This policy covers child protection issues and the integration of safeguarding for children on projects run by What’s Coming out of the Box.
The purpose of this policy is:
To protect children and young people that What’s Coming out of the Box and people working on their projects work with.
To provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide their approach to safeguarding and child protection.
It is our mission that children should be:
· listened to and heard
· valued and welcomed on our projects
· respected as individuals and for their own uniqueness
· encouraged and praised
· involved in decisions as appropriate
· supported with importance placed on their well-being
We recognise that:
· The welfare of children is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
· All children, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harms and abuse.
· Some individuals are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs and other issues.
· Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
We will keep children safe by:
· Valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
· Ensuring child protection and safeguarding practises and measures are adopted by everyone working with What’s Coming out of the Box.
· Developing and implementing e-safety procedures and practice.
· Provide effective management for all staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.
· Recruit staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
· Sharing information about child protection and good practise with children, parents, staff and volunteers.
· Sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
· Ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
We are committed to the safety and protection of children who are involved on our projects. We will ensure young people are respected, taken seriously, listened to and welcomed, though an inclusive and supportive practise. We have a duty of care to children with whom we work, and that the teachers and group leaders, clients and parents/carers/guardians feel confident that, we have the safety of our participants as our primary concern.
When working with formal groups and clients working with young people, such as schools and nurseries, we demonstrate our commitment to the welfare of their young people by respecting their own protection policy and procedures, and integrating their policy requirements with our own.
Team members (whether paid or voluntary) working with these groups may be required to undertake a criminal record disclosure check to support the safeguarding of young people.
IMPLEMENTATION & PROCEDURES
Estelle Rosenfeld is responsible for the policy’s day-to-day implementation. Monitoring and review will take place annually.
Each artist, technician, volunteer, consultant, trainer, facilitator is responsible for their own compliance with this policy, which is issued to every worker via their contracts or work agreements. Breaches of the Child Safeguarding Policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to termination of contracts for services of consultants or trainers, or withdrawal of volunteer agreements. What’s Coming out of the Box takes any suspicion, allegation or disclosure of abuse very seriously.
ALLEGATION OR CASE OF CONCERN
Any allegation or case of concern for young people or workers will be addressed immediately and follow procedures and action plans outlined below:
Estelle Rosenfeld is responsible for dealing with allegations or suspicions of abuse. Her role is:
1. To receive and record information from staff, volunteers, children, clients, parents/carers who have child protection concerns.
2. To assess information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information about the matter as appropriate.
3. To consult with a statutory child protection agency to test-out doubts or uncertainties.
4. To make a formal referral to a statutory child protection agency or the police without delay, once the above has been undertaken.
DISCLOSURE AND BARRING SERVICE (DBS checks)
All staff (including volunteers) need to undertake a DBS check for projects if they are:
· working regularly with young people (more than 4 sessions within a 1-month period, with the same group)
· working with young people without a member of staff or colleague who is DBS checked.
Our projects are generally temporary in nature with irregular contact with children. More often than not we work under the supervision of teachers, youth leaders, parents and DBS checked members of staff. However, our projects are regularly programmed for children, so we highly recommend that staff obtain a DBS check as best practise in educational and community settings. Estelle can provide advice for individual on these processes, if they do not already have a valid certificate. Alternatively, the DBS government website provides full guidance. Links and details can be found in the ‘Useful contacts’ section of this policy.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children and vulnerable adults, namely:
Children Act 1989
United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
Data Protection Act 1998
Sexual Offences Act 2003
Children Act 2004
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children
This policy was last reviewed on 27/02/2019
BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES
These are advisory notes on good practice for all staff when working with young people (YP). They are provided to all team members to implement in their work with What’s Coming out of the Box.
WORKING ON PROJECT & WORKSHOPS WORKING WITH PARTICIPANTS
· Treat all YP with respect. Listen to them carefully and value their uniqueness.
· It is not good practice to spend time alone with YP. In the scenario where you need to attend/care for an individual, seek a second adult to accompany you.
· YP should never be left unattended.
· Be inclusive and facilitate activities that cater to the needs and abilities of the YP involved.
· Artists/leaders should never reprimand or shout at a child
· If necessary, create an agreement of rules for your session, in collaboration with the YP. This will outline the YP’s behaviour and expectations in the session. YP should not be excluded from the group, unless it is for the safety of them or others.
· Ensure that any form of manual assistance or physical support for participants is provided openly. Children and parents, guardians or carers should be consulted and their agreement gained. It is best to avoid unnecessary physical contact with participants.
· If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure staff work in pairs; staff should not enter changing rooms of the opposite sex.
· Artists/leaders should not take children to their homes; nor should they offer to give them a lift unless accompanied by their parent/carer.
· Challenge young people who may be using inappropriate language and encourage team-working and positive relationships between peers.
· Act on and record any allegations made by a young person or member of staff. Follow the official reporting system, outlined in this document.
