SAFEGUARDING POLICY

Last updated 12/01/2019

Introduction

All personnel working or helping within The Adventure Element Ltd. must ensure that:

  1. The welfare of the child or vulnerable adult is paramount;All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse;
  2. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;
  3. All staff (paid/unpaid) have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer. (Note: Staff/volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.)
  4. All staff are aware that Ben Keen is the proprietor of The Adventure Element Ltd. is the Nominated Child Protection Officer, and can be contacted on 07793288647 or 01768 800212

Policy aims

The aim of the The Adventure Element Ltd. Safeguarding Policy is to promote good practice:

  • Providing children, young people and vulnerable adults with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of The Adventure Element Ltd.
  • Allowing all staff /volunteers to make informed decisions and give confident responses to specific issues.

Definitions

  • A Child is defined as an individual under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).
  • A vulnerable adult is “A person who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation”

Good Practice Guidelines for The Adventure Element Ltd Instructors

The Adventure Element Ltd. has a duty of care to safeguard from harm all children or vulnerable adults involved in any of our events and activities. All children and vulnerable adults have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. The Adventure Element Ltd. will ensure the safety and protection of all children and vulnerable adults involved in our activities and events through adherence to these Safeguarding guidelines.

All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behavior in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.

  • Avoid situations where you are alone with one child/vulnerable adult.If any form of physical support/contact is required ask the participants’ permission, explain what you are doing and why to both the child/vulnerable adult and their parents/carers or teachers.
  • Where possible ask parents/carers or teachers to be responsible for children/vulnerable adults in changing rooms. Always ensure that whoever supervises young people work in pairs.
  • Don’t allow physically rough or sexually provocative games, or inappropriate talking or touching. Conduct yourself in a professional manner.
  • If it’s necessary to do things of a personal nature for children/vulnerable adult, make sure you have another adult accompanying you. Get the consent of the parent/carer and if possible the child/vulnerable adult. Let them know what you are doing and why.
  • If visiting staff, e.g. school teachers, are available and present, any allegations should be reported to them and the visiting organisations policies should be put in to action.
  • Ensure that any claims of abuse by a child/vulnerable adult are taken seriously and that it is dealt with by people who know what to do. If you need urgent advice contact the NSPCC Child Protection 24 hour Help Line. 0808 800 5000.
  • Always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets).
  • Treat all young people/disabled adults with respect and dignity.
  • Build relationships based on mutual trust, which empowers children to share in 
  • Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of young people with and without disabilities – avoiding excessive physical activity or competition and not pushing them against their will.
  • Secure parental consent in writing for the child’s participation, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment.
  • Keeping a written record of any incident or accident that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
  • For unaccompanied walking groups, such as DofE expeditions, it is recommended that mobile phone numbers are exchanged for emergency use only. Any such use must be carefully recorded by the instructor/supervisor in the expedition log and returned to The Adventure Element Ltd. No other communication by phone/text/email etc. is permitted between children and adults working for The Adventure Element Ltd.
  • Follow guidelines within The Adventure Element Ltd ‘DofE Open Expeditions: Code of Practice for Sleeping Arrangements’. Appendix 1.
  • Ensure that during residential events, adults should avoid entering children’s bedrooms and should never invite children into their private rooms.
  • These guidelines have been compiled with reference to both the BCU and BMC policies on protecting Young People and Vulnerable Adults. All The Adventure Element Ltd. Instructors are encouraged to read both of these policies in order to protect all participants, instructors and other parties such as teachers or assistants. These policies are available to read at www.bcu.org.uk/ and www.thebmc.co.uk/

Incidents that must be reported/recorded

If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the company or to another colleague and record the incident. It may also be appropriate to ensure the parents of the child are informed:

  • If you accidentally hurt a child or vulnerable adultIf he/she seems distressed in any manner
  • If a child or vulnerable adult appears to be sexually aroused by your actions
  • If a child or vulnerable adult misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.

Use of photographic/filming and digital imaging equipment

All staff should be vigilant to ensure that outdoor activity events are not used as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled people in vulnerable positions, and any concerns should be reported to the company and the Nominated Child Protection Officer.

Images of Children will only be taken and used with the written permission of their parent / guardian.

Participants with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

The Adventure Element Ltd positively encourages the participation of group members with disabilities and special educational needs. We aim to do this by close consultation with party organisers and/or individuals themselves to enable us to provide a challenging, rewarding and safe outdoor experience for all participants.

The information received prior to the running of the course allows us to use staff with experience of working with people with disabilities and special educational needs. The information allows us to programme suitable activities at appropriate venues, arrange for the use of aids or other specialist equipment and adjust staff: student ratios accordingly.

Recruitment and Training of Staff and Volunteers

The Adventure Element Ltd. recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children or vulnerable adults in some way and that reasonable steps should be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Recruitment

All ‘The Adventure Element’ staff are employed on a freelance basis. As part of the recruitment process all staff will:

  • Have been personally recommended by an existing member of “The Adventure Element’ freelance staff.
  • Have an extensive amount of experience of working the outdoors and with the type of client for which they are employed to work with.
  • Hold the relevant qualification for the work they are being employed to carry out.
  • Undergo a telephone or in-person interview with the Managing Director – Ben Keen.

Induction

All associates (and volunteers) should receive formal or informal induction, during which:

  • Their qualifications should be substantiated.
  • Our requirements and their responsibilities should be clarified.
  • They should agree to work within the organisation’s Health & Safety Policy and this Safeguarding Policy in which procedures are explained.

Training

In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes raising awareness through discussion to help staff and volunteers to:

  • Analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to ensure their practice is likely to protect them from false allegations.
  • Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse.
  • Respond to concerns expressed by a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
  • Work safely and effectively with children or vulnerable adult.

The Adventure Element Ltd requires that:

  • All associates read the advisory information herein outlining good practice and informing them about what to do if they have concerns about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person or one young person to another.
  • All Instructors are to be first aid practitioners.
  • All instructors working for The Adventure Element Ltd should hold a current (with in 3 years) Enhanced CRB/DBS certificates and ideally have subscribed to the update scheme.

Appendix 1

DofE OPEN EXPEDITIONS: CODE OF PRACTICE FOR SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS

The Adventure Element Ltd will:

Make all parties aware (e.g. participants and the parents / guardians of under 18’s) that their expedition is open to, and may therefore include 16-25 year olds.

Sleeping arrangements when camping:

  • Participants will only ever share and sleep in same sex tents.
  • 2-person tents will be shared and occupied by either under 18s or over 18's.
  • Where this is not practicable, a 3-person tent will be used so that under 18s are not sharing a tent alone with an over 18, or;
  • Where this is not possible, participants will be offered the option of occupying a single tent.*
  • Instructors will never share or occupy the same tent as participants.

*Arrangements will be made to support any individual sleeping in a single tent, with the carrying of the additional equipment that will be incurred.

Sleeping arrangements when staying in a hostel, or similar accommodation

Where practicable sole occupancy accommodation will be used. Where this is not practicable and shared use hostel accommodation is used, the following guidelines will be followed:

  • Participants will only ever share single sex rooms.
    Where possible The Adventure Element Ltd.’s participants will have sole-use of a room (i.e. not share with members of the public).
  • Wherever practicable, but always in the case of not having sole-use occupancy of rooms, rooms will be shared and occupied by either under 18s or over 18s.
  • Where this is not practicable, rooms will be occupied by no less than 3 individuals of the same sex.
  • The Adventure Element Instructors will never occupy the same room as participants.

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