Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy

Background

This policy ("Policy") applies to all staff, [including but not limited to senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, facilitators, students and anyone working on behalf of the Tony Blair Institute ("We", "Us", "Our" or "Ourselves").

We recognise that a child or young person should never 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 a philosophy and practice which protects children and young people from harm.

The purpose of this Policy is:

to protect children and young people who receive services from Us;

to establish a safe and open environment in which children and young people can learn and develop;

to raise awareness of child protection issues and equip Us, as well as children and young people, with the skills needed to keep them safe;

to inform Us of the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding; and

to provide parents and/or guardians with details of Our approach to safeguarding

UK Legal framework

This Policy has been drawn up on the basis of, and should be read in conjunction with, law and guidance that seeks to protect children, taking into account both international conventions and UK legislation, which, while applicable domestically, advises the content of this Policy globally in terms of best practice. In particular, the following informed this Policy:

Children Act 1989;

Data Protection Act 1998;

Sexual Offences Act 2003;

Children Act 2004;

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012;

Relevant UK government guidance on safeguarding children; and

United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991.

 

Safeguards

We recognise that the welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the United National Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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 or abuse.

Some children and young people are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues.

Working in partnership with children and young people, as well as their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people's welfare.

Child protection procedures

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by implementing the following:

Respect and Openness

We will ensure we value the children and young people, listen to them and respect them.

Staff Conduct

We commit Ourselves to the safe recruitment of staff and volunteers and will ensure all necessary checks and vetting processes are followed. We have a careful due diligence and reporting procedure in place, which includes undertaking the most effective background search available in each country in which we operate.

We will adopt child protection practices and procedures throughout Our organisation, and  will implement a code of conduct for any of Us who have direct contact with children or young people (including via online communication) to follow.

We will provide effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

We will ensure that any activities We undertake which involve direct contact with children or young people are planned to take place in groups or with teachers, parents or carers in attendance and will avoid spending time alone with an individual child.

We will ensure We do not show favouritism to any individual child or young person.

Online Environment

We will provide a safe online environment.

We will ensure that all online communication through our website is recorded and that there are no areas for private conversation between Ourselves and the children or young people.

Provision of Information

We will ensure that all teachers, parents and carers are made fully aware of Our work with the children and young people and they are made aware that they can remain present at all times.

We will ensure that We are aware of Our responsibilities and will ensure information about child protection and good practice is shared amongst Ourselves as well as with children, young people and their parents and carers.

We will ensure that the children and young people, as well as their parents and carers are made aware of this Policy and the identities of those they should contact if they have child protection concerns.

Procedures following Allegations and Record Keeping

We will ensure that every allegation made by a child or young person is recorded.

We will follow clear and transparent procedures where an allegation is made against Us.  This will include open dialogue with the school authorities in question and, where appropriate, may include referral to a children's social care service in the appropriate country, an independent "Local Authority Designated Officer" and, in emergencies, the police.

We will keep records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately.

We will ensure that all records are kept securely.

We will share concerns with agencies, including applicable schools, who need to know, and involve parents, children and young people appropriately.

We are committed to reviewing our Policy and good practice annually, and in accordance with any changes in legislation.

This Policy was last reviewed May 2016.