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Checklist when choosing a service or activity

The questions below may help you decide if a club, activity or service is likely to be well run and safe. The person named as the contact for each club, activity or service should be able to give you the answers.

1. Do you have a leaflet or web site that gives basic information about your club, activity or service, such as its aims, staff, what you do, costs, days and times, and contact details?

2. Who runs the club, activity or service? Is it part of a larger organisation or is it locally organised. If you are locally organised who funds and monitors your organisation?

3. How do you employ and train your staff? For example, do leaders, staff and volunteers have Criminal Record Bureau checks to make sure they can work safely with vulnerable adults? Do you check references?

 4. How many leaders or helpers and volunteers do you have at each activity? There should be at least two present for any activity or meeting to operate safely.

 5. How do you expect your staff and volunteers to behave towards vulnerable adults? (This may be a written Code of Conduct for staff and volunteers so that everyone knows what standards of behaviour to expect. This might cover things such as physical contact, comforting vulnerable adults, addressing bullying, etc.)

6. How does your organisation keep everyone safe while taking part in your activities? Do you have a health and safety policy, a First Aid kit, a qualified First Aider and procedures for recording and notifying accidents? If there is an accident what happens? Are you insured?

7. Do you get parents’ or carers' written permission before taking vulnerable adults on outside visits, adventure activities and trips?

8. Do you have a management committee that meets regularly? Are any carers on the management committee?

9. Are you happy for parents / carers to visit, meet those in charge and see activities?

10. How does your organisation deal with complaints? Is there a complaints procedure and how do you make parents / carers aware of it?

Finally, try to speak to other families who have been to the club, activity or service you are thinking about going to. They can give you an idea about what it is really like.


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