There are many clubs and organised activities for children, but as a parent you will want to know that any activity your child is involved with is well run and safe for your children to attend.

To find out what is available in your area t s a good idea to use activities run by organisations that have basic good practice in place known as Wolverhampton's Safe and Sound criteria as follows:

  • a safeguarding children policy and a set of safegurding procedures which are reveiwed each year
  • use 'safer recruitment' practices for employees and volunteers based on nationally approved guidance (safer recruitment guidance)
  • have a health and safety policy and proedures which incude carrying out risk assessments on all activties
  • have an equality and diversity policy which ensures fair treatmenmt of everyone connected with or using the organisation's services

Self assessment by organisations against the Safe and Sound criteria form part of the registration process for two new websites supported by the city's Children's Trust and Safeguarding partnerships called: Wolverhampton Information Network and About Youth. Click on the images below to discover a great way to search for safe activities and services for your child / childre n in Wolverhampton.

Your first choice may be made by your child showing an interest in a particular activity or saying that he or she wants to join a particular group - perhaps he or she has a friend who is already a member. If possible, talk to the parents of children who are already involved. Are they happy about the organisation? Are the children happyabout the activities?

If the activities are held on school premises, ask whether they are run by school staff and whether they are sponsored by the school. If the activities are held on council premises, church premises, etc. ask who organises them.

Where possible, go and watch the group in action:

  • Do the activities seem to be suitable for the children taking part?
  • Do you think the activities would be suitable for your child?
  • Does the group seem well organised?
  • Do there seem to be enough adults present for the number of children?
  • Do the premises and equipment look safe?
  • Do the activities seem to be carried out safely?
  • Do the children seem to be enjoying themselves?

If you and your child are still interested, ask the following questions:

  • How are the organisers recruited?
  • How are they trained and what experience do they have?
  • Do they have any qualifications?
  • Are any checks carried out to make sure that they are suitable people to work with children?
  • Is the group insured?
  • Are there any rules that staff and helpers have to follow?

Also, talk to your child - and listen to what your child says, then decide if you are both happy with this group?

If your child joins a club or group, it is important to keep listening to what is said about the group.

A child who has vague concerns may feel silly talking about them. Listen carefully and take what is said seriously. Then decide if you are still happy with the organisation, the activities and the organisers?

Remember that the final decision always lies with you as a parent. No guidance can guarantee your child's totalsafety from all dangers.

Choosing the right activities for your child is all about listening:

  • Listen to your child:
    What does he or she want to do?
  • Listen to other children:
    What do they say about local clubs and activities?
  • Listen to other parents:
    Do they think that local clubs and activities for children are well organised?
  • Follow your own feelings:
    You often know when something is not right for your child even if you can't quite put your finger on it.
  • Listen to your child:
    If something is beginning to go wrong, he or she may notice it before you do.

If you have a particular concern about a club or activity, please contact the Safeguarding Service on 01902 550477.

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