives (names at end of the document) are responsible for providing continuity in dealing with child protection issues and will take responsibility for dealing with allegations or suspicions of child abuse. In particular, the nominated child protection representatives will be responsible for:

  • receiving information from staff, trustees, volunteers, children, parents and carers who have child protection concerns
  • recording information about child protection concerns in writing and assessing it promptly and carefully
  • seeking advice from a relevant body (such as the NSPCC)
  • making formal referrals to a statutory child protection agency or the police. NB it is not the role of the child protection representatives or any other representative of CICRA to decide whether a child has been abused or not.

Advice can be obtained on how to deal with allegations or suspicions of child abuse by telephoning the NSPCC child protection helpline (24 hour) on 0808 800 5000.

Safe selection and recruitment of staff, trustees and volunteers
All CICRA staff, trustees and volunteers who have direct contact with children will be subject to careful selection procedures. CICRA will:

  • request proof of identity (e.g. birth certificate, driving licence or passport)
  • request and take up two references
  • carry out checks with the Disclosure & Barring Service

Training of staff, trustees and volunteers
All CICRA staff, trustees and volunteers will be made aware of CICRA’s child protection policy as part of their induction. Staff, trustees and volunteers who are involved in day to day work, events and projects in which they have direct contact with children may be asked to attend a child protection training course.

CICRA’s code of conduct sets clear boundaries of behaviour for working with children and promotes a safe and open working environment. All CICRA staff, trustees and volunteers must follow this code of conduct and breaches of the code will be addressed in accordance with CICRA’s disciplinary policy and procedure.

Code of conduct

All CICRA staff, trustees and volunteers must:

  • ensure that activities that involve direct contact with children are planned to take place in groups or with parents and carers in attendance
  • ensure that parents and carers are made fully aware of the nature of CICRA’s work with their children and made aware that they can remain present at all times
  • ensure that children and their parents and carers are made aware of CICRA’s child protection policy and who they should contact if they have child protection concerns
  • avoid spending time alone with an individual child
  • treat all children with respect
  • respect children’s right to privacy
  • ensure that the principles of CICRA’s equality, diversity and inclusion policy are applied to the children who are involved in our work

They must not:

  • have any inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children
  • show favouritism to any individual child
  • allow the use of inappropriate language to go unchallenged
  • allow allegations made by a child to be ignored or unrecorded

Nominated child protection representatives

The names and contact details for CICRA’s two child protection representatives are:

  • Nick Posford (CEO)
  • Mrs Margaret Lee (Chair of trustees)

Both child protection representatives can be contacted via the CICRA office on

telephone:       020 8949 6209

email:              ceo@cicra.org

 

Policy Name

CICRA Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

Version Number

1

Adopted by

Board of Trustees

Date

April 2018

Next Review Date

April 2019