top of page



Kick Start FC is committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people, and will take all reasonable steps to protect them from neglect and physical, sexual or emotional harm.  Paid staff, volunteers and trustees will, at all times, show respect for and understanding of the rights, safety and welfare of the children and young people accessing our services, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of Kick Start FC.

Purpose Of The Policy

The purpose of this policy is to outline the practice and procedures for all paid and voluntary staff within Kick Start FC in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of young people accessing our services and activities.  It is aimed at protecting the young person and the worker, recognising the risks involved in working with children and young people.

This policy relates to children and young people under the age of 18 and to vulnerable people over the age of 18.  The term ‘young people’ will be used to include those under 18 years old and vulnerable adults.


  • Implement procedures to provide a duty of care for young people, safeguard their well-being and protect them from abuse.

  • Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of young people.

  • Ensure that all our paid staff and volunteers are carefully selected, trained and supervised, including completing a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

  • Carefully assess all risks that young people encounter, and taking all necessary steps to minimise and manage such risks.

  • Let parents/carers and young people know how to voice concerns or complaints about anything they might be unhappy about.

Give parents/carers, young people and fellow professionals information about what we do and what can be expected of us.


Safeguarding Children: Safeguarding children is defined in the Working Together 2018 as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment.

  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development.

  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.

  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Kick Start FC recognises that:

  • The welfare of the child or young person is paramount;

  • All children and young people regardless of race, gender, age, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation or identity have a right to equal protection from harm;

  • Some children are more vulnerable to harm as a result of their circumstances, prior experiences, communication needs or level of dependency; and

  • Working with children, young people and their parents and/or guardians, carers or other agencies is essential to protecting their wellbeing.

Facts About Abuse  

Child abuse occurs when a child or young person has suffered from, or is at significant risk of suffering from, ill-treatment or impairment of development, by any person who knowingly colludes with or fails to prevent the ill-treatment of the child or young person by not ensuring reasonable standards of care and protection.

  • All staff and volunteers should be aware that abusers are not just strangers. They can include parents, carers, family members, friends, people in positions of trust and authority, other children or young people, or anyone who has contact with children and young people.

  • Children and young people who are abused are often abused by an adult they know and trust.

  • Disabled children and young people are more vulnerable to abuse; they are more dependent on intimate care and occasionally they may be less able to tell or escape from abusive situations.

  • Misunderstandings and misinterpretations of different cultural and religious beliefs often mean that children and young people from these communities and families may be more vulnerable to abuse going undetected.

  • It is important to remember that, although most abusers are men, women also abuse, and that abusers come from all social and ethnic backgrounds and professions.


The Children Act 1989 definition of a child is: anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday, even if they are living independently, are a member of the armed forces or is in hospital.


Child Abuse: Children may be vulnerable to neglect and abuse or exploitation from within their family and from individuals they come across in their daily lives. There are 4 main categories of abuse, which are: sexual, physical, emotional abuse, and neglect. It is important to be aware of more specific types of abuse that fall within these categories, they are:

  • Bullying and cyberbullying

  • Child sexual exploitation

  • Child Criminal exploitation

  • Child trafficking

  • Domestic abuse

  • Female genital mutilation

  • Grooming

  • Historical abuse

  • Online abuse


 (Further information on types of abuse can be found in APPENDIX 1)

Indications Of Abuse

There are certain signs of abuse, both in a young person’s appearance and behaviour, which may alert an individual to the possibility that abuse is occurring.  Some of these signs are common to all types of abuse; others are more specific.

Knowing the signs to be aware of is essential for recognising a real or potential problem.  However, the presence of any one sign in itself may not necessarily mean abuse is occurring, and conversely, a young person who is being abused may show none of the obvious signs.  Such factors make the issue of child abuse more complex, but all concerns and suspicions should be reported and acted upon accordingly.

Indications that a young person may be being abused include:

  • Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries.

