This policy is mandatory for all staff to read and recommended for parents. This policy relates to all students under our care regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion or disability. All children and young people have the right to protection from any kind of abuse and the right to exist in a safe and friendly environment whilst in the care of WHG.
WHG is an AEGIS (Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) accredited guardianship organisation that cares for students who need to appoint an Educational Guardian because of their age or the wish of their relatives. WHG looks after students studying in boarding schools who may on occasions use homestays. Additionally, we organise homestay placements for long term day students. Our students vary in age from 7 to 18 years old.
WHG is committed to the ongoing promise of safeguarding students. To ensure that all staff receive the most up to date information, this policy is reviewed and redistributed annually as standard. Should a significant change take place, the policy is immediately redistributed thereafter.
What is child safeguarding?
“The process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully”
WHG aims to provide the highest level or care to students, to support this we enclose the following policies and minimum requirements & a continual membership to AEGIS who accredit our standards:
What is abuse?
“Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention. We know that neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse.
An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. And it can increasingly happen online.”
Definitions of Abuse
Symptoms of Abuse
The signs of child abuse aren't always obvious, and a child might not tell anyone what's happening to them. Some of the things to look out for:
- Acts out excessive violence with other children.
- Lacks social skills and has few if any friends.
- Significantly underweight but eats well when given food.
- Reluctant to go to school.
- Is reluctant to get changed for sports etc.
- Wets or soils the bed.
- Drinks alcohol regularly from an early age.
- Is concerned for siblings or peers without explaining why.
- Becomes secretive and reluctant to share information.
- Talks of running away.
- Shows challenging/disruptive behaviour at school.
Minimum Safeguarding Training
We have three Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) at Head Office that have been trained to child safeguarding level 3. Every three years all our Local Guardians and Head Office staff are trained to level 2 by an independent safeguarding specialist. Lastly, we advise our host families to undertake level 1 training as a minimum. Definitions of each level can be found below.
In general, a ‘Level One,’ ‘Introduction’ or ‘Induction’ to safeguarding training course should entail how to recognise the signs of abuse, respond to a disclosure, report your concerns, and record information.
A ‘Level Two’ or ‘Advanced Safeguarding’ goes into detail about the procedures of safeguarding, scenarios and what happens after a referral. ‘Advanced’ or ‘Level Two’ safeguarding training will have material as it is devised for someone who has day to day or frequent contact with children or vulnerable people.
Level three is often used to refer to the training of Designated Safeguarding Lead. This training is far more detailed on handled a wider range and taking charge of safeguarding issues.