Our Policies

Policy for Child Photography

Child Photography Policy

First Reviewed:      September 2016

Next Review:         September 2018

POLICY STATEMENT

Leisure for Autism is committed to providing a safe environment for children/young people under the age of 18 to participate in leisure activities. Essential to this commitment, is to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect children/young people from the inappropriate use of photographic images.

Photographs can be used as a means of identifying children and young people when they are accompanied with personal information. This information can make children vulnerable to an individual who may wish to groom that child for abuse. The content of the photograph can be used or adapted for inappropriate use, there is evidence of adapted material finding its way on to the child pornography site.

Key Principles

  • The interests of welfare of children taking part in our activities are paramount. Parents/carers and children have a right to decide whether children’s images are to be taken and how these images may be used.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that images are not sexual or exploitive nor open to misappropriation or misuse.
  • Images should only be taken by authorised persons as agreed by the Team Leaders.
  • No other staff are authorised to take images or recordings via their own personal mobile phones.
  • All images of children should be securely stored.
  • In the case of images used on Websites or Social Media sites particular care must be taken to ensure that no identifying details facilitate contact with a child by potential abusers.
  • No unauthorised sharing of images is allowed.

Publishing Images

  • From the consent on our application forms we will ask for the permission of the children’s carers to take and use their image. If a photograph is used, we will avoid naming the child directly. We will never publish personal details (e-mail, address, telephone numbers, etc) of a child/young person. Should we pass images to an approved partner for publication, we will require that they follow these guidelines in their use.
  • We will only authorise the use of images of children in suitable attire.
  • We will act on all concerns of any parents or staff regarding the inappropriate use of photographic equipment.
  • We will notify children/young people and their parents/carers if video equipment is to be used for promotional purposes.
  • We will ensure that any photographic images taken and used will be stored safely.

 

Equal Opportunities Policy

Equal Opportunities Policy

Adopted:    October 2008

Last Reviewed: September 2016

Next Review: September 2018

 

Ethos

Leisure for Autism (‘LfA’) recognises that everyone has a contribution to make to our society and a right to equal treatment.

Objectives – staff

Our objectives are to ensure that the talents and resources of employees are utilised to the full and that no job applicant or volunteer is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be relevant to performance or receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of:

  • Race, creed, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.
  • Sex, marital status, caring responsibilities.
  • Age.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Mental or physical disability.
  • Religious belief.
  • Political persuasion or trade union membership.
  • Social class.
  • Employment status.
  • Unrelated criminal conviction.
  • Any other condition or requirement which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

 

Objectives – participants

Our objectives are to ensure that no application for a child or young adult with Autistic Spectrum Disabilities and associated disorders, up to the age of 19 years (‘participant’), is disadvantaged by conditions which cannot be shown to be relevant to being included in playscheme activities or receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of:

  • Race, creed, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.
  • Sex.
  • Related mental disability.
  • Religious belief.
  • Social class.

LfA undertakes to make equally available to all employees, opportunities for training and to make all employees equally aware of this policy on Equal Opportunities.

In addition, LfA will take all practical steps to ensure that:

  • All employment decisions are based upon objective job related considerations.
  • All staff receive training and guidance to achieve effective implementation of the policy.
  • All participant decisions are based upon objective scheme related considerations.
  • LfA will monitor the operation of this policy to ascertain how far it is achieving its objectives.

Procedures

The Trustees have overall responsibility for the implementation, application and review of the policy.

All Team Leaders are responsible for the application of the policy to the staff they control.

Monitoring

In order to monitor the effectiveness of this policy LfA will adopt and follow the methods recommended by the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission. These incorporate two main procedures:

  • The recording and analysis of the composition of the workforce by sex, age, ethnic origin and disability.
  • The recording of selection decisions for appointment, promotion, transfer and training by sex, age, ethnic origin and disability.

Recruitment and Selection

When prospective applicants are interviewed the most suitable applicants will be offered employment irrespective of ethnic origin, nationality, sex, marital status, sexual preference, creed, colour, disability, political persuasion, trade union membership or age.

Length of residence or experience in the UK are not taken into account when assessing the suitability of applicants.

Training

Team Leaders / Trustees involved in the selection of employees / participants are instructed not to discriminate on the grounds of ethnic origin, nationality, sex, marital status, sexual preference, creed, colour, disability, political persuasion, trade union membership or age.

Grievances

Complaints of unfair discrimination made against LfA staff will be fully investigated by a Trustee who has had no direct or indirect involvement in the matters complained about.

Enforcement

Failure to treat colleagues and / or participants equally will be considered an act of gross misconduct and will result in the member of staff being asked to leave the scheme immediately.

Last updated: September 2016

Data Protection and Confidentiality Policy

 

Data Protection and Confidentiality

Last Reviewed: January 2016

Next Review: January 2019

Scope of policy

This policy applies to all Trustees, any Consultants, all sessional workers on our schemes, any volunteers and any other staff employed by the charity.

Purpose of policy

The purpose of this policy is to enable Leisure for Autism to:

  • comply with the law in respect of the data it holds about individuals;
  • follow good practice;
  • protect our supporters, staff and other individuals
  • protect the organisation from the consequences of a breach of its responsibilities.

This policy applies to information relating to identifiable individuals, even where it is technically outside the scope of the Data Protection Act, by virtue of not meeting the strict definition of ‘data’ in the Act.

Policy statement

Leisure for Autism will:

  • comply with both the law and good practice
  • respect individuals’ rights
  • be open and honest with individuals whose data is held
  • provide training and support for staff and volunteers who handle personal data, so that they can act confidently and consistently

Leisure for Autism recognises that its first priority under the Data Protection Act is to avoid causing harm to individuals. In the main this means:

  • keeping information securely in the right hands, and
  • holding good quality information.

Secondly, the Act aims to ensure that the legitimate concerns of individuals about the ways in which their data may be used are taken into account. In addition to being open and transparent, we will seek to give individuals as much choice as is possible and reasonable over what data is held and how it is used.

Key risks

Leisure for Autism has identified the following potential key risks, which this policy is designed to address:

  • Breach of confidentiality (information being given out inappropriately).
  • Insufficient clarity about the range of uses to which data will be put — leading to Data Subjects being insufficiently informed.
  • Failure to offer choice about data use when appropriate.
  • Breach of security by allowing unauthorised access.
  • Failure to establish efficient systems of managing changes, leading to personal data being not up to date.
  • Harm to individuals if personal data is not up to date.
  • Failure to offer choices about use of contact details for trustees, staff, volunteers or, sessional workers.

