Safeguarding and Protection Policy for under 18s, Vulnerable Adults, Persons with Disabilities and Elderly People
The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) as a registered charity values and encourages the involvement of people of all ages and circumstances. It is committed to promoting their well-being and enjoyment, and protecting their health, safety and welfare. We can all help to provide a welcoming, safe and enjoyable experience. This document for all volunteers and others working with PSPS supplies basic reference to good practice when in the company of under 18s (these guidelines also should be taken into account when dealing with older vulnerable adults, such as people of any age with learning or physical difficulties).
This breaks down into:
- General advice for any activity by the charity;
- Advice specific to organised visits consisting entirely of under 18s or other vulnerable persons.
- Remember that you are a role model for young people and always provide an example you would wish them to follow;
- Bear in mind that some actions, no matter how well intentioned, may easily be misinterpreted;
- Allow for the fact that people with Learning Difficulties or Special Educational Needs may have behaviours which, whilst quite harmless, do not conform with social norms;
- Respect a person’s right to privacy unless you feel they are at risk of harm;
- Avoid being left alone with young / vulnerable people if you can;
- Where one to one contact is unavoidable, keep it short, be accessible and make sure someone is informed where you are going, what you are doing and why;
- Use your common sense and take great care if you are left alone with young/vulnerable people – e.g. lone car journeys, even short ones, are best avoided; unless it is an emergency get parental or carer approval before taking someone home. If a person must be transported in a vehicle alone with the driver, they should be asked to occupy a rear seat rather than sit alongside the driver.
- Rely on your good name to protect you;
- Show favouritism or get drawn into inappropriate, attention-seeking behaviour (e.g. tantrums or crushes);
- Allow or engage in suggestive remarks, gestures or touching which could be misinterpreted;
- Do anything to undermine the charity’s reputation for providing people with a safe environment;
- Jump to conclusions without checking the facts.
Organised visits / outings by groups of young / vulnerable persons:
- Plan activities carefully and be alert to potential harm;
- Make sure that where possible young / vulnerable people are accompanied by their own adult carers (e.g. parents, teachers, youth leaders etc.) and that these adults are directly responsible for those in their care;
- Arrange for an appropriate number of adults to be present – try to have at least two at all times and work in view of other colleagues if supporting an individual (e.g. work experience) on your own;
- Inform young / vulnerable people about any safety issues associated with their visit and how to cope;
- See that a signed parent / guardian consent form has been obtained if the charity is providing direct supervision to young persons;
- Make sure you know which young / vulnerable people are in your charge, the extent of your responsibility, where they are and what they are doing;
- Make sure an appropriate ratio of adults to children is provided – it should be at least 1:8 for primary school age groups and 1:15 for secondary school age groups. Groups of very young children or people with mobility difficulties will require higher levels of supervision. Some people with Special Educational Needs may require a 1:1 ratio;
- Have male and female helpers if practical, especially if the group is of mixed gender.
- Whilst there is no outright restriction on the photography of children or other members of the public, in the case of pictures where individuals form a major part of the subject it is a courtesy that such images are not published for wider consumption without first seeking the agreement of the person(s) depicted or, in the case of children or vulnerable adults, their parent, guardian or carer.
- In the event that any PSPS member suspects that any form of child abuse, abuse of vulnerable adults or bullying has taken place within PSPS it must be reported promptly in confidence to the National Secretary (or, if the National Secretary is alleged to have been personally involved, to the National Chairman);
- The report should be in writing and should contain full contact details of the person making the report and set out a complete description of the alleged incident(s), including details of times, dates, locations and people involved;
- The Executive Committee of the PSPS will then carry out a full and confidential investigation and take whatever action may be appropriate;
- If you become suspicious or aware of people being drawn to PSPS activities as a means of access to vulnerable individuals, report this at the earliest opportunity explaining as far as is possible the nature of the risk;
- Nothing in the foregoing shall over-ride the normal responsibility of a citizen to involve the police and / or other emergency / statutory service where there is an immediate apprehension of danger to one or more individuals.