CAMP CRUSOE CHILD & VULNERABLE ADULTS PROTECTION & SAFEGUARDING POLICY


DESIGNATED CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER (DCPO):  Jeremy Quarrie

CONTACT DETAILS:

EMAIL: jeremy@campcrusoe.com


Contents

Policy Management Record

Policy statement

Definition of a vulnerable adult

Responsibilities

Information sharing

Specific Guidance

1 - One to one situations         

2 - Transporting young people

3 - Social contact with young people

4 - Recordings

5 - Confidentiality

6 - Ethical conduct in youth work

7 - Child Sexual Exploitation

8 - Extremism & radicalisation

9 - Use of reasonable force

10 - Accommodation security

11 - Contractors

12 - Staff recruitment

13 - Response to key safeguarding incidents

Appendix A: External contact details for safeguarding issues


CHILD PROTECTION POLICY & SAFEGUARDING PROCEDURES SAFEGUARDING POLICY MANAGEMENT RECORD

  • This document replaces all previous safeguarding policies.

  • Last updated: July 2019.

  • Next full document review date: January 2020.


POLICY STATEMENT

Camp Crusoe is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults (YPVA) by taking all appropriate steps to protect them from neglect, physical, sexual or emotional harm. All Camp Crusoe staff, associates and volunteers will at all times show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of all children and young people with whom they comes into contact, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects our principles and duty of care.

Camp Crusoe will ensure the above is achieved by enacting a proactive approach to safeguarding which constantly reviews practices and responds to issues and potential vulnerabilities immediately and robustly.

  • Close liaison and joint working with statutory child protection agencies to ensure that practice meets the best possible standard for all those we work with.

  • Ensuring that all staff, associates, and volunteers are carefully recruited, trained and supervised.

  • Carefully assessing all risks that children and young people encounter and taking all necessary steps to minimise and/or manage them;

  • Listening to children, and understanding how their individual circumstances and life experiences may affect their vulnerability and risk. Then taking that into account in planning engagement and activities with that young person;

  • Informing parents, children and young people how to voice concerns or complaints about anything that they may not be happy with;

  • Presenting parents, children, young people and accompanying staff with information about what we do and what can be expected from us.

All Camp Crusoe’s staff, associates, and volunteers have a duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. They should all be familiar with these procedures, are expected to comply with them and have a duty to report any child protection or welfare concerns to Camp Crusoe’s DCPO.

Child protection and safeguarding responsibilities and arrangements are set out in this document.

In the context of this policy, ‘parents’ is taken to also mean guardian(s) and all those with Parental Responsibility as defined by the Children’s Act (2004).


DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this policy, the terms ‘young people’, ‘children’, ‘child’ and ‘camper’ refer to all children and young people under the age of 18 taking part in Camp Crusoe. Camp Crusoe has adopted the Home Office’s definition of vulnerable adults.

In the context of this policy, ‘staff’ is taken to also apply to both paid staff and volunteers.


RESPONSIBILITIES

Camp Director: Overall responsibility for safeguarding and child protection arrangements throughout Camp Crusoe.

Designated Child Protection Officer: Responsible for this Policy and associated procedures, including training, implementation and reviewing. Responsible also for Disclosure & Barring Service process management.

All staff, associates and volunteers: Responsible for ensuring that young people and vulnerable adults are safeguarded.


INFORMATION SHARING

Sharing of information amongst practitioners working with children, young people and their families can be essential to safeguarding and promoting their welfare. In many cases it is only when information from a range of sources is put together that a child can be seen to be at risk.

Not all information is confidential.  Confidential information is information of some sensitivity which is not public knowledge.  It may have been shared in a relationship where the person giving the information understood that it would not be shared with others.  Sometimes, however, it will be necessary to share confidential information.

Confidential information should not be passed on to third parties without the consent of the person who provided it or to whom it relates unless the circumstances in which sharing information without consent can be justified in the public interest, e.g. where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child may be suffering or at risk of significant harm.   In cases where we have concerns about a child, and believe that we will need to share confidential information, we should explain the problem, seek agreement and explain the reasons if we decide to act against a parent, carer or child’s wishes. We should not regard refusal of consent as necessarily stopping us from sharing confidential information. Seeking consent should, however, be the first option.  

