Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable People
Belfast Exposed recognises that everyone has a right to be protected from all forms of abuse and discrimination, and to be treated equally, irrespective of age, culture, disability, employment status, ethnic origin, gender, linguistic preference, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, race, religious conviction, sexual identity or socio-economic group.
Everyone involved with Belfast Exposed, in whatever capacity, has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of children and preventing abuse.
Belfast Exposedís role is not to investigate but to report suspected cases of abuse.
- Children are defined as anyone under the age of 18 years;
- Vulnerable persons include adults with learning, mental health or severe physical, disability;
- All references to children include young people and vulnerable people.
Belfast Exposed Responsibilities
- To safeguard and promote the interests and well being of all children with whom we are working;
- To take all reasonable practicable steps to protect children and young people from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment;
- To respect childrenís rights, wishes and feelings;
- To take seriously, and respond to swiftly and appropriately to, all suspicions and allegations of abuse.
- These responsibilities rest with Belfast Exposedís Board of Directors, who will act at all times fully in accordance with the Childrenís (NI) Order 1995, and Our Duty to Care, Child Care NI 1995, and put in place the following directives:
- All programmes involving children are carried out by vetted staff: Northern Visions uses PECS;
- All partners involved in Northern Visions projects and programmes involving young people must have a Child Protection Policy and procedures compatible with Northern Visionsí Child Protection Policy.
Expectation of Partners
- Offer safeguards to the children with whom we work and to our members of staff, tutors, freelancers and volunteers;
- Help maintain the professionalism and standards set by Belfast Exposed.
We recognise that any procedure is only as effective as the ability and skill of those who operate it. Belfast Exposed will liase with partners prior to a project, which involves children and young people taking place. Partners should recognise that our staff, tutors, freelancers and volunteers are not experts in the field of child abuse and that it is Belfast Exposedís duty is to report suspected cases of abuse, NOT to investigate cases.
Allegations of Abuse Against Members of Staff, Tutors, Freelancers and Volunteers
- Belfast Exposedís Board of Directors shall be informed of all allegations and will take the appropriate action;
- A record of all allegations shall be maintained;
- The Project Manager will have responsibility for ensuring proper supervision of people working with children on Belfast Exposed projects;
- If the Project Manageris the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the Chair of Belfast Exposedís Board of Directors. The Chair will then be responsible for taking the appropriate action.
Recruitment and Selecting Staff and Volunteers
- When undertaking pre-selection checks for volunteers, tutors, freelancers, or paid staff who will work with children, Belfast Exposed will require:
- All volunteers and permanent staff to complete an application form;
- Consent to be obtained from applicants for Police and Social Services checks to be made;
- At least two references to be taken up, one of which should, if possible, refer to previous work with children;
- All information received to be treated in confidence.
Belfast Exposed will hold all records deemed appropriate strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
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