Guidelines for Volunteers

The Guidelines for Volunteers can be downloaded here.

 

SAFEGUARDING GUIDELINES FOR UPLYME CHURCH.

THESE GUIDELINES ARE COMPLIMENTARY TO THE DIOCESAN GUIDELINES FOR SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

Recruitment

Frequent, intensive and unsupervised contact with children or young people are defined as follows:

  • frequent contact is defined as once a month or more
  • intensive contact is defined as 3 days or more in any 30 day period or overnight (2am and 6am)
  • Unsupervised activities is defined as teaching, training, instructing, caring or supervising children or providing advice/guidance on well being or driving a vehicle only for children (ie being a driver for an organised trip).
  • A child is defined as a person under 18 years of age.

All employees and volunteers having unsupervised, frequent or intensive contact with children will follow the recruitment procedure:

  1. Undertake informal induction process which checks suitability and previous experience.
  2. Complete a Volunteer Registration Form and hand it to the supervisor or leader of that ministry.
  3. Referee will be contacted by the line manager, safeguarding rep or church leader to obtain a reference.
  4. Complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS – previously called CRB) form with a church safeguarding officer. The applicant will complete an on-line form and will have their identity checked. The checker will confirm the applicant’s identity on the on-line form and will submit it to their archdeaconry contact who will then sign it off and submit it to CCPAS.
  5. Read, understood and signed to comply with the current church safeguarding policy
  6. Receive appropriate training (if required).
  7. Have a clearly defined job description which is subject to review.

Group activities

It is important to ensure that –

  • There is safe access to venues, with main doors shut or entrance supervised and well lit.
  • At least two adult leaders are present at all times (ideally one leader of each sex).
  • Enough leaders are present to ensure safety and good organisation in all age groups. Extra care should be taken to ensure there is adequate supervision if a youngster with additional needs is part of the group.
  • A register should be kept of all children/young people attending clubs. This should also record the helpers present at each session.
  • Accidents are reported to parents/carers (using appropriate forms). Head injuries should be reported to parents immediately on a form specifically for this purpose. Should this happen on an activity weekend, the child should be monitored for any signs of concussion.
  • Accidents are recorded either in the accident book (kept in the church office) or accident forms (back of registers at clubs/activities) which must be transferred to the accident book in the church office.
  • Physical contact between adults and children can be healthy and acceptable in public places but should be avoided if adult and child are alone. It should never be initiated by an adult.
  • Adults should not be in a room alone with a young person with the door closed.
  • Counselling and first aid should be done by same sex leaders and another adult must be around when this is taking place.
  • Where confidentiality is important eg counselling or mentoring, ensure that other adults know that the interview is taking place and that another adult is in the building with doors left open.
  • All children are treated with dignity and respect and there is no favouritism.
  • Bullying is never acceptable and should always be taken seriously and dealt with. The victim of bullying should always be spoken with about any incidents separately from the child who is bullying. If possible, one to one monitoring of the perpetrator should be put in place and counselling offered before a child who persistently offends is requested not to attend. The victim is likely to be experiencing emotional damage and needs protection.

Health and safety

Church employees and volunteers must be vigilant in the safety of children in the following areas:

  • A risk assessment will be carried out by the leaders for each activity to ensure it is safe, age appropriate and resourced properly. Forms are available from Safeguarding Rep, Youth Worker or Church Health and Safety officer.
  • Fire safety
  • Equipment safety.
  • Transport (ensure seat belt laws obeyed/children under 12years old to sit in the back with booster seats used as necessary).
  • Hygiene (including food and drink preparation as well as toilet facilities)
  • Insurance

 

Advice should be obtained from the Church Health and Safety Officer.