In making a decision about whether or not to share confidential information, we should weigh up what might happen if the information is shared against what might happen if it is not and make a decision based on a reasonable judgement. The safety and welfare of a child or young person must always be the primary consideration when making decisions about sharing information about them. The amount of confidential information shared and the number of people to whom it is disclosed should be no more than necessary in protecting the health and wellbeing of the child.   


GUIDELINES

Introduction

Staff should conduct themselves in such a way as to avoid compromising situations and to protect themselves against allegations of abuse.  The following guidelines have been developed to support staff working in all settings to establish safe & responsible environments which safeguard young people and manage the risk of adults being unjustly accused of improper or unprofessional conduct.

Section 1 - One-to-One Situations

The guiding principle regarding one-to-one situations is to ensure that staff can work with children without the young person feeling vulnerable, and to manage and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made against staff.

Whilst the majority of Camp Crusoe activities are for whole camp, groups or teams, occasions may arise when this is not so. On such occasions, one-to-one situations will either be unplanned or planned. The following guidance is provided to ensure staff are aware of their responsibilities: 

Planned One-to-One Situations

It is unrealistic to state that one-to-one interactions may not take place during camp. Where there is a need to work in one-to-one situations, this should be planned and agreed with a manager beforehand and arrangements made for others to be in the near vicinity. The near vicinity should be open and visible and should ensure maximum realistic protection for both YPVA and staff member, commensurate with achieving protection whether from allegation or suspicion. It is usually possible, even in the most immediately demanding of circumstances, to call in the assistance or awareness of a 3rd party. It is to be noted that during travel times particular vulnerability might exist thus special care should be taken and plans made for careful mutual protection, including from/for ‘outsiders’ such as drivers, visitors and assisting personnel.

When planning a one-to-one situation, staff must define & record the reason for the meeting; identifying the meeting location; conducting & agreeing a full risk assessment; avoiding conducting one-to-one meetings in remote/secluded areas; always informing other colleagues/guardian and assess the need to have them present or close by; always reporting situations which are or could be interpreted as child protection incidents.

Unplanned One-to-One Situations

Staff should avoid being alone with a young person in an unplanned situation when there is no-one else in close vicinity. If alone indoors with a child, staff should ensure the door is left open. If outdoors then, as with planned situations, the near vicinity should be open and visible and a 3rd party should be called to add assistance or awareness.

As soon as feasibly possible, staff should put in place the actions for a planned one-to-one situation.

Section 2 - Transporting Young People

When transporting young people, this should be planned so that, whenever possible, staff are not alone in a vehicle with one young person.  As far as practicable, it is advisable that transporting of young people is not done in private vehicles. Any emergency or impromptu arrangements must be justifiable and risk-assessed as far as possible in the circumstances.  Details of the journey must be reported to a manager within 24 hours.

Staff must be aware that the safety and welfare of the young person(s) is their responsibility until they are safely passed over to a parent / legal guardian / or to a recognised place of safety e.g. police custody, hospital or other responsible authority; Ensure that their behaviour is appropriate at all times; Ensure that there are proper arrangements in place to ensure vehicle, passenger and driver safety.  This includes ensuring that all passengers wear seat belts and also having appropriate insurance cover in accordance with Camp Crusoe’s Transport Policy.

Section 3 – Social contact

Staff should not contact with campers ‘unofficially’ outside Camp Crusoe. This means staff must not meet up with them outside camp nor have contact over social media or direct messaging, unless the reason has been firmly established and agreed with their manager. If a young person or parent seeks to establish social contact or if this occurs coincidentally, the staff member(s) must exercise their professional judgement in making a response but should always discuss the situation with their manager. Staff should be aware that social contact in certain situations can be misconstrued as grooming and as such they should advise their manager or in their absence a duty manager of any coincidental social contact they have with a young person or parent with who they work which may give rise to concern. Staff should be aware that the sending of personal communications such as birthday or faith cards should always be recorded and/or discussed with their manager. Staff should record & report any situation which may place a young person at risk or which may compromise Camp Crusoe or their own professional standing.