  • An injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent

  • The young person describes what appears to be an abusive act involving him or her

  • Someone else (young person or adult) expresses concern about the welfare of another young person

  • Unexplained changes in behaviour or emotions such as becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden bursts of temper

  • Inappropriate sexual awareness

  • Engaging in sexually explicit behaviour, sexually explicit talk inappropriate to the young person’s age

  • Distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would be expected

  • Difficulty in making friends

  • Uncharacteristic eating disorders, depression and suicide attempts

  • The young person may become withdrawn, introverted and depressed and have low self-esteem and lack of confidence


It is not your responsibility as members of Kick Start FC to decide whether or not child abuse is occurring, but it is your responsibility to act on those concerns and do something about them.

Safeguarding Children At Events/Activities  

There are three kinds of events/activities

  1. a. Those open to adults and children of all ages;

  2. Those open to children accompanied by a ‘parent’; and

  3. Those for unaccompanied children, which are sometimes run alongside other events/activities.


At events and activities open to all ages, children under 16 must be accompanied throughout by an adult over the age of 18, who must not only bring the child but also takes the child home again afterwards. Young people aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring written consent and a mobile number for one of their parents.

All events and activities for children accompanied by a ‘parent’, children under 16 must be supervised throughout the event by and adult over the age of 18 who not only brings the child to the event but also takes them home afterwards. If a lone adult is supervising more than one child, then the children will have to stay together to enable to adult to supervise both children. Young people aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring written consent and a mobile number for one of their parents.

At events and activities for unaccompanied children, children under 16 must be enrolled by a responsible adult before being left with the event leader. The enrolment must record the child’s name, age and address and the names and addresses of the child’s parents, plus the parents contact telephone numbers. Young people aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring written consent and a mobile number for one of their parents.

Both events and activities are to be defined broadly to include any occasions where the organisation will be providing a service

Safeguarding Officer

There will be a named person for safeguarding children and young people who will be responsible for dealing with any concerns about the safeguarding. This person is currently: Michael Cunningham

The role of the designated person is to:

  • Ensure that Kick Start FC Safeguarding Policy and Procedures are followed.

  • Ensure they, and other staff members know how to make contact with social care and police staff responsible for dealing with safeguarding children concerns both during and after office hours.

  • Act as a source of advice on all safeguarding matters within Kick Start FC and seek further advice and guidance from Fife Council Safeguarding Children Board as appropriate.

  • Ensure that a record is kept of any concerns about a child or young person and of any conversation or referrals to statutory agencies.

  • Ensure that any such record is kept safely and securely

Staff And Volunteer Recruitment And Selection

Kick Start FC recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse young people in some way and that all necessary steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with them.

Due to its work with children, Kick Start FC is exempt from regulations governing the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.  Therefore, all staff and volunteer applicants for positions within Kick Start FC are required to disclose on their Application Form all previous criminal convictions, even if they are “spent” convictions.  Any information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

  1. All potential candidates for both paid and voluntary positions within Kick Start FC will be asked to complete an Kick Start FC application form.

  2. All potential candidates will be interviewed by a panel consisting of a minimum of two Kick Start FC staff members and/or directors.

  3. If a person is thought to be suitable for a role, a minimum of two written references will be taken up and may be confirmed by telephone.

  4. All staff, volunteers and directors offered a role within Kick Start FC will be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If staff, volunteers and directors are in possession of a clear DBS check that was carried out in the 6-months prior to their appointment with Kick Start FC and are willing and able to present the original disclosure certificate, Kick Start FC will allow them to begin work, whilst another check is carried out.

  5. Employees and volunteers will have an Enhanced DBS check every 2 years.

  6. If a DBS disclosure reveals a criminal record, this will not automatically ban the person from working at Kick Start FC. Kick Start FC will discuss the offence with the applicant and take into consideration the circumstances of the offence, the type of offence, when committed, etc. and assess fairly to ensure fair appointment and selection.

  7. All paid positions are subject to a probationary period within which time the effectiveness of the delivery, performance and suitability for the post shall be monitored by Kick Start FC.

