intandem aims to promote the wellbeing of each and every child who is matched with a mentor.
The focus in every mentoring relationship will be on developing the child, recognising and building their strengths, and providing support and encouragement to deal with difficult and challenging situations in their lives.
There is equally a need to ensure that children grow up in an environment which is safe, and that they are protected from harm. Every charity funded by Scottish Government’s intandem programme has a responsibility to implement clear practices and policies to identify and act on risks to a child’s wellbeing.
The intandem programme sets out minimum requirements for these. Only screened adults will have contact with children, and all adults who have contact must be trained in safeguarding and child protection.
When you join the intandem programme, your Performance Advisor will review your existing practices and policies to ensure that you are operating at or above these minimum requirements.
Details of the minimum requirements can be found by clicking below:
This is where safeguarding and child protection starts for every intandem charity. Each charity must have an opportunity to identify adults whose involvement with children would be inappropriate. Comprehensive recruitment and screening processes are key to this.
Screening will take place when applicants are being recruited for a new role as a relevant member of staff or volunteer mentor. It will continue at regular intervals throughout the individual’s engagement with the charity.
Before an individual is offered a role as mentor or staff, they must be screened through the following mixture of formal information gathering and subjective assessment:
- The applicant must complete an application form and be confirmed as aged 18 or over;
- A PVG Scheme Record must be obtained and inspected;
- A minimum of two references from non-family members must be taken up;
- An interview with the applicant must be undertaken, part of the purpose of which is to identify if there are any safeguarding reasons why the applicant should not be selected;
- As part of an extensive training programme prior to engagement, training in safeguarding and child protection must be given;
- At the end of the training, all trainers involved must confirm that they have seen nothing in the applicant’s behaviour or attitude which give them concerns;
- All new staff and volunteers must sign up to a code of conduct, one copy of which is to be retained by the charity.
Screening of the mentor or member of staff will continue throughout their engagement with the charity. This should be incorporated within regular support and supervision sessions. The approach here is difficult to determine in advance as it incorporates a significant degree of subjective assessment. However, through questioning the individual about their activities and relationships, it should be possible to gain insights into behaviours or attitudes which could raise concerns.
On a minimum frequency of once every three years, individuals should be re-checked through the PVG scheme (by requesting a Scheme Record update).
A mandatory part of the training of new mentors and staff is on safeguarding and child protection.
As a minimum, the training will:
- define what safeguarding and child protection are, and refer to the legislative environment;
- explain what is meant by harm, and emphasise how important it is to recognise indicators of possible harm;
- develop skills to identify situations where there is a risk or instance of harm;
- describe when there is a responsibility to report concerns about a child’s welfare, and provide instructions on how this should be done;
- describe the charity’s practices and policies for safeguarding.
Every applicant must be given a copy of the charity’s safeguarding and related policies, and they should be given the name of a nominated person in the charity with whom they can raise issues of safeguarding.
Refresher training for every new mentor and relevant member of staff must be scheduled at this time, and they must be made aware of the timing of this. The refresher training must take place within three years of the original training, and more frequent refresher training is encouraged.
GIRFEC is our national approach to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people. It supports them and their parent(s) to work in partnership with the services that can help them. http://www.gov.scot/gettingitright
The Scottish Government is responsible for child protection in Scotland. It sets out policy, legislation and statutory guidance on how the child protection system should work. The key guidance is in Scottish Government (2014) National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland. http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0045/00450733.pdf
NSPCC Self-Assessment Toolkit
You can assess your current practices using the NSPCC online self-assessment tool for organisations working with children aged 0-18 years. These checklists cover several areas which enhance safeguarding, not just a child protection policy, including:
Sharing information & working with agencies; Recording & Storing information; Safer staff & volunteers; Preventing & responding to bullying. <a