Responsibilities

The Board of Trustees recognises its overall responsibility for ensuring that Leisure for Autism complies with its legal obligations.

The Data Protection Officer is currently Mark Singleton, with the following responsibilities:

  • Briefing the Trustees on Data Protection responsibilities
  • Reviewing Data Protection and related policies
  • Advising other staff on Data Protection issues
  • Ensuring that Data Protection induction and training takes place
  • Notification
  • Handling subject access requests
  • Approving unusual or controversial disclosures of personal data

All trustees, staff and volunteers are required to read, understand and accept any policies and procedures that relate to the personal data they may handle in the course of their work.

Significant breaches of this policy will be handled under our disciplinary procedures.

Confidentiality

Trustees, staff, volunteers and sessional workers will be required to sign a short statement indicating that they have been made aware of their confidentiality responsibilities. This is a one –off exercise (see appendix A).

Where anyone within Leisure for Autism feels that it would be appropriate to disclose information in a way contrary to the confidentiality policy, or where an official disclosure request is received, this will only be done with the authorisation of the Data Protection Officer. All such disclosures will be documented.

Security

This section of the policy only addresses security issues relating to personal data. It does not cover security of buildings, business continuity or any other aspect of security.

Leisure for Autism has identified the following risks:

  • Information passing between the homes of the trustees and staff could go astray or be misdirected.
  • Staff or volunteers with access to personal information could misuse it.
  • Sessional workers or, more likely, volunteers could continue to be sent information after they have stopped working for us, if their records are not updated promptly.
  • Poor web site security might give a means of access to information about individuals once individual details are made accessible on line.

Staff may be tricked into giving away information, either about supporters or colleagues, especially over the phone, through “social engineering”.

Data recording and Storage

Leisure for Autism is moving towards a single database holding basic information about all supporters and volunteers. For the time being, however, trustees and employees may continue to hold separate registers of their members, and sessional workers may also keep separate information about those they are supporting.

We will regularly review its procedures for ensuring that its records remain accurate and consistent and, in particular:

  • Recognised ICT systems will be used, where possible, to encourage and facilitate the entry of accurate data.
  • Data on any individual will be held in as few places as necessary, and all staff and volunteers will be discouraged from establishing unnecessary additional data sets.
  • Effective procedures will be in place so that all relevant systems are updated when information about any individual changes.

Staff or volunteers who keep more detailed information about individuals will be given additional guidance on accuracy in record keeping.

Archived paper records of members are stored securely off site.

Any subject access requests will be handled by the Data Protection Officer.

Subject access requests must be in writing. All staff and volunteers are required to pass on anything which might be a subject access request to the Data Protection Officer without delay.

All those making a subject access request will be asked to identify any trustees or sessional workers who may also hold information about them, so that this data can be retrieved

Where the individual making a subject access request is not personally known to the Data Protection Officer their identity will be verified before handing over any information

Transparency

Leisure for Autism is committed to ensuring that in principle Data Subjects are aware that their data is being processed and

  • for what purpose it is being processed;
  • what types of disclosure are likely; and
  • how to exercise their rights in relation to the data.

Data Subjects will generally be informed in the following ways:

  • Trustees during one of the Trustees meetings each year.
  • Staff, volunteers and sessional workers on their annual application forms.
  • Members on their annual application forms.

Standard statements will be provided to staff, volunteers, sessional workers and members for use on forms where data is collected.

Whenever data is collected, the number of mandatory fields will be kept to a minimum and Data Subjects will be informed which fields are mandatory and why.

Consent

Consent will normally not be sought for most processing of information about staff and sessional workers, with the following exceptions:

  • Staff and sessional staff details will only be disclosed for purposes unrelated to their work for leisure for Autism (e.g. job references) with their consent.

Information about volunteers will be made public according to their role, and consent will be sought for (a) the means of contact they prefer to be made public, and (b) any publication of information which is not essential for their role.

Information about members will only be made public with their consent. (This includes photographs.)

‘Sensitive’ data about members and supporters (including health information) will be held only with the knowledge and consent of the individual.

We offer all trustees, staff, volunteers, sessional workers and members the opportunity to opt out of their data being used in a particular way at any time. This opt out must be provided in writing.

We acknowledge that, once given, consent can be withdrawn, but not retrospectively. There may be occasions where we have no choice but to retain data for a certain length of time, even though consent for using it has been withdrawn

Direct marketing

Leisure for Autism will treat the following unsolicited direct communication with individuals as marketing:

  • seeking donations and other financial support;
  • promoting events;
  • promoting sponsored events and other fundraising exercises;
  • marketing on behalf of any other external company or voluntary organisation.

Whenever data is first collected which might be used for any marketing purpose, this purpose will be made clear, and the Data Subject will be given a clear opt out. .

Leisure for Autism has a policy of not sharing lists with anybody else.

Leisure for Autism will not carry out telephone marketing.

Whenever e-mail addresses are collected, any future use for marketing will be identified, and the provision of the address made optional.

 

Appendix A

 

Confidentiality statement for trustees, sessional workers, volunteers and any other staff.

When working for leisure for Autism, you may need to have access to confidential information which may include, for example:

  • Personal information about individuals who use our services.
  • Information about our internal business.
  • Personal information about colleagues working for Leisure for Autism.

Leisure for Autism is committed to keeping this information confidential, in order to protect people and the charity itself. ‘Confidential’ means that all access to information must be on a need to know and properly authorised basis. You must use only the information you have been authorised to use, and for purposes that have been authorised. You should also be aware that under the Data Protection Act, unauthorised access to data about individuals is a criminal offence.

You must assume that information is confidential unless you know that it is intended by Leisure for Autism to be made public. Passing information between staff, trustees or volunteers does not count as making it public, but passing information to another organisation does count.

You must also be particularly careful not to disclose confidential information to unauthorised people or cause a breach of security. In particular you must:

  • not compromise or seek to evade security measures (including computer passwords);
  • be particularly careful when sending information between home;
  • not gossip about confidential information, either with colleagues or people outside Leisure for Autism;
  • not disclose information — especially over the telephone — unless you are sure that you know who you are disclosing it to, and that they are authorised to have it.

If you are in doubt about whether to disclose information or not, do not guess. Withhold the information while you check with an appropriate person whether the disclosure is appropriate.

Your confidentiality obligations continue to apply indefinitely after you have stopped working for Leisure for Autism.

