Safeguarding Procedures for Children
Author: Monisha Gupta (Designated safeguarding lead 2020/2021)
Approved by: Dr Jade Scott-Blagrove (WPMN Chair)
WPMN has 2 designated safeguarding officers. Details of who they are is available on the WPMN website. This includes a main safeguarding lead and a deputy. They are responsible for training volunteers in safeguarding and ensuring that any concerns are reported to the appropriate authorities. As WPMN is a national organisation, the authorities contacted will depend on the child’s location.
Training and Conduct:
All volunteers and children (including committees and any external visitors) must adhere to the WPMN Code Of Conduct. Participation in any WPMN activities or programmes assumes agreement with the WPMN Code of Conduct. All volunteers will have initial safeguarding training led by the designated safeguarding leads.
All volunteers will be subject to an Enhanced DBS check (or equivalent). WPMN accepts DBS checks from other establishments assuming they are Enhanced and have been done within a reasonable timeframe. Volunteers who do not have an Enhanced DBS check (or equivalent) will not be allowed to participate in WPMN activities or events. Dates of issues and digital copies of the DBS (or equivalent) are collected by the designated safeguarding leads.
It is important that a professional relationship should be kept between volunteers and students and their families at all times. All communication between volunteers and students/student’s families must only take place through official WPMN channels or events, unless there are extenuating circumstances and are in the interests of a young person’s safety.
What to do if children talk to you about abuse or neglect
It is recognised that a child may seek you out to share information about abuse or neglect, or talk spontaneously to individuals or in groups.
In these situations you must:
Listen carefully to the child. DO NOT directly question the child.
Give the child time and attention.
Allow the child to give a spontaneous account; do not stop a child who is freely recalling significant events.
Make an accurate record of the information you have been given taking care to record the timing, setting and people present, the child’s presentation as well as what was said. Recordings must be kept secure and in accordance with organisation procedures.
Use the child’s own words where possible.
Explain that you cannot promise not to speak to others about the information they have shared.
Reassure the child that:
you are glad they have told you;
they have not done anything wrong;
what you are going to do next.
Explain that you will need to get help to keep the child safe.
Children should not be required to provide multiple accounts of events within the organisation
Treat all children and young people with respect
Ensure that, whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities which children and young people or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others
Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy
Encourage young people and adults to be comfortable and caring enough to point out
Recognise that caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people
Operate within the organisation’s principles and guidance and any specific procedures
Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse.
You must not:
Have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children or young people
Allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour/ make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children or young people
Reach conclusions about others without checking facts
Either exaggerate or trivialise safeguarding issues
Show favouritism to any individual
Raising a concern:
If you suspect a child to be at risk or you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact the designated safeguarding officers, via firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note any and all concerns must be reported including allegations made against children involved with WPMN and WPMN volunteers.
You must inform the designated safeguarding leads as soon as you suspect or have concerns that a child within WPMN is at risk or has previously been abused.
The safeguarding lead will share this information with the WPMN Chair and discuss the most appropriate course of action, prioritising the safety and welfare of the child (within 24 hours of notification.) All paperwork and records will be recorded electronically and stored on an online document that is only accessible to the WPMN safeguarding leads and chair.
If a child is considered to be at immediate risk of harm, the matter should be referred directly to the Police and the safeguarding person/lead (or other nominated person) must be notified at the earliest opportunity.
If either of the designated safeguarding leads are not available/ the allegations relate to a WPMN volunteer/ WPMN safeguarding lead, please direct the concerns straight to the WPMN Chair available at email@example.com.
The safeguarding lead will usually seek consent from parents/carers to make a referral to the Local Authority Children’s Services Department. However, if the concerns are considered to be a child protection matter, no consent is required as to involve the parents or refusal to make the referral might compromise the safety of the child.
Information will be shared with families, unless to do so would compromise a child’s safety as directed by statutory agencies.