SAFE News Archives 2008


December 23, 2008 - Festive Break

The SAFEchild office shuts today for the Christmas break and re-opens 6th January. We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.


CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre) are urgently looking for a man who may be an important potential witness in a child abuse investigation.

Following CEOP's appeal on BBC TV Crimewatch on the 15th December, people are being urged to take a second look to see if they can identify a possible important witness. Click here for video footage. He was spotted at 6.30am in an ASDA store in Doncaster. Call 0800 546 0030 in confidence if you have any information.

December 21, 2008 - "Don't suffer in silence", a new campaign to protect and support victims of domestic violence

Christmas is a time when domestic violence incidents escalate and Womens' Aid and Refuge have launched a joint national campaign to raise public awareness and help victims.

They run a joint national FREE phone helpline Tel:0808 2000 247. For more information and useful local contacts click here for Womens' Aid and click here for Refuge.

Remember, if you are concerned about the welfare of a child, contact your local children's social care services. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

December 18, 2008 - The Right to Choose, new government strategy and statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage

This week's high profile case of an NHS doctor, being freed by the courts and allowed to return home, highlights the need for everyone to be aware of what constitutes a forced marriage.

In simple terms, a forced marriage is when a marriage is conducted without the full consent of both people and where there is duress, either emotional pressure or physical abuse. This should not be confused with arranged marriage, when families are involved in choice of partners and both people freely consent to marriage.

To read more click here.

December 15, 2008 - Independent Safeguarding Authority News

The ISA have released their latest update outlining more details for the anticipated roll out in Ocober 2009.

To find out more, and how ISA will affect your organisation, click here for the latest news.

December 12, 2008 - Re-using CRB checks

Today, SAFEchild has commented, on the BBC Tees news programme, upon the Middlesborough case of the sex offender who used a forged CRB Disclosure to secure work with children and young people.

As ever, the charity's advice remains the same. Every relevant organisation working with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults MUST request a new CRB check, normally at Enhanced level. It is also vital to put a cross in the "working with children" or "working with vulnerable adult" boxes on the last page of the forms. It is these details that trigger POCA and/or POVA checks. That way, all those who recruit can be confident that an individual's identity has been thoroughly checked and that they also have the full information available. For more information click on the CRB button on our home page.

Last year alone, the CRB prevented 20,000 inappropriate people working with vulnerable groups, which is 20,000 very good reasons to do CRB checks properly.

December 12, 2008 - New Cocaine Awareness Campaign aimed at 15-18 year olds

"Pablo the Drug Mule Dog" is the character appearing in the new FRANK campaign including television adverts and on-line. He looks at the risks and the very real devastating effects of taking cocaine.

To learn more click here for all sorts of information for both adults and young people.

December 10, 2008 - EastEnders

Last night's episode saw dramatic scenes when Bianca discovered the real relationship between Tony and Whitney. Advised by the NSPCC, the BBC have made every effort to raise the very difficult and sensitive issues of child sexual abuse in the most realistic way possible.

If you have concerns about a child's welfare follow SAFEchild's simple instructions found on the "Worried about a child?" button on top of the home page.

If the programme has raised other issues for you, your GP can signpost you to a range of specialist sources support.

December 9, 2008 - 'Tis the season to be careful

The DCSF and Child Accident Prevention Trust have produced a handy leaflet for parents and carers to highlight the potential dangers in the home for children and young people over the Christmas period.

Designed to look like an Advent Calender, the leaflet gives 10 simple pointers to ensure that the festivities are remembered for all the correct reasons.
To access the lealflet click here.

December 5, 2008 - Great Ideas for Family Christmas Trips to London

View have listed some fantastic events for all the family to choose from in London this Christmas.

With everything from a medieaval tour of the Tower of London, ice skating, a ghost tour of Hampton Court, to the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree; families are sure to find an exciting day out over the Christmas Holidays.

Click here to find out more.

December 1, 2008 - Christmas event photography

This is probably the busiest time of year with most children taking part in plays, concerts and nativities. Photography and videoing such events is such an important aspect, especially for parents and carers who want to record their children and young people taking part.

