Welcome to the Elmwood Community Centre. The Centre operates every Wednesday to provide mature people, young people and children the opportunity to learn, interact and have fun. Session activities may include classes in Mathematics and English through games; yoga; computing; art and crafts; mehndi art; mirror and fabric painting; home industry skills (dressmaking, sewing, knitting and crochetting); dance and drama. Sport, table tennis and snooker are also provided for all ranges but tend to be used by the children and young people.
Children or young people wishing to attend activities run by the Centre must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children without a parent or guardian are not permitted to participate and parents or guardians must be present at all times. Please note that the Centre does not currently employ anyone but has designed its practices to cover ad hoc consultants and volunteers.
Elmwood Community Centre believes that all children have the right to enjoy the activities of the Centre in a happy, safe, secure environment. Elmwood Community Centre seeks to safeguard all children involved in the Centre’s activities from harm. Elmwood Community Centre aims to ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in the Centre through adherence to this Child Protection Policy.
The Centre represents a low risk to child safety due to the mandatory presence of a parent or guardian for each participant. It has decided to formalise its Child Protection Policy to demonstrate its commitment to child protection. By formalising its approach through this policy, the Centre can demonstrate a consistent, transparent approach to child protection.
The aim of this policy is to promote good practice in providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst they attend and participate in activities run by the Centre. The policy provides a framework within which consultants and volunteers can make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues. Elmwood Community Centre implements this policy and seeks to achieve its aims through its recruitment, induction and training processes.
This policy applies to all Elmwood Community Centre consultants and volunteers and is available on request to Centre participants, their families and carers. This policy will be prominently displayed at all times.
All consultants & volunteers working with participants at the Centre have passed criminal record checks conducted through the Criminal Records Bureau.
Recruitment of consultants and volunteers
Elmwood Community Centre recognises that anyone may pose a risk to child safety and therefore all reasonable steps are taken to ensure the suitability of consultants and volunteers.
Pre-selection checks included the following:
- All volunteers and consultants must complete an application form. The application form elicits information about an applicant’s past.
- Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children are requested, with notification that they will be taken up prior to appointment. These references will be taken up in writing and confirmed through either written or telephone contact.
- Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo) is requested and verified.
All consultants and volunteers are required to undergo an interview, and if successful, an induction programme, during which:
- A check should be made that the application form has been completed in full
- Qualifications and references should be substantiated
Induction and Training for Consultants and Volunteers
All consultants and volunteers will be required to undergo an induction, during which:
- The role requirements and responsibilities should be clarified
- Child protection procedures are explained and training needs are identified
- The Health & Safety manual is discussed
- The organisation’s Code of Ethics and Conduct and Child Protection Policy must be signed
In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment, to help consultants and volunteers to:
- Analyse their own practices against established good practice, and to ensure their practice is not likely to result in harm to the children or in allegations being made
- Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse
- Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person
- Work safely and effectively with children
- Undertake first aid training where required
Good Practice Guidelines
Elmwood provides its consultants and volunteers with the following good practice guidelines to ensure child safety and protection:
Good practice means:
- Always working in an open environment
- Treating all children and young people equally, and with respect and
- Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals
- Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust, which empower children and young people to share in the decision-making process
- Making sport and other activities fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play.
- Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications • Involving parents and carers wherever possible
- Being an excellent role model – smoking or drinking alcohol is not permitted anywhere on site or in the company of young people
- Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
- Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of children, young people and disabled adults – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will
- Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises, to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment
- Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given
- If necessary ensuring that children are accompanied to the W.C by their parent or guardian
Practices never to be sanctioned
The Centre takes care to ensure a happy and caring environment and will never sanction the following behaviours. Consultants and volunteers should never:
- allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
- reduce a child to tears as a form of control
- fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child
Elmwood Community Centre is responsible for ensuring the safety of its services. Consultants and volunteers should pay attention to adult child ratios. An appropriate ratio should be in place at all times, taking into account the activities undertaken and the age of participants.
