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Safeguarding children Policy

At The County Dance Centre we recognise that the welfare of children is of paramount importance. We have a responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of all children and young people we work with and have an explicit duty to do so under the Children Act 1989 and 2004 and the Education Act 2002.

A ‘child’ is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age is living independently, in further education, or working does not change his/ her entitlement to services or protection as a child.

At The County Dance Centre we believe that all children without exception have the right to protection from abuse regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs and that no child, or group of children should be treated any less favourably than others in being able to access the services and support to meet their needs.

All staff and volunteers have a strict duty never to subject a child to any form of harm or abuse. Failure to adhere to these procedures will be treated as gross misconduct.

Children and their parents/ carers who attend The County Dance Centre may view our policy where appropriate and a copy will always be kept on our website.

Designated safeguarding lead:

The designated safeguarding person (DSP) within our organisation is Megan Fage.

As safeguarding lead they have completed additional training to fulfil this role:

  • Designated Safeguarding Lead (Children) V3.0 15/04/2021

The Designated Safeguarding Person will advise members of staff and visitors to The County Dance Centre on best practice and expectations. They will be responsible for the monitoring and recording of any safeguarding concerns and for ensuring that all concerns are shared with the appropriate statutory authorities.

All staff and volunteers at The County Dance Centre should be made aware of this policy and should be able to demonstrate their roles and responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, including how to raise concerns with both children’s social care and the police. Staff and volunteers shall be made aware of this through regular team briefings and when new staff or volunteers start.

Overview of responsibilities:

All staff and volunteers must report all concerns to the designated safeguarding lead at the nearest available opportunity.

It is the responsibility of all staff and volunteers at The County Dance Centre to take steps to protect children, to keep them safe from hazards and to take appropriate action in the event of an accident.

It is the responsibility of all staff and volunteers to take reasonable steps to protect children and young people from harm and abuse while in contact with our organisation and our staff and to report any incident of or suspicion of abuse to the Designated Safeguarding Person or in their absence to the appropriate statutory authority.

All staff working at The County Dance Centre who have contact with children and young people are required to hold a valid, clear DBS check.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people means:

Protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of a child’s health or development, ensuring that children are growing up with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to ensure that children have the best life chances.

At The County Dance Centre we will do this by:

  • Identifying and responding to concerns about a child or young person
  • Providing a safe and happy dance environment
  • Supporting development through dance in a way that fosters a sense of belonging / sense of self/ sense of community/ sense of independence
  • Supporting young people to communicate freely with us, supporting their communication methods, providing time and space to talk
  • Fostering an environment of trust and building appropriate professional relationships

Consent and information sharing:

Issues of consent are essential to effective safeguarding practice. Additional consent must be sought for any activity that is out of the usual parameters of our work. Basic consents for day to day activities will be sought through enrolment process, and appropriate organisational guidance shall be provided to ensure those consenting have clear and transparent information on what they are consenting to.

Significant harm is no exception to this. Before making a referral to Children’s Social Care parents or carers must be informed that you are doing so, including the reasons why and must be asked for consent to do this. It should be noted however that in cases where parents, carers or children do not agree to information being shared you are still able to refer to Children’s Social Care without consent but it is important to explain clearly to social care why consent cannot be established and to make a record of this.

Instances where you may not wish to seek consent are where:

  • Discussion with parents/ carers could place the child or other members of their family at increased risk
  • The child is in immediate danger (e.g. requires medical attention)
  • Having the discussion with parents may put you or another member of staff at risk.

It is often necessary to share information to provide support and prevent impairment or to protect a child from harm. Decisions to share will be appropriate, necessary and proportionate. You must record your decision and the reasons for it, whether or not you choose to share information. If you decide to share you should record what you shared and who you shared with.

Child protection:

Is part of safeguarding children and promoting welfare. It refers to activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.

This is about abuse and maltreatment of a child. Someone may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them, or by others (for example over the internet.) They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child/ children. Abuse may be physical, emotional, sexual, neglectful or multiple types of abuse. Please see appendix A for definitions of types of abuse.

All staff and volunteers should be able to recognise, and know how to act upon evidence that a child’s health or development is being impaired or that the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. All concern about harm must be recorded and shared with the Designated Safeguarding person.

No professional should assume that another will pass on information about the safety of a child. If a professional has concerns about a child’s welfare and believe they are or are likely to suffer significant harm they have a responsibility to inform Children’s social care.

Seeking medical attention:

If a child has a physical injury, and there are concerns of abuse, medical attention should be sought immediately. Any safeguarding concerns should be shared with ambulance or hospital staff and then must be reported to children’s social care.

Nothing should be allowed to delay urgent medical treatment.

Referring a concern and your DSP:

Our Designated safeguarding person will act on behalf of The County Dance Centre in referring concerns or allegations of harm to Children’s social care or the police as appropriate. If the designated safeguarding lead is in any doubt information should be shared with children’s social care for a second opinion. It is not the role of the DSP to investigate only to collate information, clarify details of the concern and facilitate information sharing. In the absence of the DSP the individual who has the concern is responsible for contacting children’s social care and the information should be shared with the DSP retrospectively.

The contact number for children’ social care is 01234 718700 or 0300 300 8123 (out of hours)

Protection of children:

At The County Dance Centre we will make every effort to protect children from harm when they are visiting our setting/ attending our classes. We will do this through:

  • Appropriate recruitment and selection procedures
  • Provision of safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers
  • Ensuring all staff and volunteers hold clear current DBS checks
  • We will take all reasonable steps to ensure health safety and welfare for all those who access our organisation
  • We will take all practicable steps to ensure that no one working with us or for us would put a child in a situation of unreasonable risk to their health and safety.
  • We will not harm or abuse children within our care and will take all reasonable steps to ensure no one working with us or around us within the community could harm or abuse a child in our care.
  • We will ensure good reporting to our DSP and onward to children’s social care where ever we suspect harm and will foster an environment of good communication, transparency and trust.
  • All involved with our organisation will follow our code of conduct
  • Allegations against staff members/ volunteers:
  • If any member of staff has concerns about another member of staff or volunteer at [insert organisation name] such as
  • Believing they have behaved in a way that has harmed or may cause harm to a child
  • Having possibly committed a criminal offence against or relating to a child
  • Behaved toward a child in a way that indicates he/ she is unsuitable to work with children. (This could include both children within the work place, children within the community or their own children).

The allegation or concern should be reported to the manager with responsibility for dealing with allegations immediately. This is Megan Fage.

Neither the member of staff who has raised the concern/ allegation nor the member of staff who is alleged against should be allowed to question children or be part of any further investigation.

The designated manager for The County Dance Centre will report the matter to the Local Authority designated Officer (LADO).

If an allegation or concern arises about a member of staff, outside of their work with children, and this may present a risk or harm to a child/ren for which that member of staff is responsible, the general principles outlined in this policy will still apply.

Staff recruitment:

When recruiting paid staff and volunteers it is important to always follow the process outlined in the safer recruitment policy. This will ensure potential staff and volunteers are screened for their suitability to work with children and young people.

This policy will be reviewed annually.

Date of last review 14-04/2021

Signed Megan Fage (Designated Safeguarding Person)

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