Over the years there has been a lot of debate about how organisations should manage photography to the best standard of practice.
SAFEchild advice is very simple:

1. Be clear about the content and appropriateness of the images
2. Ensure you know who is taking picture and for what purpose
3. Make sure that, if the photography is used by the press, that only the child's first name is used if printed alongside the name for the organsaition.

Further advice can be found in the SAFEchild Child Protection Toolkit, under Photography & Filming Guidance.

November 26, 2008 - FREE "Hedge and copse" packs

The Woodland Trust is running a campaign to promote their aim that "every child should have the chance to plant trees".

Open to community, youth groups and schools; the Trust is encouraging everyone to get involved. For your free pack, and a chance to apply for up to 100 to plant tress with your children and young people, click here.

November 24, 2008 - Old Enough to Make a Mark?

The Youth Citizenship Commission is consulting on behalf of the Ministry of Justice about the minimum age for elections in the UK.

The law about what young people can do including giving consent, buying tobacco or alcohol, taking out a credit card or vote can be very confusing. The Governance of Britain Green Paper 2007 highlighted the importance of engaging young people as citizens, so they are able to take an active part in society.
Everyone is invited to take part and the consultation which ends on 20th January 2009. Click here and have your say.

November 17, 2008 - Anti-Bullying Week

This week sees the annual national campaign led by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) to raise awareness of the stress and trauma bullying can cause children and young people.

The ABA have a range of literature and resources suitable for children, young people, parents, carers, teachers and group leaders. To find out more click here.

November 16, 2008 - 'The Boy Who Did not Stop, Look and Listen'

Tomorrow sees the start of a national TV advert campaign to promote child safety on our roads.

The 1.5m THINK! campaign spells out the dangers of not crossing the road safely and highlights the need to 'stop, look and listen' every time. This is in response to the fact that some 9,000 children and young people were injured or killed in the UK last year. Recent research shows that 6-11 year olds need clearer messages about road safety. Visit the new website, available from today click here.

November 15, 2008 - Nominate for the FRANK Awards 2009

The Home Office initiaitive FRANK for "Tackling Drugs Changing Lives" is inviting nominations for the FRANK Awards.

The FRANK awards recognises people who have raised awareness of drug issues and/or reduced harm through innovative use of FRANK since January 2007. Awards will be given in two categories:

- FRANK communications aimed at young people
- FRANK communications aimed at the wider community.

Two regional awards will be given for each of the nine government regions in England (one for each category) and two overall winners will be selected. There will also be a judges' panel award for the best use of FRANK.

The winners will be invited to a reception at the Home Office in London in March. Winners should be prepared to take part in some promotional activity including media, although anonymity of clients will be respected if necessary.

The 2009 FRANK Awards are now open for nominations. The deadline for entries is 19 December 2008. Click here for more details.

November 14, 2008 - The tragic case of Baby P

The whole country has been completely shocked by the case of the tragic child death known as Baby P.

This case underlines the vital importance of everyone knowing who to contact when they have a child protection concern and understanding they must make a referral to childrens' social care services; or the police, in an emergency.

It is equally important for everyone to repeat the referral if they continue to lack confidence that a child is safe. Make sure you keep your SAFEchild Referral card to hand; complete with your local contact details which you can find by clicking on the "Downloads" menu on the SAFEchild website front page.

November 10, 2008 - BBC Children in Need 14th November 2008

Do something different this week, have fun and raise money with Pudsey Bear.

For your Fundraising Pack click here.

If you are a group or charity who might benefit from a grant click here for details of how to apply.

November 7, 2008 - 11 MILLION Takeover Day

Across the country many children and young people have taken part in events to make their views heard.

The Children's Commissioner for England, Sir Al Aynsley-Greenleads leads the organisation called 11 MILLION. 11 MILLION works to make sure that adults in charge listen to the views of the 11 million children across England.

To find out more click here.

November 4, 2008 - Support Kidscape Kids' Bake in Anti-Bullying Week

Kidscape are encouraging everyone to join in and get baking, and have a bake sale with the goodies you produce, with the proceeds going to Kidscape to help continue to protect children all over the UK from bullying.

