OBLIGATIONS OF STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS CONCERNING SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN
Parish Events and Activities when Children are involved
· All Parishioners are encouraged to read the Parish Professional Standards Document covering all aspects of the Parish’s role and responsibilities in regard to the care and safety of children and adults at risk. Also, all who register their WWCC with the Parish and are eligible for volunteering in the Parish, are required to complete the Parish Obligation concerning safeguarding.
· All volunteers in a child-related ministry require a current WWCC linked to the Parish and authorised by the Parish Safeguarding Officer.
· This document seeks to highlight awareness of the risks, when events or activities that involve children, are conducted.
Good Practice at the Start of an Event.
· Make a check of the physical environment to ensure that conditions are suitable for the event or activity and that no changes have occurred that require attention.
· The ground rules should be clearly stated. A description of the activities to be undertaken, any limitations on movement and the use of toilet facilities should be covered. Introduction of volunteers and a description of their roles should be included especially who should be approached if assistance is required.
· Care in the selection of volunteers in the recruitment, screening and ongoing professional learning of volunteers.
· Debriefing at the end of the event so that improvements can be undertaken.
· Clearly, leaders and coordinators exercise a duty of care on behalf of the Parish;
· to create an environment for children to be safe and to feel safe.
· to model and promote good models of behaviour, and
· to treat children with dignity and respect
· The physical environment should be free of all dangers.
· Care should be taken if lighted candles, hot drinks or breakable objects are involved.
· Cupboards should preferably be secured and if accessible, free of detergents and poisonous liquids.
· Chairs in stacks greater than three should be avoided.
· Physical activity close to windows should be controlled.
· Use of the toilets unsupervised always presents risks, especially of young children.
· Preschool children should be accompanied to the toilets by their parents or by a volunteer adult.
Two Adult Rule
· Wherever practical no fewer than two volunteers should always be present.
· The two volunteers should not be related and preferably one should be an adult.
· If you are taking a child home at the end of an activity, ensure that a parent/guardian has given prior consent (whether verbal or written) and that, as a general rule, you are not alone with the child.
Key Behavioural Issues
· Take care not to form inappropriate relationships including contact online via social media.
· The provision of tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs to a child is unacceptable,
· It is not appropriate to smoke or be under the influence while in the presence of children.
· As with any unlawful behaviour, any illegal activities conducted over the internet or using a computer should be reported to the appropriate authority.
· Do not touch the child in an inappropriate or unnecessary fashion.
· Corporal punishment is never acceptable.
· Favouritism to any particular child; for instance, through gifts or continually showing greater attention than is given to others should not occur.
· Do not swear or use offensive language.
· Avoid behaving or speaking in a manner that may embarrass or humiliate anyone.