Essential physical contact
In order to safeguard both YAC members and yourself, it is best to avoid physical contact wherever possible. There are some occasions though where physical contact is unavoidable:
- When providing guidance for an activity. You should of course always be in the presence of another YAC Leader/Assistant and it should be made clear to the young person what assistance you wish to give and that their consent has been given. For example, ask, “Can I put your hand in the right position?”
- If a member is entering into a dangerous situation and voice contact may not be enough to stop an accident occurring.
- When giving First Aid. This should only be done by a qualified First Aider, with a second YAC Leader or Assistant observing. There’s more guidance on First Aid in the Leaders’ Area section on Planning Safe Activities.
- If restraint is required. Restraint is where a young person is held, moved or prevented from moving against their will, because not to do so would result in injury to themselves or others, or would cause significant damage to property. Restraint must only be used as a last resort when all other methods of controlling a situation have been tried and failed. Restraint should never be used as a punishment or to bring about compliance, except when there is a risk of injury.
If you have made physical contact with a member to prevent an accident, give First Aid, or to restrain them, then you must tell their parents at the first opportunity. You must also record the incident on an Incident Report form and send a copy of this to YAC HQ: this will help us to support you if any complaints are made.