The above are provided as examples and are not intended to be exhaustive.

Section 4 – Recording

We are committed to capturing young people’s views and involving them in planning for the future. In order to do this, it is from time to time beneficial to record young people either individually or as a group. We also seek to record activities so we can showcase what we do and why it works. However, in all cases where recording is undertaken, whether audio, video or photographic, prior permission must always be obtained:  

Staff must ensure that where a young person is under 18, or is deemed vulnerable, that permission to record images or voice is obtained from a parent, or other person holding parental responsibility.  This will normally be done via the signing of the Personal Information Form (PI form) or the Research consent form where this is appropriate. Any restrictions stipulated by parents or other carers i.e. voice recording only, must be respected.  It is essential that all members of a group have valid permissions obtained before undertaking group recording; particular care must be taken to ensure that images and recordings are only used for legitimate purposes, and that they are not released to non Camp Crusoe staff without specific agreement being obtained about how such images are to be used.  

Section 5 - Confidentiality

Members of staff may have access to confidential information about young people in order to undertake their everyday responsibilities.  In some circumstances staff may be given highly sensitive or private information. They should never use confidential or personal information about a young person her/his family for their own, or an others’ advantage. Information must never be used to intimidate, humiliate, or embarrass the young person.

Confidential information about a young person should never be used casually in conversation or shared with any person other than on a need-to-know basis. In circumstances where the child’s identity does not need to be disclosed the information should be used anonymously.  

There are some circumstances in which a member of staff may be expected to share information about a child, for example when abuse is alleged or suspected. In such cases, individuals have a duty to pass information on without delay, but only to those with designated child protection responsibilities.

Staff are expected to treat any information they receive about young people in a discreet and sensitive manner.  If a member of staff is in any doubt about whether to share information or keep it confidential he or she should seek guidance from a senior member of staff.  

The storing and processing of personal information about young people is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998.

The HMG booklet "What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused" contains further guidance on sharing information to protect children.

Section 6 - Ethical conduct in Summer Camps

Camp Crusoe expects staff to adhere to and uphold the highest standards of professional conduct. Below is a summary of the statement of principles of ethical conduct for youth work, from the National Youth Agency. Practitioners are advised to read the full document.

Ethical principles:

All staff working with children have a commitment to:

  • Treat young people with respect, valuing each individual and avoiding negative discrimination.

  • Respect and promote young people’s rights to make their own decisions and choices, unless the welfare or legitimate interests of themselves or others are seriously threatened.

  • Promote and ensure the welfare and safety of young people, while permitting them to learn through undertaking challenging educational activities.

  • Contribute towards the promotion of social justice for young people and in society generally, through encouraging respect for difference and diversity and challenging discrimination.

  • All working with young people must commit to adhering to the boundaries between personal and professional life and be aware of the need to balance a caring and supportive relationship with young people with appropriate professional distance.

  • Being accountable to young people, their parents or guardians, colleagues, funders, wider society and others with a relevant interest in the work, and that these accountabilities may be in conflict.

  • Develop and maintain the required skills and competence to do the job.

Section 7 - Child Sexual Exploitation

The nature of child sexual exploitation is that it is a course of conduct rather than an isolated incident leading to a series of serious sexual and other offences. It is best described as a process of involving children in sexual activities through means such as deceit, manipulation, coercion, use of violence and threats of force with cumulative effect on children, families, social systems and the community as a whole.  The sexual exploitation of children and young people is child abuse.

The National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People define child sexual exploitation as follows:

The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of performing, and/or others performing on them, sexual activities.  

Child sexual exploitation can occur through use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition, for example the persuasion to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones with no immediate payment or gain. In all cases those exploiting the child have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.

Grooming is an action deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the intention to sexually abuse them.  

Grooming is a carefully planned process with the aim of controlling a young person, to ensure that they do exactly what the perpetrator wants. Initially, a young person may receive gifts and be showered with attention and affection, but this may later turn to blackmail, threats of violence or actual violence.

Perpetrators can be male or female from any background, any age group and any ethnicity. Often, perpetrators are well-liked, articulate and plausible. Sexual exploitation can also happen between young people and within peer groups.

