Miracle of Mindfulness: Nourishing Happiness 2017
Child Protection Policy & Principles
Our Policy is based on guidance outlined by the NSPCC
The Community of Interbeing UK (CoI) has as its object the promotion of mindful living and ethical behaviour, defined by the 5 precepts or mindfulness trainings of Buddhism; no killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct or use of intoxicants.
We recognise that:
- Protection of all children from abuse is a fundamental policy, which must be observed at all times by those acting in the name of the CoI.
- Any complaint from a child must be listened to and taken seriously. The interests of the child are paramount.
- Child Protection applies to any one under the age of 18.
- All children regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
- Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
The purpose of this policy:
- To provide protection for all the children and young people who participate in activities organised by The Community of Interbeing.
- To provide volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.
We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by:
- Valuing, listening to and respecting them.
- Adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of practice.
- Ensuring that necessary checks are made on those working with children and young people.
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with parents/volunteers.
- Protecting the interests of children by sharing information of any concerns with agencies who need to know, or involving parents and children appropriately.
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually
Principles of Child Protection
Young Adults (Wake-up) Programme Organiser/s – organise young adults’ activities (includes 16-18 year olds)
Teens/Children’s Programme Organiser/s – organise programmes and oversee programme leaders
Teens/Children’s Programme Leader/s – the responsible adult on a session/activity
Volunteers – other adults, including parents, helping at a session/activity
Child Protection Guidance Pack – key documents for organisers/leaders
- a) Definition of child abuse:
Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention.
- b) Named Retreat Organiser/s: For each National Retreat event involving children/young people organised in the name of the CoI, a named organiser and a deputy must make themselves known to the trustees responsible for Child Protection.
- c) Implementing Policy: Anyone organising events involving young people and children will be expected to take responsibility for implementing the policy in practice and is responsible to the trustees and the whole membership. The retreat organisers and the Designated Child Protection Person are responsible for ensuring that the necessary paperwork and procedures are in place.
- d) The Young Adults/Teens/Children’s programme organiser/s: Any programme must be organised and led by a trustworthy adult who is a member of the CoI and has ‘taken’, i.e. promised to observe, the 5 Mindfulness Trainings in front of the community. The organiser must have experience with looking after young people/children. The organisers are responsible for ensuring that all adults working on the programmes are aware of, and adhere to, policy and procedures.
- e) Booking Information: Organisers should make clear in booking information that the CoI has a Child Protection Policy and Procedures, which must be available to read.
- f) Child Protection Designated Person: This is a named trustee who will be responsible for dealing with any Child Protection matters. A deputy trustee will also be appointed.
- g) Risk assessments: The programme organisers have the duty to discover, and inform parents or carers about, any hazards on site. Appropriate risk assessments must be undertaken for the activity base and any special activities such as swimming, organised sports etc, and must be copied to the retreat organisers.
- h) Disclosure and Barring Service checks: Those responsible for organising and leading activities will be subject to the necessary DBS checks. There should always be one DBS checked person attending at a session/activity.
- i) Monastics: The NSPCC (March 2010) has advised that the monastics from Plum Village do not have to be DBS checked. Monastics can work alongside the ‘leaders’ and other volunteers and must adhere to Child Protection policy and guidance.
- j) Unaccompanied Under 16s policy: Usual practice is that no children under 16 are allowed to attend any event, unless accompanied by a named parent/carer. However, in line with NSPCC guidance a young person under 16 may be allowed to attend, with parents/carers’ permission at the discretion of the organisers providing the person leading the programme has been DBS checked.
- k) 16-18 year olds and Young Adults (Wake up): As 16-18 year olds fall under Child Protection, permission from a parent/carer will be needed for those wishing to participate in Young Adults (Wake Up) activities.
- l) No alcohol or other intoxicants are allowed at CoI events.
- m) Children’s special needs: Parents have a duty to inform the organisers of any vulnerabilities or special needs that their children may have.
- n) Physical/verbal abuse: No physical or verbal abuse of children will be tolerated. Parents have the right to discipline their own children, but organisers have the duty to intervene if this appears excessive.
- o) Parents/carers should be informed of the Child Protection Policy and have access to it on request.
- p) Photography policy: A photography policy is in place and parents/carers’ permission will be requested for the organisation to take and use photos of young people/children when participating in organised activities.
- q) CoI’s Data Protection Policy: Information relating to children will be safeguarded in line with the CoI’s Data Protection Policy (Further information available from Retreat Organisers)
- r) Child Protection Guidance pack: A pack will be made available to organisers and leaders with key information on policy, principles and procedures to be followed by all adults working with young people and children.
Responsibility for this Policy
The Trustees of the CoI are responsible for adopting this policy and procedures.
The Trustees will ensure that anyone organising/leading activities for children will be aware of the policy/practices and procedures and will ensure the enforcement of the policy and procedures when required.
The Trustees will review this policy and procedures on an annual basis.
Current Designated Person: Sylvia Clare
Deputy: Vari McLuskie
DBS Administration: Isabelle Wen
Adopted by CoI Trustees Committee on 17th JAN 2017
To be renewed annually before each retreat
On behalf of the Trustees of the Community of Interbeing