Our commitment to safeguarding and child protection

With nearly 60,000 cadets and volunteers across the UK, the RAF Air Cadets work hard to create an inclusive environment that sets the conditions for young people to achieve their potential, with appropriate safeguards in place. We are committed to cooperating with other public sector safeguarding agencies.

We have a dedicated Safeguarding Team, led by highly qualified social workers, who make sure the Air Cadets comply with legislation and Government guidance. They also support people directly involved with child protection and safeguarding concerns and provide advice and coordinate investigations.

We work hard to ensure we remain a trusted and respected youth organisation, and that our cadets, volunteers and staff are protected from all forms of harm or discrimination. We do this against the MOD’s eight safeguarding standards published in their Safeguarding Framework. You can read about these here.

Any allegations of safeguarding breaches and matters of child protection are taken seriously and investigated by the Government’s key guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’. Nothing is more important than your child’s welfare. It is our commitment to make sure that everyone in the RAF Air Cadets family, including children and young people, are fully aware of, and understand, the RAF Air Cadets’ safeguarding and child protection arrangements. 

How we safeguard children and young people

We are fully committed to safeguarding children and young people by:

  • complying with all legal requirements in respect of child protection
  • taking into account the interests and wellbeing of children and young people
  • respecting the rights, wishes and feelings of the people we work with
  • taking all reasonable, practicable steps to protect from physical, sexual and emotional abuse whilst engaged in activities.
  • promoting the welfare of children and young people and their protection in relation to a position of trust

Cadet confidentiality promise

It is important that anyone feels they can trust the RAF Air Cadets if they want to talk to someone about a concern or worry, either about themself or someone else.

If you tell an adult something which is worrying you, adults will take what you have said seriously, they will listen to you and may take notes to clarify things you've said. They may ask if another adult can sit in, this is to make sure that everything you say will be remembered and to give you as much support as possible, as we understand that it can be difficult to talk about worries either for yourself or someone else. If you don't want this, you may have a close friend with you, someone else you trust or you may prefer no one else to be there.

See the Cadet Confidentiality poster to print off as required.

When we will need to share what you’ve told us

Any information you give to an adult will be treated as sensitive and confidential and will not be shared unless we believe that you, or another person, is in danger or is being harmed or that they are involved, or plan to become involved in acts of terrorism (or other criminal acts). In this case, we will tell you that the information has to be shared with the appropriate agencies, we will try and encourage you to agree with this and support you and we will tell you who we have told and what we have told them. Adults cannot promise confidentiality and can never keep secrets which are of a safeguarding concern or that suggest someone is suffering harm.

As part of our confidentiality promise, please be assured that:

  • any notes taken will be kept and stored in a safe and secure manner
  • any information you have shared in confidence will not be discussed unless there is a child protection or safety concern, or you give your permission
  • we will tell you when information cannot be kept confidential.
  • we will support you and encourage you to talk to other people (e.g. a parent or guardian) or a professional where we feel it would help you

Anti-Bullying Policy Statement

At RAFAC, we believe that:

  • No cadet or young person should never experience abuse of any kind
  • We have an absolute responsibility to promote the welfare of all cadets and young people by keeping them safe from harm and conducting ourselves and our activities in a way that protects them
  • All members of RAFAC should not have to tolerate or be subject to bullying at any time
  • Everyone in the RAFAC has a collective responsibility to work together to stop bullying

We recognise that:

  • Bullying causes real distress and can adversely affect an individual's health and development and/or, cause significant harm in extreme cases

RAFAC seeks to prevent bullying by:

  • Ensuring that bullying behaviour is not accepted or condoned
  • Responding to any allegations of bullying, including prompt individual and collective actions being taken
  • Considering the needs of the individual being bullied
  •  Considering the needs of the individual displaying bullying behaviour
  • Considering the needs of others witnessing any incidents of bullying
  • Promoting and implementing this Anti-Bullying Policy in addition to its Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
  • Ensuring all members of RAFAC are given access to information and guidance on the prevention of bullying
  • Ensuring all members of RAFAC support and ‘buy into’ this Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Providing support and training for Staff, Volunteers and Cadets on preventing and dealing with all forms of bullying
  • Encouraging and facilitating cadets to play an active part in further developing and adopting a code of conduct to address bullying
  • Recognising that everyone is important and that our differences make each of us special which should be valued

Safeguarding Guide for parents and carers

A printable guide has been created with the intention of answering some of the questions you may have regarding the safeguarding of your child during their time with the Air Cadets. Please find more detail about the Royal Air Force Air Cadets’ Commitment to keeping your children safe in this Safeguarding guide for parents/carers (PDF).

‘Speak Up’ Policy

This policy covers whistleblowing and encourages anyone in the Air Cadets family to ’Speak Up’; in relation to safeguarding concerns. RAFAC realises that raising and reporting concerns is often difficult to do. This policy is designed to offer protection to you if you raise a concern. Read the full RAFAC Safeguarding 'Speak Up' policy (PDF).