Child Protection

Purpose and Scope

Autistic Community Hub CIC offers a range of online and physical events and services for autistic young adults and older teenagers via their ‘Autistic Youth Hub’ brand. The purpose of this policy statement is:

  • To protect children and young people who use or help to provide Autistic Youth Hub’s services. This includes any children of the adults who are involved with our services.
  • To provide staff, volunteers, children, young people, and their families with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.

This policy applies to all associated with Autistic Community Hub CIC and Autistic Youth Hub, including directors, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff, students, and interns.

Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policies and guidance for the protection of children in England. A detailed review can be found at

Core Beliefs

Children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind. We bear the responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe, and to practise in a manner that protects them.


  • The welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and decisions we make.
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers, and other agencies if appropriate, is crucial in fostering young people’s welfare.
  • All children have an equal right to protection from harm regardless of age, disability, gender identity, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
  • Some children, due to previous experiences or other circumstances including communication differences, may be more vulnerable and require additional protective measures.

More information can be found here:

NSPCC: Children from Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic communities

NSPCC: D/deaf and disabled children

NSPCC: LGBTQ children and young people

NSPCC: Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Our Commitment

To safeguard children and young people, Autistic Community Hub CIC will:

  • Value, listen to, and respect them.
  • Designate a nominated child protection lead and a deputy for the same.
  • Adhere to child protection and safeguarding best practices through our policies, procedures, and staff/volunteer codes of conduct.
  • Develop and enforce an effective online safety policy.
  • Provide efficient management for staff and volunteers, ensuring they are well-versed and compliant with our policies and procedures.
  • Ensure safe recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers, conducting all necessary checks.
  • Handle information professionally and securely in line with data protection laws.
  • Share safeguarding information with children and their families, providing guidance on where to seek help for concerns.
  • Collaborate with necessary agencies for safeguarding purposes, involving children, young people, and their families where appropriate.
  • Address any allegations against staff or volunteers promptly and appropriately.
  • Promote an environment free from bullying and respond to any bullying incidents effectively.
  • Ensure we offer a secure physical space for everyone, complying with health and safety guidelines.
  • Encourage a culture where all parties respect one another and voice concerns freely.

Raising and Managing Concerns

Speaking up if you’re worried someone is harming or abusing someone else is always the right thing to do. Even if you’re not certain, you must report your concern. If you speak up, you will be protected: you will not be penalised or criticised for it.

Reports can be made anonymously. All reports will be addressed with utmost seriousness and confidentiality, responded to promptly and followed up.

Concerns or incidents, whether they occur in a physical or digital space, can be reported to any volunteer or staff member who will inform the designated safeguarding leads (who are currently our co-directors). You can also always directly approach our co-directors if you prefer.

You can also report directly using our form:

Safeguarding Report Form

If you feel that the situation has not been handled correctly, or you do not feel that you can speak with the co-Directors about it, please refer to our Whistleblowing guidance.

Handling Disclosure from a Child or Young Person

Child abuse is a difficult subject that can be hard to accept and even harder to talk about.

Children who are abused are often threatened by the perpetrators to keep the abuse a secret. Thus, telling an adult takes a great amount of courage.

Children have to grapple with a lot of issues, including the fear that no one will believe them, so care must be taken to remain calm and to show support to the child throughout the disclosure.

The following guidelines will help lessen the risk of causing more trauma to the child and/or compromising a criminal investigation during the disclosure phase.

The 4 Rs: Receive, Reassure, React, Record

Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief. Accept what is being said without judgement. Take it seriously.

A common reaction to news as unpleasant and shocking as child abuse is denial. However, if you display denial to a child, or show shock or disgust at what they are saying, the child may be afraid to continue and will shut down.

Reassure the child, but only so far as is honest and reliable.

  • Don’t make promises that you can’t keep, e.g. “everything will be all right now”.
  • Never agree to keep secrets. You have a duty to report your concerns.

Reassure the child that they did nothing wrong and that you take what is said seriously. Tell the child that you will need to tell some people, but only those whose job it is to protect children.

Acknowledge how difficult it must have been to talk. It takes a lot for a child to come forward about abuse.

Listen quietly, carefully and patiently. Do not assume anything and don’t speculate or jump to conclusions.

Do not investigate, interrogate or decide if the child is telling the truth. Remember that an allegation of child abuse may lead to a criminal investigation, so don’t do anything that may jeopardise a police investigation.

Let the child explain to you in his or her own words what happened, and don’t ask leading questions. Use open questions like “Is there anything else that you want to tell me?”

Communicate with the child in a way that is appropriate to their age, understanding and preference. This is especially important for children with disabilities and for children whose preferred language is not English.

Do not ask the child to repeat what they have told you to another member of staff. Explain what you have to do next and whom you have to talk to.

Make some very brief notes at the time and write them up in detail as soon as possible. Do not destroy your original notes in case they are required by Court.

Record the date, time, place, words used by the child and how the child appeared to you – be specific. Record the actual words used; including any swear words or slang.

Record statements and observable things, not interpretations or assumptions – keep it factual.

Supporting Documents

This policy should be read in conjunction with our other organisational policies including our general Safeguarding and Whistleblowing policies.

Contact Information

Responsibility for Child Protection is shared by our co-directors.

Croydon Child Safeguarding Team: 020 8255 2888 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Croydon Emergency Duty Team (Out of Hours): 0208 726 6400

NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000


This guidance will be reviewed annually to ensure that it remains effective and aligned with the needs and aspirations of Autistic Community Hub CIC and its community of members, staff, volunteers and partners.

This policy was last updated March 2024.