Child Safeguarding Policy
The purpose of this policy statement is:
• to protect children and young people who receive the Widening Participation Medic’s Network’s services from harm. This includes the children of adults who use our services.
• to provide volunteers, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection. This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of the Widening Participation Medics Network, including the committee, collaborators, volunteers, sessional workers and students.
Anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital or in custody in the secure estate, does not change his/her status or entitlements to services or protection.
Abuse form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in the UK. A summary of the key legislation is available from nspcc.org.uk/learning.
We believe that:
• Children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind
• We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them
We recognise that:
• the welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to 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.
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
• valuing, listening to and respecting them
• appointing a nominated child protection lead for children and young people, a deputy and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding
• adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
• developing and implementing an effective online safety policy and related procedures
• providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures so that all staff and volunteers know about and follow our policies, procedures and behaviour codes confidently and competently
• recruiting and selecting volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
• recording, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance [more information about this is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office: ico.org.uk/fororganisations]
• sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children and their families via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions
• making sure that children, young people and their families know where to go for help if they have a concern
• using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately
• using our procedures to manage any allegations against volunteers appropriately
• creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
• ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
• ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
• building a safeguarding culture where volunteers, children, young people and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns