The purpose of this policy
- The purpose of this policy is to prevent, as far as possible, children from getting lost within the venue.
- Where children do go missing, to make clear the steps that should be followed and in what order.
Preventing Children Going Missing
- All parents must sign their child in at the start of the session. Parents will be regularly reminded to do this.
- Minimum adult to child ratios shall be maintained at all times.
- No child to leave the playing area without informing one of the volunteers, including going to the toilet.
- No unidentified adult to enter the playing venue unchallenged.
- We will try to ensure only one route is regularly used in and out of the playing area and ensure a volunteer has sight of this route at all times.
Action plan if a child goes missing
- Most children who go missing are found within a few minutes of their disappearance. Even so, this can still be extremely distressing for parents and volunteers.
- When it is identified a child is missing, the Child Protection Lead will arrange for 2 volunteers to search the entire venue prioritising the venues exits first. Whilst this search is ongoing the Child Protection Lead and any other volunteers will continue to supervise the rest of the group and take an immediate head count against the register.
- After the search party has been dispatched the Child Protection Lead will immediately contact the children’s parents. Even if a child is identified as missing and then found, the parents will be informed of the incident.
- When the search party reports back, or within 5 minutes of dispatching the party if sooner, the Child Protection Lead will contact the police.
- The volunteers will then co-operate with the police until the child is found.
- All incidents will be reported to the lead child protection officer on the incident reporting form to learn lessons and prevent similar occurrences in the future.