Publication - Advice and guidance

Scotland's Play Ranger Toolkit

Published: 30 Jun 2015
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Education

This Play Ranger Toolkit has been developed by the Play Ranger charities supported by Go2Play – focused on growing play opportunities for children and harnessing the expertise of the sector.

93 page PDF

2.5 MB

93 page PDF

2.5 MB

Scotland's Play Ranger Toolkit
6. Safeguarding Children

93 page PDF

2.5 MB

6. Safeguarding Children

Sample Safeguarding Children Policy


"All children have the right to protection from exploitation, physical mental & sexual abuse"
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

We are committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for children and young people. We aim to create a culture where children are valued, their right to be safe is respected and where we strive to minimise the risk of harm.

We do this by:

  • Recognising that all children have the right to freedom from abuse.
  • Ensuring that all our staff and volunteers are carefully selected and accept responsibility for helping to prevent the abuse of children in their care.
  • Responding swiftly and appropriately to all suspicions or allegations of abuse and providing parents and children with the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have.
  • Appointing an officer who will take specific responsibility for child safety and act as the main point of contact for parents, children and outside agencies.
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of our safe guarding children policy and activities each year at the annual general meeting.

Appointing an officer

We appoint a respected and committed person from our project (Management or Staff) for the role of Safe Guarding Officer.

The officer will undertake awareness training in child protection issues and will be able to inform the appropriate authorities if a complaint about possible abuse is made by a child or adult. The officer's name and contact details will be displayed prominently in our premises and given to the parents, existing and new members.


We have a standard procedure for the recruitment of staff and volunteers.
We require a statement about any previous convictions, two referees and a check to be carried out for a PVG.


All staff will have regular supervision and appraisals. The project may be monitored internally and externally by various authorities.

Learning and Development

We encourage staff to take advantage of relevant child protection training and to gain qualifications. We review practice and learn from experiences.


Service users have the right to expect that all records kept (where appropriate) in the project are in line with good recording practice.

Good practice when working with children

  • Children have the right to express their views and have these views taken into account.
  • There should be a formal complaints procedure.
  • Children should not be subjected to an environment that allows bullying, shouting, racism, sexism or any non-inclusive practices.
  • There should be clear guidance about what behaviour is appropriate in a relationship of trust between an adult and a young person.
  • Service users have the right to expect that services are relevant to users' needs and are provided in a timely and sensitive way.

Whistle Blowing Policy

There must be a clear and well publicised way in which adults and young people can report concerns about abusive or unethical conduct.



If a child is in need of immediate medical attention the Senior Play Worker takes responsibility and may need to:

  • Telephone for an ambulance.
  • Ring the child's doctor.
  • Ask the carer to take the child to the doctor or the hospital at once.
  • Offer to take the carer and child to the hospital/surgery/clinic.
  • Take the child him/herself to hospital/surgery/clinic.

The child is the legal responsibility of the parent or carer and that person must be involved at once.

Suspected abuse

If a situation arises that leads you to a suspicion of child abuse, you will probably feel shocked and even guilty that such a thought should cross your mind. Try not to convey this to the child, particularly if the child is telling you about the problem.

Take seriously repeated verbal indications of abuse

  • Listen to and observe the child
  • At the first opportunity and with discretion, share your concerns with the other members of staff.
  • Check with the parents to see if they noticed any changes in behaviour and seek explanations for unusual bruises or marks. A good relationship with carers/parents can mean that enquiries of this nature can be done in a non-threatening way; however, sharing your concerns with parents will forewarn them that you are likely to take the matter further.

The person who has first noticed the suspected abuse should be supported and helped to record in writing everything that has been noticed. Records should be kept in a safe place, remember to include:

  • Date
  • Observations - physical and behavioural
  • Child's explanation
  • Parent/carer's explanation
  • Decision taken

Strict confidentiality must be observed at all times

Concerned members of staff may find their minds put at rest after an explanation by the parent, but if the explanation does not ring true or a feeling of dissatisfaction persists, staff should discuss, decide and record the decision. They might decide to keep an eye on the situation for the next few days or weeks, seek advice from an outside agency or report suspicion to social services. If it is certain there is a problem of child abuse, the Senior Play Worker/Management must:

  • Contact social services duty desk.
  • Inform one member of the management committee, preferably the Chair of any action you propose to take. You need not name the child, but by informing your employer, you will cover yourself if a complaint is lodged against you by the family to your employer at a later date.
  • Inform the parent of the action you have taken.

