Belfast Activity Centre
Registered charity XN82053
Every activity offered by BAC is fully risk assessed and all activities are delivered by fully qualified and trained staff and volunteers who receive regular training and assessments. All BAC staff and volunteers working with children and young people are subject to a PSNI Access NI check.
The following policy and procedures for child protection are followed by all BAC staff and volunteers to ensure the upmost safety and protection for all children and young people involved with any BAC activity.
1.1 Belfast Activity Centre (BAC) accepts that in all matters concerning child protection, the welfare and protection of the young person is the paramount consideration.
1.2 It is the policy of BAC to safeguard the welfare of all young people and others involved in BAC activities by protecting them from physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional harm and neglect.
1.3 BAC will strive to provide an environment where children are protected and kept safe from harm while they are with staff and volunteers of the organization. This will be promoted by:
This document covers five main areas:
2.1 The checking of staff and volunteers directly involved with young people through BAC
2.2 Procedures for staff, volunteers and the nominated Child Protection Officer in the event of a child protection issue arising
2.3 A Code of behaviour for staff, parents and young people involved in the Centres activities
2.4 A summary of the general arrangements for staff and volunteers
3 The checking of staff and volunteers directly involved with young people through BAC
3.1 As part of BAC recruitment procedure, any adult who will undertake a role that will give them substantial unsupervised access to young people under the age of 18 years will be checked. These checks are likely to use the Child Care Unit of the Department of Health, Social Services and Personal Safety, and will include the taking up of references. In Northern Ireland the current process is now ACCESS NI. This is the regional equivalent to CRB (Criminal Record Checks) in England, Scotland and Wales.
3.2 Prospective employees / volunteers should give their consent to any necessary checks to be made at any time, but they will normally be made after a conditional offer of appointment. Checks will be required by everyone, even those who have already been the subject of vetting by another ‘approved’ youth organization.
3.3 Adults who are considered to be directly or indirectly involved with young people or venerable adults within BAC’s care will subject themselves to a risk assessment by a senior member of BAC staff. This will be to ensure that the partner organisation has appropriate Child protection procedures and that where required they have been vetted by that organisation. (i.e. expedition assessors, teachers, care workers, and classroom assistants). These people may already be engaged working with the young people on the programme and so only come into contact with BAC on a temporary basis. Where there is longer term contact or contact in a residential set BAC reserves the right to ACCESS NI check persons who are not employees or volunteers of BAC but however have involvement in BAC programmes.
3.4 Prospective employees and volunteers are required to disclose all convictions whether spent or not. Anyone convicted of an offence involving abuse or causing harm to any young person will be liable to instant dismissal and prohibited from operation directly or indirectly for the Centre in any capacity.
4 Procedures for Staff and Volunteers in the event of a Child Protection Issue Arising.
4.1 All allegations / suspicions, whether or not the allegations are made against a member of Centre staff, volunteer or an individual from an associated organization, are to be treated as strictly confidential and must be referred immediately and directly to the Child Protection Officer.
Stephen Dickson – Centre Director
Nicola Campbell – Senior Project Worker
4.3 No investigation or questioning is to be undertaken as to do so might jeopardize any future enquiry. All allegations / suspicions are to be referred no matter how insignificant they seem to be or when they occur.
4.4 What happens if you suspect a young person is being abused?
4.5 What happens if a young person discloses to you abuse by someone else?
4.6 What happens if you receive an allegation about any adult or about yourself?
4.7 If any information is received about any suspicious behavior or circumstances it must be immediately passed to the Child Protection Officer the Centre Director or Senior Member of Staff on duty at the time, and treated as strictly confidential. This will be passed to the local Police Child Protection Unit or the local Social Services within 24 hours.
4.8 In the case of the allegation being against the Nominated Officer, contact the Chairperson of the Management Committee.
4.9 You must refer – You must not investigate
4.9The NSPCC provides a free 24-hour Child Protection Helpline, staffed by experienced social workers.
5 Photography and Videoing Policy
5.1 BAC recognises that video footage and images can be an extremely powerful means to record and review the extraordinary experiences that young people have when participating in outdoor activities, but BAC also recognises the concerns of parents and guardians regarding the use of these images. BAC endeavours to take a responsible attitude towards the use of video and digital images.
5.2 BAC will only take and/or use images if permission has been obtained from parents or guardians of any students under the age of 18 at the Centre.
5.3 Permission is sought on our consent forms.
5.4 When using images for publicity purposes (either on our website or for other publications), group shots would be used in preference to shots of individuals
5.5 No images of young people partially clothed will be used
5.6 No images of young people making inappropriate gestures or gestures that could be interpreted as inappropriate will be used
5.7 No full names of pupils will be used in conjunction with any images
5.8 If you feel that any image used on our website is inappropriate then we shall remove it as soon as possible.