The purpose of this document
This document is for Friends, Mitras and Order members involved in the Ipswich Buddhist Centre activities as employees, volunteers, leaders,teachers or parents. It aims to provide
- protection for children under 18 who visit or receive Ipswich Buddhist Centre services including children of Buddhists and other users of Ipswich Buddhist Centre and
- protection for Friends, Mitras and Order members who may have contact with children.
It sets out
- practices and procedures contributing to the prevention of abuse of children.
- a course of action to be followed if abuse is suspected.
The Ipswich Buddhist Centre is a Buddhist charity run by members of The Triratna Buddhist Order and Community. Some of its activities may involve children and young people (under 18 year olds), either by arrangement, for example school visits or family activities, or as casual visitors.
The trustees of the Ipswich Buddhist Centre recognise their responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children aged under 18 visiting or involved in Ipswich Buddhist Centre activities, and are committed to their protection.
Carumani and Ariyanivata are the Ipswich Buddhist Centre’s Safeguarding Officers.
The designated safeguarding officers are the first point of contact for all staff and volunteers to go to for advice if they are concerned about a child. They will help advise on what action should be taken and if appropriate, they will assist in reporting concerns to the relevant statutory agencies.
Carumani and Ariyanivata are contactable through the Ipswich Buddhist Centre’s main telephone number (01473 211516)
We recognise that:
- The welfare of the child is paramount.
- All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from harm.
- Partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
This policy applies to all staff, including the Centre team and trustees, paid staff, volunteers parents and anyone else working on behalf of Ipswich Buddhist Centre, whether as a Friend, Mitra or Order member.
We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
- Valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
- Adopting child protection guidelines.
- Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring DBS checks are made where necessary. The safeguarding officer can advise you on whether this is required. The following link offers government guidance on when to do a DBS check: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-check-eligible–positions-guidance
- Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers.
- Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
- Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.
This policy is an expression of our commitment to the Five Precepts taught by the Buddha:
Behaviour to avoid:
- harming living beings
- taking the not-given
- sexual misconduct
- false speech
- taking intoxicants that cloud the mind
Behaviour to develop
- stillness, simplicity and contentment
- truthful speech
- mindfulness; awareness
Who is a child or young person?
A child or young person is a person under 18 years.
What is ‘child abuse’?
The World Health Organisation defines “Child abuse” as ‘all forms of physical and/or emotional ill- treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.’
Types of cruelty
- Physical abuse including hurting or injuring a child, inflicting pain, poisoning, drowning, or smothering.
- Sexual abuse including direct or indirect sexual exploitation or corruption of children by involving them (or threatening to involve them) in inappropriate sexual activities.
- Emotional abuse including repeatedly rejecting children, humiliating them or denying their worth and rights as human beings.
- Neglect including the persistent lack of appropriate care of children, including love, stimulation, safety, nourishment, warmth, education, and medical attention.
A child who is being abused may experience more than one type of cruelty.
Discrimination, harassment, and bullying are also abusive and can harm a child, both physically and emotionally.
Signs of abuse
These are many and varied. Some have perfectly acceptable explanations. It is useful to bear in mind:
- Any injuries that cannot be explained
- Injuries not consistent with falls or rough games
- Any allegations made by children concerning abuse
- Sexual activity through words, play or drawing
- Self harm
- Eating disorders
All reports or suspicions about abuse must be treated seriously. They may include:
- Something you see.
- Something you are told by someone else.
- Rumors about a person’s previous behavior.
- Behavior you observe in a child.
- Disclosure from a child directly.
What to do if a child reports abuse
- Keep calm and reassure the child that they are doing the right thing and are not to blame, even if they have broken some rules.
- Accept what the child says without judgement.
- Look directly at the child.
- Be honest. Do not promise confidentiality; let them know you will have to tell someone else.
- Be aware the child may have been threatened and may be very afraid.
- Never push for information or question the child. Let them tell you as much as they are ready to tell you.
- Never suggest that the child may be wrong or mistaken.
What to do next
Ensure the immediate safety of the child. In the event of a child needing immediate protection call 999.
Where possible, consult with IBC’s safeguarding officers and notify the Chair.
Where there is a concern about the safety of a child, contact the MASH Team without delay. Even if you are unsure about whether the referral is appropriate, contact MASH for a consultation.
MultiAgency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) – Tel. 0344 800 8020
MASH is a joint social services and police initiative and is the first point of contact for any safeguarding concern.
- The MASH Team should always be the first point of contact. However, the following contacts may be appropriate in certain cases. Please discuss with the Safeguarding Officer if unsure.
Duty Detective Sergeant – Tel. 01473 613500
The duty detective sergeant may be contacted where specialist police advice is required.
Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) –Where the concern involves the risk of harm to a child posed by someone working with a child, the LADO may be contacted for advice. Local Designated Officers can be contacted via email on LADOCentral@suffolk.gcsx.gov.uk or using the LADO central telephone number 0300 123 2044 for allegations against all staff and volunteers.
Further information regarding the reporting of a concern can be found on the Local Area Safeguarding Board at http://www.suffolkscb.org.uk
- Make notes about the discussion including time, date, location. Record as accurately as possible and keep the notes safe.
- Do not be tempted to investigate yourself. Do not discuss the matter with anyone else. This could prejudice a court case and put the child in danger.
How to protect children and yourself
- If working with a school or other body working with children (for example the Scouts) advise their staff that their teachers/leaders must be present at all times during the visit or other joint activities.
- Do not be alone with a child where other adults or children cannot see you.
- Treat all children and young people with respect and dignity.
- Do not invade the privacy of children when they are showering, changing or using the toilet.
- Do not engage in intrusive touching.
- Do not tease or joke in away that might be misunderstood by the child and cause hurt.
- Do not share sleeping accommodation with children.
- Do not invite a child to your home on their own. Invite a group or ensure someone else is in the house. Make sure the parents know where the child is.
- Do not give lifts to children on their own, other than for very short journeys. If they are alone, ask them to sit in the back of the car.
- Do not allow someone who is likely to pose a risk to children to have contact with children (ie a known sex offender or someone who has disclosed a sexual interest in children).
- Such a person should be asked to negotiate a behavior contract setting out the terms of their continued participation in Ipswich Buddhist Centre activities within agreed boundaries.
Reviewing this document
This document will be reviewed in 2 years (July 2018)