At Youth Cymru, the importance of the safeguarding and protection of children and young people within our delivery programme is paramount. In the first instance, our partner/member hubs must refer to, and follow, their own organisational policies and procedures (safeguarding, GDPR, whistleblowing, etc.). If you have any concerns about a young person, an adult, or a colleague, please immediately contact your organisational Designated Safeguarding Person/Child Protection Officer/Lead for support and guidance. You can also contact Youth Cymru for further guidance and support, if required.
Reporting Safeguarding Concerns
Disclaimer: all laws in Wales and the UK are subject to change. The information, activities, and guidance contained on this page should not be considered as legal advice. In the first instance, you MUST follow the current policies and procedures of your organisation, local authority and/or safeguarding board.
Under the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 a child is anyone under the age of 18. If you are working with service users over 18, please refer to the safeguarding principles and effective practice: adults at risk of abuse and/or neglect.
Contact details for all duty teams (office hours) and emergency duty teams (out of office hours) can be found here: Regional Safeguarding Boards. For convenience and ease of access, we would strongly suggest these are entered as contacts in work mobiles/devices.
Safeguarding and Child Protection further information
Wales Safeguarding Procedures website
This especially useful website helps us understand our legal and moral duties and responsibilities for safeguarding children, young people, and adults (over 18). There is also an app (Android and iOS) that we strongly recommend be downloaded to a desktop, mobile and/or tablet device to be readily available should you need to refer to it.
The Children’s Commissioner for Wales can also provide free and confidential advice and support if they and/or you feel that a child (under 18) has been treated unfairly. The Commissioner’s office can be contacted on 0808 801 1000 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you are concerned about any suspected wrongdoing, danger, or risk in your current workplace (or your previous workplace) which affect the rights and interest of the children in Wales, you can make a disclosure to the Children’s Commissioner for Wales. You do not have to tell your employer before contacting them. The Commissioner’s office can be contacted on 0808 801 1000 and/or email@example.com.
The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) also has statutory powers to take action to safeguard and protect children and young people. The NSPCC offer a range of useful guidance and resources to help you/your organisation develop safeguarding policies and procedures.
Professionals and young people can also contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Their trained professionals will talk through any concerns with you and give expert advice.
If you think that a child/young person is in immediate danger, please do not hesitate to contact the police by dialling 999.
Youth Cymru would like to offer some good practice guidance to keep young people and staff safe when supporting participants through the ReachOut2.0 sessions
When working with young people who experience social isolation or loneliness (and associated issues), we must consider how we can safeguard all young people. Here are some suggestions on creating a youthwork environment and space that builds trust and creates honest conversations:
- Where applicable gain relevant consent from a parent/ guardian/carer for their child/ward to participate in the session(s) ensuring young people’s personal datais managed lawfully.
- Have a minimum of 2 staff - one for delivery and one for pastoral support if young people need/request it.
- Ensure the space (virtual or real) reflects the needs of the young people and the delivery of the session – i.e., calm, physically safe, neutral, confidential professional boundariesthat are clearly understood by the group), etc.
- Ensure that the space is welcoming, inclusive and that the diversity and experiences within the group are respected and recognised.
- Ensure that young people are fully aware of what the session will contain (at the beginning or preferably beforehand) to prepare them and inform their decision on whether to participate or not.
- Delivery staff and participating young people are equipped to recognise and consider how session content could potentially challenge and upset some young people and have adequate strategies and resources in place to respond and support.
- Staff and young people co-produce an agreed group contract/ agreement that is a ‘live’ document (to be reviewed on request by young people)
- Sessions/programmes are structured to allow constancy/enough time for the building of appropriate relationships between young people and workers/professionals/adults to promote trusted relationships.
- Young people are encouraged to de-brief after each session to check in with them, allow space for any questions without judgement and identify next steps/sources of support to promote coping strategies, etc. This could be through individual and group discussion, creative methods (e.g. creative arts, storytelling, etc.) to be age-appropriate and allow the young person to express themselves in a way that is most comfortable to them.
- Staff and young people are aware of the range of information and guidance services available and referral routes into additional support (e.g. MEIC, MindHub, Kooth, etc.).
It is also important that adults supporting young people take time to look after themselves. Please utilise line management and peer supervision and any available employee counselling services, your GP, etc.