I have read and understand the above statement. I accept my responsibilities regarding confidentiality.

 

Signed:                                                                                  Date:

NAME

 

 

Policy Statement on the Secure Storage, Handling, Use, Retention & Disposal of Disclosures & Disclosure Information

Last Reviewed: September 2016

Next Review: September 2018

General Principles

As an organisation using the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure service to assess the suitability of applicants for position of trust, Leisure for Autism complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Disclosures and Disclosure information. It also complies fully with its obligations under the Data Protection Act and other relevant legislation pertaining to the safe handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Disclosure information and has a written policy on these matters, which is available to those who wish to see it on request.

Storage & Access

Disclosure information is never kept on an applicant’s personnel file and is always kept separately and securely, in lockable, non-portable, storage containers with access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties.

Handling

In accordance with section 124 of the Police Act 1997, Disclosure information is only passed to those who are authorised to receive it in the course of their duties. We maintain a record of all those to whom Disclosures or disclosure information has been revealed and we recognise that it is a criminal offence to pass this information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.

Usage

Disclosure information is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent has been given.

Retention

Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, we do not keep Disclosure information for any longer than is absolutely necessary. This is generally for a period of up to six months, to allow for the consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints. If, in very exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep Disclosure information for longer than six months, we will consult with the DBS about this and will give full consideration to the Data Protection and Human Rights individual subject before doing so. Throughout this time, the usual conditions regarding safe storage and strictly controlled access will prevail.

Disposal

Once the retention period has elapsed, we will ensure that any Disclosure information is immediately suitably destroyed by secure means, i.e. by shredding, pulping or burning. While awaiting destruction, disclosure information will not be kept in any insecure receptacle (e.g. waste bin or confidential waste sack). We will not keep any photocopy or other image of the disclosure or any copy or representation of the contents of a Disclosure. However, notwithstanding the above, we may keep a record of the date of issue of a disclosure, the name of the subject, the type of Disclosure requested, the position for which the Disclosure was requested, the unique reference number of the disclosure and the details of he recruitment decision taken.

Policy Statement on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

Policy statement on the recruitment of ex-offenders

 

Last Reviewed: September 2016

Next Review: September 2018

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), previously the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure service to assess applicants’ suitability for position of trust, Leisure for Autism complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

Leisure for Autism is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical / mental disability or offending background.

We have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which is made available to all Disclosure applicants at the outset of the recruitment process.

We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

A disclosure is only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned, for those positions where a disclosure is required, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that a disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.

Where a Disclosure is to form part of the recruitment process, we encourage all applicants called for interview to provided details of their criminal record at an early stage in the application process. We request that this information is sent under separate, confidential cover, to a designated person with Leisure for Autism and we guarantee that this information is only seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.

Unless the nature of the position allows Leisure for Autism to ask questions about your entire criminal record we only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

We ensure that all those in Leisure for Autism who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.

We make every subject of a DBS Disclosure aware of the existence of the DBS Code of Practice and make a copy available on request.

We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a disclosure with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.

 

 

 

 

 

Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding Policy

 

Last Reviewed: September 2016

Next Review: September 2018

 

 Introduction

The Board of Trustees of Leisure for Autism considers its responsibility to protect and safeguard the interests of all the children and young people attending its play-schemes to be of paramount importance. The following policy provides guidance to parents and workers in the complex and emotionally demanding area of child protection and outlines fundamental procedures to ensure that the charity is fulfilling its legal and moral obligation to safeguard and protect the children and young people in its care.

Ethos

Leisure for Autism believes that each child and young person has a fundamental right to be protected from harm. Our underpinning values are:

  • All children and young people have a right to freedom of abuse
  • Children and young people have a right to be treated with respect and dignity, as do the adults who work with them
  • The welfare of the child or young people in child protection situations is paramount
  • It is the responsibility of all adults to protect children and young people
  • All adults working for Leisure for Autism on either a paid or voluntary basis have a duty of care towards the children and young people in their care
  • All children and young people must be given the opportunity to express their views regarding decisions taken about their lives
  • All those working with or on behalf of children and young people must reflect and promote the value of working together with parents, colleagues and other agencies in order to create and maintain safe environments and practices

In order to achieve this we believe that the staff team must be fully supported in their practice both in terms of clear procedural guidelines and supportive pastoral care.

The Impact of Autism

The defining features of the autistic spectrum expressed as the Triad of Impairments determine that issues of child protection are particularly problematic in respect of children and young people with autism. At a fundamental level, the limitations in social understanding experienced by people with autism entails that in many cases people with autism will not recognise an abusive act which may be committed against them. Similarly, the difficulties people with autism face in communication entail that the ability to disclose abusive acts is severely restricted.

Further difficulties are encountered as a result of the idiosyncratic behaviour of many people with autism. At a superficial level, many of the behaviour patterns displayed by people with autism may be interpreted as characteristic of the behaviour patterns of people who have experienced abuse. For example, significant changes in behavioural patterns, extreme isolation, changes in sleeping or eating habits, sudden regressions in continence skills and generally inexplicable behaviour patterns. The consequences of this phenomenon are profound and manifold. In some circumstances unfounded concerns regarding an individual’s well-being may be raised, whereas in other circumstances behaviour which is indicative of actual abuse may be overlooked.

This complexity determines that a high degree of vigilance coupled with extreme sensitivity is required at all times.

Objectives

The aim of our approaches towards child protection is to ensure the safety and well-being of each child and young person. This is achieved through the following objectives:

  • All prospective members of staff with access to young people will undergo a vetting process involving, inter alia, completion of an application form, a DBS check, personal references and supervision by the Team Leader.
  • All members of staff will be offered regular training in a basic understanding of child protection issues and an understanding of autism and will be able to recognise and report the different types of abuse (as per Table 1 attached).
  • All members of staff will be fully aware of their responsibilities and the responsibilities of other members of staff in the area of child protection.
  • All permanent members of staff will be aware of a number of alternative mechanisms for triggering child protection procedures.
  • All activities will be appropriate for the attendees, comply with Health & Safety requirements and be covered by appropriate insurance.
  • Leisure for Autism will have a child protection policy.
  • Leisure for Autism will have a designated trustee for child protection.
  • Records of all child protection issues will be kept in a locked cabinet separate to other records pertaining to the child. Access to this information will be restricted to the Board of Trustees and authorised personnel from appropriate agencies including child protection agencies, children’s services and the police. Records will be kept for a period of no less than seven years after the child or young person’s eighteenth birthday.
  • All adults working for Leisure for Autism on either a paid or a voluntary basis will adhere to the policy on child protection.

 Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:

  • Children Act 1989
  • United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Children Act 2004
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children

Practice

Practice in the area of child protection is intended to serve the best interests of the child or young person at all times. At the heart of practice is the following process:

  1. Staff will be vigilant at all times noting any concerns relating to a child or young person, such as physical evidence or marked behavioural changes, in the incident book recording the time, date, location and observable, objective information about the concern.
  2. If a child discloses any information relating to child protection, the member of staff will
  • Listen attentively, ensuring a calm and supportive environment
  • Using the attached Report Sheet for guidance record any information as soon after the disclosure as is possible and appropriate
  • Avoid influencing the disclosure in any way
  • Avoid promising to keep the disclosure confidential
  • Report the disclosure to the team leader as soon after the event as possible
  • The team leader will immediately contact the child support team or central duty team for the local authority responsible for issues pertaining to child protection for the child or young person
  1. Any concerns regarding child protection must be raised immediately with the team leader. If a member of staff feels unable to raise the concern with the team leader, they must contact the child support team or central duty team for the local authority responsible for issues pertaining to child protection for the child or young person
  2. The team leader will act on the concern raised by the member of staff immediately. This will involve
  • Immediately observing the child
  • Reading any written records made by the member of staff
  1. The team leader will refer all cases of suspected abuse to the appropriate child support team or central duty team immediately providing a copy of the Report Sheet.
  2. The team leader will then contact the designated trustee who will inform parents of the referral. The only circumstances in which a parent will not be informed of a referral are if it is considered:
  • The child may be at greater risk of harm as a result
  • Such action may impede a criminal investigation
  • The child may be the victim of fabricated or induced illness
  1. Under no circumstances may any adult working for Leisure for Autism, other than the designated trustee, discuss the child protection concern with the child or young person’s parents or guardians.
  2. Under no circumstances may the child protection concern be discussed with any person other than the team leader.
  3. Under no circumstances may any adult working for Leisure for Autism investigate child protection concerns. This is strictly the provenance of the child support team or the central duty team.
  4. If any adult working for Leisure for Autism is unsure of the most appropriate action to take they must immediately contact the child support team or the central duty team.

 Conclusion

The complex and difficult area of child protection requires vigilance, sensitivity, professionalism and dedication operating in an ethos of openness and honest. The child or young person must remain central to the processes of child protection at all times.

 

Policy last updated: September 2016

 

Contacts

 

Designated Trustee:    Martin Hanbury        07769 934 661

Deputy:                      Andy Pitts                  07847 523192

 

 

Local Authority Child Protection Team Central Duty Team
Manchester 0161 225 9293 0161 255 8250
Stockport 0161 474 4709 0161 475 6000
Trafford 0161 912 5124 0161 912 5199

 

Table 1

Types of Abuse

  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Physical Abuse
  • Family Violence
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Organised Sexual Abuse

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse refers to the psychological and social aspects of child abuse; it is the most common form of child abuse.

Many parents are emotionally abusive without being violent or sexually abusive. However, emotional abuse invariably accompanies physical and sexual abuse. Some parents who are emotionally abusive parents practice forms of child-rearing that are orientated towards fulfilling their own needs and goals, rather than those of their children. Their parenting style may be characterised by overt aggression towards their children, including shouting and intimidation, or they may manipulate their children using more subtle means, such as emotional blackmail.

Emotional abuse does not only occur in the home. Children can be emotionally abused by teachers and other adults in a position of power over the child. Children can also be emotionally abused by other children in the form of “bullying”. Chronic emotional abuse in schools is a serious cause of harm to victimised children and warrants ongoing active intervention.

  • Who is most likely to be emotionally abused? Boys and girls are equally likely to be victims of emotional abuse by their parents, and emotional maltreatment has been reported to peak in the 6- to 8- year old range and to remain at a similar level throughout adolescence.
  • What are the characteristics of emotionally abusive parents? Research findings suggest that emotionally abusive parents have negative attitudes towards children, perceive parents as unrewarding and difficult to enjoy, and that they associate their own negative feelings with the child’s difficult behaviour, particularly when the child reacts against their poor parenting methods. *Emotional abuse has increasingly been linked to parental mental health problems, domestic violence, drug and alcohol misuse, being abused or having been in care as children.

Signs in childhood

From infancy to adulthood, emotionally abused people are often more withdrawn and emotionally disengaged than their peers, and find it difficult to predict other people’s behaviour, understand why they behave in the manner that they do, and respond appropriately.

Emotionally abused children exhibit a range of specific signs. They often:

  • feel unhappy, frightened and distressed
  • behave aggressively and anti-socially, or they may act too mature for their age
  • experience difficulties with academic achievement and school attendance
  • find it difficult to make friends
  • show signs of physical neglect and malnourishment
  • experience incontinence and mysterious pains.

Neglect

Complaints of neglect constitute a significant proportion of notifications and referrals to child protection services. It is generally understood that “neglect” refers to a range of circumstances in which a parent or caregiver fails to adequately provide for a child’s needs:

  • through the provision of food, shelter and clothing
  • by ensuring their access to medical care when necessary
  • by providing them with care, love and support
  • by exercising adequate supervision and control of the child
  • by showing appropriate moral and legal guidance
  • by ensuring that the child regularly attends school

One of the contentious aspects of “neglect”, as a category of child abuse, is that it is closely related to socioeconomic status. Many parents lack the money and support to meet the standards outlined above. Parents in financial need are also more likely to be in contact with welfare services, which in turn are more likely to scrutinise their parenting practices, and therefore more likely to make a report of abuse or neglect. As a result of these factors, poor communities and poor families have often been stigmatised as epicentres of child abuse and neglect. In fact, when adults in the community are asked to make retrospective reports, emotional abuse and neglect occurs in all families, rich or poor.

Physical abuse

  • What are the characteristics of parents who physically abuse children? Characteristics of physical child abusers include emotional impairment, substance abuse, lack of social support, presence of domestic violence and a history of childhood abuse .
  • What are the characteristics of physically abused children? Boys and girls are equally likely to be physically assaulted by their parents, and whilst research suggests that physical abuse peaks when children are aged 4- to 8-years old, physical assault resulting in death occurs most often to infants and toddlers.

