Groups or organisations providing educational activities to children and young people should also refer to the DfE statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016)‘,
Policies and procedures provide the framework within which an organisation and its staff/volunteers operate. They define what an organisation does and how it does it. Clear policies and procedures support effective decision making, providing guidelines on what staff/volunteers can and cannot do, what decisions they can make and what activities are appropriate.
All organisations working with children and young people and/or their parents and carers should have robust policies and procedures which will help to ensure children are safe, workers know and understand their roles and responsibilities and how to respond appropriately if they have concerns about a child or young person’s safety or welfare.
What is Safeguarding?
“Safeguarding Children and Young People is Everyone’s Business”
Safeguarding is about managing a safe environment for children and young people to access. It combines an approach to safety that draws together both reactive and preventative approaches to the management of children’s safety and wellbeing.
Safeguarding is not about restricting activities. It is about taking a balanced approach to children and young people’s safety and protection. Any group that provides or organises activities for children and young people should be able to deal with situations when they arise, but also be able to take all reasonable steps to prevent, wherever possible, situations arising in the first place.
A Safeguarding system that is shared and used by everyone involved with the group will promote confidence and trust. More importantly it will help to act as a deterrent for those individuals who may wish to harm children and young people.
What Does a Safeguarding System Look Like?
Safeguarding goes beyond having a child protection policy in place. It is about a wider system of preventative measures that collectively help to ensure the safety and well-being of any child/young person during group activities.
Developing your Child Protection Policy
Child Protection policies and procedures are vital to help ensure concerns about a child/young person are addressed swiftly and in accordance with local guidelines. All individuals who work with children/young people should know what to do if they are concerned about a child. It is equally important that parents/carers’ and young people themselves are aware that a group or project addresses concerns about children’s safety and wellbeing.
Having a written policy makes it clear to everyone in your organisation what is expected from them and what are their safeguarding responsibilities.
A Child Protection Policy should be clear and to the point. It should consist of a series of brief statements about how your group or project aims to protect children from harm and promote their welfare. The policy needs to be accessible to staff/volunteers and children, young people and parents/carers. It is good practice to make this available on public notice boards in your setting.
To help organisations develop their own safeguarding policy Young Lives Bradford has created a safeguarding policy template with instructions on how to complete each section. This policy has been endorsed by Bradford Safeguarding Children Board and can be adapted for use in agencies:
Your safeguarding policy should be read alongside your other policies and procedures for your organisation. It is good practice to review policies and procedures on an annual basis to incorporate any changes to legislation and guidance where appropriate.
Safeguarding Audit Tool
Bradford Council has a duty under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 to ensure organisations they commission have adequate Safeguarding procedures in place. To demonstrate this groups applying for funding from Bradford Council will be asked to complete the provider audit tool. It is likely NHS commissioners will also be using the tool for commissioned groups.
Young Lives Bradford is encouraging all VCS organisations to use this tool as a check list for self-improvement and revision of their own safeguarding arrangements.
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Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Disclosure and barring checks is the name for what was previously known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks.
A DBS check should be included as part of your recruitment process. It helps your organisation to determine whether a person is a suitable candidate for a particular role by providing information about their criminal history.
DBS Eligibility checker
DBS have an eligibility tool which can be used to find out which roles or activities could be eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check.
The eligibility tool is not intended to act as legal advice and doesn’t cover every role. Before you submit an application for a DBS check you should also read the guidance provided by DBS. For further eligibility advice after using the tool and reading the guidance contact DBS.
To reduce the need for multiple DBS checks, once a DBS check has been applied for individuals can sign up to the DBS update service. This gives individuals a unique reference number which they can give to employers to check their certificate online to check if anything has changed since the original DBS check was done, Registration with the update service must done within 30 calendar days of the date of issue printed on the DBS certificate. Any new information or convictions after the date of the DBS check will be registered online with the certificate. More information.
Where to get DBS checks done locally?
The local umbrella body for DBS checks in the Bradford District is:
Keighley Volunteer Centre, 8 -10 North Street, Keighley, BD21 3SE
Tel: 01535 609506 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, search for companies that can do Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on behalf of your organisation here: Find a DBS umbrella company
Multi-agency working procedures
Ensuring agencies and professionals work effectively together is essential when working with children and young people. There are two sets of policies and procedures which underpin multi-agency working, both of which must be consulted when considering how to work with others to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and in developing your organisation’s policies and procedures.
For regional arrangements agreed across West Yorkshire refer to the West Yorkshire Consortium Procedures Manual and for local arrangements agreed for Bradford refer to the BSCB resources for Practioners/Professionals
West Yorkshire Consortium Procedures Manual
The West Yorkshire Consortium Procedures Manual is an invaluable resource for anyone responsible or involved in Safeguarding children. It contains a comprehensive overview of all local and national overarching guidance and resources relating to Safeguarding children protocols and procedures. The aim of this guidance is to help ensure agencies and professionals work effectively together when working with children and young people. The guidance applies to all agencies, statutory and non-statutory. This is a useful reference for groups when reviewing or developing their safeguarding procedures and guidance for their organisation.
Resources for practitioners/professionals
Where a local approach has been developed regarding a safeguarding issue in Bradford this is supported by local procedures which supplement those used across the region in the West Yorkshire Consortium procedures. These are outlined on the BSCB website in the section called Practioners/Professionals. These includes guidance for:
- Allegations Management and Safer Recruitment
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
- Early Help
These policies and procedures are frequently updated to ensure they meet emerging requirements and challenges. Young Lives Bradford will pick up latest developments in Safeguarding procedures and disseminate these via their weekly newsletter. To receive these visit our sign-up page and follow Young Lives Bradford on twitter @YLBradford
It is also adviseable groups register for updates to the West Yorkshire Procedures manual to receive details of any changes to the policies and procedures.
Other useful communications for Safeguarding updates:
- BSCB newsletter and BSCB twitter feed @bsafebradford
- NSPCC Safeguarding children newsletter – CASPER NEWS
Signs of Safety
Signs of Safety is the main framework Bradford District is using for managing children’s social care cases. Find out more about Signs of Safety.