Outward Bound Netherlands recognises that it has a duty of care towards course participants and its staff. This includes their welfare and to do all that is reasonable to protect them from neglect or physical, sexual and emotional abuse. It recognises the particular responsibilities it has towards children in its care. All staff will respond in a supportive and understanding manner to any participant or staff member involved in any incident or allegation.
Outward Bound Netherlands uses a combination of written policies and sound working practices to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect the legal and moral rights of participants, staff and volunteers.
There is a clearly established and documented procedure for the handling of child protection matters at Outward Bound Netherlands. Whilst recognising the need for confidentiality, senior staff are informed as soon as possible and then take responsibility for subsequent actions, thereby ensuring that the highest possible level of experience can be applied to any child protection issue.
OUTWARD BOUND STAFF SELECTION AND INDUCTION
One of the primary factors in the overall success of these measures is the selection and induction of appropriate candidates for employment. This is achieved by personal interviewing, which is carried out by at least two senior members of staff. After a successful interview, offers of employment are made subject to satisfactory references from at least two previous and recent employers and a Certificate of Conduct (VOG) issued by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security.
Every employment commences with an induction period during which the Child Protection Policy is explained and established good working practices are made known. A three month probationary period, during which the new employee is closely monitored and supervised, must be successfully completed before any contract is confirmed.
BEHAVIOUR OF PARTICIPANTS
The Child Protection Policy is contained in Outward Bound Netherland’s Handbook of Child Protection and Social Behaviour. As this document details a number of specific behaviours, and Outward Bound’s guidance to staff dealing with such occurrences, the complete Child Protection Policy is a combination of several measures and hence does not lend to definition in a simple single statement.
The measures include staff responsibilities, acceptable behaviours and the right of every individual to equal opportunities and freedoms. It is natural that individuals may experience a conflict of interests and there is a clearly defined process to enable young people in particular to learn from such experiences whilst continuing with their course.
Any incident or incidents arising from participation on an Outward Bound course, that have a child protection implication, will be recorded. Appropriate actions will be taken, depending on the specific detail of the occurrence, which may include the notification of, or transfer of responsibility for subsequent actions to, parents, guardians or other relevant and responsible organisations.
Course participants, parents, visiting staff and employees who have complaints or questions about circumstances or events at Outward Bound Netherlands can contact our Confidential Counsellor. These complaints or questions can be about inappropriate behaviour of a supervisor, colleagues, course participants, visiting staff or about the way in which complaints or questions are handled. Our confidential counsellor is bound to professional confidentiality. Outward Bound Netherland’s confidential counsellor is Dr. Ben van de Wetering, Psychiatrist. Ben can be directly contacted at [email protected]
If you have any questions based on this statement, feel free to contact us via [email protected].