Groups, schools, families and individuals are encouraged to register and join in the baking fun during Anti-Bullying Week 17th - 22nd November 2008. To vote for your favourite cake in the Cake Hall of Fame, read fun facts about cake, enter competitions with fabulous prizes, and get lots of advice about how to run your Kidscape Kids Bake party click here.

November 1, 2008 - Remember, remember the 5th of November

Follow Ben for a safe fireworks night. Make sure your bonfire night is memorable for all the right reasons and that all your firework "bangs" are under control.

BERR (Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform) have produced a useful firework safety leaflet. Click here.

RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) also have a specialist website with all sorts of information about firework and bonfire safety. For more information click here.

October 31, 2008 - Halloween High Spirits

Tonight sees many children and young people thoroughly enjoying themselves, dressing up, "Trick or treating" and having parties. Sometimes high spirits get children into trouble, make sure your children have fun safely.

1. Make sure you know when, who with and where your children will be throughout the evening.
2. Accompany younger children "trick or treating" (at a distance if necessary!)
3. Talk to older children about only knocking on doors of people they know and who will not mind being disturbed.
4. Maker sure children know not to knock on the doors of elderly people without prior arrangement, especially those who live alone.
5. Many police forces issue posters to put into windows for people who do not want to be visited, make sure your children understand and respect this.
6. Have a happy, if spooky, time!

October 28, 2008 - New NSPCC Research

The NSPCC carried out research about children seeing images on the internet that have disturbed them; 3 out of 4 children said they had seen something that worried them.

If you are worried about the legality of something your child has seen on the internet you can report it on-line to the IWF ( Internet Watch Foundation). If you think it could endanger a child report it to CEOP ( Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre).


October 23, 2008 - Fireworks season is nearly here

Autumn is here and many children and young people will be excitedly looking forward to Diwali and the Bonfire night. Parents will be thinking about safety and how to ensure their children attend organised celebrations and act responsibly.

To help parents talk to their children, BERR (Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform) have several firework safety resources on-line including games. Click here to play them.

October 22, 2008 - IWF Awareness Day - 24 October 2008

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is the UK internet 'Hotline' for the public to report their inadvertent exposure to online child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world and criminally obscene and incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK.

The IWF was founded by the internet industry in 1996 and works in partnership with the police, government, the wider online sector and the public to combat the availability of potentially illegal online content within its remit.

As a result of this self-regulatory approach, less than 1% of online child sexual abuse content has apparently been hosted in the UK since 2003, down from 18% in 1997.

Through the 'Hotline' reporting system, the IWF helps the online industry combat abuse of its services through a 'notice and take-down' initiative by alerting them to potentially illegal content within IWF's remit on their systems and enabling the police to investigate those responsible.

This partnership approach is recognised internationally and the IWF is committed to sharing its good practice, expertise and experience around the world, contributing to dialogue beyond the UK and Europe, to ensure greater awareness of global issues and responsibilities.

For more information or to report a website click here.

October 18, 2008 - Introduction to Child Protection course November 8th, places still available....

We still have a few places available on the 'Introduction to Child Protection' face-to-face training course on November 8th but they are selling out fast. Please click here for more details.

October 17, 2008 - National Road Safety Week 10th-17th November

Every 18 minutes a child is seriously injured or killed on Britain's roads.

With the darker evenings and worsening November weather looming, the risks are of injury increase. The road safety charity Brake is encouraging everyone to run a local initiative to raise awareness of the possible dangers and how to keep as safe as possible on the roads.

If you work with children and young people click here to order your free Road Safety Week Action Pack and get involved.

October 13, 2008 - BBC Sports Unsung Hero

Time is running out to nominate volunteers who go the extra mile when helping at their local sports club or activity. The BBC, in partnership with Robinsons are looking for 15 regional winners across the country who deserve the title Sports Unsung Hero.

Do you have a volunteer who deserves recognition and who would benefit from applying for a bursary of up to 2,500 for your club to spend on equipment or other resources? If so click here and nominate on-line.

October 8, 2008 - VAC 2008

SAFEchild was delighted to address the Educational Visits and Children workshop at the national annual Visitor Attractions Conference 2008 held at the QEII Conference Centre in London.

