Vulnerable Persons Policy
Every child or young person, defined as any person under the age of 18, who plays or participates with the Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in the Band.
The Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band recognises its responsibilities to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect and bullying. The Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band is determined to meet its obligation to ensure that in providing opportunities for children and young people, we do so to the highest possible standard of care.
The Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band will consider, having taken advice, whether anyone who has previous criminal conviction or caution for offences relating to the abuse of children or young people, violence or any sexual offences should be excluded from working with or associating with children and young people. This position is re-inforced by U.K. legislation and guidance.
Legal and Procedural Framework.
The practise and procedures based on the principles contained within U.K. and International legislation and Government guidance have been designed to complement local Area Child protection Committee (ACPC) procedures and take the following into consideration.
The Children Act 1989
The Protection of Children Act 1999
“Caring for the young and vulnerable”
Home Office guidance for preventing the abuse of trust 1999.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Human Rights act 1998.
Action if there are concerns about the welfare of a child or young person.
The following action should be taken by anyone who has concerns about the welfare of a child or young person in:
- Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band setting.
- The home or other setting.
Non action is not an option in Child Protection.
Female Representative: Georgina Mann.
Male Representative: Andrew Schofield.
1. Concerns about poor practise and possible abuse within the Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band settings
Child abuse can and does occur outside the family setting. Although it is a sensitive and difficult issue, child abuse does occur within many other settings, e.g. social environments. Recent inquiries indicate that abuse, which takes place within a public setting, is rarely a one-off event. It is crucial that those involved with the Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band are aware of this possibility and that all allegations are treated seriously and appropriate actions are taken.
Allegations may also relate to poor practise where an adult’s or peer’s behaviour is inappropriate and may be causing concern to a child or young person. Poor practise includes any behaviour, which infringes an individual’s rights and/or is a failure to fulfil the highest possible standards of care.
Poor practise is unacceptable and will be treated seriously and appropriate actions taken.
Action taken if a child or young person informs you directly that he/she is concerned about someone’s behaviour towards them or action to take if you become aware, through your own observations or through a third party, of possible abuse occurring within a Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band or other setting.
If this happens, you should:
- React calmly so as not to frighten the child or young person
- Tell the child or young person he/she is not to blame and that he/she was right to tell.
- Take what the child or young person has says seriously.
- Ensure the safety of the child or young person – if the child or young person needs medical treatment, take the child or young person to hospital or call an ambulance, inform doctors of concerns and ensure that they are aware that this is or may be a Child Protection issue.
- Avoid leading the child or young person and keep any questions to the absolute minimum necessary to ensure a clear understanding of what has been said.
- Re-assure the child or young person but do not make promises of confidentiality or outcome, which might not be feasible in the light of subsequent developments.
- Parents and carers should be contacted only after advice from Social Services if the concerns relate to them.
You should also continue to follow the Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band procedures outlined below
- Make a full record of what has been said, heard and/or seen as soon as possible.
- Report the concerns to the person in charge or designated person immediately, unless the concern is about the person in charge (see below)
- The person in charge/designated person should be clearly identified in every Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band setting. If the person in charge is not available, or the concern relates to them then report your concerns directly to the Social Services or the Police. These agencies will advise you whether a formal referral to the Social Services is necessary and what further action you may need to take. If you are advised to make a formal referral make it clear to Social Services or the Police that this may be a Child Protection referral.
- Confidentiality should be maintained on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis and relevant documents stored in a secure location.
- Please remember that it can be more difficult for some children to disclose abuse than others. Children from ethnic minorities may have regularly experienced racism, which may lead them to believe ‘white people’, including those in authority roles, do not really care about their well being. They may feel they have good reason to question whether your response will be any different.
Children and young people with disabilities and vulnerable adults may have to overcome additional barriers before they can disclose abuse. There may be communication difficulties and they will almost certainly have had to overcome prejudices from others.
The Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band will support anyone who, in good faith, reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child/young person.
Recording of information, suspicions or concerns
Information passed on to Social Services department or the Police must be as helpful as possible and it may be used in any subsequent legal action, hence the necessity for making a detailed record. The report should, if possible, contain the following information:
- The child’s or young person’s name, address and date of birth
- The nature of the allegation
- A description of any visible bruising or other injuries
- The child or young person’s account, in their own words if possible, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
- Any observations that may have been made by you or to you
- Any times, locations dates or other relevant information
- A clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay
- Your knowledge of and the relationship to the child or young person
Whenever possible, referrals to Social Services Departments should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours.
Keep a record of the name and designation of the Social Services member of staff or Police Officer to whom concerns were passed and record the time and date of the call, in case any follow-up is needed.
Non action is not an option in Child Protection.
What is Child Abuse?
Child abuse is a term used to describe ways in which children or young people are harmed, usually by adults and increasingly by peers. Often these are people they know and trust. It refers to the damage done to a child’s or young person’s physical, mental or emotional health.
