Safeguarding Vulnerable Young People

  1. INTRODUCTION

 

The Maddermarket Theatre recognises that they have a duty of care towards children and young people under the age of eighteen if ever they are in our charge to protect them from physical, emotional and sexual abuse or harm and ensure their well-being.  The Maddermarket Theatre seeks to comply with the County of Norfolk’s local Safeguarding Children’s Board in promoting good working practices that safeguards children and promotes their welfare.

 

It is a requirement that any member of the Maddermarket Theatre staff or any volunteer working on behalf of the Maddermarket Theatre has the responsibility to pass on information and concerns regarding a child or young person who may have been, or is likely to be, harmed or abused.

 

The designated Young Persons Protection Officer is:  the Education Officer

 

The Maddermarket Theatre’s Young Persons Protection Officer is responsible for:

 

*  Monitoring & recording concerns

*  Making referrals to Social Services without delay

*  Liaison with other agencies

*  Arranging appropriate training for all staff

 

  1. VETTING AND TRAINING

 

All Maddermarket Theatre staff are interviewed, referenced and undergo Disclosure & Barring Service Check to an enhanced level under the Disclosure & Barring Service for roles that come into contact with children and young persons.

 

Appropriate training is available to staff and volunteers undertaking direct work with children and young people to make them aware of child protection issues and proper reporting procedures.  This is reviewed at regular intervals.

 

The Maddermarket Theatre has recruitment policies for both staff and volunteers which seek to ensure that the well-being of children and young people is maintained.

 

The Maddermarket Theatre acknowledges and accepts the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the principles of the Children Act 1989 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

 

We will:

*  treat all children with respect and celebrate their achievements

*  carefully recruit & select all adults whether paid or voluntary

*  respond to concerns and allegations appropriately

 

When any adult has concerns about the welfare of any child/ young person then he/she is expected to share those concerns with the Young Persons Protection Officer. 

 

  1. CONFIDENTIALITY:

 

In cases of disclosure of abuse, by either children or parents, we are obliged to share the information and refer our concerns to Social Services.

 

  1. STAFF ALLEGATIONS:

 

Concerns about the behaviour of an adult/s in our organisation will be referred without delay to the Young Persons Protection Officer who will contact Social Services or the police as appropriate.

 

  1. WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A DISCLOSURE

 

  • Never guarantee absolute confidentiality, as Child/Young Person’s Protection will always have precedence over any other issues.

 

  • Listen to the child/young person, rather than question him or her directly.

 

  • Offer him/her reassurance without making promises, and take what the young person says seriously.

 

  • Allow the young person to speak without interruption.

 

  • Accept what is said – it is not your role to investigate or question.

 

  • Do not overreact.

 

  • Alleviate feelings of guilt and isolation, while passing no judgement.

 

  • Advise that you will try to offer support, but that you must pass the information on.

 

  • Explain what you have to do and whom you have to tell.

 

  • Use the child/young person’s words or explanations – do not translate into your own words, in case you have misconstrued what the child/young person was trying to say.

 

5.1     Record any discussion or actions taken, in ink, within 24 hours.  Details must include as far as practical:

 

  • Name of child or young person
  • Age
  • Home address (if known)
  • Date of Birth (if known)
  • Name/s and address of parent/s with parental responsibility
  • Telephone numbers if available
  • Is the person making the report expressing their own concerns, or passing on those of somebody else?  If so, record details.
  • What has prompted the concerns? Include dates and times of any specific incidents.
  • Has the child or young person been spoken to? If so, record details.
  • Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser?  If so, record details.
  • Who has this been passed on to, in order that appropriate action is taken? E.g. designated Child/Young Persons Protections Officer within the School or Social Services etc.
  • Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details.

 

All records, information and confidential notes should be kept in separate files in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.  Only the designated persons will have access to these files.

 

The designated person/s (DP) will inform the Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS) on 0344 800 8021 immediately.  They will be put through to a Social Worker who will take all of the relevant details.  DP will make sure we are prepared with full details of the child and family (see above), plus what our concerns are, details of any support we have provided to the child/family and what  would like to happen.  DP will ensure we gain consent from the parent/carer unless to do so would place the child at further risk of harm or undermine a criminal investigation. If we have not sought consent from the parent/carer we will inform the CADS worker of this and the reason for this.

 

The CADS worker will agree a way forward with us and keep us informed.  They will send us a written record of our conversation within 5 working days.  The outcomes could include a full referral to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) for further investigation, the Police, or for work with Early Help.  We will not investigate and will be led by the Local Authority and/or the Police.

 

Full details on this process can be found at www.norfolklscb.org under ‘How to Raise a Concern’.

 

We understand if we are unhappy about a decision made by CADS or MASH we can use the Resolving Professional Disagreements policy on www.norfolklscb.org and contact the Safer Programme for more advice on this process.