Safeguarding and child protection policy

Withington Child Contact Centre believes that all children have the right to be protected at all times and that the welfare of the child is paramount.  It recognises the serious issue of the abuse of children and vulnerable adults, and that this may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual or institutional abuse or neglect.  All children have the right to be safe and not to be hurt or afraid.

Safe recruitment is central to the safeguarding of children and young people. All organisations which employ staff or volunteers to work with children and young people have a duty to safeguard and promote their welfare. This includes ensuring that the organisation adopts safe recruitment and selection procedures which prevent unsuitable persons from gaining access to children.

 

Withington Contact Centre follows the practice and guidance set out by the Greater Manchester Safeguarding Partnership. We consider that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and seek to ensure that this is reflected in our volunteer recruitment. All volunteers are expected to share this commitment to safeguarding children and young people.

 

Any advertising for volunteers that we do will clearly state our commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and Adults at Risk. It will also state the need for the successful applicant to undertake an enhanced criminal record check.

 

The Contact Centre's volunteer policy outlines the procedures for recruitment and training of volunteers.  These procedures aim to ensure that volunteers are correctly vetted and trained to provide protection to children.  Interested volunteers will be made aware that we have a selection process that seeks to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people; proof of identity will be required as well as a Disclosure and Barring Service Check and two references will be sought.

 

If successful, volunteers will be provided with adequate training to support them in carrying out their role, including training on safeguarding. All volunteers will have a Disclosure and Barring Service Check every three years.

  1. Confidentiality issues will be overridden by the need to act for the welfare of the child.

  2. Responsibility for a child or children using the Contact Centre always rests with their parents and not the volunteers. Nevertheless, every volunteer is responsible for

    1. Preventing the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children whilst using the Contact Centre

    2. Listening to concerns expressed by parents or children and advising them how to report any abuse

    3. Reporting abuse themselves in certain circumstances

  3. Where there is an allegation of (or suspected) child abuse, the interests and safety of the child/children involved must always come first.  This means that if there is a conflict of interest between parent and child, the interests of the child will always be put first.

  4. Contact Centre users and referrers will be made aware that the centre has a child protection policy which is publicly available (alongsdie all other policies) on the Contact Centre website

  5. All volunteers will have an understanding of what constitutes child abuse and of the procedures that need to be followed to report or prevent it. There is a recognised procedure for Contact Centre volunteers to report allegations of (or suspected) child abuse.

  6. The Contact Centre will not knowingly accept a referral when someone involved has been convicted of any offence relating to physical or sexual abuse of any child, unless there are exceptional circumstances and the centre has sought appropriate professional advice.

  7. Volunteers will not take a child to the toilet unless the parent asks for assistance and another volunteer is present.

  8. This Child Protection Policy is reviewed annually and is updated if necessary.  It was last reviewed in March 2019.

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