Choose clubs and support safely
Last updated: 25/02/2021
How to safely choose clubs, groups, help and support for children
The Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board wants children and young people to be safe and secure. As a parent, carer or family member, it’s important that when choosing clubs, groups or help and support for your children, you choose carefully.
In our new leaflet we have outlined what you should expect, and how to identify safe, good quality services and support when choosing childminders, play groups, uniformed clubs and groups, sports clubs, private tutors, charities, faith based activities and other hobbies.
What to look out for
All organisations providing a service for children including groups, clubs, individuals and charities who run events or activities, should have:
- An understanding of safeguarding and a safeguarding lead to report concerns to
- available procedures for raising complaints or concerns
- a code of conduct or good practice guidance
- consent and emergency processes, including gathering relevant contact details and medical information
- safe recruitment processes for volunteers and staff
- trained volunteers and staff in safeguarding
- suitable supervisors to manage services, activities and groups mindful of different ages, abilities, group sizes, activities and the venue
- a safe environment for activities to take place or safe operating procedures to deliver services
- A transparent and safe fees and payment process and structure
Keeping your children safe
It’s important for parents, carers and family members to spot a ‘reg flag’ as these could be indicators of areas that you might decide need further investigation. You should be wary of:
- activities where parents are discouraged from staying to watch or become involved
- activities or behaviour that encourage rough play, sexual innuendo, or humiliating punishments
- individuals who take charge and operate independently of organisational guidelines
- individuals who show favouritism or personally reward specific children
- encouragement of inappropriate physical contact
- poor communication and lack of parental involvement, leaving you feeling uneasy
- children who drop out or stop going for no apparent reason
- invitations for children to spend time alone with staff or volunteers
If you have concerns for the safety of a child, you must call the Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Team on 01344 352005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For education settings and childminders: visit the Ofsted website
For any organisation, club, group or charity, you may find information on their websites.
Organisations such as faith groups, scouts/ guides and sports clubs may have connections to bigger national bodies such as; the Church of England, the Scout Association or the Football Association. If so, guidance and advice will be available on national bodies’ websites regarding standards and questions to ask, as well as other information and support.
If you would like a hard copy of the leaflet they will soon be available in coffee shops, libraries, doctors’ surgeries, schools and family hubs (formerly children’s centres) across Bracknell Forest. Alternatively, you can download one from www.bracknellforestsafeguarding.org.uk.
There is also a leaflet 'Keeping adults safe: How to choose care, help and support safely'