Child Safeguarding Policy
Date Approved 09/09/2018
Date of next review 17/11/2023
Policy Owner Charlie Stainforth - Child Safeguarding Officer
Circl is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people that we work with. We work in partnership with our schools to ensure the wellbeing of children and young people on our face to face and virtual programmes.
The purpose of Circl is to upskill & connect our current and future workforce and promote social mobility, including but not limited to:
2.1 Improving the interpersonal skills of socio-economically disadvantaged young people; and
2.2 Improving the network of socio-economically disadvantaged young people.
This document is the Child Safeguarding Policy for Circl which will be used to ensure that;
- Excellent child safeguarding practice is promoted at Circl
- All children who engage with Circl are treated with dignity and respect.
- All employees, volunteers, interns, advisors, trustees and other stakeholders know what to do in the event of a child safeguarding incident and make informed and confident responses to specific child safeguarding issues.
- All child safeguarding incidents are dealt with consistently and properly recorded.
Principles upon which the Child Protection Policy is based;
- The welfare of a child or young person will always be paramount.
- The welfare of families will be promoted.
- The rights, wishes and feelings of children, young people and their families will be respected and listened to.
- Those people in positions of responsibility within the organisation will work in accordance with the interests of children and young people and follow the policy outlined below.
- Those people in positions of responsibility within the organisation will ensure that the same opportunities are available to everyone and that all differences between individuals will be treated with respect.
Child Safeguarding is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:
- protecting children from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of children's health or development;
- ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- acting to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
The definition of ‘a child’ is a person who has not yet attained the minimum school leaving age. For example, in England and Wales, a child can leave school on the last Friday in June if they are 16 or will be 16 before the start of the next school year. The definition of ‘a young person’ is any person who is not a child but who has not attained the age of eighteen. In this policy, the terms “child” and “children” refer to both children and young people.
Who does this policy apply to?
This policy applies to all Circl employees, coaches, interns, advisors and trustees. It also applies to anyone involved in a Circl organised activity and event. While stakeholders are likely to have varied levels of contact with children, everyone should be aware of the potential indicators of abuse, neglect and all other potential child safeguarding concerns, and everyone should be clear about what to do if they have concerns.
The policy applies to all employees whether they have had a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS check, previously CRB check) carried out. However, when relevant for their role, employees undertake a DBS check prior to commencing employment at Circl.
Where is this policy available?
This policy is available on our website http://www.circl.org/ and is available at any time by emailing the Lead Safeguarding Officer, Charlie Stainforth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Protecting our professional skills coaches
To ensure that our coaches are empowered to make informed and confident responses to specific child safeguarding issues we have implemented the following procedures that must be adhered to before a coach can begin on the Circl programme;
- All coaches will be sent this policy in advance of the initial training session as part of their prereading.
- During the training, coaches will be given training on child protection in line with this document. Each coach will then be asked to sign that they have understood and agree to the content of this document. These signed documents will then be stored in accordance with Data Protection Act 1998 (and any subsequent legislation which replaces or amends this Act). Coaches will not start a programme until these steps have been carried out.
Stage 1 – identifying an incident or concern
All stakeholders have a responsibility to be mindful and aware of child safeguarding issues. It is not the stakeholder’s responsibility to decide whether the potential child safeguarding incident requires investigation or further action, but each stakeholder has a responsibility to act on any concerns through escalating the matter as set out in this policy. Abuse could happen anywhere in a physical place or in an online environment.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of the main types of abuse that all stakeholders should be aware of;
Physical Abuse - Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms, of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child.
Emotional Abuse - Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child though it may occur alone.
Sexual Abuse - Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape or buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect - Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Online Abuse - can happen with content where a child is being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material; with contact where a child is being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; or with conduct where personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example making, sending and receiving explicit images, or online bullying.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of issues or incidents which require escalation in accordance with this policy:
- Failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger;
- Failure to ensure adequate supervision of a child;
- Failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment;
- Failure to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing;
- Sudden changes in a child’s behaviour or performance;
- Any physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
Stage 2. Consulting about your concern
In the event of becoming aware of a potential child safeguarding issue, the stakeholder must take the following steps:
- Take a detailed record of their concerns, focusing only on facts and not opinions or judgements, using the ‘Safeguarding Concerns Form’ (Appendix 1).
