The aim of the Policy is to eliminate situations where the abuse of vulnerable people may occur by proper planning of activities and events.
The following guidelines on practices for creating safe environments in our parishes and church communities should be followed in our diocese and should help to define the tasks which will lead to sound safeguarding in our communities:
- All volunteers should have seen and have ready access to the diocesan policy statements and guidelines and know what to do in the case of suspected or alleged abuse: Listen – Record – Refer. Always take any allegations or concerns of abuse seriously and refer immediately.
- All volunteers must be aware of the Church’s safeguarding policies and procedures – young people, parents/ carers, volunteers and visitors. Each Church and hall should display information on the notice board giving contact information to anyone who has a concern.
- Ensure that any premises used for parish groups and events are safe and well maintained.
- Know where the emergency exits, fire extinguishers and alarms are and be fully aware of the evacuation plan in the event of any emergency.
- Encourage all parish workers and volunteers to be involved in regular training (including First Aid). Ensure that there is a first aid kit and that it is checked frequently.
- Ensure that there is adequate insurance cover, especially for activities away from the normal meeting place. This applies also to any mini buses and/ or private cars which are used – insurance and any necessary permits must be obtained.
- Keep an up to date register of group contact information; names of children, address, telephone number, special medications, doctor’s name and address, telephone number and permission to be ‘in loco parentis’. Ensure that there is always access to a phone/ mobile in case of emergency.
- Ensure that a minimum of two leaders is always present, maintaining the gender balance of the group. In larger groups/ clubs the following supervision ratios should be adhered to:
- 1 adult to every 3 children under 5;
- 1 adult to every 6 children aged 5 – 8;
- 1 adult to every 10-15 children aged 8 – 11;
- 1 adult to every 15-20 children aged over 11
- During any activities away from the normal meeting place, a risk assessment should be undertaken and the supervision ratios should be increased accordingly.
- For any activities away from the normal meeting place ensure that parents/ guardians have signed a consent form. Ensure that someone knows where the group is working away from the normal meeting place.
- Always think and act carefully to avoid situations which could lead to difficulties or embarrassment, accusations or temptations. An example of ‘danger’ is one leader/ worker and one young person being together ‘in private’ – whether that be in counselling, or on a residential weekend, or driving someone home in a car. Remember that someone else may misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned. Do not just rely on your good name to protect you.
- Do not permit any photographs or videos to be taken or displayed of parish events without parental consent. Never show a photograph of a child or young person with personal details (including their name) accompanying it.
- Treat everyone with dignity and respect at all times, set an example you would wish others to follow and always behave appropriately, in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
- The ability of volunteers to continue to collaborate with the Church in that role will depend on adherence to the Church’s Safeguarding policies.
The following policy guidelines apply to various types of events that may be organised by Relevant Persons:
Events/activities in the Parish (Category A events)
This category includes one-off events and regular meetings specifically for children, young people or vulnerable adults in the parish and which are usually indoors.
- Catechesis, including First Holy Communion and Confirmation Classes.
- Children’s Liturgy.
- Youth Groups.
- Prayer meetings.
- Charity Fund-raising events.
Preparing for a Category A event
One person, the event leader, should have overall responsibility for the planning, supervision and conduct of the event. In particular he/she should:
- Ensure that appropriate approval is obtained and consent form signed.
- Ensure an initial risk assessment appropriate to the planned event/activity is carried out prior to the event taking place. First Aid provision should be part of the risk assessment.
- Ensure that the existing insurance arrangements are adequate for the intended activity.
- Ensure that the leaders are appointed in accordance with the recruitment procedures and are properly prepared for this event.
- Keep a register of meetings, the children/young people and adults present and a brief record of the activities undertaken.
- Keep a record with up-to-date relevant information on the children and young people attending the event, e.g. health needs.
- Ensure that those with parental responsibility understand any arrangements for collecting children/young people at the end of the event.
- Evaluate the event as appropriate to aid learning and development and refer any issues to the appropriate individual or body.
For activities where parents and carers are in the vicinity, e.g. Children’s Liturgy, no written consent form is required. The parent or carer exercises parental responsibility by virtue of their close proximity to the event.
For activities where parents or carers are not in the vicinity, e.g. youth groups, the person with parental responsibility for each child/young person under 18 will be required to complete and sign forms containing the following:
- A general consent form which details the planned event.
- Consent to group/activity photographs.
- Any relevant medical information.
