The Friends of the Rydings Association (thereafter referred to as the association) seeks to comply with all procedures approved by Calderdale MBC. The association aims to provide a working environment for children which is safe from abuse and to which suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded.
Responsibilities of the association
In educational, social and recreational activities the association has a responsibility to:
- Inform children and young people involved with the association of their rights to be protected from abuse and for avenues of support if they have concerns about abuse.
- Provide child protection education to children and young people who are under the associations care wherever possible.
- Ensure that volunteers in their roles as tutors, mentors or voluntary helpers are aware of the associations policies related to risk of harm to children and young people and to the legislation related to child abuse.
- Ensure that persons in whatever capacity involved with the association are asked to disclose that they are not a prohibited person by completing a prohibited persons declaration.
As a voluntary organisation and employer, the association has a responsibility to:
- Make clear to applicants for voluntary or paid work that any employment is exempt from The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
- Ensure that all volunteers and employees are aware of their obligations to report suspected risk of harm and of the procedures for doing so.
- Ensure that all volunteers and employees are aware of the indicators of child abuse and neglect of children and young people.
- Provide support and training where appropriate for employees or volunteers to maintain professional standards related to staff relationships with children or young people and in the recognition and reporting of suspected risk.
- Advise employees and volunteers under investigation for alleged abuse or a child or young person of support services available to them.
- Ensure that employees and volunteers are treated fairly and that natural justice applies in situations where a decision is to be taken that could be detrimental to the rights, interests, or legitimate expectations of an individual.
- Conduct the Working with Children Check for new employees or volunteers working with children.
- Ask those seeking work with children on behalf of the association both volunteer and employee to disclose that they are not a prohibited person by completing a Prohibited Employment Declaration.
- Ask potential volunteers and employees to supply employment histories and two referees for assessment by the association.
- Report to the Ombudsman allegations or convictions relating to the abuse of children by volunteers or employees of the association.
- Investigate child abuse allegations and/or suspected risk of harm specifically related to actions of a volunteer or employee to ensure that appropriate action is taken on behalf of the association.
- Report to the police or social services the findings of any investigation or disciplinary procedure of a volunteer or employee for any aspect of child abuse.
The association also has a responsibility to:
- Prevent abuse by means of good practice by not allowing volunteers and employees to work in circumstances where their actions may be misconstrued.
- Identify abuse not only precipitated by its own volunteers or employees if this were the case but also report suspicions of abuse inflicted by parents or persons in a position of care.
- Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse which will be published in the associations guidelines.
- Respond appropriately to situations of disclosure by involving appropriate support agencies.
- Investigate in an appropriate manner changes in children’s behaviour or appearance that might suggest that a child is the subject of child abuse.
- In the case of suspected abuse to keep records in a confidential way compiling evidence of the workers concern and physical and emotional condition of the subject. – these to be accessible only to key personnel within the association except at a time when an investigation may require enhanced circulation.
Throughout the association would wish to support volunteers, employees, families and children within its care in order to develop a caring and trusting relationship with its clients and key workers. Where so ever abuse is suspected or actual the association will do everything within its power to ensure a professional outcome to the situation. Where abuse is suspected in the home the child or young person will continue to be welcomed to the association’s activity while investigations proceed. Where it is possible all confidential records will be shared with parents, volunteers or employees except where this might compromise the monitoring process.
The care and safety of the child must always be paramount and the association will do all in its power to work with the child/family and appropriate agencies.
Parents and Guardians, Volunteers and employees will be informed of the associations procedures through a published guide which will be made available to all persons involved with the association.