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EMAIL: northwickparkcommunitygarden@gmail.com
FIND US AT: Northwick Park, Wembley, UK.

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Charity Reg. No. 1180141

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Child/Youth Abuse Prevention Policy

Introduction

This policy establishes how NPCG will prevent the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children and youth by its volunteers. NPCG seeks to create a welcoming and nurturing environment with no tolerance for those whose actions may jeopardise the safety, health or innocence of a child/youth.

 

Definitions

Abuse is defined as cruel or violent treatment. Abuse can take many forms. This policy prohibits all types of abuse, including:

  • Physical abuse – Injury inflicted on a child or youth

  • Sexual abuse – Contact or activity of a sexual nature between an adult and a child or youth

  • Emotional abuse – Mental or emotional injury inflicted on a child or youth by the actions of an adult

  • Neglect – Failure to provide adequate care for a child or youth

  • Economic abuse – Deliberate misuse of the money or belongings of a child or youth

 

Child/Youth – is defined as anyone under 18 years of age.

POLICY GUIDELINES

Personnel Screenings

Safeguards in the recruiting process of volunteers and trained or qualified experts will be used to eliminate from consideration any candidates who display characteristics that could classify them at a high risk for violating this policy. The required screenings and background information will depend on the positions and its level of involvement with children and youth.

For those who work with or around children or youth. Candidates for volunteer positions that involve interaction with children or youth will be screened and selected using the following:

  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

  • Driving records and any applicable certification, if the position requires the transport of children

  • In-person volunteer interview

  • Periodic checks will be conducted every five years for those who regularly work with children or youth.

 

Structural Guidelines for Programmes

All NPCG programmes are designed to encourage safe interaction between volunteers and children or youth. The following guidelines are meant to keep established safeguards effective:

  • Programmes for children or youth must have an established adult to child ratio

  • Volunteers are restricted from being alone with a child or youth where they cannot be easily observed by others

  • Volunteers are not allowed to implement new activities or programmes for children without NPCG trustee consent. Request for new activities or programmes should be submitted in writing to NPCG trustees.

  • Written permission must be obtained from a parent, guardian or school representative before any volunteer transports a child or youth in the name of this person.

  • Children under the age of six placed in the care of NPCG during a specific onsite gardening activity, mutually agreed with the parent, legal guardian or person designated by a parent or legal guardian, will only be released to a parent, legal guardian or a person designated by a parent or legal guardian.

 

General Conduct

In an effort to provide a safe and healthy environment for both mind and body, NPCG trustees and volunteers are required to treat all children and youth with respect and consideration. Treatment must be fair and equal, and must not be based on sex, race, religion, sexual orientation or economic or social status. All effort must be made to avoid favouritism, or the appearance of favouritism.

In addition, NPCG offers the following guidelines as a non-exhaustive list of prohibited behaviour that, if followed, should guide NPCG trustees and volunteers during their interactions with children and youth. These guidelines do not and cannot outline every situation that may be encountered while on the project, nor can they anticipate and enumerate every possible prohibited or unacceptable practice. For these reasons, trustees and volunteers must use good judgement and act with a high degree of professional judgement. Omitted, prohibited practices in this section will not be considered acceptable behaviour. NPCG trustees reserve the right to take action against volunteers whose actions are found to be inappropriate regardless of whether they appear in this section.

NPCG volunteers must never:

  • Possess, distribute, use or allow others to use any alcohol or drugs while representing NPCG.

  • Use harsh or inappropriate language, degrading punishment or any type of restraining device in the name of behaviour management.

  • Participate in, or allow others to, engage in any form of hazing.

  • Have sexual contact with children or youth.

  • Dress, undress, shower or bathe with, or in the presence of, children or youth.

  • Use physical punishment in any form. The only time physical force is allowed to be used against a child or youth is when their actions are placing others at an immediate risk for serious harm.

  • Discuss their own sexual history, preferences or fantasies, nor their use of illicit or pornographic materials while in the company of children or youth.

  • Possess any sexually oriented materials (books, magazines, videos, clothing) when conducting business in the name of NPCG.

  • Interact one-on-one with a child or youth in a private area. When one-on-one discussion or counselling is warranted, volunteer interaction with a child or youth must take place in an area that allows for private conversation while remaining in the view of others.

 

Volunteers may not make an exception to these guidelines.

Volunteer Agreement

If you have any uncertainty or questions regarding the content of this policy, you are required to consult the trustees of NPCG. This should be done prior to signing and agreeing to the NPCG Child/Youth Abuse Prevention Policy.

I have read and understand NPCG Child/Youth Abuse Prevention Policy and agree to abide by its terms and conditions throughout the course of my volunteering assignment with NPCG. I understand that my failure to follow the terms of this policy could result in disciplinary action up to, and including, termination of any volunteering arrangements with NPCG in the future.

 

Policy v1 approved by the Trustees on 23/11/2018

Policy v2 reviewed by the Trustees on 30/11/2019

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