Keeping children safe

We are committed to providing a safe and happy experience for all disabled children and young people who attend Challengers, and follow robust safeguarding procedures to protect children from harm.

We have a duty of care to every child and young person who attends, and it is everyone’s responsibility to spot potential warning signs and keep them safe from any form of abuse.


Safeguarding Policy & Procedure

Our Safeguarding Policy supports our annual safeguarding training with staff, explains the procedures we are obliged to follow and how we deal with child protection concerns, including how to manage allegations against staff. If you wish to learn more, we also have available our Safeguarding Policy Handbook.

Disabled children are more vulnerable to harm because often there are many people involved in their care. We are highly conscious of this and take our responsibility very seriously, so when we see or hear something that worries us, it’s important to discuss this further with parents, carers, or the relevant authority.

At Challengers we have a senior member of staff (Paul Wilson, Head of Service) who acts as our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and is responsible for child protection matters, as well as Deputy DSLs.

The procedure that we have a duty to follow:

If we are worried about whether a child or vulnerable young person is suffering harm from one of the many individuals and care providers supporting that child or adult, we must call for advice from the Early Help Hub, SPA (Single Point of Access) or the MASH Team (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub.) Concerns could be due to unexplained bruising, a declaration from a child, sexualised behaviour, or other signs.

Once reported, concerns will be investigated by these team and they will decide what should happen next, if anything.

What parents can expect if we have concerns:

A Leader will share an incident form and let the parent/carer know when they call for advice in this way, however very occasionally, they are advised that they must not contact parents/carers.

When we call for advice, we must share all relevant information about the child or vulnerable young person. The General Data Protection Act allows us to share personal information with other agencies when there are safeguarding concerns – it is our duty of care to do so.

If there is an allegation about harm to a child or vulnerable young person by a member of Challengers staff, a discussion will take place between the charity and the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) to decide what must happen next. If, at any time, you think that we have not properly responded to an allegation about harm to a child by a member of staff you can complain to the DSL, Safeguarding Trustee or refer to your Local Authority SPA/MASH Team (numbers below).

Safeguarding contacts

  • Surrey SPA: 0300 470 9100
  • Hampshire MASH: 0300 555 1384
  • Richmond/Kingston MASH: 020 8547 5008
  • West Sussex MASH: 01403 229 900
  • Southampton MASH: 02380 832 300
  • Ofsted: 0300 123 1231
  • NSPCC: 0808 800 5000 / 0330 222 6664

Everyone has a part to play in protecting vulnerable children and young people from harm. We take safeguarding extremely seriously and all of our staff are trained to spot signs of potential abuse.

Paul Wilson, Head of Service

Want to know more about the services we offer?

Take a look at Our Services to find out more about our inclusive Pre-schools, Play and Youth schemes,
and emergency 555 Service.