CTC has a moral and legal obligation and is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children/young people up to the age of 18. When given responsibility for children/young people all committee members, chaperones, creatives and parents/legal guardians recognise their responsibilities and take all reasonable steps to safeguard children/young people from harm, abuse and exploitation. This means to ensure that everyone follows procedures and practises in a way to protect children/young people and addresses any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities.
Committee members, chaperones, volunteers, creatives and parents/legal guardians will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos which embraces diversity, identity and respects the rights of all children / young people.
The purpose of the policy
- To promote good practise, providing children/young people with appropriate safety/ protection when in the care of CTC
- To allow committee members, chaperones, creatives, volunteers to make informed responses to specific child protection issues.
This policy is based on the following principles
- The welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
- All children/young people will be treated fairly and with respect.
- All children/young people regardless of age, disability, gender, racial origin, religious belief and sexual orientation or identity have the right to protection from all types of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
CTC will adhere to the relevant legislation when working with children/young people under the age of 18 years in accordance with:
- Children ACT 2004
- The Children (Performance and Activities) (England) regulations 2014
- Working together to safeguard children 2018
- Data Protection Act 2018 / GDPR Prevention
- Ensure chaperones are registered with the local authority in which they reside and have an advanced DBS check including barred list if eligible.
- Ensure crew and staff coming into close contact with children/young people are DBS checked including a barred list if eligible
- Ensure all committee members, chaperones and volunteers are kept up to date of any changes in legislation and policy in relation to safeguarding
- Ensure all contact and medical details for every child/young person are up to date and available at the place of rehearsal or performance
- Ensure bullying is not accepted
- Take note and abide by up to date legislation relating to children/young persons
- Maximum hours at place of rehearsal or performance
- Earliest and latest times at a performance or rehearsal
- Maximum hours of continuous performance or rehearsal
- Minimal times for meals and rest
- Education restrictions and requirements
- Minimum break between performances
Good Practice of Conduct
CTC will ensure that all committee members, chaperones, parents/legal guardians, volunteers or associates, who come into close contact with children/young people behave in an appropriate and exemplary manner at all times, and remember that the ‘welfare of the child is paramount’. Our aim is to strive towards creating a positive culture and climate by all CTC members and those associated with CTC who will adhere to the following guidelines:
- Make no sexually suggestive comments to a child / young person, even in jest
- Will not engage in rough or physical contact unless permitted within the rules of an appropriate game or activity or conforms to the guidelines or appropriate physical restraint
- Will not form inappropriate emotional or physical relationships with children / young people
- Will not harass or intimidate a child/ young person because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or disability
- Will not invite a child / young person to their home, unless there is express permission from the person responsible for safeguarding who will contact the parents or person with parental responsibility
Dealing with concerns of abuse
The following action should be taken if you suspect a child/young person maybe suffering abuse in some way.
- Do not attempt to investigate
- As soon as possible after becoming aware of possible abuse, make notes about your concerns, date, time, and sign
- Pass on your written record to the person responsible for safeguarding at the earliest opportunity
- Do not disclose your concerns with anyone else
- Ask the person responsible for safeguarding for support yourself if you feel you need it
Dealing with disclosures
The following action should be taken if a child/young person confides in you about being subject to abuse.
- Listen attentively to what the child/young person has to say and take their allegations seriously
- Encourage the child/young person to talk but do not ask leading questions, interrupt or ask the child/young person to repeat themselves. Intrusive questioning could contaminate a subsequent child protection investigation.
- Reassure the child/young person that they have been courageous in speaking to you about this.
- Never promise that you will keep what is said confidential or secret – explain that if you are told something of concern that you will need to let someone know, but you will only tell the people who need to know and can help.
- Establish and maintain an ethos where children/young people feel welcome and are familiar with their environment and are informed of personal (toilets/dressing rooms etc) and emergency arrangements (fire exits, meeting points etc) and any health and safety procedures (first aid etc)
- Always put the care, health, and safety needs of a child/young person first, recognise the individual needs of a child/young person e.g., recognising when a child young person may need a break
- Actively encourage children/young people to be involved in making choices and decisions which directly affect them
- Respect their culture, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation
- Respect their right to privacy and personal space
- Respond sensitively to a child/young person who may appear anxious about participating in certain activities
- Be aware of the vulnerability of some groups of children / young people to being isolated and hurt. For example, those who have learning and physical disabilities or those from minority ethnic groups
- Ensure that children / young people are always supervised. (Licenced chaperone)
- Always work in an open environment (e.g., avoiding private or unobserved situations and unnecessary physical contact with children /young people)
- If you see or suspect abuse of a child/young person, immediately make this known to the person responsible for safeguarding
- Listen carefully to any child/young person who “tells you” that they are being harmed and make a written record (signed, dated and timed) and report immediately to the person responsible for safeguarding
You should never
- Exaggerate or trivialise another’s concerns about a child/young person
- Ignore an allegation or suspicion of abuse in the hope that it will either ‘go away’ or that ‘someone else will deal with it’
- Discuss personal issues about a child/young person or their family with other people except with the person responsible for safeguarding when you are concerned about the child/young persons situation
- Make or encourage any inappropriate remarks or gestures in front of children/young people
- Allow the use of bad language/nudity or any other inappropriate behaviour by a CTC member (or associate) in the presence of a child/young person
- Allow a child/young person to be bullied or harmed in any way by either a member of CTC or by one of their associates
- Allow children/young people to swear or use sexualised language unchallenged, unless it forms part of the organisation’s formal activities
- Engage in sexually provocative games
- Allow others or yourself to engage in touching a child/young person in a sexually provocative manner
Local Contact Information
- First Response Children’s Duty Team. 0116 305 0005 (24 hour phone line)
- Social Care Charnwood Office. Office hours; Monday to Friday- 8.30am to 5pm
- Pennine House, 2 Lymington Street, Loughborough, Leics LE11 1UH. 01509 266641 or 01509 210167
- Out of Office Hours Emergency Duty Team (EDT)
1 Grey Friars, Leicester, LE1 5PH. 0116 255 1606
- Police non emergency 101
- Police emergency 999
- Child Performance and Employment Team. 0116 305 7820
Leicestershire County Council Local Authority Designated officer (LADO). If you are concerned that someone in a position of trust has harmed a child or behaved in a way that they may be unsuitable to be in a position of trust, please contact the LADO. 0116 305 7597 or 0116 305 4532.
Health and safety in the theatre
A risk assessment will be carried out prior to the children using rehearsal or theatre space and risk monitored throughout the production process. Dressing rooms and backstage areas will be assessed to ensure they are safe and comfortable.
CTC members must be aware of the fire evacuation procedure and a register of those present must be kept. No photographic equipment or any devices with a camera will be permitted in the dressing room.
CTC have public liability insurance through NODA.
CTC has a designated person responsible for safeguarding who is in charge of ensuring that the child protection policy is adhered to. The person responsible for safeguarding is Guy Benson and can be contacted at email firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile 07932 080140.
If the person responsible for safeguarding is unavailable, please contact the chairperson or in an emergency contact first response children’s duty team or the police.
In implementing this policy CTC will:
- Ensure that all committee members, chaperones, and volunteers understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children/young people from harm
- Ensure that all committee members, chaperones, and volunteers understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child/young person, or a co-workers conduct towards a child/young person to the person responsible for safeguarding
- The person responsible for safeguarding will refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e., LADO, First Response Children’s Duty Team, Police and or Children’s Social Care)
- Children/Young People, parents and carers will be informed of the person responsible for safeguarding
This policy will be regularly monitored by Guy Benson and will be subject to an annual review, subsequently agreed by CTC.