The Rock Youth Project is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare, both physical and emotional, of every club member both inside and outside of The Rock Youth Project premises.
This policy sets out a clear and consistent framework for delivering this promise, in line with safeguarding legislation and statutory guidance.
It will be achieved by:
Creating a culture of safe recruitment by adopting procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might pose a risk to children.
Educating club members on how to keep safe and to recognise behaviour that is unacceptable.
Identifying and making provision for any child that has been subject to abuse.
Ensuring that members of the board of The Rock, the project manager and staff members understand their responsibilities, under safeguarding legislation and statutory guidance, and are alert to the signs of child abuse and to refer concerns to the designated safeguarding lead.
Ensuring that the project manager and any new staff members and volunteers are only appointed when all the appropriate checks have been satisfactorily completed.
The Rock Youth Project’s designated safeguarding lead is: Chris Makar
In the absence of the designated safeguarding lead, child protection matters will be dealt with by Stuart Sutherland or Sara Douglass
Safeguarding Trustee is Fiona Robson
For the purpose of this policy, The Rock Youth Project will define safeguarding and protecting the welfare of children as:
Protecting children from maltreatment.
Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development.
Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
This policy will have consideration for, and be in compliance with, the following legislation and statutory guidance:
Education (Club member Referral Units) (Application of Enactments) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009, as amended
Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2015
Equality Act 2010
Education (Non-Maintained Special Schools) (England) Regulations 2015, as amended
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
The Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012
The Children and Families Act 2014
The Sexual Offences Act 2003
DfE (2015) ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children
DfE (2015) ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education
DfE (2015) ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’
DfE (2015) ‘Information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners’
DfE (2015) ‘Disqualification under the Childcare Act’ 2006
DfE (2015) ‘The Prevent duty: Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers’
Roles and responsibilities
The board of The Rock has a duty to:
Ensure that The Rock Youth Project complies with its duties under the above child protection and safeguarding legislation.
Guarantee that the policies, procedures and training opportunities in The Rock Youth Project are effective and comply with the law at all times.
Ensure that The Rock Youth Project contributes to inter-agency working in line with the statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’.
Confirm that The Rock’s safeguarding arrangements take into account the procedures and practice of the LA as part of the inter-agency safeguarding procedures established by the Cumbria Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (CSCP).
Comply with its obligations under section 14B of the Children’s Act 2004 to supply the CSCP with information to fulfil its functions.
Ensure that a member of the board of The Rock is nominated to liaise with the LA and/or partner agencies on issues of child protection, and in the event of allegations of abuse made against the project manager or other trustee.
Guarantee that there are effective child protection policies and procedures in place together with a staff code of conduct.
Appoint a member of staff to the role of designated safeguarding lead (project manager) as an explicit part of the role-holder’s job description – there should always be cover for the designated safeguarding lead.
Consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including protection against dangers online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.
Adhere to statutory responsibilities to check staff who work with children, taking proportionate decisions on whether to ask for any checks beyond what is required.
Guarantee that volunteers are appropriately supervised.
Ensure that at least one person on any appointment panel has undertaken safer recruitment training.
Certify that there are procedures in place to handle allegations against members of staff or volunteers.
Confirm that there are procedures in place to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) if a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns, or would have been had they not resigned.
Guarantee that there are procedures in place to handle allegations against other children.
Make sure that the child’s wishes or feelings are taken into account when determining what action to take, and what services to provide to protect individual children.
Guarantee that there are systems in place for children to express their views and give feedback.
Ensure that staff members have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep looked after children safe, particularly with regard to the child’s legal status, contact details and care arrangements.
The Project Manager has a duty to:
Safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the teaching profession.
Ensure that the policies and procedures adopted by the board of The Rock, particularly concerning referrals of cases of suspected abuse and neglect, are followed by staff members.
The designated safeguarding lead has a duty to:
Refer all cases of suspected abuse to children’s social care, the LA designated officer (DO) for child protection concerns, the DBS, and the police in cases where a crime has been committed.
Liaise with the project manager to inform him/her of safeguarding issues, especially ongoing enquiries under section 47 of the Children’s Act 1989 and police investigations.
Act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff members on matters of safeguarding by liaising with relevant agencies.
Understand the assessment process for providing early help and intervention.
Have a working knowledge of how LAs conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference, and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so.
Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands The Rock’s Child Protection Policy and procedures – this will be discussed during the staff induction process.
Be alert to the specific requirements of children in need, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and young carers.
Be able to keep detailed, accurate and secure records of concerns and referrals.
Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant training courses.
Encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings.
