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Safeguarding Policy

Woodleigh Cottage, Ewood Lane, Todmorden, Lancs, OL147DF

 

Safeguarding Policy:

Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults

 

First written: January 2016

Date Updated: July 2018

Next assessment due: July 2019

 

Audience

 Creative team, Cast, Chaperones, Parents

Date for renewal/updates/reviews

July 2018, annually thereafter

Senior Designated Person

 

Katrina Heath

Deputy Senior Designated Person for child protection

 

Katrina Heath

Designated Person for child protection

 

Katrina Heath

 

 

 

 

Other Key Company members

Paul Cheesbrough

Location of Child Protection information and main policy documents

 

 

 

In File at office _Woodleigh Cottage, Ewood Lane, Todmorden, Lancs, OL147DF, In safeguarding File at rehearsals and Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UCHT12 Schoolroom Office.

 

Policy Contents:

  • Policy statement – Page 2

  • Role of the designated person for child protection & role of parents – Page 3

  • Code of behaviour - statement of intent – Page 4

  • Contact with children, young adults and vulnerable adults - including guidelines on physical and online contact – Page 5

  • Child  Performance Licensing – Page 6

  • Providing effective management for staff & volunteering through supervision, support & training – Page 7

  • Guideline on Recruitment – Page 8

  • Procedure for reporting allegations or suspicions of abuse – Page 9

  • Responding to concerns made by a child of suspected abuse – Page 10

  • Responding to concerns about the conduct of a member of staff or volunteer – Page 11-13

  • Appendix A: Incident Report Form – Page 14

  • Appendix B: Useful Contacts – Page 15

  • Appendix C: Definitions of Abuse – Page 16

 

POLICY STATEMENT

 

StoryMagic is committed to a practice which protects children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm. This Policy details organisational behaviour and best practice which is applicable to all StoryMagic staff, including those who work on a volunteer or freelance basis, as well as StoryMagic Directors.

 

For the purposes of this policy, a child is defined as anyone under the age of 18.

 

For the purposes of this policy, Vulnerable Beneficiaries are defined as children under the age of 18 or anyone over the age of 18 who requires activities which lead to them being considered vulnerable to significant harm or exploitation at that particular time.

 

A Vulnerable Beneficiary can be anyone:

  • Who receives social care services or personal care

  • Who requires assistance in relation to general household matters such as paying bills, shopping etc. due to a physical or sensory impairment, learning disability or mental health problem

  • Who is detained by Her Majesty’s Government or in contact with probation services

 

For ease of reading in this document whenever the terms Child, Children or Young People are used, it refers to all Vulnerable Beneficiaries including vulnerable adults.

 

Staff and volunteers in this organisation accept and recognise our responsibilities to develop awareness of issues, which could cause Vulnerable Beneficiaries harm.

 

We will safeguard children, young people and other vulnerable adults by:

  • Adopting child protection guidelines through a code of behaviour for staff and volunteers.

  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers.

  • Sharing information about concerns with relevant agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately and doing so in a swift and appropriate manner.

  • Following carefully the procedures for recruitment and selection of staff, volunteers and any freelancers.

  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

  • This Policy will be made readily available to all staff and volunteers.

  • Reviewing our policy annually and reflecting on any reports made, reviewing the effectiveness of the reporting process every quarter.

  • The Policy has been agreed with the Board of Directors and Steering Committee.

 

This policy is accompanied by three appendixes. Appendix A is an Incident Report Form, Appendix B details other useful contacts and Appendix C details definitions of abuse.

 

Other internal policies relevant to Vulnerable Beneficiaries and Safeguarding: Equality Policy, Whistle blowing policy & Disciplinary and Grievance procedure.

 

 

 
ROLE OF THE DESIGNATED PERSON FOR CHILD PROTECTION

 

The Designated Person is responsible for:

  • Providing the ‘first port of call’  and offering advice and support to all staff regarding child protection issues.

  • Establishing and maintaining a liaison role with the relevant social work department, family and psycho-social services departments, where necessary.

  • Making referrals as necessary.

  • Keeping up to date with changes and developments in child protection.

