Child Protection Policy

Linlithgow Amateur Musical Productions incorporating LAMP Children’s Theatre (hereafter referred to as the Society) values young people and children as being a vital part of the organisation and desires to see them grow, mature and be challenged in musical theatre in a healthy and safe environment.

Our safeguarding policy

This policy applies to all members and production officials, including Management Committee, paid officials, volunteers and helpers, students or anyone working on behalf the Society.

The purpose of this policy:

  • to protect children and young people who participate in the Societies events. This includes the members of LAMP Children’s Theatre, young people participating in LAMP productions, children of adults who also participate in Linlithgow Amateur Musical Productions, and those who volunteer.
  • to provide members, paid officials and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding and child protection;

The Society believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practise in a way that protects them.

Legal Framework

Linlithgow Amateur Musical Productions incorporating LAMP Children’s Theatre recognizes its duty of care under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, the Child (Performances) Regulations 1968, the Protection of Children Act 1999 and the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003.

The Society recognizes that abuse can take many forms, whether it be physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. The society is committed to practice which protects children from harm. All members of the society accept and recognize their responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause children harm.

The name of the child protection officer for Linlithgow Amateur Musical Productions incorporating LAMP Children’s Theatre is:

Nicola Preston

 

ADDRESS REDACTED – AVAILABLE ON APPROVAL OF SPECIFIC REQUEST

 A copy of this child protection policy will be made available to all playing, non-playing, student and Children’s Theatre members and Friends of the Society. The policy will also be made available to all production officials and volunteers for each production of the Society.

The Society will ensure that:

  • All children will be treated equally and with respect and dignity.
  • The duty of care to children will always be put first.
  • A balanced relationship based on mutual trust will be built which empowers the children to share in the decision making process.
  • Enthusiastic and constructive feedback will be given rather than negative criticism.
  • Bullying will not be accepted or condoned.
  • All adult members of the society provide a positive role model for dealing with other people.
  • Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour.
  • It will keep up-to-date with health & safety legislation.
  • It will keep informed of changes in legislation and policies for the protection of children.
  • It will undertake relevant development and training.

 

Purposes

The purpose of the Society, specifically LAMP Children’s Theatre is to offer its members a safe and welcoming environment where the children can grow and learn in musical theatre. Whether this be through LAMP Children’s Theatre activities or through other independent groups working in partnership with LAMP Children’s Theatre.

Aims

  • To provide musical theatre activities for children theatre members to help them develop in musical theatre to provide support for them.
  • To enable the children to express themselves.
  • To assist the children in integrating and participating in larger groups, and understand how to effectively work together for the greater good.
  • To help children/young people appreciate the diversity of their cultures.

Organisation

  • Each child should be formally registered with the group. The information includes an information/consent form which their parent/guardian must complete, including consent to photography/video for publicity purposes for the Society. These forms have vital information about health and emergency contacts are should be kept securely by the Secretary.
  • Only the Secretary will have access to these registration forms.
  • Only vital health and emergency contact information is to be brought to each session, principally by the Secretary, but a nominated person of the Management Committee (usually the Child Protection Officer) may be responsible for this if the Secretary is not going to be present at rehearsal.
  • An attendance register will be kept for each session.

 

 

Child Protection Officer

The Society will appoint a child protection officer, whose name is available on this policy. If any person has any child safety concerns, they should discuss them with him/her.   He/she will take on the following responsibilities:

  • Ensuring that the policy is being put into practice;
  • Being the first point of contact for child protection issues;
  • Keeping a record of any concerns expressed about child protection issues;
  • Bringing any child protection concerns to the notice of the Management Committee and contacting the Local Authority if appropriate;
  • Ensuring that paid officials and volunteers are given appropriate supervision;
  • Ensuring that everyone involved with the organisation is aware of the identity of the Child Protection Representative.
  • Ensure that any paid officials, management committee and volunteers have an appropriate Volunteer Scotland Disclosure (PVG) Scheme Record or Updated Scheme Record, Standard or Enhanced disclosure specifically for “Linlithgow Amateur Theatre”.

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that it is meeting its aims.

