Good Practice Guide

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE for working with Children and Young People

Handout for Instructors, Coaches and Volunteers 

This guide only covers the essential points of good practice when working with children and young people.  You should also read the organisation’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures which are available for reference at all times.

  • Avoid spending any significant time working with children in isolation 
  • Do not take children alone in a car, however short the journey
  • Do not take children to your home as part of your organisation’s activity
  • Where any of these are unavoidable, ensure that they only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge of the organisation or the child’s parents
  • Design training programmes that are within the ability of the individual child
  • If a child is having difficulty with a wetsuit or buoyancy aid, ask them to ask a friend to help if at all possible
  • If you do have to help a child, make sure you are in full view of others, preferably another adult

You should never:

  • engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games
  • allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
  • allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged, or use such language yourself when with children
  • make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
  • fail to respond to an allegation made by a child; always act
  • do things of a personal nature that children can do for themselves.

It may sometimes be necessary to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are very young or disabled.  These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the child (where possible) and their parents/carers.  In an emergency situation which requires this type of help, parents should be fully informed.  In such situations it is important to ensure that any adult present is sensitive to the child and undertakes personal care tasks with the utmost discretion.

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