Child Protection Policy

Hack Ballet 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 Criminal
Justice and Court Services Act 2000. Hack Ballet is committed to practice which protects
young people and vulnerable adults from harm. All staff members accept and recognize their
responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause young people and vulnerable
adults harm.

Hack Ballet values:

  • The welfare of all people is important, especially young people and vulnerable adults.
  • All young people and vulnerable adults, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. Hack Ballet values:
  • All associates of Hack Ballet should be clear on how to respond appropriately to any incidents or allegations.

Hack Ballet will ensure that:

  • All children will be treated equally and with respect and dignity.
  • The duty of care to young people and vulnerable adults will be upheld.
  • Bullying will not be accepted or condoned.
  • Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour.
  • Hack Ballet will keep associates informed of changes in legislation and policies for the protection of children.

This policy will be subject to annual review.


CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

Responsibilities

At the outset of any production involving young people and or vulnerable adults, Hack Ballet
will:

  • Undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production process.
  • Identify at the outset the person with designated responsibility for child protection.
  • Engage in effective recruitment of a person(s) responsible for child protection and other individuals with responsibility for young people and vulnerable adults, including appropriate vetting (if necessary in consultation with the local education authority).
  • Ensure that young people and vulnerable adults are supervised at all times.
  • Know how to get in touch with the local authority social services, in case it needs to
    report a concern.

Parents

  • Hack Ballet believes it to be important that there is a partnership between parents and Staff members.
  • Parents are encouraged to be involved in the activities of the dance school and share in the responsibility for the care of young people and vulnerable adults.
  • All parents will be given a copy the society’s Child Protection Policy and procedures.
  • All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their young people and vulnerable adults after rehearsals or performances. It is NOT the responsibility of a person responsible for child protection to take young people and vulnerable adults home.

Unsupervised Contact

  • Hack Ballet will attempt to ensure that no adult has unsupervised contact with young people and vulnerable adults unless they have provided an up to date CRB check.
  • 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 young people and vulnerable adults.
  • Adults will only touch young people and vulnerable adults 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.

Managing sensitive information

  • Hack Ballet has a policy and procedure for the taking, using and storage of Photographs or images of young people and vulnerable adults.
  • Permission will be sought from the parents for use of photographic material featuring young people and vulnerable adults for promotional or other purposes.
  • The web-based materials and activities will be carefully monitored for inappropriate use.
  • Hack Ballet will ensure confidentiality in order to protect the rights of its members, including the safe handling, storage and disposal of any sensitive information such as criminal record disclosures.

Suspicion of abuse

  • If you see or suspect abuse of a young person or vulnerable adult while in the care of Hack Ballet, please make this known to the person with responsibility for young person or vulnerable adult protection. If you suspect that the person with responsibility for young person or vulnerable adult protection is the source of the problem, you should make your concerns known to the other designated safeguarding Officers.
  • Please make a note for your own records of what you witnessed as well as your response, in case there is follow-up in which you are involved.
  • If a serious allegation is made against any member of staff, responsible adult, venue staff 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 young people and vulnerable adults in the production.

Disclosure of abuse

If a young person or vulnerable adult confides in you that abuse has taken place:

  • Remain calm and in control but do not delay taking action.
  • Listen carefully to what has been said. Allow the child to tell you at their own pace and ask questions only for clarification. Don’t ask questions that suggest a particular answer.
  • Don’t promise to keep it a secret. Use the first opportunity you have to share the information with the person with responsibility for child protection. Make it clear to the child that you will need to share this information with others. Make it clear that you will only tell the people who need to know and who should be able to help.
  • Reassure the child that ‘they did the right thing in telling someone.
  • Tell the child what you are going to do next.
  • Speak immediately to the person with responsibility for child protection. It is that person’s responsibility to liaise with the relevant authorities, usually social services or the police.
  • As soon as possible after the disclosing conversation, make a note of what was said, using the child’s own words. Note the date, time, any names that were involved or mentioned, and who you gave the information to. Make sure you sign and date your record.

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 as to whether or not 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 eg. 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 staff, he or she will be made aware of his rights under Hack Ballet disciplinary procedures.
  • No matter how you may feel about the accusation, both the alleged abuser and the young person or vulnerable adult 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 Crown, or other prosecuting authority, has to prove guilt and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Accidents

  • To avoid accidents, responsible adults, young people and vulnerable adults will be advised of “house rules” regarding health and safety and will be notified of areas that are out of bounds. Young people and vulnerable adults will be advised of the clothing and footwear appropriate to the work that will be undertaken.
  • If a young person or a vulnerable adult is injured while in the care of Hack Ballet, a designated first-aider will administer first aid and the injury will be recorded in the accident book. This record will be countersigned by the person with responsibility for child protection.
  • If a young person or vulnerable adult joins the production with an obvious physical injury a record of this will be made in the accident book. This record will be countersigned by the person with responsibility for child protection. This record can be useful if a formal allegation is made later and will also be a record that the young person or vulnerable adult did not sustain the injury while participating in the production.

Criminal Record Disclosures

  • Hack Ballet believes it is in its best interests to obtain criminal record disclosures for person responsible for child protection or other personnel, it will inform the individual of the necessary procedures and the level of disclosure required. A Standard disclosure will apply for anyone with supervised access to young people and vulnerable adults. An Enhanced disclosure will be required for anyone with unsupervised access.
  • Hack Ballet will maintain confidentiality for the handling of disclosure information.
  • Hack Ballet will ensure that information contained in the disclosure is not misused.