Staff And Volunteer Training

All staff and volunteers working within Kick Start FC will receive information and basic training in safe conduct and what to do if they have concerns about a child or young person.  This will include information on recognising where there are concerns about a child or young person, and where to get advice.

Training levels should be appropriate to the employee’s contact with children and young people and their responsibilities for child welfare within Kick Start FC:

  • Employees and volunteers working directly with children and young people must attend recognised safeguarding children awareness training (e.g. training run by the local Safeguarding Children Board) as soon as this can be arranged following their appointment. This training must be updated every 2 years.

  • Employees who may have indirect contact with young people during the course of their work e.g. Office Manager must receive advisory information and Safeguarding Children awareness training from the Safeguarding Officer.

Staff And Volunteer Code Of Conduct

Always remember that while you are caring for any children and/or young people you are in a position of trust and your responsibilities to them and the organisation must be always uppermost in your mind.


  • Use any kind of physical punishment or chastisement such as smacking or hitting.

  • Give lifts in your own car, unless prior arrangements have been made with all relevant people, i.e. parents/carers, your line manager, and there is appropriate business insurance on the car.

  • Use non-prescribed drugs or be under the influence of alcohol.

  • Allow a young person to use discriminatory, demeaning or offensive language unchallenged.

  • Behave in a way that frightens or demeans any young person.

  • Use racist, sexist, discriminatory, demeaning or offensive language.

  • Invite young people to your house or arrange to see them outside the set activity times.

  • Disclose your personal address, personal email address or telephone number to a young person

  • Engage in a sexual relationship with a young person.

  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a young person.

  • Engage in rough or physical games, including horseplay.

  • Let allegations a young person makes go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.

  • Rely upon your good name to protect you or believe “it could never happen to me.”

  • Give young people presents or personal items*.

*Exceptions could be: buying a young person a small birthday token or leaving present. Any gift should come from Kick Start FC and be given in a professional capacity and be agreed with a senior staff member. Similarly, do not accept gifts yourself other than small tokens for appropriate celebrations (e.g. birthdays, Christmas), which you should mention to your line manager.


  • Exercise caution about being alone with a young person. In situations where this is unavoidable, ensure another worker or volunteer knows what you are doing and where you are.

  • Ensure that any physical contact is open and initiated by the young person’s needs, e.g. for help with personal care. Always prompt young people to carry out personal care themselves and if they cannot manage ask if they would like help.

  • Talk explicitly to young people about their right to be kept safe from harm.

  • Listen to young people about their right to be kept safe from harm.

  • Listen to young people and take every opportunity to raise their self-esteem.

  • Work as a team with your colleagues. Agree with them what behaviour you expect from young people and be consistent enforcing it.

  • Remember if you have to speak to a young person about their behaviour you are challenging ‘what they did’ not who they are’.

  • Make sure you have read the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure and that you feel confident that you know how to recognise when a young person may be suffering harm, how to handle any disclosure and how to report any concerns.

  • Where possible encourage parents/carers to take responsibility for their own children.

Prevention Of Bullying

We will not tolerate the bullying of children either by adults or other children. If any incident of child-on-child bullying should arise at and event run by Kick Start FC, those involved will be separated immediately and the parents of the children involved will be asked to deal with the matter. The team will review all child-on-child bullying and assess the future risk to children. If appropriate, the team will consider banning a child from future events but only in accordance with the rules and procedures of the organisation. Allegations of adults bullying will be dealt with in accordance to with this policy.


'Prevent' And Safeguarding

Prevent is a community safeguarding programme which works to protect those at risk of radicalisation. It does not work to criminalise or marginalise individuals or groups of society. It works to find the suitable support and intervention to challenge extreme views.

Kick Start FC will use the recommended PREVENT safeguarding referral form and follow the usual safeguarding procedure stated within this policy.

