Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

Policy and Guidelines for Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

Designated Safeguarding Lead - Jade Cook

jade@spectrumca.co.uk

Contents
The Scope of this policy

The purpose of this document is to set out the Spectrum Community Arts Safeguarding Policy to fulfill Spectrum Community Arts’ commitment to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults.

1. Introduction
 

Spectrum Community Arts Ltd aims to provide performing arts workshops for people with disabilities and additional needs to help develop self-esteem, self-expression and find a safe place they feel they can be themselves.

Spectrum Community Arts Ltd recognises that all participants are vulnerable due to their age and disability/additional needs to abuse by others. The purpose of this policy is to make sure that the actions of any adult in the context of the work carried out by the organisation are transparent and safeguard and promote the welfare of all.

All staff, directors, volunteers and service users are required to adhere to the procedures within this document as this will ensure that they are enabled to make informed and sensible responses to safeguarding issues.  This policy has been read in conjunction with Work Together (2015) and should be in conjunction with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board policies and Procedures.

The aim of this policy is to provide clarity to all who work within Spectrum Community Arts Ltd on how to safeguard and promote the welfare of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults.  It is designed to ensure that if there are any concerns that they are dealt with promptly and appropriately.  Concerns might relate to:

  1. Any child Spectrum Community Arts Ltd has direct or indirect contact with or knowledge about

  2. The conduct or behaviour of any Spectrum Community Arts Ltd personnel, whether paid or voluntary

  3. The conduct or behaviour of other professionals/people/parents or carers in contact with our clients

For the purposes of this policy: definition of a child is: a person who is under the age of 18 and the definition of a vulnerable adult is: ‘A person aged 18 years or over who is or maybe in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; AND Who is or maybe unable to take care of herself, or unable to protect herself against significant harm or exploitation.’

2. General Guidelines
 
  • We aim to create an environment that is safe for children and vulnerable adults. We will do so by providing clear guidance for the staff in knowing what is expected and how they can ensure the safety of the participants.

  • The rights, wishes and feelings of children, young people and vulnerable adults and their families will be respected and listened to. All staff and volunteers will be made aware that keeping safe from harm may require people who work with children and vulnerable adults to share information. See the Information Sharing: Practitioners Guide published by the DfES.

  • Staff, directors and volunteers will implement this policy using the following guidelines when conducting work that involves children and vulnerable adults. This will protect the safety and well-being of the children and vulnerable adults and that of our own team.

  • All policies will be reviewed annually or earlier as the need arises.

  • Staff/volunteers are trained to work with children/young people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, emotional difficulties and behavioural needs. Spectrum Community Arts Ltd is not able to accommodate violent or aggressive behaviour in class that poses a physical threat. If a child or vulnerable adult poses a risk to themselves, other students, volunteers or staff, we reserve the right to reassess their participation in class which may lead to permanent exclusion. We aim to keep all parties safe and decisions will be made in collaboration with the Spectrum Community Arts Ltd team, directors, other professionals and where appropriate parents in order to maintain the physical safety of all involved.

  • The welfare of children and vulnerable adults is paramount. All children and vulnerable adults have a right to be protected and any suspicion or concern of abuse/mistreatment or neglect will be dealt with immediately and appropriately. All staff and volunteers are aware that it is their duty to report any concerns regarding a children and vulnerable adults’ welfare to the appropriate Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Spectrum Community Art Ltd’s Designated Safeguarding Lead is Jade Cook; Proprietor and lead facilitator.

07741 280382

jade@spectrumca.co.uk

3. Identifying and Reporting Abuse/Safeguarding Concerns
 

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child and/or vulnerable adults. Somebody may abuse or Neglect a child and/or vulnerable adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children and vulnerable adults may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

There are different forms of abuse namely:

  • Emotional - Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child or vulnerable adult such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the person's emotional development. It may involve conveying to children and vulnerable adults 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. These may include interactions that are beyond the child's developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children and vulnerable adults 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 and/or vulnerable adult though it may occur alone.

 

  • Physical - 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 a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child or vulnerable adult.

