This document sets out the Child Protection Policy and Guidance for AADA which will be followed by all members of the group, including staff, volunteers and customers.
To promote best safeguarding practice during lessons, shows and rehearsals, we commit to:
AADA knows that being a child/young person makes them vulnerable. The purpose of this Policy is to make sure that the actions of any adult in the context of the work carried out by us is transparent and to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children/young people.
If any parent or young person/child has any concerns about the conduct of any member of staff, this should be raised in the first instance with Amanda Isard or Lisa Thornton (the independent, Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)).
The DSO should then advise and continue with the procedure below. If the DSO is not contactable, then the member of staff should follow the procedure below.
This Policy is written in accordance with The Children’s Act 2004 and “Working Together to Safeguard Children” guidance 2015.
Principles upon which the Child Protection Policy is based.
Child Protection Policy
Immediate action may be necessary at any stage of involvement with children and families. In all cases, it is vital to take whatever action is needed to safeguard the child/ren (i.e.:
Abuse or neglect of a child is caused by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or more rarely by a stranger.
Physical abuse 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 someone fabricates the symptoms of illness or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after.
Emotional abuse is the persistent, emotional ill treatment of a child, such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve 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 ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape or buggery) or non-penetrative acts. Sexual abuse may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic materials or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect is 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. It may involve a parent or guardian failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Individuals within AADA need to be alert to the potential abuse of children.
AADA should know how to recognise and act upon indicators of abuse or potential abuse involving children. There is an expected responsibility for all members of staff to respond to any suspected or actual abuse of a child, in accordance with these procedures.
It is good practice to be as open and honest as possible with parents/guardians about any concerns.
However, you must not discuss your concerns with parents/guardians in the following circumstances:
What to do if children talk to you about abuse or neglect
It is recognised that a child may seek you out to share information about abuse or neglect or talk spontaneously (individually or in groups) when you are present. In these situations, you must:
The purpose of consultation is to discuss your concerns in relation to a child and decide what action is necessary.
You may become concerned about a child who has not spoken to you, because of your observations of, or information about that child.
It is good practice to ask a child why they are upset or how a cut or bruise was caused or respond to a child wanting to talk to you. This practice can help clarify vague concerns and result in appropriate action.
If you are concerned about a child, you must share your concerns. Initially, you should talk to one of the people designated as responsible for child protection within AADA.
You should consult externally with Children’s Services in the following circumstances:
Consultation is not the same as making a referral but should enable a decision to be made as to whether a referral to Children’s Services or the Police should progress.
A referral involves giving Children’s Services or the Police information about concerns relating to an individual or family, in order that enquiries can be undertaken by the appropriate agency, followed by any necessary action.
In certain cases, the level of concern will lead straight to a referral, without external consultation being necessary.
Parents/guardians should be informed if a referral is being made, except in the circumstances outlined above.
However, inability to inform parents for any reason should not prevent a referral being made. It would then become a joint decision with Children’s Services about how and when the parents should be approached and by whom.
If your concern is about abuse or risk of abuse from someone not known to the child or child’s family, you should make a telephone referral directly to the Police and consult with the parents.
If your concern is about abuse or risk of abuse from a family member or someone known to the children, you should make a telephone referral to Children’s Services.
Be prepared to give as much of the following information as possible. In emergency situations, all of this information may not be available. Unavailability of some information should not stop you making a referral.
You should be prepared to provide:
Action to be taken following the referral:
AADA should ensure that any records made in relation to a referral are kept confidentially and in a secure place.
Information in relation to child protection concerns should be shared on a “need to know” basis. However, the sharing of information is vital to child protection and, therefore, the issue of confidentiality is secondary to a child’s need for protection.
If in doubt discuss with Children’s Services
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