VALEFEST SAFEGUARDING (CHILD PROTECTION)
ValeFest recognises that every child has a right to
from any kind of abuse be it physical, emotional or sexual. It is the
responsibility of all volunteers working in this group to be aware of
the correct procedures for dealing with any suggested incidences of
abuse. Child Protection is not an isolated issue and we will work in
partnership with other organisations to update procedures and adopt
current legislation. This policy is linked to the Local
Children’s Safeguarding Board procedures.
All volunteers of ValeFest are aware that it is not
their responsibility to
of abuse but to refer suspicions or
abuse to the designated person whose
it then is to refer on to the Area Social Work Office or to the Police.
The formal definition of child abuse is:
‘Children may be in need of protection where their basic needs
are not being met in a manner appropriate to their age and stage of
development, and they will be at risk thought avoidable acts of
commission or omission on the part of their parent(s), sibling(s) or
other relative(s), or carer(s)’. The categories commonly
used to describe the areas of abuse are:
Non-organic failure to thrive
Dealing with an incident:
Upon receipt of any information from a child, or suspicions, it is
- Listen to the child and take what they are saying
- Inform them that if they continue to tell you
that you cannot keep secret you will have to pass this on to others who
- Reassure them that they are doing the right thing by
- Remain calm and neutral, no matter what they are
- Clarify anything you are unsure of but do not
- Allow them the time they need to speak – it may be
very difficult for them to tell you some things and you must let them
say it in their own words – remember, they must trust you very
much at this moment.
- Inform the child you will write down accurately
that has been said or seen and what action you took. Check with the
child this is an accurate account.
- Treat everything said as confidential between you,
child and the designated person and tell the child this.
- Pass on all information to the designated person and
them to deal with it.
Dealing with urgent cases:
If the situation is clearly an urgent case, if the child is too
frightened to go home or you have serious doubts about the child's
safety, contact Social Work Services or the Police immediately.
Recruitment and selection of staff and
Those who subject children to abuse look just like any other adult and
may seek employment either paid or unpaid in roles which bring them
into contact with young people. It is the responsibility of the
ValeFest Committee to ensure that all possible steps are taken to check
the suitability of those we employ. This will be done in the following
- All volunteers with regular access to children will
checked or List 99 checked by the police.
- Previous addresses will be requested on application
- The names of two referees will be requested so that
references can be provided. We may also interview referees personally.
- All prospective volunteers will be interviewed.
- All relevant previous experience of volunteers will
- All volunteers will undergo a 6-month probationary
Training of staff and volunteers:
All volunteers will be aware of the contents of this policy and
guidance and will attend appropriate Child Protection training where
possible. They will be made familiar with reporting procedures and the
identity of the designated person. All volunteers will be consulted on
the appropriateness of this document and stated procedures on an annual
The role of the designated person:
The designated person is responsible for ensuring this policy is up to
date, that it is clearly displayed (if possible) and that volunteers
are aware of its content, have read and understood it.
The designated person will keep up to date with current guidelines,
available from the Child Protection Officer at County Hall, and be
aware who the designated Social Worker is for their area, having to
hand the telephone numbers of that Social Worker and the
These professionals will always be contacted for advice and guidance
and all referrals will be discussed by the statutory agencies prior to
any action being taken. The designated person will:
- Hold a register of every child involved with the club
have a contact name close to hand in case of emergencies.
- Remember that some issues are confidential.
- Respect a child's right to personal privacy.
- Provide time for children to talk to you.
- Encourage children to respect and care for others.
- Take action to stop any inappropriate verbal or
- Remember to refer not
any suspicions or allegations of abuse.
- Only discuss these concerns with the necessary and
appropriate staff or volunteers.
- If possible, designate a male and female adult who
responsible for dealing with concerns around Child Protection and
ensure that they are known to everyone using the group and to parents
- Activities should, where possible, involve more than
than one adult being present or at least within sight and hearing of
- Remember, someone might misinterpret actions even if
The designated person may consider that complaints of a
nature, although still serious, such as bullying, cheating etc. may be
handled internally without outside involvement. It must be emphasized
however, that each case will be thoroughly investigated and remedied to
the satisfaction of the young person/reporting person concerned.
Complaint of abuse against a member of
Should this type of complaint be made, there may be three types of
- A criminal investigation
- A child protection investigation
- A disciplinary or misconduct investigation
Issues of misconduct will be dealt with by a committee
Child Protection Officers. The Chair of ValeFest will that ensure
appropriate action is taken and that ValeFest at all times recognises
the importance of maintaining confidentiality where this is required in
a legal context.