First Aid

  • Key personnel to have training in first aid and hold current certificate
  • First Aid kit and accident report forms must be available at all clubs and outings
  • Record any incidents and report to parents using appropriate forms
  • Any medications to be given to leader for safekeeping in container labelled with name and dosage. Medicines must not be stored in first aid kit.
  • If first aid or prescribed medications need to be given to a young person two adults must be present (one to administer and one to observe)
  • In exceptional circumstances paracetamol (sachets or tablets) may be administered under the direction of person who has had first aid or medical training. Sticking plasters may be used if necessary and after checking for possible allergies. All medications can only be given when signed, written consent from a parent or carer has been obtained.

Correct conduct for youth workers

  • Dress appropriately for youth activities.
  • Provide a Christian role model.
  • Avoid being alone with a young person behind closed doors.
  • Report any behaviour by young people or adults which cause concern to the Child Protection Representative and make a written record as soon as possible.
  • Do not invite a child/young person into your house alone, only as part of a group and with another adult present.
  • Only visit a child/young person in their own home if a parent/carer is present.
  • Do not give lifts to young people alone. If this is unavoidable then the child should sit in the back of the car.
  • It is helpful to keep a written record of any accidents or unusual events which cause you concern, each leader recording what they witness.

If under exceptional circumstances it is not possible to follow this policy it must be reported in writing to a line manager, Junior Church Leader or the Child Protection Representative

Electronic and mobile phone communication.

This includes text messaging, e-mail, social networking sites and use of mobile phones etc. All electronic communication made between an authorised church worker (either paid or volunteer, over 18 years old) and a young person is deemed communication in a professional capacity. Therefore, the following applies:

 

  • Children under 13 years of age must not be communicated with using these methods.
  • Parents of teenagers should be made aware that notification of meeting times etc may be carried out by text message, by e-mail or on Facebook. Parent’s requests for their children not to be communicated with in these ways must be respected. Do not discriminate against a child who does not have a mobile phone or PC or where parents do not consent to electronic communication. Ensure that there are other means of communication available as necessary.
  • Profiles used in youth work must be ‘work’ (i.e. not personal). As profiles are typically connected with email addresses, such profiles must use a work email address (i.e. an email address set up with specifically for church work).
  • All authorised church worker profiles and associated logins and passwords, although not in the public domain, must be centrally held and accessible to line-managers and the church child protection representative and advisors.
  • All messages should be available to be viewed as necessary (it may be sensible for young people to realise this). Therefore, church workers must set up electronic communications such that all emails, private messages and other methods of communication are stored, either remotely or locally by the church worker.  These ‘conversations’ must be accessible by the line manager, child-protection representative and advisors.
  • Authorised church workers should not have access to the personal details of young people. Therefore, church workers must set up profiles such that the privacy of profiles of young people in the network is respected. Sub groups (for example, sub-forums, fan pages, walls, member networks, etc.) set up specifically for use within the church youth work (for example, an Uplyme Youth Facebook page) must respect the privacy of the member individuals and be administered by more than one authorised church worker and subject to monitoring by church child protection officers.
  • Avoid the use of private electronic “live chat” (instant messaging)
  • Whenever possible, group texts/e-mails should be used rather than communications with individuals.
  • Do not respond to inappropriate messages from young people. Any inappropriate or questionable behaviour should immediately be reported to line manager and /or child protection representative.
  • Do not promise confidentiality.
  • Do not use electronic communication methods or mobile phones between 10pm and 7am to correspond with young people (for this reason it may be necessary for those heavily involved in youth work to have separate personal and youth work mobiles).
  • Use clear, unambiguous language. Avoid terms such as ‘luv’ or ‘lol’ or kisses (eg xxx).
  • Webcams and picture messaging must not be used.
  • Parental consent must be given before any photographs of children are taken. Additional consent should be gained if photos are to be used in publicity material. These photos must never be linked to personal information such as surnames or addresses. Group photos are preferable to pictures of individuals.
  • All e-mails should carry the standard text below –

 Please note – the content of this communication is not confidential and may be disclosed to other trusted people in exceptional circumstances.

For information and advice to workers and parents/carers regarding online abuse including how to keep children safe please see the following website:

Child Online and Protection Command https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

 

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