East Devon District Council

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Policy Safeguarding children policy

Show all parts of this policy

7. Steps for officers and councillors to follow to avoid putting themselves or children at risk

We must:

  • ensure that all officers who may deal with children and young people in any capacity are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)  and aware of our policy
  • either avoid working or being alone with a child, young person or vulnerable adult in a private or unobserved situation, or if this is unavoidable ensure that the line manager is informed
  • avoid unnecessary physical contact with a child, young person or vulnerable adult
  • ensure information on, and images of, children cannot be misused
  • ensure that our contractors adhere to similar policies to our own
  • assess risks to children and young people for any service or activity involving this group
  • maintain facilities which may be used by children and young people in a safe and serviceable condition

Advice on avoiding problems

  • Do not use verbal or physical chastisement that could be classified as abuse (including shaking, hitting, shouting, swearing, or humiliating behaviour)
  • Do not enter any premises at the invitation, or with the acquiescence, of a child or young person unless an adult householder is also present
  • Maintain a safe and appropriate physical distance.
  • Do not allow a child, young person or vulnerable adult to make close physical contact with you
  • Ensure that if any form of a manual/physical support is required it should only be provided when absolutely necessary in relation to the activity and preferably in the sight of another adult
  • Do not take a child to their home or in a vehicle without the child or their carer’s specific agreement and without informing your line manager
  • Do not film or photograph children or young people, or allow others to do so, or use the images without expressed and recorded permission from their parent or guardian
  • Do not use general photographs of children unless they are appropriately dressed (it is also preferable that they are in groups and engaged in an activity)
  • Do not do things of a personal nature for a child, young person or vulnerable adult that they are able to do themselves
  • Ensure that services for children are provided in areas from which children cannot be easily abducted, where all adults will be in sight of other adults, and you have encouraged children to report concerns
  • Do not use physical restraint except as a last resort to prevent the child, young person or vulnerable adult causing damage or injury to themselves or another person
  • Do not publish information about children that could lead to them being identified or traced