Bearsden Primary After School Club recognises its statutory responsibility under the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003, Adult Support and Protection ( Scotland ) Act 2007 and its Code of Practice
This policy should be read in conjunction with BPASC Child protection Policy and the Policy on the Recruitment of Staff with Criminal Convictions and the use of Disclosure Scotland (Criminal Record Checks) for New and Existing Staff.
This policy applies to all staff, volunteers, and visitors.
Children are legally defined as young people under the age of 18.
Vulnerable adults, can be defined as persons over the age of 16 who have a learning or physical disability; a physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs; or a reduction in physical or mental capacity.
BPASC Vulnerable Adult Policy Statement defines a vulnerable adult who as a result of age, illness, disability, or mental disorder, in the clubs reasonable opinion, is unable to safeguard his or her personal welfare, property, or financial affairs or who may be unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or exploitation and is in need of support or attention.
- To ensure risk assessment is undertaken.
- To aid protection through disclosure (criminal records) checks of staff
- To ensure anyone involved in an abuse case is supported appropriately.
- To ensure referral to specialised agencies e.g. Police, Social Work Department where necessary.
- To appoint designated persons with responsibility for children and vulnerable adult protection.
- To identify an acceptable code of practice and guidance for all members of staff, volunteers and visitors.
Definitions of abuse
Staff may suspect that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused, or have abuse disclosed to them.
Abuse can involve inflicting harm or failing to prevent harm and can include any of the following:
Physical Abuse: actual or likely physical harm, or failure to prevent physical injury.
Sexual Abuse: involves forcing or enticing an individual to take part in sexual activities, whether or not they are aware of what is happening.
Emotional Abuse: severe or persistent, emotional ill treatment or rejection, likely to cause adverse effects on the emotional and behavioural development of an individual.
Neglect: is the persistent failure to meet the basic physical and/or psychological needs likely to result in serious impairment of health or development.
Indication that a child or vulnerable adult may be suffering abuse could include the following:
- Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns.
- Inconsistent explanations for injuries.
- The child/vulnerable adult describes what appears to be an abuse act involving themselves.
- Unexplained changes of behaviour – e.g. becoming withdrawn, sudden temper outbursts.
- Inappropriate sexual awareness.
- The child/vulnerable adult is distrustful of adults, where trust would normally be associated. (This list is not exhaustive.)
Designated persons to deal with complaints and protection issues
In the event that a member of staff or visitor suspects or has been informed that abuse of a child or vulnerable adult is taking place, they should contact one of the following:
Volunteers, Visitors and Children should approach
Nicole Bathgate -Supervisor
Staff should approach
Sandra Clanachan-Project Coordinator
Allegations against staff ,volunteers or visitors
An allegation against a member of staff , volunteer or visitor should be reported immediately to the Project Coordinator . All allegations of this nature will be handled in accordance with the appropriate BPASC disciplinary procedure for staff.
BPASC recognises the possibility of malicious or vexatious complaints and any complaints identified as such will be treated seriously and the club will respond with the appropriate disciplinary procedures or other appropriate action.
Any member of staff , visitor or volunteer found, as a result of following the appropriate BPASC Disciplinary procedure, to have committed any act of abuse towards a child or vulnerable adult will be subject to disciplinary proceedings and that person may also be subject to criminal proceedings.
Good practice guidance for staff
Staff and students must ensure that they take steps to prevent putting themselves in a position where an allegation of abuse can be made against them. Steps to consider preventing risk of allegations:
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact.
- Do not take a child or vulnerable adult to the toilet unless another adult is present or another adult is aware.
- If you are in a situation where you are alone with a child or vulnerable adult, make sure that others can clearly observe you.
- Avoid personal relationships with a child or vulnerable adult.
- Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child or vulnerable adult, even in fun, as it could be misinterpreted.
- If a child or vulnerable adult accuses a member of staff, you should report this immediately to the designated person (listed above).
- If a complaint or accusation from a child or vulnerable adult is made to you, it is important to listen without making or implying any judgement as to the truth of the accusation or complaint. You must not investigate this yourself and should report it to the designated person immediately.
- Remember that those who abuse can be of any age (even other children, young people and vulnerable adults), gender or ethnic background, and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people prevent appropriate action taking place.
- Good practice includes valuing and respecting children and vulnerable adults as individuals, and ensuring bullying, aggressive behaviour, racism, or sexism does not occur.
- Dealing with reported suspicions and allegations
- If a child or vulnerable adult tells you that they are being abused the following steps should be followed:
- Try not to appear shocked and show that you accept what they are saying and that you take their allegation seriously. Listen carefully and sympathetically and bear in mind communication in relation to age or any learning disabilities.
- Do not prompt or ask leading questions.
- Explain what action you must take i.e. immediate referral to a designated person.
- Remember: do not promise confidentiality, as information on abuse must be reported.
- Make a note of the date, time, place, and people who were present and write down exactly what you have been told using the exact words if possible.
- Do not confront the alleged abuser.
- Refer all information immediately to the relevant designated person.
Individual members of staff should never deal with abuse disclosures in isolation and should always refer to the designated person. These are the only people who should deal with the case and report suspected abuse to Social Work Department or the Police.
Once the matter has been referred to the designated person, they will:
- Ensure that the child/vulnerable adult is not in any immediate danger.
- Gather the details.
- Refer the case to the Social Work Department or the Police. It should be made clear to the child/vulnerable adult that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed and if the child/vulnerable adult does not wish the complaint to be taken forward, the designated person should seek advice in confidence from the Social Work Department or the Police as to what the best course of action should be.
- The designated person must update the child/vulnerable adult of a decision to report the incident and reason for the referral to the specialised agency.
- The designated person will make contact with the parents or guardian unless this may place the child/vulnerable adult in harm. All discussions should be documented and noted.
- The designated person will contact the relevant agency and make a formal referral in writing.
- Written records of all actions, discussions and decision-making rationale must be recorded and kept in a securely locked location.
- The designated person will be the point of contact for the specialist agency throughout the investigation.