Safeguarding Policy Statement

BBYO acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of young people and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice. 

 

The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of young people are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children

 

  • Have a positive and enjoyable experience of BBYO’s activities in a safe, happy and secure environment.

  • Are protected from abuse whilst participating in BBYO activities or outside of BBYO activities. 

 

BBYO acknowledges that some young people can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare. 

 

As part of our safeguarding policy, BBYO will

  • Promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of young people

  • Ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people.

  • Ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern

  • Ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored

  • Prevent the employment of unsuitable individuals

  • Ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation.

 

The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in BBYO. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation. 

 

DBS Checks

All directors, members of the youth commission, employed staff and volunteer leaders must obtain an Enhanced DBS Check. These checks are facilitated by the Executive Director and processed on our behalf by UCheck. A record of the date of all checks is kept and all individuals must be re-checked every three years. Any one-off volunteers at events must bring photo ID and a current DBS and must be supervised by employed staff at all times whilst attending BBYO events.

 

Safe Recruitment Procedures

All paid staff must be subject to the full range of pre-employment checks. All applicants will be asked to declare any previous convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings, as well as any pending cases or complaints of abuse against them. All applicants will be interviewed, asked for full employment history and proof of identification. Every interview must include at least one question related to safeguarding. All offers of employment will be conditional on the receipt of two references and an enhanced DBS check.

 

Induction and Training for Staff and Volunteers

All staff are given details of this policy as part of their formal induction and must sign to confirm they have read the policy. These signatures must be kept on record. Where possible, Movement workers should participate in a training course on Safeguarding Young People. 

 

All Bogrim are given details of this policy and trained in how to recognise signs of abuse and how to report it before staffing their first event. This is compulsory before staffing an event. This is refreshed in training delivered before every event, where they also receive guidance on how to respond to disclosure of abuse. 

 

Good Practice Guidelines

Good Practice Guidelines are available to all Staff and Bogrim in the form of this policy handbook. 

 

General Supervision

  • It is important to check all visitors and guests to national events are invited. This will ensure the welfare of young people is safeguarded at all times.

  • There must always be an adequate ratio of young people to adults (see policy handbook)

 

Guidance on How to Respond to a Person Disclosing Abuse

 

DO

  • Listen.

  • Tell the Chanich that you might have to tell someone else; someone responsible.

  • Write everything down straight away.

  • Reassure the Chanich that they are not in trouble and have not done anything wrong.

  • Keep hold of any evidence you may have.

  • Tell the Office Staff everything you have been told. 

  • Use TED as a form of finding more information (Tell me…, Explain…, Describe…)

  • Report even if you are unsure, it’s better to report something that comes to nothing than not report.

 

DO NOT

  • Promise to keep anything a secret.

  • Ask leading questions (What happened next? Did x happen? Is there anything else you need to tell me?). Instead use TED as above)

  • Talk about the issue amongst the Tzevet.

  • Have the conversation in public.

  • Keep anything to yourself.

  • Tell the Chanich that you don’t believe them.

  • Make assumptions or base judgements of previous knowledge/connections with the young person or family (remember “it could happen here”)

 

Reporting Procedures

It is vitally important that any disclosure made in confidence is recorded factually as soon as possible; this is whether or not the matter is taken to another authority

 

An accurate account should be made using the logging a concern form. Copies of this form must be taken on every event and all members of the tzevet must be made aware of where they can find them at the beginning of the event. The form includes:

  • Date and time of what occurred and the time the disclosure was made

  • Names of people involved

  • What was said or done by whom

  • Any action taken to gather information and refer on 

  • Any further action

  • Names of person reporting and to whom reported

 

Designated Person

The designated person is BBYO’s Executive Director who can be contacted on 020 8202 6698. In their absence, their deputy is a BBYO movement worker.

 

Definitions and Signs of Abuse

There are four recognised types of abuse. All staff and Bogrim should know what they are and recognise them. 

 

The following definitions are based on those from Working Together to Safeguard Children 
(Department of Health, Home Office, Department for Education and Employment, 1999)

 

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse 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 feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to, a child whom they are looking after.  A person might do this because they enjoy or need the attention they get through having a sick child.  Physical abuse, as well as being a result of an act of commission can also be caused through omission or the failure to act to protect.

