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Child Protection Policy...

Splinters Theatre Group

The purpose and scope of this policy statement:

Splinters Theatre Group is an organisation for young people aged 14 – 25.

 

The purpose of this policy statement is:

• to protect children and young people who are involved with Splinters Theatre Group from harm. This includes the children of adults who are involved

• to provide volunteers, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.

 

This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Splinters Theatre Group, including committee members, volunteers, theatre sound crew and contractor

 

Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that

seeks to protect children in England. A summary of the key legislation and guidance is available from

nspcc.org.uk/childprotection.

 

Supporting documents

• role description for the designated safeguarding officer……………………………….……………. Appendix A

• dealing with disclosures and concerns about a child or young person……….…………………Appendix B

• managing allegations against staff and volunteers………….……………………………………………Appendix C

• recording concerns and information sharing………………………………………………………………...Appendix D

 

We believe that:

• children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind

• we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them.

 

We recognise that:

• the welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take

• working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare

• all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse

• some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues

• extra safeguards may be needed to keep children who are additionally vulnerable safe from abuse.

 

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

• valuing, listening to and respecting them

• appointing a nominated child protection lead for children and young people

• adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for volunteers

• recruiting and selecting volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made

• recording and storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with GDPR legislation and guidance

• sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children and their families via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions

• making sure that children, young people and their families know where to go for help if they have a concern

• using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately

• using our procedures to manage any allegations against volunteers appropriately

• creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise

• ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place

• ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance

• building a safeguarding culture where volunteers, children, young people and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.

 

Contact details

Nominated child protection lead

Name: Sarah Addis

Phone/email: 07758939732 / sarah@addisweb.org

 

NSPCC Helpline

0808 800 5000

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

This policy was last reviewed on: 31/08/22

Appendix A

Role description for nominated child protection lead

 

August 2022

Purpose of the role:

To take the lead in ensuring that appropriate arrangements for keeping children and young people

safe are in place at Splinters Theatre Group.

To promote the safety and welfare of children and young people involved in Splinter Theatre Group’s activities at all times.

 

Duties and responsibilities

1. Take a lead role in developing and reviewing Splinters Theatre Group’s safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures.

2. Take a lead role in implementing Splinters Theatre Group’s safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures: ensuring all safeguarding and child protection issues concerning children and young people who take part in Splinters Theatre Group’s activities are responded to appropriately.

3. Make sure that everyone working or volunteering with or for children and young people at Splinters Theatre Group, including management committee members [delete as appropriate], understands the safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures and knows what to do if they have concerns about a child’s welfare.

4. Make sure children and young people who are involved in activities at Splinters Theatre Group and their parents know who they can talk to if they have a welfare concern and understand what action the organisation will take in response.

5. Receive and record information from anyone who has concerns about a child who takes part in Splinters Theatre Group’s activities.

6. Take the lead on responding to information that may constitute a child protection concern, including a concern that an adult involved with Splinters Theatre Group may present a risk to children or young people. This includes:

a. assessing and clarifying the information

b. making referrals to statutory organisations as appropriate

c. consulting with and informing the relevant members of the organisation’s management

d. following the organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures.

7. Liaise with, pass on information to and receive information from statutory child protection agencies such as:

a. the local authority child protection services

b. the police.

This includes making formal referrals to agencies when necessary.

8. Consult the NSPCC Helpline when support is needed, by calling 0808 800 5000 or emailing

help@nspcc.org.uk.

10. Work closely with the management committee to ensure they are kept up to date with safeguarding issues and are fully informed of any concerns about organisational safeguarding and child protection practice.

11. Report regularly to the management committee] on issues relating to safeguarding and child protection, to ensure that child protection is seen as an ongoing priority issue and that safeguarding and child protection requirements are being followed at all levels of the organisation.

12. Be familiar with and work within inter-agency child protection procedures developed by the local child protection agencies.

13. Be familiar with issues relating to child protection and abuse, and keep up to date with new developments in this area.

14. Attend regular training in issues relevant to child protection and share knowledge from that training with everyone who works or volunteers with or for children and young people at Splinters Theatre Group.

