Child Protection Policy - Procedures for the Discovery of Drugs and Ilegal Substances

 Procedures for discovery of drugs or illegal substances

Staff and volunteers may find themselves in a situation whereby they may discover substances, which they consider harmful and illegal. Staff and volunteers may remove such substances (from the place or the person) when the person is participating in any activities which are part of the work of the FHMI, whether this is in any premises of FHMI or any premises FHMI is using, for example, on residential weekends. Staff and volunteers should refer to the following guidelines.

  • When removing substances whether from the place or the person, always attempt to do so in the location in which it was found. Where possible, this should be done in the presence of a witness. In the absence of a witness, do not delay in retrieving substances from the person's possession nor should you leave the substance in its location.

  • Note the date, time, place and/or person where the substance was discovered and came into your possession, together with a description of the substance.The witness should countersign a record of the event.

  • The substance should be taken to the Person in Charge and written details should be passed to him/her immediately. Failure to do so places you at risk.

  • The Youth Project Co-ordinator, in the presence of the staff/volunteer who recovered the substance should ensure that it is immediately placed in an envelope or sealable container. The Person in Charge or Child Protection Officer and witness(es) should sign across the seal and date the package before placing in a secure place.

It is the responsibility of the Person in Charge/Child Protection Officer to report the incident to the police. An official report of the incident should be completed using the recorded notes.

Where associated equipment is discovered, e.g. needles and syringes, young people should be kept away from such items by staff/volunteers due to the possible risks of infection. All associated items should be handled with care by staff/volunteers and put away in a secure place to await collection by the Drugs Squad.

The same procedures should be followed if the person responsible for possessing and handling harmful or illegal substances is a member of staff/volunteer.

As part of the protection of young people from drugs, young people on medication must ensure that they or their parents inform the Person in Charge of their condition and hand over any medication for safekeeping. They will be issued with a receipt and the Person in Charge will ensure the medication is administered appropriately.

All young people, their parents and staff / volunteers participating in the Residential should be made aware of these guidelines.