When working with children their welfare and safeguarding are paramount. So, in this blog, we will look at how children are safeguarded and also protecting staff who lone work with children.
Working With Children Law And Regulations
Understandably there are strict rules around working with children, lets start with the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act. In 2006 this was put into place in order to implement checks for anyone that is intending to work with children, elderly or anyone classed as vulnerable.
There were various checks and measures before the Safeguarding act, but this piece of legislation put them all under one umbrella.
The Children Act 2004
This was a case where an 8-year old girl was murdered by relatives and the subsequent enquiry established that the police, four local authorities social care departments, the NHS, the NSPCC, and local churches had all been in contact with Victoria and her family, had noted some signs of possible abuse but astonishingly they had all failed to properly investigate further.
So, the results of the enquiry led to the introduction of The Children Act and other measures intended to tighten up the various parts of child protection that had obviously failed.
DBS Checks When You Lone Work With Children
Anyone planning on working with children, the elderly or anyone classed as vulnerable, needs to have a DBS check.
DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service and checks to see if a person has had a criminal conviction or has previously been charged with a criminal conviction which has now expired.
Lone Working With Children
Ordinarily, working alone with children is not standard practice in any line of work, from social workers to teachers and the police.
However, there may be circumstances in which lone working with children is permitted. The consent of parents and/or carers must be given, and a lone working risk assessment must be carried out before any contact.
Factors to consider within any risk assessment should include the following:
- Where the meeting will take place.
- The time of day or night of the meeting.
- The experience of the lone worker.
- Has the lone worker been provided with enough training for the situation?
- Any risks to the lone worker, from physical to verbal.
- Adequate contingency plans should an unexpected incident occur that requires immediate attention.
The situation needs to be regularly monitored too, and if at any stage the child or lone worker feels uncomfortable or has any concerns about their safety then this must be raised immediately with a manager or supervisor.
Any procedures for working with children, child protection and the safeguarding of children must be documented.
Staff must be trained on these procedures and they must be strictly adhered to. Any notes from any work with children must be collated and recorded as soon as possible.
If lone working with children is to be a regular occurrence, then all parties involved need to take part in regular assessments to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments as and when they occur.
The key to working and to lone work with children is their safety. In a one to one situation, it is very important that workers are trained and made aware of what they have to do, not just thrown in at the deep end because of staff sickness or staff availability.
Lone Worker Training
Here at First2HelpYou we provide a wide variety of lone worker training that is designed to suit the needs of your business. You can choose the method of training as opposed to us only having one option of training delivery.
We can provide face to face training, online training and webinar training. These training sessions can be group training or one to one training.
We even offer train the trainer training. This is particularly useful for larger companies, so we can train up a certain number of staff who will then be responsible for training other members of staff on an ongoing basis.
Get In Touch
We hope that you have found this blog useful and given you an insight into what is required to lone work with children.
If you have any questions, would like further guidance, or would like some more information on the lone worker products and services that we provide then please do get in touch.
We also have a buyer’s guide available here.
Our team of experts will be more than happy to have a chat and give you any help that is required.