- An emergency contact telephone number.
- Acknowledgement of the co-responsibility of those with parental responsibility to ensure reasonable behaviour during the event.
Health and safety
The event leader must ensure that:
- The premises are appropriate for the intended activity and monitor risk throughout the activity and take appropriate action as necessary.
- A First Aid kit is available.
- The children/young people/vulnerable adults are briefed at the start of the event/activity and wherever possible involve them in setting any general behavioural guidelines or establishing a Code of Conduct for their behaviour.
- Fire evacuation procedures need to be explained.
- An incident report form is completed within 24 hours of an accident or incident.
An accident is defined as “An unplanned, unforeseen, unexpected and unintended event, which results in injury to people or damage to property”. An incident is more general and is an event that has an undesirable consequence be it involving physical impact or a “near miss.”
During an event, the leader should:
- Ensure that no unauthorised person can gain access to the event.
- Introduce themselves to the children, young people and vulnerable adults present.
- Ensure that transport arrangements as agreed with parents and detailed on the consent form are adhered to.
- Allow no child/young person/vulnerable adult to leave with someone unknown to the leaders.
It is important to have an appropriate ratio of adult supervisors to children/young people/ vulnerable adults. The factors to consider are:
- Age and gender of group members.
- Individuals with special needs.
- First Aid cover.
- Nature of the activity.
There must always be a minimum of two adults linked to every group for all activities and events. A general guide for minimum supervision ratios is:
- 1 adult leader for every 3 children under 5.
- 1 adult leader for every 6 children under 8.
- 1 adult leader for every 10-15 children aged 8-11.
- 1 adult leader for every 15-20 children aged over 11.
Consideration must be given to increase supervision ratios as appropriate to the needs of the children, young people and vulnerable adults or the nature of the activity.
Where the group activity involves planned separation into smaller groups, the sub-groups should remain in close proximity to each other to allow for an adult leader to summon the help of another adult. This also enables the leaders in the sub-group to monitor each other so as to safeguard the interests of both children and adults involved.
Young people under 18 are welcome and encouraged to assist with events/activities. Their involvement must be monitored so that they do not have the responsibilities of a group leader or are used to meet the supervision criteria above. The more responsibilities entrusted to them the more prepared they must be for their role.
Any meeting with children and young people must always be held in a public place and with a minimum of two adults present. A public place for the purpose of this policy is defined as an area which is: Visually accessible (e.g. through a window) and not behind a closed door or frequented by other people (e.g. staff room/kitchen, sports hall).
It is accepted that unforeseen circumstances (e.g. an accident) may arise whereby it is not possible to maintain the presence of two adults. For this reason care needs to be taken in the planning stage when selecting an adequate number of leaders and the venue for the event/activity.
If this does occur, the situation must be reported to another leader (where applicable the group leader) and be recorded to safeguard the interests of both children and adults concerned.
Code of conduct
A Code of Conduct is given to all volunteers. It is not exhaustive and cannot cover every eventuality. It is intended to provide a minimum framework for good practice when providing activities and events specifically for children, young people and vulnerable adults. The code of conduct must be displayed in all Church premises where activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults take place.
Discipline should be viewed as a way of helping children achieve self-control and respect for others, not as a punishment. Group leaders should agree consistent approaches to discipline. Under no circumstances is physical chastisement acceptable.
Use of photographs/images of children
Full guidance on the use and display of images of children and young people can be found in the Policy relating to the use of photographic images.
This provides guidance on the display of Photographs of Children and Young People in Churches and Church Buildings in Gibraltar. When photographs/images of children and young people are taken/recorded during an activity or event, care is required to ensure that the images appropriately represent the Catholic Church and do not put children at risk.
The most important factor to consider is the improper/illegal use of images of children and young people. It is necessary to obtain the consent of the person with parental responsibility and that of the child or young person (where he/she is of an age to give ‘informed consent’).
- This will be done prior to making or displaying images of children and young people.
- Parents should be advised that images of their children may be made and their consent sought before they can be displayed.
The written consent of the parent/carer is included in the general parental consent form.
With a view to the prevention of bullying, each group/organisation must adopt an anti-bullying policy and ensure that it is adhered to and made available. See the Church’s separate anti-bullying policy.
Where children and young people have access to computers as part of Church activities, the event leader has a duty to ensure that:
- Measures are in place to ensure that the likelihood of children and young people accessing inappropriate material is reduced e.g. parental controls and software to filter out internet material.