  • Disseminating policy and good practice to all school staff, in particular:

  1. Ensuring that staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities for being alert to the signs of abuse and for referring any concerns to the designated person responsible for child protection.

  2. Ensuring that all staff have read/are aware of the specific Gate Vulnerable Beneficiaries Policy and Procedures, RBKC Local Authorities’ child protection policies and procedures, and know where to access these.

  • Ensuring that new staff receive induction about child protection procedures and existing staff receive training as required

  • Organising information relating to child protection so that this is accessible to all staff.

 

In the absence of the Designated Person forChild Protection, the Deputy Senior Designated Person for Child Protection will assume the responsibilities of this role. In the absence of all of these people, the Senior Designated Person for Child Protection will assume responsibility for this role.

 

 

 

ROLE OF PARENTS

 

Parents / persons with parental responsibility are ultimately responsible for their children’s welfare at all times, and they should be assured that In The park Productions is a credible organisation.

 

We achieve this by:

 

  • Making paper copies available  at The Office.

  • Endeavouring to provide, on request, other formats for those with additional needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CODES OF BEHAVIOUR - STATEMENT OF INTENT

 

It is the policy of StoryMagic to safeguard the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults by protecting them from all forms of abuse including physical, emotional and sexual harm.

 

This organisation is committed to creating a safe environment in which young people can feel comfortable and secure while engaged in any of  StoryMagic programmes, training events, workshops or other activities. Personnel should, at all times, show respect and understanding individual’s rights, safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the ethos and principles of StoryMagic

 

ATTITUDES

Guidelines for all staff and volunteers:

  • Staff and volunteers should be committed to treating children and young people with respect and dignity.

  • Always listening to what a child or young person is saying

  • Valuing each child and young person

  • Recognising the unique contribution each individual can make

  • Encouraging and praising each child or young person

 

STAFF CONDUCT

Staff and volunteers should:

  • Endeavour to provide an example which we would wish others to follow

  • Use appropriate language with children and young people and challenge any inappropriate language used by a young person or child or an adult working with young people.

  • Respect a young person’s right to privacy

  • Always dress professionally appropriately at all times

  • Be aware that someone might misinterpret our actions no matter how well intentioned

  • Never draw any conclusions about others without checking the facts

  • Never allow themselves to enter become embroiled in inappropriate situations, including tantrums or crushes

  • Never exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues or make suggestive remarks or gestures about, or to a child, young person or vulnerable adult

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTACT WITH CHILDREN, YOUNG ADULTS AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

 

Staff and volunteers should:

  • Should actively avoid spending any time alone with children or vulnerable beneficiaries, away from others

  • In the unlikely event of having to meet with an individual child or vulnerable beneficiary this meeting must be as open as possible, and other In The Park Productions staff members will be informed of the location and approximate length of the meeting. The meeting should not take place in a room that is not private, unless absolutely necessary. If no adult is available as company to the meeting, the young person will be encouraged to bring a friend.

 

Physical Contact

  • Staff and volunteers should never engage in any type of physical contact with any young person or vulnerable beneficiary without first asking permission.

  • storyMagic will always require a responsible adult to accompany any vulnerable beneficiaries or groups of vulnerable beneficiaries. The responsible adult will never be a member of StoryMagic staff.

  • If a child or vulnerable beneficiary is reliant upon an adult for any aspects personal care, e.g. toileting or assistance of movement,  StoryMagic will engage the responsible adult, which will never be a member of  StoryMagic staff.

  • Staff and volunteers should never allow inappropriate touching of any kind.

 

Online Contact

  •  In StoryMagic will only contact a parent directly via email or telephone in reference to workshops, performances or related StoryMagic  work.

  • Where possible, all contact with children will be conducted via parents, or relevant and responsible adults.

  • StoryMagic will not contact a child directly in regards to non-professional or personal matters.

  • StoryMagic staff and volunteers will never issue or accept “friend requests” or equivalent from social networking sites from a child.

  • If a child makes contact with a company member via social media, the member of  the company should report it to the Executive Director, who will ensure it is followed up and the appropriate action taken. On no account should the company member respond of their own volition.