 

  • Sexual - Sexual Abuse involves forcing or enticing a child, young person and/or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the person is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape or buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children and vulnerable adults in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children and vulnerable adults to behave in sexually inappropriate ways

 

  • Neglect - Neglect is the failure to meet a child's and/or vulnerable adult basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

    • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)

    • protecting someone from physical and emotional harm or danger

    • ensure adequate supervision(including the use of inadequate care-givers)

    • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include Neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's and/or vulnerable adult basic emotional needs.

The facilitators, DSL or directors will be as open and honest as possible with parents/carers about any concerns. However, they MUST NOT discuss concerns with parents/carers in the following circumstances:

  • where Sexual Abuse or sexual exploitation is suspected

  • where organised or multiple abuse is suspected

  • where there are concerns a child may be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation

  • where fabricated or induced illness (previously known as Munchausen Syndrome by proxy) is suspected

  • where contacting parents/carers would place a child, yourself or others at immediate risk

 

Recognising abuse is not easy or straightforward and it is not the responsibility of Spectrum Community Arts Ltd personnel to decide whether a child is being abused - the responsibility lies with safeguarding professionals to whom the referral is made.

4. What to do if Children and Vulnerable Adults Talk to you about Abuse or Neglect
 

It is recognised that a child and/or vulnerable adult may seek you out to share information about abuse or Neglect, or talk spontaneously individually or in groups when you are present.  Achieving good outcomes for individuals it requires all personnel at Spectrum Community Arts Ltd to work together according to an agreed plan of action.  In these situations, YOU MUST:

 

  • Listen carefully to the child and/or vulnerable adult. DO NOT directly question the child

  • Give the child and/or vulnerable adult time and attention.

  • Allow the child and/or vulnerable adult to give a spontaneous account; do not stop a child who is freely recalling significant events.

  • Make an accurate record of the information you have been given taking care to record the timing, setting and people present, the child's and/or vulnerable adult’s presentation as well as what was said. Do not throw this away as it may later be needed as evidence.

  • Use the child's and/or vulnerable adult’s own words where possible.

  • Explain that you cannot promise not to speak to others about the information they have shared - do not offer false confidentiality.

  • Reassure the child and/or vulnerable adult that: they have done the right thing in telling you; they have not done anything wrong.

  • Tell the child and/or vulnerable adult what you are going to do next and explain that you will need to get help to keep him/her safe.

  • DO NOT ask the child and/or vulnerable adult to repeat his or her account of events to anyone.

  • If you have a Child and/or vulnerable adult protection concern you should consult the safeguarding lead about your concerns.

5. Consult about your concern
 

It is good practice to ask a child and/or vulnerable adult why they are upset or how a cut or bruise was caused, or respond to a child and/or vulnerable adult wanting to talk to you. This practice can help clarify vague concerns and result in appropriate action.

Consultation is not the same as making a referral but should enable a decision to be made as to whether a referral to Social Care or the Police should progress.

If you are concerned about a child and/or vulnerable adult you must share your concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. This person is JADE COOK.

You can contact Jade on 07741 280382 or email jade@spectrumca.co.uk

If the DSL is implicated in the concerns you should discuss your concerns directly with social services or the Police.

You should consult with your local Social Care Duty & Investigation Team in the area where the child and/or vulnerable adult resides, in the following circumstances:

 

  • when you remain unsure after internal consultation as to whether child and/or vulnerable adult protection concerns exist

  • when there is disagreement as to whether child and/or vulnerable adult protection concerns exist

  • when you are unable to consult promptly or at all with your designated internal contact for child and/or vulnerable adult protection

  • when the concerns relate to any member of the organising committee

6. Important Numbers
 
  • Central Beds LADO:

0300 300 5026

  • MK MASH:

01908 253169 

7. Making a Referral
 

If a referral needs to be made, the DSL will act immediately following the guidelines set out below. However, if the DSL is implicated in the concerns, you must follow these guidelines yourself.

A referral involves giving Social Care 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.

Parents/carers 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 Social Care about how and when the parents should be approached and by whom.

