Can You Dance? Child Protection Policy

Child Protection Policy

Dated: 6th February 2019

Next Review Date: 5th February 2020

Lead Persons: DSP:  Juliet Kotecha

Deputy DSP:  Tom Shilcock/Matt Flint

NSPCC: 0808 800 5000

Childline: 0800 1111

Contents

1.0 Aim

1.1 Whilst the prime focus of Can You Dance? is to create a memorable event Can You Dance recognises that the safety, welfare and care of children involved in their convention is paramount. We are therefore committed to the highest standards in protecting and safeguarding the children entrusted to our care at all times.

We will ensure that arrangements are in place for:

1.1.1 all reasonable measures to be taken to minimise the risks of harm to children’s welfare;

1.1.2 all appropriate actions to be taken to address concerns about the welfare of a child, or children, working to agreed local policies and procedures in full partnership with other local agencies;

1.1.3 we practice safer recruitment in checking suitability of all persons working at this Event Company and they are made aware of this policy.

1.2 We recognise that some children may be the victims of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Staff of the Event Company will often, by virtue of their day to day contact and knowledge of the children, be well placed to identify such abuse and offer support to children in need.

1.3 In order to protect our children, we aim to:

1.3.1 Create an atmosphere where all our children can feel secure, valued and listened to

1.3.2 Recognise signs and symptoms of abuse

1.3.3 Respond quickly and effectively to cases of suspected abuse

1.3.4 Monitor and support children at risk

1.3.5 Use the production to raise children’s awareness, build confidence and skills

1.3.6 Work closely with parent/carers and support external agencies

1.3.7 Ensure that all adults within our company who have access to children have been checked as to their suitability.

1.4 Can You Dance will support all children by:

1.4.1 Encouraging self-esteem and appropriate self-assertiveness whilst not condoning aggression or bullying

1.4.2 Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the Venue.

1.4.3 Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children

1.4.4 Notifying Social Care Services via the approved mechanisms as soon as there is a significant concern.

2.0 Designated personnel

2.1 Designated Senior Person (DSP) for Child Protection Juliet Kotecha

2.2 Producer/Theatre Manager/Company Manager Matt Flint

2.3 Other Relevant Person Tom Shilcock

3.0  The role of all members and other persons within the Venue/Production Company etc. settings

3.1 All members and other persons have a duty to safeguard children. This policy outlines how members and other persons can meet this duty and (where applicable) their need to be:-

    3.1.1   Trained and aware of potential indicators of abuse

  1. Open to hearing concerns from children and others, without seeking to investigate these concerns.
  2. Informed on how to report any concerns to their Designated Senior Person(s) for Child Protection.
  3. Informed on how to report any concerns relating to members and other persons to the Event Manager/Venue Manager etc.
  4. Informed on how to report any concerns relating to their Event Manager/Venue Manager etc.
  5. Listening to children is a fundamental role of all persons working with children.  Any observations, which could potentially indicate abuse, should be carefully noted. It is important to:

3.2.1 Create the opportunity and environment for children to be able to talk about their concerns

3.2.2 Establish systems to enable cover for the member of staff listening to a child’s concerns.

3.2.3 Always:

  • Report on as soon as you have a concern.
  • Record information verbatim using the actual words of the child and noting any questions raised by the child.
  • Note dates, times, who was present, positions in the room, anything factual about the child’s appearance.
  • Pass these notes to the DSP.
  • If possible use a silent witness.

Never

  • Ask leading questions.
  • Ask the child to write down their account.
  • Investigate with, or without, others.
  • Take photographs of marks.
  • Attempt any medical judgement
  • Arrange a medical examination
  • Tape/video record an interview
  • Ask a child to remove any clothing. Individuals should always be aware of their own vulnerability at this point and should take steps to minimise risk to themselves whilst supporting the child.

3.3 We recognise that all matters relating to Child Protection are confidential. The DSP or Chaperone will disclose any information about a child to other members of the production on a need to know basis only.

4.0 Supporting Personnel

4.1 We recognise that other personnel working in the industry/company who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm may find the situation stressful and upsetting.

4.2 We will support such personnel by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the DSP and to seek further support as appropriate.

4.3 All personnel are able to access confidential support and counselling

5.0 The role of the Designated Senior Person (DSP)

5.1 The DSP is responsible for:

5.1.1 Adhering to the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board and the company’s procedures with regard to referring a child if there are concerns about possible abuse

5.1.2 Keeping written records of all concerns about a child even if there appears to be no need to make an immediate referral

5.1.3 Ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially and securely and are separate from child records

5.1.4 Ensuring that an indication of further record-keeping is marked on the child records

5.1.5 Liaison and joint working with Social Care Services, and other relevant agencies

6.0 Reporting Procedures

6.1 All concerns must be passed to the DSP who will seek advice/make a judgement as to whether a referral to Social Care Services or the need for any other action to be taken.

6.2 If a disclosure is made or a member crew/organisation has reason to believe abuse has occurred an incident report form available from Can You Dance? should be completed as soon as possible and passed to the DSP. Any original notes should be signed, dated and securely attached to the incident report form. All members must be aware of the high level of confidentiality of notes and individual members should pass all notes and records onto the DSP.

