Child Welfare Policy
The company will ensure that:
• All children will be treated equally and with respect and dignity.
• The duty of care to children will always be put first.
• Bullying will not be accepted or condoned.
• All adult members of the company and senior members are expected to provide a positive role model for dealing with all company members.
• All directors will have regular CRB certificates and all chaperones NCC Licences
• All children under 16 will be licenced to perform by NCC.
• Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour.
• It will keep up-to-date with health & safety legislation.
• It will keep informed of changes in legislation and policies for the protection of children.
• It will undertake relevant development and training if needed.
• It will hold a fact sheet of every child involved with the company and will retain a mobile phone, contact name, and number close at hand in case of emergencies.
The company has child protection procedures which accompany this policy.
The directors at each rehearsal and performance are in charge of ensuring that the child protection policy and procedures are adhered to.
This policy will be regularly monitored by the management team of the company and will be subject to annual review.
CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES
Responsibilities of the Company
At the outset of any production or event 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. In most cases this will be the Artistic Director in charge of rehearsals or a designated chaperone at performances.
• Recruitment of chaperones is from parents involved in the productions and are vetted in consultation with the local licencing officer.
• 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.
All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children to and after rehearsals or performances. It is not the responsibility of the company to take children home.
The Artistic Director in charge of rehearsals will attend the rehearsal 45 mins before it starts in case children arrive early. The Artistic Director will ensure that all children are collected after the rehearsal and remain on site until they are collected. On the rare occasion a parent fails to collect a child the Artistic Director will ensure the child to safely returned home.
The company will ensure that all adults who are permitted unsupervised contact with children will be appropriately vetted, including a criminal records check. At most rehearsals there will be two adults present, the rehearsal pianist (female) and the Artistic Director. Where this is not possible, steps will be taken to minimise risk. For example, work will be carried out in a public area, or in a designated room with a door open.
All adults will maintain a safe and appropriate distance from children. 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
The Company has a policy and procedures for the taking, using and storage of photographs or images of children. 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
Any suspected abuse of a child while in the care of the company will be reported in the first instance to the Artistic Director and a record of what was witnessed kept including the date, time, any names that were involved or mentioned, and who gave the information . The record will be stored securely and shared only with those who need to know about the incident or allegation.
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:
Speak immediately to the person with responsibility for child protection. It is that person’s responsibility to liaise with the relevant authorities, usually social services or the police.