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Climate Science Ltd. Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy Statement.

1. Introduction, Scope, & Purpose

Climate Science Ltd is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children and young people that we interact with.

Climate Science Ltd exists to advance the education of the public worldwide on the subjects of climate change and sustainable development for the public benefit in particular, but not exclusively, by providing freely available educational resources, programs and tools that communicate scientific information in easily understandable ways.

In furtherance of its charitable objectives, the charity carries out a range of activities which are summarized as follows: Climate Science Ltd.’s principal activities involve the conception, production and promulgation of fun, engaging, scientifically robust, educational materials thematically focussed on finding solutions to climate change.

While initially, materials were primarily single page or short series of infographics shared via Instagram, recent growth saw the development of a burgeoning portfolio of more complex educational materials and the implementation of digital distribution platforms in the form of a website and mobile applications. We are actively engaged in developing communities, supporting school clubs, and running interactive events and competitions.

The purpose of this policy statement is to ensure that:

  • Excellent safeguarding practices are in place to protect children and young people who receive Climate Science Ltd’s services from harm.
  • Staff and volunteers are provided with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.
  • All child safeguarding incidents are dealt with consistently and properly recorded.
  • Anyone working on behalf of Climate Science Ltd including the board of trustees paid staff, consultants, interns, volunteers, and students are aware that these policies apply to them.

2. Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children and young people in England & Wales. A summary of the key legislation is available here.

3. Definitions

Child Safeguarding is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:

  • Protecting children and young people from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children and young people's health or development;
  • Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

The definition of “a child or young person” is a person under the age of 18.

4. Supporting Documents

This policy statement should be read alongside our organizational policies, procedures, guidance and other related documents.

  • Role description for the designated safeguarding officer
  • Dealing with disclosures and concerns about a child
  • Managing allegations against staff and volunteers
  • Recording concerns and information sharing
  • Child protection records retention and storage
  • Code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Behavior codes for children and young people
  • Photography and sharing images guidance
  • Safer recruitment
  • Online safety
  • Anti-bullying
  • Managing complaints
  • Whistleblowing
  • Health and safety
  • Induction, training, supervision and support
  • Adult to child supervision ratios

5. Key Principles on Child Protection

5.1 We believe that:

  • Children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind
  • We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practice in a way that protects them.

5.2 We recognize that:

  • The welfare of children and young people is paramount in all the work we do
  • In the decisions we take, all children and young people have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • Some children and young people are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • Working in partnership with youth is essential in promoting children and young people’s welfare.

5.3 We seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • Valuing, listening to and respecting them
  • Appointing a nominated child and young person protection lead, a deputy and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding
  • Adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Developing and implementing an effective online safety policy and related procedures
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision,
  • Support, training and quality assurance measures so that all staff and volunteers know about and follow our policies, procedures and behavior codes confidently and competently
  • Recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • Recording, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance
  • Sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children and young people and their families
  • Making sure that children and young people and their families know where to go for help if they have a concern
  • Using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately
  • Using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
  • Creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
  • Ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
  • Ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children and young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
  • Building a safeguarding culture where staff and volunteers, children and young people and their families treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.

6. Escalation Process

6.1 Stage 1 – identifying an incident or concern

All stakeholders have a responsibility to be mindful and aware of children’s safeguarding issues. It is not the stakeholder’s responsibility to decide whether or not the potential child or young person safeguarding incident requires investigation or further action, but each stakeholder has a responsibility to act on any concerns through escalating the matter as set out in this policy.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of the main types of abuse that stakeholders should be aware of;

Physical Abuse - Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child or young person. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of or deliberately causes ill health to a child or young person.

Emotional Abuse - Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child or young person’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children and young people that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children and young people. It may involve causing children and young people to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children and young people. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

Sexual Abuse - Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child or young person is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children and young people in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children and young people to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Neglect - Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child or young person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child or young person’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child or young person from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child or young person’s basic emotional needs.

Online abuse - Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the internet. It can happen across any device that's connected to the web, like computers, tablets and mobile phones. And it can happen anywhere online, including social media, text messages and messaging apps, emails and online chats.