- Children and young people are aware that their personal details e.g. last name, address, school, passwords, e-mail address and telephone numbers are private and should not be disclosed unless approval is given by the event leader.
- Children and young people know that they should never send photographs and should be wary of chat rooms.
- Children and young people are aware that they should advise a leader about any e-mails or anything on line that makes them feel uncomfortable or bothers them.
- Children and young people are aware that they should advise a leader and their parent/carer of a request to meet up with someone they have met on line and not to make plans to do so without alerting an adult and never go alone to such planned meetings.
- Children and young people are advised of a code of conduct for using chat rooms:
- People on line might not always be who they say they are.
- Never disclose any details of your personal information.
- Never give out your home address or other information.
- Arranging to meet can be dangerous. Never arrange to meet someone unless you can be sure who he or she is.
- Tell your friends or an adult if you find something that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Where use of a computer uncovers unsuitable and/or illegal information, the event leader must contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible.
Drugs related incidents
Prior to the event, each group/organisation must devise guidelines to manage situations where it is discovered that children or young people are involved in drugs-related incidents. Guidance on managing drugs-related incidents in the Guidelines Relating to handling Drug Related Incidents.
Accident & Emergency - Missing children/young people
When there is a concern that a child or young person may be missing, the event leader must arrange an initial search to establish if the child is in the vicinity – this should only be conducted if it is safe to do so and be dependent upon the circumstances.
If an initial search is not the appropriate action or the concern remains the event leader must:
- Ensure the well-being of the remaining children.
- Make sure that all are accounted for and properly/adequately supervised.
- Be mindful of the circumstances - the time of year; location; weather conditions; time of day (dusk etc.); age and vulnerability of the child. It is important to take prompt action to avoid panic.
- Contact the Police without delay.
- The responsibility for conducting enquiries and a proper search, rests with the Police–they have the experience, knowledge and resources. Their involvement should be considered at the earliest opportunity as the first hour can be vitally important and a rapid response essential.
- When the Police are contacted, ensure that the parent’s/carer’s contact details are readily available as it is their responsibility to make contact with the parent/carer. Be prepared to assist with information that will help with the enquiries.
- Name, age, description of the child/children.
- When and where last seen and by whom.
- Any known reason for their absence? Is the absence out of character?
- Any known places to be searched, people to be contacted?
- Any known medical conditions or medication required?
- Further assistance should only be offered to the Police after the remaining children’s welfare has been secured.
Accidents and Illness
In order to respond to an accident or illness the designated leader responsible for overseeing medical issues must ensure:
- All relevant emergency telephone numbers are clearly displayed around the event venue.
- Prompt assessment of the illness/injury and appropriate action is taken. First Aid should be given by qualified personnel, if available.
- Relevant staff at the event venue should be informed as soon as possible.
- The relevant medical form(s) must be taken with the child/young person to the GP or hospital.
- Parents/carers must be contacted as soon as possible following the incident unless the circumstances require the intervention of the Police, in which case see ‘Procedures for Major Incidents’.
- Any Health and Safety issues must be recorded and any remedial action taken as appropriate.
An incident report must be forwarded to the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer.
Procedures for Major Incidents:
- The designated leader’s responsibilities are primarily to supervise and manage the children and young people. If safe to do so move the children and adults from the scene to a place of safety.
- As soon as it is safe to do so, contact the appropriate emergency service i.e. Police, Fire or Ambulance. Follow the directions of any emergency service personnel.
- Be prepared to give as much detail as possible of the location; nature of the incident; an estimate of the number of casualties (if known); any potential hazards. Be prepared to remain on the phone – you may be a useful link until the emergency service crews arrive.
- Ensure emergency first aid treatment is given by qualified personnel present.
- Take a roll call of all children/young people and leaders present at the time of the incident. Try to locate them only if it is safe to do so. If not, inform the emergency services, when they arrive, of how many people are missing, their descriptions and likely locations.
- Depending on the nature and scale of the incident the Police may set up an “incident room” to handle information on casualties and to filter/manage calls from concerned relatives and friends. Be ready to provide any necessary details to the incident room.
- It is the responsibility of the Police to inform the parents/carers of any victims. Initially, they will not contact parents/carers of those uninjured or safe. If it is safe to do so and there is access to a telephone, contact parents via the system of liaison between the event and the parents established in the planning of the event. It will be important to take the advice of the emergency services regarding arrangements for collection. Parents may not be able to get to the scene.