6.3 Upon submitting an incident form the individual and the DSP should catalogue the form, sign and date the incident book in order to prove the procedure has been followed.

7.0 Staff allegations

7.1 All child protection allegations relating to members of the organisation  must be reported directly to the Employer/Producer/Manager (and not the DSP) without informing the subject of the concern/allegation.

7.2 The full evidence will be made available to the individual subject of the allegation as soon as is agreed appropriate within the ongoing needs of any investigation by the Police, Social Care Services, or by any disciplinary process.

7.3 In some cases it may be necessary for the individual to be suspended whilst an investigation is carried out. It must be recognised that any decision to suspend a member of the organisation is without prejudice and on full pay (if applicable), and is not an indication of any proof or of any guilt.  Advice should always be taken from the Employee Relations/HR team in this respect.

7.4 Any complaint or concern of a child protection nature received by any person and relating to Employer/Producer/Manager must be passed in confidence to the Organisation’s/Company’s Lead Officer who will give advice and support including making contact with the Director/Other relevant person.

7.5 All members need to be aware of their vulnerability to allegations and must address their practice accordingly. All members must adhere to the organisation’s policy/guidance in respect to safe conduct.

Include references to:

  • Risk Assessment
  • Harassment Policy
  • Equal Opportunities Statement
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Anti-Bullying Statement
  • E-Safety policy
  • Reasonable Force Policy
  • Whistleblowing Policy
  • Complaints Procedure

7.6 Children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where members fail to do so. All members should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the attitude or actions of colleagues.

8.0 Procedure

8.1 Can You Dance adhere to the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) procedures. Copies of these are kept by the Producer/Manager/Employer and must be the subject of training and be available to all members.

8.2 The Producer/Manager/Employer will identify a DSP for Child Protection co-ordination in the venue. The Producer/Manager/ Employer will identify clearly who will deputise in the absence of the DSP and ensure that any such deputy is appropriately trained.

8.3 The DSP will ensure the following reporting and recording procedures are maintained:

8.3.1 Incident report form (catalogued and cross references to the incident book)

8.3.2 Incident book (hard bound, containing consecutive numbers of report forms, name of child, name, signature and date of person submitting the report, name, signature and date `of DSP receiving the report.)

8.4 The Relevant Persons will receive annually a report on developments in child protection policy and procedures, training undertaken by the DSP, other staff and, the number of cases referred (without details) and the place of child protection in the organisation.

9.0 Parents and Carers

9.1 Parents and carers will be made aware of the Can You Dance? policy through published information on our website.

9.2 A copy of this policy is available to all parents, carers and children upon request.

10.0 Teaching and Learning

10.1 The event will be used to raise children’s awareness and build confidence so that they have a range of strategies to support their own protection and understanding of protecting others.

10.2 Can You Dance? will promote child support services and display of contact information, e.g. Childline,

11.0 Training

11.1 All members of the organisation will receive training on child protection procedures and will receive updates and refreshers every 3 years.

11.2 The DSP and Producer/Manager/Employer  will be required to undertake core training in order to carry out their role and will be required to attend refresher training updates every 3 years.

11.3 Child Protection training will be clearly cross referenced and supplemented by other areas of training for the members, including appropriate touch, care & control (including safe restraint), behaviour management and risk assessment.

11.4 The following record of training will be maintained by the DSP

Group

Date of last training

By whom

DSP (Core training)

06.10.2015

Juliet Kotecha

DSP update/refresher

13.03.2018

Juliet Kotecha

Company Manager (core training)

30/03/2016

Matt Flint

Company Manager/refresher

Support staff   (by individual name)

30.03.2016

Tom Shilcock

Other staff (by individual name)

12.0 Visitors and Volunteers

12.1 A summary of the Venue/Production Company etc. procedures and the name of the DSP should be displayed for the information of visitors to the Venue/Production Company etc.

13.0 Review

This policy will be reviewed annually by Juliet Kotecha

14.0 This policy was adopted by Tom Shilcock Head of Can You Dance?

Summary of Child Protection Information for Visitors and Volunteers

Can you Dance? is committed to the highest standards in protecting and safeguarding the children entrusted to our care.

Can You Dance? will support all children by:

  • Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the event
  • Encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness
  • Effectively tackling bullying and harassment

We recognise that some children may be the victims of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse.  Chaperones and Members of the organisation working with children are well placed to identify such abuse.

In order to protect our children, we aim to:

  • Create an atmosphere where all our children can feel secure, valued and listened to
  • Recognise signs and symptoms of abuse
  • Respond quickly, appropriately and effectively to cases of suspected abuse

Everyone working with our children their parents and carers should be aware that:

  • Their role is to listen and note carefully any observations, which could indicate abuse.
  • They should not attempt to investigate once the initial concern is raised
  • They should involve the Designated Senior Person (DSP) immediately
  • If the DSP is not available the Producer/Manager/Employer or the Deputy DSP should be contacted.
  • Disclosures of abuse or harm from children may be made at any time.

If anything worries you or concerns you, report it straight away!