We aim to create a safe environment for all children and young people by ensuring safe recruitment, promoting clear systems, embedding a culture of safeguarding, and by respecting and listening to children and young people.

Our safeguarding policy objectives are:

Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy  

Our Safeguarding Statement of Commitment 

1.1 The aim of CV Life is to create a safe environment for all children and young people by ensuring safe recruitment, promoting clear systems, embedding a culture of safeguarding, and by respecting and listening to children and young people.  

1.2 We recognise we have a duty to protect and promote the welfare of all young people under the age of 18 and adults at risk1 who engage with us. It is always unacceptable for anyone to experience abuse of any kind, including through social media or other online activity.  Everyone has a legal right to protection from all forms of abuse.  

1.3 We are committed to safeguarding practices and procedures and to providing a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment in which all can engage with the activities undertaken by CV Life.   

1.4 In accepting this duty it does not exonerate the safeguarding responsibility of external organisations who use CV Life facilities. The primary safeguarding approach in these circumstances rests with those organisations. Our duty in this is to ensure we are content and scrutinise the safeguarding approach of external agencies and organisations. We will ensure they understand any safeguarding action required should be in accordance with their own policies.  Should external organisations have any safeguarding concerns whilst using our facilities we expect these to be notified to CV Life.  

1.5 All safeguarding concerns will be taken seriously, and CV Life will value, listen, and respect children and young people.  We will encourage children and young people we engage with through our work, to talk to us about anything that worries them. We will always act in the best interest of the child or young person.  

1.5 This statement of commitment also extends into Modern Slavery. This takes many forms including forced and compulsory labour, slavery, servitude, and human trafficking. It is the violation of human rights and CV Life has a zero-tolerance approach to Modern Slavery. We will also take any concerns in this area seriously.   

2.0 Aims 

2.1   CV Life has the following aims regarding safeguarding. 

3.0 Application 

3.1 These procedures apply to all members of staff, volunteers and those working on behalf of CV Life. 

3.2 All team staff, volunteers and those working on behalf of CV Life must be sent a copy of this policy and signify they have received it and are conversant with the content. It is crucial Designated Safeguarding Leads and managers promote this policy and ensure safeguarding is embedded into the culture at CV Life. This will also apply to the Safeguarding Procedure document.  

3.3 Where CV Life premises are being used by other organisations (for example a swimming club) or staff are working in partnership with other organisations, including affiliated organisations, they are expected to have their own safeguarding arrangements and policies in place.  It is the duty of CV Life Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Deputy) to ensure partnership organisations where staff are deployed have suitable policies and a copy is available on the IT system. 

4.0 Legislation & Statutory Guidance 

4.1 The practices and procedures within this policy are based on the principles contained within the UK Legislation and Government Guidance and have been developed to complement the safeguarding children and young people. This includes reference to the following.  

5. Definitions & Terminology 

The following definitions are referred to in this policy. 

5.1 Child2 :  In England, Northern Ireland, and Wales a child is someone under the age of eighteen whether living with their families, in state care, or living independently (Working Together to Safeguard Children and Young People 2018 (revised 2020). 

5.2 Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people: Protecting children and young people from maltreatment, preventing harm to children and young people’s health or development; ensuring children and young people grow up with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable children and young people to have the best outcomes. 

5.3 Safeguarding concern: When there is information that a child, young person, or an adult at risk (see the Adult Safeguarding Policy) has been harmed, or is at risk of being harmed, by their own or someone else’s behaviour. 

  1.  Safeguarding allegation: Where a person who is either a staff member or volunteer or is working on behalf of CV Life has: 
  1. Low-Level Concern A low-level concern is any concern about an adult’s behaviour towards a child that does not meet the allegation threshold set out above (5.4) or is not otherwise serious enough to consider a referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). 

A low-level concern is any concern – no matter how small, and even if no more than a ‘nagging doubt’ – that an adult may have acted in a manner which: 

5.6 Abuse of Trust The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 Section 3 created the offence of abuse of trust. It is an offence for a person aged 18 or over to have sexual intercourse with a person under 18, or to engage in any other sexual activity with, or directed towards such a person, if in either case that person is in a position of trust in relation to the under 18-year-old. This applies even if the relationship is consensual.  

5.7 Abuse3: A form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children and young people may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. They may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children and young people.   

5.8 Types of Abuse 

Physical abuse4: A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.  

Emotional abuse5: The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children and young people. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children and young people frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children and young people. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.  

Sexual abuse5: Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing, and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children and young people in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children and young people to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children and young people. The sexual abuse of children and young people by other children and young people is a specific safeguarding issue. 

Neglect5:  The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy because of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: a. provides adequate food, clothing, and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment) b. protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger c. ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers) d. ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs. 

Related issues in addition to the above categories, there are other forms of harm or child abuse that should involve the notification to the police and other organisations working together to protect children and young people. These include:  

Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for the victims to defend themselves.  

The damage inflicted by bullying is often underestimated. It can cause considerable distress to children and young people, to the extent that it affects their health and development and can be a source of significant harm, including self-harm and suicide. Bullying can include emotional and/or physical harm to such a degree that it constitutes significant harm.  

The four main types of bullying are: 

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based forms of child physical, sexual, and emotional abuse can include bullying via mobile telephones or online (internet) with verbal, visual messages, sharing nudes/semi-nudes and sexting. 

Child Sexual Exploitation (which can include Human Trafficking) is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur using technology (WTSC, 2018). 

Criminal Exploitation Criminal exploitation is also known as ‘County Lines’ and is when gangs and organised crime networks threaten or trick children and young people into trafficking their drugs for them. They might threaten a young person physically or they might threaten the young person’s family or friends. The gangs might also offer something in return for the young person’s cooperation, this could be money, food, alcohol, drugs, clothes and jewellery, or improved status. Gangs target vulnerable children and young people who are homeless, living in care, or trapped in poverty. These children and young people are unsafe, or unable to cope, and the gangs take advantage of this. 

Hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. For example, it includes being verbally abused by someone in the street because of disability or sexual orientation.  

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is also known as female circumcision or cutting.  Religious, social, or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuse. It is dangerous and a criminal offence. There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It does not enhance fertility and it does not make childbirth safer. It is used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health 

Domestic Abuse Any incident of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence, or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: 

Honour based violence So-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses incidents or crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. Abuse committed in the context of preserving ‘honour’ often involves a wider network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators. It is important to be aware of this dynamic and additional risk factors when deciding what form of safeguarding action to take. All forms of HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBV, or already having suffered HBV. 

Forced marriage (as distinct from a consensual “arranged” marriage) is defined as one which is conducted without the valid consent of both of the parties and where duress is a factor. Duress includes both physical and emotional pressure and cannot be justified on religious or cultural grounds. Forced marriage is child abuse and can put children and young people and young people at risk of physical, emotional, and sexual violence including rape. Forced marriage can have a negative impact on a child’s health and development (Forced Marriage Unit, 2022) 

5.9 Procedural implementation and review:  

This policy will be reviewed on a yearly basis or sooner if required following an incident or, a change in legislation for example.