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ATLAS Child Protection Policy - English only (Published)
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ATLAS Arts

Child Protection Procedures & Codes of Practice

Last updated: February 2021


Contents

        Introduction

  1. Safeguarding Procedures
  1. Definition of children and young people
  2. Statement of values and principles
  3. Designated persons
  4. Code of conduct
  5. Project planning, supervision, risk assessment and risk management
  6. Photographic procedures
  7. Recruitment procedures
  8. Training
  9. Other ATLAS Policies

1.10 Whistle-blowing and complaints procedures

  1. Response Procedures
  1. Responding to a child disclosing abuse
  2. Responding to signs or suspicions of abuse
  3. Responding to allegations of abuse against staff, workers or volunteers
  4. Recording and sharing information
  5. Confidentiality policy and retention and storage of documentation

Appendices

  1. Consent form for the use of photographs and video
  2. Definitions of abuse
  3. What to do if you have concerns about a child’s welfare
  4. What to do if you have concerns about a member of staff or volunteer in relation to child protection
  5. Protection of vulnerable adults
  6. ATLAS guidelines for social networking
  7. ATLAS guidelines for telephone and digital platforms (such as Zoom)
  8. ATLAS guidelines on discipline


Introduction

ATLAS Arts believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. It is our policy to ensure that all participants in workshops, projects, events and other ATLAS activities are protected from physical, sexual and emotional harm whilst taking part.

In order to achieve these safeguards, ATLAS Arts requires all staff, including the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers, artists and anyone working on behalf of ATLAS Arts working with children and young people to follow the Code of Good Practice set out below.

This policy is based on the ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’ approach (GIRFEC) and Creating Safety- Child Protection Guidelines for Scotland’s Arts, Screen and Creative Industries published in 2011 by Creative Scotland.

At the heart of good practice in protecting children lies an understanding of their rights. There are four key principles that should underpin all work with children whether this is within a large organisation or on an individual basis;

  1. The best interests of the child must always be a primary consideration
  2. All children and young people should be treated fairly and with dignity and respect
  3. All children have the right to protection from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  4. All children and young people have the right to express their views on matters that affect them.

Each of the above key principles are derived from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).


1. Safeguarding Procedures

  1.  Definition of children and young people

‘Children and young people’ means anyone up to the age of 18 years, those over 19 years who are receiving services as care leavers (young people who have been ‘looked after’ children), and those between 19 and 25 years with learning difficulties.

  1.  Statement of values and principles

ATLAS believes that:

1.3 Designated persons

‘Designated persons’ are those members of ATLAS staff who have specific responsibility for ensuring effective safeguarding and protection procedures. These are as follows:

Director

Producer

The role of the designated person is to:

Specialist advice and training is made available to designated persons.

1.4        Code of Conduct

All ATLAS staff must:

Staff must not:

1.5  Project planning, supervision, risk assessment and risk management

ATLAS recognises that making arrangements for the proper supervision of children is one of the most effective ways of minimising opportunities for children to suffer harm whilst in our care.

1.5.1   Supervision

1.5.2   Risk assessment in relation to child protection

The principle of risk assessment is to consider:

Once this is done:

Risk assessment and risk management should be carried out for every project and should involve as wide a range of project stakeholders as possible.

1.6  Photographic procedures

1.7  Recruitment procedures

The ATLAS has clearly defined recruitment procedures.  In order to prevent unsuitable people working with children in the organisation, we will ensure that:

1.8  Training

The ATLAS will provide suitable training to all staff and volunteers in the organisation that is relevant to their particular role. This will include:

1.9  Other ATLAS policies

The Child Protection Policy must be read in conjunction with acas’ Equal Opportunities Policy, Complaints and Grievances Policy and Procedures; Disciplinary Policy and Procedures; Health and Safety Policy; Recruitment of Ex-offenders.

Additional recommendations for Health and Safety in arts practice include:

 

  1. Whistle-blowing and complaints procedures

The ATLAS wishes to promote a culture in which staff may express any concerns they may have about a colleague’s behaviour in relation to child protection.