A Play Worker's responsibilities do not include investigating the suspected abuse. However, play workers should keep accurate records of their observations and of anything said to them by the child or others in connection with the suspected abuse. It is always important to listen to children.

  • Your primary responsibility is to protect the child.
  • You have a duty to take action.
  • You will not have to cope alone.
  • Social services aim to support the family rather than breaking up the family unit. Your action at an early stage could stop a deteriorating situation becoming a crisis.
  • You may never have to face a suspected case of child abuse, but you must be aware of and recognise the signs and symptoms of it.

Sample Complaints Policy

We hope that anyone who comes into contact with (Organisation) will feel that they can tell us about any suggestions, criticisms or complaints that they have. We want to give the best possible service to all our users - children, parents, staff and the wider community - and we will always try to improve when problems are identified.

If you are happy to pass on your complaint in person please talk to the Play Leader / Play Ranger or Manager.

We promise:

  • To listen properly to what you have to say.
  • To give you an answer straight away, if possible, (or within a time frame specified for complaints i.e. with 14 days to investigate and respond) but always follow up your complaint promptly.
  • To discuss you complaint at our next Board/Management Committee meeting.
  • If you would prefer to complain in writing, or if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of a verbal complaint, please write to our Chairperson/Chief Executive/Project Leader at the address below:-
    Organisation Name:
    Post Code:

We promise:

  • To give your complaint serious attention.
  • To discuss your complaint at out next management meeting.
  • To respond to you in writing as soon as possible/appropriate XX timeframe.
  • We hope this will never be longer than XX weeks.

Sample Positive Physical Management Policy

Appropriate touching and physical contact will include:

  • Comforting
  • Reassuring
  • Playing Games
  • Greeting and Farewells
  • Administering First Aid

Appropriate touching is to be conducted in an open way. Play Rangers are to comply with the following rules.

  • Play Rangers will not get involved in any intimate behaviour with children such as soiled underwear removal etc.
  • Play Rangers acknowledge that there are going to be times when children will not be fully clothed. Play Rangers will do their utmost to protect and ensure the children are safe within the settling and not open to exploitation
  • Play Rangers will ensure that children engage with each other in a positive manner and enjoy safe play
  • Play Rangers will acknowledge age appropriateness within their positive physical management

Sample Image consent form

Occasionally, we take photographs of children accessing our play services. We may seek to use these images in our publications, displays, and social media and on our website. We may also make video or webcam recordings for promotional, evaluation and monitoring purposes.

To comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, we need your permission before we can photograph or make any recordings of your child.

Conditions of use:

1. This form is valid for the period of time XX to XX / whilst attending 'organisation'. Images of your child will not be used after this time unless specifically requested of you. Please inform/email/write to the 'organisation' if you wish to withdraw consent at any time.

2. The images we take will be of activities that show the school and children in a positive light.

3. Embarrassing or distressing images will not be used. The images will not be associated with negative or sensitive issues.

4. We may use group photographs or footage with very general labels e.g. 'play in the park'.

5. We will only use images of children who are suitably dressed.

6. We will make every effort to ensure that we do not allow images to be taken of any children for whom we do not have permission or who are 'at risk' or disallowed from having their photographs taken for legal or social reasons.

7. We will take all reasonable measures to ensure the images are used solely for the purposes for which they are intended. However we cannot guarantee this and take no responsibility for the way images are used by other websites or publishers or for any consequences arising from publication.

Please note that websites can be viewed throughout the world and not just in the United Kingdom where UK law applies. In giving your consent you understand that images may be used in printed and electronic form.

To give your consent, please complete the information below and return to:

Sample Image consent form