Safeguarding 3: Responsibility
This third safeguarding unit helps you learn about your responsibilities for yourself and others. Importantly these responsibilities continue before and after PSYV activities.
Working as an Adult Volunteer is a big responsibility with huge rewards. However the benefits should never come at the expense of the well being of any young person. Keeping on the right track means taking responsibility for your own personal development. There are many desirable qualities you may wish to develop in yourself, but here are some of the most important ones:
Time to offer the youth group and its members
Patience and common sense
A positive view of young people
An understanding of young people
A sense of humour
A key responsibility is working face to face with young people, there are also other roles such as training, organising and attending a wide range of volunteering events and attending meetings or helping with fundraising activities. Adult Volunteers often stay with PSYV for long periods because of how much fun and enjoyment they get from taking part.
Everyone within PSYV has a responsibility for the protection of young people who come into contact with PSYV. Levels of responsibility and recommended guidelines for action are as follows.
Staff/volunteers use the procedures and guidelines outlined in this training (with more details in the Child Protection Manual and its appendices) to develop good working practices, in particular the Three R's Should be adhered with procedures followed and forms completed where and when concerns arise.
Be aware of the vulnerability of the young people and the pressures placed on them by their peers and society to conform to patterns of behaviour that may place them at risk of harm.
Where an Adult Volunteer is concerned regarding a young person in their charge they should in the first instance discuss the matter with their Group Co-ordinator and together they may be able to resolve the issue(s).
Risks will not always be linked to abuse, harm and neglect. Where they are for other matters outwith abuse a General Incident Report (see below ) should be used.
Group Co-ordinators will use the procedures and guidelines outlined in the Child Protection Manual and its appendices to develop good working practices and to support their staff in dealing with issues, which arise from their work with young people.
Where an issue or concern regarding a young person has been resolved within the team it should be recorded on the 'Child Protection Incident Report' Form noting that no further action is required and passed to the CPO for information. Where the issue or concern has not been resolved it is recorded on the Incident Report Form and sent for further action to the Child Protection Officer (CPO). Group Coordinators should pass all Child Protection Incident Forms to the CPO for information or action.
All Adult Volunteers must read and regularly review the Code of Conduct (see below).
Other ways to be responsible about safeguarding
This training only gives you a brief introduction to the essentials. However it is recommended that you regularly update your knowledge and understanding. The NSPCC has a fantastic range of resources and scenarios that you can read through here.
Key to taking responsibility is knowing and implementing all other relevant health, safety and wellbeing policies that apply to PSYV and keeping up to date with changes and amendments to policies. These include, but are not limited to the following:
Health and Safety Policy
Volunteering Events Policy
Trips, visits and residentials Policy
Use of Private and Police Scotland Vehicles and Wider Transport Policy
Fire Safety Policy
Use of schools and third party venues Policy
Once you have completed your induction training and this safeguarding training it is essential that this is renewed and updated regularly. If you have not re-freshed your training after three years, speak to your Group Coordinator about a refresher course.