  • StoryMagic staff and volunteers will not take or share photos or video footage of children without confirmation from the Executive Director that the appropriate permissions have been sought and received.

  • The relevant member of related to any given project is responsible for distributing and collating photo  permission forms to schools and for discussing how best to document projects, and will circulate this information

  • Confidential data that is collected on children including addresses, dietary needs, medical conditions etc. should be treated in confidence and with respect and  should be shared between adults only on a need to know basis.

  • When sharing information, In The Park Productions personnel will be sensitive to the level of understanding and maturity, as well as to the level of responsibility, of the people with whom they are sharing.

  • All children and vulnerable adults have a right to know the information the  In The Park Productions holds on them.

 

 

CHILD PERFORMANCE LICENSING

 

Requirement to licence

All children who perform on stage or in television, films, commercials or who work as models, have their welfare and safety protected by the following children in entertainment legislation:

 

  • Children & Young Persons Act 1933 & 1963

  • Children (Performances) Regulations 1968

  • The Children (Performance) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1998(1)

  • The Children (Performance) Amendment Regulations 2000

  • The Children (Performance) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2000

  • Statutory Instruments: 1968 No. 1728, 1998 No. 1678, 2000 No. 10, & No. 2384

 

For the purposes of children in entertainment a child is a person aged from birth until the end of their compulsory schooling (18 yrs from 2015).

 

The aforementioned legislation requires licences to be issued by each Local Authority (LA) for children who take part in one of the following categories:

  • broadcast performances (films, TV, video) covers performances that will be broadcast;

  • non-broadcast performances (theatre, modelling) covers performance that are not broadcast.

 

It is the responsibility of StoryMagic to establish contact with the relevant local authority in which a child resides to obtain instructions as to whether a license is required.

 

The Children (Performances) Regulations 1968 only apply to actual performances and therefore the following information does not apply to rehearsals or regular workshops. Rehearsals are, however, affected by the Regulations, if they take place during the currency of a licence (between first and last performing day). Rehearsals are then subject to the same restrictions and conditions applicable to that licence i.e. time at place of performance, performing times and so forth. Rehearsals also count as a performance when calculating length of working week i.e. 5 days broadcast, 6 days theatre/other.

 

Chaperones

All licensed children need to be chaperoned in law while taking part in a performance. Chaperones acts in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give that child.

 

Regulations require a ratio of 1 chaperone to 12 children. A chaperone’s first priority is always to the child and the chaperone must not take part in any activity that would prevent them from proper supervision and care of the children they are responsible for. A chaperone will have total charge of a child – unless the child is being chaperoned by his/her parent/carer – whilst the child is at the theatre/performance location, and is responsible for the child's care and control. If the child has completed his performance and is then handed into the care and control of his parent/guardian who is outside of the stage performance area, the chaperone will no longer have responsibility for the child.

 

Chaperones are required by law to keep a record for each child, per performance:

  • It is a requirement under the Regulations that these records be kept and made available, together with each child’s Licence, at every place of performance where a child is present, for inspection by an officer of the Local Authority in whose area the performance takes place.

  • Upon completion of the production, the daily record sheet/s should be stored at the Licence Applicant’s main company address for a period of not less than 6 months after the final performance date for which the Licence has been granted.

 

Licenced Chaperones are approved by Local Authorities and will be familiar with the law regarding children in entertainment

 

 

PROVIDING EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT FOR STAFF & VOLUNTEERING THROUGH SUPERVISION, SUPPORT & TRAINING

 

It is imperative that each member of the StoryMagic staff is aware of their responsibilities under the Child Protection legislation and has a working knowledge of the  In The Park Productions procedures. Each member of staff will receive this Policy as part of the Company Handbook when they start work at  In The Park Productions

 

  •  StoryMagic will issue the company handbook to each new starter at StoryMagic, which clearly lays out the Vulnerable Beneficiaries Policy

  • Any training in relation to Vulnerable Beneficiaries needs of each individual staff members are identified.

  • After each annual review, the Vulnerable Beneficiaries Policy will be shared with current and incoming staff members, so updates within the Policy are known and upheld by all staff and volunteers.

