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As leaders in a youth organisation we are undertaking roles where we have power and influence over children & young people. As such we must ensure that our behaviour around children & young people, and the relationships we build with them are ALWAYS appropriate.

This is why we have guidance for leaders regarding how they should behave around children & young people; how they can safely contact children & young people; safe use of social media; and avoiding situations where the actions or inactions of the leader could be misinterpreted or give rise to a concern.

Here are some key areas of good practice you should familiarise yourself with:

Safe Contact (outside of BB activities)
Contact for children & young people should always be via their parents/carers when communicating (i.e. email, text, phone) with Anchors, Juniors and Company members. For Seniors members with parental consent and appropriate local processes in place it is acceptable for there to be direct contact, although clear boundaries must always be maintained. Any social media contact should only be through Group/Company accounts where the content is moderated by at least 2 administrators.

Boundaries & being a Role Model
As a leader you are in a position of authority and influence and have a duty of care towards the children and young people you work with.  You are likely to be seen as a role model and are expected to act appropriately. For example, avoid inappropriate language, sarcastic or derogatory comments/gestures, favouritism and behaviours which are threatening, intrusive or harmful. You are expected to consider your behaviour and actions both in and out of a BB setting.

Physical Contact
Avoid physical contact, with children and young people at all times, including in games and activities (apart from emergency situations). You should also avoid compromising situations or opportunities that give rise to misunderstandings or allegations. Actions can be misinterpreted no matter how well intended.

Photography
In the BB we obtain photo consent from parents/carers for taking photos (including video) of children & young people. It is important you only take photos of children and young people for which you have consent. Photo consent is obtained through the Parent Portal on OBM or through the Joining Form or Special Activity Consent Forms. Photos should be stored securely and only used for BB purposes.

Leader Ratios
There are no set ratios for the number of leaders required, as it is necessary to fully consider this based on the activity being undertaken. There MUST always be at least two registered leaders present during ALL activities with children & young people (one of these leaders must have completed Youth Leader Training).

Planning & Managing Risk
Ensure all activities, events, trips and residentials are well planned, which includes carrying out a risk assessment to maintain the safety of all involved.

We would also encourage you to read our Leaders Code of Conduct which sets out the expectations for leaders along with additional guidance.