Work with the board of The Rock to ensure The Rock’s safeguarding policy is reviewed annually and the procedures are updated regularly.
Ensure The Rock’s safeguarding policy is available publically and parents/guardians are aware of the fact that referrals regarding suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of The Rock Youth Project in this.
Link with the local CSCP to make sure that staff members are aware of the training opportunities available and the latest local policies on safeguarding.
Other staff members must:
Safeguard children’s wellbeing and maintain public trust in the youth work profession as part of their professional duties.
Provide a safe environment in which children can play.
Identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.
Take appropriate action, working with other services as required.
Support social workers to take decisions about individual children, in collaboration with the designated safeguarding lead.
If at any point there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child, make a referral to children’s social care immediately.
Support social workers in making decisions about individual children, in collaboration with the designated safeguarding lead.
The Rock works in partnership with the LA’s Channel Panel to assess the extent to which individual club members are at risk of being drawn into terrorism.
Types of abuse
The following signs could be indicators that abuse has taken place but should be considered in context of the child’s whole life. If workers notice these signs and symptoms they should eb reported to the DSL
Injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them
Injuries that occur in places not normally exposed to falls, or usual children’s activities
Injuries that have not received medical attention
Reluctance to change for, or participate in, games or swimming
Repeated urinary infections or unexplained tummy pains
Bruises on babies, bites, burns, fractures which do not have an accidental explanation
Any allegations made concerning sexual abuse
Excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and detailed knowledge of adult sexual behaviour
Age-inappropriate sexual activity through words, play or drawing
Child who is sexually provocative or seductive with adults
Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home
Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares, sometimes with overt or veiled sexual connotations
Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
Changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clinging
Depression, aggression or extreme anxiety
Nervousness or frozen watchfulness
Obsessions or phobias
Sudden under-achievement or lack of concentration
Inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults
Running away, stealing or lying
Under nourishment, failure to grow, constant hunger, stealing or gorging food, untreated illnesses
Female genital mutilation (FGM)
All The Rock Youth Project staff must be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM. If staff members are worried about someone who is at risk of FGM or who has been a victim of FGM, they must share this information with social care or the police.
There are a range of potential indicators that a child may be at risk of FGM. While individually they may not indicate risk, if two or more indicators are present this could signal a risk to the child.
Victims of FGM are most likely to come from communities that are known to adopt this practice. It is important to note that the child may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so it is important for staff to be sensitive when broaching the subject.
The following indicators are taken from government guidelines regarding FGM:
Indicators that may show a heightened risk of FGM include:
The position of the family and their level of integration into UK society.
Any girl with a mother or sister who has been subjected to FGM.
Any girl withdrawn from mainstream education.
Indicators that may show FGM could take place soon:
The risk of FGM increases when a female family elder is visiting from a country of origin.
A girl may confide that she is to have a ‘special procedure’ or a ceremony to ‘become a woman’.
A girl may request help from a youth worker if she is aware or suspects that she is at immediate risk.
A girl, or her family member, may talk about a long holiday to her country of origin or another country where the practice is prevalent.
It is important that staff look for signs that FGM has already taken place so that help can be offered, enquiries can be made to protect others, and criminal investigations can begin. Indicators that FGM may have already taken place include:
Difficulty walking, sitting or standing.
Spending longer than normal in the bathroom or toilet.
Numerous complaints about bladder or menstrual problems.
Prolonged or repeated absences from school followed by withdrawal or depression.
Reluctance to undergo normal medical examinations.
Asking for help, but not being explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear.
If a member of The Rock Youth Project staff has a concern, they should activate local safeguarding procedures.
As of October 2015, Section 75 of the Serious Crime Act places a statutory duty upon youth workers to report to the police any discovery, whether through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence, of FGM on a girl under 18. Youth workers failing to report such cases will face disciplinary action.
Youth workers will not examine club members, and so it is rare that they will see any visual evidence, but they must report to the police where an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the youth worker has a good reason not to, they should also consider and discuss any such case with The Rock’s designated safeguarding lead and involve children’s social care as appropriate.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
CSE involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where a child may receive something, such as food, gifts or in some cases simply affection, as a result of engaging in sexual activities.
CSE can take many forms, but the perpetrator will always hold some kind of power over the victim. It is important to note that some young people who are being sexually abused do not exhibit any external signs of abuse.