 

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve making conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.   It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.  These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.  It may involve serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

 

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts.  They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual on-line images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.  Boys and girls can be sexually abused by males and/or females, by adults and by other young people.  This includes people from all different walks of life.   

 

Neglect

Neglect is 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 as a result of maternal substance abuse.  Once a child is born it may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care givers) or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.  It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs.

 

 

Possible Signs of Abuse

 

Physical signs of abuse:

 

  • Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them,

  • Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls or games,

  • Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body,

  • Bruises which reflect hand marks or fingertips (from slapping or pinching),

  • Cigarette burns,

  • Bite marks,

  • Broken bones,

  • Scalds,

  • Injuries which have not received medical attention,

  • Neglect-under nourishment, failure to grow, constant hunger, stealing or gorging food, untreated illnesses, inadequate care,

  • Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains.

 

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate physical abuse:

 

  • Fear of parents being approached for an explanation,

  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts,

  • Flinching when approached or touched,

  • Reluctance to get changed, for example, wearing long sleeves in hot weather,

  • Depression,

  • Withdrawn behaviour

  • Running away from home.

 

Emotional signs of abuse

 

The physical signs of emotional abuse may include:

 

  • A failure to thrive or grow particularly if a child puts on weight in other circumstances: e.g. in hospital or away from their parents’ care,

  • Sudden speech disorders,

  • Persistent tiredness,

  • Development delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress.

 

 

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate emotional abuse include:

 

  • Obsessions or phobias,

  • Sudden under-achievement or lack of concentration,

  • Inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults,

  • Being unable to play,

  • Attention seeking behaviour,

  • Fear of making mistakes,

  • Self-harm,

  • Fear of parent being approached regarding their behaviour.

  • Withdrawn behaviours

 

Sexual Abuse

 

The physical signs of sexual abuse may include:

 

  • Pain or itching in the genital/anal area,

  • Bruising or bleeding near genital/anal areas,

  • Sexually transmitted disease,

  • Vaginal discharge or infection,

  • Stomach pains,

  • Discomfort when walking or sitting down,

  • Pregnancy.

 

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate sexual abuse include:

 

  • Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour e.g. becoming withdrawn or aggressive,

  • Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people,

  • Having nightmares,

  • Running away from home,

  • Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age or development al level,

  • Sexual drawings or language,

  • Bedwetting,

  • Eating problems such as over-eating or anorexia,

  • Self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts,

  • Saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about,

  • Substance or drug abuse,

  • Suddenly having unexplained sources of money,

  • Not allowed to have friends (particularly in adolescence),

  • Acting in a sexually explicit way with adults.

 

Neglect

 

The physical signs of neglect may include:

 

  • Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children,

  • Constantly dirty or smelly,

  • Loss of weight or being constantly underweight,

  • Inappropriate dress for the conditions.

 

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate neglect include:

 

  • Complaining of being tired all the time,

  • Not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments,

  • Having few friends,

  • Mentioning being left alone or unsupervised

 

 

FGM, Forced Marriage and Honour-Based Violence

 

HBV

So-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses incidents or crimes committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community, including FGM, forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. Although this is rare in the Jewish Community, it should not be forgotten and BBYO staff and bogrim must be made aware of this issue.

 

Abuse committed in this context often involves a wider network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators. 

All forms of HBV are abuse and will be handled and escalated as such. All staff and bogrim will be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBV or already having suffered it. If staff have a concern, they will speak to the designated safeguarding lead, who will activate local safeguarding procedures.

 

FGM

The DSL will make sure that staff and bogrim have access to appropriate training to equip them to be alert to children affected by FGM or at risk of FGM.

 

This policy sets out the procedures to be followed if a staff member discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out or suspects that a young person is at risk of FGM.

