Safeguarding Procedures 5

HRGB Roles and Responsibilities

Safeguarding and Child Protection Officers’ roles

The main roles of national and regional Safeguarding Officers are

  1. to promote this policy to HRGB members,
  2. to be accessible to Event Safeguarding Leads in case they need support and advice,
  3. to be involved in the decision to contact the relevant Safeguarding and Child Protection authority following an incident, if appropriate,
  4. keep brief confidential records of safeguarding and child protection issues,
  5. make contact after the event with those who have been affected by an incident to check that they are ok,
  6. stay aware of relevant changes in legislation and in local (Council) arrangements for safeguarding and child protection and bring these to the notice of their Regional Committee and the NEC as they may require changes to our policy or procedures, and
  7. in the case of Regional Safeguarding Officers, to ensure that they have up to date details of the appropriate Safeguarding and Child Protection authorities for their region

The National Safeguarding Officer should make sure that she / he or a deputy is accessible to Event Safeguarding Leads of national events (for example, national rallies, National Residential Ringing Week and UK Bronze).  S/he will also support appropriate applications for DBS / PVG checks.

Regional Safeguarding Officers should make sure that they, or a deputy, are accessible to Event Safeguarding Leads of regional events (for example, rallies).

Deputies could be other Safeguarding Officers.

If a region does not have a Safeguarding Officer, the role should temporarily be undertaken by a member of the Regional Committee who has appropriate experience.  If there is no such Committee Member, the role defaults to the Regional Chair.

A list of Safeguarding Officers will be found in the Guidance section of the HRGB website and Regional Officers’ contact details will be found on regional websites.

Event Safeguarding Leads

The Event Safeguarding Lead should be present at the event they are responsible for (the Safeguarding Lead may be the Event Organiser, though this is not recommended).  They should make themselves available to participants who have safeguarding and child protection concerns, though these are likely to be rare.  They should make sure that their name and contact details are made available either before or during the event or both.  They do not need to be “experts” in safeguarding and child protection matters, but should be approachable and able to listen with empathy to others’ concerns.  In case of concerns, they should follow the procedures on pages 5 to 8 of this document.

If the Safeguarding Lead needs another view on the incident, they should talk to the Regional Safeguarding Officer or a Committee Member and keep the discussion confidential.

The Use of HRGB Membership Cards and the promotion of a safe environment

Membership cards are very rarely used at regional or national events to prove that a participant is an HRGB member.  This may be because we are a small Society and members know each other well, but it does not support the establishment of a safe environment for young people (who don’t know other members well and operate on trust).  For this reason, this policy is clear that at national and regional events, regular checks should be made (with prior warning).  Different regions may operate these checks in different ways, and the policy does NOT state that every participant’s card should be checked at every event.  However, we should be mindful that we want HRBG events to be increasingly safe for young people.

Some regions run events which are open to non-members, as guests, in order to encourage them to join the Society.  Organisers should ensure that these events are clearly identified so that team leaders of young people can decide whether it is appropriate for their team members to attend.  Guests should sign the attendance register so that a complete register of attendees is made.  As membership card checks become more common It will be helpful for guests to be given a “guest attendance” label in their “welcome” pack, so that they have something to show that they are entitled to attend the event.

Regional Committees should support Event Organisers by promoting the policy of membership card checks.

Safeguarding training and support from HRGB

HRGB will organise training for National and Regional Safeguarding Officers, Chairs and other members if there is a demand.  The National Safeguarding Officer will support applications for DBS / PVG checks.

Support for people affected by an incident

Young people or adults who have been involved in an incident when a young person has been hurt, or felt unsafe, may be affected by the situation.  Safeguarding and Child Protection Officers should make it a priority, in the weeks after the event, to contact those people who have been affected to check that they are ok.

Records:- The Safeguarding Officers should keep careful, accurate, records of reports and incidents, showing the action taken.  Records should be kept on a personal computer with a good level of security and not shared electronically.  Any printed copy must be shredded as soon as possible.

Once incidents are resolved and/or handed over to the relevant authority, the safeguarding officer should keep a summary statement about the event, including date, concerns, the name of the person causing concern and how the situation was resolved.  At this point the records kept as the incident was being reported and passed on can be destroyed.

The summary statement should be retained by the Regional Safeguarding Officer.  If that officer steps down from the role, the summary statements should be passed to the Regional Chair and to the National Safeguarding Officer.  The purpose of keeping these statements is to be able to check over time on the behaviour of people causing concern. 

There is currently no consensus about how long charities should keep summary statements of safeguarding and child protection incidents.  Good record keeping will:

  • Show that we are complying with regulation.
  • Provide evidence of how decisions have been made and demonstrate good governance and processes.
  • Build trust with third parties as they know that we base decisions upon evidence and can be held accountable for our actions and decisions.

Apart from Chairs, and the National and Regional Safeguarding Officers no one else should have access to these records. 

However, conversations about them between Safeguarding Officer(s) and Chairs will be helpful when planning how the Society will manage planned events involving young people.  In the case of safeguarding and child protection incidents caused by Society members it may be necessary to share information between Regional Chairs or Safeguarding Officers of different regions, as Society members increasingly travel to attend events in other parts of the country.

Summary of other roles described above

Event Organisers should:-

  • hold the names and phone contact details of the adults responsible for young people who take part in Society events;
  • hold emergency contact details for participants and then destroy these, in line with HRGB’s Data Protection Policy;
  • hold the names and team affiliation of all participants.  This can be destroyed after one year;
  • allow the relevant Safeguarding Officer to see the list of participants, in order that they are aware of any person attending who is a potential safeguarding and child protection risk;
  • identify the Event Safeguarding Lead in information sent out before the event and on the day.

Team Leaders should:-

  • support others, especially Event Safeguarding Leads, if there is a concern about a member of their team;
  • arrange for their team to have a safeguarding policy and procedures, which could be modelled on this document.

Regional Chairs should

  • be their region’s default Safeguarding Officer;
  • support their region’s members who are dealing with safeguarding and child protection issues;
  • ensure lessons are learned from any situation;
  • receive and keep summary statements of events from Regional Safeguarding Officers when these officers step down from their role.
  • as appropriate, inform other regional chairs and the National Safeguarding Officer of incidents which might have an impact on other regions.

Regional Committees should:-

  • support Event Organisers by promoting the policy of membership card checks.

Policy and Procedures Review

The safeguarding policy and the associated procedures will be reviewed and revised as necessary a year after development and then every three years, or in the following circumstances: -

  1. Changes in legislation or government guidance
  2. As required by national and local government safeguarding and child protection policies
  3. As a result of any other significant change or event.

Section 6: Disclosure checks