The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award accepts and promotes that in all matters concerning child protection, the welfare and protection of the child is the paramount consideration.
It is the policy of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to ensure that the welfare of all young people regardless of sex, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, disability, religion or beliefs, race, age or personal characteristics who are involved in DofE activities are safeguarded by protecting them from physical, sexual and emotional harm.
When young people sign up to do their DofE they do so with a Licensed Organisation. We only license reputable organisations, like schools and local authorities, to run DofE because they have a clear requirement placed upon them to safeguard their young people, with their own policies and procedures in place for safeguarding and health and safety etc.
However, when a young person does their DofE activities they’re likely to come into direct contact (i.e. not through a Licensed Organisation) with many other organisations and individuals such as charity shops, music instructors, sports clubs and expedition providers.
It’s the responsibility of DofE participants over 18 and parents/carers/guardians of: participants under 18; participants with additional needs; or vulnerable adults, to check that the activities done with these organisations, including AAPs, are delivered in a safe and proper manner.
So, before starting any activity, we recommend you make a few basic checks to see how the organisation keeps young people safe. You could ask to see relevant policies, like a child protection policy or staff code of conduct. You could find out who the main point of contact is, to speak to if you have any concerns.
You should feel satisfied that an activity is safe, for yourself or your son or daughter, before getting started. If you’re a parent, carer or guardian and would like further information on child protection, NSPCC has a helpline that offers advice and support.
Adapting to a virtual environment come with challenges – but technology can also bring huge benefits when supporting young people in these uncertain times.
It can have a hugely positive effect on their mental health, helping them feel connected to others, maintain some sense of normality and access support when needed.
It’s crucial anyone communicating with young people to support their DofE at this time operates under best practice guidelines and makes sure young people’s safety and wellbeing is the priority at all time.
To help you do this, we have developed a practical guide for remote mentoring relationships, in partnership with The Diana Award and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Please read and share this with any colleagues who may find it useful.