 

Induction

Each new member of staff or volunteer is made familiar with StoryMagic policies and procedures including the Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour

 

 

Training

At the Gate the management take responsibility for the training needs of staff and volunteers. The individual, however, also plays a part in identifying areas they feel they require training in. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUIDELINES ON RECRUITMENT

 

All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with young people and vulnerable adults.

 

The same recruitment procedure will be adopted whether the company members are paid or unpaid, full, part-time or freelance.

 

Recruitment procedure

This process will be adhered to for any role at In The Park Productions  that directly relates to working with children, young people or vulnerable adults.

 

  • Advertisements for roles that involve work with children will state that applicants will be expected to have a current DBS check. In most circumstances, company members will have obtained their own check, which should have taken  place within the last 3 years. In particular circumstances In The Park Productions  may arrange this. They may not work with children until a clean check is received.

  • All applicants must submit a CV or application form detailing their experience relevant to the role. 

  • Successful applicants, including volunteers, will be interviewed to assess suitability for the role.

  • Substantial gaps in employment will be queried.

  • Two references should be taken up before appointing paid company members.

  • For posts in which there will be direct contact with children, one reference should be regarding previous work with children.

 

On appointment

  • An enhanced DBS (formerly CRB) check must be held by all In The Park Productionstaff and volunteers who will be working directly with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults. 

  • The DBS check must be cleared before work commences. If this is not possible, the individual must always be accompanied by a DBS checked adult in carrying out their duties in working with children, young people or vulnerable adults. 

  • Individuals who have a valid DBS check in place on appointment should have had their DBS check issued within the last 3 years and must present a copy of their DBS to the Designated Child Protection Officer (Executive Director) for verification.  

  • In addition, all permanent company members and/or those working directly with children will be required to read the Vulnerable Beneficiaries Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ALLEGATIONS OR SUSPICIONS OF ABUSE

 

In any case where someone has concerns or an allegation is made, a record will be made using a standardised format [Appendix 1]. Details must include:

  • Name of Child/ Vulnerable Beneficiary

  • Date of Birth of Child/ Vulnerable Beneficiary (if available)

  • Approximate Age of Child/ Vulnerable Beneficiary if Date of Birth is not available

  • Name of staff member completing the form

  • Date the incident took place

  • Time the incident took place

  • Location the incident took place

  • Names of others involved, or others who witnessed the incident

  • Details of the incident as a statement of fact

  • Action Taken

  • Were the parents informed?

 

The record must then be signed by the completing person and the designated Child Protection Officer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESPONDING TO CONCERNS MADE BY A CHILD OF SUSPECTED ABUSE

 

 

Get verbal account of incident

from child

 

Record Concern on Incident Report Form

Report concerns to Safeguarding Officer

 

Contact guardian of child if not already present and if appropriate

 

Report concerns to Social

Services/Police.

 

RECORD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESPONDING TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE CONDUCT OF AMEMBER OF STAFF OR VOLUNTEER

 

 

Report concern on incident report form

 

Report to Safeguarding Officer

 

Initial Assessment to establish the basic facts

 

Consider Precautionary suspension where appropriate

 

Serious poor practice/ Misconduct?

 

Situation will be managed due to Disciplinary Procedures

 

Possible Child Abuse*?

* see Appendix C for definition

Safeguarding Officer will report concerns to Police/ Social Services

 

Possible Outcomes:

  • Police Investigation

  • Criminal Proceedings

  • Civil Proceedings

  • Disciplinary hearing

 

Possible Outcomes:

  • No case to answer

  • Disciplinary hearing

  • Formal warning

  • Further training and support agreed

 

Inappropriate behaviour?

 

Manager will take appropriate action

 

Possible Outcomes:

  • No case to answer

  • Informal discussion

  • Formal discussion

  • Further training & support agreed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Referral procedure

The Gate Theatre protection referral procedure for identified suspicion or concern will be followed at all times. This is outlined below:

 Gate staff identify a Child Protection concern:

  • All Vulnerable Beneficiary protection concerns should first be referred to one of the Designated Persons. No member of staff should act alone.

