If an allegation is made against an adult at your YAC club
This guidance sets out what to do if an allegation of abuse is made against an adult volunteering with the Young Archaeologists’ Club. This could come from a child, a parent, or another volunteer.
There are potentially two issues that need to be dealt with as a matter of urgency:
- Is a child in immediate danger or do they need emergency medical attention? Contact the emergency services and remain with the child until they arrive. You should inform the child’s family if the child is in need of emergency medical attention and arrange to meet them at the hospital. You must contact YAC HQ to let them know what is happening. Ask to speak to Mike Heyworth on 01904 671 417. If it’s out of office hours then call Mike on 07793 817 510.
- Is the person at the centre of the allegation working with children now? If this is the case, then the person should, in a sensitive manner, be removed from direct contact with children. If you receive the allegation just before or during a YAC session, then you should speak to your YAC Leader, who should explain to the person, in private, that there has been an allegation made against them, although the details of the complaint should not be given at this stage. The person should be told that further information will be provided as soon as possible, but that until you have spoken to YAC HQ and any necessary consultation has taken place, they should not be working with children. The information provided to the person at this stage must be very limited, as the allegation could lead to a criminal investigation.
Once any urgent steps have been taken, attention can be given to dealing with the full implications of the allegation. If you have received an allegation, or have observed behaviour that has made you concerned, then you must report it immediately to your YAC Leader and to YAC HQ. Ask to speak to Mike Heyworth on 01904 671 417. If it’s out of office hours then call Mike on 07793 817 510.
Remember that it is not your responsibility to investigate any allegations or concerns. YAC HQ will talk to you and decide on the next step. We have a legal responsibility to report allegations to relevant authorities if we suspect that the person in question:
- May have behaved in a way that has harmed or may harm a child.
- Has possibly committed a criminal offence in relation to a child.
- Has behaved in a way that suggests that s/he may be unsuitable to work with children.
YAC HQ will take the lead on any allegation, will give you guidance, and will keep you informed as much as they are able. Our first priority is always the safety and welfare of children. However, a person who is the subject of an allegation has the right to be treated in a fair, sensitive and non-judgemental manner and to have their privacy respected as far as this ensures the safety of children. Therefore, information about any allegation or concern must only be shared on a need to know basis.
This guidance is taken from the Council for British Archaeology’s Child protection policy and procedures. For further information contact YAC HQ on firstname.lastname@example.org.