Recognising child abuse
All consultants and volunteers who work with children and their families have a responsibility to be familiar with:
- Possible signs of abuse
- Elmwood Community Centre Referral Procedures
- The Croydon Safeguarding Children Board (CSCB) procedures
It is important that all considerations of significant harm look at the child in the wider context of their family and environment. Child abuse is commonly categorised into the following areas:
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Physical Abuse – Indicators
| Unexplained injuries – bruises/abrasions/lacerations
The account of the accident may be vague or may vary from one telling to another.
Regular occurrence of unexplained injuries
Most accidental injuries occur on parts of the body where the skin passes over a bony protrusion.
| • Withdrawn or aggressive behavioural extremes• Uncomfortable with physical contact
• Seems afraid to go home• Complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably
• Wears clothing inappropriate for the weather, in order to cover body.
• The interaction between the child and its carer
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may involve a parent failing to:
- Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Neglect – Indicators
| Unattended medical need
Underweight or obesity
Unkempt dirty appearance
Inadequate / unwashed clothes
Consistent lack of supervision
| Poor social relationships
Regularly displays fatigue or lethargy
Frequently falls asleep in class
Frequent unexplained absences
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent effects on the child’s emotional development, and may involve:
- Conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person;
- Imposing age or developmentally inappropriate expectations on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction;
- Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another;
- Serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children;
- Exploiting and corrupting children.
Emotional Abuse – Indicators
| Poor attachment relationship
Unresponsive/neglectful behaviour towards the child’s emotional needs
Persistent negative comments about the child.
Inappropriate or inconsistent expectations
| Low self-esteem
Passive or aggressive behavioural extremes
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. Sexual abuse includes non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of pornographic materials, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Sexual Abuse – Indicators
| Sign of blood/discharge on the child’s underclothing.
Awkwardness in walking/sitting
Pain or itching – genital area
Bruising, scratching, bites on the inner thighs/external genitalia.
Sudden weight loss or gain
| Sexually proactive behaviour or knowledge that is incompatible with the child’s age & understanding.
Drawings & or written work that is sexually explicit
Self harm/suicide attempts
Significant devaluing of self
Loss of concentration
Responding to allegations or suspicions
It is not the responsibility of anyone working Elmwood Community Centre, in a paid or unpaid capacity, to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the appropriate authorities. Consultants and volunteers should abide by the following guidelines:
- Do treat any allegations extremely seriously and act at all times towards the child as if you believe what they are saying.
- Do tell the child they are right to tell you.
- Do reassure them that they are not to blame.
- Do be honest about your own position, who you have to tell and why.
- Do tell the child what you are doing and when, and keep them up to date with what is happening.
- Do take further action – you may be the only person in a position to prevent future abuse – tell your nominated person immediately.
- Do write down everything said and what was done.
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
- Don’t interrogate the child – it is not your job to carry out an investigation – this will be up to the police and social services, who have experience in this.
- Don’t cast doubt on what the child has told you, don’t interrupt or change the subject.
- Don’t say anything that makes the child feel responsible for the abuse.
- Don’t do nothing – make sure you tell your nominated Safeguarding Children person immediately – they will know how to follow this up and where to go for further advice.
Concerns about suspected abuse:
- If consultants or volunteers encounter abuse or suspicious situations of concern, the first step would be to discuss the concerns with the designated person who will take such steps as considered necessary.
- The designated person may refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police.
- If appropriate, the parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible, following advice from the social services department.
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:
- the Centre’s Child Protection Officer
- the parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused
- the person making the allegation
- social services/police
Completed forms and any written information regarding Safeguarding Children issues concerning individuals needs to be kept in a safe locked place to ensure confidentiality.
Information for social services or the police about suspected abuse
To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should include the following:
- The child’s name, age and date of birth of the child.
- The child’s home address and telephone number.
- Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
- The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and 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 any 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.
- If the child was not the person who reported the incident? Has the child been spoken to? If so, what was said?
- Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.
- Where possible, referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded.
- If you are worried about sharing concerns about abuse with a senior colleague, you can contact social services or the police direct, or the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or Childline on 0800 1111.
Whistle Blowing Procedure (Procedures to deal with in house allegations against consultants/other workers/volunteers)
All Centre consultants and volunteers must be aware of the need to maintain professional boundaries in their relationships with children and their carers. Smacking children and other forms of physical punishment are not permitted and should be referred as possible child abuse.