HEALTH & SAFETY
· Artists and leaders must place the well-being and safety of the young person above the development of performance/project at all times.
· Ensure familiarity with and prepare the space prior to your session. Identify the first aid contact and fire exits, be familiar with the risk assessment, and communicate any potential hazards to all involved.
· Artist/leaders should not accept help from the YP with set-up or preparation. It is preferable that they are not in the workshop space during non-delivery time, and when setting-up.
· If your activity involves tools, then you should provide protective wear where appropriate, and demonstrations/clear advice of how to use the equipment.
· If your activity involves movement (such as drama or dance), ensure you provide suitable warm-up and cool-down exercises to prevent injuries.
· Report any incident, accident or behavioural issue among participants immediately to the school/venue.
· If a child or young person arrives with an injury, this should be reported to the school/venue. It might be useful if an allegation is made at a later date and also records that the injury was not sustained during our activity.
AS THE ARTIST
· Exhibit professionalism in every aspect of conduct for the duration of the project, including punctuality, and wearing appropriate clothing/footwear.
· Artist/leader should not smoke anywhere on the school premises (including the vehicles). You should be completely offsite and out of view to smoke, and should make every effort to get rid of the smell of smoke before entering the school, and meeting the YP.
· Alcohol and recreational drugs should not be taken onto the premises under any circumstances and you should not consume alcohol or recreational drugs at any point before/during/after the session at the school/venue.
· Prescribed drugs should be kept hidden and out of reach of YP (eg. in a locked vehicle)
· Artist/leader should ensure that their language and conversation is appropriate.
E-SAFETY: PHOTOGRAPHY, FILMING & SOCIAL MEDIA
· Consent forms should be signed by group leaders/participants before documentation.
· Any individual who has not agreed to photographic/film consent should still be allowed to take part in the activity, but not captured in images/film.
· Artists/leaders should not use mobile phones/tablets/internet-enabled devices to film/photograph YP taking part in sessions, events or performances on their own, nor share these images.
· No images/film or documentation from our projects can be uploaded or used online without What’s Coming out of the Box’s authorisation.
IN THE VENUE/SCHOOL
Artist/leader must never work without the presence of at least one teaching staff or adult leader from the setting. If there is not a member of staff present this should be reported to the (school) office immediately and you may suspend the session until the situation is rectified if necessary.
Artists/leaders should stay in their allotted place of work and avoid wandering around the school/venue.
Find out where the visitor, staff or disabled toilets are. You should never use the YP toilets.
Artist/leader should use of a private and/or lockable changing area. If this cannot be found, then use the visitor/staff/disabled toilets.
Artist/leaders are not in the school in a disciplinary capacity; if disciplinary issues arise you should bring these to the attention of the teachers and/or terminate the activity as appropriate until it is safe to recommence.
Artists/leaders should avoid getting involved in issues that arise amongst the pupils (eg. don’t try to break up a fight). If a child discloses a problem, you should tell a member of the teaching staff who should deal with the situation.
Occasionally the work in schools (for example projects addressing issues around bullying or drugs) may give rise to participants approaching you with their problems; without being dismissive you should try to avoid becoming involved. At no point should you agree to keep the issue secret but instead explain that the disclosure would need to be reported this to a teacher. You should report to the teacher/group leader or Headteacher.
If you suspect a YP is being abused you are obliged to report it to the teacher/group leader and Headteacher.
HOW TO: MANAGE A DISCLOSURE
If a child discloses information about abuse:
1. Remain calm and in control
2. Listen and remember details from the disclosure. Do not ask any leading questions or express an opinion/view. Only ask questions to clarify things you do not understand.
3. Reassure the individual, without judgement, advice or comments.
4. Do not promise to keep it secret, but explain that you will be contacting the appropriate authorities, who will be able to help and support them.
5. It is common for a disclosure to be made to an individual whilst on their own. Respect their desire for privacy, but try to have this conversation where other people can see.
6. After the disclosure take notes ASAP. Record the facts and observations without judgement. Do not email these notes. (see ‘How to record suspicions’ section or further details)
7. Contact What’s Coming out of the Box and any appropriate organisations: Police, Social Services and if within a school, the staff member responsible for child protection issues. They will advise you and instigate the next steps for the disclosure as necessary.
8. It is important to keep the disclosure confidential at all times.
9. If a disclosure is formally investigated, it is common to not hear any updates/news from authorities following the disclosure.
10. If you require further advice, you should contact your Local Children’s Safeguarding board or NSPCC to discuss your concerns.
HOW TO: RECORD SUSPICIONS
Brief factual notes should be taken as soon as possible in order to record and/or monitor a situation. The observation(s) should include
- the time & date
- description of the event or reason for suspicion
- the child’s behaviour & appearance
- any comments they make that are pertinent to the observation
No reports will be shared via email or any other online methods.
All records will be kept confidentially. Confidentiality will be waived on a need-to-know basis if, and when evidence is required for cases involving Social Services etc.