Created: July 2020 by Jenny Owen
Last Reviewed/Updated: Reviewed and Agreed by Nancy Monaghan 5/8/20
Wild Things Performing Arts CIC is fully committed to safeguarding the well-being of all children and young people who take part in its activities. The following document is intended to include all participants accessing Wild Things Performing Arts activities. All participants have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled participants and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. Wild Things Performing Arts CIC will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in its activities through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines outlined below. Coaches, volunteers and anyone else who comes into contact with participants should be fully aware of this policy. They should also show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of other members of staff and volunteers, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the inclusive ethos of Wild Things Performing Arts CIC. The process of implementing the policy is the joint responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Person and Deputy, Chief Executive and Directors. Everyone involved in the company should have access to this child protection policy.
Wild Things Performing Arts’ Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) is Nancy Monaghan. The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Person in Jenny Owen.
- Provide children and young people with appropriate safety and protection while they are in the care of Wild Things Performing Arts CIC.
- Create an environment where everybody feels safe, secure, and valued.
- Develop awareness in all staff and volunteers of the need for child protection and of their responsibilities in identifying abuse.
- Allow all staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
- To clarify child protection procedures to all interested parties.
Staff Behaviour Statement
In order to promote children’s welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made, all staff and volunteers should demonstrate exemplary behaviour by:
- Promoting our inclusive ethos – this means treating all participants equally, and with respect and dignity, while considering and readily adapting to individual needs.
- Avoiding being the only responsible adult alone with children where possible.
- Avoiding private or unobserved interaction with young people where possible, and encouraging open communication with no secrets.
- Ensuring that a culture of openness exists to enable any issues or concerns to be raised and discussed.
- Giving attentive and constructive feedback, rather than negative criticism.
- Being an excellent role model.
At least one member of staff present at any session run by Wild Things Performing Arts CIC must be trained in emergency first aid and hold an in-date certificate.
Staff will keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with details of any treatment given.
Practices to be avoided
The following should be avoided except in emergencies (for example, if a child sustains an injury and needs to be taken to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to collect a child at the end of a session). If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and consent of Wild Things Performing Arts’ Designated Safeguarding Person or the child’s parent/guardian.
- Avoid spending time alone with a child where possible.
- Avoid taking or dropping off a child before or after an activity where possible.
The following should never be sanctioned. Staff should never:
- Discriminate against, show preferential treatment, or favour particular participants to the exclusion of others.
- Use language, make suggestions or offer advice which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive, even in fun.
- Invite or allow children to your home unsupervised.
- Condone, or participate in, behaviour of children which is illegal, unsafe or abusive.
- Condone smoking or the consumption of alcohol by young people under the legal age. You are obliged to report any sightings of this to the young person’s parent/guardian.
- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate contact with young people.
- Assist with intimate personal care for a child, unless trained and qualified to do so and with the express written consent of a parent or carer.
- Allow young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged (e.g. swearing, racial/sexual taunts).
- Permit abusive behaviour or activities (e.g. bullying).
- Make assumptions based on rumour or hearsay.
- Fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child.
- physical abuse: including hitting, slapping, punching, burning, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint
- sexual abuse: including rape, indecent assault, inappropriate touching, exposure to pornographic material
- psychological or emotional abuse: including belittling, name calling, threats of harm, intimidation, isolation
- financial or material abuse: including stealing and fraud
- neglect and acts of omission: ignoring medical or physical care needs
- discriminatory abuse: including abuse based on race, gender, sexuality, disability, or anything else.
- institutional or organisational: including unsafe practices, lack of person-centred care.
Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly. Abuse may be single act or repeated acts.
Signs to look out for which may suggest that a child is being abused or is at risk of abuse include:
- unusual injuries, including bruises, burns, fractures, bite marks or signs of self-harm
- consistently poor hygiene, poor living conditions or inappropriate clothing
- communicating aggressively or using sexual language
- appearing withdrawn, guarded, anxious or frightened, particularly around certain individuals
Responding to Allegations or Suspicions of Abuse
Wild Things Performing Arts realises that it has a duty of care to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse or neglect.
It is not the responsibility of anyone working at Wild Things Performing Arts to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate authorities.
If you suspect that any child is being abused:
- Always refer the case to the Designated Safeguarding Person; do not investigate it yourself.
