FACT has developed this policy based on the “Safe to Grow”1 guidelines published by the Baptist Union of Great Britain. At FACT we recognise that we have a “duty of care” to the children with whom we work and consider safeguarding to be of the utmost importance. FACT recognises its responsibilities for the safeguarding of all children and young people under the age of 18, regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability2.
Trustees, members of staff and volunteers working for FACT are committed to the nurturing, protection and safeguarding of all children involved in FACT activities. In pursuit of this we are committed to the following policy and to the development of procedures (Appendix A) to ensure its implementation.
Prevention and reporting of abuse
It is the duty of each FACT worker to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and the duty of all to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and to report any child abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected. FACT will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with our work.
Safe recruitment, support and supervision of workers
FACT will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of all FACT workers whether working with children or not. All workers will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safeguarding of children.
Safe working practices
FACT is committed to working with schools, churches, community groups, families and individuals to ensure that all activities take place in a safe environment and to working with children in ways that promote their safety and well-being.
FACT has appointed Stuart Ellidge as the Safeguarding Trustee to oversee and monitor the implementation of the policy and procedures on behalf of the Trustees. FACT has appointed Simon Shutt as the Designated Person for Safeguarding to advise FACT on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and young people and take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.
Policy and procedures
Each FACT worker will be given a full copy of the policy and procedures and will be required to follow them. A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any school, church or community group where FACT is running an activity. The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed regularly in line with FACT’s practice of a rolling program of policy reviews. This policy is linked to the FACT Health and Safety Policy and the FACT Photo Policy.
Appendix A Safeguarding Procedures (Safeguarding Policy)
(1) Responding to concerns
Any worker (staff or volunteer) who has a concern about the welfare of a child or the behaviour of an adult has a duty to record and report this. A written record must be made of the concern and the concern should be reported to Simon Shutt (the Designated Person for Safeguarding) within 24 hours. If a child is in imminent danger of harm a referral should be made to the police or Social Services without delay.
On receipt of a report the Designated Person has a duty to review the report (together with any other relevant information), to discuss with others as appropriate (including the Safeguarding Trustee) and to determine the necessary action. If appropriate, a formal referral to Social Services should normally be made within 24 hours of receiving the report. If a child is in imminent danger of harm a referral should be made to the police or Social Services without delay.
Once a decision has been made regarding action Simon and Esther may need to offer support as appropriate to all parties affected by any safeguarding concerns and to make reports to the Independent Safeguarding Authority and/or the Charity Commission.
In the event that workers have a concern about the behaviour of the Designated Safeguarding Person they should refer this directly to the Safeguarding Trustee Esther Rowe. If workers have a concern about the behaviour of the Safeguarding Trustee they should refer this directly to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
(2) Safe recruitment of volunteers, staff and trustees.
FACT relies upon, and is grateful for, the support of a number of volunteers who work directly with children on specific programmes. Prospective volunteers are asked to complete an application form, which incorporates a request for the names of two referees and a signed declaration that there is no reason why they should not be working with children and young people. This is followed by an enhanced DBS check which is renewed as with all staff, every five years. All prospective volunteers are interviewed and are given guidance about how to protect themselves and children. This guidance is reiterated prior to each activity.
At the discretion of the Designated Person for Safeguarding or the Safeguarding Trustee under certain circumstances a DBS held from another organisation will be deemed adequate. The DBS must to be viewed and the number recorded. This data will be kept secure.
All Volunteers are encouraged to maintain their DBS status on line at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-barring-referrals-to-the-dbs#how-to-register-for-a-dbs-online-services-account
The recruitment process for staff includes all the elements of the process for volunteers but with additional formality including the provision of a full job description and person specification. All Frontline staff must be prepared, if requested, to present their Disqualification by Association documents to all schools, who will then sign a form to show they have read it and a copy will be kept, in line with the Data Protection Act.
Trustees undergo the same procedure as volunteers in relation to a DBS check. This occurs at the commencement of their appointment.
(3) Code of behaviour for workers
FACT expects that all workers supporting activities with children
• Treat all children with respect and dignity
• Use age appropriate language and tone of voice and be aware of their own body language
• Listen well to children and be careful not to assume they know what a child or young person is thinking or feeling
• Be alone with a child (e.g. escorting a child to the toilet or giving them first-aid treatment without another adult present)
• Invade the privacy of children when they are using the toilet
• Engage in rough games that will involve physical contact between themselves and a child
• Engage in sexually provocative games
• Make sexually suggestive comments about or to a child, even in “fun”
• Engage in scapegoating, belittling, ridiculing or rejecting a child
• Discipline children using physical punishment
• Respond to, or encourage, excessive attention-seeking that is overtly sexual or physical in nature
FACT acknowledges the importance and popularity of electronic communication. FACT workers should not exchange contact details with, or give personal e-mail addresses, mobile telephone numbers or any other personal contact details to, any child attending any FACT activity. A corporate email address firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone number is published in all FACT literature and on the FACT website so children could contact “FACT” but not a specific member of staff. All enquiries of this nature will be referred to Simon Shutt as the Designated Safeguarding Person.
(4) Safe practice
FACT leads and facilitates activities in schools; where these are conducted on school premises, risk assessment will be addressed in a pre-event planning session with school staff and conducted by them as appropriate. Where the programmes are conducted on church premises, a member of the FACT team will ensure that a risk assessment is carried out at the location in advance of the event.
FACT is committed to the safety of the children with whom we work and to the safety of members of the FACT team as evidenced in the FACT Health and Safety Policy and the FACT Photo and Video-Recording Policy.