Some 300 delegates, representing the nation's visitor attractions across the country, attended the conference to debate the current issues for the industry. The workshop included input from Peter Carne about the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge scheme and a 5 Point Safeguarding Health Check from Rosie Carter from SAFEchild.

HRH The Duke of York also attended to address the conference and met many of the delegates. If you are involved with the industry and would like to know more about SAFEchild child protection services please contact us for more information.

To view a copy of the SAFEchild presentation by Rosie Carter click here.

September 29, 2008 - New Internet Safety Watchdog announced today

The new UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) will bring together social networking sites and technology firms to teach children about the potential dangers on the internet, remove harmful website content and establish a code of conduct for website providers

If you want to learn more click here.

September 27, 2008 - FREE cookbook for 11 year olds

Written by master chef, Phil Vickery, this book is sure to be a winner for young people who love their food, and the recipes are healthy too. From minestrone soup, beef curry, lamb rogan josh to fajitas, along with puddings like fruit pie and custard there are 32 mouth watering recipes to please all the family.

To get the recipes click here.

September 25, 2008 - Keep warm, keep well

With winter just around the corner and ever rising fuel bills, many families will be looking for ways to cut down on costs and keep warm at the same time.

The Department of Health has released a variety of helpful publications, including one for families. To learn more click here.

September 22, 2008 - Keeping Children Safe: The child sexual offender disclosure pilot

A 12-month Child Sexual Offender Disclosure pilot has been launched in Cambridgeshire, Cleveland, Hampshire and Warwickshire, allowing parents and carers to formally ask the police to tell them if a person has a record for child sexual offences.

As most offenders are known to their victims and their families. This scheme does not replace CRB checks but allows parents and carers to ask the police if they have concerns about anyone who has access to their children or family. The pilot scheme will evaluate if such information helps to protect children and young people from sexual offenders.

To read more click here.

September 18, 2008 - Chief Constable's Commendation

Everyone at SAFEchild would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Acting DCI Stuart McCallum, our police advisor and "talking head" on our on-line training; in recognition of his role as Senior Investigation Officer, following the murder of a 4 week old baby in 2007. He was commended for his professional approach and that of his team at Southern VCC (Victim Care Centre) in support of the family. The convicted perpetrator is now serving a life sentence.

These cases are extremely rare but do illustrate the very difficult work that the police have to undertake in such serious investigations and how they liaise with sensitivity and understanding with bereaved families.

September 12, 2008 - Grass Roots 130million Grants Up for Grabs

Do you run a small voluntary or community group with less than 20,000 annual income? Then this new pot of money could be for you!

Funded by the Office of The Third Sector in the Cabinet Office and administered by the Community Development Foundation, grants of between 250 and 5,000 can be made to support all sorts of groups; click here to learn more about how you can pay for that new sports kit or paint for your village hall.

September 10, 2008 - FREE Children's Height Chart for Parents

As part of the Parents as Partners initiative, this height chart has been designed along with details of lots of fun things to do with children aged 0-5 years, and information about free early learning and care.

Available in 20 languages, click here for your free copy.

September 5, 2008 - Gangs: you and your child, new advice for parents on gangs

In response to the rising levels of concern amongst parents and carers for their children's safety, the Home Office has released a guide with detailed advice.

Written with ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers), local authorities and other organisations including the Family and Parenting Institute and community groups such as Mothers Against Violence. To read more click here.

September 3, 2008 - New Free DVD Parents as Partners: Playing and learning together

As part of the Every Child Matters Agenda, parents and carers can now order a free DVD to help them support their children's learning.

With 5 sections: Talking, Listening and Learning, Learning with Dad, Places to Go, Parents Talk and Where Can I Find Out More? This DVD is a very useful resource for all parents and carers. For your free copy click here.

August 18, 2008 - Video Games Consultation

The government is seeking the views of children, young people and carers about current and proposed classification of video games.

Have your say before the 20th November. Click here to take part.

August 17, 2008 - New Child Internet Safety Council to be launched

Following a government review of internet safety , a new council will be launched in the Autumn.

