SAFEGUARDING / CHILD PROTECTION POLICY & PROCEDURES
For GENERATE LOVE Kullu Valley, India.
Next Review: 2023
Child Protection Policy Statement
Section 1 Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures
Section 2 Law & Policy
Section 3 Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
Section 4 Named Person(s) For Child Protection
Section 5 What to Do if You are Worried About a Child
Section 6 Managing Allegations Made Against a Member of Staff / Volunteer
Section 7 Management and Supervision of Staff / Volunteers
Section 8 Safe Recruitment
Section 9 Risk Management
Section 10 Managing Confidential Information
Section 11 Reviewing Policies and Procedures
The aim of an organisation having policies and procedures in place is to demonstrate the organisation’s values and commitment in a particular area and provide guidance for trustees/ staff / volunteers / young people / parents / carersabout what to do in specific circumstances.
Within the area of child protection, it is vital that all staff and volunteers know what to do if they are concerned about a child. It is equally important that parents / carers and young people themselves are aware that the organisation takes the safety and welfare of children / young people into consideration in every activity that is undertaken.
Vulnerable adults are defined as those aged over 18 and who:
• are unable to take care of themselves/ protect themselves from harm or exploitation;
• due to their gender, mental or physical health, disability, ethnicity, religious identity,
sexual orientation, economic or social status, or as a result of disasters and conflicts, are
deemed to be at risk.
Every organisation’s staff and volunteers must read and have access to the UK government document,‘What to Do if You Are Worried a Child is Being Abused’. Copiesshould be held inan organisation’soffice and are available for download at:
GENERATE LOVE, KULLU VALLEY, INDIA
Child Protection Policy
GENERATE LOVE 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. GENERATE LOVE will take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. GENERATE LOVE acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse. Paid staff and volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos, which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.
In implementing this child protection policy GENERATE LOVE will:
• Ensure that all staffand volunteers understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation;
• Ensure that all staff and volunteers understand their responsibility to work to the standards that are detailed in the organisation’s Child Protection Procedures and work at all times towards maintaining high standards of practice;
• Ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of both the UKand India’s safeguarding procedures and are confident in how to work within these guidelines.
• Ensure that all staff and volunteers understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child or young person, or a staff member/volunteer’s conduct towards a child / young person, to the organisation’s named person for child protection;
• Ensure that the named person understands his / her responsibility to refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. Police and / orKullu District’s Child Protection Team);
• Ensure that any procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner;
• Provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge, particularly in relation to the welfare and protection of children and young people;
• Ensure that children and young people are enabled to express their ideas and views on a wide range of issues and will have access to the organisation’s Complaints Procedure;
• Ensure that parents / carers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the organisation and have access to all guidelines and procedures;
• Keep up to date with national and international developments relating to the welfare and protection of children and young people.
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 of harm or abuse
• Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
The purpose of the policy:
• To provide protection for the children and young people who use Generate Love’s services.
• 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 the managers, founder, board of trustees, paid staff and volunteers or anyone working on behalf of GENERATE LOVE.
We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
• Valuing them, listening to them, 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.
Generate Love is a community project providing scholarships, education and activities for children and young people, (thirty years old and under.)
Generate Love is committed to the welfare and protection of all children and young people accessing its services.
The purpose of our child protection policy is to ensure that all concerns about the care and protection of children / young people are effectively managed.
These procedures have been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of any child and / or young person who access the services provided by GENERATE LOVE. The procedures recognise that child protection can be an emotive subject and understand that some workers may find it a challenging area. However, it is important that staff and volunteers respond appropriately to a child protection incident and are aware of their responsibilities. GENERATE LOVE is committed to the belief that protecting children and young people is everybody’s responsibility and that these guidelines will enable all workers and volunteers to act appropriately to any concerns that arise in respect of a child / young person.
Staff Code of Conduct
All staff (paid and voluntary) are expected to adhere to a code of conduct regarding contact with young people and their families / carers.
