Children and vulnerable adults protection policy
Petersfield Community Radio is a community radio project run by volunteers. Our project is active within the premises of local schools and with children and vulnerable adults in other locations. While we are a separate entity, we must respect the policies of the schools in whose premises we operate.
This guide has been prepared in consultation with the local schools and their procedures. We are committed to practice which protects young and vulnerable people from harm. Management and volunteers in this organisation accept and recognise it is our duty to understand, avoid and report problems which could lead to such people being harmed.
The policy and procedures set out in this guide apply to all children and young people regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or religion. All adults and volunteers will receive an electronic copy of the guide, which will form part of their induction and training.
It is mandatory that you read the guidance. Failure to do so may result in action being taken to stop your involvement in PCR.
Some volunteers may also be required to sign a confidential declaration and apply for and receive a satisfactory enhanced disclosure from the CRB before commencing certain activities with us.
It is mandatory for all volunteers to read the following guidance published by the Department for Education:
Keeping Children Safe in Education
Government guidance, published September 2018
Working together to Safeguard Children
A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard children
The designated people responsible for Child & Vulnerable Adult Protection are Stephen Martin and Dave Bowers.
Children connected to our project are highly likely to be from one of the schools we partner. Each has its own Designated Safeguarding Lead who should be informed if you suspect any risk to any child from their school
Responding to an allegation of abuse
- Stay calm.
- Listen carefully to what is said.
- Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others. Do not promise to keep secrets.
- Allow the child to continue at her/his own pace.
- Do not question any child; listen to what they say but do not attempt to initiate any local investigation.
- Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you.
- Tell them what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared.
- Record in writing what was said, using the child’s own words as soon as possible – note date, time, any names mentioned, to whom the information was given and ensure that the record is signed and dated.
- Immediately report concerns to the Designated People. Designated people are local school representatives / teachers and/or directors / volunteers with enhanced disclosure and barring checks and concerns regarding the welfare of children should be referred to these leads.
In the case of a suspected emergency where a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, you should call the Police immediately on 999.
Try to establish some basic facts. It will be the role of social workers and the police to investigate cases and make a judgement on whether there should be a statutory investigation and / or a criminal investigation.
Hampshire Social Services
0300 555 1384 0830 – 1700 Monday-Friday
0300 555 1373 at other times
Children and Vulnerable Adults: Code of Conduct
- treat all children and young and vulnerable people with respect
- provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow
- ensure that whenever possible there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people, or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others
- respect individual rights to personal privacy and encourage everyone involved with PCR to feel secure enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like
- remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned
- be aware that physical contact with a child or young person may be misinterpreted
- recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people
- operate within PCR’s principles and guidance and any particular procedures
- challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations or suspicions of abuse
- give guidance and support to inexperienced helpers
You must not:
- have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children or young people
- allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour or make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children or young people
- jump to conclusions about others without checking facts
- either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues
- show favouritism to any individual
- rely on your good name or that of PCR to protect you
- take a chance when common sense, policy or practice suggests another more prudent approach
Supervision of children
- Adult supervisors must be satisfied that those volunteers and adults who undertake studio supervision are fully competent to do so.
- Children must be supervised at all times, preferably by two or more adults.
- Children must not be left unsupervised at any venue.
- Adult supervisors should know at all times where children are and what they are doing.
- Any activity using potentially dangerous equipment should have constant adult supervision.
- Dangerous behaviour by children should not be allowed.
Bullying will not be accepted. All forms of bullying will be addressed.
Bullying can include: offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour; an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
Bullying or harassment may be by an individual against an individual (perhaps by someone in a position of authority such as a manager or supervisor) or involve groups of people. It may be obvious or it may be insidious. Whatever form it takes, it is unwarranted and unwelcome to the individual.