This is in response to the undue delays that some websites take in removing inappropriate content when there have been complaints. The new council will act as an industry regulatory body. To read more click here or for the full report click here.

August 14, 2008 - Patter of tiny feet?

The NHS has just launched it's New Pregnancy Care Planner on line.

With over 250 NHS accredited pages of information about pregnancy, this site is an essential guide for all parents and would be parents to help make every pregnancy happy and healthy. Click here for all the information you need.

August 11, 2008 - New RoSPA Road Safety Video Advice

RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) have released a new video about 'Carrying Children Safely'.

To view the video click here.

August 8, 2008 - New Playday Research

In support of their "Give us a go!" Campaign, Playday have commissioned research about how children play and learn to take risks.

The research shows that children are limited in play that may involve risk: 51% said they were not allowed to climb a tree without adult supervision and 41% said they had been stopped from climbing trees. 70% of adults said they were allowed to play outside when they were children and 29% of children play outside today.

To read more click here.

August 4, 2008 - Stay safe on the beach this summer

Every year people get into difficulty when enjoying the hot summer days on the coast. The RNLI have put together some extremely useful advice and information for everyone to help them stay safe.

Along with "Top tips to keep safe", "Know your flags" and "Understanding Hazards and Dangers", the RNLI have also posted a 2 minute Beach Safety Film. There is also a chance to win a holiday if you fill in their simple questionnaire. Click here for their website.

July 31, 2008 - Safeguarding Children from Sexual Exploitation

The government has launched a consultation guidance document for practitioners from all sectors about the sexual exploitation of children.

The new guidance gives information about the different forms of sexual exploitation to help practitioners identify children and young people who may be at risk of, or are being, sexually exploited. Closing 10th October click here to read more and take part.

July 29, 2008 - Parent Know How

A new government funded initiative to improve access to information, support and services for all parents and others who care for children and young people services.

Parents and carers can now access a wide range of sources of support and help by phone, internet and text messaging for all sorts of parenting and family issues including disability, relationships, welfare rights , mental health and legal advice.
For more information click here or watch the Parent Know How Youtube video click here

July 15, 2008 - Changing Places Public Facilities Consultation

There are virtually no well equipped public toilets across the country for disabled children, young people and their carers. Please take part in this consultation by 31st July 2008.

Using toilets in public places is difficult enough, especially if you need a hoist or changing table. The Every Disabled Child Matters initiative is encouraging people to take part in this very important consultation to ensure that disabled children can access properly equipped facilities when they visit public places and buildings.

Click here to make your views known.

July 14, 2008 - Moving on up

A brand new publication for Year 6 young people from the DCSF (Department for children, schools and families)

With the end of the summer term upon us and many young people entering their last year of primary education many people will be thinking of the up and coming decisions to be made about school choices next term for the academic year 2009-10. This booklet is especially written for Year 6?s to explain their options and also includes interviews from older children which describes their experiences of this very important transition stage.

Click here for the document.

July 7, 2008 - New research about being a child in the UK

The Children's Society invites the voluntary and community sector to have their say about childhood in the UK

The voluntary and community sector makes an enormous contribution to the Every Child Matters agenda and the Children's society wants to know what concerns volunteers have about childhood in general and, more specifically, what are the major concerns for children and young people today. It only takes 5 minutes to take part so have your say, click here.

July 6, 2008 - CRB latest figures

CRB releases latest figures of the numbers of unsuitable people being stopped from working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.

The CRB have announced that over 20,000 unsuitable people have been caught out with CRB checks in the last year, bringing the total figure over the last four years to 80,000. There has been much criticism in the press recently about the onerous and lengthy tasks of filling in CRB forms and how new volunteers are being put off by bureaucracy. These are 80,000 very good reasons why all organisations who work with vulnerable groups should carry out CRB checks as part of their rigorous recruitment procedures. SAFEchild sends out very easy to follow guidance for people who want to do CRB checks, with the forms taking 15 minutes to fill in. If you want to carry out CRB checks, follow the link from the home page to order your forms.

June 25, 2008 - 7 out of 10 children are bullied at school

The charity Bullyng Online has just published some serious new research with 8,500 children, teachers and parents about bullying.

