BB Safe | Safeguarding Culture & Compliance

5 things every parent should ask when signing your kid up to a new after school activity – keeping kids safe from abuse and sexual abuse



CONTENT WARNING – mentions safeguarding children from child sexual abuse


Do you know what to ask to check on the way an organisation or business addresses the risk of abuse or sexual abuse? 



This Children’s Week I’m sharing some tips on what parents and carers should ask when they are signing their little one up to an after school or extracurricular activity, or even when their child is starting a part-time job.



We want to raise the knowledge and awareness of parents and carers, and help them ask the difficult questions, thereby raising the standards and expectations on organisations working with children and other vulnerable people.



1. Is there any information about child safety on the website/induction material/parent handbook?

Can you see a commitment to keeping kids safe from abuse? Are they aware of the risks and showing you how they are managing them?



2. Do all staff/volunteers have a current working with children check?

This is important but remember, it is a bare minimum and no ongoing guarantee of suitability to work with children.



3. Do they have a child safety policy?

Did they have to dig it out and dust it off? Is it up to date? Is it a living document for them? Do you see evidence of it being used?



4. Are parents/carers welcomed into the space?

Can you see what is happening and hear the way your child is being spoken to? If not, you have to ask why not. Is it necessary for a child’s performance to have parents out of sight and earshot?



5. Would you or your child know who to talk to if your child didn’t feel safe?

Is this information visible? Is there a process that is open and transparent?



These are hard things to talk about, but we know that the more we talk, the easier it is.



Organisations can position themselves as leaders in the field if they make a deep commitment to safeguarding and understand and manage their context specific risk.



We welcome invitations to talk to parent and carer groups and can help you think about safety risks and how to check it out.  We also welcome conversations with boards, business owners, sports clubs and can help you work out where you are on your safeguarding journey, where you want to be and how to get there.