- If it is safe and practicable to do so the designated leader or another leader should make efforts to monitor the location of children and young people if they are moved from the scene.
- Notify the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer or other relevant Church Authorities.
Procedures for fire safety:
- All leaders must be familiar with the fire regulations and fire-fighting equipment for the event venue.
- Leaders will ensure that all children/young people know where the appropriate fire exits, alarms and assembly points are and are given instructions on what to do if the alarm sounds.
- All leaders must know the whereabouts of the nearest telephone.
- Children/young people must not use fire-fighting equipment.
- In the event of a fire alarm being raised, evacuate the building(s), move to the appropriate assembly points and take a roll call of those present.
- Contact the Fire Brigade or activate any automatic fire alarms if available. Be prepared to give details of the location; the nature of the incident; number of buildings/people involved and potential hazards.
- Consider undertaking regular fire drills to ensure that leaders and children become familiar with the procedures, the location of the assembly points and any action to be taken.
Unplanned contact and confession (Category B events)
This category of events refers to unplanned/informal contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The following policies apply to Category B Events:
Definition of church setting
Church settings include buildings or properties such as church, parish halls, presbyteries, religious houses, convents, monasteries, pastoral centres, retreat houses and the like. The very nature of church buildings, religious houses and those who work in them should give a sense of safety and security. For this reason, even when church premises are being used by individuals and groups not normally associated with them, the church authorities have a responsibility for ensuring a safe and secure environment.
When this is unavoidable, any significant contact should be reported as soon as possible. N.B. This policy does not cover school premises, which have their own policies.
This policy applies to all who live/work whether temporarily or permanently in church settings. Temporary roles include visiting clergy and religious.
This requires that a Testimonial of Suitability is taken up by the Bishop. A copy of this policy is available from the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer or the Vicar General’s Office.
Visiting Clergy and Religious and all other temporary visitors must adhere to the safeguarding policies and the Code of Conduct/Guidelines for contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Temporary or permanent roles may also include part-housekeepers, lodgers/tenants, house-minders (when the priest is on holiday), volunteers who for whatever reason spend a good deal of time on church premises.
Those in charge of individuals or groups and clubs who are not part of the organisational structure of the church but who use the premises on a regular basis or one-off basis e.g. disc jockey, cleaners, gardeners, handy-men.
Visitors to the presbytery
The Presbytery has a dual function, as a private residence and for public functions e.g. pastoral work. These functions should be kept separate.
Those whose roles involve them in work within the presbytery, such as housekeepers, secretarial/ parish staff etc. and with whom parishioners may come in contact, should have job descriptions and be recruited in accordance with Church policies.
Lodgers/Tenants, house minders and visitors staying for a substantial period of time must have suitable references. The Diocesan Safeguarding Officer should be consulted as to whether a Royal Gibraltar Police check (RGP check) is required in some circumstances. A written agreement should be drawn up as to the expectations of their conduct.
This does not apply to short or occasional visits by friends or family members where there would be no question of them being regarded as having any role of responsibility for the presbytery or parish.
Visitors to the presbytery must adhere to the Code of Conduct with children.
Visitors to/Use of Church Premises
Where a non-Church group uses Church premises on a regular basis, the authorising parish must ascertain that they have a child protection policy in place for their organisation, including proper recruitment procedures for their leaders/helpers, and that references and RGP checks have been obtained. Evidence of this must be provided and continued use of the premises must be subject to this condition. Any group that does not have its own procedures will be required to follow those of the Church.
A written agreement should be devised with non-parish based groups using church premises detailing that they have Safeguarding measures in place and their agreement to adhere to these measures.
Where an adult has contact with children/young people during a single event organised by the parish (e.g. children’s entertainer), the individual responsible for the event must manage the situation so that the individual in question does not have unsupervised contact with children/young people or vulnerable adults. The individual must also adhere to the Code of Conduct.
Occasionally, church premises are used by non-parish based groups that include children and young people who use the hall on a casual basis e.g. children’s parties. In these circumstances, written agreement is required pointing out that this is a private booking, and that the adults organising the event or those with parental responsibility for the children or young people present will exercise a supervisory function and are responsible for ensuring that the children and young people are safeguarded.
Known or alleged abusers in the parish or local community
When information is received that an individual is worshipping or wishes to worship in a particular parish or religious house the matter must be referred immediately to the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer. Contact with children and young people must be avoided until directed by the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer.
