The introduction of this Child Protection Policy should highlight the fact that Cheshire County Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (“Cheshire YFC”) is determined to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect those children (defined as under the age of 18) and young people who participate in the Cheshire YFC’s activities and social events from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect and bullying.
By the very nature of the Cheshire YFC, it is “user-led”. Members are voted in by committees to undertake a role within a club or the Cheshire YFC. However, it is important to be aware that occasionally volunteers come forward who have ulterior motives for wanting to work with children and young people and the Cheshire YFC cannot afford to put our children and young people or the good reputation of the Cheshire YFC at risk. In order to reduce the risk of potential abusers gaining access to children and young people within the Cheshire YFC, it is essential that the procedures outlined in this policy are applied.
Every child and young person who participates in the activities of the Cheshire YFC should be able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in the Cheshire YFC. We recognise however, that child abuse is a very emotive and difficult subject.
This policy establishes the Cheshire YFC’s position, role and responsibilities and clarifies what is expected from everybody involved within the Cheshire YFC. It very clearly highlights the importance placed by the Cheshire YFC in the protection of children and young people.
This policy does not treat each person working with children as being under suspicion, which might adversely affect the working of the Cheshire YFC. Instead, this policy involves taking sensible steps to protect children from abuse, which are then observed by all members.
The Cheshire YFC will ensure that:
- The welfare of the child is paramount;
- All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse;
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately; and
- All paid / unpaid staff, members and volunteers working in the Cheshire YFC have a responsibility to report concerns or suspicious cases of poor practice to (XXX name the person who will be responsible).
The Cheshire YFC will take responsibility for:
- Requesting that all new Cheshire YFC and Club officials agree to a check through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB);
- Retrospectively checking all members who joined after 1 April 2002 and who are still active within the Cheshire YFC;
- Appointing a Child Protection Officer;
- Respecting and promoting the rights, wishes and feelings of children and young people;
- Recruit, train and supervise all volunteers and staff members to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children and young people from abuse;
- Recruit all employees and volunteers to adopt and abide by the appropriate codes of conduct and the policies;
- Respond to any allegations appropriately;
- Regularly review the policy; and
- Promoting “Good Practice” (defined below)
“Good practice” means:
- Always working in an open environment, where possible, avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication;
- Minimising occasions where a single adult is in the company of a lone child;
- As far as possible, 2 adults should open and close buildings before and after meetings;
- Not leaving children unattended while waiting for transport home;
- Taking Minutes at every meeting recording all discussions made, keeping a record of members’ activities;
- Treating all young people equally with respect and dignity;
- Always putting the welfare of each young person first;
- Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust and empowering children to share in decision-making;
- Keeping up to date with training, qualifications and insurance;
- Involving children/young people/ parents wherever possible;
- Being an excellent role model;
- Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback; and
- Recognising the development needs and capacity of young people.
If you are concerned about a child
What should you do if a young person reports abuse to you?
If someone discloses that they are being abused, then upon receiving the information you should:
- React calmly;
- Reassure the child that they were right to tell and that they are not to blame and take what the child says seriously;
- Keep questions to an absolute minimum to ensure a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said. Don’t ask about explicit details;
- Reassure but do not promise confidentiality, which might not be feasible in the light of subsequent developments;
- Inform the child/young person what you will do next;
- Make a full and written record of what has been said/heard as soon as possible and don’t delay in passing on the information to (the Child Protection Officer);
The report will include the following:
- The child’s name, age and date of birth;
- The child’s home address and telephone number;
- Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns of those of someone else;
- The nature of the allegation, including dates, times other relevant information;
- Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay;
- A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes;
- Details of witnesses to the incidents;
- The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how a bruising or other injuries occurred;
- Have the parents been contacted?
- If so, what has been said?
- Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details.
Each club within the Cheshire County Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs will hold a copy of this policy to which they make aware to their members.