Signs in childhood

Physically abused children find it difficult relating to their peers and the adults around them. The constant threat of violence at home makes them perpetually vigilant and mistrustful, and they may be overly domineering and aggressive in their attempts to predict and control other people’s behaviour. They are also vulnerable to “emotional storms”, or instances of overwhelming emotional responses to everyday situations (Berenson and Anderson 2006). These “storms” can take the form of profound grief, fear, or rage.

Physically abused children may also have problems with:

  • academic achievement
  • physical development and coordination
  • developing friendships and relationships
  • aggression and anger management
  • depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

 

Family violence

Family violence, or domestic violence, usually refers to the physical assault of children and women by male relatives, usually a father and husband/partner. In these situations, a man uses violence to control his partner and children, often in the belief that violence is a male prerogative (“I’m a guy, I can’t control myself”), or that his victims are responsible for his behaviour (“You bought it on yourself”). Whilst women may also be perpetrators of family violence, they are usually “fighting back” against a physically abusive partner, and it is unusual for violent women to inflict the same scale of harm as violent men.

  • Who commits domestic violence? Research overwhelmingly suggests that family violence is enacted by men against women and children.* Whilst women can and do commit violent offences within families, rates of female-initiated violence are much lower than male violence, and it is rarely as severe and brutal.

Signs in childhood

A child witnessing family violence, and domestic violence, is at risk of:

  • Behavioural and emotional difficulties
  • Learning difficulties
  • Long-term developmental problems
  • Aggressive language and behaviour
  • Restlessness, anxiety and depression*

 

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse describes any incident in an adult engages a minor in a sexual act, or exposes the minor to inappropriate sexual behaviour or material. Sexual abuse also describes any incident in which a child is coerced into sexual activity by another child. A person may sexually abuse a child using threats and physical force, but sexual abuse often involves subtle forms of manipulation, in which the child is coerced into believing that the activity is an expression of love, or that the child bought the abuse upon itself. Sexual abuse involves contact and non-contact offences.

  • Who is most likely to be sexually abused? Whilst all children are vulnerable to sexual abuse, girls are more likely to be sexually abused than boys. Disabled children are up to seven times more likely to be abused than their non-disabled peers.
  • Who sexually abuses children? Across all community-based studies, most abusers are male and related to the child. Most adults who sexually abuse children are not mentally ill and do not meet the diagnostic criteria for “paedophilia”.

Signs in childhood

Sexually abused children exhibit a range of behaviours, including:

  • Withdrawn, unhappy and suicidal behaviour
  • Self-harm and suicidality
  • Aggressive and violent behaviour
  • Bedwetting, sleep problems, nightmares
  • Eating problems e.g. anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
  • Mood swings
  • Detachment
  • Pains for no medical reason
  • Sexual behaviour, language, or knowledge too advanced for their age

 Organised sexual abuse

Organised sexual abuse refers to the range of circumstances in which multiple children are subject to sexual abuse by multiple perpetrators. In these circumstances, children are subject to a range of serious harms that can include child prostitution, the manufacture of child pornography, and bizarre and sadistic sexual practices, including ritualistic abuse and torture.

  • What are the circumstances in which children are subject to organised sexual abuse? Many children subject to organised abuse are raised in abusive families, and their parents make them available for abuse outside the home. This abuse may include extended family members, family “friends”, or people who pay to abuse the child. Other children are trafficked into organised abuse by perpetrators in schools, churches, state or religious institutions, or whilst homeless or without stable housing.
  • Who is most likely to be sexually abused in organised contexts? Children who are vulnerable to organised abuse include the children of parents involved in organised abuse, and children from unstable or unhappy family backgrounds who may be targeted by abusers outside the family.
  • Who sexually abuses children in organised contexts? Organised abuse, like all forms of child abuse, is primarily committed by parents and relatives. Organised abuse differs from other forms of sexual abuse in that women are often reported as perpetrators. Research with female sexual abusers has found that they have often grown up in environments, such as organised abuse, where sexual abuse is normative, and, as adults, they may sexually abuse in organised contexts alongside male offenders .

Signs in childhood

Young children subject to organised sexual abuse often have severe traumatic and dissociative symptoms that inhibit disclosure or help-seeking behaviour. They are often very withdrawn children with strong suicidal ideation. They may exhibit disturbed behaviours while at play or when socialising with their peers or other adults.

 

Lost Child Policy

Lost Child Policy

 Last Reviewed:       September 2016

Next Review:         September 2018

 

 

The Team Leader should keep all family contact numbers with them at all times.

 At the base

 To avoid children going missing from the base-

  1. All exit doors, including fire doors, are closed (but not locked) and manned by staff at all times.
  2. All children are accompanied by staff as they enter and leave the building.

 

Away from the base

To avoid children going missing when away from the base-

  1. Leaders do regular register calls – approximately every 30 minutes
  2. Support Workers/Volunteers are allocated responsibility for every child by the leader (1:1 where required)
  3. When outside, or near water, extra care is taken for example holding hands, linking arms or the use of wrist straps
  4. When children are leaving, entering or are sat on the minibuses leaders must ensure sufficient staff are present

(Please note; the children will wear badges with contact numbers for LFA)

 

If a child goes missing

  1. Inform the leader immediately who will instigate a search
  2. Ensure staffing levels for the other children remain appropriate
  3. Contact the police/child’s parent, carer or emergency contact as deemed necessary
  4. Ensure the incident is logged and recorded in the register/daily diary
  5. Advise the Trustees
  6. Review the incident at Management Committee level at a later date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Safety Policy

Health and Safety Policy

 

Adopted:    October 2008

Last Reviewed: September 2016

Next Review: September 2018

 

Introduction

Health and safety practice is a crucial component of practice in any organisation. At Leisure for Autism, a matrix of needs and responsibilities exists comprising of many elements including legislation, the complexity of the individual’ needs, the management of the various environments, the role of each member of the staff team, any regulatory bodies role and the use of the local community as a learning environment. The purpose of the following policy is to provide all members of the schemes with guidance and support in ensuring that practice in the area of health and safety is of the highest quality.

Ethos

Every person participating on the scheme has the right to a safe and secure environment in which to learn, play and thrive. Each member of staff has a clear duty to actively ensure that the health and safety of each individual is paramount at all times.

Each member of the staff team is entitled to work in a healthy and safe environment. The Trustees of Leisure for Autism are responsible for providing this environment whilst all members of the staff team are obliged to promote and maintain safe and healthy working practice.