- Do not approach a suspected abuser yourself.
- Ensure that the young person is given the opportunity to talk to you or an independent person.
- Listen to the young person without interruption and do not ask leading questions about what you may suspect.
- Write down the details, as you know them, on the Safeguarding Report Form.
- Accept what the young person says at face value.
- Do not pass judgement on what is said, but do try to alleviate any fears or guilt the young person may have.
- Make it clear that you can offer support but that you must pass on the information.
Please follow the reporting procedures and utilise the Safeguarding Report Form provided.
If you receive an allegation of child abuse by an adult:
- Contact the Designated Safeguarding Person. All information, however trivial it may appear, must be shared.
- Record the nature of the allegations in detail using the Safeguarding Report Form.
- Do not try to resolve the issue yourself; follow the reporting procedures and use the Safeguarding Report Form provided.
- Staff or volunteers who hear an allegation of abuse against another representative of Wild Things Performing Arts CIC (e.g. staff, volunteers), or indeed themselves, should report the matter immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Person.
Wild Things Performing Arts will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.
- All incidents should be written up within one hour. Legally they must be recorded within 24 hours.
- All relevant information should be included in the Safeguarding Report Form.
- Reports and records should be sealed in an envelope and marked “Confidential”. They should be passed by hand to the Designated Safeguarding Person who will then be accountable for the safe storage and processing of the information.
- If the Designated Safeguarding Person or Deputy cannot be contacted and the welfare of the child is at risk then Oldham Council Social Services should be contacted. Contact details are listed at the end of this policy.
- The Designated Safeguarding Person will refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police.
- The parent/guardian of the child or vulnerable adult will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need-to-know basis only. This includes the following people:
- The Designated Safeguarding Person and/or Deputy
- The parent/guardian/carer of the person who is alleged to have been abused
- The person making the allegation
- Social services/police
Seek the advice of social services on who should approach the alleged abuser (or the parents of the alleged abuser if the alleged abuser is a child). Information should be stored in a secure place with access available to designated people only, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).
If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice, the Designated Safeguarding Person will deal with it as a misconduct issue.
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence and inform any disciplinary investigation into such misconduct, but all available information will be used to reach a decision.
Information for social services or the police about suspected abuse
To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should include the following:
- The child’s name, age and date of birth.
- The child’s home address and telephone number.
- Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
- The nature of the allegation (include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.)
- Clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
- A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also include any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
- Details of witnesses to the incidents.
- The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
- Details of any contact with the child’s parents/carers on the issue.
- Details of any consultation on the issue with anyone else.
- Whether the child has reported the incident, and if not, whether the child has been spoken to, and details of any such conversation.
- Details of the alleged abuser, if any allegations have been made.
- Name of contact who took referral of the incident at the police or social services. (Where possible referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours.)
Wild Things Performing Arts CIC’s Recruitment Policy
Wild Things Performing Arts recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps must be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Pre-selection checks must include the following:
- The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified with each individual.
- Child protection procedures must be explained and training needs identified before contact with children commences.
- All volunteers and staff who will be working closely with children must have a valid enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.
- Wild Things Performing Arts cannot accept DBS clearance forms procured by other organisations.
- A database is maintained with DBS clearance numbers for all staff working for Wild Things Performing Arts for the duration of their employment. Freelance staff taking a break of more than 3 months will automatically need a new clearance unless they have bought into the online service.
- Where an individual who is hoping to work with Wild Things Performing Arts does not have a valid DBS disclosure, Wild Things Performing Arts will request a disclosure at the earliest opportunity. No one will be permitted to work with children or vulnerable adults until the DBS clearance is completed.
- Safer recruitment practices are adhered to. CVs are carefully scrutinised to ensure that all gaps in employment are accounted for, references are checked, and previous employers are requested to discuss any concerns.
Designated Safeguarding Person: Nancy Monaghan
Mobile: 07891 908912 Email: email@example.com
Deputy Safeguarding Person: Jenny Owen
Mobile: 07847 003213 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oldham Council Social Services
Children’s Social Services: 0161 770 7777
8.40am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Out of Hours Emergencies: 0161 770 6936
5.00pm – 9.00am, Monday to Friday; 24 hours at weekends and Bank Holidays.