Our Safeguarding Policy
This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, the board of trustees, paid staff,
volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or any other person working on
behalf of Caxton Youth Organisation.
The purpose of this policy is:
• To protect children and young people who use/receive Caxton Youth Organisation
services. This includes the children of adults who use our services;
• To provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach
Caxton Youth Organisation believes that no child or young person should ever experience
abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young
people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.
I. Legal framework
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect
• Children Act 1989
• United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
• Data Protection Act 1998
• Sexual Offences Act 2003
• Children Act 2004
• Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
• Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children
• Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (SVGA) 2006
• Equal rights act 2010
• The Children and social work Act (2017)
• Working together to safeguard children (2018)
We recognise that:
● The welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
● All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief,
sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm
● Some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous
experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues.
● Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other
agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
● Valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
● Adopting child protection practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff
● Developing and implementing an effective e-safety policy and related procedures
● Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision,
● Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
● Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents,
staff and volunteers
● Sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and
● Treating everyone with respect and ensuring our own behaviour is appropriate at all
● Ensuring staff and volunteers are visible to other members of staff when working with
young people. If working alone with young people, then staff must follow the ‘lone
working’ checklist and processes (Appendix 2)
● Ensuring staff are working in maximum ratios of 1 staff: 4 young people.
II. Definitions of Abuse
Child abuse and neglect is a generic term encompassing all ill treatment of children including
serious physical and sexual assaults as well as cases where the standard of care does not
adequately support the child’s health or development. Children may be abused or neglected
through the infliction of harm, or through the failure to act to prevent harm. Abuse can occur
in a family or institutional or community setting. The perpetrator may or may not be known to
child. There are many types of abuse including emotional, neglect, peer, physical, financial,
sexual, domestic, radicalisation, female genital mutilation, child sex exploitation and online
(see appendix 1 for further details on the definitions of abuse).
III. Involving young people in Safeguarding
● Young People should be made aware of their right to be safe from abuse and where
they can go for help, this also extends to parents.
● Young people must be given the written code of conduct when they attend and it must
be displayed within the clubrooms.
● If possible, young people should be involved in writing up risk assessments for
activities they are undertaking.
● Youth work sessions should focus on exploring the issues of safeguarding.
IV. Safer Recruitment
Staff members and volunteers selected to work at Caxton Youth Organisation will be subject
to the following process:
● Interview by two or more people, one of whom should be a Trustee
● Two references obtained prior to starting work
● Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check carried out by the Criminal Records
● Ongoing supervision and review of progress
● staff trained in unconscious bias training, and we work towards a more inclusive
model of recruitment.
V. Responding to Safeguarding Concerns
Staff and volunteers may become concerned about a person in a number of ways:
● They may disclose they are being abused.
● There may be concerns due to a person’s behaviour or presentation.
● Concerns may be raised about the behaviour of an adult, who may be a member of
staff, volunteer, another professional or a member of public.
● A parent, carer, relative or member of the public might share their concerns about a
child, young person or vulnerable adult.
● all cases and concerns logged and record with a safeguarding lead
All those who work for or with Caxton Youth Organisation share the responsibility for
safeguarding & protecting children and vulnerable adults but there are individuals within
Caxton with specific safeguarding responsibilities. In all cases report to your designated
safeguarding officer as soon as you can.
VI. The Designated Safeguarding Officer
The Designated Safeguarding Officers are:
Rosemary Swainston: 07873723041
Floyd Hall: 07947614072
Amy Rennie: 07395457110
Eliane Edmond: 07729023369
The trustee with responsibility for safeguarding: Nicola Carlile
VII. Westminster Local Authority Safeguarding details
If you have concerns about the safety of a child you should get in contact straight away on
the number below:
Access to Children’s Services Team (9am to 5pm weekdays) on 020 7641 4000. or outside
of these times the Emergency Duty Team on 02076412388.
Please see a link to further details of their procedures:
If a child is in immediate danger call: 999
The reporting process:
The reporting process If you have a safeguarding concern about a child, or a child makes a
disclosure of possible abuse to you –follow Flowchart One. If you have a safeguarding
concerns (or allegations) about a member of staff, or equivalent, abusing a child – follow
Volunteer, Staff member or Trustee has a safeguarding concern about a child/ young
person, or a child/ young person makes a disclosure of possible abuse.
