Setting up a home contact system

Set up a home contact system to make sure parents, carers and members know what's happening in event of an emergency

What you need to know about setting up a home contact system

When you're taking part in an activity outside of your normal meeting place and time, you must assign a responsible adult as a home contact. A home contact is a person that you've agreed will act as a first point of contact if plans change, or if an accident or emergency occurs.  

In order for the home contact to be clear about their role, we have created a role outline which the home contact should sign to confirm they will carry out the role for that event. There is one for international events and one for UK events.

Following legal advice and consultation with our lead volunteers, we've decided to remove the requirement for the consent and health information forms to be held by the home contact for international events. We've amended the form to reflect this. 

As the license holder (residentials) or leader in charge of an activity, before the activity takes place you must make sure you:

  • Have received a signed copy of the role outline which is relevant to the event you are doing (UK or international) from your home contact(s)
  • Have provided your home contact(s) with all the documents and information needed (these are set out in the role outline)
  • For residentials, you will need to provide a copy of the signed home contact agreement with your REN part 2

Who can I ask to be a home contact?

The home contact plays an essential part in supporting the group and helping to ensure everyone is kept safe and healthy and that appropriate safeguarding measures can be put and remain in place, in the event of an accident or incident. They will hold sensitive personal information about participants whilst performing this role.

It is therefore essential that the home contact is:

  • An active member or recognised volunteer with Girlguiding
  • Not related to or has a close personal relationship to anyone in the group
  • Someone who can deal with an emergency in a calm and effective manner
  • Have completed Safe Space level 1 training, as a minimum

A suitable person could be another leader in the area, a commissioner, county residential /international adviser.

How do I set up a home contact?

Before the event or activity, you need to ensure that your home contact has:

  • Complete details of the activity or event (including locations, travel arrangements, routes, schedules, Activities and expected return time)
  • The names of all participants with emergency contact telephone numbers during the event for each one - you can run a report in GO to produce this list
  • Details of the home Commissioner (or her nominee) and, for residential events, the host Adviser

What does the home contact need to do?

In the event of an accident or emergency, follow our guidance on what to do in an emergency. After engaging any relevant emergency or rescue services, update your home contact with:

  • Details of the accident or emergency
  • The names of the participant(s) requiring assistance
  • The action that has been taken

Depending on the situation, the home contact should then:

  • Inform the emergency contacts of the participant(s) involved
  • Contact the home Commissioner (or her nominee) giving names and telephone numbers of next of kin  
  • Maintain communication to ensure that the appropriate emergency and guiding personnel are kept informed of the situation
  • If appropriate, notify the host Commissioner or Adviser of the accident or emergency

The home contact must shred all personal data after the activity or event has finished.