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It is important when working with children and young adults that you are aware of child protection and any issues that could put them at risk. Ultimately child protection is about looking after children and protecting them from harm. However, you also need to protect yourself against any accusations relating to child protection. This means not putting yourself in a position of vulnerability when working with children.

When working with children always:

• Be aware of your actions – Make sure you are behaving in a way that cannot be misinterpreted or can be perceived as inappropriate.

• Never promise to keep anything a secret – This could suggest a special relationship and could be seen as inappropriate.

• Be aware of physical contact – Physical contact with a child should not occur, there will be occasions where a child will want to show affection, this is normally through hugging. This should not happen unless witnessed by another adult and your hands must be visible at all times.

• Intimate contact should never take place – There is no reason for intimate contact, this should never occur, without exception.

• Remember not to share personal information – There is no reason for a child to have your personal information this includes your mobile telephone number or home address. By sharing this information you are indicating a ‘special relationship’.

• Think about social networking – Do not accept friend requests or personal messages on any social networking sites from children. Your profile must be kept private.