Sacrament of reconciliation
Children, young people and vulnerable adults should be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a way that is both in accordance with the nature of sacramental confession and offers protection to both themselves and the confessor.
There are two ways this can be achieved:
- In a place that is clearly visible to others but others are not able to hear what is being said.
- Use of a traditional confessional box with complete separation between the penitent and the confessor.
When deciding which approach is adopted, consideration should be given to the individual’s needs, wishes and feelings; e.g. older children may wish to use the confessional box as opposed to celebrating the sacrament face to face. The confessor is free to exercise his personal choice. Whatever the choice, it must be in accordance with the principle of creating a safe environment. The Code of Conduct applies to priests celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation with children young people and vulnerable adults.
Day Trips and Outings (Category C events)
This category refers to groups belonging to a parish or a church organisation undertaking a day trip or outing. These events are non-residential.
The main policy for Category A events apply also to Category C events, in addition to the following additional guidelines when organising an outing:
Use of Transport & supervision
The following procedures apply whenever children, young people or vulnerable adults are on minibuses, coaches or other forms of transport:
- Whatever vehicle is being used, the driver must not be responsible for the supervision of the children, young people and vulnerable adults in the vehicle.
- The group leader is responsible for ensuring his or her group is properly supervised while they are travelling on the vehicle.
- Any other leaders should distribute themselves to ensure all individuals can be supervised.
- Drivers should ensure that all passengers are wearing seatbelts before setting off.
- After the driver has set off, all the leaders must ensure that all seatbelts are worn throughout the journey.
- If the driver considers the behaviour of any passenger dangerous, he or she should stop as soon as possible.
- Hiring vehicles
The event leader is responsible for ensuring that coaches and buses are hired from a reputable company. Professional operators of buses and coaches are legally required to be licensed. The event leaders must ensure that the operators have the appropriate and required licences to hire the vehicle for the intended use.
When booking, the group leader should ensure that seat belts are available on the vehicle for all passengers and volunteers. The seats must face forward and seat restraints must comply with legal requirements. Buses (except public transport buses for short journeys) where seat belts are not fitted, are not appropriate for use and should not be used.
If any of the group uses a wheelchair, the event leader must ensure that transport used has appropriate access and securing facilities. It may be appropriate to use portable ramps.
- Licences, permits and insurance
The event leaders must ensure that the driver of any vehicle has the correct entitlement on their licence. The event leader should also ensure that appropriate motor insurance is in force for any vehicle being used, and that the drivers conform to the motor insurers’ requirements.
Some organisations use their own minibuses for short frequent journeys and sometimes for longer trips. Any maximum capacity of the minibus must not be exceeded. A forward facing seat belt must be provided for each child. All applicable legal requirements must be complied with.
- Private cars
- Event leaders and other leaders or volunteers who drive children, young people and vulnerable adults in their own car must ensure their passengers’ safety, that the vehicle is roadworthy and that they have the appropriate licence and insurance cover for carrying children, young people and vulnerable adults.
- The driver is responsible for making sure that children, young people and vulnerable adults have a seat belt and use it at all times. Vehicles without seat belts should not be used.
- Event leaders who wish to use parents/volunteers to help transport children, young people and vulnerable adults in their own cars, must ensure that they are aware of their legal responsibility for the safety of children and young people in their cars.
- Parents’ agreement should be sought (on the consent form) for their children to be carried in other parents’/volunteers’ cars. This is to ensure the welfare of children and young people and also in recognition of the potential vulnerability of an adult being alone with a child.
- It is advisable that parents/volunteers driving children, young people and vulnerable adults are not put in a position where they are alone with a child or young person. The event leader should arrange a central dropping point for all children and young people rather than individual home drops.
- If a situation arises in which an adult is unavoidably transporting a single child, young person or vulnerable adult (e.g. in a medical emergency), the child, young person or vulnerable adult should be seated in the back seat and the event should be reported to the Leader and recorded.
A register of those present at each activity should be kept and stored.
A record of the event to include those present, the activities undertaken, evaluation and any other significant happenings during the event should be kept on file.
Residential Events (CATEGORY D events)
This category includes Parish Groups and Church organisations that take part in residential events.
The Health and Safety procedures contained in this policy are to be viewed as an extension of any other existing Health and Safety Policy of the Diocese.
- Youth residentials and holidays.
- Children’s camps.