  • Do Not Delay, the concern should be discussed between the referring member of staff and the relevant Designated Person as soon as possible, other Gate staff consulted as appropriate, and a decision made.

  • If the concern is deemed of a serious nature, particularly one that warrants a referral to Social Services, the Designated Person will inform the Deputy Senior Designated Person.

  • Wherever possible an identified concern will be discussed with the social worker responsible for the child (if possible) before any further action is taken. Advice from the social work department will be taken and any concerns discussed. The Designated Person will lead on this but the person who identified the concern will assist.

  • The person who identified the concern will be asked to complete a referral form.

  • Information sharing needs to be proportional to the level of concern.  Relevant  staff and other agencies involved with the child will only be given information on a need to know basis.

  •  

Staff are made aware of a child currently on a child protection plan:

  • When a child who is already subject to a Child Protection Plan is involved with In The Park Productions the Designated Person will be notified and provided with any relevant information on a need to know basis. This information will be shared with other staff on a need to know basis.

 

Designated Child Protection Persons

 

For reasons of confidentiality the only person(s) who need to know this information are the Designated Child Protection Persons named above

Then, required contact

  • Multi-Agency Screening Team (MAST)
    (office hours only)

  • Telephone:

  • 01422 393336

  • Email:

  • MAST@calderdale.gov.uk

  • By post:

  • Ground Floor
    Northgate House
    Northgate
    Halifax

 

 

 

 

NSPCC Help line                       Tel: 0800 800 500 – 24 hours, Freephone

 

Child Line (NI) Tel:                  0800 1111 – Freephone

 

 

DISCLOSURE

  • Never guarantee absolute confidentiality, as Protection of Vulnerable Beneficiaries will always have precedence over any other issues.

  •  Ensure you never use closed questioning or leading questions

  • Offer him / her reassurance without making promises, and take what is said seriously.

  • Allow the child to speak without interruption, accept what is said – it is not your role to investigate or question.

  • Do not overreact or respond with emotive language.

  • Alleviate feelings of guilt and isolation, while passing no judgement

  • Advise that you will offer support, but that you must pass the information on.

  • Explain what you have to do and whom you have to tell.

  • Record the discussion accurately, as soon as possible after the event, use the child’s words or explanations – do not translate into your own words, in case you have misconstrued what the child was trying to say.

  • Contact one of In The Park Productions Designated Persons for advice / guidance.

  • The Designated Person may then discuss the concern / suspicion with the relevant organisation, and, if appropriate, make a direct referral.

  • Record any discussions or actions taken as soon as is practicable.

 

RECORD-KEEPING

  • All records, information and confidential notes should be kept in separate files in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.

  • Only the designated Persons will have access to these files.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A

Incident Report Form

Name of Child/ Vulnerable Beneficiary:

 

Date of Birth/ Approximate Age:

Name of staff member completing form:

Date the incident took place:

 

Time:

Where did the incident take place:

 

 

Who else was involved/witnessed the incident:

 

Details- Please provide a statement of fact:

 

Action taken:

 

Parents informed? Yes/No

 

 

Signature of staff member reporting incident: ________________________________  

Signature of designated C.P. officer: ___________________ 

Date: _______________

 

APPENDIX B

Useful Contacts

 

 

The NSPCC (National

Centre)

42 Curtain Road

London, EC2A 3NH

0808 800 5000

www.nspcc.org.uk/

 

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Helpline 01325 953795

01752 346984

Available 5pm to 8.30am Monday to Friday

and all day Saturday and Sunday

 

 

 

Childline UK

(help for children and young

people)

Freepost 1111

London, N1 0BR

0800 1111

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX C

 

WHAT IS ABUSE?

The following definitions are taken from The Department for Children Schools and Families (2013) Working Together to Safeguard Children document.

ABUSE: A form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. (e.g. via the internet).  They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

PHYSICAL ABUSE: A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE: The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.

It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is 86 involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it alone.

 

SEXUAL ABUSE: Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

NEGLECT: The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious Impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);

  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;

  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or

  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

  • It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs