Safeguarding and Child Protection Statement
Challenges Abroad recognises that as an organisation it has the responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of participants under the age of 18, and that it also needs to ensure any partnering school or college adhere to the relevant statutory and non-statutory safeguarding guidance including ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ KCSIE.
It is recognised that as partners with the school/college we both have a duty to comply with relevant UK legislation This includes the UK Data Protection Act 1998, and current legislation/statutory guidance to the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults Including, the ‘UN Convention on the Rights of the Child’, ‘The Children Act,’, and ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, 2006’).
It will also comply with relevant legislation in partnering countries when planning and executing a mobility.
Our ultimate aim is to ensure that under 18 year-olds are safe on this international exchange.
Challenges Abroad Policy of Child Protection and Safeguarding
- The welfare of the individual is paramount.
- All young people regardless of age, gender, culture, language, race, ability, sexual identity or religion have equal rights to protection, safeguarding and opportunities.
- We recognise that all adults, including temporary staff and volunteers, have a full and active part to play in protecting our young people from harm and have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a young person is at risk of harm.
- All staff believe that our organisation should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical, mental wellbeing and moral development of the individual.
- Staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support and supervision
- To demonstrate the organisation’s commitment with regard to safeguarding and child protection to young people, parents and our partner schools/colleges.
- To ensure an environment in which young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, and feel confident to, and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties, believing they will be effectively listened to.
- To raise the awareness of all staff of the need to safeguard young people and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
- To emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff and our partners.
- To develop a structured procedure within the organisation which will be followed by all members of staff in cases of suspected abuse.
- To develop and promote effective working relationships with our partner schools/colleges
- To ensure that all staff working within our organisation who have substantial access to young people have been checked as to their suitability, including verification of their identity, qualifications, and a satisfactory DBS check or Local Police check of good behaviour
Prevention / Protection
We recognise that our partner schools and colleges have a duty in the prevention of harm to their young people by providing them with good lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends, and an ethos of protection.
To ensure this Challenges Abroad will therefore:
- Ensure all staff receive information about Challenges Abroad’s safeguarding arrangements and the staff code of conduct policy
- Ensure appropriate safer recruitment practises are followed and all police checks are completed
- Ensure all appropriate Health and Safety measures are adhered to
- Provide a mandatory checklist of key safeguarding procedures that will require completion before placements commences
Prior to the visit Challenges Abroad will
- Confirmation the safeguarding policies and procedures are in place within the hosting placements. This will include information regarding the types of criminal record checks that have been carried out.
- Details of expectations of the hosts will be confirmed in writing
- Information about the placements will be shared with the school including confirmation that local police checks, self-declaration forms code of conduct, house rules, structure, and suitability of sleeping arrangements.
- Will comply with relevant legislation in partnering countries when planning and executing a mobility.
NB: A safeguarding checklist will be sent to all partners. This will need to be completed if any participants under the age of 18 are part of the project activity.
Expectation from Partners and Challenges Abroad with regard to Child Protection and Safeguarding
When working with partnership schools/colleges the following will be confirmed prior to the visit:
- An up-to-date safeguarding and child protection policy which embeds the guidance from Keeping Children Safe in Education and the Children’s Act. The policy must be signed by the most senior person in the organisation and be written clearly, accessible, and available to all stakeholders including students.
- The Data Protection Policy of the school/college
- An agreement to adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- An agreement to adhere to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- The current Health and Safety Policy of the school/college
- A named visit leader who will be the designated safeguarding lead trained to Safeguarding Children Level 3
- A code of conduct
- A clear mechanism for reporting any safeguarding concerns
- Procedure for organising off-site educational visits including that risk assessments have been completed and the local authority notified of the visit.
- Suitable insurance is in place
- All adults (staff or otherwise) engaged in regulated activity with under 18-year-olds as part of the placement have undergone an enhanced disclosure and barring service (DBS) check.
- Safe recruitment procedures are in place to carefully screen applicants (staff and volunteers) and to help prevent unsuitable individuals working with children.
- Clear whistleblowing procedures are suitably referenced in staff training and codes of conduct.
- There is appropriate support for staff, including undertaking mandatory induction and child protection training. (Level 3 for designated lead and deputy designated lead and Level 1 for all other staff).
- Staff are aware of any known health conditions the children may have including any medication.
- All staff have detailed information about parent’s emergency contact details.
- Ratios of staff to participants have been agreed with consideration given to the age of the participants, whether any have special needs, the nature of the visit and activities, the experience of the accompanying participants, the duration of the visit and overnight stays.
- All accompanying staff members have been informed of their roles and responsibilities during the visit.
Children with disabilities
- All planning and exchanges take into consideration any young person with a disability (as defined by the Equality Act 2010).
- Information has been provided to parents/guardians/carers about how welfare concerns or instances of abuse can be reported and how these will be managed.
- Parents/guardians/carers of children involved in the visit have full details of where their child is staying, a full itinerary of the visit and emergency contact numbers.
- Information for parents/guardians
- Expectations regarding behaviour of student (code of conduct) will be communicated to parents.
- Selection procedures will be communicated to parents/guardians/carers and their written agreement obtained to confirm satisfaction.
- An understanding of local laws with regard to age of consent within the locality have been shared with parents prior to visit but the expectation is that UK age of consent is adhered to
Accommodation during visit
- All students have his/her own bed in a room of someone of their own gender, or a separate room
- All children have privacy whilst dressing, washing, and using toilet facilities.
Reporting of safeguarding concerns
- Specific guidance has been provided for children on how to report any risks or situations which make them feel uncomfortable. This to include who is the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
- Students are aware of a 24-hour contact number and have been fully briefed as to procedures should problems arise.
- Staff agree to respond to any concerns immediately and to be available to answer any messages or calls straight away.
- There is a process for recording all child protection incidents/allegations/concerns. This to include those that do not meet the threshold requiring the safeguarding lead to be alerted.
- Any child protection incident should be communicated to Challenges Abroad Designated Safeguarding Lead
NB it is an expectation of the programme that the Delivery Partner (FutureSense Foundation) may request evidence that the appropriate safeguarding and health and safety steps have been taken. Any non-compliance or issues in this area may result in further action, which could include the termination of the grant agreement.