 

Personal/Personnel Safety

  • A group of children or young people under sixteen should not be left unattended at any time.
  • Avoid being alone with an individual child or young person for a long time. If there is a need to be alone with a child or young person (e.g. first aid or he/she is distressed) make sure that another worker knows where you are and why.
  • At no time should a paid official, Management Committee member, volunteer or worker from any external organisation arrange to meet a young person away from the activity without someone else being there.
  • As such, meetings should be planned and have the approval of either the President (or Vice-President in the absence of the President) and Child Protection Officer (this must be someone other than the organiser themselves).
  • Teenage assistants should always be supervised.

 

Parents

The society believes it to be important that there is a partnership between parents and the society. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the activities of the Society and to share responsibility for the care of children.

  • All parents will be given a copy the society’s Child Protection Policy.
  • All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children after rehearsals or performances. It is NOT the responsibility of the Society to take children home.

 

 Unsupervised Contact

The Society 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 minimize risk. For example, work will be carried out in a public area, or in a designated room with a door open.

 

Physical Contact

  • All adults will maintain a safe and appropriate distance from children.
  • Adults will only touch children when it is absolutely 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.

 

Child Safety

  • Make sure that the area being used for activities is fit for the purpose, e.g. remove furniture, which could cause injury during rehearsals.
  • Make sure that all paid officials and volunteers know
    • Where the vital health and emergency contact information is at each session
    • Where the first aid kit is
    • Who is responsible for First Aid and how to record accidents or injuries in the incident book
    • What to do in the event of a fire or other emergency
  • Do not let children go home without an adult unless the parent has specifically said thy may do so. Never let a child go with another adult unless the parent has informed you that this will happen.
  • If private cars are used for an outing, the drivers must be approved by the committee, be properly insured, have rested before driving, and should have clean licenses. There should always be at least one other responsible      person (16 or over) in each vehicle. All vehicles should be fitted with full seatbelts, not just lap belts. Full seatbelts should always be used.
  • Backstage chaperones will be appointed by the society for the care of children during the performances. By law the chaperone is acting in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably    expected to give to a child. The maximum number of children in the chaperone’s care shall not exceed 12
  • No person shall be allowed backstage before, during or after costume rehearsals, technical rehearsals, dress rehearsals of full performances unless they have been issued with and signed for a backstage pass
  • Children will be kept together always except when using separate dressing rooms. Young people involved in LAMP productions will have designated changing areas separate and secluded from adult changing areas.
  • Chaperones will be aware of where the children are always.
  • Children are not to leave the theatre unsupervised unless in the company of their parents or carers.
  • Children and young people under 18yrs will not be allowed to enter the adult dressing rooms.
  • Chaperones should be aware of the safety arrangements and first aid procedures in the venue, and will ensure that children in their care do not place themselves and others in danger.
  • Children should be signed in and out when entering and leaving the theatre and a record made.

Under normal circumstances, paid officials and volunteers should only give a lift home to a young person from group activities if the parents of the young person have specifically asked for them to do so. (If workers are asked to give a young person or child a lift home, they are not obliged to do so, it is left to their discretion).

In the case of trips or outings, it should be made clear if paid officials and volunteers’ cars will be used and where the children or young people will be returned to.

 

New Paid Officials

Paid officials are by far the most valuable resource the group has for working with young people. When recruiting and selecting new paid officials the following steps will be taken:

  • Completion of an application form;
  • An interview by three people from the Management Committee, one of whom must be the President (or Vice-President in the absence of the President) who will take the final decision;
  • Identifying reasons for inconsistencies in the application;
  • Checking of the applicants’ identity (passport, driving license, etc);
  • Taking up references prior to the person starting work;
  • Ensuring criminal record checks have been carried out through Volunteer Scotland
  • Taking appropriate advice before appointing a paid official with a criminal record;
  • Allowing no unaccompanied access to children until all the above have been completed;
  • A probationary period of 3 months for new paid officials
  • On-going supervision of paid officials
  • Ensuring good practice is followed in working with children and young people by providing appropriate guidance

 

Photographs and Social Media

  • Avoid using children’s names in photographic captions.
  • Always use a parental permission form to obtain consent for a child to be photographed/videoed – this consent is gained on the enrolment form
  • Where possible, obtain the child’s permission to use their image.
  • Only use images for the specific purpose which has been agreed with the parents/carers and child. Additional use without specific permission is not acceptable.
  • All images of children must be stored safely and securely. Storing them in limited access files on your computer is advisable.
  • Only use images of children in suitable dress to reduce the risk of inappropriate use. Some activities – including drama – present a greater risk of potential misuse.

