The following outlines BTO's approach to safeguarding children (under the age of 18) who engage with the BTO, in particular those that undertake fieldwork for one of the BTO's surveys.
This policy applies to all staff, volunteers and trustees of the BTO.
The purpose of this policy is to protect children who engage with the BTO from abuse, and to protect adults who engage with children on behalf of the BTO from unfounded allegations of abuse.
This policy has been drawn up having regard to:
- Children Act 1989
- United Nations Convention on 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
We recognise that:
- We have a duty to promote the welfare of children with whom we work and to keep them safe
- All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have an equal right to protection from harm or abuse
- Some children are particularly vulnerable because of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
- Working in partnership with children, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting children’s welfare
We will seek to keep children safe by:
- Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- Adopting child protection procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- Safely recruiting or training any staff or volunteers that we are directing to work regularly with children
- Appointing and training at least two Designated Safeguarding Officers
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with staff, volunteers, parents and children
- Sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, involving parents and children as appropriate
- Keeping our policy and procedures under review
Code of conduct
The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to help to protect children from abuse and inappropriate behaviour from adults, and to protect staff and volunteers from unfounded allegations of abuse.
Applicability and enforcement
This code of conduct applies to all BTO members of staff, volunteers and trustees who engage with children on behalf of the BTO. Any breaches of this Code of Conduct must be reported to the BTO’s Safeguarding Officer, Andrew Scott (01842 750050 andrew.scott [at] bto.org), or alternatively Sian Knott (01842 750050 sian.knott [at] bto.org).
A breach of this Code of Conduct by staff may be regarded as a disciplinary offence under the BTO’s Staff Disciplinary Procedures. Serious breaches may also result in a referral to a statutory agency including the police, the local authority children’s social care department and the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Staff and volunteers working with children must:
- Observe this general Code of Conduct, and any specific BTO guidelines for the relevant activity
- Ensure that any risk assessment for the activity takes children appropriately into account
- Ensure that any contact with children is appropriate for the activity
- Ensure that there is more than one adult present (within sight or hearing) during activities with children
- Listen to and respect children, treating them fairly and avoiding favouritism
- Use language that is appropriate for children and not offensive or discriminatory
- Respect children’s right to personal privacy
- Report all concerns or allegations of abuse to the BTO’s Safeguarding Officer (Andrew Scott 01842 750050 andrew.scott [at] bto.org).
Staff and volunteers working with children must not:
- Work regularly with children (defined as once a week or more, or on 4 or more days in 30, or overnight) without completing the vetting procedures required by law in the country of work
- Develop inappropriate relationships with children
- Allow concerns or allegations of abuse to go unreported
- Make promises to children not to report disclosures of abuse