Children will be treated with respect and dignity.
Whilst it would be unrealistic and undesirable to preclude all physical contact between adults and children, staff are expected to exercise caution and avoid placing themselves in a position where their actions might be open to criticism or misinterpretation. Where incidents occur which might otherwise be misconstrued or where it becomes necessary to physically restrain a young person for their own or others’ safety, this will be appropriately recorded and reported to senior staff and parents.
Wherever possible, First Aid should only be administered by qualified first aiders. If it is necessary for the child to remove clothing for this treatment there should, wherever possible, be another adult present.
If a child needs help with toileting, nappy changing or washing after soiling themselves, another adult should be present or within earshot.
If a male member of staff is providing any form of intimate care, a female colleague will be present. All first aid treatment and non-routine changing or personal care will be recorded. A list of first-aiders should be made available in GENERATE LOVE’s office.
For their own safety and protection, staff should exercise caution in situations where they are alone with service users. The door to the room in which the counselling or meeting is taking place should be left open. Where this is not practicable because of the need for confidentiality, another member of staff will be asked to maintain a presence nearby and a record will be kept of the circumstances of the meeting.
GENERATE LOVE’s staff should also be alert to the possible risks, which might arise from contact with service users outside of the centre. Home visits to young people should only take place with the knowledge and approval of management. Visits / telephone calls by service users to the homes of staff members should only occur in exceptional circumstances and with the knowledge and approval of senior staff / management in order that they may activate appropriate procedures.
Section 1 - Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures
Section 2 – Law and Policy
GENERATE LOVE abides by the laws of both UK and India in relation to Child Protection. There are several laws and government policies, both in England and India, which contribute to safeguarding children and policy.
In the UK these are:
The Children Act 1989 - this law defines ‘children in need’ and introduces the term ‘significant harm’ which is the benchmark for child protection.
The Education Act 2002 - this sets out duties and responsibilities for schools in safeguarding children.
Every Child Matters 2004 - this introduced the ‘five outcomes’ for all children in the UK: 1) Being healthy 2) Staying safe 3) Enjoying and achieving 4) Making a positive contribution 5) Economic well-being.
The Children Act 2004 - this followed on from the Victoria Climbie Inquiry. The Act was created with a certain set of goals. Its primary purpose was to give boundaries and help for local authorities and/or other entities to better regulate official intervention in the interests of children.
The Children and Families Act 2014- this act came into force on April 2014. It seeks to improve services for vulnerable children and support strong families. It underpins wider reforms to ensure that all children and young people can succeed, no matter what their background.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 & 2010- this is the UK’s national guidance for all professionals and practitioners giving guidance on safeguarding children roles and responsibilities, procedures and timescales.
In India these are:
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. This act lays out the procedure in relation to a child in need of care and protection and describes certain offenses against children, including cruelty.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 contains provisions protecting children from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography, and provides for the establishment of special courts for the trial of such offenses.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, established in March 2007, periodically reviews laws, policies, and programs to ensure that they are compatible with child rights as enshrined in the Constitution of India and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a party.
As defined by, Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018.
Section 3 - Recognising The Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
Physical Abuse: may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, female genital mutilation or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
The following provides a guide to some of the common injuries found in the physical abuse of a child. Whilst some injuries may appear insignificant in themselves, repeated minor injuries, especially in very young children, may be symptomatic of physical abuse.
It can sometimes be difficult to recognise whether an injury has been caused accidentally or non-accidentally, but it is vital that all concerned with children are alert to the possibility that an injury may not be accidental, and seek appropriate expert advice.
Examples which may indicate physical abuse include (this is not designedto be used as a checklist):
• Patterns of bruising, including inconsistencies of stories as to how bruising or injuries occurred;
• finger, hand or nail marks, black eyes;
• bite marks;
• round burn marks, burns and scalds;
• lacerations, wealds;
• bald patches;
• symptoms of drug or alcohol intoxication or poisoning;
• unaccountable covering of limbs, even in hot weather;
• fear of going home or parents being contacted;
• fear of medical help;
• fear of changing for PE;
• inexplicable fear of adults or over compliance;
• violence or aggression towards others including bullying;
• isolates him/herself from peers.