It is acknowledged that some of the individuals attending our schemes may present challenging behaviour which is detrimental to the health and safety of themselves and others. These individuals will not be excluded from the schemes other than in circumstances in which the severity of the behaviour represents a clear and present danger to themselves and others and which cannot be adequately managed within the remit of the scheme. In all other circumstances the staff and Trustees will work towards managing challenging behaviour in a safe and proactive manner.

The Impact of Autism

Autism presents a range of characteristic difficulties in the area of health and safety which include:

  • Impaired awareness of commonplace dangers
  • Irrational fears causing unpredictable responses
  • Ingestion of inappropriate materials
  • Obsessive interests and profound fixations
  • Impaired understanding contributing to violent actions
  • Heightened sensory responses

It is recognised that the unique nature of people with autism determines that a particular approach to health and safety is necessary. Risk assessment must be highly individualised and reflect the specific hazards arising from the person’s condition. Subsequent decision making must resolve the conflicting issues which emerge, weighing various hazards whilst balancing individual needs.

Scheme Procedures

 Risk Assessment and Management

At the heart of good health and safety practice is accurate risk assessment and effective risk management. A range of compatible systems for assessing and managing risk associated with the scheme’s practice will be employed to address the diverse activities and broad spectrum of need represented by individuals participating in the schemes.

 The Environment

The environment at our various sites will be a healthy and safe environment throughout the premises. Where necessary and possible, the environment will be adapted to meet the needs of individuals with autism with particular attention to issues of access and egress, the nature of materials used within the environment, the suitability of fixtures and furniture, ambient temperature, lighting and noise management.

Recreational Visits

People with autism are extremely vulnerable. They invariably lack awareness of danger, are generally highly impulsive and have limited means for protecting themselves. Whilst we endeavour to make the premises as safe and secure a setting as possible, most of our time is spent outdoors requiring us to take further action in order to ensure individuals are as safe as is reasonably possible. We actively encourage the use of the local community and visits to venues of recreational value in order to enable the individuals to enjoy their time with us. When the activities of the scheme extend beyond the premises the staff will ensure that health and safety remain paramount throughout.

At the heart of this process is risk assessment. Risk assessment involves

  • Investigation
  • Analysis
  • Awareness
  • Judgement

For the purposes of visits

  • Investigation requires either the Team Leader or Deputy Team Leaders to have visited the venue prior to taking the group. During this visit, all possible hazards and risks will be noted and where possible consultation with the people involved with the venue will take place.
  • Analysis will occur as the leader notes down all potential hazards and proposes strategies for addressing these. These hazards and strategies must be recorded in writing (see appendix 2).
  • Awareness is primarily the responsibility of the Team Leader who must make each member of staff involved in the visit fully aware of the potential dangers associated with the venue or activity. Furthermore, these dangers must be recorded in writing alongwith the means by which risks will be managed.
  • Judgement as to whether the visit can proceed ultimately rests with the professional judgement of the Team Leader, or may seek advice from the Trustees as appropriate.

Monitoring

Each member of staff recognises their responsibility towards health and safety whilst on the scheme. However, the Team Leader assumes overall responsibility for the day to day management of health and safety across all areas of practice in the premises. In this capacity, the Team Leader is supported by the Deputy Team Leaders and the Trustees. For the duration of our scheme regular, weekly monitoring of health and safety practice will be undertaken by the Team Leaders including a check of practice before the schemes open.

Fire Prevention and Procedure

All members of staff will remain vigilant for potential fire hazards.

All inflammable materials will be kept securely away from individuals participating in the scheme. Inflammable materials must not be brought onto the premises for any purpose.

All members of staff will be familiar with the evacuation routine for the premises (see appendix 1) and vehicles used by the scheme.

Security

All visitors to the premises will be asked to identify themselves to the Team Leader or Deputy Team leaders.

All members of staff must remain vigilant at all times, taking reasonable precautions to protect the individuals, premises and property from intruders. If members of staff suspect a threat to or breach of security they must immediately inform the Team Leader.

All access doors to the premises must remain locked at all times whilst internal doors will be locked at the discretion of the staff team operating in the area at the time.

 Use of Vehicles

Vehicles used to transport pupils for any activity will be regarded as an extension of the scheme environment and must be managed accordingly. Responsibility for the procurement of suitable vehicles rests with the Trustees.

The vehicles are insured via the particular owners. Consequently, any person wishing to drive the scheme vehicles must adhere to the various rules associated with the rental.

The Team Leader is responsible for assessing whether a person demonstrates the ability to drive the vehicle safely.

No member of staff is obliged to drive the vehicle. Any member of staff driving the vehicle adopts the same responsibilities that all drivers assume when driving. Of particular significance are:

  • the safety of all passengers, road users and pedestrians
  • vehicle road worthiness
  • driving within mandatory speed limits
  • driver fatigue and general health

In order to address these issues drivers must ensure

  • all passengers are wearing seatbelts at all times
  • passengers are using booster seats where required
  • they feel alert and well enough to drive
  • sufficient time is allowed for all journeys to be completed

The vehicle must not be driven by any person unless each of these conditions has been fulfilled.

Whilst the general maintenance of the vehicles is the responsibility of the owners, any member of staff driving the vehicle assumes responsibility for its road worthiness for the duration of the journey.

All doors to the vehicles must be unlocked during the journey in order to enable instant exit or allow immediate access to passengers in the event of an accident. Consequently, members of staff must be placed by all doors in order to ensure the individuals’ safety. Throughout the journey all members of staff accompanying the individuals must be vigilant. It is imperative that the driver’s attention is not distracted in any way during the journey; any difficulties presented during the journey must be addressed by the members of staff seated with the participants.

If the situation is considered to be particularly dangerous, the driver must stop the vehicle at the next suitable opportunity until the situation has been stabilised.

Conclusion

Concern for the health and safety of the participants and staff at our schemes lies at the core of our practice. Failure to ensure the safety of any participant will be considered an act of gross misconduct and will result in the member of staff being asked to leave the scheme immediately. Compromising the health and safety of colleagues is an equally serious issue and will be considered as such.

The complex and wide ranging area of health and safety presents many challenges to practitioners. Our policy on health and safety provides formal guidance whilst the experience and expertise of our staff ensures that the well being of each participant is central to all practice.

