Children and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy
Harris (Belmont) Charity is a visitor attraction that welcomes all visitors. Every year; hundreds of children and young people are amongst those visitors. Many come as part of an organised group or with family and friends. While the primary responsibility for children’s welfare rests with the supervising adult, the Harris (Belmont) Charity wishes to ensure that all children and vulnerable adults are safe and protected from harm whilst on site.
A person is defined as a child until they reach their 18th birthday. Until that time, they are the legal responsibility of their parents/carers, even if that person is not present. Harris (Belmont) Charity reserves the right to deny access to children if they are not accompanied by an adult.
A vulnerable adult is a person who is, or may be, in need of community care services because of mental disability or other disability, age or illness and who is, or may be, unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or exploitation.
The Harris (Belmont) Charity also wishes to protect its staff from unfair allegations; the guidelines in this policy will ensure that there is no doubt over obligations and standards. This policy applies to all permanent staff, temporary staff and volunteers.
2 Policy Statement
The Harris (Belmont) Charity believes that:
- The welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is paramount.
- All children have the right to equal protection from all types of harm and abuse.
- All areas of the Harris (Belmont) Charity site should be kept safe and secure and promote enjoyable and positive experiences.
- All staff should be clear about individual behaviour and responsibilities regarding the safety and enjoyment of visitors, particularly children, young people and vulnerable adults, through its recruitment, induction and training.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse should be properly investigated and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
The Harris (Belmont) Charity will ensure that:
- All staff likely to have regular contact with children will be carefully recruited and security cleared through a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). New staff will not be permitted to commence the employment until their security check has been received.
- All staff having regular contact with children will receive ongoing training around Child Protection issues.
- All staff aware of the Child Protection Policy and Procedures.
- Teachers, Group Leaders and any other relevant parties are provided with information regarding the Harris (Belmont) Charity Policy, procedures and expectations regarding Child Protection responsibilities whilst visiting.
The Administrator will be responsible for administrative procedures relating to selection and induction and for advising on any disciplinary action and will monitor implementation of the Policy and take appropriate action on any breaches.
Any staff delivering public events and activities will take safeguarding issues into account in their risk assessment and incident planning.
All members of staff have a duty to maintain appropriate standards of behaviour and to report lapses in these standards by other members of staff as well as the public. Any concerns or reasonable suspicions of abuse should be reported to the Administrator.
All appointments to the Harris (Belmont) Charity posts are subject to satisfactory references.
An enhanced disclosure via The Disclosure & Barring Service will be required for all appointments in departments likely to have regular contact with children.
In addition all applicants are asked:
- If they are facing any criminal prosecutions.
- If they have received a caution in the last five years or been convicted of any criminal offences which are not ‘spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. (Ex-offenders are considered on an individual basis and the nature of their offence taken into account in the recruitment decision).
- To complete a satisfactory probation period.
The Harris (Belmont) Charity will provide and explain the content of this policy to all new staff in the course of the induction process.
Basic Child Protection awareness training will be given to appropriate members of staff.
Enhanced Child protection awareness training will be given to members of staff who have regular contact with children.
6 Standards of Behaviour
Standards of behaviour expected of the Harris (Belmont) Charity staff are:
- Do approach any child apparently in distress and offer help.
- Do seek assistance from colleagues or supervisors where appropriate.
- Do be aware of the possibility of danger from others.
- Do keep a look out for children apparently unaccompanied and communicate the details of any lost children to the Administrator.
- Do report any allegation of any abuse or inappropriate conduct immediately to the Administrator.
- Do not touch, or in any way engage in unnecessary or inappropriate physical contact with a child or other visitor.
- Do not physically restrain a child or young person except in exceptional circumstances (e.g. to prevent injury, theft or damage to property).
- Do not use foul, racist or abusive language or make inappropriate or suggestive comments to any visitor.
- Do not physically abuse or assault any visitor.
- Do not treat any child or vulnerable adult for First Aid without the presence and consent of a supervising adult unless in any emergency.
- Do not do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves or that a parent/leader can do for them (e.g. accompanying to the toilet, helping with clothing).
- Do not spend time alone with a child, make sure you can be clearly observed or seen by others.
Standards of behaviour and responsibilities for Group Leaders/Teachers:
The Harris (Belmont) Charity wishes to ensure that children are protected from harm while visiting Belmont. We expect that all Teachers and Group Leaders will:
- Ensure they supervise the children/young people at all times.
- In the case of an accident, contact a member of the Harris (Belmont) Charity staff immediately.
- In the case of a lost child, contact a member of the Harris (Belmont) Charity staff immediately.
- Ensure that the children/vulnerable adults in their care behave appropriately.
- Ensure that no member of their group uses any abusive, threatening or violent behaviour of any kind whilst on the site.
- Ensure that all litter is disposed of appropriately.
- Ensure that members of the group do not enter areas that have been cordoned off.
- Ensure that no one in their group has in their possession any illegal drugs.
- Follow instructions from Harris (Belmont) Charity staff in the event of any emergency or incident, including but not restricted to fire, security or health and safety threats.
Lost child or parent:
- Staff will attempt to locate the missing child or parent/group leader using the Harris (Belmont) Charity Lost Child Procedures.
- If a photograph is to be used for material which may be viewed by the public, written permission will be sought from the school, organisation or from the child’s parents directly where appropriate.
- Visitors and other members of the public who appear to be taking photographs in inappropriate circumstances should be challenged where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion, or when requested by the parent or teacher or group leader.
- Any member of staff who suspects abuse or inappropriate behaviour or who receives a complaint from a member of the public should report it to the Administrator immediately.
- Any member of staff who has an allegation made against them should discuss the matter immediately with the Administrator, or if not available, the duty Manager.
- All suspicions and/or allegations of abuse will be properly investigated and dealt with appropriately and quickly and referred to the appropriate agencies.
8 Review of this Policy
This policy has been drafted in accordance with the principles of NSPCC’s Safe Network.
This policy is due for review in December 2023.