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.
This may include:
• conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person;
• feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children;
• 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;
• seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another – this is particularly relevant in respect of domestic violence;
• serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger;
• 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. Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the symptoms are usually behavioural rather than physical. The indicators of emotional abuse are often also associated with other forms of abuse.
Examples of behaviour which may indicate emotional abuse include: (this is not designed to be used as a checklist)
• over-reaction to mistakes, continual self-deprecation;
• delayed physical / mental / emotional development;
• sudden speech disorders, elective mute / deaf;
• inappropriate emotional responses, fantasies;
• neurotic behaviour, rocking, banging head, regression, tics and twitches;
• self-harming, drug or solvent abuse;
• fear of parents being contacted;
• running away, compulsive stealing;
• appetite disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia;
• soiling, smearing faeces, enuresis;
• a child scapegoated within the family;
• frozen watchfulness, particularly in pre-school children;
• low self-esteem and lack of confidence;
• withdrawn or seen as a ‘loner’ – difficulty relating to others.
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.
This may include:
• activities of a sexual nature which may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts.
• activities of a sexual nature which may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual on-line images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Children of both genders and of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say anything due to guilt and/or fear. It is particularly difficult for a child to talk about and full account should be taken of the cultural sensitivities of any individual child / family.
Recognition can be difficult, unless the child discloses and is believed. There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional or behavioural.
Examples of behaviour which may indicate sexual abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):
• sexually explicit play or behaviour or age-inappropriate knowledge;
• anal or vaginal discharge, soreness or scratching;
• the presence of sexually transmissible infections;
• truancy, lateness, reluctance to go home;
• inability to concentrate, tiredness;
• refusal to communicate, selective mutism;
• thrush or other throat infections;
• persistent complaints of stomach disorders or pain;
• eating disorders such has anorexia nervosa and bulimia;
• attention seeking behaviour, self-mutilation, substance abuse;
• aggressive behaviour including sexual harassment or molestation;
• unusually compliant;
• regressive behaviour;
• enuresis, soiling;
• frequent or open masturbation, touching others inappropriately;
• depression, withdrawal, isolation from peer group;
• reluctance to undress for PE or swimming;
• bruises, scratches etc in genital area;
• does not trust familiar or particular adults.
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;
• if a parent or carer fails to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
• if a parent or carer fails to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
• if a parent or carer fails to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers);
• if a parent of carer fails to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment;
• as a result of unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.
Neglect can be difficult to identify as it often relates to long standing shortcomings on the part of parents or carers rather than a single abusive incident. It is not uncommon for the level of care provided to change from inadequate to adequate and back again.
Neglect is not always intentional; sometimes a parent’s own condition or circumstances, such as physical and learning disabilities, can lead to the neglect of their child.
Examples which may indicate neglect include: (this is not designed to be used as a checklist)
• tiredness and listlessness;
• child dirty and unkempt;
• poorly or inappropriately clad for the weather;
• poor school attendance and often late for school;
• poor concentration;
• poor home conditions;
• affection or attention seeking behaviour;
• untreated illnesses / injuries;
• pallid complexion;
• stealing or scavenging compulsively;
• failure to achieve development milestones,e.g. growth, weight;
• failure to develop intellectually or socially;
• neurotic behaviour.
Generate Love’s staff are advised to familiarise themselves with the definitions above and will ensure that staff members, whether paid or unpaid, undertake training to gain a basic awareness of the signs and symptoms of child abuse.
Section 4 - Named Person(s) for Child Protection
Every organisation that works with children or young people should have a named person in place who is responsible for dealing with any 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 the organisations procedures.
