Child Protection Policy
The Chesterfield Canal Trust (CCTL) welcomes the use of its facilities and resources by members of the public of all ages and abilities.
CCTL is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for all our visitors including children. The wellbeing of children is considered as part of the Trust’s health and safety management process.
Children will be protected from physical, emotional or sexual abuse to the best of our ability whilst using the Trust’s resources.
Child Protection is the responsibility of everyone and the Chesterfield Canal Trust will ensure this Child Protection Policy is communicated to all volunteers.
The Trust defines children and young people as persons under the age of eighteen years. Those aged under fourteen years are regarded as needing a higher degree of protection than those aged fourteen to seventeen. CCTL is committed to the protection from harm of those children and young people who are engaged in activities under the Trust’s direct control. It is envisaged, however, that it will be CCTL facilities and the Chesterfield Canal (the Canal) together with its surroundings which will be a resource for teachers and other adults responsible for groups of children and young people to use.
Most children and young people visit the Canal in school groups or with a responsible adult. (This adult is henceforth referred to as the child’s or young person’s carer.) They may visit, for example, to use the Trust’s trip boats or to take part in an organised educational programme/ children’s activity organised by a third party e.g., Tapton Lock Visitor Centre. The Trust’s policy is never to take the place of the child’s or young person’s carer.
The primary responsibility for the care of children using the Trust’s facilities rests with the adult carer. The Trust, however, seeks to ensure that its activities and policies also afford as much protection as is reasonably practicable.
The welfare of children is paramount and any suspicion or allegation of abuse will be taken seriously. All CCTL volunteers and members have a responsibility to raise any concerns or suspicions that may arise.
Designated Child Protection Officer
The Board of Trustees of the Chesterfield Canal Trust will nominate a responsible Trust member as “Child Protection Officer”. This role may be combined with other roles as the Trustees see fit. As Child Protection Officer they will:
Exercise oversight of the Child Protection Policy; recommending updating of the policy as is appropriate given changes in national legislation.
Be the designated Person to whom reports of allegations or suspicions of abuse should be directed.
Maintain a list of appropriate supporting organisations which can assist with Child protection (see Appendix A).
Ensure that the members and volunteers of the Chesterfield Canal Trust and those using the Trust’s resources & facilities or attending Trust events are aware of the policy and procedures of the Trust.
The Designated Child Protection Officer will be required to undergo a CRB check as a pre-requisite for holding the post.
Policies and Procedures
To protect both children and its volunteers CCTL will apply the following policies and procedures:
Treating children with dignity and respect;
Working in an open environment avoiding unobserved secluded locations or situations;
Requiring its volunteers to be good role models particularly by not using offensive language, not making sexually suggestive comments, and by not smoking or drinking alcohol in the presence of child or young person visitors;
Making first aid treatment the responsibility of the responsible carer (Noting that the Trust has first aid equipment & supplies available at all times on its trip boats and at its events);
Ensuring that no child or young person takes part in its Santa Special trips unless accompanied by a responsible carer and visits Santa in full view of the carer;
Avoiding the following unacceptable practices both for the protection of children and young people and the safeguarding of CCTL members:
spending excessive time with individual young people;
taking children or young persons home;
engaging in rough play or games of physical contact;
being closeted in a toilet or a private room or space with an individual child or young person;
performing tasks of a personal nature that the child or young person can do for her/himself or with the assistance of a carer;
refraining from physical restraint, other than to prevent danger to the child or young person or others, damage to property, or to prevent a criminal offence or serious anti-social behaviour.
Whilst the Trust acknowledges that some of its volunteer members may have been the subject of external Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks it does not consider it necessary for such checks to be routinely carried out for its volunteers as a child or young person using the Trust’s facilities will at all times be the responsibility of an adult carer.
Where any concern is raised by a member of the public, a child / young person visitor or by a member of the Trust it will be formally recorded and reported (see reporting procedure) to the designated Child Protection Officer.
This Child Protection Policy is actively reviewed by the Trustees of the Chesterfield Canal Trust on a continuous basis as information becomes available.
Procedure for reporting allegations or suspicions of abuse
Concerns are expressed
Record and Report (as detailed below)
Transmit to designated CCT Child Protection Officer (see above)
CCT Child Protection Officer to assess “Is this a serious concern?” If
No Then identify training or practice issues which led to concern
Refer back to volunteer and or appropriate personnel.
Yes Report and Record then…
CCT Child Protection Officer to contact designated Child Protection Officer of school/ relevant organization/ Social Services or Police
Possibly Seek advice from designated officer of school / relevant organisation or Social Services
Reporting Procedure (information to be collected)
In any case where an allegation is made, or someone in the Chesterfield Canal Trust has concerns, a record should be made. Details must include, as far as practical:
Name of child or young person.
Home address (if known)
Date of birth (if known)
Name/s and address of parents or persons with parental responsibility.
Telephone numbers if available
Is the person making the report expressing their own concerns, or passing on those of somebody else? If so, record details.
What has prompted the concerns? Include dates and times of any specific incidents.
Has the child or young person been spoken to? If so, what was said?
Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser? If so, record details.
Who has this been passed on to, in order that appropriate action is taken? e.g. school, designated officer, social services etc
Note: It is of the greatest importance that all actions (verbal or written) no matter how seemingly trivial MUST be recorded during this process.
Basis of Policy and Procedure
This policy is compiled using best practice and source material from NSPCC (“Writing a child protection policy: resources for organisations” and Volunteering England “Example Child Protection policy 2006”)
Approved by the Trustees 22.08.07
Review History: Last Full Review November 2006
Supporting Contacts (To be updated by CCT CPO)
Bassetlaw Social Services
Retford, Worksop etc
Chesterfield Social Services – Duty Social Worker
Chesterfield Child Protection Team
NSPCC Helpline (24 hour freephone) – 0800 800 500
Chesterfield Canal Trust Limited: Child Protection Policy Version 1.5