Child Protection Policy

Safeguarding Policy Statement


A.I.M.S. believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to practice which protects them.


We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child/young person is paramount,
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types from harm or abuse,
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.


The purpose of the policy:

  • To provide protection for the children and young people who receive (A.I.M.S.) services, including the children of adult members or users,
  • To provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm,

This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of A.I.M.S.


We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them,
  • adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers,
  • recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made,
  • sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers,
  • sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately,
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.








These procedures have been designed to ensure that the welfare and protection of any child and/or young person who accesses the services provided by A.I.M.S..  The procedures recognise that child protection can be a very difficult subject for workers to deal with to the extent that it is sometimes easier to close your eyes to what is happening or believe that it is somebody else’s problem to deal with.  A.I.M.S. is committed to the belief that protecting children and young people is everybody’s responsibility and therefore the aim here is to provide guidelines that will enable all workers and volunteers to act appropriately to any concerns that arise in respect of a child/young person.


A.I.M.S. is committed to equal opportunities and cultural diversity. We promote relationships with our diverse partners. A.I.M.S. does not tolerate discrimination for any reason including religion, background, gender, age, sexual orientation or race.




Section 1           Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

Section 2           Guidance on how to respond to a person disclosing abuse

Section 3           Managing Allegations made against a member of Staff / Volunteer

Section 4           Safe recruitment practices

Section 5           Induction and Training for Staff and Volunteers

Section 6           Photography & Filming

Section 7           Internet, Social Media and Mobile Phone acceptable use

Section 8           A Named Person(s) for Child Protection

Section 9           Recording and managing confidential information

Section 10        Whistle Blowing Procedure

Section 11        Disseminating/Reviewing Policies and Procedures

Appendix 1       Definitions of Abuse

Appendix 2       Useful Contacts/Support Organisations

Appendix 3       Incident Report Form



Section 1 – Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Abuse


A.I.M.S. will ensure that identified staff members whether paid or unpaid, undertake appropriate training dependent upon their role to gain a basic awareness of the signs and symptoms of child abuse and recognises how concerns about a child or young person’s safety can come to light.  For example:

  • a child or young person alleges that abuse has taken place or that they feel unsafe,
  • a third party or anonymous allegation is received,
  • a child or young person’s appearance, behaviour, play, drawing or statements cause suspicion of abuse and/or neglect,
  • a child or young person reports an incident(s) of alleged abuse which occurred some time ago,
  • a report is made regarding the serious misconduct of a worker towards a child or young person.

Also see Appendix 1 for Definitions of Abuse

Section 2 Guidance on how to respond to a person disclosing abuse



  • Do treat any allegations extremely seriously and act at all times towards the child as if you believe what they are saying,
  • Do tell the child they are right to tell you,
  • Do reassure them that they are not to blame,
  • Do be honest about your own position, who you have to tell and why,
  • Do tell the child what you are doing and when, and keep them up to date with what is happening,
  • Do take further action – you may be the only person in a position to prevent future abuse – tell your nominated person immediately,
  • Do write down everything said and what was done.


  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep,
  • Don’t interrogate the child – it is not your job to carry out an investigation – this will be up to the police and social services, who have experience in this,
  • Don’t cast doubt on what the child has told you, don’t interrupt or change the subject,
  • Don’t say anything that makes the child feel responsible for the abuse,
  • Don’t do nothing – make sure you tell your Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately – they will know how to follow this up and where to go for further advice.


Section 3 Managing Allegations made against a member of Staff / Volunteer


A.I.M.S. will ensure that any allegations made against members or a member of staff will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with these procedures:

  • The worker must ensure that that the child is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made,
  • The Designated Person for child protection should be informed immediately. In the case of an allegation involving the named person, alternative arrangements should be sought to ensure that the matter is dealt with by an independent person,
  • The named person should contact the local authority designated officer (LADO) on 01392 386013 for advice on how to proceed with the immediate situation. Outside of working hours the Emergency Duty Team (0845 6000388) can give advice and/or in the event of an emergency situation arising, the police,
  • The individual who first received/witnessed the concern should make a full written record of what was seen, heard and/or told as soon as possible after observing the incident/receiving the report. It is important that the report is an accurate description. The named person (if appropriate) can support the worker during this process but must not complete the report for the worker. This report must be made available on request from either the police and/or M.A.S.H.
  • Regardless of whether an investigation follows, I.M.S. will ensure that an internal investigation takes place and consideration is given to the operation of disciplinary procedures. This may involve an immediate suspension and/or ultimate dismissal dependant on the nature of the incident.


