Child Protection Policy

1306

How we safeguard the children and young people we work with

We in This is Creative Enterprise (TICE) are committed to a practice, which protects children from harm.

Staff, mentors and volunteers in this organisation accept and recognise our responsibilities to develop awareness of issues, which cause children and young people harm.

We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by adopting child protection guidelines through a code of behaviour for staff and volunteers:

  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers.
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
  • Following carefully the procedures for recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training

We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice at regular intervals.

The aims of this policy are:

  • To ensure a safeguarding culture is developed within the organisation so that young people’s welfare and safety is paramount at all times.
  • To ensure all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse whilst engaged in This is Creative Enterprise activities.
  • TICE staff and mentors feel informed and supported in their work-related connections with young people and TICE’s reputation is enhanced and safeguarded.
  • To provide an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, and feel confident, and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties, believing they will be effectively listened to and that their concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon.
  • To raise the awareness of all TICE’s staff and mentors of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
  • To emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff.
  • To develop a structured procedure within ‘This is Creative Enterprise; which in cases of suspected abuse will be followed by all members of the organisation.
  • To ensure that all staff working within TICE who have substantial access to children have
    been checked as to their suitability, including verification of their identity, qualifications, and a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and a central record is kept for audit purposes.
  • TICE is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. We will take a
    considered and sensitive approach in order that we can support children and recognise that each child’s welfare is of paramount importance. We will establish and maintain an ethos where:-

    • All staff are encouraged to maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” where safeguarding is concerned.
    • Through training and awareness with schools and TICE staff and other key identified
      individuals at TICE will know how to recognise indicators of concern, how to respond to a disclosure from a child and how to record and report this information,
    • TICE will work in partnership and endeavour to establish effective working relationships with schools, parents/carers and colleagues from other agencies.

This is Creative Enterprise recognise that some children may be especially vulnerable to abuse. Additional barriers can exist, for example, when recognising abuse and neglect for children with Special Educational Needs

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR

Statement of Intent
It is the policy of This is Creative Enterprise to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from all forms of abuse including physical, emotional and sexual harm. This organisation is committed to creating a safe environment in which young people can feel comfortable and secure while engaged in any of This is Creative Enterprise’s programmes, training events or workshops. Personnel should at all
times show respect and understanding for individual’s rights, safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the ethos and principles of This is Creative Enterprise.

Guidelines for all TICE staff and volunteers:

ATTITUDES
Staff and volunteers should be committed to:

  • Treating children and young people with respect and dignity.
  • Always listening to what a child or young person is saying
  • Valuing each child and young person
  • Recognising the unique contribution each individual can make
  • Encouraging and praising each child or young person

BY EXAMPLE
Staff and volunteers should endeavour to:

  • Provide an example, which we would wish others to follow
  • Use appropriate language with children and young people and challenge any inappropriate language used by a young person or child or an adult working with young people.
  • Respect a young person’s right to privacy

ONE TO ONE CONTACT
Staff and volunteers should:

  • Not spend excessive amounts of time alone with children, away from others
  • In the unlikely event of having to meet with an individual child or young person make every effort to keep this meeting as open as possible.
  • If privacy is needed, ensure that other staff are informed of the meeting and its whereabouts

PHYSICAL CONTACT
Staff and volunteers should never:

  • Engage in sexually provocative or rough physical games, including horseplay
  • Do things of a personal nature for a child or a young person that they can do for themselves. If such an incident arises, for example, where a child or young person has limited mobility, TICE staff should seek a member of school staff or leader of the youth organisation to deal with such an incident
  • Allow, or engage in, inappropriate touching of any kind

GENERAL
Staff and volunteers should:

  • Be aware that someone might misinterpret our actions no matter how well intended
  • Never draw any conclusions about others without checking the facts
  • Never allow ourselves to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking situations such as tantrums or crushes
  • Never exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues or make
    suggestive remarks or gestures about, or to a child or young person, even in fun

RELATIONSHIPS
Staff and volunteers who are involved in relationships with other members of staff or volunteers should ensure that their personal relationships do not affect their role within TICE or the work of TICE.

SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT CHILD PROTECTION AND GOOD PRACTICE WITH, CHILDREN, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS

Good communication is essential in any organisation. In ‘This is Creative Enterprise’ every effort will be made to assure that, should individuals have concerns, they will be listened to and taken seriously.

It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that information is available to and exchanged between all those involved in this organisation and its activities. Some information is confidential and should only be shared on a strictly need-to-know basis.

Children and young people
Children and young people have a right to information, especially any information that could make life better and safer for them. ‘This is Creative Enterprise’ will act to ensure they have information about how, and with whom, they can share their concerns, complaints and anxieties.

When sharing information, ‘This is Creative Enterprise’ personnel will be sensitive to the level of understanding and maturity, as well as to the level of responsibility, of the people with whom they are sharing.

Confidentiality

We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential. The School’s (Child Protection Liasion Officers) CPLOs will disclose any information about a child to other members of staff on a need to know basis only. TICE will only share information about a child with adults who have parental responsibility, or where a parent/guardian with parental responsibility has given written permission to do so, or where it is necessary in order to safeguard the child from harm. All TICE staff and mentors are aware that TICE has a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. All schools and any other identified individuals at TICE must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing.