Inform the Designated Safeguarding Person. In the case of a disclosure make it clear you
cannot keep the information confidential.
If necessary the Designated Safeguarding Person makes contact with local children’s social
care for advice.
1. Concern/allegation about a volunteer, trustee or member of staff or someone working
on Caxton’s behalf abusing a child.
2. Inform Designated safeguarding lead unless the allegation is about this person, in
which case inform most senior member of staff/trustee not implicated.
3. The person to whom this information has been given makes contact with the Local
Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for advice and guidance
Information Sharing & Confidentiality
You can never guarantee confidentiality to a child or young person. Information should
always be shared if you think a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, abuse. The protection of
children must take precedence over other legal rights. Please be assured that as long as
information is shared in an appropriate manner and in good faith, the law will protect you.
You should ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you
are sharing it, is shared only with those individuals who need to have it, is accurate and
For further guidance see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguardingpractitioners-
Serious Incidents (Charity Commission)
It is a requirement of the Charity Commission that all charities inform them of serious
incidents that may occur. The Charity Commission defines a serious incident as an adverse
event, whether actual or alleged, which results in or risks significant:
● loss of your charity’s money or assets
● damage to your charity’s property
● harm to your charity’s work, beneficiaries or reputation. It is the responsibility of the
trustees to report a serious incident.
More details can be found on the Charity Commission website
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.
Signed by: ……………………………………………….Date: 07/06/2022
Name: Rose Swainston
Appendix 1 – Definitions of abuse (NSPCC, 2017)
What is child abuse?
Child abuse happens when a person – adult or child – harms a child. It can be physical,
sexual or emotional, but can also involve a lack of love, care and attention. Neglect can be
just as damaging to a child as physical or sexual abuse. Children may be abused by:
● family members
● people working or volunteering in organisational or community settings
● people they know
● or, much less commonly, by strangers.
Children suffering abuse often experience more than 1 type of abuse. The abuse usually
happens over a period time, rather than being a single, isolated incident. Increasingly, abuse
can happen online.
What is physical abuse?
Physical abuse happens when a child is deliberately hurt, causing injuries such as cuts,
bruises, burns and broken bones. It can involve hitting, kicking, shaking, throwing, poisoning,
burning or suffocating. It’s also physical abuse if a parent or carer makes up or causes the
symptoms of illness in children. For example, they may give them medicine they don’t need,
making them unwell. This is known as fabricated or induced illness (FII).
What is neglect?
Neglect is persistently failing to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs
usually resulting in serious damage to their health and development. Neglect may involve a
parent’s or carer’s failure to:
● provide adequate food, clothing or shelter
● supervise a child (including leaving them with unsuitable carers) or keep them safe
from harm or danger
● make sure the child receives appropriate health and/or dental care
● make sure the child receives a suitable education
● meet the child’s basic emotional needs – parents may ignore their children when they
are distressed or even when they are happy or excited. This is known as emotional
What is sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse is forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities. It doesn’t
necessarily involve violence and the child may not be aware that what is happening is
abuse. Child sexual abuse can involve contact abuse and/or non-contact abuse. Contact
abuse happens when the abuser makes physical contact with the child. It includes:
● sexual touching of any part of the body whether the child is wearing clothes or not
● rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a child’s mouth, vagina or
● forcing or encouraging a child to take part in sexual activity
● making a child take their clothes off, touch someone else’s genitals or masturbate.
Non-contact abuse involves non-touching activities.
It can happen online or in person and includes:
● encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts
● not taking proper measures to prevent a child being exposed to sexual activities by
● showing pornography to a child
● making, viewing or distributing child abuse images
● allowing someone else to make, view or distribute child abuse images.
Online sexual abuse includes:
● persuading or forcing a child to send or post sexually explicit images of themselves,
this is sometimes referred to as sexting
● persuading or forcing a child to take part in sexual activities via a webcam or
● having sexual conversations with a child by text or online
● meeting a child following online sexual grooming with the intent of abusing them.
