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 Child Protection & Vulnerable Adults Policy

Safeguarding Contacts

Jeff Lustig                

Dr David Hamilton

Child Protection Procedure




The Education Department at Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when they are given responsibility for children and young people that Council, the Chair of Education, Teachers and Madrichim provide such children with the highest possible standard of care.


Through our implementation of a code of practice and the appointment of a Child Protection Coordinator we will seek to maintain the professionalism and safeguards of good practice which are associated with youth work.


  1. We acknowledge that the welfare of the young person is paramount

  2. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard and promote the interests and well being of children and young people with whom we are working;

  3. We will provide a framework on the recruitment, selection, suitability and deployment of individuals with children and young people;

  4. We will emphasis the value of working closely with parents, and volunteers to protect children and young people from harm and discrimination;

  5. We acknowledge that abuse may occur and that we need to raise awareness and understanding of the main forms of abuse and establish communication and reporting of any abuse where suspected to make sure that we safeguard children and young people with whom we are working.


Our policies refer to children and young people under the age of 18 years old. When a young person reaches their 18th birthday they are considered an adult. Within Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue leaders aged 14-18 old are given roles and some responsibilities which are similar to those of adults, and we must therefore ensure that they undertake basic training and follow guidelines in order to protect the welfare of children and young people in their care.


It is the responsibility of the Education Committee and Council in conjunction with the Child Protection Co coordinator to ensure that all children and young people can enjoy a safe and enjoyable environment within the synagogue. We under take this responsibility by:


  1. Ensuring all adults who work with children and young people are aware of their role and responsibilities and that training is made available to them.

  2. Ensuring all those working with children and young people respect the rights and reasonable wishes and feelings of children and young people.

  3. Ensuring that in recruiting for positions our stance on child protection is clear.

  4. Ensuring that all new staff and volunteers are recruited with due concern for their previous work and experience with children and young people, and that such experience is appropriate.

  5. Ensuring that CRB checks are undertaken on all those in regular supervisory contact with children and young people. This dose not apply to our Madrichim under the age of 18 years.

  6. Ensuring that a clear induction process is undertaken to inform staff about our framework of child protection and safeguarding children and young people.

  7. Ensuring that all policy and codes of conduct regarding safeguarding children and young people have been given to new staff and volunteers.

  8. Ensuring that staff, leaders and volunteers understand good working practice in order to ensure that they are not placed in situations where allegations could be made against them.

  9. Ensuring that all new staff, leaders and volunteers undergo a form of training on child protection, and at this is reviewed at regular intervals there after.

  10. Ensuring that reasonable steps are taken to make staff aware of the Child Protection Policy and how to handle a disclosure by a child should it be made.

  11. Ensuring that staff, leaders and volunteers understand that it is the responsibility of the Chair of Education in conjunction with the Head Teacher to determine whether abuse has taken place, but it is everyone’s responsibility to refer concerns and disclosures to a higher authority.

  12. Ensuring that all suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to appropriately.




Definition of Child Abuse


A child protection issue arises when it is believed the child/young person is at risk of suffering harm, be that physical, emotional, neglect or sexual harm.


The legal definition of abuse is set down by the Children Act, 1989. The Primary justification for the State to take action is ‘actual or likely harm to the child, where harm includes both ill-treatment (which includes sexual abuse and non-physical ill-treatment such as emotional abuse) and the impairment of health and development, health meaning physical or mental health, and development meaning physical, intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development.’ (Taken from: Child Protection – Messages from Research, 1995, HMSO.)


Physical abuse: may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, burning, scalding and suffocating as well as other physical abuse. It can result when a parent or carer deliberately causes ill health of a child. Symptoms that indicate physical abuse include: bruising , scars of different ages and lengths from untreated wounds, fractures, and marks that repeat.


Emotional Abuse: happens when a child’s need for love, security, praise and recognition are not met. It usually co-exists with other forms of abuse but can occur alone. Emotional abusive behaviour occurs if a parent, carer, or authority figure is constantly hostile, rejecting, threatening or undermining. It can result if developmentally inappropriate expectations are placed on a child or if a child is over protected to the extent of being denied contact and opportunities to engage with others. Children who witness and experience domestic abuse are subject to emotional abuse. Symptoms include: excessive clingy or attention seeking behaviour; low self esteem; fearfulness; despondency; constantly seeking to please; lack of appropriate boundaries; anxiety; eating disorders/various mental health problems.


Neglect: is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and or psychological needs, causing damage to their health and development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, warmth, shelter, clothing or stimulation. It includes failure to protect a child from harm. Symptoms may include inadequate supervision, being left alone for long periods; lack of stimulation, social contact or education; inadequate nutrition; a child who is constantly hungry, stealing or gorging food; failure to provide adequate standards of hygiene, clothing, and comfort in the home; failure to seek or follow medical advice so that a child’s life or development is endangered.


Sexual abuse: involves forging or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activity, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This may include physical contact from inappropriate touching to full penetration, and also non-contact activity such as looking at pornography. Any sexual act with a child under the age of 13 is a criminal act. Symptoms of sexual abuse include allegations or disclosure; genital soreness or discomfort; STD’s; sexualised play or behaviour; a child who is sexually provocative; nightmares; eating disorders; going missing from school and home; self harm; drug and or alcohol abuse; depression and other forms of mental health problems.