Identifying potential signs of radicalisation. Research from a variety of organisations has shown that there are possible indicators that contribute to a person being radicalised. Indicators are;

  • An increase in extreme views relating to a social sector of Government policy

  • The downloading, viewing or sharing of extremist propaganda

  • An individual becoming withdrawn and increasingly intolerant of modern views

  • A change in appearance or behaviour, with an individual becoming isolated

The expression of a desire or intent to support or take part in terrorist activity.

Photographing Children

No photos will be taken or published of any child attending an event or activity unless prior written permission is sought from a person with parental responsibility. If any persons has concerns regarding any person taking photos at an event or activity, that person should contact the organisation immediately.

Managing Behaviour, Discipline, And Acceptable Restraint

  • Adults supervising children at the organisation’s events must never use any form of corporal punishment. If physical restraint is absolutely necessary to prevent injury to any person or to prevent serious damage to property, then the minimum necessary restraint may be used – but for that purpose only.

  • Unacceptable behaviour at the organisations events for unaccompanied children will generally be stopped by separating the children from each other and from the group. Those involved will be suitably supervised and returned to the care of their parents as soon as possible.

  • The organisation may apply a further disciplinary sanction; namely the banning of the child/ren from one or more future events over the following 18 month period. Any such sanction would be determined and applied by the following officer: Michael Cunningham.

  • A parent who is aggrieved by this ban may appeal to the organisation who will hear the views of all relevant persons. The decision of the organisation is final. Any such appeals should be made to, and will be determined by the following officer: Michael Cunningham.

Dealing With Accidents, Misunderstandings Or Other Incidents

It is imperative that a note be kept of all complaints, injuries or behaviours that cause concern and that these are recorded on the Incident Report Form (Appendix 3).

An Incident Report Form should be completed, if a young person:

  • Suffers any form of accident whilst with a Kick Start FC staff member or volunteer

  • Becomes distressed in any way or misunderstands or misinterprets something that has been said or done whilst attending a Kick Start FC project or activity.


This form should then be passed to the Safeguarding Officer or other Kick Start FC senior staff member, who will, where appropriate, inform the young person’s parents/carers.


What Should You Do If A Child/Young Person Makes A Disclosure?

  1. Stay calm. Do not let your shock show.

  2. Explain to the young person that you will have to share the information, that you cannot keep it secret.

  3. Listen very carefully to what is being said without interrupting and allow the young person to speak at his or her own pace.

  4. Make it clear to the young person that you are taking what they say seriously.

  5. Do not press the young person, ask leading questions or probe for information.

  6. Reassure the young person that they were right to tell and recognise that it is difficult to talk about these things.

  7. Let the young person know what will happen next, who you will report the information to, and what will happen once it has been reported.

  8. Do not make any promises to the young person.

  9. Act immediately – do not delay.

  10. Do not take sole responsibility – seek advice as soon as possible.

  11. Keep a detailed record of the incident and your concerns by completing an Incident Report Form (see Appendix 3). Make sure that you record exactly what happened and what was said in the young person’s own words, without interpreting it into your own words.

Procedures To Follow When Making A Referral

It is important that all Kick Start FC staff and volunteers are aware of the reporting procedures if they have a concern about child protection or a young person’s welfare.

They should:

  1. Refer their concerns to the Safeguarding Officer.

  2. In the absence of this officer, then refer their concerns to the most senior employee available, who will be responsible for making the phone call to children’s social care.

  3. If no Kick Start FC staff members are available, the person discovering or being informed of the abuse should immediately inform children’s social care.


Referrals should be made to the social care service where the young person lives (see useful contacts list, Appendix 4).

When contacting children’s social care:

  1. Make it clear you are making a referral about child protection.

  2. Make a record of:

    • The name and position of the member of staff in children’s social care or police officer to whom the concerns were passed

    • The time and date of the call, in case any follow-up is needed.

Referrals made by telephone to social care must be followed up in writing within 24 hours.