Abusers may threaten to send sexually explicit images, video or copies of sexual
conversations to the young person’s friends and family unless they take part in other sexual
activity. Images or videos may continue to be shared long after the abuse has stopped.
Abusers will often try to build an emotional connection with a child in order to gain their trust
for the purposes of sexual abuse. This is known as grooming.
Child sexual exploitation
What is child sexual exploitation?
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. Young people in exploitative
situations and relationships receive things such as gifts, money, drugs, alcohol, status or
affection in exchange for taking part in sexual activities. Young people may be tricked into
believing they’re in a loving, consensual relationship. They often trust their abuser and don’t
understand that they’re being abused. They may depend on their abuser or be too scared to
tell anyone what’s happening. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol
before being sexually exploited. They can also be groomed and exploited online. Some
children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual
exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also happen to young people in gangs (Berelowitz et al,
2013). Child sexual exploitation can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual
assaults and involve multiple perpetrators. Spotting the signs of child sexual exploitation
Sexual exploitation can be very difficult to identify. Warning signs can easily be mistaken for
‘normal’ teenage behaviour. Young people who are being sexually exploited may:
● go missing from home, care or education
● be involved in abusive relationships, appearing intimidated and fearful of certain
people or situations
● hang out with groups of older people, or anti-social groups, or with other vulnerable
● get involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership
● have older boyfriends or girlfriends
● spend time at places of concern, such as hotels or known brothels
● not know where they are, because they have been moved around the country
● be involved in petty crime such as shoplifting
● have access to drugs and alcohol
● have new things such as clothes and mobile phones which they can’t or won’t explain
● have unexplained physical injuries.
Harmful sexual behaviour
What is harmful sexual behaviour?
Children and young people who develop harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) harm themselves
and others. HSB can include:
● using sexually explicit words and phrases
● inappropriate touching
● using sexual violence or threats
● full penetrative sex with other children or adults.
Sexual behaviour between children is also considered harmful if one of the children is much
older – particularly if there is more than 2 years’ difference in age or if one of the children is
pre-pubescent and the other is not (Davies, 2012). However, a younger child can abuse an
older child, particularly if they have power over them – for example, if the older child is
disabled (Rich, 2011).
Spotting the signs of harmful sexual behaviour
It’s normal for children to show signs of sexual behaviour at each stage in their development.
Children also develop at different rates and some may be slightly more or less advanced
than other children in their age group. Behaviours which might be concerning depend on the
child’s age and the situation. If you are unsure whether a child’s sexual behaviour is healthy,
Brook provide a helpful, easy-to-use traffic light tool. The traffic light system is used to
describe healthy (green) sexual behaviours, potentially unhealthy (amber) sexual behaviours
and unhealthy (red) sexual behaviours.
What is emotional abuse?
Emotional abuse is persistent and, over time, it severely damages a child’s emotional health
and development. It involves:
● humiliating, putting down or constantly criticising a child
● shouting at or threatening a child or calling them names
● mocking a child or making them perform degrading acts
● constantly blaming or scapegoating a child for things which are not their fault
● trying to control a child’s life and not recognising their individuality
● not allowing them to have friends or develop socially
● pushing a child too hard or not recognising their limitations
● manipulating a child
● exposing a child to distressing events or interactions such as drug taking, heavy
drinking or domestic abuse
● persistently ignoring them
● being cold and emotionally unavailable during interactions with a child
● never saying anything kind, positive or encouraging to a child and failing to praise
their achievements and successes.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between
people who are or were in an intimate relationship. There are many different types of
abusive behaviours that can occur within intimate relationships, including emotional, sexual,
financial, psychological and physical abuse. Domestic abuse can be underpinned by an ongoing
pattern of psychologically abusive behaviour (coercive control) that is used by 1
partner to control or intimidate the other partner.
In situations of domestic abuse, both males and females can be abused or be abusers.
Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship regardless of age, sexuality, gender identity,
race or religious identity. Research by the NSPCC has indicated that many young people
experience domestic abuse in their own intimate relationships (Barter, 2009). The UK’s
cross-government definition of domestic abuse also covers relationships between young
people aged 16 and 17 (Home Office, 2013).