Preparing for residential trips
One person, the event leader, should have overall responsibility for the planning, supervision and conduct of the event. After due discussion and consultation with other team members, the event leader is responsible for ensuring that all reasonable preparation has been made for the event, and must:
- Ensure that appropriate approval is obtained from the Parish Priest or Leader of the Organisation.
- Prepare the programme of activities and as appropriate conduct research or visit the venue in advance to check for suitability and potential problems.
- Ensure that the residential venue has a current fire certificate.
- Check on the event venue’s own policies to ensure that they can be adhered to.
- Choose the day and time of each activity carefully.
- Organise transport and insurance, and check that they are suitable. Insurance should include public liability and personal accident injury. (See Transport in Category C).
- Ensure that all leaders are appointed in accordance with the recruitment policies and procedures.
- All adults wishing to be involved in the residential event must have a specific role and be accountable to the event leader.
- Appoint an event co-leader of the opposite sex for co-educational trips.
- Ensure that any instructors or workshop leaders within the group or at the event venue are suitably qualified for specialised activities.
- Ensure that all leaders are properly prepared for the event and their responsibilities.
- Ensure that the leaders are aware of the Child Protection and Health and Safety procedures relevant to the event.
- Ensure that one leader is trained in First Aid.
- Ensure regular and ongoing discussion and consultation takes place with other team leaders.
- Draw up rotas to ensure that sufficient leaders are available so that children are adequately supervised at all times.
- Obtain appropriate consents (see below).
- Ensure that all children’s appropriate details are available in case of emergency.
- Ensure that the person with parental responsibility is informed of the date and time of the event and is given a contact number and address of the event venue.
- Ensure a system of liaison between the event and parents.
- Ensure that the person with parental responsibility understands the arrangements for collecting the children at the end of the event.
- Brief the children/young people at the start of the event and wherever possible involve them in setting any general behavioural guidelines.
- Be aware that although mobile phones are useful means of communication, the signal cannot always be relied upon. This should be taken into account when conducting a risk assessment.
- Call a post-event evaluation meeting within two months of the event, compile a report on the event and make recommendations to aid learning and development.
A person with parental responsibility for each child/young person under 18 will be required to complete and sign forms containing the following:
- A general consent form for the various planned activities during the event. Certain higher risk events, as identified in the risk assessment, will require a specific consent form – if in doubt seek advice from your insurance company/provider.
- Consent to group/activity photographs.
- Medical information–particularly that relevant to the planned activities.
- Emergency contact telephone numbers.
- Acknowledgement of the co-responsibility during the event including acknowledgement of the Code of Conduct for the behaviour of children and young people.
The event leaders must ensure that consent forms are taken with the group to the event.
The event leader should ensure that each child or young person attending the event receives the following information:
- A list of items they will need to bring and must not bring.
- The type of activities planned for the residential trip.
- Code of Conduct.
Health & safety
There should be a designated leader who will oversee health and safety issues. He or she must ensure the following:
- Read and be familiar with all the event’s health and safety documents.
- Ensure that all leaders have a briefing prior to the event, covering Health and Safety policy, supervision, child protection and transport policies. Consideration should be given to the provision of first aid training.
- Carry out a risk assessment for all activities connected with the event prior to the event taking place and monitor for on-going health and safety issues during the event. First Aid provision should form part of the risk assessment. For residential trips a summary risk assessment should be forwarded to the Finance Secretary.
- Ensure all children and young people are aware of where to contact an adult in an emergency at any time.
- On the first day ensure that all children and young people are briefed as to what to do in the event of a fire including assembly point.
- All signs are in place and that children and young people are told how to follow them.
- In the event of an accident or incident, ensure that an incident report form is completed by the relevant person(s), whether that be the medical officer, a ‘first-aider’ or the person present at the time of the incident. The incident report form must be forwarded to the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer.
- In the event of an accident or incident, ensure that all relevant staff based at the event venue are informed and their incident form completed.
The event must have a designated leader who will oversee medical issues. A first aid kit and medical details should be accessible to the leaders at all times. All leaders should have access to a full list of children/young people and leaders attending the event in case a roll call is required.
The following are minimum contents for a first-aid box where no special risk has been identified:
- A leaflet giving general advice on first aid.
- Six individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings.
- One large sterile unmedicated wound dressing approximately 18cmx18cm.
- Two triangular bandages.
- Two safety pins.
- Individually wrapped moist cleaning wipes.
- One pair of disposable gloves.