GENERATE LOVE has an appointed individual who is 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 GENERATE LOVE are:
Child Protection Officer:
telephone number: (+91) 941826668
Priyanka Devi (teacher)
telephone number: (+91 9805597840)
Anna Mendham (founder)
telephone number, India: (+91) 8628899602; UK: (+44) 07516555901
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 5 - What to Do if You are Worried about a Child
GENERATE LOVE recognises that it has a duty to act on reports or suspicions of a child at risk and believes that the safety of the child should override any doubts, hesitations, or other considerations (such as the potential to have a negative impact on professional relationships with a family).
When worrying changes are observed in a child’s or young person’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, staff will:
• Initially find a quiet place to talk to the child / young person about what they are observing.
• It is okay to ask questions, for example: “I’ve noticed that you don’t appear yourself today, is everything okay?” But never use leading questions.
• Listen carefully to what the young person has to say and take it seriously.
• Never promise to keep a secret. Always explain to the child / young person that any information they give will have to be shared with others if it indicates that they, and / or other children, are at risk of harm.
Stages of Action to Follow if a Child Makes a Disclosure:
The actions that a member of staff should take can be divided into three stages:
Stage 1: Dealing with the disclosure as it happens; ensuring that the child’s immediate needs are met and that they feel supported.
Stage 2: Ensuring that the designated member of staff (The Named Person on duty) is immediately informed.
Stage 3: Ensuring that details are recorded as soon as possible; that they feel satisfied that the disclosure has been followed up and is acted upon appropriately.
When a disclosure is made to a member of staff it is most important that they understand that they do not have to investigate the disclosure themselves. The disclosure must always be taken seriously and dealt with according to procedures even if the truth of the disclosure is uncertain.
The member of staff should:
• Listen to the child / young person, keeping calm and offering reassurance.
• Observe visible bruises and marks but not ask a child to remove or adjust their clothing to observe them.
• Allow the child to lead the discussion and to talk freely if a disclosure is made.
• Listen to the child without investigating.
• Avoid using questions such as ‘Is there anything else you’d like to tell me?’
• Accept what the child / young person says without challenge.
• Reassure them that they are doing the right thing in telling and that they recognise how hard it is for them to tell.
They should not:
• Press for details by asking questions such as ‘What did they do next?’
• Lay blame or criticise either the child or the perpetrator.
• Ask the child to repeat what they said to a colleague.
• Promise confidentiality – but they should explain that the child has done the right thing and who will need to be told and why.
As soon as possible, once the immediate comfort and safety of the child is secured, the member of staff should inform the Named Person of the disclosure. If the NP is not available then their deputy or the most senior member of staff available should be informed.
The designated person(s) will take immediate action if there is a suspicion that a child has been abused or likely to be abused. In this situation the NP will contact the police and / or Kullu District Child Protection Team.
NB: Parents / carers will need to be informed about any referral to the Child Protection Team unless informing the parent / carer would place the child at an increased risk of harm.
The member of staff receiving the disclosure should note down details as soon as possible. What is clearly etched at the time can become blurred after a few hours. Staff should understand that it is vital that they make clear and concise notes soon after the disclosure in order to complete a more detailed record and incident sheet later. Immediate notes should include:
• date and time;
• place and context of disclosure or concern;
• important facts provided, e.g. names mentioned.
Wherever possible, staff should record information as it was told to them using the language of the child rather than their own interpretation of it.
In the case of bruises or observed injuries a body map (a drawing of a body outline, upon which the location of bruises/injuries can be indicated) might be completed. Any records should be copied to the designated person and will be used by them during the referral process.
It is important that staff are instructed to report factual information rather than assumption or interpretation. They might convey their intuitive thoughts but these should be recognised as such and should not form part of the record.