Children’s exposure to domestic abuse between parents and carers is child abuse. Children
can be directly involved in incidents of domestic abuse or they may be harmed by seeing or
hearing abuse happening. The developmental and behavioural impact of witnessing
domestic abuse is similar to experiencing direct abuse. Children in homes where there is
domestic abuse are also at risk of other types of abuse or neglect. Spotting the signs of
domestic abuse It can be difficult to tell if domestic abuse is happening, because it usually
takes place in the family home and abusers can act very differently when other people are
Bullying and cyberbullying
What are bullying and cyberbullying?
Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else. It usually happens over a lengthy period of
time and can harm a child both physically and emotionally. Bullying includes:
● verbal abuse, such as name calling
● non-verbal abuse, such as hand signs or glaring
● emotional abuse, such as threatening, intimidating or humiliating someone
● exclusion, such as ignoring or isolating someone
● undermining, by constant criticism or spreading rumours
● controlling or manipulating someone
● racial, sexual or homophobic bullying
● physical assaults, such as hitting and pushing
● making silent, hoax or abusive calls.
Bullying can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. When bullying happens online
it can involve social networks, games and mobile devices. Online bullying can also be known
as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying includes:
● sending threatening or abusive text messages
● creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos
● ‘trolling’ – sending menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms
or online games
● excluding children from online games, activities or friendship groups
● setting up hate sites or groups about a particular child
● encouraging young people to self-harm
● voting for or against someone in an abusive poll
● creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass a young
person or cause trouble using their name.
What is child trafficking?
Child trafficking is child abuse. It involves recruiting and moving children who are then
exploited. Many children are trafficked into the UK from overseas, but children can also be
trafficked from one part of the UK to another. Children are trafficked for:
● child sexual exploitation
● benefit fraud
● forced marriage
● domestic servitude such as cleaning, childcare, cooking
● forced labour in factories or agriculture
● criminal exploitation such as cannabis cultivation, pickpocketing, begging,
transporting, drugs, selling pirated DVDs and bag theft.
Children who are trafficked experience many forms of abuse and neglect. Physical, sexual
and emotional abuse is often used to control them and they’re also likely to suffer physical
and emotional neglect. Child trafficking can require a network of organised criminals who
recruit, transport and exploit children and young people. Some people in the network might
not be directly involved in trafficking a child but play a part in other ways, such as falsifying
documents, bribery, owning or renting premises or money laundering.
Child trafficking can also be organised by individuals and the children’s own families.
Traffickers trick, force or persuade children to leave their homes. They use grooming
techniques to gain the trust of a child, family or community. Although these are methods
used by traffickers, coercion, violence or threats don’t need to be proven in cases of child
trafficking – a child cannot legally consent to their exploitation so child trafficking only
requires evidence of movement and exploitation.
Modern slavery is another term which may be used in relation to child trafficking. Modern
slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human
trafficking (HM Government, 2014). The Modern Slavery Act passed in 2015 in England and
Wales categorises offences of slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human
trafficking (NCA, 2017).
Female genital mutilation
What is female genital mutilation?
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for
non-medical reasons. It’s also known as female circumcision or cutting. The age at which
FGM is carried out varies. It may be carried out when a girl is newborn, during childhood or
adolescence, just before marriage or during pregnancy (Home Office et al, 2016). Religious,
social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM.
However, FGM is child abuse. It’s dangerous and a criminal offence. There are no medical
reasons to carry out FGM. It doesn’t enhance fertility and it doesn’t make childbirth safer. It’s
used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical
and emotional health. Spotting the signs of female genital mutilation A girl at immediate risk
of FGM may not know what’s going to happen. But she might talk about or you may become
● a long holiday abroad or going ‘home’ to visit family
● relative or cutter visiting from abroad
● a special occasion or ceremony to ‘become a woman’ or get ready for marriage
● a female relative being cut – a sister, cousin or an older female relative such as a
mother or aunt
● missing school repeatedly or running away from home.