Within the exchange between WWOOF hosts and WWOOF volunteers, we don’t want anyone to feel their personal safety is at risk. WWOOF exchanges work on a basis of mutual trust and respect, and in the vast majority of cases there is no cause for concern or complaint.
Whether you're a host or a WWOOFer, as the parent or carer of a child or vulnerable adult you will almost certainly have thought about how to keep them safe during a WWOOF exchange, as well as how interesting and exciting an experience it will be for them and for you!
The information available on this page is WWOOF UK's own advice about what to consider to keep yourself, your children, or vulnerable adults in your care safe whilst WWOOFing or hosting WWOOFers.
Please note; if you have children or vulnerable adults in your care during a WWOOF exchange, their safety and welfare remain your responsibility at all times.
Here is a document that offers advice for any vulnerable person, or their carers, involved in a WWOOF exchange.
Here is a template of a risk assessment.
This is a simple table that you could use, if you feel you'd like to assess how you would identify and deal with any possible safety issues that might arise whilst WWOOFing or hosting.
Below are some links to external agencies which can offer expert advice and support about safety;
Safe Network; provides information about safeguarding children in activities outside the home. http://www.safenetwork.org.uk/Pages/default.aspx
NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children); provides loads of resources, services and factsheets helping children, families and professionals to understand how to prevent abuse. http://www.nspcc.org.uk/
UNICEF’s ‘What is Child Protection’ document. http://www.unicef.org/protection/files/What_is_Child_Protection.pdf
Childline; the phone line and online resource for children to seek help with anything that’s troubling them. http://www.childline.org.uk/pages/home.aspx
NHS; a care and support guide for use if you suspect the abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/pages/vulnerable-people-abuse-safeguarding.aspx
SSIA (Social Services Improvement Agency); a website showing where to find information about the services which help in the protection of vulnerable adults across Wales. http://ssiacymru.org.uk/pova
Care Farming UK; a network of farms which work with vulnerable children and adults to provide anything from therapeutic learning environments to qualifications that can lead on to employment. http://www.carefarminguk.org/
Samaritans; phone line and online resource to help anyone (including children) with whatever’s troubling them. http://www.samaritans.org/
You are under no obligation to continue with a WWOOF exchange if you or anyone else is made to feel uncomfortable. If in doubt, contact the WWOOF UK team