Safeguarding Children & Adults when Volunteering in North Yorkshire
As a volunteer your role is vital in supporting local communities.
You may become aware of things which concern you or don’t feel right. If you have concerns we want you to know what to do and where to go for help
Social distancing, self-isolating and quarantine can cause stress and changes in everyone’s behaviour. Families are under new pressures and you may worry a child or adult is withdrawn, anxious or depressed.
Safeguarding and the types of abuse
The signs of abuse aren’t always obvious, and a person may feel scared or unable to say what is happening to them.
Types of abuse for children and adults include:
We know from other countries that lockdown has increased:
- Domestic abuse
- Alcohol and/or drug use
- Signs of abuse
Signs of abuse may include:
- Children looking dirty or always wearing the same clothes
- Children left home alone or outdoors by themselves
- People being locked in their house without a key or means of leaving
- Aggressive behaviour and shouting
- Someone saying that a relative, neighbour, friend or someone else has just taken all of their money or emptied their cupboards of food
These are not the only signs of abuse.
Safeguarding children and adults
Safeguarding is everybody’s business. Say something if you are concerned about a child, young person or an adult.
If you think a person’s life is in immediate danger you should contact the police on 999.
If you are worried about a child or adult you should:
- Discuss your concern with your Manager/Coordinator, or
- Contact the North Yorkshire Customer Service Centre on 01609 780 780 to speak to a Specialist Advisor
- Speak to your Manager/Coordinator if:
- You see a volunteer being given money or gifts from a resident, or
- If a resident is being offensive towards you or another volunteer
- Remember your boundaries
Use your key contacts (make a note or putthem in your phone)
Report your concerns to yourManager/Coordinator or to the North Yorkshire County Council Customer Service Centre
- Do not
- Investigate your concerns
Manage challenging situations or other people’s anxieties
Take home any concerns
Wellbeing is important for everyone
Don’t forget your own wellbeing and speak to your Manager/Coordinator if you feel you are in need of support.
To accompany the OMG to Volunteering during COVID-19 we have put together narrated slides which can be viewed here