 

Last updated: September 2016

 

Appendix 1

Fire Evacuation Procedure

  1. On hearing the fire alarm, all members of staff must ensure that the individuals they are responsible for at the time the alarm sounds are immediately evacuated from the premises.
  1. Staff must leave by the nearest safe exit and head around the outside of the building to the muster point.
  1. Staff must not spend time collecting personal items or attending to any activities which are not concerned with the immediate well-being of the participants.
  1. The Team Leader will conduct a count of each person registered in the building.
  1. Under no circumstances is any person to return to the building until the Team Leader has expressly permitted this.
  1. Staff must note that having vacated the building the participants will continue to be vulnerable and will require a high degree of supervision at all times.
  1. Each member of staff must ensure that they are familiar with the sound of the alarm, all fire exits and all evacuation routes.

 

Appendix 2

Group Leader: Category of Risk:
Venue: Date of Visit:
Time of Departure: Time of Return:
Transport:
Objectives:
Staff Team Looking after: Participants
→     →       →
→     →       →
→     →       →
→     →       →
→     →       →
→     →       →
→     →       →
→     →       →
 

Hazard

 

Risk

 

Control

 

Outcome

 

Notified parents: Mobile phone: First aid kit:
Petty cash Participants details: Vehicle documents:
Trustee’s mobile Camera: Notified venue:
Nearest A & E / Medical Support

 

 

Comments: 

 

 

 

 

Team Leader :…………………………………………… Date: ……………

 

Countersigned : ………………………………   ……… Date: ………………

 

Copy to Project Manager / Trustees

 

Signature : ………………………………………….…….Date: ………………..

 

Checklist for Team Leaders/team members

 

Venue: _________________________________________

 

action Person responsible
Whole team Fire procedures for all buildings. Emergency contact numbers(if alarms are activated) 

 

Whole team ‘Understanding’ of Autism Spectrum Conditions and communication techniques
Whole team First Aid/medical procedures. Where are these recorded?
Whole team Incidents/accidents to staff/participants where are these recorded? 

Use of/need for   Personal Protective Equipment

Whole team Risk assessment completed for all off site visits and shared with team.
Whole team Vehicle risk assessments. 

Vehicle evacuations.

Breakdowns.

Whole team Individual profiles shared with whole team 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Guidelines & General Information

 

Staff Guidelines General Information

Last reviewed: September 2016

Next Review: September 2018

Leisure for Autism

Is:

 A registered charity (number-1076305) that supports school age children with Autistic Spectrum Disabilities, and their families, within Greater Manchester by providing a range of stimulating leisure activities during the school holidays.

Our aims are:

 To improve the quality of the lives of school age children with Autistic Spectrum Disabilities and associated disorders.

 To improve the quality of the lives of the parents, carers and siblings of school age children with Autistic Spectrum Disabilities and associated disorders.

 To raise public awareness and understanding of the complexities and implications of their needs.

 

  1. GENERAL STAFF RESPONSIBILITIES

 

All staff, including bus drivers, should be at the centre no later than 9.45am unless other arrangements are agreed with the Leader. If, for any reason, you are unable to work please phone the Co-ordinators before 8.30am on the mobile numbers.

The Leader will allocate staff to either escort on the buses, prepare the lunches or supervise children at the centre.

All staff are expected to be available for work until 4pm. There may be occasions when staff may need to be available beyond this time (for example –a child still on the premises) or you may be able to finish earlier. This is at the discretion of the leader and flexibility is appreciated. Every effort will be made to ensure that working hours are fairly distributed.

Staff are expected to bring their costumes every swimming day. They will be informed by the Leader if they are needed to support users in the pool or supervise them from the poolside.

All staff are expected to accept every youngster as an individual. They should find out as much information as possible about them by referring to their file and talking to the Leader and staff with specific experience.

At all times we expect high standards of behaviour from every member of staff, including volunteers. While we obviously accept that some behaviours from the children may draw attention from the general public we expect everyone to set a good example. Remember that the conduct of each member of staff reflects on the image of Leisure for Autism.

Smoking is not permitted in the vicinity of the users at any time. Upon request, breaks will be provided throughout the day when staffing levels permit.

The personal use of mobile phones is not permitted at any time.

There is no set rest period for staff during the day, but flexibility can be applied to ensure that everyone gets a short break if they need it.

Staff should ensure that the dress and footwear used for the scheme is considered appropriate.

No medication should be brought along without the permission of the Leader who will ensure it is stored safely, away from users.


2. LEADER RESPONSIBILITIES


The Leaders are responsible for the safety and welfare of the users and staff at all times throughout the day.

They must ensure staff understand and adhere to the “Staff guidelines and general information”, in particular the “General Staff Responsibilities”.

Scheme mobile phones must be fully charged up before the start of each day.

Leaders must ensure that they keep the Users Information/Staff files secure and up to date at all times.

They should liaise with the Co-ordinators at the start of each day to confirm which children are attending the scheme and which staff are working, in case any changes have been made to the original work sheets.

Leaders, staff, drivers employed by Leisure for Autism and volunteers must visibly wear ID Badges (with photograph) at all times.

In the event of an accident or incident all details should be recorded immediately on the Accident/Incident Sheet in the file. The Leader will use his/her discretion to decide if the parents/carers and Co-ordinators need to be advised.

Leaders are responsible for ensuring adequate First Aid kits are carried on the buses and in the Leaders rucksack.

No children should be brought into the centre before 10.00 am, except by prior arrangement in exceptional circumstances.
The Leader must ensure the centre is left clean and tidy, locked and secure before leaving the premises on any occasion.

Headcounts or rolecalls should be conducted every 30 minutes when outdoors. It is important that everyone gives their full attention to these.


  1. DRIVER AND STAFF DUTIES

Drivers and their vehicles must remain available to the scheme throughout the day.

Every morning drivers must ensure there is plenty of fuel for the day and that their vehicle is roadworthy.

In the event of a breakdown contact the Co-ordinators as soon as possible to share information and seek guidance.

Drivers must always travel in convoy unless there is a specific and agreed reason not to do so. In this way, should there be a breakdown or incident on one vehicle, the other can be alerted immediately.

Doors must be kept closed at all times when the vehicles are in motion.

No child must ever be left unattended on a playscheme vehicle.

All vehicles are fitted with seatbelts, which must be used and adjusted. Where a child is known to unfasten seatbelts, he/she should be seated next to a member of staff.

Staff must ensure children who are known to be aggressive or self-injurious are seated where there is a minimum risk of harm or distraction to the driver/passengers. Refer to their information sheets and/or be guided by staff with knowledge of the child. Record or report to the leader any new behaviour, which may constitute a risk.

