CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

 

Responsibilities of the Company

At the outset of any production involving children the Company will:

  • Undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production process.

  • Identify at the outset the person with designated responsibility for child protection.

  • Engage in effective recruitment of chaperones and other individuals with responsibility for children, including appropriate vetting (if necessary in consultation with the local education authority).

  • Ensure that children are supervised at all times.

  • Know how to get in touch with the local authority social services, in case it needs to report a concern.

 

Parents

The Company believes it to be important that there is a partnership between parents and the Company.  Parents are encouraged to be involved in the activities of the Company and to share responsibility for the care of children. All parents will be given a copy the Company’s Child Protection Policy and procedures. 

 

All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children after rehearsals or performances. It is NOT the responsibility of the Company to take children home.

 

Unsupervised Contact

  • The Company will attempt to ensure that no adult has unsupervised contact with children.

  • If possible there will always be two adults in the room when working with children.

  • If unsupervised contact is unavoidable, steps will be taken to minimize risk. For example, work will be carried out in a public area, or in a designated room with a door open.

  • If it is predicted that an individual is likely to require unsupervised contact with children, he or she may be required to obtain a criminal record disclosure.

 

Physical Contact

  • Adults will only touch children when it is absolutely necessary in relation to the particular activity.

  • Adults will seek the consent of the child prior to any physical contact and the purpose of the contact shall be made clear. 

 

Managing sensitive information

  • Permission will be sought from the parents for use of photographic material featuring children for promotional or other purposes.

  • The Company’s web-based materials and activities will be carefully monitored for inappropriate use.

  • The Company will ensure confidentiality in order to protect the rights of its members, including the safe handling, storage and disposal of any sensitive information such as criminal record disclosures.

 

Suspicion of abuse

  • If you see or suspect abuse of a child while in the care of the Company, please make this known to the chaperone. If you suspect that the chaperone is the source of the problem, you should make your concerns known to the Chair of the Management Committee.

  • Please 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, venue staff etc., that individual will be suspended immediately until the investigation is concluded. The individual will be excluded from the theatre, rehearsal rooms etc. and will not have any unsupervised contact with any other children in the production.

 

Disclosure of abuse

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. Don’t ask questions that suggest a particular answer.

  • Don’t promise to keep it a secret. Use the first opportunity you have to share the information with the. 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.

 

Recording

  • 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 eg. 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. 

 

Accidents

  • To avoid accidents, chaperones and children will be advised of “house rules” regarding health and safety and will be notified of areas that are out of bounds. Children will be advised of the clothing and footwear appropriate to the work that will be undertaken.

  • If a child is injured while in the care of the Company, a designated first-aider will administer first aid and the injury will be recorded in the Company’s accident book. This record will be countersigned by the person with responsibility for child protection.

  • If a child joins the production with an obvious physical injury a record of this will be made in the accident book. This record will be countersigned by the person with responsibility for child protection. This record can be useful if a formal allegation is made later and will also be a record that the child did not sustain the injury while participating in the production.

 

 

Chaperones

  • Chaperones will be appointed by the Company for the care of children during the production process. By law the chaperone is acting in loco parentisand should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give to a child. The maximum number of children in the chaperone’s care shall not exceed 12.

  • During performances, chaperones will be responsible for meeting children at the stage door and signing them into the building.

  • Chaperones will be aware of where the children are at all times.

  • Children should be signed out when leaving and a record made of the person collecting.

  • If a parent has not collected the child, it is the duty of the chaperone to stay with that child or make arrangements to take them home.

 

 

Chris Ingley – Child Protection Officer 

Toffe Apple Productions Limited 5 St Cuthbert Street, Bedford , MK40 3JB

Based on the Model Child Protection Policy produced by NODA

 

 

Reviewd  August 2018