The Children Act 2004 places a duty on organisations involved in providing services for children to safeguard and promote their well-being. This duty of care is in part exercised through the development of respectful and caring relationships and also by workers taking all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of those for whom they have responsibility. This legislation has informed good practice guidelines across the voluntary sector, including churches.
In addition, under Health and Safety at Work legislation, organisations have a duty of care to provide a healthy and safe workplace for employees and to carry out an assessment of risk to the health and safety of all people involved in their activities, including volunteer workers and children who participate in these activities. The purpose of such an assessment is to identify actions to develop a safer working environment and safer working practices.
Confidentiality and data protection – How we use and share information is extremely important. The guide sets out key principles and the practical implications of these. It also includes a confidentiality agreement for workers that are obtaining, receiving, handling or storing personal and/or sensitive information
Below are a range of documents that will help you to ensure that you are doing everything you can to maintain a safe and welcoming environment and to ensure that, for instance, appropriate adult staff ratios are adhered to.
Information and consent form which covers regular activities, including consent about photographs and engaging with young people by digital communication
Sample session sheet – This could be useful for recording what happened at any session and evaluation of that session