Child Safeguarding Policies
Code of Behaviour for Adults
A code of behaviour is a clear and concise guide to what is and is not acceptable behaviour and practice when working with children. It is an essential part of the safeguarding procedures of any church body that has ministry with children. Adults working with children have a duty of care to children.
It is very important that all friars, staff and volunteers working in the Carmelite Order are clear about what is and is not acceptable behaviour when working with children. They must sign a code of behaviour to indicate that they have read the code and agree to follow.
A code of behaviour should contain:
- Positive statements indicating what sorts of behaviours are appropriate, for example, listening.
- Prohibitions indicating behaviours that are never acceptable, for example, hitting a child.
- Good practice guidelines that indicate what is generally acceptable or unacceptable, but that also allow for exceptions, for example, in a medical emergency; taking a child in your car without a second member of staff/adult if there is no one else around.
Where it becomes necessary to depart from the code of behaviour, the reasons for doing so should be carefully recorded, and steps should be taken to avoid the recurrence of such a situation in the future.
Breaches of Codes of Behaviour
All church personnel must report all breaches of the code of behaviour to the prior/manager or Designated Liaison Person (DLP) in the Safeguarding Office. Priors/managers must listen and respond to reports of breaches in the code. Clearly identified boundaries regarding acceptable and unacceptable practice enables priors/managers to address issues of poor practice. If a breach in the code of behaviour gives rise to a child safeguarding concern, this must be reported to the DLP.
Code of Behaviour for adults working with children
It is important for all personnel to:
- Treat all children with respect and dignity.
- Treat all children equally.
- Model positive, appropriate behaviour to all children with whom they come into contact.
- Be aware of the Child Safeguarding Statement and child safeguarding policies and procedures of the Carmelite Order.
- Challenge and report abusive and potentially abusive behaviour.
- Develop a culture of openness, honesty and safety.
- Develop a culture where children have permission to tell and to talk about any concerns or worries that they may have.
- Respect each child’s boundaries and support them to develop their own understanding and sense of their rights.
- Be aware of their responsibility for the safety of all children in their care.
- Work in open environments.
- Help children to know what to do if they have a problem.
- Treat children in a manner that fully respects their dignity and rights.
- Display an example of good conduct at all times.
- Respect each child’s boundaries, avoiding unnecessary physical contact.
- Help children develop an awareness and understanding of their own right to protection and a respect for the rights of others.
- Encourage positive behaviour in children.
- Avoid spending time alone with a child. Should circumstances arise where this is unavoidable, inform another responsible adult and keep a note of what took place and why.
- Provide children with information on how and from whom they can seek help if they have a concern.
- Be visible to others if working alone with a child.
- Challenge and report behaviour that is abusive or potentially abusive.
- Report colleagues who breach the code of behaviour.
- Develop a culture where children are encouraged to talk openly about their contacts with staff and others.
- Avoid permitting children to work and/or remain on Carmelite property unless there are at least two adults present.
- Abide by the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Technology, Internet and Social Media (link to this document in forms).
Adults must never:
- Hit or otherwise physically assault or abuse children.
- Develop sexual relationships with children.
- Develop relationships with children and that could in any way be deemed exploitative or abusive.
- Act in any way that may be abusive or may place a child at risk of abuse.
- Use language, make suggestions or offer advice that is inappropriate, offensive or abusive.
- Do things for a child of a personal nature that they can do themselves.
- Watch or supervise a child undressing, or assist a child undressing, for example, in swimming pools or on international pilgrimages, such as Lourdes baths.
- Condone or participate in behaviour that is illegal, unsafe or abusive.
- Act in any way that is intended to intimidate, shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade.
- Engage in discriminatory behaviour or language in relation to race, culture, age, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation or political views.
- Consume alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs while having responsibility for or in the presence of children.
- Be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while having responsibility for or in the presence of children.
- Offer alcohol, tobacco or non-prescriptive drugs to children.
- Take children away and/or to your own home/room, especially where they will be alone with you.
For the full content of the Code of Behaviour, including supervision ratios, one-to-one work and guidance on boundary violations, click here.