Warning signs: The process of grooming affects young people in different ways. It is not easy to recognise the signs because many could be regarded as ‘normal’ behaviour. The following list of warning signs is not exhaustive but if you spot them it could indicate that a young person is at risk of sexual exploitation.

Low level indicators include: overtly sexualised dress; going missing; unaccounted-for monies or goods; associating with unknown adults; experimenting with drugs and alcohol; reduced contact with family & friends; poor self-image;

Medium level indicators include: getting into cars with unknown adults; disclosure of sexual assault which is then withdrawn; having a much older boyfriend/girlfriend; staying out overnight without reasonable explanation; self-harming;

High level indicators include: serious self-harming; being taken to clubs and hotels by adults; chronic alcohol or drug use; removed from a known ‘red light’ district; abduction; disclosure of serious sexual assault which is then withdrawn.

What to do if you are concerned that a young person is being sexually exploited: Given that child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse, any staff member with concerns that a young person is being exploited should follow the procedures laid out in section 13 of this document.

Section 8 - Safeguarding from extremism and radicalisation

Extremism is defined as vocal or active opposition to fundamental UK values. Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.

As with sexual exploitation, radicalisation is a process of encouraging violent or harmful behaviour through means such as deceit, manipulation, coercion, propaganda and threats. This is often done through grooming techniques, often online, and (as with sexual exploitation) can occur without the individual’s immediate recognition, starting with befriending and  persuading to become involved in religious or political groups opposing government policy. Safeguarding people from radicalisation is no different from safeguarding them from other forms of harm.

What to do if you are concerned that someone is being radicalised: If you have any concerns about someone in relation to extremism or radicalisation you should follow the guidelines set out in section 13 of this document.

Section 9 - Use of Reasonable Force

Camp Crusoe’s policy is not to use physical force against young people if at all possible, except as a last resort in order to discharge a duty of care.  It is recognised that in certain circumstances - such as to prevent young people from hurting themselves or others - the use of reasonable force on the part of staff may be justified as an act of care and control.

For any form of physical intervention to be justified, there must be a risk of injury or damage likely in the predictable future, and immediate action deemed necessary. All members of staff have a legal power to use reasonable force to protect others and themselves. Any incidents where staff have used a physical intervention should be followed up with an interview with the young person, and also documented on an Incident Form.

What is reasonable force? The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by most front-line staff at some point in their career that involve a degree of physical contact with young people. This can range from guiding a young person to safety by the arm through to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a young person needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury.

‘Reasonable in the circumstances’ means using no more force than is needed. As mentioned above, control means either passive physical contact, such as standing between young people or blocking a person’s path, or active physical contact such as leading a young person by the arm out of a room. Restraint means to hold back physically or to bring a young person under control. It is typically used in more extreme circumstances, for example when two young people are fighting and refuse to separate without physical intervention. Staff should always try to avoid acting in a way that might cause injury, but in extreme cases it may not always be possible to avoid injuring the young person.

All members of staff have a legal power to use reasonable force (under Section 93 of the Education & Inspections Act 2006 and Section 550A of the Education Act 1996) and case-law. Reasonable force can be used to prevent young people from hurting themselves or others, from damaging property, or from causing disorder.

The decision on whether or not to physically intervene is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and should always depend on the individual circumstances.

Principles: Staff must ensure that they do not use any form of physical force that may be construed as “assault” to control anyone. The only exception to this is in the use of physical contact to prevent an immediate danger of significant physical injury to, or the damage to the property of, any person.

Instances of staff using force will always be investigated. Staff who use force in a way that conforms to this policy will have the Camp Crusoe’s support. Staff who use force in a way not conforming to this policy may be subject to disciplinary action and in some cases the matter will be referred to the Police, with criminal proceedings a possibility.

There will be occasions where damage to property may be deemed preferable to the application of physical force as a preventative measure. However, staff should give consideration to the nature of the property in question and whether its damage may place any person at risk of injury or lead to criminal proceedings.

