Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults

Wednesday 28th January 2009

 

Introduction

 
The Halifax Aachen Society recognises that it must take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults with whom the Society comes into contact through its programme of activities.
 
 
 
Activities
The Activities of the Society normally consist of -
ª monthly meetings
ª an exchange trip to Aachen every two years
ª welcoming an exchange trip from Aachen every two years (in between the Halifax exchange trips to Aachen)
ª taking part in community events such as Calderdale Neighbours Day
ª occasional fund-raising activities such as Coffee Mornings, coach trips and organised lunches.
In 2009 additional special events will be organised to celebrate 60 years of links between Halifax and Aachen.
 
 
 
Approach to Safeguarding
 
a) Risk Assessment
Before starting any event, visit or other activity involving children, young people or vulnerable adults, a risk assessment will be arranged by the Society Committee. The Risk Assessment will aim to identify and remove any potential risks. At least one person with a current CRB check will be involved in the Risk Assessment preparation.
 
b) Dealing with Suspicions or Allegations of Abuse
Concerns for the safety and well being of children, young persons or vulnerable adults could arise in a variety of ways and in a range of different settings. For example, a child may report or display signs of abuse; someone may hint that a child is at risk or that a member of the Society is an abuser; an individual may witness or hear about abuse in another organisation. We will endeavour to act quickly in all cases of suspected abuse.
Any allegation by a child, young person or vulnerable adult against a member of the Society should be reported immediately to the Chair who in consultation with another Committee member will take appropriate action, having consulted an appropriately qualified independent person/body.
 
c) Code of Practice
Members of the Society are to be provided with a copy of the Code of Practice and made aware of its contents and the responsibilities it requires of them.
 
 
CODE OF PRACTICE
þ Avoid unnecessary physical contact.
þ Avoid taking a child, young person or vulnerable adult alone in a vehicle on journeys, however short.
þ Unless circumstances make it impossible to comply, do not take a child or vulnerable adult to the toilet unless either (a) another adult is present or (b) another adult is aware (this may include a parent).
þ If you find you are in a situation where you are alone with a child, young person or vulnerable adult, wherever practicable make sure that others can clearly observe you.
þ Avoid close personal relationships with a child, young person or vulnerable adult in relation to whom you are in a position of trust.
þ Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child, young person or vulnerable adult, even in fun, as this could be misinterpreted.
þ If a child, young person or vulnerable adult accuses a member of the Society of abuse or inappropriate behaviour, you should report this immediately to the Chair, or in the case that the accusation relates to the Chair, you should report the matter to another member of the Committee.
þ If you are the recipient of any complaint or accusation from a child, young person or vulnerable adult, it is important to listen without making or implying any judgement as to the truth of the complaint or accusation.
þ If a child, young person or vulnerable adult makes a complaint, or if there are other reasons for suspecting abuse, you should not attempt to investigate this yourself, but should report your concerns to the Chair.
þ If the Chair is made aware of an allegation, he/she will take advice from an independent qualified person on the action that should be taken.
þ Remember that those who abuse children, young people and vulnerable adults can be of any age (even other children and vulnerable adults), gender, ethnic background or class, and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people to prevent appropriate action taking place.
þ Good practice includes valuing and respecting children, young people and vulnerable adults as individuals, and the adult modelling of appropriate conduct - which would exclude bullying, aggressive behaviour and discrimination in any form.
þ Those dealing with any allegations of abuse or misconduct should adhere to the principles set out in the policy. Any information received should be acted upon sensitively, effectively and efficiently. Wherever possible, those making allegations should be given information about the outcome.
þ If children, young people or vulnerable adults are part of an exchange group visit it will be made clear to their parents or guardians that they should at all times be in the care of a family member or guardian to whom responsibility has been granted for the trip.
 

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