When you are making a referral regarding child protection concerns, it is important to have the following information wherever possible readily available for the duty social worker:

  • Name, date of birth, ethnic origin, gender of the young person, address and telephone numbers;

  • The reasons for your concern;

  • Injuries and/or other indicators observed;

  • The young person’s first language;

  • Details of any specific needs of the young person e.g. disability;

  • Details of family members, if known;

  • Other agencies, professionals involved;

  • Family doctor

Lack of any of the above should not delay referral if concerns are immediate.

The Incident Report Form can be found in Appendix 2.  This form will enable employees and volunteers to record the important information as highlighted above.

Following the referral of a child, the referrer and the Social Care Service must be clear about who will be taking what action.

Not all young people are able to express themselves verbally. In this instance, where there are concerns, an Incident Report Form (Appendix 2) should be completed and the same procedures for making a referral followed.


The same approach should be taken if the disclosure, suspicion, or allegation comes from an adult.

If In Doubt

If you are not sure what to do, contact the Kick Start FC Safeguarding Officer or another Kick Start FC senior staff member.

In addition, there are several sources of advice available. These are:

  • The duty social worker of the relevant social care service (see Appendix 3).

  • The NSPCC 24-hour free phone Helpline on 0808 800 5000


Confidentiality should be maintained for all concerned.  Information should be handled and disseminated on a “need to know basis” only. This includes to the following people:

  • The Safeguarding Officer.

  • Social care/police.

  • The young person making the allegation’s parents/carers.

  • The parents or carers of the young person who is alleged to have been abused.

  • The person making the allegation.

  • The alleged abuser (and their parents/carers if the abuser is a child)*.

*Where there is any possibility that a criminal act may have been committed, e.g. physical or sexual abuse, do not pass on any information before contacting the police and/or children’s social care.  Care should be taken not to take any action that may jeopardise any subsequent criminal investigation, this includes contacting the alleged perpetrator.

Information should be stored in a secure place with access limited to designated people, in line with Kick Start FC Confidentiality Policy and Data Protection legislation.


For the reporting of suspected abuse

It is acknowledged that feelings generated by the discovery that a member of staff or volunteer is, or may be, abusing a child or young person, will raise concerns among other staff or volunteers.  This includes the difficulties inherent in reporting such matters.

Kick Start FC assures all staff and volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone who, in good faith (without malicious intent), reports his or her concern about a colleague’s practice or the possibility that a child or vulnerable adult may be being abused.

 For the person whom an allegation is made*

To be the subject of an allegation can be very stressful.  While Kick Start FC has a duty to ensure that all allegations are thoroughly investigated it also has a duty to its staff and volunteers.  While an investigation is being carried out, it is important that there is a senior member of staff who is tasked to maintain contact with the person (whether suspended or not) and keep them informed of the progress of the allegation and what steps are being taken.  No information should be given about the detail of the allegation without careful consultation with the investigating agencies.

*only if this person is a staff member, trustee or volunteer of Kick Start FC

Types Of Investigations 

Where there is a complaint of abuse against a member of staff, there may be three types of investigation:

  • A criminal investigation (undertaken by the police)

  • A child or adult protection investigation (undertaken by social care/police)

  • A disciplinary investigation (undertaken by Kick Start FC). See Kick Start FC Disciplinary Policy and Procedures.


Civil proceedings may also be initiated by the person/family of the person who alleged the abuse.

Enquiries And Suspension 

  • Kick Start FC can and will make immediate decisions on whether or not any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended from duty.


If an allegation or suspicion of abuse is made or exists about a staff member or volunteer, they will be asked, without prejudice, to leave the project if children and young people are still present.


  • Irrespective of the findings of the relevant Local Safeguarding Children Board or Police enquiries, Kick Start FC will assess all individual cases under its misconduct/disciplinary procedures, to decide whether or not a member of staff can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled with other staff or volunteers.


This may be a difficult decision, particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, Kick Start FC will make an informed decision based on available information that could suggest, on a balance probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of all children and young people participating in all Kick Start FC activities or services is and will always remain paramount.

Appendix 1

Types Of Abuse

Vulnerable adults, young adults are children are at risk of harm or abuse. They may be seen as an easy target and may be less likely to identify abuse themselves or to report it. Sometimes people may not even be aware that they are being abused, abusers may try to prevent access to the person they abuse. 

