NEA, through its policy guidelines and procedures, takes appropriate responsibility for protecting children, young people and young adults from all physical, sexual and emotional harm. This forms part of a set of values and attitudes at the heart of its work, seeking to provide enjoyable and rewarding experiences for all involved at all times within a safe environment.
2. An adult is said to be in a ‘position of trust’ where someone over 18 has responsibility or authority in the life of someone under 18. An abuse of trust takes place should the older person exploit this relationship to intimidate, abuse or encourage the younger person to do things that are harmful or illegal. All adults working with young people attending NEA activities owe a duty of care to these young people. Leaders and helpers must work to the highest professional standards and agree to abide by this code of conduct at all times . in their relationships with young people. Leaders are adults who have an official ongoing role in running NEA activities, while helpers are those over 16, including adults, who assist in specific roles and activities. Opportunities for ongoing training and other ways of learning about safeguarding are offered to all leaders and helpers
3. In general, it is best practice to ensure that one is in a public place and there is another adult nearby when speaking with a young person one-to-one.
4. Should leaders and helpers witness or suspect any form of bullying they must intervene immediately and put a stop to it. Of particular concern should be cyberbullying, where information on mobile phones and the Internet is deliberately used to upset someone else. Many young people do not stop to consider how saying hurtful things online and passing on images can constitute bullying. They should be discouraged from leaving hurtful messages on social networking sites, sending the same message to that person’s peer group, sending ‘sexts’ with any sexual content, or from deliberately excluding a person from online groups.
5. Leaders and helpers should think about how they can encourage young people to keep themselves safe in the virtual world. They should perhaps think through their own use of such technologies, to ensure they are good role models in their use of the Internet, social networking sites, Twitter and mobile devices.
6. All situations, actions and language that may compromise an atmosphere of trust should be avoided.
7. Hence, all leaders and helpers must think carefully about taking risks with the safety of young people, including studiously avoiding all situations that could lead to difficulties, temptations or accusations of abuse.
8. To achieve this, due consideration must be given to accident prevention through a risk-benefit analysis of each activity, to risk assessments carried out in advance of outings and special events, and to gathering evidence that prove action has been taken to identify risks.
9. Parental consent must be given for all activities, with contact details, medical and dietary considerations readily available during the activities themselves. Regular checks must be carried out on all equipment. Every activity should be evaluated. Accidents or near misses should be reported and notes kept to enable this to be done. All fire safety regulations must be complied with assiduously.
10. A trained first aider should be present at all events, who will additionally be in charge of checking and refilling the first-aid box. Two persons should be present to administer first aid, if possible, and it should always be carried out in a public place.
11. On questions of possible abuse, leaders and helpers must be clear about what is appropriate and inappropriate physical contact, avoiding situations that can be misunderstood. Physical horseplay should be assiduously avoided, including contact games where there is a danger that actions can be misinterpreted.
12. All young people should be supervised at all times. Should a young person wish to speak exclusively with a leader or helper, or vice versa, this one-to-one conversation shall take place in a public place or in rooms designed so as to be open to view by others.
13. As regards off-site activities, there should always be at least two people present (two leaders or one leader and one helper). This should increase to three if there are over ten young people involved, four if over twenty, and so on.
14. A clear start and finish time will be given for all programmed activities so that parents and participants know when to arrive and are able to leave promptly.
15. When parents or guardians give their consent for young people to participate in activities, they should also give emergency contact details, relevant medical history and an outline of dietary requirements.
16. No personal details of young people, including photographs with identifiers such as first names and surnames, shall be published on websites or in publications. Other photographs of young people may be published only with the signed consent of parents and guardians.
17. With advances in technology, especially with mobile phones being able to record and transmit images, leaders and helpers must be extra vigilant to challenge any persons using such equipment without consent.
18. Leaders and helpers must also remain vigilant for alcohol, drug or substance abuse.
19.In the context of data protection, only the minimum of contact information will be kept while in membership and these are to be supplied by the parents or guardians. No mobile numbers of those under 16 will be retained by leaders and helpers without the parents’ or guardians’ consent.
20. Each leader and helper will be assigned a specific role during each activity organised by their centre. No one will have contact with young people who does not have a reason to be present.
21. Sleeping accommodation, shower and changing facilities for young people and helpers under 18 will always be separate from those for leaders and helpers over 18.
A full policy document for Safeguarding Young People with NEA’s detailed guidelines is available from the NEA office on request.
SAFEGUARDING YOUNG PEOPLE COORDINATORS
Anyone with concerns about issues regarding safeguarding young people should contact one of NEA’s coordinators. These are:
Dr Michael Delany
Mob: 07905 997 420
Mrs Margaret Hammond
Tel: 020 8518 6652