  • If your concern is about harm or risk of harm from a family member or someone known to the children and/or vulnerable adults, you should make a telephone referral to the Social Care Duty & Investigation Team in the area where the child and/or vulnerable adult resides.

  • If your concern is about harm or risk of harm from someone not known to the child and/or vulnerable adult family, you should make a telephone referral directly to the Police.

  • If your concern is about harm or risk of harm from an adult in a position of trust see Section 12: Allegations Against Adults Who Work With Children.

  • If your concern is that a child and/or vulnerable adult or their family need additional help or support, you should contact the appropriate Locality Team.

Information required when making a referral

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.

 

  • Your name, telephone number, position and request the same of the person to whom you are speaking.

  • Full name and address, telephone number of family, date of birth of child and/or vulnerable adult and siblings.

  • Gender, ethnicity, first language, any special needs.

  • Names, dates of birth and relationship of household members and any significant others.

  • The names of professionals known to be involved with the child/family and/or vulnerable adult e.g.: GP and School.

  • The nature of the concern; and foundation for the concern.

  • An opinion on whether the child may need urgent action to make them safe.

  • Your view of what appears to be the needs of the child and/or vulnerable adult and their family.

  • Whether the consent of a parent with Parental Responsibility has been given to the referral being made.

 Action to be taken following the referral

  • Ensure that you keep an accurate record of your concern(s) made at the time.

  • Put your concerns in writing to the Social Care Duty & Investigation Team following the referral (within 48 hours)

  • Accurately record the action agreed or that no further action is to be taken and the reasons for this decision.

8. Allegations against Adults who work with Children and/or vulnerable adults
 

If you have information which suggests an adult who works with children and vulnerable adults (in a paid or unpaid capacity) has:

 

  • behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child and/or vulnerable adult.

  • possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a child and/or vulnerable adult.

  • behaved towards a child/children and/or vulnerable adult/s in a way that indicated s/he is unsuitable to work with children and/or vulnerable adults.

 

You should speak immediately with your safeguarding lead. This person will consult with/make a referral to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) via the local social services department.  If the concern is in regard to the Safeguarding Lead please contact the LADO directly yourself.

If one of those people is implicated in the concerns you should discuss your concerns directly with the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer).

If you experience or are subject to any form of abuse via any form of ICT communications we take this matter very seriously and all and any incidences are required to be reported immediately.

9. Reporting Flow Chart
 
10. Safeguarding Practices re: Conduct by Staff/Volunteers/Directors
 

The term 'team member' is hereby defined as anyone working under contract agreement or voluntarily with Spectrum Community Arts Ltd.

  • All team members supporting children and vulnerable adults will be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) before beginning involvement with Spectrum Community Arts Ltd after their taster session. Team members on a taster session must be accompanied by a DBS checked team member at all times.

  • All team members will receive a copy of the organisation’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy. This forms part of their induction training.

  • All team members will receive training to enable them to work safely with the children as well as training on how to deal with child protection issues that may arise. There is an expected responsibility for all members of the organisation to respond to any suspected or actual abuse of a child in accordance with this training. Team members will receive annual awareness training. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will, every 3 years, attend accredited training.

  • Team members need to be alert to the potential abuse of children and vulnerable adults.

  • All team members will maintain good practice with the children. This will be ensured by:

    • Not meeting or communicating (including connecting on social media platforms) with participants outside of the designated activity times unless written consent is given by the parent/carer

    • Not sharing inappropriate information with the participants

    • Never using demeaning, belittling or sexual language with the participants

    • Treating all the participants with dignity and respect

    • Ensuring that all team members know the name of the designated safeguarding lead

    • Never being alone with a participant. When showing participants to the toilet or out of the building team members will always work in pairs

    • Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment.

    • Keeping a written record of any incident that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.

    • Not transporting participants in their cars

    • To not kiss or hug children

    • Engage in rough or sexually provocative games

    • Inviting or allowing children in your home

    • Letting allegations made by anyone, go unacknowledged, unresolved or not acted upon

  • When recruiting and training staff/volunteers the following will be addressed:

    • All volunteers/staff will complete an application form. The application form will elicit information about an applicant's past and a self-disclosure about any criminal record.