Signs of abuse can often be difficult to detect. Below are some examples:

  • Psychological – includes emotional abuse / threats of harm or abandonment / deprivation of contact / humiliation / controlling behaviour / exploiting, corrupting/ cyber bullying / exposure to the ill treatment of someone else 

  • Discriminatory – includes forms of harassment/slurs similar treatment because of race/gender/gender identity/age/disability/sexual orientation or religion.

  • Physical – includes assault/ hitting/ slapping/ pushing/ restraint/ inappropriate punishment/ shaking/ burning etc. Misuse of medication and/ or physical harm caused when a parent/carer fabricates the symptoms of or deliberately induces illness in a child.

  • Financial/material – includes theft/fraud/internet scams/coercion/misuse or misappropriation of property or possessions etc.

  • Neglect/acts of omission – persistent ignoring of medical, emotional or physical care needs / failure to provide access to appropriate healthcare / withholding the necessities of life / unsupervised in inappropriate situations.

  • Sexual – Includes rape / indecent exposure / sexual harassment / exposure to pornography against the person’s will / other sexual acts without consent etc.

  • Organisational – covers neglect and poor practice within an institution or specific care setting or in someone’s own home. Can be through neglect or poor professional practice resulting from policies/culture/systems.

  • Self-neglect – covers a wide range of behaviour e.g. neglecting to care for one’s own health/hygiene/surroundings/hoarding etc.

  • Modern slavery - covers human trafficking / forced labour / domestic servitude / forcing individuals into a life of abuse or inhumane treatment

  • Domestic violence and abuse – the definition of domestic abuse is “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional, controlling and coercive) between those aged 16 and over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality. This includes issues of concern such as so-called ‘honour killings’.”

  • FGM – Female Genital Mutilation is defined as a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there's no medical reason for this to be done. Culturally accepted in some parts of the world and generally preformed with family present reducing privacy and dignity for the young girl and increases the risk of infection unnecessarily. It is preformed on girls as young as 3 and often as old as 17. Often this is not preformed by a medical professional which increases the risk of fatality.


This list may not be exhaustive but provides examples.

Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly and it may be a single or repeated act.

NB People at risk may be abused in more than one way.

Appendix 2

Safeguarding Pro Forma

Safeguarding incident record.

Check to make sure your report is clear to someone else reading it. Incident date refers to the date of the recording of the incident (this should be the date you are made aware of the concern), if you have any information regarding a relevant past incident add into the details of concern section.

This will be the main record of the safeguarding incident and will need updating until the concern is closed.

Breach of confidentiality may include:

Was the information shared with an outside agency?
(Indicate with ‘Yes’ where relevant below and provide details)

  • 999 Ambulance or Police:

  • 101 Police – Welfare Checks:

  • Safeguarding Adult Team (Name of person receiving the referral/ location/ phone number):

  • Safeguarding Children and Family Services Team (Social services: name of person receiving the referral/ location/ phone number):

  • Other Health Professional (Please specify and give name/ phone number):

  • Other charity or organisation e.g. Women’s Aid, NSPCC, Prevent:


Appendix 3

Useful Contacts

Designated Safeguarding Officer for KICK START FC:

Michael Cunningham

Email Address:

Telephone number: 07887497560


Non Emergency: 101

Emergency: 999

Local Authority:

Children’s Social Care Referral Team:

Early Help Hub:

Designated Officer (LADO):

NSPCC Helpline
0808 800 5000


Appendix 4

Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up in accordance to the following legislation and guidance:

  • Children’s Act 1989

  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • General Data Protection Regulations

  • Data Protection 2018

  • Human Rights Act 1998

  • Children’s Act 2004

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

  • Children and Families Act 2014

  • Children and Social Work 2017

  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: Advice for practitioners (Department of Education, 2015)

  • Working together to safeguard children (Department of Education 2018)

bottom of page