The Rock Youth Project has adopted the following procedure for handling cases of CSE, as outlined by the DfE:
Step one – Identifying cases
The Rock Youth Project staff members are aware of and look for the key indicators of CSE, these are as follows:
Going missing for periods of time or regularly going home late
Regularly missing Youth Club sessions (if previously extremely regular)
Appearing with unexplained gifts and new possessions
Associating with other young people involved in exploitation
Having older boyfriends or girlfriends
Undergoing mood swings or drastic changes in emotional wellbeing
Displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour
Step two – Referring cases
Where CSE, or the risk of it, is suspected, staff will discuss the case with the dedicated member of staff for child protection. If after discussion a concern still remains, local safeguarding procedures will be triggered, including referral to the LA.
Step three – Support
The LA and all other necessary authorities will then handle the matter to conclusion. The Rock Youth Project will cooperate as needed.
Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is part of The Rock’s wider safeguarding duties. We will actively assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism. Staff will be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Staff will use their professional judgement to identify children who may be at risk of radicalisation and act appropriately – which may include making a referral to the Channel Panel. The Rock Youth Project will work with the CSCP as appropriate.
· Distancing themselves from their cultural/religious heritage
Uncomfortable with their place in society
Indicators of a personal crisis:
A sense of isolation
Disassociation from existing friendship groups
Searching for answers to questions about identify, faith and belonging
Indicators of vulnerability through personal circumstances:
Local community tensions
Events affecting their country or region of origin
Alienation from UK values
A sense of grievance triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination
Indicators of vulnerability through unmet aspirations:
Perceptions of injustice
Feelings of failure
Rejection of civic life
Indicators of vulnerability through criminality:
Experiences of dealing with the police
Involvement with criminal groups
Making a judgement
When making a judgement, staff will ask themselves the following questions:
Does the child have access to extremist influences?
Does the child access the internet for the purposes of extremist activities (e.g. using closed network groups, accessing or distributing extremist material, contacting covertly using Skype, etc.)?
Is there a reason to believe that the child has been, or is likely to be, involved with extremist organisations?
Is the child known to have possessed or is actively seeking extremist literature/other media likely to incite racial or religious hatred?
Does the child sympathise with or support illegal/illicit groups?
Does the child support groups with links to extremist activity?
Has the child encountered peer, social, family or faith group rejection?
Is there evidence of extremist ideological, political or religious influence on the child?
Have international events in areas of conflict and civil unrest had a noticeable impact on the child?
Has there been a significant shift in the child’s outward appearance that suggests a new social, political or religious influence?
Has the child come into conflict with family over religious beliefs, lifestyle or dress choices?
Does the child vocally support terrorist attacks; either verbally or in their written work?
Has the child witnessed or been the victim of racial or religious hate crime?
Is there a pattern of regular or extended travel within the UK?
Has the child travelled for extended periods of time to international locations?
Has the child employed any methods to disguise their identity?
Does the child have experience of poverty, disadvantage, discrimination or social exclusion?
Does the child display a lack of affinity or understanding for others?
Is the child the victim of social isolation?
Does the child demonstrate a simplistic or flawed understanding of religion or politics?
Is the child a foreign national, refugee or awaiting a decision on their/their family’s immigration status?
Does the child have insecure, conflicted or absent family relationships?
Has the child experienced any trauma in their lives, particularly trauma associated with war or sectarian conflict?
Is there evidence that a significant adult or other person in the child’s life has extremist views or sympathies?
Critical indicators include where the child is:
In contact with extremist recruiters.
Articulating support for extremist causes or leaders.
Accessing extremist websites.
Possessing extremist literature.
Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage.
Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues.
Joining extremist organisations.
Making significant changes to their appearance and/or behaviour.
Any member of staff who identifies such concerns, as a result of observed behaviour or reports of conversations, must report these to the designated safeguarding lead.
The designated safeguarding lead will consider whether a situation may be so serious that an emergency response is required. In this situation, a 999 call will be made. However, concerns are most likely to require a police investigation as part of the Channel Panel, in the first instance.
Safeguarding children is a key role for both The Rock Youth Project and the LA, which is implemented through the use of a Channel Panel. This service shall be used where a vulnerable child is at risk of being involved in terrorist activities.
In cases where The Rock Youth Project believes a club member is potentially at a serious risk of being radicalised, the project manager or safeguarding lead must contact the LA’s Channel Panel.
The Channel Panel ensures that vulnerable children and adults of any faith, ethnicity or background, receive support before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those that would want them to embrace terrorism, and before they become involved in criminal terrorist-related activity.
The panel identifies individuals at risk, assesses the extent of that risk, and develops the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned, with multi-agency cooperation and support from The Rock.