16. Work flexibly as may be required and carry out any other reasonable duties.

Appointment to this role is subject to satisfactory vetting and barring checks.

Child protection leads must have received relevant safeguarding and child protection training that is specific to their role. This training should be refreshed regularly and they should keep up to date with any changes in safeguarding and child protection legislation and guidance.

Training for nominated child protection leads: learning.nspcc.org.uk/training/designated and-lead-officer-training-and-refresher-courses.

Helpful resources for a nominated child protection lead:

Child abuse and neglect learning.nspcc.org.uk/key-topics/child-abuse-and-neglect/

Recognising and responding to abuse learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-abuse-and neglect/recognising-and-responding-to-abuse/

Safeguarding and child protection learning.nspcc.org.uk/key-topics/safeguarding-and child-protection/

 

Appendix B

Dealing with disclosures

Responding to disclosures

NSPCC carried out research to find out how adults can better respond to a child who is disclosing abuse (Baker et al, 2019). They found three key interpersonal skills that help a child feel they are being listened to and taken seriously:

· show you care, help them open up: Give your full attention to the child or young person and keep your body language open and encouraging. Be compassionate, be understanding and reassure them their feelings are important. Phrases such as ‘you’ve shown such courage today’ help.

· Take your time, slow down: Respect pauses and don’t interrupt the child – let them go at their own pace. Recognise and respond to their body language. And remember that it may take several conversations for them to share what’s happened to them.

· Show you understand, reflect back: Make it clear you’re interested in what the child is telling you. Reflect back what they’ve said to check your understanding – and use their language to show it’s their experience.

· If a child tells you they are experiencing abuse, it’s important to reassure them that they’ve done the right thing in telling you. Make sure they know that abuse is never their fault.

· Never talk to the alleged perpetrator about the child’s disclosure. This could make things a lot worse for the child.

Non-biased approach

It’s vital that any child who is trying to disclose abuse feels that they are being listened to and taken seriously.

But there can be a risk that if professionals just believe the child’s account without thoroughly investigating the situation, this can lead to unfair bias against the alleged abuser as formal investigations progress (Child Protection Resource, 2021; Transparency Project, 2018). NB Only the Police, NSPCC and Social Care have the power to investigate allegations of abuse.

This means it’s important to maintain an unbiased approach when responding to disclosures and follow your organisation’s procedures to ensure each case is treated in a fair and transparent manner and that the child gets the protection and support that they need.

Making notes

It’s important to keep accurate and detailed notes on any concerns you have about a child. You will need to share these with your nominated child protection lead.

Include:

· The child’s details (name, age, address)

· What the child said or did that gave you cause for concern (if the child made a verbal disclosure, write down their exact words)

· Any information the child has given you about the alleged abuser.

 

Appendix C

Managing allegations against or concerns about people who work or volunteer with children

Any allegation or concern that an employee or volunteer has behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child must be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively and promptly, regardless of where the alleged incident took place.

Depending on the situation, an appropriate response may involve:

· The police investigating a possible criminal offence

· Your local child protection services making enquiries and/or assessing whether a child is in need of support

· Your organisation following the relevant disciplinary procedures with individuals concerned.

You should also make sure any children involved are given appropriate support.

This page shares best practice for managing allegations or concerns about abuse by someone who works or volunteers with children.

Your organisation should also have procedures for responding to allegations of abuse made against a child.

If you think a child is in immediate danger Don't delay – call the police on 999

 

Appendix D

Recording concerns and information sharing

Name of child: DOB:

Nature of concern (eg disclosure, change of behaviour or character, marks etc):

 

Conversation with child (use child’s exact words as accurately as possible; NEVER promise not to share information):

 

Context (where conversation took place, what was happening at the time):

 

Name of person reporting:

Date:

 

Forward completed form to Designated Safeguarding Officer (Sarah Addis, sarah@addisweb.org)

DSO will contact Sheffield Safeguarding Hub as appropriate.

If a person believes a child to be in immediate danger, call 999 immediately. Report incident

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