Section 4 Safe recruitment practices


The Organisation will use the following checklist for safer recruitment:

  1. Write a clear job/role description (what tasks the applicant will do) and a role profile (what skills the person will be expected to have).
  2. Use application forms to assess the candidate’s suitability for the role. This makes it easier to compare the experience of candidates and helps you to get all of the important information you need to ask.
  3. Make it clear that your organisation has a commitment to safeguarding and protecting children. You could include this in a job application pack.
  4. Where possible have a face-to-face interview with pre-planned and clear questions. Include a question about whether they have any criminal convictions, cautions, other legal restrictions or pending cases that might affect their suitability to work with children.
  5. Check the candidate’s identity by asking them to bring photographic ID.
  6. Check the candidate actually holds any relevant qualifications they say they have.
  7. Apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service check if appropriate to the individual’s role.
  8. Take up references. Ask specifically about an individual’s suitability to work with children.
  9. Provide a copy of your organisation’s child protection policy and procedures.


Section 5 Induction and Training for Staff and Volunteers


All staff and volunteers will be given details of this policy as part of their induction as well as the health and safety procedures which is easier thanks to the soft play equipment advantages. All new staff and volunteers should be adequately supervised and their progress reviewed on a regular basis. A.I.M.S. will identify which staff and volunteers are required to participate in the relevant Child Protection training courses and be responsible for arranging this training and ensuring relevant updating takes place also with the help from health and safety services Cheshire. From this training those staff and volunteers should be able to recognise signs of abuse and know the appropriate reporting systems for this. Information regarding the policy should be disseminated to all involved in the group – young people, parents and carers knowing there is a policy in place and how to utilise this. It should be the role of staff and volunteers to ensure this happens.


Section 6 Photography & Filming


We will not permit photographs, video or other images of children or young people to be taken without the consent of the parents/carers and children. Should (A.I.M.S.) require photographs, video or other images of children or young people for our own promotional purposes (A.I.M.S. / group) will take all steps to ensure these images are used solely for the purposes they are intended. If you become aware that these images are being used inappropriately you should inform A.I.M.S. immediately.


Section 7 Internet, Social Media and Mobile Phone acceptable use


A.I.M.S. understand the importance of emerging technologies for children’s education and personal development but recognise that safeguards need to be in place to ensure children are kept safe at all times. We will encourage parents/carers to read and discuss these procedures with their child.


  • I will be responsible for my behaviour when using the Internet. This includes resources I access and the language I use.
  • I will not deliberately browse, download or upload material that could be considered offensive or illegal. If I accidentally come across any such material I will report it immediately to a member of staff.
  • I will not send anyone material that could be considered threatening, bullying, offensive or illegal.
  • I will not give out any personal information such as name, phone number or address.
  • I will not reveal my passwords to anyone.
  • I will not arrange to meet someone unless accompanied by a member of staff or a parent.
  • I understand that all my use of the Internet and other related technologies will be monitored and logged and can be made available to the group leader.
  • I understand that these rules are designed to keep me safe and that if they are not followed my parent/ carer may be contacted.


Section 8 – A Named Person(s) for Child Protection

Every organisation that works with children or young people should have in place a named person who is responsible for dealing with child protection issues that may arise. A deputy must be made available in their absence.  These individuals must be trained in child protection and their responsibilities clearly stated within your procedures. For example:

A.I.M.S. has an appointed individuals who are responsible for dealing with any child protection concerns.  In their absence, a deputy will always be available for workers to consult with.  The named persons for Child Protection within A.I.M.S. are:


Designated Person for Child Protection

Name: Dr. Jill Diprose

Mobile number:  07728333651

Emergency contact no:  01626 863970

Deputy Designated Person

Name: Mrs Francine Ashfield

Mobile number:

Emergency contact no:    01626 865653


The role and responsibilities of the named person(s) are:


  • To ensure that all staff are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they are concerned that a child/young person may be subject to abuse or neglect.