Kullu District Child Protection Team:
Officer 1: Shri Mata Krishna: (+91) 70184677
Officer 2: Sh. Virender Singh Arya (+91) 9418063793
Manali Police Station:
Child Protection Helpline:
The named person can also seek advice and clarity about a situation that is beginning to raise concern through the State Child Protection Society (Himachal Pradesh) (+91 1772622033).
Vulnerable children and adults require the teacher/activity leader to complete a RISK ASSESSMENT FORM prior to commencing work with the individual or group. The forms are located in the Safeguarding folder in the GENERATE LOVE office.
Section 6 – Managing Allegations Made Against a Member of Staff or Volunteer
GENERATE LOVE will ensure that any allegations made against a member of staff or volunteer will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with these procedures:
• Senior staff / management must ensure that that the child is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made.
• The Named 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. (Note: this could be a trustee, founder, teacher or anyone within the organisation that is in a senior position and believed to be independent of the allegations being made).
• The named person should contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (Kullu District’s LADOis Smt. Krishna, tel: +91 7018467225) for advice on how to proceed with the immediate situation. Outside of office hours (8am – 8pm) or in the event of an emergency, contact the Manali Police Station, (tel: +91 1902 252 326).
• 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 or the District Child Protection Officers.
Regardless of whether a police and /or District Child Protection investigation follows, GENERATE LOVE 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 7 -Management and Supervision of Staff and Volunteer
GENERATE LOVE is committed to the appropriate management and supervision of staff and volunteers working with children and/ or young people to ensure that appropriate lines of accountability are in place with respect to work with children and young people.
• Staff will receive regular supervision meetings in line with the organisation’s supervision policy. These will be recorded and the notes agreed by both parties.
• When a member of staff is involved in a child protection incident this will be reviewed within supervision i.e. recordings, assessments, monitoring arrangements etc and decisions relating to the level of involvement will be taken by the manager, founder and trustees.
• When a member of staff is a member of the child protection core group, working with a child who is subject to a child protection plan, supervision will occur at a minimum of monthly intervals and discussion of the case will be a standing agenda item.
• Supervisors will ensure that information about children is appropriately shared with other organisations and that they will be informed if work ceases with a child when other organisations are involved.
Section 8 - Safe Recruitment
Generate Love is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. Safer recruitment practice includes verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and DBS checks (or local equivalent.)
Pushpa Lama (manager) and Anna Mendham (founder) have completed the NSPCC’s Safer Recruitment in Education training.
Section 9 – Risk Management
GENERATE LOVE involves all its senior members of staff in the development of the risk register to ensure that risks and issues are considered across all areas – including Safeguarding and Child Protection. The organization strives to form an agreement on the likelihood, impact, probability, mitigation and designated representative for each risk ( Named Person for Child Protection; Health and Safety Representative; First-Aiders etc) however the overarching responsibility for creating and maintaining the risk register is with GENERATE LOVE’s founder, Anna Mendham, who has extensive professional experience in residential childcare and outdoor-education leadership and has received training on risk management via the UK’s NVQ framework.
GENERATE LOVE will update its risk register to address risks that may arise and, understanding that a risk register is a living document, will review it regularly (at least biannually.)
Section 10 - Recording and Managing Confidential Information
GENERATE LOVE’s manager, staff and volunteers can be said to have a ‘confidential relationship’ with families. It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their parents and carers, while ensuring that they access high quality services for children / young people. We aim to ensure that all parents and carers can share their information in the confidence that it will only be used to enhance the welfare of their children.
Section 11 – Reviewing Policies and Procedures
GENERATE LOVE’s child protection policies will be reviewed annually and updated accordingly before being signed by the Named Person; the chairperson, and the other trustees.
Should legislation change before the scheduled review, the policy will be updated accordingly.
All changes / amendments will be clarified and shared with staff and will be displayed in the child protection policy for public viewing by carers, parents and young people at the GENERATE LOVE office.
Signed………………………………………. Named Person for Child Protection.
Signed……………………………………….. 2nd trustee.
Signed……………………………………….. 3rd trustee.