    •  An enhanced DBS application will be completed.

    • Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children, where appropriate.

    • Safeguarding procedures are explained and training needs are identified.

    • They must sign Spectrum Community Arts Ltd’s Confidentiality agreement and read and sign that they have understood the child protection and safeguarding policy.

11. Safeguarding Practices re: Parents/Carers and Other Organisations
 
  • It is the responsibility of the parent/carer and other organisations to ensure that Spectrum Community Arts Ltd has all relevant information concerning the children and/or vulnerable adults with whom we work.

  • When enrolling at Spectrum Community Arts Ltd parent/carers are required to complete a registration form before their first session and to keep Spectrum Community Arts Ltd informed of any changes.

  • Upon registration, parent/carers will be made aware that if participants need help with toileting a parent/carer MUST stay on site during our weekly clubs. If a participant that requires help with toileting is attending the day camps – a thorough action plan must be created between Jade Cook, team leader of the participant and the parent/carer prior to the day and agreed with the directors.

  • No parents to be left alone with other children whilst in the care of Spectrum Community Arts Ltd unless permission has been given.

  • An agreement between Spectrum Community Arts Ltd and host organization is to be signed when delivering within the host setting. The partnership agreement states clearer where the responsibility of the safeguarding lies. The host setting will inform Spectrum Community Arts Ltd of the name of the DSL.

12. Use of photographic & filming equipment
 
  • Parents/carers choose to sign consent for participants’ pictures and videos to be used online and within our marketing upon registration. At any time, this consent can be withdrawn.

  • No photography or filming is permitted during classes by parents/carers.

  • All photos and videos will be stored securely.

  • At in house Spectrum Community Arts Ltd performances, photos and filming will be prohibited if anyone at the event hasn’t given photo consent.

  • At Spectrum Community Arts Ltd public performances, audience members may take photography/film of dancers, staff, and anyone else on the stage/at the event. If a situation arises where a parent/team members/dancer or other adult asks a member of the public to stop taking photography/filming and that person refuses to do so, then it could become an offence.

13. Peer on Peer Abuse
 
  1. Spectrum Community Arts Ltd recognise that children and vulnerable adults are capable of abusing their peers. All peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously.

  2. it may be appropriate to regard a childs/vulnerable adults behaviour as abusive if:

  • There is a large difference in power (for example age, size, ability, development) between the young people concerned; or

  • The perpetrator has repeatedly tried to harm one or more other children; or

  • There are concerns about the intention of the alleged young person.

  • If the evidence suggests that there was an intention to cause severe harm to the victim, this should be regarded as abusive whether severe harm was actually caused.

  • Abuse is abuse and should not be tolerated or passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”

 

Procedure for Dealing with Allegations of Peer on Peer Abuse

  1. Spectrum Community Arts Ltd personnel must look at each case as a unique case and consider that both the victim and perpetrator are children/vulnerable adults and need to be supported.

  2. If there is a safeguarding concern the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) should be informed. A factual record should be made of the allegation. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will follow through and make a referral where appropriate. If the allegation indicates that a potential criminal offence has taken place, the police will become involved.

  3. The safety of both children/vulnerable adult involved is paramount, children/vulnerable adult should be separated during this period and support offered to both children/vulnerable adult.

14. Information Sharing
 

Sharing of information unpins integrated working and is a vital element of both early intervention and safeguarding.  When sharing information the following guidelines should be followed:

  1. Remember that the Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing information but provides a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately.

  2. Be open and honest with the person (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.

  3. Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible.

  4. Share with consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, that lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case.

  5. Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions.

  6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.

  7. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.

15. Preventing Radicalisation
 

Spectrum Community Arts Ltd celebrates difference and welcomes all belief systems, cultures and ethnicities. Spectrum Community Arts Ltd’s values support tolerance and acceptance of difference. Any hate or behaviour/opinion which attempts to radicalise or demean other’s beliefs or values will be noted as a safeguarding issue and reporting will follow the normal procedures.

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