 

In the Facebook era photographs can be posted and viewed by millions of people across the globe with virtually no restriction so we need to be sensitive to photographs of cast members. Only take photographs of people backstage if you have their permission to do so.

Only post photographs on Facebook, or other Social Media platforms such as Instagram or Twitter, if you have permission from all those in the photograph to do so (see consent on enrolment form).

 

Managing sensitive information

The society has procedures for the taking, using and storage of photographs or images of children.

  • Permission will be sought from the parents for use of photographic material featuring children for promotional or other purposes via the initial registration form.
  • The society’s web-based materials and activities will be carefully monitored for inappropriate use.
  • The society will ensure confidentiality to protect the rights of its members, including the safe handling, storage and disposal of any sensitive information such as criminal record disclosures.

 

 

 

Child Protection Procedure

 

Child protection is the response to the different ways in which a young person’s or child’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health are damaged by the actions of another person.

 

What you should do

  1. Listen to the child/young person
  2. Look at them directly and do not promise to keep any secrets before you know what they are, but always let the child/young person know if, and why, you are going to tell anyone
  3. Take whatever is said to you seriously and help the child/young person to trust his/her own feelings. Take notes of exactly what is said to you avoiding assumptions and conjecture.
  4. It is not the role of the person who is being informed to investigate any allegations (this would contaminate evidence if a situation went to court). Any disclosure by a child/young person must be reported to the named child protection officer.
  5. Speak immediately to the Local Authority or NSPCC for further advice and guidance.

 

What you should not do

  1. Management Committee, paid officials or volunteers should not begin investigating the matter themselves.
  2. Do not discuss the matter with anyone except the correct people in authority.
  3. Do not form your own opinions and decide to do nothing.

 

Things to say or do:

  • ‘What you are telling me is very important’
  • This is not your fault’
  • ‘I am sorry that this has happened/is happening’
  • ‘You were right to tell someone’
  • What you are telling me should not be happening to you and I will find out the best way to help you’
  • Make notes soon after the event. Try to write down exactly what the young person or child said. Avoid assumptions or conjecture.

 

Things not to say or do:

  • Do not ask leading questions – Why? How? What?
  • Do not say ‘Are you sure?’
  • Do not show your own emotions e.g. shock/disbelief
  • Do not make false promises

 

If a serious allegation is made against any member of the society, paid official, volunteer etc., that individual will be suspended immediately until the investigation is concluded. The individual will be excluded from the theatre, rehearsal rooms etc. and will not have any unsupervised contact with any other children in the production.

 

Recording  

 

In all situations, including those in which the cause of concern arises from a disclosure made in confidence, the details of an allegation or reported incident will be recorded, regardless of if the concerns have been shared with a statutory child protection agency.

 

  • An accurate note shall be made of the date and time of the incident or disclosure, the parties involved, what was said or done and by whom, any action taken to investigate the matter, any further action taken e.g. suspension of an individual, where relevant the reasons why the matter was not referred to a statutory agency, and the name of the persons reporting and to whom it was reported.
  • The record will be stored securely and shared only with those who need to know about the incident or allegation.

 

 

Rights & Confidentiality

 

  • If a complaint is made against a member of the Society, he or she will be made aware of his rights under the Society’s disciplinary and grievance procedures.
  • No matter how you may feel about the accusation, both the alleged abuser and the child who is thought to have been abused have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Remember also that any possible criminal investigation could be compromised through inappropriate information being released.
  • In criminal law the Procurator Fiscal, or other prosecuting authority, must prove guilt and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

Position

Name

Telephone Number

Child Protection Officer

Nicola Preston

07707 583513

NSPCC

 

24hr

Confidential Helpline

 

020 7825 2775

 

 

0808 800 5000

West Lothian

Social Work

 

Livingston Office

 

 

Out-Of-Hours

01506 282252

 

 

01506 281028 or 281029

Police Scotland

 

101