A child protection and safeguarding policy is the first formal commitment to keeping children safe. While the policy should be a fundamental consideration, bespoke for each organisation, it should be more than just a piece of paper.
The policy should clearly articulate the fact that the organisation values the physical and emotional wellbeing of all children in its care. The policy should also explain how this will be ensured.
A policy should include articles on:
- The organisation’s view towards treatment of children and youth
- How adults and children are expected to interact
- Detailed procedures for reporting suspicions and incidents
- How and by whom investigations will be led
- What the implications for individuals involved will be
- Which support will be made available for parties involved, including how this support can be accessed
- Procedures for communicating the keeping children safe message
- Methods for including all stakeholders in processes
- Procedures for recruiting staff and volunteers
- Timelines for recurrent reviews of the policy
Using a set of agreed safeguards can be a very useful tool to assist with writing a child protection and safeguarding policy. The International Safeguarding Children in Sport Working Group is currently piloting a set of safeguards.
Many organisations have child protection and safeguarding policies in place. To make these policies a living thing, they should be under constant review and adapted for each organisation with the input of all stakeholders. Below are some sample policies that can be used as a resource when developing your organisation’s policy.