The purpose of this policy is to protect people, particularly children, from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with Little LifeSavers. This includes harm arising from:
- The conduct of staff or personnel associated with Little LifeSavers
- The design and implementation of Little LifeSavers activities
The policy lays out the commitments made by the organisation-Little LifeSavers and informs volunteers and associated personnel of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
What Is Safeguarding?
In the UK, safeguarding means protecting people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect
In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people- especially children- from harm that arises from coming into contact with our volunteers or teaching
Little LifeSavers believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Little LifeSavers will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by staff, volunteers or associated personnel.
Little LifeSavers takes safeguarding very seriously. To minimise the risk of harm to children, volunteers and staff will always deliver the teaching session:
- Under direct supervision by teaching staff who have received formal safeguarding training
- Within a group setting- never one-to-one
- Will never seek to contact or meet with individual children outside the organised setting of the session
As an organisation we undertake the following actions:
- Ensure all Volunteers have access to this policy
- Ensure within this policy, the procedure for raising concerns regarding safeguarding children is detailed
- Reports of safeguarding concerns are followed up by the nominated Safeguarding Lead Trustee
- Volunteers and staff are subject to enhanced DBS with Children’s Barred list checks and review of DBS status regularly from recruitment to the organisation.
Little LifeSavers Volunteers and staff will not:
- Engage in exploitive behaviour – physically, sexually or financially with children
- Subject a child to bullying, harassment, emotional or psychological abuse or neglect
- Attempt to make contact with children outside of the supervised setting of the session
- Exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual activity. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance
- Engage in any sexual relationships with beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics
Little LifeSavers Volunteers and Staff Will:
- Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy
- Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations by an Little LifeSavers staff member or associated personnel to the designated Trustee
Reporting Concerns and Follow- up Action
Little LifeSavers staff or volunteers who have a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding should report it immediately as follows:
- Concerns regarding a child they have taught must first be raised with the supervising teacher at the session. Teacher name must be taken and the reporting Volunteer or staff member must document the facts and the details of the teacher and school with whom concerns were raised and notify the Safeguarding Lead Trustee within 24 hours.
- Concerns regarding a volunteer or staff member must be reported to the Safeguarding Lead Trustee within 24 hours.
- The relevant staff/volunteer/trustee will be informed of the concern and given the opportunity to respond- in writing or in person with the safeguarding lead and a nominated 3rd party as witness.
- Suspension of volunteering activities during investigation will be necessitated.
If the Volunteer or staff member does not feel comfortable reporting to the Safeguarding Lead, they may report to the chairperson directly
The Safeguarding Lead Trustee is Dr Thea Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chairperson is Dr Barbara Stanley email@example.com
Reports will be taken seriously and investigated further by the board of trustees and followed up by the Safeguarding Lead Trustee. Guidance from professional organisations will be sought, necessitating the sharing of relevant information, and after consideration by the board of trustees, action will be taken to report the incident to the appropriate authorities for further investigation and/ or removal of associated parties (volunteers/ staff/ trustees)
Code of Conduct
This behaviour code outlines the conduct Little LifeSavers expects from all our staff and volunteers. This includes trustees, agency staff, interns, students on work placement and anyone who is undertaking duties for the organisation, whether paid or unpaid.
The behaviour code aims to help us protect children and young people from abuse and reduce the possibility of unfounded allegations being made. It has been informed by the views of children and young people.
Little LifeSavers is responsible for making sure everyone taking part in our services has seen, understood and agreed to follow the code of behaviour, and that they understand the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.
In your role at Little LifeSavers you are acting in a position of authority and have a duty of care towards the children and young people we work with. You are likely to be seen as a role model and are expected to act appropriately.
You are responsible for:
- prioritising the welfare of children and young people
- providing a safe environment for children and young people
- ensuring equipment is used safely and for its intended purpose
- having good awareness of issues to do with safeguarding and child protection and
- taking action when appropriate.
- following our principles, policies and procedures
- including our policies and procedures for child protection/safeguarding,
- whistleblowing and online safety
- staying within the law at all times
- modelling good behaviour for children and young people to follow
- challenging all unacceptable behaviour and reporting any breaches of the behaviour code to The Safeguarding Lead – Dr Thea Morgan
- reporting all concerns about abusive behaviour, following our safeguarding and child protection procedures
- This includes behaviour being displayed by an adult or child and directed at anybody of any age.
- treat children and young people fairly and without prejudice or discrimination
- understand that children and young people are individuals with individual needs
- respect differences in gender, sexual orientation, culture, race, ethnicity, disability and religious belief systems, and appreciate that all participants bring something valuable and different to the group/organisation
- challenge discrimination and prejudice
- encourage young people and adults to speak out about attitudes or behaviour that makes them uncomfortable.
- promote relationships that are based on openness, honesty, trust and respect
- avoid favouritism
- be patient with others
- exercise caution when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people
- ensure your contact with children and young people is appropriate and relevant to the work of the project you are involved in
- ensure there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people in accordance with Little LifeSavers teaching model
- if a situation arises where you are alone with a child or young person, ensure that you are within sight or hearing of other adults.
- if a child specifically asks for or needs some individual time with you, ensure other staff or volunteers know where you and the child are.
- only provide personal care in an emergency and make sure there is more than one adult present if possible
- listen to and respect children at all times
- value and take children’s contributions seriously, actively involving them in planning activities wherever possible
- respect a young person’s right to personal privacy as far as possible.
- if you need to break confidentiality in order to follow child protection procedures, it is important to explain this to the child or young person at the earliest opportunity.
When working with children and young people, you must not:
- allow concerns or allegations to go unreported
- take unnecessary risks
- smoke, consume alcohol or use illegal substances
- develop inappropriate relationships with children and young people
- make inappropriate promises to children and young people
- engage in behaviour that is in any way abusive
- including having any form of sexual contact with a child or young person.
- let children and young people have your personal contact details (mobile number, email or postal address) or have contact with them via a personal social media account
- act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive
- patronise or belittle children and young people
- make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of children and young people.
Upholding this code of behaviour
You should always follow this code of behaviour and never rely on your reputation or that of our organisation to protect you.
If you have behaved inappropriately you will be subject to our disciplinary procedures. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, you may be asked to leave Little LifeSavers. We may also make a report to statutory agencies such as the police and/or the local authority child protection services.
If you become aware of any breaches of this code, you must report them to the Safeguarding Lead Trustee Dr Thea Morgan.