The basis of our procedures are to safeguard the welfare of children and young people under 18 and vulnerable adults who attend Outdoor Tribe sessions.
- When a child, young person or vulnerable adults has been or alleged to have been emotionally, physically or sexually abused by another child, young person or adult, it is important that the appropriate protection procedures are followed in respect of the child and the alleged abuser.
- Outdoor Tribe has a policy that if abuse by any member of our staff is suspected there will be immediate Police intervention to determine whether a crime has been committed. Outdoor Tribe will also conduct its own investigation to determine whether misconduct has taken place.
- Confidentiality is not complete secrecy. It is a relationship of mutual trust. Its purpose one of benefit to the young person.
- The person receiving information about abuse should always explain that in order to protect the young person it will be necessary to share the information entrusted to him/her with other Agencies.
- It is essential the confidant assist the young person through the initial process, which may well cause them considerable anxiety.
Course of action we will take
- If any one has knowledge or a suspicion that a child is being abused or is at risk of abuse then they have a duty to refer their concern to the appropriate Social Services department at the earliest possible opportunity.
- All Adult staff and volunteers should be vigilant to signs that a child is under stress and in need of help. They should inform the session Leader of any concerns they have about a particular child.
- If there is continued cause for concern or doubt persists social services should be consulted. The prime concern is to safeguard the young person or vulnerable adult.
- A young person or vulnerable adult alleging that they have been physically or sexually abused should always be taken seriously (even if that statement is later retracted) and reassurance given that it was “right to tell”.
- The child, young person or vulnerable adult will not be given an absolute guarantee of confidentiality, even if this is a precondition of them telling. It should be explained to the child that certain other people would need to be told in order to protect them. They should be assured that any subsequent actions taken would be discussed with them at each stage of the proceedings.
- The comments of the person, their appearance and behaviour should be carefully noted and recorded. No interview of the family members, parents or alleged abuser should be carried out. These are for Social Services or the Police to investigate.
- All actions should be recorded and placed in a confidential file. Notes should be made of times, dates and personnel involved; these will be kept separately and securely in the safe at the Outdoor Tribe office.