It is important to make a distinction between a complaint and an allegation of abuse. When a complaint by, or on behalf of a child implies an allegation of ill treatment then this should be treated in the first instance as a child protection matter, the complaint procedure would then be applied following the conclusion of child protection enquiries, if the complaint remains outstanding.
Where allegations of abuse are made against a consultant or volunteer, the matter should always be referred to social services, in the same way as any other concern about possible abuse. It is the responsibility of the social services in consultation with the police to decide whether the allegation necessitates a child protection enquiry, and/or a police investigation into a possible offence.
Concerns about poor practice
If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice; the designated Centre Child Protection Officer will deal with it as a misconduct issue.
Concerns about suspected abuse:
- Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a consultant or a volunteer should be reported to the Child Protection Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
- The Child Protection Officer will refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police.
- The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.
- If the Child Protection Officer is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the Deputy Child Protection Officer who will refer the allegation to Social Services.
Allegations of previous abuse
Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a child or by a consultant or volunteer who is still currently working with children). Where such an allegation is made, the Centre should follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police. This is because other children may be at risk from this person.
Elmwood Community Centre – SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN – INCIDENT RECORD FORM
|Club or Agency:
|Child’s Name :
|Parents/Carers Name and Address:
|Child’s Date of Birth:
|Date and Time of any Incident:
|Exactly what the child said and what you said (Remember, do not lead the child – record actual details. Continue on separate sheet if necessary)
|Action Taken so far:
|External Agencies Contacted (Date & Time):
Name and Contact Number:
If yes – which:
Details of Advice Received:
| Local Authorities Children’s Social Care
Name and Contact Number :
If yes – which:
Details of Advice Received:
| LOCAL AUTHORITY
Name and Contact Number:
If yes – which:
Details of Advice Received:
| Other (e.g. NSPCC)
Name and Contact Number:
Details of Advice Received:
The Centre takes care to ensure that a safe environment has been provided for all involved in its activities. The Centre’s premises, play equipment, play areas, transport arrangements and vehicles are safe and suitable. The Centre has an appropriate Health and Safety Policy and procedures and carries out a risk assessment for all away days/trips. Consultants and volunteers should pay attention to:
- Premises will be regularly checked in order to ensure compliance with the health and safety policy.
- High standards of safety and hygiene are expected to be maintained at all times, and where there are concerns regarding this, consultants and volunteers are expected to take appropriate action.
- Premises are usually big enough to fulfil the requirements for the number of children they are designed to accommodate.
- Premises should be safe and secure both inside and outside
Safety of equipment
- The access to play areas and equipment is limited and depends on availability of the consultants or volunteers and parents.
- Concerns regarding the safety of play equipment and areas must be reported and rectified immediately.
- Unsafe equipment must be withdrawn from use.
First aid provision is provided by the consultants and volunteers and the Centre is responsible for ensuring the safety of their services.
The designated person is the first point of contact for advice and support if a Safeguarding Children issue is to arise. Elmwood Community Centre’s designated person is Mrs Bilquis Ahmed,16 Hawthorn Road, Wallington, Surrey SM6 0SX.
The deputy designated person is Mrs Kausar Ali, 8 Grosvenor Avenue, Carshalton Surrey SM5 3EW.
Local Support Services
The Centre works very closely with the Local Authority Contacts:
Croydon Safeguarding Children Board – Children’s Quality Assurance and Safeguarding Service: Third Floor, Davis House, 69-77 Robert Street, Croydon, CR0 1QQ
|Safeguarding Children coordinator / Allegations Manager:
|Sarwan Singh Jandu
|020 8760 5460 Ext 62125
|Every Child Matters Facilitator:
|020 8686 4433 Ext 62362
|Children’s Quality Assurance Manger:
|0208 726 6000 ext 62125
|Child Protection & Child in Need referrals
|(24 hours) Duty Service;
|020 8726 6400
Police Contacts :
Croydon Police Station – 020 8667 1212 71
Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1BP
- NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
0808 800 5000
- Child Line
This policy will be reviewed annually or in line with major developments in Safeguarding Children guidance, whichever comes first. Publication will be by placing this document on Elmwood Community Centre’s website.