Staff should ensure that every child comes with a change of clothing, waterproofs and wellingtons. On swimming days they must also check that swimming gear is sent with the child. Staff must ensure that all children’s belongings are returned with the child at the end of the day.

Staff must log all belongings in the appropriate book on each bus.

It is essential that staff give positive feedback and information about each child’s day to parents/carers on returning them home. For example, where they have been, what they have eaten and what they have enjoyed doing that day. However, it is the Leaders responsibility to inform families of any incidents. While we appreciate you may feel tired it is worrying for parents/carers to be met at the door by someone who seems uninterested and unenthusiastic. Please remember that you are representing Leisure for Autism.

Staff must ensure that each child has access to drinks at all time.

  1. CARE AND SUPERVISION OF THE USERS It is the aim of the Leisure for Autism to allow every user maximum freedom to experience and enjoy the activities on offer. However it is also our responsibility to ensure that the care and safety of every user takes precedent over all other factors in determining the degree of supervision required for each individual. Where there is dissent on this issue it is for the leader to decide, in consultation with the senior leader, carers and ultimately the Management Committee where necessary.

In general, children below the age of five should be in physical contact with a staff member at all times when outside, either by holding hands or the use of reins or wrist straps. However there may be times, especially in designated play areas, where this is neither practical nor desirable and vigilant supervision as directed by the leader should be maintained.

Staff may find it helpful to be allocated specific children to supervise, although, except in the case of one to one supervision, this is difficult to sustain.

Dropping Off Children – The carers should sign in their child with their nominated member of staff. This is to include the time of registration and the name of the person who will be picking up the child at the end of the session. The child remains the responsibility of the carer until the member of staff has signed in the child.

 When we are walking in the countryside we inevitably get strung out, therefore, Staff will be evenly distributed along the length of the group. It is important to stop at regular intervals, so the rest of the group can catch up and at any junctions in the path. Staff at the back of the group must ensure that no child is allowed to walk behind them.

Any accidents or incidents should be reported to the leader immediately, so that he/she can take appropriate action.

In wet weather, try to ensure that any waterproof clothing provided is used, and that children are dried off as much as possible on their return to the vehicles. Similarly, sunscreen should be applied before exposure to strong sun and hats worn where provided. Parents are asked to provide their own sunscreen in view of the allergy risk.

Collecting Children – When collecting their child the carer must go to the nominated member of staff who will arrange for the child to be signed out. The child becomes the carer’s responsibility again once they child has been signed out.

Children can only be collected by their named carer. If this is not to happen the team leader must be notified in advance and be provided with full details of the person who will collect. This is to include a passport photograph and / or password that can be repeated to the team leader. These details will then be added to the register.

Any person collecting child must be over the age of 16 years.

The carer must make every effort to collect their child on time. If the carer knows they are going to be late the carer must notify the Team Leader as soon as possible.

The Leader will call the parent, carer or designated adult, and use any other emergency contact details available in order to try to ascertain the cause for the delay, and how long it is likely to last. Messages will be left on any answer phone requesting a prompt reply.

If the carer has not collected the child after one hour Leisure for Autism are required by law to contact social services and act upon their advice.

In the event of Social Care being called and responsibility for the child being passed to a safeguarding agency, the Playscheme Leader will leave a further telephone message for the parent, carer or designated adult. Furthermore, a note will be left on the door of the Playscheme premises informing them of what has happened. The note will reassure them of their child’s safety and instruct them to contact the local social Care Department.

Incidents of late collection will be recorded by the leader and discussed with the parent or carer at the earliest opportunity.

If the carer is more than 10 minutes late then Leisure for Autism reserve the right to withhold future places on our play schemes.

  1. TOILETING

Opportunities to use toilet facilities are provided throughout the day. We also have RADAR keys which enable us to use Disabled Facilities which are often more spacious and secure than public toilets.

Where users are able to manage their toilet and hygiene needs independently they should be encouraged to do so, though they will require escorting to and from the toilets.

A number of our users are incontinent or only partially able to manage their needs. In these cases the following rules should be applied:

Always wear protective gloves, which are provided.
Male staff may not change female users.
At least two staff members should be present, though this should be managed in          a way   that does not compromise the user’s dignity.
All waste should be wrapped and disposed of safely.

 

  1. LUNCHTIME Parents are asked to provide a packed lunch for their children and a packed lunch is provided for all staff. This usually consists of a choice of sandwiches, crisps, biscuits and hot and cold drinks. It is freshly prepared every morning and put on the vehicles once they have returned from their morning run.

The simplest way to manage lunchtimes is to eat on the vehicles. This eliminates hazards such as straying children, bad weather, insect invasion and animal droppings. If the decision is taken to picnic out of doors then extra care must be taken and all children should be encouraged to sit down whilst they are eating and drinking. Staff should ensure that all users have been provided with lunch before they take their own, and this may involve assisting with eating and drinking, and clearing up. Care should be taken with hot drinks at all times.

Everyone should contribute to clearing up and the safe storage of boxes for the return journey. Litter should be disposed of or returned to the centre.

 7. SWIMMING

All children who attend playscheme on a swimming day are expected to go in the water. This is because there are no facilities at the pools for non swimmers to be supervised in safety and all staff need to be focusing their attention on the children in the changing rooms and water.

It may be necessary for escorts to confirm that adolescent girls are not menstruating before collecting them on swimming days.

Some of the children suffer from epilepsy. Ideally they should wear yellow hats in the water but this is not always possible. The leader will always have information as to which children are affected and should remind staff at each session.

It is a requirement of the Swimming pools that all children who have had a seizure within the last six months have one to one supervision in the water.

Swim bands must be worn by all children unless otherwise specified. No child wearing swim bands should approach the deep end of the pool and it is useful to have one or two members of staff in this area both in and out of the water to redirect drifters.

There is a requirement for staff to go in the water but we need a minimum of four adults on the poolside. It is preferable to take turns so that everyone has a “dry” turn.

In the event of someone getting into difficulties it is the responsibility of the pool attendant to take charge of the situation and the playscheme staff would be expected to co-operate fully with them.

Changing before and after swimming is a time when staff need to be at their most vigilant and ensure that all children are kept in cubicles until people are free to supervise them in the water or waiting area. One member of staff will be directed to remain in their swimming costume until all the children have left the poolside.

Whenever possible we have additional volunteers on swimming days.

Last updated: September 2016