Indicators that FGM has already occurred include:

  • A young person saying that FGM has taken place

  • A mother/family member disclosing that FGM has been carried out

  • A family/young person already being known to social services in relation to other safeguarding issues

 

A girl:

  • Having difficulty walking, sitting or standing, or looking uncomfortable

  • Finding it hard to sit still for long periods of time (where this was not a problem previously)

  • Spending longer than normal in the bathroom or toilet due to difficulties urinating

  • Having frequent urinary, menstrual or stomach problems

  • Avoiding physical exercise  

  • Demonstrating increased emotional and psychological needs – for example, withdrawal or depression, or significant change in behaviour

  • Being reluctant to undergo any medical examinations

  • Asking for help, but not being explicit about the problem

  • Talking about pain or discomfort between her legs

 

Potential signs that a young person may be at risk of FGM include:

  • The girl’s family having a history of practising FGM (this is the biggest risk factor to consider)

  • FGM being known to be practised in the girl’s community or country of origin

  • A parent or family member expressing concern that FGM may be carried out 

  • A family not engaging with professionals (health, education or other) or already being known to social care in relation to other safeguarding issues

 

A girl:

  • Having a mother, older sibling or cousin who has undergone FGM

  • Having limited level of integration within UK society

  • Confiding to a professional that she is to have a “special procedure” or to attend a special occasion to “become a woman”

  • Talking about a long holiday to her country of origin or another country where the practice is prevalent, or parents stating that they or a relative will take the girl out of the country for a prolonged period

  • Requesting help from an adult because she is aware or suspects that she is at immediate risk of FGM

  • Talking about FGM in conversation – for example, a girl may tell other children about it  (although it is important to take into account the context of the discussion)

  • Being unexpectedly absent from events

  • Having sections missing from her ‘red book’ (child health record) and/or attending a travel clinic or equivalent for vaccinations/anti-malarial medication

  • The above indicators and risk factors are not intended to be exhaustive.

 

Although extremely rare in the Jewish Community, The Department for Education’s Keeping Children Safe in Education explains that FGM comprises “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs”.

FGM is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting, harmful consequences. It is also known as ‘female genital cutting’, ‘circumcision’ or ‘initiation’.

 

Any adult who discovers (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a child under 18 must immediately report this to the police, personally. This is a statutory duty, and adult will face disciplinary sanctions for failing to meet it.

 

Unless they have good reason not to, they should also discuss the case with the DSL and involve children’s social care as appropriate.

 

Any other member of staff/boger/et who discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a pupil under 18 must speak to the DSL and follow local safeguarding procedures.

 

The duty for adults mentioned above does not apply in cases where a pupil is at risk of FGM or FGM is suspected but is not known to have been carried out. Adults should not examine young people.

 

Any adult who suspects a pupil is at risk of FGM or suspects that FGM has been carried out: or discovers that a person age 18 or over appears to have been a victim of FGM must speak to the DSL and follow local safeguarding procedures.

 

 

Forced Marriage

Forcing a person into marriage is a crime. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats, or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological. 

Staff and bogrim will receive training around forced marriage and the presenting symptoms. We are aware of the ‘one chance’ rule, i.e. we may only have one chance to speak to the potential victim and only one chance to save them. 

If a member of staff  or boger/et suspects that a young person is being forced into marriage, they will speak to the young person about their concerns in a secure and private place. They will then report this to the DSL.

 

The DSL will:

  • Speak to the young person about the concerns in a secure and private place 

  • Activate the local safeguarding procedures and refer the case to the local authority’s designated officer 

  • Seek advice from the Forced Marriage Unit on 020 7008 0151 or fmu@fco.gov.uk

 

 

 

Concerns About a Staff Member or Volunteer

If you have concerns about a member of staff or volunteer, or an allegation is made about a member of staff or volunteer posing a risk of harm to children, speak to the Executive Director. If the concerns/allegations are about the Executive Director, speak to the Trustee responsible for safeguarding concerns (listed on the bbyo.org.uk website.) 

 

The Executive Director/Directors will then follow the procedures as appropriate.

