Trips away that involve children can be an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience for adults and children involved in them. However, to do this safely and in a way that safeguards all concerned requires careful planning and consideration. Listed below are a number of areas that should be considered in planning a trip away.

Considerations for planning trips away

Have you:

  • Identified the aim and outcomes of the programme?
  • Followed the diocesan child safeguarding policy and procedures?
  • Carried out a hazard assessment (1.14-Risk assessment)?
  • Recruited and selected staff/volunteers using safe practice procedures (1.1 – Recruitment)?
  • Selected a key staff member who has overall responsibility for the trip?
  • Selected staff for the trip who are appropriately trained, qualified and vetted (if appropriate)
  • Nominated a staff member who is responsible for first aid (1.8 – Dealing with accidents)
  • Ensured that you have adequate and gender-based supervision in line with your safeguarding policies and procedures (1.3 – Supervision ratios)?
  • Appointed a contact person at home who has access to all information and contact details?
  • Checked your own insurance and ensured that you have coverage for all activities?
  • Checked that the transport has appropriate insurance, qualified drivers and seatbelts?
  • Carried out an equipment safety check?
  • Checked the first aid kit?
  • Ensured there is a contingency plan?
  • Made provisions for returning home early?
  • Allocated a budget and contingency fund?
  • Checked out the locations and accommodation of the trip away to ensure they have:
    • Appropriate safeguarding policy, practices and procedures in place?
    • Insurance cover?
    • Appropriately trained and qualified staff?
    • Changing areas for boys and girls (if required)?
    • Disability access (if required)?

Have the participants:

  • Been involved as much as possible in the planning of the trip?
  • Agreed a code of behaviour (S4.9)
  • Agreed boundaries around unstructured time?
  • Been given information on appropriate clothing, and contact details for leaders?
  • Consented to the trip away (S4.11)

Have parents/carers:

  • Met with leaders and been informed of the programme?
  • Been given a copy of the diocesan child safeguarding policy and procedures?
  • Consented in writing (1.4 Codes of behaviour; S4.11; S4.12)?
  • Given contact details, medical details including allergies, illnesses, medications and dietary requirements?
  • Been given contact details of the leaders and centre?
  • Been given details for pick up and drop off of participants?

Have staff:

  • Been trained on the diocesan code of behaviour and child safeguarding policy, on how to deal with a disclosure, and on dealing with challenging behaviour (1.4; 2.6; 1.6)?
  • Been assigned responsibilities and scheduled for breaks?
  • Been made aware of how to handle an emergency, and who to contact in an emergency. Worked with children to evaluate the success of the activity?

If staying overnight, have you checked:

  • If there is 24/7 access to centre staff?
  • If there are appropriate sleeping arrangements for children, i.e. separate provision for boys and girls, and separate provision for leaders (within ear shot of children)?
  • The centre’s supervision and security?