Responsibilities and reporting procedures
Schools and This is Creative Enterprise have joint responsibility for ensuring effective implementation of this policy. In addition, all TICE staff have an individual responsibility to comply both with the spirit and wording of this policy. This is Creative Enterprise CIC should be contacted immediately under any of the following circumstances:

  • A complaint is made against TICE staff concerning their conduct in relation to young people.
  •  A member of TICE staff observes another TICE representative acting inappropriately towards a young person.
  • A TICE representative fears that their own actions have been or may be, misconstrued.
  • A parent, carer or young person is observed to act inappropriately towards another child.
  • A TICE representative downloads confidential young person information for anything other than TICE business for their own use or to pass to a third party.

Allegations against staff

  • All TICE representatives should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.
  • Guidance about conduct and safe practice will be given at induction or at time of contract.
  • We understand that a child may make an allegation against a TICE representative.
  • If such an allegation is made, or information is received which suggests that a person may be unsuitable to work with children, the TICE representative receiving the allegation or aware of the information, will immediately inform the school.
  • The school on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with TICE’s managing director.

Photographing and videoing
There has been a lot of controversy about adults photographing and filming young people and the concerns are genuine. We have taken a sensible and balanced approach.
This is Creative Enterprise acknowledges that the majority of people who take or view photographs or videos of children do so for entirely innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. Sadly, some people abuse children through taking or using images. To help protect children and young people, we will implement the following safeguards:

a) seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website or in newspapers or publications);
b) seek parental consent;
c) use only the child’s first name with an image;
d) ensure children and young people are appropriately dressed;
e) encourage children and young people to tell us if they are worried about any photographs that are taken of them;
f) seek parents’ cooperation when taking images at workshops or events to ensure that images of unrelated children are not taken without consent or posted to the Internet or another medium without the consent of the parents of children involved;

TICE photographs that are for use outside of TICE are anonymous or give the first
name only unless specific permission has been received from parents. Any photographs taken from TICE activities that feature children and that will be used by TICE, whether
these are on or off-site, need to be taken with guidance and sign-off parents/guardians. Parents’ and Carers must consent to TICE taking photographs by signing a Model Release
Form.

Social Networking

  • Images of children taken for business purposes and where their faces are clearly shown can never be posted on any social networking site without the express permission of the child’s parent or legal guardian, evidenced through a signed model release form. Such images should only ever be uploaded onto reputable sites.
  • TICE staff or representatives should not capture or post any other child-related materials onto any social networking site that might damage the reputation of TICE. To do so will be considered as gross misconduct and may lead to dismissal.
  • TICE representatives must not accept any friend requests from young people engaged with TICE under any circumstances. Parents are asked to inform TICE immediately if it appears that a TICE representative has accepted a friend request as it may be someone pretending to be associated with TICE.
  • TICE representatives who have contact with young people on TICE business should ensure their social networking business activity is done from a TICE business-related account and not their own personal channels.

The use of mobile phones and personal devices

  • TICE Staff are not permitted to make or receive calls on their personal phones when delivering live TICE children facing activities except in an emergency/special circumstances agreed with the activity leader.
  • All staff should be aware, when using personal or work phones in and around children at TICE activities or events, of the need to avoid inappropriate language.

Internet Safety

  • During organised activities, children may be required to use the internet at times in
    accordance with TICE guidance.
  • Information on the workshops and activities available at TICE workshops will make clear to teachers and youth group leaders of visiting schools and groups if internet use is to form part of a visit or workshop.
  • Our published risk assessments for workshops and activities will make clear the steps we have put in place to address internet related risks.
  • Young people must never be left unattended whilst online and teachers/group leaders and TICE representatives should ensure that this does not happen. If TICE representatives are aware of misuse, either by another TICE representative or child, the issue should be reported to the schools immediately.
  • TICE has an unequivocal response to online bullying and sexting, via texts and emails. This will not be tolerated and will be treated as seriously as any other type of bullying.
    See also: E Safety policy.

Data management

All programme and project information is held on our database. For youth data, the name and address and, where provided, school, date of birth is stored.

  • All youth data is subject to suppressions which exclude children from receiving marketing from TICE.
  • Internal access to our database is dependent upon the business need of the TICE
    representative and is password protected. A TICE representative has to be specifically set up with a user account to access the data; user account set up is managed by our database administrators.
  • Our Customer Relations Management (CRM) data is stored in MS SQL and the access to the application and to the data is controlled and granted to individual users via Active Directory. Direct database access is severely limited to those requiring it for data manipulation. Data entry TICE representatives have access only through the application itself. All access to the database is from our wired LAN or staff wireless LAN or externally via VPN.
  • All hard copy documents containing youth data such as letters from children or Model
    Release Forms for children should be shredded after fulfilment unless there is a specific need to keep them in which case they should be scanned and kept in a password protected folder or locked in secure cabinets.
  • TICE will continue to monitor good practice in relation to the handling of youth data, sharing insights with like-minded agencies.

Supporting Children

  • Encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness, through the visit/workshops/curriculum as well as our relationships, whilst not condoning aggression or bullying.
  • Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment.
  • Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.
  • Notifying Social Care as soon as there is a significant concern.

Parents
Parents/persons with parental responsibility are ultimately responsible for their children’s welfare at all times, and they should be assured that their children are involved with a credible organisation.

Staff & Volunteers

As an organisation, which offers support and guidance to children and young people, it is imperative that each member of the TICE staff is aware of their responsibilities under the Child Protection legislation and has a working knowledge of TICE’s procedures. Each member of staff will receive updated training in Child Protection.

Other Bodies
A copy of our Safeguarding Policy will be made available to any other appropriate body.

May 2018