LUPIN THEATRE CO

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

9th September 2017

DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD (DSL):    Maggie Page

DEPUTY SAFEGUARDING LEADS:  Sarah Hodgkins and Vicky Ridgway

Introduction

This policy aims to provide all child and adult members of Lupin Theatre Co. (hereafter the Company) and their families with a clear and secure framework for ensuring that all children in the Company are protected from harm, whilst in attendance at Company events including rehearsals, meetings and performances and when a child is suspected of suffering harm in any other scenario.

The Company believes that the welfare of the child is paramount.  All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.  The Company believes that:

  • Children and young people should be listened to, valued and respected
  • The duty of care to children will always be put first by every member of the Company
  • Action should be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal, physical or sexualised behaviour
  • Bullying should not be accepted or condoned
  • All adult members should provide a positive role model for dealing with other people
  • Enthusiastic and constructive feedback should be given rather than negative criticism
  • Children are supported in understanding what the Company expect insofar as expectations of their behaviour

The Company will implement the Child Protection Policy as follows:

  • Appoint a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) hereby named as Maggie Page
  • Appoint a Deputy DSL hereby named as Sarah Hodgkins and Vicky Ridgway
  • The DSL and Deputy DSL will be subject to safer recruitment and thus provide evidence of their enhanced DBS certificate no less than every 3 years and will ensure they attend relevant training and keep up to date with current child protection issues.
  • The DSL and Deputy DSL will ensure the Child Protection Policy is reviewed annually or when amendment is required to reflect specific child protection legislation and policy guidance
  • The DSL and Deputy DSL will ensure all members, parents and carers have a copy of, and access to the Child Protection Policy and contact details of the DSL and Deputy DSL
  • The Company will hold a register of every child member within the Company and will retain a contact name and number close to hand in the event of emergency

The Company believes that it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard children. Company members are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, members should always act in the best interests of the child and within the guidance within this policy. The Company is committed to referring those concerns to the appropriate organisation, normally local authority children’s social care.

The Company provides the following guidance to members on how to recognise indicators of abuse:

Recognising Abuse

In the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, a child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013) as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • Undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.

Types of abuse and neglect

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. 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 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 cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur 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.

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (2014) outlines additional areas where a child can be at risk:

  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Bullying including cyberbullying
  • Domestic violence
  • Drugs
  • Fabricated or induced illness
  • Faith abuse
  • Forced Marriage
  • Gangs and youth violence
  • Gender-based violence/ violence against women and girls
  • Mental health
  • Private fostering
  • Radicalisation
  • Sexting
  • Teenage relationship abuse
  • Trafficking

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CONCERNED A CHILD MAY BE SUFFERING FROM OR AT RISK FROM HARM

The Company expect members who are concerned that a child may be at risk of harm to take action immediately in the following way:

  • If you see or suspect abuse of a child while in the care of the Company, please make this known to the person to either the DSL or the Deputy DSL immediately.
  • Make a note for your own records of what you witnessed as well as your response, in case there is follow-up in which you are involved.
  • If a serious allegation is made against any member of the Company, chaperone or volunteer, that individual will be suspended immediately until the investigation is concluded. The individual will be excluded from the venue and will not have any unsupervised contact with any other child member.
  • If a child confides in you that abuse has taken place, remain calm and in control but do not delay taking action. Listen carefully to what has been said. Allow the child to tell you at their own pace and ask questions only for clarification. Do not ask questions that suggest a particular answer. • Do not promise to keep it a secret.
  • Use the first opportunity you have to share the information with the DSL or Deputy DSL. Make it clear to the child that you will need to share this information with others. Make it clear that you will only tell the people who need to know and who should be able to help. Reassure the child that ‘they did the right thing’ in telling someone.  Tell the child what you are going to do next. Speak immediately to the DSL or Deputy DSL. It is that person’s responsibility to liaise with the relevant authorities, usually social services or the police.
  • As soon as possible after the disclosing conversation, make a note of what was said, using the child’s own words. Note the date, time, any names that were involved or mentioned, and who you gave the information to. Make sure you sign and date your record.
  • In all situations, including those in which the cause of concern arises from a disclosure made in confidence, the details of an allegation or reported incident will be recorded, regardless of whether or not the concerns have been shared with a statutory child protection agency. An accurate note shall be made of the date and time of the incident or disclosure, the parties involved, what was said or done and by whom, any action taken to investigate the matter, any further action taken e.g. Suspension of an individual, where relevant the reasons why the matter was not referred to a statutory agency, and the name of the persons reporting and to whom it was reported.  The record will be stored securely and shared only with those who need to know about the incident or allegation.

DSL Maggie Page  maggiepage1@sky.com

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