For a version of this document in A4 format, click here
REMINDER OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES of CHURCH WORKERS with CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
You should not
Invade a child’s privacy whilst washing or toileting.
Play rough physical or sexually provocative games.
Be sexually suggestive about or to a child or young person even in fun.
Touch a child inappropriately or obtrusively.
Scapegoat, ridicule or reject a child, young person or group.
Show favouritism to any one child, young person or group.
Allow a child or young person to involve you in excessive attention seeking that is overtly physical or sexual in nature.
Give lifts to children or young people on their own or on your own.
Share sleeping accommodation with young people.
Invite a young person to your home alone.
Permit abusive peer activities e.g. initiation ceremonies, ridiculing or bullying.
Allow unknown adults access to children. Visitors should always be accompanied by a known person.
Allow strangers to give children lifts.
Child abuse is harm of a very serious nature so that it is unlikely that any type of physical contact in the course of children and youth work could be misconstrued as abuse. One of the aims of the policy is for church groups to provide a warm, nurturing environment for children and young people whilst avoiding any inappropriate behaviour or the risk of allegations being made. All volunteers must work with or within sight of another adult.
If any activity, for example bell-ringing, requires physical contact make sure that the young person and their parents are aware of this and its nature.
There must be no physical punishment of any kind nor should any sanction ridicule or humiliate a child.
Avoid physically rough games.
Avoid unnecessary informal touching.
Avoid taking young children to the toilet, but when unavoidable make sure another adult is informed, or organise a toilet break for the whole group.
Young children may sometimes need comforting; make sure they are responded to warmly but with other adults around.
First aid should be administered with others around.
Very occasionally it may be necessary to restrain a child or young person who is harming himself or others. Use the least possible force and inform the parents as soon as possible. All such incidents should be recorded and the information give to the Parish Child Protection Representative.
All physical contact should be an appropriate response to the child’s needs not the needs of the adult. Colleagues must be prepared to support each other and act or speak out if they think any adult is behaving inappropriately.
TRANSPORTING CHILDREN BY PRIVATE CAR
Children and young people should not be transported in a private car without the prior written consent of their parents/carers. This also applies to giving lifts to and from a church activity.
All those who drive children on church-organised activities should be over 25 and should have held a full driving licence for over two years.
All cars that carry children should be comprehensively insured. The insured person should make sure that their insurance covers the giving of lifts during church activities. Insurance company should be informed that lifts may be given,
All cars that carry children should be considered to be clean and in a roadworthy condition.
All children must wear suitable seat belts. If there are no seat belts children should not be carried.
At no time should the number of children in a car exceed the usual passenger number. There must be a seat belt for every passenger.
If a child is known to have a disability or special need, consideration should be given whether to have a non-driving adult in the car. This adult should sit in the back, behind the driver, with the child in the seat beside him or /her.
Any driver who has an endorsement of 6 points or more on their licence should inform the Parish Child Protection Representative.
Any driver who has an “unspent” conviction for a drink driving offence or for Dangerous Driving or Racing on the Highway should not transport children.
There should be a non-driving adult escort as well as the driver. If in an emergency a driver has to transport one child on his or /her own, the child must sit in the back of the car.
To ensure that these guidelines are adhered to it would be appropriate to obtain a signed undertaking, covering the above issues, from those people who are prepared to transport children in their cars.
Drivers who are not children’s workers should be recruited for the task through the normal recruitment process.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Insurance, First Aid Kit and fire precautions should be checked. Carry out a Health and Safety Checklist in the Diocesan Handbook Page: 36
These are the recommended standards:
Meeting places should be warm, well lit and well ventilated. They should be kept clean and free of clutter. Electric sockets should be covered.
Toilets and hand basins should be easily available. Hygienic drying facilities should be provided. Roller towels should be avoided.
Ensure you have enough space available for the intended activity.
If food is regularly prepared for children on the premises, the facilities will need to be checked by the Environmental Health Officer and a Food Handling and Hygiene Certificate acquired. Children’s packed lunches should be kept refrigerated. Drinks should always be available.
Groups must have access to a phone in order to call for help if necessary.
Adults should be aware of the fire procedures. Fire extinguishers should be regularly checked and smoke detectors fitted throughout the premises. A fire drill should be carried out regularly.
No smoking should be permitted in the areas where there are children.
Alcohol must not be used by those who have children and young people in their care or at a time when their use could affect their care.
Unaccompanied children and young people should not walk to or from your premises along dark or badly lit paths.
A First Aid kit and accident book should be available on the premises. The contents of the First Aid Kit should be stored in a waterproof container and be clearly marked. Each group should designate one worker to check the contents at prescribed intervals. All staff and volunteer workers should be encouraged to have some First Aid knowledge and the parish should encourage access to First Aid training. A list of first aiders in the parish should be compiled and kept available. All accidents must be recorded in the accident book.
Welcome children and young people with special needs to the group. Try to make the premises, toilets and access suitable for people with disabilities. Ask the parent about how best to meet the child’s special needs, and do not see this as the responsibility only of the child’s parent. If premises are being designed or refurbished, take the opportunity to anticipate the possible special needs of future children and adults; advice is available.
For a version of this document in A4 format, click here