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Chief Commissioner's blog| Just stick to the rules

Wayne joined a safeguarding briefing for CCs and dropped in on the weekend’s training course for safeguarding co-ordinators and trainers in Southampton.

Putting young people first is clearly a key objective that underpins everything we do. We understand that to achieve this we need to fully support volunteers and ensure that they are properly trained.

No longer a taboo

For far too long safeguarding has been something of a taboo subject.  Although we have an excellent record, widely acknowledged for being robust and effective, it is not something that appears on many agendas or indeed is openly discussed.

We’ve taken a number of steps to change that, the latest being a series of UK-wide briefings for our senior volunteer managers. Through these briefings we share what we know about the external environment and talk through our strategy in this area; the lessons learnt from enquiries into incidents and our future work plans aimed at improving our objective of putting young people first. We also develop our safety culture and plan how to better support adults and young people involved in incidents.

Spotting grooming activities

One of the recent studies discussed includes the typical actions involved in the grooming of young people, their parents, leaders and others to create an environment where the perpetrator may benefit. On the face of it, there is a myriad of actions and steps – not all of which on their own might be suspicious, or even a problem. It is invariably the total of seemingly unrelated circumstances that lead to problems.

Martyn Milner, Interim Head of Safeguarding, explained that, in response to the question, ‘what one thing should we look for concerning the acts of grooming?’, the one single thing to look out for was: people who habitually break the rules.

Our rules, succinctly summarised for safeguarding in the Yellow Card, are very much designed to put young people first and in doing so protect and support volunteers. Rules are also in place to protect in other areas of our Movement similarly and should never be broken, or indeed adapted for local use.

So, put simply, just stick to the rules.

Take a look at our Safeguarding web pages for more information.





By Adrian Full ESL(YL)
on 12/02/2014 18:57

Good to see safe guarding raised, Wayne. It is certainly a difficult topic, one which people perhaps prefer not to talk about, and it is indeed something I find is a challenge to introduce new Young Leaders to. When they come, keen and enthusiastic, to Module A training it can be rather a shock that we cover the topic. But it is right that we do.

I always mention safeguarding and the Orange Card (the Young Leaders version of the adult Yellow Card - I always make sure they are aware of both names as adults tend to use "Yellow card" as short-hand for the whole policy)in other Modules where it is appropriate - and it fits in to all really. There is no harm including a reminder of how the policy fits into everything we and they do.

As a Young Leader leader I run Module A courses every few months, so I get regular reminders that the policy is there. But how many of us carry the Yellow Card in our uniform pocket and never look at it?

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