Child Protection Policy
BYT recognizes its duty of care to all its members, and is committed to protecting children from harm. All BYT adults accept and recognize their responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues that cause children harm.
BYT believes that:
- The welfare of the child is paramount;
- All children have the right to protection from abuse;
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;
- All committee members and volunteer helpers should be clear on how to respond appropriately.
- BYT will ensure that:
- All children will be treated with dignity and respect
- Bullying will not be accepted or condoned
- Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour
- It will hold a register of every child involved with the group and will retain a contact name and number close at hand in case of emergencies
The BYT Management Committee will appoint a Child Protection Officer (“CPO”), who will hold office during any period of preparation and performance of a show. This person will normally be the Producer for the show currently in preparation.
BYT has child protection procedures, which accompany this policy. This policy will be regularly monitored by the Management Committee and will be subject to annual review.
Child Protection Procedures
At the outset of any production BYT will:
- Undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production process
- Appoint a CPO with designated responsibility for child protection. This person will normally be the Producer for the show currently in preparation
- Apply (if relevant) for Child and Young Persons Act performance licenses from the local authority
- Engage in effective recruitment of chaperones and other individuals with responsibility for children
- 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
BYT believes it to be important that there is a partnership between parents and the group. Parents are encouraged to be involved in BYT activities and to share responsibility for the care of children.
All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children after rehearsals or performances. It is NOT BYT’s responsibility to take children home.
BYT 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 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, and will only touch children when 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 parents for the use of photographic material featuring children for promotional and archival or other purposes.
BYT will handle, store and dispose of sensitive information with care.
Persons involved with a complaint have a right to confidentiality.
Suspicion of Abuse
Any suspicion of abuse must be reported to the CPO. Any grounds to suspect the CPO must be reported to the Chairman or other Officers of the Management Committee.
Any adult or chaperone will be suspended immediately if a serious allegation is made against them, until an investigation is concluded. During that time that person will be excluded from unsupervised activities with children in the production.
Disclosure of abuse
If a child confides in an adult, that adult should remain calm, but not delay taking action. That adult should listen carefully, and only ask questions for clarification (not leading questions). No promise of secrecy should be given, but it should be made clear that the information will be shared with others who should be able to help. The child should be reassured, and told what will happen next. The adult must speak as soon as possible with the CPO. The CPO will liaise with social services or the police if appropriate.
The adult should make a written note of what was said, using the child’s own words, as soon as possible after the disclosure. The date, time, and names mentioned should be noted, and the record dated and signed.
The CPO will keep a record of the allegation or reported incident, including action taken. That record will be stored securely and shared only with those who need to know.
Children will be advised of the clothing and footwear appropriate to the work that will be undertaken.
If a child is injured during a rehearsal or a show, first aid will be administered as deemed necessary with reference to information provided by parents with regard to allergies, etc. The injury will be recorded in the accident book.
If a child joins the production with an obvious physical injury a record of this will be made in the accident book, and counter-signed by the CPO. This record is to avoid any allegation that the child sustained the injury whilst participating in BYT activities.