Section 10 - Accommodation Security

Camp Crusoe will ensure an appropriate level of security in accommodation used by young people. Normally this will mean that doors and windows can be secured, and that a telephone is provided to contact the emergency services and duty staff.  Keys and door codes should only be issued to relevant staff and are a primary security measure.  Every effort should be made to keep these keys and codes secure.  Staff who become aware that door codes have become known to unauthorised persons should ensure that managers are made aware, so that codes can be changed. Whilst it accepted that some codes may be written down for ease of reference, this practice should be kept to a minimum; and particular care should be taken where annotated lists are prepared which identify buildings and codes.  Loss or disclosure of codes and keys is a serious matter, and should be reported to a manager immediately.

Staff will endeavour to keep children safe by adhering to any local policies and procedures, for instance, sharing information appropriately through information sharing protocols; staff should challenge any strangers who are seen in the vicinity of campers in the residential and community settings (in the community setting it may be more appropriate to make more discreet enquiries).

Section 11 – Contractors

In situations where contractors (examples: plumbers, electricians, builders etc.) are required to engage in planned or emergency work on premises where young people are residing, the following applies: Contractors should be made aware of the nature of our work with young people, and should be asked to make reasonable adjustments to their working practices to minimise risk to themselves, to campers, to staff and the public (e.g. securing tools, plant and materials). There should be no interaction between contractors and/or their equipment and campers, however is this is required then a member of staff must supervise. Any contractors required to work on the premises during camp will be vetted and supervised by Longtown Outdoor Education Centre staff.

In an emergency, it is accepted that contractors and others may need to have access to occupied accommodation.  In this instance, young people should be supervised by appropriate staff.

Section 12 – Recruitment

All Camp Crusoe recruiting comprises a face-to-face interview that explores attitudes, motivation, temperament and personal qualities as well as skills and experience relevant to the role. All offers of work, both paid and voluntary,  are made conditional to satisfactory references and a DBS check at either standard or enhanced level depending on the nature and responsibilities of posts. References are obtained for all candidates before confirming an interview. Referees are selected carefully by Camp Crusoe in order to acquire information on the individual’s appropriateness to the role they have applied for. Referees are also specifically asked if the individual is suited to work for an organisation that works with young people. Information is obtained in writing and kept confidentially. All volunteers/staff/workers are subject to a DBS check at the relevant level. For all staff working directly with young people, this will be at the enhanced level. Candidates must provide appropriate proof of identity and their right to work in the UK before appointment is confirmed. Employment status may require passport verification, or EU identity document, and/or National Insurance number. If it is necessary for someone to start work at short notice, before checks are completed, a risk assessment is carried out, documented, and kept confidentially. Until their DBS disclosure is received by Camp Crusoe, the individual is supervised by a DBS-checked member of staff.

All staff/workers will be made aware of Camp Crusoe’s safeguarding policy and procedures, and their obligations regarding child protection, as part of their induction.  Staff with face-to-face access to young people will receive additional ongoing training as appropriate. In the event of any child protection incidents, the Designated Child Protection Officer is responsible for keeping the relevant records in a confidential manner.

13 – Response to key safeguarding incidents

If you see or suspect abuse, an allegation of abuse is  made, a child or vulnerable adult reports abuse or if you in any way are concerned about the safety of a child of vulnerable adult then this is the required response:

  • If needed to protect the child in question, ensure removal from immediate harm or call 999 if police assistance is required.

  • Inform them that you will have to involve a manager and that you cannot guarantee confidentiality

  • Inform DCPO as soon as possible.

  • DCPO or deputy will initiate various actions including:

    • Ensuring continued immediate safety of child.

    • Contact local Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

    • If MASH team unavailable, contact the Emergency Duty Team.

    • Involvement of local police where required.

    • Parental/guardian communication & involvement.

    • Only the DCPO may handle media.

    • All actions by all involved require to be recorded: names of those informed, times of contact, information communicated, actions to be taken, actions taken.


APPENDIX A: EXTERNAL CONTACT DETAILS FOR SAFEGUARDING ISSUES

In an emergency call the Police on 999 making it clear you have a Child Protection issue. Alternatively use the 101 service.

Herefordshire MASH Team: 01432 260800

Herefordshire Council Emergency Duty Team: 01905 768020

Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board: 01432 260100