Child Protection Policy
Children Protection involves:
- The identifying of signs of abuse from third parties (e.g. parents, guardians or other minors) within children on activities with the company.
- Ensuring abuse does not take place directly and/or willingly by instructors e.g. bullying or over insistence that someone completes an activity for which they are physically or mentally not capable of completing.
- Or directly by the nature of the activities or e.g. adverse weather conditions, extremes of temperatures or physical hazards.
- Ensuring abuse does not take place indirectly by instructors allowing third party abuse to continue where suspected.
- Laying down procedures for dealing correctly with signs of abuse.
Children are defined as anyone under the age of eighteen
This can involve:
Children who have been persistently or severely neglected or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger. This would include exposing a child to extreme cold or starvation or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care resulting in the significant impairment of the child’s health or development.
Children where the nature of the actual or likely injury is not consistent with the account of how it occurred or where there is definite knowledge or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted (or knowingly not prevented) by any person.
Physical injury may include deliberate poisoning, attempted drowning or suffocation, Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy and accidents, which have occurred when a child has been left unattended or inadequately supervised.
Sexual abuse is actual or likely exploitation of a child or adolescent under 18 by any person. This would include any form of sexual activity to which the child cannot give a true consent either by law or because of ignorance, dependence, development immaturity or fear. (NB This does not include young women of 16 years of age and over who are willing & able to give a true consent unless the sexual activity includes parent or carer.
Actual or likely severe adverse effect on the emotional or behavioural development of a child under the age of 18 years, caused by persistent or severe emotional ill treatment.
(All child abuse involves some emotional ill treatment. This category should be used where it is the main or sole form of abuse)
Call of the Wild is committed to minimising child abuse and follows good practice for child protection as covered by the Children Act 1989. The local address for the Child Protection Committee and Social Services is:
We ensure awareness by our staff and freelance instructors through briefings and advise as appropriate. Training is given to instructors for their appropriate activity on the safest approaches and ways of running the activity to ensure opportunities for false claims of child abuse are minimised (e.g. harness fitting), signs of third party abuse can be recognised and no undue stress is caused during an activity.
All signs of abuse are recorded and forwarded to the appropriate authority. Abuse can fall into two classes for reporting purposes. Signs of abuse from outside Call of the Wild staff and abuse caused by employees of the company.
Procedures for Reporting
Signs of abuse by third parties
Completed confidential form by instructor or suspicious party (see form below) Local area Child protection unit identified Report forwarded to this body Call of the Wild directors to assess any learning points gained to be incorporated in any in house training.
Signs of abuse by Call of the Wild Employees
If accusation comes directly from child ensure teacher, guardian, carer, parent or other responsible third party adult is present.
Written evidence should be collected from the employee about the incident, after advising the employee this evidence will be made available to social services or the police if necessary
Instructor or employee suspended until matter resolved.
Teacher, Youth Leader etc should decide on any immediate action, which should include written evidence from the child or adult witness if appropriate.
All reports are to be taken seriously
Prevention of claims of Child Abuse by instructors & employees
Employees should never be left alone with children of the opposite sex. Male & Female instructors should both be employed where possible or confirmation should be had that a female teacher will be present if a male instructor is solely employed & vice versa. Care should be taken in fitting clothing & equipment, where possible a demonstration should be done by the instructor in front of the group & then each member fits their own equipment helped by friends of the same sex. A teacher or responsible adult of the same sex should be asked to assist where necessary e.g. to fit a climbing harness.
During any overnight camp staff should be kept separate from children although close enough to offer assistance in an emergency.
After wet activities when changing clothes or for toilet breaks discrete, private areas should be allocated by instructors for each sex.
Any history of child abuse should be disclosed by the visiting staff to instructors before commencing an activity.
Instructors & employees are advised to show no preference to any particular child or to act in any way which could cause suspicion by third parties or be conceived as abuse by a child References should be taken up on staff at all times Any gaps in employment dates on CV should be investigated .