Children and young people can be at risk of online abuse from people they know or from strangers. It might be part of other abuse which is taking place offline, like bullying or grooming. Or the abuse might only happen online. Children or young people might experience different types of online abuse, such as cyberbullying, emotional abuse, grooming, sexting, sexual abuse, and/or sexual exploitation.

A child or young person experiencing abuse online might spend a lot more or a lot less time than usual online, texting, gaming or using social media. They might also seem distant, upset or angry after using the internet or texting. They might also be secretive about who they're talking to and what they're doing online or on their mobile phone, have lots of new phone numbers, texts or email addresses on their mobile phone, laptop or tablet.

For more information on the forms of online abuse, how to recognize it and further support available please visit this link.

Incidents which require escalation:

The following is a non-exhaustive list of issues or incidents which require escalation in accordance with this policy:

  • Failing to protect a child or young person from physical harm or danger;
  • Failure to ensure adequate supervision of a child or young person;
  • Failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment;
  • Failure to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing;
  • 0Sudden changes in a child or young person’s behavior or performance; and
  • Any physical, emotional, online or sexual abuse.

6.1 Stage 2. Following up upon incidents of concern

In the event of becoming aware of a potential safeguarding issue, the stakeholder must take the following steps:

  1. Take a detailed record of their concerns, focusing only on facts and not opinions or judgements, using the ‘Safeguarding Concerns Form’ (Appendix 1).
  2. Report the incident via email or phone to either one of the Climate Science Ltd Safeguarding Officers, Isak & Sole and/or the trustee responsible for safeguarding Eric. (contact details below)
  3. If your incident is regarding a member of Climate Science Ltd listed above please contact the chair of trustees and/or Safeguarding Officer as appropriate.
  4. You should not attempt to investigate the suspected incident yourself.
  5. If the child is at immediate risk of significant harm, you should contact the police (Call 999 if the child is at immediate risk, or call the police on 101 if you think a crime has been committed) or local social services. You should then immediately contact the Safeguarding Officer (or trustee, if unavailable) when you have done so. If you have a concern which is unrelated to a Climate Science Ltd. event, you should contact the NSPCC National 24 Hour Help Line on 0808 800 5000 for advice about safeguarding children and young people.

7. Contact details

7.1 Climate Science Ltd Safeguarding Officers

Name: Sole Konic (she/her)

Email: sole@climatescience.org

Name: Isak Herman (he/him)

Email: isak@climatescience.org

7.2 Trustee contact responsible for safeguarding and child protection

Name: Eric Steinberger (he/him)

Email: eric@climatescience.org

APPENDICES

Appendix 1. Safeguarding Concerns Form

Appendix 2. Code of Conduct

The following rules apply to all personnel bound by this Code, including all employees, volunteers, and members of the community, and they state that they must:

  • Comply with the applicable laws of the country in which they are present. In case of violation of any applicable law, Climate Science Ltd will not provide any legal assistance to the individual.
  • Respect all persons equally and without any distinction or discrimination based on nationality, race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, educational status, religious beliefs, social class or political opinions; and act at all times in accordance with the community values as defined by ClimateScience. These are:
    • Be respectful and treat others with kindness
    • Anyone can give open and constructive critical feedback that should be considered
    • Open and honest communication
    • Support learning
    • Inclusion and diversity
  • Take into account the sensitivities of peoples’ customs, habits, and religious beliefs and avoid any behaviour that is not appropriate in a particular cultural context.
  • Abstain from all acts which could be considered harassment, abuse, discrimination or exploitation. This applies to all people of all ages, especially to children and to young people exposed to stigma.
  • Not commit any act of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse or sexual violence. This prohibition extends to all forms of sexual abuse or exploitation and includes not reporting concerns or suspicions regarding any violation by a co-worker (whether a fellow volunteer or an individual working for a partner organisation).

Climate Science Ltd | Safeguarding Policy | Last updated on 11 March 2022