Reasons why disclosure of some kind might be made during a visit to the synagogue or at the Cheder

  1. The child is away from home

  2. The child in a secure environment

  3. The child has close friends around them

  4. The child’s emotions are running high

  5. The child finds it ddifficult to hide things

  6. The child is feeling insecure

  7. Tiredness

  8. There are people there to listen and care

  9. Claustrophobic environment/ lack of personal space

  10. Teachers are not parents yet they are still a trusted authority figure

You, as Teachers and Madrichim need to protect yourself as well as protecting the young person, to prevent yourself from being accused of violating child protection law and in order that we follow best practice.


Some basic rules to ensure your protection include:


  1. You should not have physical contact with children and young people.

  2. Should you be on an away trip you should not go into opposite sex dorms.

  3. If you need to talk one to a child, find a quiet corner, in a public place if possible.

  4. You should not be alone with a young person if it can be avoided; if you are alone with a young person let someone know where you are and leave the door open.






The aim of this paper is to lay out guidelines and a procedure for dealing with situations where we come into contact with alleged or suspected cases of child abuse.


It also deals with good practice in our work to protect the children and young people that we are responsible for while in our care and protect ourselves as professionals.


Anyone with a concern about the possible abuse of a child either within the synagogue environs or outside of the synagogue should consult the Head Teacher, Chair of Education or the Chair of Council


A key principle of child protection law is that the safety and welfare of the child overrides all other considerations. Advice should be sought or a referral made as soon as the concern comes to light.




If a child/young person asks if they can tell you something or you feel that they are about to disclose:

  • Never promise you can keep anything secret.

  • If the young person then decides not to tell you, don’t pressure them - just go and tell the most senior person that you can find what has happened or what you might suspect..

  • If the child accepts that you may have to pass on any information they give you, suggest that both of you go to the senior person. Explain that you would have to tell them anyway and that they would probably want to talk to the child/young person themselves. If what the child/young person has to tell is very distressing it is advisable to try to minimise the amount of times that they have to repeat it.

Responding to Disclosure

When a young person discloses to you, stay calm and be reassuring.

In the most appropriate way possible try to convey that: -

  • You are glad the young person told you.

  • That you believe what you are being told (children and young people rarely lie about abuse).

  • That you know it is not the young person's fault.

  • That you will do your best to protect and support the young person.Dealing with Disclosure


  • Listen to what is being said, trying not to display shock or disbelief.

  • Accept what is being said but do not comment upon it.

  • Do not ask 'leading' questions, for example, "What did s/he do next?" (This assumes s/he did!), or, "Did s/he touch your private parts?" Such questions may invalidateyour evidence (and the young person's) in any later prosecution in court.


  • Reassure the young person but only so far as is honest and reliable, for example, don’t make promises you may not be able to keep, such as, "I'll stay with you", or, "Everything will be all right now".

  • Don't promise to keep what they tell you a secret; you have a duty to refer.

  • Do reassure and alleviate guilt, if the young person refers to it. For example, you could say: "You are not to blame." "You are not alone, you're not the only one this sort of thing has happened to."

  • Do not criticise the perpetrator; the young person may love him/her and reconciliation may be possible.

Record and Refer:


  • As soon as possible all information should be recorded. Record as much detail as possible, including names, address, and contact information.

  • Write down the nature of the allegation, do not include your own judgement or assumptions. Stick to what was actually said by the young person.

  • Note any observations on behaviour/emotional state or injuries and bruising.

  • Note time, location and date of disclosure and sign the notes.

  • Do not investigate the matter yourself, merely receive information and be ready to refer.

  • Pass this information and a verbal account to the Child Protection Coordinator as soon as possible. It is your duty to refer this information – you can not keep it a secret.

  • If no Child Protection Coordinator is available make contact with a senior leader or person you consider experienced in these matters, who can help you make the right referral.




Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy


Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue is committed to ensuring that vulnerable people who use our services are not abused and that working practices minimise the risk of such abuse. All Staff, Volunteers, Trustees & Council Members of Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue have a duty to identify abuse and report it. 




Vulnerable adults are people who are over 18 years of age and are getting or may need help and services to live in the community. Vulnerable adults may be unable to take care of themselves and unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation by other people. 


Abuse can include: 


  • physical, 

  • financial, 

  • material, 

  • sexual, 

  • psychological, 

  • discriminatory, 

  • emotional abuse 

  • neglect. 


Abuse can take place in any setting, public or private, and can be perpetuated by anyone. 


Rights & Responsibilities


Responsibilities of Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue


  • To ensure volunteers are aware of vulnerable adult’s need for protection 

  • To notify the appropriate agencies if abuse is identified or suspected

  • To support and where possible secure the safety of individuals and ensure that all referrals to services have full information in relation to identified risk and vulnerability

  • To check volunteers via the DBS (Disclosure Barring Service), that have access to or work with Vulnerable Adults


Responsibilities of Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue Staff & Volunteers


  • To be familiar with the vulnerable adult protection policy

  • To take appropriate action in line with the policy laid down by Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue

  • To declare any existing or subsequent convictions. 


Support for those who report abuse


All those making a complaint or allegation or expressing concern, whether they are staff, volunteers, service users, members or members of the general public should be reassured that:


  • They will be taken seriously

  • Their comments will usually be treated confidentially, but their concerns may be shared with the appropriate authorities if they or others are at significant risk


The Vulnerable Adult has the right:


  • To be made aware of this policy

  • To have alleged incidents recognised and taken seriously

  • To receive fair and respectful treatment throughout

  • To be involved in any process as appropriate

  • To receive information about the outcome


We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

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