The action checklist for a substance misuse incident involving children and young people

  1. The immediate priority is the welfare of the child or young person
  1. Provide first aid as necessary, minimise the risk of harm to him / her or others
  1. Send for an ambulance if required. Arrange for an appropriate adult to accompany the child/ young person to hospital
  1. Inform parent/carer of incident; invite parent/carer to come to the premises
  1. If medical treatment is not required the child/young person (and belongings) should be taken to a private room and supervised by preferably two members of staff or one member of staff plus a third individual 
  1. The manager or member of staff with responsibility for substance misuse has to quickly establish the facts and take action following clear, written procedures. The manager should be satisfied that the appropriate steps have been carried out and recorded
  1. Contact police for advice and/or involvement as necessary in line with the School Crime Beat Protocol
  1. If appropriate (e.g. it would not be appropriate to interview the young person when intoxicated), arrange an interview of the child/young person with witnesses, to establish the facts of the incident, level of involvement and, whether others were involved. Records must be kept of this interview. Where medical intervention has been necessary this will follow recovery
  1. Arrange for staff and other children and young people involved to be interviewed, with witnesses, to establish the facts of the incident and obtain corroboration. Records of these meetings must be kept
  1. Inform line management as soon as possible, in accordance with policy
  1. Once investigation has finished, assess the appropriate response and involve other organisations as required by policy

N.B. If a formal police investigation is necessary, then the questioning of young witnesses and possible offenders by school staff should be kept to a minimum. Any further questioning could affect evidence and hamper a police investigation.