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SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

Policy statement and aims

The Dulwich Players, an amateur dramatic society, is committed to providing a safe and secure environment in which everyone can come together voluntarily to create drama, and to promoting a climate where everyone will feel confident about sharing any concerns which they may have about their own safety or the well-being of others.

This policy applies to all official activities which are organised and approved by the committee. Such activities can easily be identified as they will be promoted through the Dulwich Players mailing list by our membership secretary. 

Definitions:

Dulwich Players: An amateur dramatic society which meets to prepare, rehearse, produce and perform productions.  The Players also meet and organise social events for its members, potential members and friends and family.

Child: Any person aged 18 years or under.

Vulnerable Adult: s. 2 of the The Police Act 1997 (Enhanced Criminal Record Certificates) (Protection of Vulnerable Adults) Regulations 2002 provides a legal definition. For the purposes of this policy the term is paraphrased as being any person over 18 years who is in need of care and support as they are at risk of experiencing abuse or neglect as they cannot protect themselves from harm or exploitation. 

We aim to safeguard and promote the welfare of children by working with their parents, guardians or support workers,and vulnerable adults by working with their parents, guardians or support workers, to: :

  • protect them from discrimination or maltreatment;

  • ensure they  can engage in enjoyable, creative and collaborative activity in an environment consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;

 

All members of the society known as The Dulwich Players should make it a priority to safeguard any children and vulnerable adults involved in our productions. 

There is a legislative requirement in certain circumstances for children and young people to have a licence to perform if cast in a Dulwich Players production.  The requirement is set out in Appendix 2. If you are directing a play where children are to be performing you should speak to the committee’s safeguarding officer immediately before casting (contact details can be obtained from any committee member).

Guidance when working with children and young people

The guidance given here is of particular relevance for all directors, production managers and organisers of Dulwich Players’ events, although each and every member of the society should make themselves aware of what the following guidance includes and report any concerns to the safeguarding officer. 

We should ensure that:

 

  • A minimum of two adults are present during sessions with children or vulnerable adults.

  • Wherever possible, a parent or guardian or support worker is present.

  • Work takes place in an open environment (e.g. a hall, rather than a smaller room or someone’s  home)

  • We treat all children, and vulnerable adults with equal respect as any other member of the Dulwich Players.

  • We give positive and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism

  • We model appropriate conduct, excluding any bullying, shouting, racism, sexism or sectarianism.

 

Things not to do include:

  • Working with any child or vulnerable adult in a one-on-one situation

  • Using any physical chastisement (except if there is risk of imminent harm to anyone present)  

  • Driving one child or young person home on your own

 

Safeguarding Officer

The current safeguarding officer designated annually by the committee will be the first contact point for the children and young people, parents/carers or any other adults who have questions, concerns. The Safeguarding Officer cannot be a parent, guardian or carer of any child or vulnerable adult to whom this policy relates.  

 

It is this officer’s responsibility, not to make a judgement, but always to take action following any concerns reported in good faith by, in the first instance, contacting the appropriate authorities for advice as necessary. (A concern regarding a child must be reported to the Children’s Services Department of the borough in which he/she lives - see referral numbers below)

 

It is also this officer’s responsibility to inform the parents/carers of the child or young person, unless that will increase the risk of harm to the child or young person, or unless advised not to by Children’s Services personnel.

Police Checks

As a voluntary organisation we do not come under any recognized body for registration, however where possible we prefer those working primarily with children and young people to be subject to an enhanced DBS check either from their employment or from another voluntary organisation.

Photography and the Internet

There have been increasing concerns about the risks posed by the Internet to children and young people through the use of social media and photographs on websites.  To reduce this risk we ensure:

  • If someone is named, avoid using their photograph

  • If a photograph is used, avoid using the full name of the actor

  • Written parent/carer and personal consent is always obtained prior to use or publication of images

 

Advice to adults on the appropriate response to a child or young person making a disclosure of possible abuse

  1. Stay calm.

  2. Listen to what is said.

  3. Find an appropriate opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared – do not promise to keep secrets.

  4. Ask questions for clarification only, and at all times avoid questions that suggest a particular answer.

  5. Give reassurance that the right thing has been done by telling.

  6. Explain what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared.

  7. Record in writing what was said as soon as possible, in the exact words used, – note the date and time, to whom the information was given – and ensure the record is signed and dated.

 

It is important to remember that the person who first encounters a case of possible abuse is not responsible for deciding whether abuse has occurred.  That is a task for the professional Safeguarding agencies (Children’s Social Care), following a referral from the Designated Safeguarding (child protection) Officer.

 

For advice or to make a child protection referral, phone Southwark’s  MultiAgency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 020 7525 1921

 

Referral numbers as follows

 

Southwark 020 7525 1921/1049, 

Lewisham 020 8314 8018/3852

Lambeth 020 7926 6514

Government guidance on this subject can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-performance-and-activities-licensing-legislation

APPENDIX 1

 

 

Consent form for the use of photographs or video (Parents/carers of children or vulnerable adults)

The Dulwich Players recognises the need to ensure the welfare and safety of all children and vulnerable adults in theatre.

 

In accordance with our safeguarding  policy we will not permit photographs, video or other images of children or vulnerable adults  to be taken without the consent of the parents/carers and the children or vulnerable adults themselves. We discourage them from doing so but we cannot guarantee that during our performances photos will not be taken by audience members. 

 

The Dulwich Players will follow the guidance for the use of photographs contained in this policy; a copy of which is available from the Designated Safeguarding Officer.

 

The Dulwich Players will take all steps to ensure these images are used solely for the purposes they are intended.  If you become aware that these images are being used inappropriately you must inform the Safeguarding Officer immediately.

I, ..…………………………...............  (parent/carer) consent to the Dulwich Players photographing or videoing …..………………………………….  in the

production of ………………………………………………./in all productions. Date: ………………

I, ..…………………….……. (child/vulnerable adult ) consent to the Dulwich Players photographing or videoing my involvement in  the production of

 

……………………………………………../all productions. Date: ……………

NOTE :  

All written records, will be stored securely, with limited access, by the Dulwich Players’ committee.

 

Any photograph or video will be used purely to publicise Dulwich Players’ productions and events and not shared with other organisations without further consent of the parent/carer and subject of the material.

    

APPENDIX 2

 

CHILD PERFORMANCE LICENCES

 

If a person aged 18 or less is cast in a Dulwich Players production it may be necessary to obtain a licence to perform.   

 

A licence is not required if performances take place over a period of four days or less, which is the case with the majority of the Dulwich Players productions.  However, if a young person has or is taking part in any additional performances, including school performances, over the period of the past six months, it is likely that a licence to perform will be required.  

 

The licence should be completed and sent at least 21 days before the first performance to the local authority in which the child or young person lives and needs to be completed by both the director and the parents or carers of the young person.

A chaperone, which would be expected to be the child or young person’s parent or carer, must also be nominated on the form and must be available for all performances. The chaperone may not be a parent or carer who is taking part in the production.

 

Guidelines and application forms can be found on the local authority websites. The two main authorities are likely to be Southwark and Lambeth as follows:

 

Southwark: https://forms.southwark.gov.uk/showForm.asp?nc=L953&fm_fid=1777

 

Lambeth: https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/Business-rates-services-and-licensing/licensing-and-permits/Apply-change-or-pay-for-a-licence/Apply-for-a-child-employment-licence/apply-child-performance-licence