- Report the incident to the lead teacher or member of staff at the school as soon as possible, following your awareness of the incident and follow the schools safeguarding protocol which will be communicated to you by the lead teacher. Immediately after you should notify the Lead Safeguarding Officer (Charlie Stainforth) at Circl by calling on 07775676868 and by also emailing the completed Safeguarding Concerns Form directly to email@example.com.
- If you are unable to contact Charlie directly or if an out of office is received, you should contact the Deputy Child Safeguarding Officer (Aiko Sato) by calling +1 (503)5016490 and emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This process is also outlined below.
- You should not attempt to investigate the incident or suspected incident yourself.
- If the child is at immediate risk of significant harm, you should contact the police or social services. You should then immediately contact the Child Safeguarding Officer (or Deputy, if unavailable) when you have done so. If you have a concern which is unrelated to a Circl event, you should contact the Lead Teacher and contact the NSPCC National 24-Hour Help Line on 0808 800 5000 for advice about safeguarding children.
- In person report to lead teacher onsite
- AND call Charlie – 07775676868 and send safeguarding concerns form to email@example.com
- OR send safeguarding concerns form firstname.lastname@example.org - 07775676868
- School child protection team
- Social Services
Guidance for coaches in dealing with disclosures from children
When acting as a Circl coach it is important to remember that the programme is a focused aspiration intervention. At no point should you guide the conversations away from the objectives of the programme. However, if a child discloses abuse to a stakeholder, the following is a non-exhaustive list of steps that the stakeholder should take:
- Allow the child to speak without interruption and accept what they say;
- Be understanding and reassuring but do not give your opinion;
- Try to encourage the child to allow another adult or a friend to be present so you are not alone;
- Assure the child that you will offer support but that you must pass any information to another party who may take appropriate action;
- Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you;
- Keep calm and listen to the child
- Do not have physical contact at any time; and
- Take a detailed record of the conversation focused on the facts disclosed, using the actual words said by the child wherever possible.
All stakeholders are expected to treat children with respect and to act as role models for children in their behaviour. Any forms of physical, verbal or discriminating abuse will be dealt with in an appropriate manner with the children’s best interests at heart in all instances.
In line with good practice, in situations where this Policy applies Stakeholders must:
- Treat all children equally with dignity and respect.
- Inform Circl of any relevant police record, disciplinary action or other factor, or any change in your circumstances, which may impact your suitability to work with children.
- Recognise that any role that interacts with children places you in a position of trust which must be upheld at all times.
- Remember at all times that interactions between you and children must be such that no reasonable person observing that interaction could construe its nature as abusive.
- Behave as role models and be suitable examples for children.
- Use appropriate language when conversing with children.
Stakeholders must not:
- Share any contact details or attempt to contact a young person outside of the programme sessions. This includes any form of social media including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Have any form of contact outside of the programme sessions.
- Expose themselves to a situation where they are left alone with a child, away from the group.
- Invite children to their home, visit children in their own homes or offer a child a lift in a car.
- Behave in any way, physically or verbally, that could be offensive to a child.
- Make any kind of physical contact with a child that would not be considered appropriate within a school or business environment and report any inadvertent contact that could be misconstrued.
- Request or receive monetary (or other high value) gifts from young people; and ensure they are not open to (or perceived to be open to) improper influence or conduct through the acceptance of such gifts. The acceptance of low value gifts such given in appreciation of support provided is not problematic.
- Smoke or drink alcohol in the presence of children or supply them with these substances.
Review of Child Safeguarding Policy
This policy will be reviewed by the Child Safeguarding Officer on an on-going basis, but at least once a year, and suitable amendments will be made to the plan as required.