SAFEGUARDING POLICY

Urban Young Actors is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, providing a safe and secure environment for its members. Children are defined as everyone under the age of 18.

In line with the Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) government guidance, Urban Young Actors takes a child-centered and coordinated approach to safeguarding. We are committed at all times to take considered steps to act in the best interest of the children that we work with.

Responsibilities:

  • To ensure that the welfare of children is paramount, regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, heritage, language, religion and/or sexual identity
  • To keep children and young people safe by valuing them, listening to them and respecting them at all times
  • To provide a safe and secure environment for children and staff, applying relevant health and safety measures to achieve this
  • To create and maintain an anti-bullying environment and to deal appropriately and effectively with any bullying that could occur
  • To act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse
  • To promote and maintain an environment where children feel confident about sharing any concerns which they may have about their own safety or the well-being of others
  • To share concerns and relevant information with the relevant agencies, and involve children, young people, parents and guardians appropriately
  • To take all reasonable steps to promote best practice and protect children from harm, abuse, discrimination and exploitation
  • To prevent impairment of children’s mental and physical health
  • To ensure that recruited staff undergo all necessary checks, and require that all members of staff who come into contact with children have an enhanced DBS
  • To record and store all sensitive information about our members and their families professionally and securely
  • To ensure that all staff and crew who don’t necessarily have close contact with children but who are assisting in any aspect of Urban Young Actors (i.e. as chaperones for theatre trips and Urban Young Actors screen and stage productions, film crew for Urban Young Actors projects, guest workshop facilitators) are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities

As a business, we recognise:

  • The welfare of a child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children’s Act 1989
  • that everyone who comes into contact with our members has a responsibility in, and, as such, all practitioners should ensure that their approach consistently prioritises the best interests of the child
  • That no single member of staff, be they permanent or casual, can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances. If children are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a responsibility in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action if and when necessary

Safeguarding Structure

Responsibilities in responding to a safeguarding concern about a child

To receive: Listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief, to accept what is being said without judgement and to take it seriously.

To reassure: Reassure the child, but only so far as is honest and reliable. To reassure the child that they did nothing wrong and that what they’ve said is taken seriously. To tell the child that we have a duty to tell some people, but only those whose job it is to protect children. To acknowledge how difficult it must have been to talk.

To react: Listen quietly, carefully and patiently without speculating or jumping to conclusions. To refrain from investigating, interrogating or deciding whether or not the child is telling the truth. To communicate with the child in a way that is appropriate to their age, understanding and preference. To explain what you must do next and whom you must talk to.

To record: Make some very brief notes at the time and write them up in detail as soon as possible. To record the date, time, place, words used by the child. To record the actual words used; including any swear words or slang. Record statements and observable things as fact and not opinion.

Further safeguarding responsibilities:

  • To report the concern in a timely manner
  • If the child is in immediate harm to call the local safeguarding officer or, if out of hours, the police on 999
  • If the child isn’t at immediate risk to call the local safeguarding officer straight away or, if out of hours, first thing in the morning.
  • If there is a concern, or a disclosure, that a child or a young person is at risk or is being abused to contact Leicester Council’s Children’s Social Care team
  • If a child is at immediate risk, to call 999, or the police on 101
  • If unsure how best to proceed and advice needs to be sought, to contact the LSO, the police on 101 or the NSPCC

Procedures and responsibilities for safeguarding allegations against staff or volunteers

The following procedures will be applied if there is an allegation that a person who works with children has:

  • Behaved in a way which has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way which indicates that he/she is unsuitable to work with children

In the event of allegations being made against an employee UYA has a dual responsibility in respect of both the child/young person and employee.

Two separate procedures must be followed:

I.   In respect of the child/young person the process detailed above under ‘Safeguarding Structure’ will be followed

II. In respect of the staff member against whom the allegation is made the below process will be followed:

  1. UYA will make formal contact with the NSPCC. The NSPCC are responsible for providing instruction in the event of an allegation of abuse or suspicious behaviour made against a staff member.
  2. UYA is legally required to alert the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children and young people has:
    a. Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child/children and/or a young person/young people;
    b. Possibly committed a criminal offence against a child/children and/or a young person/young people;
    c. Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable for such work.
  3. The LADO will instruct UYA on procedure and what information may be shared with the person who is the subject of an allegation. UYA and LADO will decide, in consultation with the Police and/or any other relevant agencies, what may be shared in situations that may possibly lead to a criminal investigation.
  4. Subject to advice from the LADO, and to any consequent restrictions on the information that can be shared, UYA will, as soon as possible, inform the accused person about the nature of the allegation, how enquiries will be conducted and the possible outcome. In all instances UYA will seek to ensure that any staff member is treated fairly and honestly and that they are supported to understand the concerns expressed and processes involved. They will be kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation and the implications for any disciplinary or related process. Contact details for Leicester’s LADO are provided below:

Leicester City Council LADO

Tel: 0116 454 2440

Email: [email protected]

Leicestershire County Council LADO

LADO Allegations Line: 0116 305 4141

LADO Allegations Email: [email protected]

© Copyright - Urban Young Actors Ltd - All Rights Reserved (2020)