Child Protection Policy Statement
“The Avenger Performing Arts is fully committed to safeguarding the well being of its members. Volunteers should, at all times, observe the Avengers Safe from Harm Policy, show respect and understanding for their rights, safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the Avenger Performing Arts”.
Adopted 1st March 2004
From Harm (Child Protection) policy
It is the policy of the Avenger Performing Arts to safeguard from harm the young people within its care and the adults working with them. All must be protected from physical, sexual and emotional harm and all adults working with children on activities must 'sign-up' to it and are approved by our Board of Trustees.
The Avengers takes all reasonable steps to ensure that, through relevant procedures and training, children, young people and adults taking part in activities do so in a safe environment.
Appointment of workers/leaders with young people
- An adult leader will normally be at least 16 years of age for work with younger children and 18 years of age for youth work.
- All appointments are the responsibility of Board of Trustees who must be satisfied with the candidates suitability for the role
- All candidates must be fully acquainted with the Policy and Code of Practice adopted by Board of Trustees.
- The Registration Form must be completed in all cases and a satisfactory reference obtained.
- All leaders will be given a job description that can be revised as the job changes.
- All leaders will undertake training that will include issues about child protection. (This training will be carried out in conjunction with Drum Corps United Kingdom (DCUK) and renewed every 3 years.
- Leaders developed from within the group may be recommended/referenced by the Director.
- All external appointments will be for a probationary period of 3 months.
- At the end of the probationary period Board of Trustees may confirm the appointment. If it is decided that the individual is not suitable for work with young people their talents should be directed towards more appropriate areas.
Duties of Leaders working with Young People
- To be fully acquainted with current good practice for working with young people.
- To minimise the situations where harm or abuse to young people may occur
- To ensure that at all times the care and safety of young people is of paramount importance.
Positive vetting will be extended to existing leaders to ensure protection is maximised across the activity. This will commence with any new leaders not already on the groups register; then to those on the register as their DCUK renewals become due.
Occasional Workers with Young People
Sometimes additional help may be required for activities like Training Camps. Any helper not formally appointed by the Board of Trustees to work with young people must be known by the activity leaders. They should be provided with a letter setting out what is required of them and they must be asked to read the Safe From Harm Policy statement and the Code of Practice. A copy of the letter, which will contain a simple declaration confirming that the helper has never been convicted of a criminal offence or is the subject of current criminal charges, must be signed. These letters are to be passed to the Chairperson or Director.
Action to be taken when abuse is suspected or alleged.
- Keep a written record: dates, times, observations, verbatim speech.
- Contact the Chairperson or in his/her absence the Director and together decide what action,if any, is to be taken.If the situation merits immediate action then contact either the police or social services. Note the name of the person to whom you are speaking. Provide full details without filtering the information and follow advice given.
- Start a confidential file recording all notes, conversations and advice received from Social Services.
- If referred to Social Services the Chairperson must be advised.
- Do not discuss the case with the press or media; any approaches from them should be directed to the Chairperson.
- This Policy and the accompanying Code of Practice applies to all activities run by the Avengers involving young people.
- Copies of the Policy Statement and the Code of Practice will be made available to ALL members on request and provided to all Leaders and Trustees.
- The Policy Statement and Code of Practice are to be reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees and recommendations for change submitted to the AGM.
- The Board of Trustees is responsible for reissuing a copy of the Policy Statement and Code of Practice to every adult working with young people if it is amended. Otherwise it should be reissued every three years.
CODE OF PRACTICE
As an adult leader working with young people for the Avengers you should always:
- respect everyone as an individual
- set the example you want others to follow
- be sensitive to the views and requirements of others
- plan to have more than one adult present during activities
- be prepared to listen
- follow the Policy and Code of Practice laid down by the Avengers
- remember that you are accountable to the young people, their parents/careers and the Avengers
- ensure that parental consent in writing is given to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment
- keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given
- ensure that parental consent is obtained if Avenger officials are required to transport young people in their cars.
You should never:
- tolerate abusive behaviour or bullying
- show favouritism
- engage in inappropriate conversations or physical contact with young people
- deliberately place yourself or others in a compromising situation
- make suggestive remarks or actions
- assume that you will never be involved in a case of child abuse
Recognising abuse and taking action
Cases of abuse whether physical, sexual, emotional or neglect will normally come to light through
- disclosure by the young person
- information from a third party
- observation of unexplained injuries or change of behaviour
If you suspect a young person is being abused
- keep calm, listen but do not question or investigate
- do not challenge parents about your concerns
- record all details which support your suspicions or information you have been given (include dates and times)
- refer your concerns to the Chairperson and agree what action is appropriate
- never agree to confidentiality as you must inform others, but be discrete with information
Photography and Video Guidelines
There is evidence that some people have used events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young people. You should be vigilant and report any concerns to the Chairperson or Director. However, the Board of Trustees recognise the challenges that it presents in open areas where there is unrestricted access by the public.
The Avengers uses Video and photographs for Training and publicity materials. In all cases parental consent will be secured prior to any use of these materials.
Always remember the principal concern is for the safety and well being of the young person.
AVENGER PERFORMING ARTS
REGISTERED CHARITY No 519587