The delivery of the Channel may often overlap with the implementation of the LA’s or The Rock’s wider safeguarding duty, especially where vulnerabilities have been identified that require intervention from social services, or where the individual is already known to social services.
The Rock Youth Project will ensure that suitable filtering systems are in place to prevent children accessing terrorist and extremist material.
The Rock prevents speakers who may promote extremist views from using The Rock Youth Project premises.
Building children’s resilience
The Rock Youth Project will:
Provide a safe environment for debating controversial issues.
Promote fundamental British values, alongside club members’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Allow club members time to explore sensitive and controversial issues.
Provide club members with the knowledge and skills to understand and manage potentially difficult situations, recognise risk, make safe choices and recognise where pressure from others threatens their personal safety and wellbeing.
Equip club members to explore political and social issues critically, weigh evidence, debate, and make reasoned arguments.
Teach club members about how democracy, government and law making/enforcement occurs.
Teach club members about mutual respect and understanding for the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities of the UK.
The Rock Youth Project will utilise the following resources:
Local police (contacted via 101 for non-emergencies)
The DfE’s dedicated helpline (020 7340 7264)
An enhanced DBS check with barred list information will be undertaken for all staff members engaged in regulated activity. A person will be considered to be in ‘regulated activity’ if, as a result of their work, they:
Are responsible on a daily basis for the care or supervision of children.
Regularly work in The Rock Youth Project at times when children are on the premises.
Regularly come into contact with children under 18 years of age.
The board of The Rock will assess the suitability of prospective employees by:
Verifying the candidate’s identity, preferably from current photographic ID and proof of address except where, for exceptional reasons, none is available.
Obtaining a certificate for an enhanced DBS check with barred list information where the person will be engaged in regulated activity.
Obtaining a separate barred list check if an individual will start work in regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available.
Checking that a candidate to be employed as a youth worker is not subject to a prohibition order issued by the Secretary of State, using the Employer Access Online service.
Verifying the candidate’s mental and physical fitness to undertake their working responsibilities, including asking relevant questions about disability and health to establish whether they have the physical and mental capacity for the specific role.
Verifying the person’s right to work in the UK. If there is uncertainty about whether an individual needs permission to work in the UK, the advice set out on the gov.uk website will be followed.
If the person has lived or worked outside the UK, making any further checks that The Rock Youth Project considers appropriate.
Verifying professional experience and qualifications as appropriate.
A DBS certificate will be obtained from candidates before or as soon as practicable after appointment. An online update check may be undertaken through the DBS update service if an applicant has subscribed to it and gives their permission.
An enhanced DBS certificate and barred list check will be obtained for all trainee youth workers.
The Rock Youth Project will refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed a child, poses a risk of harm to a child, or if there is reason to believe the member of staff has committed an offence and has been removed from working in regulated activity. A supervised volunteer who regularly teaches or looks after children is not in regulated activity.
Barred list check
An enhanced DBS check may be requested for anyone working in The Rock Youth Project that is not in regulated activity, but not with a barred list check.
If there are concerns about an applicant, an enhanced DBS check with barred list information may be requested, even if he/she has worked in regulated activity in the three months prior to appointment.
Written information about their previous employment history will be obtained from candidates and the appropriate checks undertaken to ensure information is not contradictory or incomplete.
References will be obtained directly from referees and scrutinised, with all concerns satisfactorily resolved prior to confirmation of employment.
References will be sought on all short-listed candidates, including internal ones, before interview and checked on receipt to ensure that all specific questions were answered satisfactorily.
Information about past disciplinary action or allegations will be considered carefully when assessing an applicant’s suitability for a post.
Written notification will be obtained from any agency or third-party organisation contracted by The Rock, confirming that the organisation has carried out the same checks on an individual who will be working at The Rock. Checks will be conducted to ensure that the contractor presenting themselves for work is the same person on whom the checks have been made.
No volunteer will be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity until the necessary checks have been obtained. An enhanced DBS certificate with barred list check will be obtained for all new volunteers in regulated activity that will regularly teach or look after children on an unsupervised basis or provide personal care on a one-off basis. An enhanced DBS certificate will be obtained for new volunteers not in regulated activity. The Rock Youth Project will consider obtaining an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list check for existing volunteers that provide pastoral care.
Unless there is cause for concern, The Rock Youth Project will not request a DBS certificate with barred list check for other unsupervised volunteers that are continuing with their current studies, as the volunteer should already have been checked.
A risk assessment will be undertaken for volunteers not engaged in regulated activity when deciding whether to seek an enhanced DBS check. Governors that are volunteers shall be treated on the same basis as other volunteers.