87% parents said that their child had been bullied, with 77% saying their child had been bullied more than 5 times. 75% of teachers said that they needed more training to deal with the issues. Unfortunately bullying can have the most tragic of consequences when children and young people feel that they can no longer deal with it. For more information from the charity click here or for the latest government information click here.

June 23, 2008 - Child Safety Week

This week is national Child Safety Week led by CAPT (Child Accident Prevention Trust) an backed by DCFS (Department for Children, Schools and Families), DoH (Department of Health).

CAPT's research shows that over 2,000 children are admitted to hospital every week and they have produced a lot of useful information and guidance for the public. This week everyone can download a free Child Safety Week resource pack which includes lots of safety tips, practical advice and fun activities. For your free resource click here.

June 16, 2008 - Child Water Safety

Now summer is here and the long school holidays are on the horizon, parents are being advised to consider their children's safety near water.

RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) has carried out research which shows that 80% of very tragic child drownings happen in the garden at home or that of a friend, relative or neighbour. They strongly advise parents of small children to take time to look for any water hazards at home and nearby and also take steps to ensure that under 5's cannot access water.

They advise parents of older children to ensure they accompany their children when swimming, especially in open water such as the sea or rivers.

Click here for their detailed advice.

June 12, 2008 - New Children's Car Safety Information

The safest way to carry children is to use suitable car seating appropriate to age and size but this can be confusing, especially for relatives and friends who share the school run or help with child care.

RoSPA have launched a really useful on-line film to fully and clearly explain what is required by law to keep children safe in cars.

Click here for details.

June 10, 2008 - New Ofcom research about how children's use of modern technology is changing

Ofcom, the independent regulator for the Uk's communications industries, has just released the findings of it's latest research with over 2,000 parents and children.

Ofcom's research has enforced SAFEchild's research last year that many children have internet access in their bedrooms and that the majority are unsupervised when using the net.

Ofcom also discovered that the numbers of parents who set up "nannying" systems to regulate what their children access on line is falling, mainly because parents feel that they can rely on their children to "self regulate" their internet behaviour.

Probably the most interesting outcome of the research is that 2/3 of 12 -15 year olds interviewed felt that the violence in games made more of an impact on them than violence on TV or in films.

SAFEchild's advice to parents and carers continues to be keep the PC in a family room or area, talk to your children about what they are accessing on the internet and, if you do not understand the web, ask them to show you how it works.

On-line abuse can always be reported here.

June 6, 2008 - Defeat Bullying

Today sees schools across the country taking part in a new ChildLine and NSPCC initiative to raise the issue of bullying and discuss the issues.

Schools are encouraged to download the special lesson plan and take part in Defeat Bullying. The aim is to help children understand that they can get help if they are being bullied. For more information click here.

June 5, 2008 - New Youth Alcohol Action Plan

The government has launched a new initiative this week to address the concerns many have about young people drinking . The new plan will be a combination of legislation, information, support and advice.

Part of the research for the plan showed that a worrying 35% of 11-15 year olds had drunk in the last four weeks with the aim to get drunk. Also young people who had been excluded from school in the past 12 months were more likely to have had an alcoholic drink in the last week (45%) than those who have remained in school (21%). Click here for the full report.

If you are concerned about your own child's drinking or that of a young person you work with support and advice can be found at

June 4, 2008 - New Kitemark for Child Safety On-line

Following our internet safety research with young people aged 10-13 years old, SAFEchild welcomes this new initiative from the Home Office and Ofcom.

The use of parental control software has long been established but until now, there has been no independent testing of the quality and standards of such packages. Manufacturers can now demonstrate to parents and carers that their products meet the new standards of this new kite mark from BSI. Click here.

SAFEchild reminds parents that this kitemark is excellent to guarantee parental control of websites but, of course, cannot apply to chat rooms where people, who want to access children for the wrong reasons, will still be able to do so. Best practice advice remains that parents and carers should talk to their children about what they are doing on-line, look at the websites they use and most importantly keep the computer in a main family area of the home where it can be more closely monitored.