Children or young people can be abused within or outside their family, at school or any other environment. Abusive situations arise when adults or peers misuse their power over children or young people.
There are five main forms of abuse:
Physical abuse includes situations where adults:
- Physically hurt or injure children or young people (e.g. by hitting, shaking, squeezing, biting or burning).
- Give children or young people alcohol, cigarettes, inappropriate drugs or poison
- Attempt to suffocate or drown children or young people.
Neglect includes situations in which:
- A child’s or young person’s basic physical needs (e.g. for food, warm clothing) are not met
- children or young people are consistently left alone and unsupervised
In a Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band setting this may occur if children or young people are left alone and unsupervised
Sexual abuse includes situations in which adults/peers use children or young people to meet their own sexual needs through:
- full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, fondling or anal intercourse
- showing them pornographic books, photographs or videos or taking photographs for pornographic purposes.
Emotional abuse includes situations in which:
- there is a persistent lack of love, affection or attention shown to a child or young person
- children are over protected preventing them from socialising
- children or young people are frequently shouted at or taunted.
Bullying is not always easy to define, can take many forms and is usually repeated over a period of time. The three main types are: physical, verbal and emotional. They will all include:
- deliberate hostility and aggression towards a victim
- a victim who is weaker and less powerful than the bully or bullies
- an outcome which is always painful and distressing for the victim
- Treat other band members, including children and young people, with respect and dignity.
- Encourage and support children and young people in the band, but avoid having (or being perceived to have) ‘favourites’.
- In general, avoid being alone with children and young people under 18 who are band members, unless you are their parent or carer.
If it is necessary to be alone with a child or young person:
- Make sure another adult knows where you are and approximately how long you will be
- Invite the child or young adult to bring a friend
- Leave the door open of the room you are in
- Move into the centre of the room so you are in plain view
- Avoid physical contact with children and young people in the band unless it is necessary for a particular activity or if the person in question or someone at risk from them has been, or is about to be injured.
- If physical contact cannot be avoided, seek permission of the child or young person wherever possible and ensure they are comfortable with what you are going to do.
- If a child or young person talks to you about something confidential, ensure that they understand that you will not share the information without their consent except in specific circumstances relating to child protection or safeguarding.
- If you are told or see something regarding a child or young person that causes you to have a safeguarding concern, follow the band safeguarding procedures and contact the Welfare Officer as soon as possible.
- Outside band activities
- Try to avoid contacting children or young people who are band members unless this is via their parents.
- Be aware that children and young people in the band will look up to you; it is important that you model responsible and considerate behaviours associated with appropriate professional/personal boundaries.
- Do not give your personal telephone number or email address to children or young people in the band.
- Do not develop individual friendships with children and young people in the band except as part of a family friendship.
- Be mindful of your use of language during band activities, especially when children and young people are around.
- If you are involved with the band in a teaching or leading capacity, do not, in general, accept, or give, gifts or money to children or young people you work with. If you are presented with a token ‘thank you’ gift from a child, accept it with thanks and inform the Welfare Officer.
- If you wish to present a token gift to a child or young person for a specific reason, this should be discussed and agreed in advance with the Welfare Officer.
Guidelines for trips away and overnight stays organised by the band
Whether using private vehicles or coaches, there will be a requirement to inform parents/guardians of the following information:-
- Outward and return journey times, including any foreseeable stops or breaks in journey.
- The full address of the destination including any landline or fax numbers.
- In the event of any changes to the programme or in an emergency, the parents/guardians are to be contacted and informed of reasons for this. The ‘key representative’ and committee oversee this process.
- The details of the travel company or driver should be made known to parents along with and mobile telephone number of the driver or at least one occupant of the vehicle.
Use of private vehicles:-
If carrying non family members less than 18 years old, the driver must have prior consent from parents/guardians and have undergone a police check.
The full description and registration number of the vehicle is to be made clear to ‘Key Representative’ and Committee.
Where possible Parents or Guardians will accompany their children on band trips. If they cannot, then they must:
- provide full contact details and an additional point of contact in an emergency. These details are held by the ‘Key Representative’ or a band member that is travelling with the child.
- should provide full details of special dietary needs, ailments or allergies or illnesses, including GP details and any emergency numbers. Medication requirements, including access to these supplies. Authority to prescribe medication in normal use or in the case of an emergency. The medical proforma to be completed for each child’s parents and returned to the ‘Key Representative’. A copy to be in the possession of the ‘Key Representative’ or a committee member on trip or over night stay.
When staying in overnight accommodation certain measures are required:-
- Children if sharing must be of same sex.
- No child to share with an adult unless family relationship.
- ‘Appropriate Adults’ (i.e. those that have undergone CRB checks) should be available as a point of contact for any child when away from home. Their room number, location, and any contact telephone numbers to be given to all parties.