- A resuscitation shield with mouthpiece (‘Resusciade’ for hygienic mouth to mouth resuscitation) would also be useful.
An accident is defined as “An unplanned, unforeseen, unexpected and unintended event, which results in injury to people or damage to property.”
An incident is more general and is an event that has an undesirable consequence be it involving physical impact or a “near miss.”
It is important to have an appropriate ratio of adult supervisors to children/young people.
The factors to consider are:
- Age and gender of group members.
- Children with special needs.
- First aid cover.
- Nature of the activity.
- Accommodation arrangements.
There must always be a minimum of two adults linked to every group for all activities or events.
A general guide for minimum supervision ratios is 1 adult leader for every 10 children or young people. For certain activities during the residential event, the supervision ratios indicated in Category C events could be applied.
This should be considered in the risk assessment and be approved by the event leader. Arrangements must be made to increase supervision ratios as appropriate to the needs of the children and young people or the nature of the activity.
Where the group activity involves planned separation into smaller groups, the sub-groups should remain in close proximity to each other to allow for an adult leader to summon the help of another adult. This also enables the leaders in the sub-group to monitor each other so as to safeguard the interests of both the children and adults involved.
Young people under 18 are welcome and encouraged to assist with event/activities. Their involvement must be monitored so that they do not have the responsibilities of a group leader or are used to meet supervision criteria above.
Any meeting with children or young people must always be held in a public place with a minimum of two adults present.
It is accepted that unforeseen circumstances (e.g. an accident) may arise whereby it is not always possible to maintain the presence of two adults. For this reason care needs to be taken in the planning stage when selecting an adequate number of leaders and the venue for the event/activity. If this does occur, the situation must be reported to another leader (where applicable the group leader) and be recorded to safeguard the interests of both the children and adults concerned.
Code of conduct
The Code of Conduct is not exhaustive and cannot cover every eventuality. It is intended to provide a minimum framework for good practice when providing activities and events specifically for children and young people. The Code of Conduct must be displayed in all church premises where activities involving children take place.
Discipline should be viewed as a way of helping children achieve self-control and not as a punishment. Group leaders should agree consistent approaches to discipline. Under no circumstances is physical chastisement acceptable. See separate Guidance on managing children’s behaviour.
A public place for the purpose of this policy is defined as an area which is: visually accessible (e.g. through a window) and not behind a closed door OR frequented by other people (e.g. staff room/kitchen, sports hall).
The policy for Category A Events applies.
Use of photographs/images of children
The policy for Category A Events and also the separate use of photographs policy apply.
The policy for Category A Events and the separate anti-bullying policy.
The policy for Category A Events applies.
The policy for Category A Events and the separate anti-Drugs policy apply.
The policy for Category C Events applies.
The following guidelines apply in residential events at night-time, once the children and young people have gone to bed:
- Accommodation must be gender specific and careful consideration should be given when allocating.
- The adults supervising the children/young people must reflect the gender of the children/young people making up the group.
- Principles of good practice apply to evening and night-time supervision. For this reason, any monitoring arrangements must always involve two adults and no adult should plan to be alone with a child or young person.
- It is unacceptable that one leader shares a bedroom with children/young people. Children and young people may be allocated bedrooms together. This includes Year 13 pupils who have passed their 18th birthday. However, in the case of a child with a profound disability or a specific medical condition, whose parents think that it is necessary for one leader to share with the child in a twin room, special care must be taken. Those with parental responsibility must give specific and detailed permission for this arrangement. In addition, the matter should be referred to the Activity Leader. In cases of any doubt the matter should be referred to the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer for advice.
- Additional leaders should be assigned to assist with supervision on the first and last night and at other times as identified in the risk assessment.
- Leaders must ensure that they have access to children’s and young person’s medical records and parental consent form.
- There must always be a sufficient number of leaders on duty to supervise the event and appropriate cover available to supervise the children and young people should the leaders on duty be called away in an emergency e.g. to take a child to hospital.
- Alcohol can only be available to leaders off duty and only in an area designated by the leader. Only social drinking is acceptable and that in moderation.
- Leaders must only smoke in smoking areas designated by the event leader and not in the presence of children/young people.
A record of the event to include those present, the activities undertaken, outcomes and any other significant happenings during the event should be kept on file.
Accident and emergency
The policy for Category A Events applies.
Accidents and illness
The policy for Category A Events applies.
The Policy for Category A Events applies.
The Policy for Category A Events applies.