In order to achieve this, staff are encouraged to share any such concerns with a designated person without delay; concerns will be treated seriously and in the strictest confidence. Equally, the ATLAS recognises that a culture in which people are made to feel anxious and vulnerable is undesirable and it will use the Child Protection training course to manage this area sensitively on behalf of all members of staff.

2. Response Procedures

The ATLAS recognises the importance of having clear procedures to enable staff to handle situations where an appropriate response is needed to child protection concern.

Please see Appendix 3 for definitions of abuse.

2.1 Responding to a child disclosing abuse

REMEMBER: It is important that everyone in the organisation is aware that the person who first encounters a case of alleged or suspected abuse is not responsible for deciding whether or not abuse has occurred. That is a task for the professional child protection agencies following a referral to them of concern about a child. If something is divulged to you remember to seek support for yourself. Agencies such as NSPCC and Childline will be able to help you. However anything that has been divulged must be kept confidential.

  1.   Responding to signs or suspicions of abuse

Please see Appendix 4 for a flow chart on what to do in this situation.

2.3 Responding to allegations of abuse against staff, workers or volunteers

Please see Appendix 5 for a flow chart on what to do in this situation.

2.4 Recording and sharing information

In all situations, including those in which the cause of concern arises from a disclosure made in confidence, it is vitally important to record the details of an allegation or reported incident, regardless of whether or not the concerns are shared with a statutory child protection agency.

An accurate note should be made of:

The record should be clear and factual as it may be needed by child protection agencies investigating the incident and may, in the future, be used as evidence in court. Keeping such a record may also help protect the ATLAS.

Please see Appendix 6 for an example checklist for reporting suspected abuse.

2.5 Confidentiality policy, and retention and storage of documentation

As a general rule, all personal information that is acquired or held in the course of working with children and young people should be treated as confidential. Particular care should be taken with sensitive information.

Consideration should also be given to the Data Protection Act 1998 which requires that information is obtained and processed fairly and lawfully; that it is accurate, relevant and not held for longer than is necessary; and kept securely. The ATLAS has a written policy on these matters which is available to those who wish to see it on request.

2.5.1 Handling and Safekeeping of Disclosure Information

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service to help assess the suitability of applicants for positions of trust, the ATLAS complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Disclosures and Disclosure Information.

The ATLAS hold countersignatory codes for the processing of the PVG scheme in Scotland. It will therefore only record the date of a Disclosure and its reference number. It no longer holds any Disclosures itself, as a matter of good practice:


Appendix 1: Consent form for the use of photographs and video (children and vulnerable adults)

In accordance with our child protection policy we will not permit photographs, video or other images of children and young people to be taken without the consent of the guardian /carers and children.

I understand that any contribution may be used to promote the project prior to and after the event and may also be included in documentation of the project.  It should be noted that there is no guarantee that an individual’s image will be used.

I agree that photographs containing either my image or someone I represent, may be used to promote this project; by ATLAS Arts or by the Artist on their websites on Social Media platforms and in an artist’s publication. I understand that the photographs may be distributed in any medium.

Project:

I ………………………..……………….. (guardian/carer) consent to the ATLAS photographing or

videoing ……………………………………………….. (name of child).

Signature:………………………………………………………………Date: ……………………………

I ……………………………………………….. (name of child) consent to the ATLAS photographing or videoing my involvement in ……………………………(event).

Signature: …………………………………………………………….. Date: …………………………


Appendix 2: Definitions of abuse

What is abuse?

Government guidelines in Working Together to Safeguard Children categorises abuse as:

What is physical abuse?

Physical abuse includes hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning or misuse of medications, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after.

What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a person such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on that person’s emotional development. It may involve making the individual feel or believe that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate. It may also involve causing the person to feel often frightened or in danger. It may involve exploitation or corruption.

What is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child or young person is aware of, or consents to, what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. Sexual abuse also includes non-contact activities such as involving children or young people in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Sexual abuse may be same sex or opposite sex, may be by other children, young people or adults. People from all walks of life may be sexual abusers.

What is neglect?