The Rock Youth Project will ensure that any contractor or employee of the contractor working on the premises has been subject to the appropriate level of DBS check. Contractors without a DBS check will be supervised if they will have contact with children. The identity of the contractor will be checked upon their arrival at The Rock.
Administration and records
The Rock Youth Project will set up and maintain a record of whether or not the following checks have been carried out on, or certificates obtained from, members of the board of The Rock, staff members, volunteers and other individuals working with children in The Rock:
An identity check
A barred list check
An enhanced DBS check
Further checks on people living or working outside the UK
A check of professional qualifications
A check to establish the person’s right to work in the UK
DBS certificates will be securely destroyed as soon as practicable, but not retained for longer than six months from receipt, as outlined in the Data Protection Act 1998.
A copy of the other documents used to verify the successful candidate’s identity, right to work and required qualifications will be kept for the personnel file.
All centres providing care for club members under the age of eight must ensure that staff and volunteers working in these settings are not disqualified from doing so under the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009.
A person may be disqualified if they:
Have certain orders or other restrictions placed upon them.
Have committed certain offences.
Live in the same household as someone who is disqualified by virtue of one or two of the above reasons (known as disqualification by association).
All staff members are required to sign the declaration provided in Annex A confirming that they are not disqualified from working in an environment with children.
A disqualified person will not be permitted to continue working at The Rock, unless they apply for and are granted a waiver from Ofsted. The Rock Youth Project will provide support with this process.
Staff members will be made aware of systems and policies within The Rock Youth Project which support safeguarding during their induction. The designated safeguarding officer will undergo updated child protection training every two years. The project manager and all staff members will undergo child protection training which is updated regularly, in line with CSCP advice.
Staff members should raise any concerns that they may have about a child with The Rock’s designated safeguarding lead, including situations of abuse which may involve other staff members.
The safeguarding lead will decide whether to make a referral to children’s social care, but any staff member can refer their concerns to children’s social care directly.
The referrer shall press children’s social care for re-consideration if the decision was taken not to undergo an early help assessment and the child’s situation does not improve.
The early help assessment should be undertaken by a lead professional who could be a youth worker, special educational needs coordinator (SENCO), general practitioner (GP), family support worker, and/or health visitor.
An inter-agency assessment will be undertaken where a child and their family could benefit from coordinated support from more than one agency. These assessments should identify what help the child and family require in preventing needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed.
A child will immediately be referred to children’s social care if there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child.
Cumbria Safeguarding Hub- 0333 240 1727
For allegations against Staff-DO 03003 033892
Early Help Team- 03003 033895
Name____Hannah GillRole: Project ManagerDate 11.11.2022
Annex A – Staff disqualification declaration
Name of Manager:
Name of staff member:
Orders and other restrictions
Circle one option
Have any orders or other determinations related to childcare been made in respect of you?
Have any orders or other determinations related to childcare been made in respect of a child in your care?
Have any orders or other determinations been made which prevent you from being registered in relation to childcare, children’s homes or fostering?
Are there any other relevant orders, restrictions or prohibitions in respect of you as set out in Schedule 1 of the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009?
Are you barred from working with children by the DBS?
Are you prohibited from teaching?
Specified and statutory offences
Have you ever been cautioned, reprimanded, given a warning for or convicted of:
Any offence against or involving a child (person under the age of 18)?
Any violent or sexual offence against an adult?
Any offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003?
Any other relevant offence?
Have you ever been cautioned, reprimanded for or convicted of a similar offence in another country?
Disqualification by association
To the best of your knowledge, is anyone in your household disqualified from working with children under the regulations? This includes the person having an Order of Restriction, as outlined in the ‘Orders and other restrictions’ section, against them or having been cautioned, reprimanded, given a warning for or convicted of any offence in the ‘Specified and statutory offences’ section.
Provision of information
If you have answered yes to any of the questions above, provide details below in respect of yourself, or, where relevant, the member of your household concerned. You may provide this information separately, but you must do so without delay.
Details of the order restriction, conviction or caution:
The date(s) of the above:
The relevant court(s) or body/bodies):
You should also provide a copy of the relevant order, caution, conviction, etc. In relation to cautions/convictions, a DBS Certificate may be provided.
In signing this form, I confirm that the information provided is true to the best of my knowledge and that: I understand my responsibilities to safeguard children.I understand that I must notify my manager immediately of anything that affects my suitability to work within The Rock. This includes any cautions, warnings, convictions, orders or other determinations made in respect of me or a member of my household that would render me disqualified from working with children.
 DfE (2015) ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, p.26