June 3, 2008 - SAFEchild is already aware of two occasions when unsuitable people have tried to get work with children this season...

Now that the school holidays and peak season is looming, many organisations are hectically trying to recruit the best possible staff to fill those seasonal posts. People who could not normally work with children will use situations where recruitment is hurried, especially as CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks will not be returned for at least 3 weeks.

Make sure you follow SAFEchild's invaluable comprehensive advice given in the Child Protection Toolkit and in particular, follow these 7 steps to avoid the classic pitfalls:

1. Always make sure you pay particular attention to verifying candidates are who they say they are by obtaining: full personal details and evidence of identity e.g. passport or full driving licence with photograph and counterpart.

2. Make sure you see, and take copies of, any vital ORIGINAL qualifications e.g. life guard certificates.

3. Contact two people who have experience of applicant's work history involving children or young people ...IF IN A HURRY, ACCEPT TELEPHONE REFERENCES SUBJECT TO WRITTEN CONFIRMATION WRITING WITHIN 5 WORKING DAYS.

4. If you have to hold rush interviews, always ask someone else to help.

5. Make sure you at least scan CVs for gaps.

6. Use the pro forma disclosure as a back up whilst you wait for CRB checks...if a relevant offence then comes to light you have at least fulfilled your duty of care.

7. Ensure the new member of staff is closely supervised and not put into sensitive situations e.g. changing rooms or where they are difficult to monitor.

June 1, 2008 - Fair Play? Have your say government consultation

The government have launched a consultation for children and young people to air their views about what they want to see in public play spaces, where there are gaps and what would be best for disabled children.

Click here for the document. There is also a version for adults too. Closing date 18th August 2008.

June 1, 2008 - Keeping babies cool in summer

Now is the time of year that families are taking well deserved holidays, hopefully in sunnier and warmer climates.

Babies and young children can be at risk during heatwaves here in the UK and also in hotter climates. The Foundation for Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) has issued some very useful common sense and practical advice for parents to help them ensure that the temperature of babies and toddlers are monitored and kept safe in any weather.

Click here for more information about this and other parenting matters.

May 29, 2008 - New proposed internet images offences

The Ministry of Justice has today announced plans to make ALL images of child sexual abuse, including cartoons and computer drawn images, a criminal offence.

SAFEchild welcomes these proposals in the light of the charity's recent work about internet safety with young people as it will close a legal loophole for those who access inappropriate images of children.

May 19, 2008 - Wise up to the Web, Internet Safety Conference makes news headlines

Saturday 17th May saw delegates forego the FA cup (!) and attend the annual SAFEchild conference to debate issues of Internet Safety for young people. SAFEchild's research with 200 young people aged 10-13 revealed that:

48% of children had access to a computer in their bedroom.
67% said they had found something on the internet that had worried them.
63% said they had online friends they never met.
50% said they had met a stranger from the internet for real
42% of those did not take an adult with them.

In almost half of the cases reported in the survey, the youngster involved admitted the person did not look like they thought, and there were also stories of their identities being used maliciously.

Detective Inspector Stuart McCallum, said: "It happens in Suffolk. People would be surprised at the frequency. Youngsters might go off and meet someone they expect to be the boy or girl of their dreams and it turns out to be an abuser."

"Images on the internet can be untruthful or manipulated. This is about increasing people's awareness and reluctantly acknowledging we may never stop it."

Anyone wanting to know more, or are experiencing or worried about internet abuse should visit

The full article can be read here.

May 11, 2008 - Hector's WorldTM

New On-line Safety Information for 5-7 year olds now available.

In advance of SAFEchild's Annual Conference "Wise up to the Web" Saturday 17th May, CEOP (Child Exploitation and On-Line Protection Centre have announced the launch of their new on-line safety programme for 5-7 year olds "Hector's WorldTM". For more information Click here.

February 27, 2008 - Children & Young People Now Magazine ask SAFEchild for a vox pop about: Are children getting left behind in a digital age?

February 1, 2008 - BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour asks SAFEchild about CRB Checks

BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour asks SAFEchild if the bureaucracy of CRB checks and rigorous recruitment deters people from volunteering to work with children.


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