 

 

 

Use of Personal Devices and Personal Social Media Accounts to Communicate for BBYO Purposes

 

Social Media and Messaging Platforms 

 

While email remains a preferred method of communication, we acknowledge the need to “meet teens where they are” and communicate through less formal means. Adult staff and volunteers (including movement workers, bogrim, event staff, trustees, and any other adult interacting with teens for BBYO purposes) may use social media or text messages for these purposes under the following conditions:

 

A reasonable amount of discretion and effort is used to protect the adult and teen in these situations, and to always aim for a transparent and retrievable record of communication. I.e.: Do not use a messaging platform that deletes messages (Snapchat) to contact anyone for BBYO purposes (other adults or teens), do use security and privacy settings to control what the teens can view on your personal social media profiles, and use a non-encrypted form of communication (Facebook messenger is one example, though this may change. What’s App is encrypted and therefore is not recommended. Ultimately, the adult is responsible for finding an appropriate platform that complies with these policies.) Adult staff and volunteers are accountable for what they share on social media and must be deliberate about protecting youth from adult content. Any previous or existing social media relationships are held to these standards once an adult assumes a staff or volunteer role with BBYO. It is therefore recommended that staff and volunteers examine their social media settings, connections, and content when beginning in their new role and make changes where needed. 

 

It is recommended that there is a record of all conversations, written and verbal, which should be kept for seven years.  

 

If an adult receives an inappropriate message from a minor, including but not limited to: suggestive, romantic, and/or sexually explicit text and/or photos, the adult must comply with the following procedure: 

  1. Contact the DSL immediately 

  2. Retain a copy of the content by screen shot, and do not delete the content until instructed to do so

  3. Do not forward the content to the DSL unless instructed to do so

  4. Do not share the content with anyone other than the DSL unless instructed to do so by a higher authority (police, social care, etc.) 

  5. Submit a written report to the DSL including the following: what occurred, when, who is involved, any additional context and notes.

 

If an adult receives a message about or from a teen that suggests the teen is being abused, follow reporting procedures listed above. If they feel the teen is in acute danger, contact the police and then immediately report to the DSL. 

 

If a teen receives an inappropriate message from an adult, including but not limited to: suggestive, romantic, and/or sexually explicit text and/or photos, anything that is not BBYO-related, or makes the teen uncomfortable regardless of the content, the teen should retain a record and contact the DSL immediately. If the adult in question is DSL or the DSL is unreachable, the next point of contact is the designated trustee. Teens may choose to speak first with a member of staff they feel close with, which is fine as long as the adult receiving the disclosure follows procedure and notifies the DSL immediately. Staff should advise the teen not to share the content with their peers. 

 

Personal Devices

 

Personal devices may be used for BBYO purposes under the following conditions:

 

  • Sensitive information is not stored on the device

    • Including but not limited to: participant addresses, schools, medical conditions, reports about abuse or other safeguarding concerns, and anything that the participant has not given consent to share

  • Photos of the participants are not stored on the device. If personal devices are used to take photos during BBYO events, they must be uploaded into a BBYO drive within 48 hours and deleted from the device, memory card, and any relevant cloud storage immediately. These photos cannot be shared in a public forum without consent. 

  • The device is password protected with the password being updated every six months

  • The device is protected by anti-virus software

 

 

Informal Relationships

 

In the case of an existing family relationship, friendship, or any other personal connection, staff and volunteers are held to the aforementioned standards when communicating for BBYO purposes. When communicating with a teen outside of a BBYO setting, adults should use discretion and be mindful that anything shared with this teen may affect their reputation, authority, or ability to work/volunteer in a BBYO setting. 

 

In a BBYO setting, all adults (volunteers, staff, and guests) are expected to maintain appropriate conduct with and around the teens. This includes using discretion when sharing and receiving personal information with minors. Adults must maintain appropriate physical boundaries. Any form of sexual contact, physical or via phone, social media, etc., is forbidden and will result in immediate termination of the adult’s position within the organization. 

 

An adult may not be alone with a teen. If a teen requests private audience with an adult to disclose a personal issue, the adult must reduce the risk to themselves and the teen, which includes the following steps:

  1. Speaking in an open or public space when appropriate 

  2. Keeping doors open 

  3. Speaking in a room with windows 

  4. Notifying another adult before beginning the conversation 

  5. Never entering the bedroom of a child*

 

*If an adult must enter the bedroom of a teen (in the case of an emergency or urgent situation), all effort should be made to comply with points 2 and 4 above when possible. 

BBYO is proud to be supported by 

©2014-2018 BBYO 

020 8202 6698

Shield House, Harmony Way, London NW4 2BZ

Registered charity number 1141616

Company registered in England & Wales 7316468