Examples of bullying/harassing behaviour include:
- spreading malicious rumours, or insulting someone by word or behaviour (particularly on the grounds of race, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief)
- copying or sharing messages that are critical about someone to others who do not need to know
- ridiculing or demeaning someone – picking on them or setting them up to fail
- exclusion or victimisation
- unfair treatment
- overbearing supervision or other misuse of power or position
- unwelcome sexual advances – touching, standing too close, the display of offensive materials
- making threats or comments about job security without foundation
- deliberately undermining a competent person by overloading and constant criticism
- preventing individuals progressing by intentionally blocking development or training opportunities.
Bullying and harassment are not necessarily face to face. They may also occur in written communications, electronic messages, phone, and automatic measurement methods such as computer recording of activity if these are not applied to all.
Bullying and harassment make someone feel anxious and humiliated. Feelings of anger and frustration at being unable to cope may be triggered. Some people may try to retaliate in some way. Others may become frightened and de-motivated.
Stress, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem caused by harassment or bullying can lead to insecurity, illness, absence, and even resignation. Performance is affected and interpersonal relations suffer.
Be aware that children from ethnic minorities, disabled children, young people who are gay or lesbian or those with learning difficulties are more vulnerable to this form of abuse.
Where a child is found to be exhibiting sexually harmful behaviour to another child, it is important to involve the child protection social work team as soon as possible.
- Everybody has the responsibility to work together to stop bullying – the individual, the parent/carer, volunteers and members of the local community.
- Children should be encouraged and supported to take a role in stopping bullying in their community.
- Policy and practice should be reviewed regularly in the light of changing needs and changes adopted by the expert agencies.
Support to a child or vulnerable adult
- Individuals should know who will listen to and support them.
- Any advice and assistance should be given by an appropriately trained and experienced volunteer.
- Children should have access to helpline numbers.
- Individuals should be told what is being recorded about them, in what context and why.
- Services should be established to enable children and others to have access to a safe adult to talk about bullying or any other issue that affects them. These adults need to be trained in listening skills, particularly in counselling. They must also know the limits of their confidentiality and understand the nature of consent.
- Anyone who reports an incident of bullying will be listened to carefully and will be supported, whether it is the individual being bullied or who is accused of bullying.
- Any reported incident of bullying will be investigated objectively and will involve listening carefully to all those involved.
- Children or adults being bullied will be supported and assistance given to uphold their right to learn, develop and play in a safe environment which allows them to reach their potential.
- Those who bully will be supported and encouraged to stop bullying. It should be recognised that the bully may well be a victim as well as the bullied.
- Sanctions involving long periods of isolation, or which diminish and make individuals look or feel foolish in front of others, should be avoided.
Support to parents or carers
Parents will be advised on local policy and practice about bullying by the posting of this policy at petersfieldradio.uk
For more information on the local policies of the schools, please visit the following websites:
The Petersfield School
Ditcham Park School
Any incident of bullying will be discussed with the individual’s parent(s) or carer.
Parental advice on action will be sought and agreements made as to what action should be taken when a child’s bullying behaviour is not responding to approaches within the organisation.
Information and advice on coping with bullying behaviour should be made available to all parents/carers.
Support should be offered to the parent(s) or carer(s), including information on other agencies or support lines.
Protecting children online
The best safeguard is adult supervision.
PCR is unable to monitor and supervise children’s use of the internet. PCR encourages its educational partner organisations and parents / guardians of child volunteers to monitor and supervise children’s use of the internet.
Filters and mechanisms to block access, such as setting different levels of access, should be explored.
PCR will provide children with tips for safeguarding themselves when using the internet as follows:
- Never give out any personal information such as surname, address, telephone number or email address.
- Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with anyone.
- Realise that people can lie over the Internet and may not be who they say they are.
- Become computer literate.
- Never post photographs on the Internet that could identify a young person.
- Immediately exit any chat room or shut down from a site that has obscene or suggestive messages and report it to a supervisor immediately.
- No material should be privately downloaded from the internet.
This policy will be updated from time to time as necessary and will be reviewed annually in September.