Child Protection Issues

As residential staff on a young person’s holiday we have a clear duty of care to them and a legal responsibility that goes beyond simply being a youth leader or teacher.

  • Actions, reactions, gestures and conversations can all be easily misunderstood by vulnerable young people.

  • Being equally responsive to all guests is the best way to avoid misunderstanding or development of dependent relationships.

  • If you are at all unsure about how a young person is interpreting your interaction with them, ask an experienced staff member to come in on activities where you find yourself with that particular guest.

  • If you have any cause for being suspicious regarding a young person’s safety or well-being on the holiday or at home, speak to the House parents about it. Do not promise them confidentiality, and be prepared to write down, dated and verbatim, anything they tell you. Do not ask further leading questions, simply record what they report to you.

  • Try not to ignore a suspicion on the basis of “What if I am wrong?” Think about the possible consequences for them if you ignore it, i.e. ask yourself “What if I am right?”

Staff Guidelines

We need to follow best practice and comply with recent legislation applicable to our work. Therefore, please read and comply with the guidelines given below:

  1. We will do all in our power to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all guests on the holiday.

  2. We will carry out a Risk Assessment for any activity we are responsible for, and make sure other leaders and guests are aware of the risks to safety and how to minimise their effects.

  3. We will ensure that seat belts are used when travelling in a vehicle in which they are fitted.

  4. We will be aware of our relationships with guests, to prevent exclusivity or the fostering of wrong impressions or expectations.

  5. We will not enter rooms of guests of the opposite sex.

  6. We should avoid speaking ‘in depth’ with guests of either sex on our own or in a separate room to others.

  7. Particularly at night, staff should be aware of possible allegations of misconduct, however unfounded they may be, and always have another member of staff present.

  8. Your direct line of responsibility for any incident of disclosure of information you consider to be even vaguely sensitive should, in all cases, be the House parents. Immediate action should then be taken to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of any guests. House parents will refer any such information to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

  9. We will recognise the authority of the House parents in their leadership role for the Holiday week

  10. The trustees appoint a Designated Safeguarding Lead, currently Phil Wildsmith, who is either present on the holiday or within phone contact if a serious allegation is made or a disclosure of abuse is received. The DSL will handle any further actions in close consultation with the Trustees. All adults have a right to refer a case to social services if they feel the young person is not being protected and may also contact the Police directly if there is an immediate risk of harm to any young person.