It is essential that we have important information about all children and young people involved in any activities at the church, which is recorded on our consent forms. The first week someone attends workers must record their name, medical emergency information and a contact name and number. Then they must bring their completed form back with them. Similar details will be gathered for adults at risk.
Health and Safety
All activities for children, young people and adults at risk will comply with the Water Eaton Church Centre’s current health and safety policy.
Whenever possible, at all events involving food preparation, at least one worker will hold a valid Basic Food Hygiene Certificate.
Buildings being used for children’s and adult at risk groups will be properly maintained. A representative from the teams involved will take part in an annual health and safety review in order to consider all aspects of safety for everyone involved in using the premises.
It is the responsibility of all group leaders/responsible persons within the building to ensure the safety of themselves and those who are in their care. In addition, it is a legal requirement that all group leaders/responsible persons are familiar with the emergency procedures in the event of a fire.
We have two first aid kits (one in the Kitchen, one in the General Office) as well as an accident book, which must be completed in the event of any accidents, injuries, or incidents. A nominated individual will ensure that the contents of the first aid kits are checked on a regular basis. Completed accident forms should be passed on to the nominated individual.
Supervision of Groups
The person responsible for a group/activity must ensure all participants have left the premises before locking up.
The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 state that anyone who handles food or whose actions could affect its safety must comply with the regulations. It therefore follows that those with responsibility for food should be aware of basic food hygiene and safety (preparation, handling and storage, disposal of waste, etc.).
Before undertaking any activity with children or adults at risk, the leader will ensure that a risk assessment is carried out. It is advisable to appoint someone specifically for this task.
Residential activity organisers will check that there is adequate insurance cover for any activities planned. If the trip is at a centre it is also important to establish that there is appropriate public liability insurance in place.
These guidelines apply to all drivers involved in the transportation of children, young people and adults at risk on behalf of the church. They do not apply to private arrangements, for example, transport arrangements made between friends.
- Only those who have gone through the church safer recruitment procedures for workers will transport children and adults at risk (within the DBS eligibility criteria).
- All drivers will have read the church’s Safeguarding Policy and agree to abide by it.
- Drivers will be aged 21 or over and have held a full driving licence for at least two years.
- Drivers must ensure that they have adequate insurance cover and that the vehicle being used is road worthy.
- All hired minibuses will have a small bus permit, the necessary insurance and a driver with a valid driving licence that entitles them to drive a minibus.
Our practice specifically for transporting children is as follows:
- Parental consent will be given for all journeys.
- All children and young people should be returned to an agreed drop off point. At collection or drop off points, children should never be left on their own; make sure they are collected by an appropriate adult.
- At least two workers (unrelated to each other) should be present when transporting children as part of a church role.
Outings and Overnight Events involving Children
There are some specific considerations which need to be made for outings and overnight events involving children:
- A risk assessment must be carried out beforehand.
- Parents will be informed in writing of all the arrangements.
- Consent forms will be obtained for the specific activities involved.
- There will be workers with first aid and food hygiene certificates with the group.
Sleeping arrangements for overnight events will be carefully considered. It may be acceptable for workers to share sleeping accommodation with children/young people in a large dormitory or on an activity such as youth hostelling, where it is customary practice and there is more than one worker per room. Workers will not share sleeping accommodation with fewer than three children. Arrangements will be age-appropriate, provide security for the child/young person and be safe for everyone involved. The event leader will ensure that parents understand what the arrangements will be and are happy with them.
No child will participate in adventurous activities without the written consent of the parent /carer. The activity leader will ensure that the staff engaged in such activities are properly trained and qualified and that the correct ratio of staff to children is met. At an activity centre or for an organisation whose own staff undertake such activities, if the activities come within the scope of the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004, the activity leader needs to ensure that the premises are licensed.
The event leader will have a fire safety procedure in place, which will include the following:
- Everyone will be warned of the danger of fire. If the overnight event is in a building, then everyone must be made aware of the fire exits. A fire drill will be practised on the first day.
- When using a building as a residential facility, ensure that the fire alarm is audible throughout the accommodation and that all signs and exits are clearly visible. The building will also need to comply with fire regulations.
- In the case of an emergency, ensure measures are in place to alert children and young people with disabilities (e.g. a child who is hard of hearing).
It is the responsibility of the workers to always know the whereabouts of every child/young person participating in an overnight event, and this may include monitoring access on and off the site.
General safety rules will be applied as appropriate (e.g. no running around tents due to the risk of injury from tripping over guy lines).
There will be an increased adult to child ratio for swimming trips. Prior to the trip, workers will establish the swimming ability of the children attending and obtain specific consent. Workers should never change in front of the children.
Outings and Overnight Events involving Adults at Risk
As with outings and events for children, there are additional considerations for a group taking adults with additional needs, such as learning difficulties or mental health needs, on outings or overnight events:
- A risk assessment must be carried out beforehand.
- Planning for the trip should consider specific medical, physical and support needs of each group member, bearing in mind that there may be people in the group who have individual care needs that will have to be met (including personal care).
- Adults at risk should be included in the planning of trips and events.
- Consideration should be given to the suitability and accessibility of the venue and accommodation, travel time and mode of transport, and the affordability of the event.
- Adults at risk should be given all the information about the trip beforehand so that they know where they are going, how long it will take to get there and what type of activities they will be taking part in.
- There should be a minimum of two leaders with each group; the individual needs of those attending may determine the additional number of people required.
Consideration should be given to the individual needs of those staying overnight. If there is a need for personal care or additional support during the night, it would be better that the person’s usual caregiver also attends the event and therefore shares a room with them.
It is not appropriate for church workers to perform personal care for adults at risk unless this is their usual task (i.e. if they have come along to help generally, but also have a caring role for a member of the group, they can provide personal care for that person).
Leaders should consider the mobility needs of the group when deciding on activities or events. For example, if members of the group have difficulty walking, then including a walking tour around a town may be inaccessible to some who are attending. If you have members of the group who use wheelchairs then consideration needs to be given as to whether you have sufficient workers to support those who may need pushing.
It is the responsibility of the workers to always know the whereabouts of every person in the group; this may include monitoring access on and off the site.
General safety rules will be applied as appropriate and advice sought from the event organiser / venue about the fire evacuation procedures. A copy of the event / venue risk assessment should be included with the group leader’s risk assessment.
Consent and Medical Information
It is important to recognise that adults at risk are mostly able to give consent for their own involvement in activities, inclusion in photographs and medical treatment. However, in some situations the question of capacity may arise. The guidelines clearly state that an adult at risk should have a say in their care and any arrangements made for them, however, there may be occasions when you need to involve others in decision making. In these situations, seek advice from the DPS with regard to who should be involved.
A medical consent form should be completed by each member of the group and held by the leader. This will include any health concerns, emergency contact information and contact details for their GP. This will allow emergency medical personnel to have access to information should the need arise.
Holding and Dispensing of Medication
Church workers should never agree to hold or dispense medication for those on an event. If someone is unable to manage their own medication then consideration should be given as to whether their usual carer could attend with them or whether they will not be able to attend the event.