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s or young person’s basic physical and or/psychological needs, likely to result in the severe impairment of the person’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failure to protect a child or young person from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.


Appendix 3: What to do if you have concerns about a child’s welfare


Appendix 4: What to do if you have concerns about a member of staff or a volunteer in relation to child protection


Appendix 5: Protection of vulnerable adults

Definition of a vulnerable adult

A vulnerable adult is someone who is aged 18 years or over who ‘is or may be in need of community care services by reasons of mental health or other disability, age or illness’ and ‘is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation’.

A vulnerable adult may be a person who

It should be noted that disability or age alone does not signify that an adult is vulnerable.

Abuse of adults

Abuse can consist of a single or repeated act of harm or exploitation. It may be perpetrated as a result of deliberate intent, negligence or ignorance. Abuse can be verbal, physical, emotional, psychological, or a result of neglect or an omission to act. Abuse can also occur when a vulnerable adult is persuaded to enter into a financial arrangement or sexual relationship to which they have not, or could not, consent to or understand e.g. as a result of physical or mental incapacity.

What to do if abuse is suspected

If abuse is suspected or reported, employees should act in line with local policies and procedures to:

Appendix 6: ATLAS guidelines for social networking.

Section one for employees of ATLAS

Ground rules and best practice

Concerns to be aware of

             


Section two for freelance practitioners.

Ground rules for freelance practitioners.

Always consult your contact at ATLAS before embarking on any social media activity relating to ATLAS activity.

Never become ‘friends’ with or connect personally with participants, particularly young people under the age of 18 before, during or after your period of work with ATLAS.

Never disclose via social media:

Refrain from using inappropriate language or refer to explicit content or behaviour on a site where you can be identified as an employee of ATLAS. It is an act of gross misconduct to associate the Company name with any explicit material.

Never post a photograph without signed photography permission forms from those included in it – always liaise with the Producer or Director about such permissions.

Never tag individuals in photographs.

ATLAS reserves the right to request that certain subjects are avoided for safeguarding reasons. We may ask you to withdraw certain posts, and remove inappropriate comments.

Appendix 7: ATLAS guidelines for telephone and digital platforms (such as Zoom)

In addition to adhering to social networking guidelines in Appendix 7, all staff and freelancers should ensure the following, when working with children via telephone and Zoom (or similar video / telephone conferencing platforms):

  1. The same child protection guidance and reporting procedures apply, whether meeting online or in person.
  2. 1-1 online meetings or phone calls should be avoided where possible.
  3. Where 1-1 sessions are deemed important or valuable to the project, this should be discussed with the Producer and Director, and risk assessed. Parental permission should be agreed. Your personal phone number should not be shared - use an ATLAS telephone number, or withhold your own number.
  4. An appropriate (non participating) adult should be present during any 1-1 conversations online or via phone with anyone under the age of 18, to ensure safeguarding.

Appendix 8: ATLAS guidelines on discipline

Working with children can be challenging so before commencing work with a group of children be clear in your own mind how you are going to deal with difficult behavior. You should spend time at the beginning of the session (or before the session with the person delivering the workshop/ session) involving the children in considering rules for the activity, how they should be enforced and any sanctions for their infringement. If you are working for a third party ensure you discuss the issue of discipline in advance with someone who knows the children.

During large events, children must be supervised by a parent/ adult caregiver in the venue being used. In public building’s it is in the child’s best interest that they remain supervised at all times.

Young children should not be allowed to move around food or drinks serving or preparations areas freely as this can cause accidents with waiting staff and other customers. Young children should also be accompanied to the toilets by their caregiver.

Any child taking part in an event in the ATLAS office (but not run by ATLAS) without their care giver present (eg a reading group) is the responsibility of the workshop/ activity leader while participating in that activity.  All workshop/ activity leaders have a responsibility to be fully disclosed.

ATLAS staff have an overall responsibility and duty of care for all office users, including children and young people and so must ensure that activities are being carried out in a safe and appropriate way and that children and young people are moving through the building and using the building safely. Any concerns should be noted with the activity leader and also noted formally so that incidents can be followed up.