  • Ensure that any concerns about a child/young person are acted on, clearly recorded, referred on where necessary and, followed up to ensure the issues are addressed.


  • The Named Person(s) will record any reported incidents in relation to a child/young person or breach of Child Protection policies and procedures. This will be kept in a secure place and its contents will be confidential.


Section 9 – Recording and managing confidential information.

If A.I.M.S. becomes concerned that a child/young person may be at risk of significant harm, then the organisation has a duty to refer their concerns to the relevant agencies / Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub. Where possible this should be done with the child’s/young person’s consent, but, if necessary, such consent should be set aside in the interests of the child/young person concerned.

 Staff (paid / unpaid) will be responsible for completing the incident report form (in Appendix 3). This is for recording concerns / allegations of abuse, harm and neglect and the person who receives the allegation or has the concern should complete the pro-forma.


Access to those records needs to be limited to people in named roles who either need to know about the information in those records and/or who manage the records/files.


Section 10 Whistle Blowing Procedure (Procedures to deal with in house allegations against other workers/volunteers)


It can be very difficult to report concerns about a member of staff or volunteer but all staff and volunteers have a duty to do this. It is important that any concerns for the welfare of the child arising from suspected abuse or harassment by a member of staff or volunteer should be reported immediately.


As a first step, you should normally raise concerns either verbally or in writing with your immediate supervisor/manager. This may depend, however, on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issue


involved and who is suspected of the malpractice. For example, if you believe that management is involved you should approach a more senior level of management.


Should any uncertainty about how to proceed if there was a whistle blowing situation and you need immediate advice contact the Devon Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071 or email


If you would like to know more about safeguarding procedures and the Devon Safeguarding Children Board visit


Section 11 Disseminating/Reviewing Policies and Procedures

A.I.M.S. will review this policy on an annual basis and this will be signed by Chair of Trustee or his/her deputy when the revised policy has been accepted.  Any changes/amendments will be clarified and shared with staff and where significant changes appear these must be relayed to parents/carers.

Date that the policy was last amended / reviewed by the Trustee Board:

Signature of the Chair:

Date of the next Review:


Appendix 1

Definitions of Abuse


PHYSICAL ABUSE:  May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent/carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.


EMOTIONAL ABUSE: Is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person.  It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.  These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.  It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.  It may involve serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.  Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.


SEXUAL ABUSE:  Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts.  They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.


NEGLECT: Is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.  Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.  Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:


  • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment


It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.




Appendix 2

Useful Contacts/Support Organisations

If you have concern that a child is being harmed as a result of abuse or neglect, you must not keep these concerns to yourself. Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility.

You need to ensure that you either speak to your own organisations ‘Designated Safeguarding Officer’ or the Devon Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) both of whom can listen to and record your concern, and then take appropriate action.

In Devon, these are the numbers that you can ring for advice and to make a referral:

  • A.I.M.S. Designated Safeguarding Officer Contact Phone Number 07728333651.
  • Devon M.A.S.H Contact Details

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (M.A.S.H)

PO Box 723



Tel: 0345 155 1071


Fax: 01392 448951

  • Devon Early Help Team 0345 1551071
  • Devon Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) 01392 386013
  • Devon Emergency Duty Team 0845 6000388
  • If you have reason to believe that a child is at immediate risk of harm, ring the police on 999
  • NSPCC 24 hour National Child Protection Helpline on 0808               800 5000.





Appendix 3


Initial Issue/Concern Reporting Form


Please provide information on this form, if you have a concern or an issue relating to someone or something at your youth club.

Name of child/adult:





Age/Date of Birth:




What is the concern? (include details of the person whose behaviour has raised concerns)



When and where did this concern/incident occur?



Do you have any other comments?



Your name:





Club Role:



Email address:


Mobile Phone No: