Setting up a group or activity where children and young people will be involved is an exciting, fun and rewarding thing to do. Find out how to make it as safe as possible.
There’s lots to think about when you’re setting up an activity group for children and young people. You want to make sure that they have fun, but also need to ensure that they are kept as safe as possible when their parents leave them in your care.
Don't be disheartened or put off – we’re here to help you put the correct safeguards in place. The Safe Network can provide advice, information and resources to cover the key elements of keeping children safe.
Try filling in one of our safeguarding healthcheck forms to work out what you’ve already got in place and what you need to develop.
When setting up an activity group that involves children you will firstly need to consider finding safe and accessible premises. It is recommended that a risk assessment of the prospective venue is undertaken.
On securing premises you will need to obtain the appropriate level of insurance cover. This would ordinarily be Public Liability insurance, but it is best to check with your insurance company and also whomever you are renting or leasing the property from.
Think about the safeguarding issues that might come up because of the different needs of the children you will be having contact with, or the types of activities they’re involved in such as:
- activities with deaf and disabled children
- activities involving changing clothes, (for example dance costumes)
- activities with one-to-one contact
- competitive activities where there is an opportunity for favouritism
The following other measures will need to be considered as best practice:
Some groups choose to set up their own websites. It is important to make sure children are protected online, on forums and message boards. Any pictures that are used have been agreed for use by parents and that no personal/ identifying information is included with the picture. For this you may wish to write a media or photography policy.
Above all else it is important to create a protective culture that puts children’s interests first – children must feel confident that if they have concerns someone will listen and take them seriously
Why not order one of our FREE Are they Safe? packs, which includes a step by step guide to safeguarding children in your group, a DVD resource, posters and sample templates.
The Safe Network has also developed the Keeping our children safe: Raising awareness in BME communities resource to help facilitators and trainers raise awareness of child protection issues in black and minority ethnic communities.
Remember, everything you do to keep children safe is worthwhile.
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