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As an adult working in It’s OK To Say – whether as a member of staff or a volunteer – you have a responsibility to ensure that everyone attending It’s OK To Say’s activities, particularly children, young people and vulnerable adults, are protected from harm. It is the responsibility of each adult working in It’s OK To Say to ensure that:

  • their behaviour is appropriate at all times;
  • they observe the rules established for the safety and security of children, young people and vulnerable adults;
  • they follow the procedures following suspicion, disclosure or allegation of child abuse;
  • the recognise the position of trust in which they have been placed; and
  • in every respect, the relationships they form with the children, young people and vulnerable adults in their care are appropriate

All persons who wish to work in It’s OK To Say, must accept and understand this policy. They must also agree to put It’s OK To Say’s policies on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults into practice.

Meeting your responsibilities

To give positive guidance the Code of Behaviour (below) provides a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ to help you ensure that:

  • the welfare of the children and/or young people and/or vulnerable adults for whom you have a duty of care is safeguarded;
  • you avoid compromising situations or opportunities for misunderstandings or allegations.

Code of behaviour

  • DO put this code into practice at all times;
  • DO treat everyone with dignity and respect;
  • DO set an example you would wish others to follow;
  • DO treat all young people equally – show no favouritism;
  • DO plan activities that involve more than one other person being present, or at least are within sight and hearing of others;
  • DO follow recommended adult/young people ratios for meetings and activities;
  • DO respect the right to personal privacy of a child, young person or vulnerable adult;
  • DO avoid unacceptable situations within a relationship of trust, eg: a sexual relationship with a young person or vulnerable adult over the age of consent;
  • DO have separate sleeping accommodation for children, young people, adults and Young Leaders working with a younger Section in any overnight activity;
  • DO allow children, young people and vulnerable adults to talk about any concerns they may have;
  • DO encourage others to challenge any attitudes or behaviours they do not like;
  • DO avoid being drawn into inappropriate attention seeking behaviour, eg: tantrums and crushes;
  • DO make everyone aware of It’s OK To Say’s procedures for safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults;
  • DO remember this code even at sensitive moments, eg: when responding to bullying, bereavement or abuse;
  • DO keep other members of staff/volunteers informed of where you are and what you are doing;
  • DO remember someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned;
  • DO take any allegations or concerns of abuse seriously and refer immediately.
  • DO NOT trivialise abuse;
  • DO NOT form a relationship with a child, young person or vulnerable adult that is an abuse of trust;
  • DO NOT permit abusive peer activities, eg: initiation ceremonies, bullying;
  • DO NOT engage in inappropriate behaviour or contact – physical, verbal, sexual;
  • DO NOT play physical contact games with children, young people or vulnerable adults;
  • DO NOT make suggestive remarks or threats to a young person, even in fun;
  • DO NOT use inappropriate language – writing, phoning, email or internet;
  • DO NOT let allegations, suspicions, or concerns about abuse go unreported;
  • DO NOT just rely on your good name to protect you.