Policy for Safeguarding Children

1 – POLICY

The trustees and staff of SparkFish are committed to promoting and supporting environments which:

  • are youth-friendly and child-friendly and nurture the positive development of young people
  • enable children and young people to be active contributors to our organisation and the wider community
  • protect children and young people from actual or potential harm
  • enable and encourage concerns to be raised and responded to openly and consistently.

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child or 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 of harm or abuse
  • abuse of children can occur in all communities and is most likely to occur within families and by people known to the child
  •  working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers, schools and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by:

In all our activities –

  • valuing, listening to and respecting children and young people
  • fostering and encouraging best practice by setting standards for working with children and young people, in co-operation with statutory bodies, voluntary agencies and faith communities

In our recruitment of paid staff and volunteers –

  • ensuring careful selection and recruitment of trustees, paid staff and voluntary workers with children and young people, in line with safer recruitment principles and checks
  • providing supervision, support and training

In our publicity –

  • sharing information about good safeguarding practice with children, parents, and all those working with them

In our care –

  • ensuring that informed and appropriate pastoral care is offered to any child, young person or adult who has suffered abuse
  • ensuring that appropriate pastoral care is offered to any member of our organisation against whom an allegation is made

When concerns are raised:

  • responding without delay to every concern raised that a child or young person may have been harmed, or be at risk from harm; or about the behaviour of an adult or child
  • working with appropriate statutory bodies during an investigation into child abuse, including when allegations are made against a member of the organisation
  • challenging any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust

2 – PROCEDURES

DBS checking

  • SparkFish has an efficient online process through U-Check, carried out by the Administrator
  • the Administrator maintains a record of staff and volunteers recruited by SparkFish, with evidence of DBS and references
  • DBS checking of all staff and volunteers who work directly with young people will be renewed every three years. DBS checking of volunteers who don’t work directly with young people will be renewed every five years.

Recruitment of staff

  • advertisements and application packs state commitment to safeguarding
  • application forms include safeguarding history
  • references are taken up and pre-employment checks are made
  • an enhanced DBS check is obtained and staff are encouraged to sign up for a portable enhanced DBS check
  • the employment handbook includes the SparkFish safeguarding policy which staff are required to read
  • all staff asked to read part one and annexe a ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ September 2020
  • the status of the employee’s general safeguarding training is checked and where necessary training will be arranged
  • safeguarding training will be kept up to date for all staff and a refresher will be organised annually
  • specific aspects relating to the setting where staff are working will be explained by the Director of SparkFish and / or members of school staff

Recruitment of volunteers

  • application form includes safeguarding history
  • references are taken up
  • an enhanced DBS check is obtained
  • a copy of the SparkFish safeguarding policy is provided and required reading for new volunteers
  • in most cases general safeguarding training is provided through partner churches. If not, it will be provided by SparkFish
  • specific aspects relating to the setting where the volunteer is working will be explained by the Director of SparkFish or other supervisor

Partner youth / children’s workers

  • these members of the SparkFish team have enhanced DBS checks and safeguarding training through their own churches. If not, these will be provided by SparkFish
  • a copy of the SparkFish safeguarding policy is provided and required reading for volunteering in schools
  • specific aspects relating to the setting where the volunteer is working will be explained by the Director of SparkFish or other supervisor

Volunteers for single events

  • where a volunteer is only involved for a single event (e.g. The Christmas Journey), evidence of DBS through a partner church is sufficient
  • team briefing for the event includes training to report any concern about well-being to the event leader

Photography and filming

  • We do not permit photographs, video or other images of young people to be taken without consent. If the child is under 18, consent must be obtained from a parent / carer.
  • SparkFish will take all steps to ensure these images are used solely for the purposes for which they were intended. If you become aware that these images are being used inappropriately, please inform us immediately.

Reporting of concerns

  • if a team member working in school sees or hears anything which might raise a safeguarding concern, this should be reported without delay to the school’s designated safeguarding lead and an appropriate written record made. This report will be signed, dated and time of concern recorded
  • any other necessary action will be taken under the school’s safeguarding policy
  • the team member should also report the incident to the Director of SparkFish
  • the Director of SparkFish will keep a confidential written record and notify the trustee with responsibility for safeguarding
  • if any concern is expressed about a member of the SparkFish team, this must be reported without delay to the Director of SparkFish and safeguarding trustee, who will take necessary action
  • if there is a concern about the Director of SparkFish this should be reported to the Chair of Trustees and the trustee with responsibility for safeguarding, Mr Leslie Jackson

January 2021

Relevant Contacts:

SparkFish Safeguarding Lead
Name: Harriet Pearce
Role: Director of SparkFish
Phone number: 07551 181821/ 01737 789100
Email address: harriet@sparkfish.org.uk

SparkFish Trustee with Responsibility for Safeguarding
Name: Leslie Jackson
Role: Trustee
Email address: leslie.jackson3@ntlworld.com

Chair of Trustees
Name: George Watt
Role: Chair of Trustees
Email address: chair@sparkfish.org.uk