CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
MK Dance values young people and children as being a vital part of the organisation and desires to see them grow, mature and be challenged in a healthy and safe environment.
The purpose of MK Dance is to offer the children a safe and welcoming environment with fun activities where the children can grow and learn. Whether this be through MK Dance activities or through other independent groups working in partnership with MK Dance.
To provide activities through dance for children and young people to help them develop from childhood into adulthood and to provide support for them.
To enable the children to express themselves.
To assist the children in integrating into the community.
Each child and young person will be formally registered within the group. The information includes an information/consent form which their parent/guardian must complete. These forms have vital information about health and emergency contacts and should be kept securely and brought to each session, either as a hard copy or electronically saved.
Attendance register: a register should be kept for each session.
Child Protection Representative
MK Dance has appointed a child protection representative, whose name is displayed at the bottom of this form and is on display on our website. If any worker has any child safety concerns, they should discuss them with him/her. He/she will take on the following responsibilities:
Ensuring that the policy is being put into practice;
Being the first point of contact for child protection issues;
Keeping a record of any concerns expressed about child protection issues;
Bringing any child protection concerns to the notice of the Management Committee and contacting the Local Authority if appropriate;
Ensuring that paid staff and volunteers are given appropriate supervision;
Ensuring that everyone involved with the organisation is aware of the identity of the Child Protection Representative.
The policy will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that it is meeting its aims.
When organising a trip/outing MK Dance will make sure a trip/outing slip is completed. This includes details about the trip and a section for parents to give their consent. These slips must be returned before the event takes place and must be brought on the trip with the completed group information/consent forms. (If a group information/consent form has not already been completed for a child or young person, then it will need to be completed).
MK Dance will ensure that there is adequate insurance for the work and activities.
A group of children or young people under sixteen should not be left unattended at any time.
Avoid being alone with an individual child or young person for a long time. If there is a need to be alone with a child or young person (e.g. first aid or he/she is distressed) make sure that another worker knows where you are and why.
At no time should a volunteer or worker from any external organisation arrange to meet a young person away from the activity without someone else being there.
As such meetings should be planned and have the approval of a member of the Committee (this must be someone other than the organiser themselves).
Teenage assistants should always be supervised.
MK Dance will make sure that the area being used for activities is fit for the purpose, e.g. remove furniture, which could cause injury in energetic games.
Make sure that all workers and assistants know:
- Where the emergency phone is and how to operate it
- Where the first aid kit is
- Who is responsible for First Aid and how to record accidents or injuries in the incident book
- What to do in the event of a fire or other emergency
Do not let children go home without an adult unless the parent has specifically said they may do so. Never let a child go with another adult unless the parent has informed you that this will happen.
If private cars are used for an outing, the drivers must be approved by the Child Protection Representative, be properly insured, have rested before driving, and should have clean licenses. There should always be at least one other responsible person (16 or over) in each vehicle. All vehicles should be fitted with full seatbelts, not just lap belts. Full seatbelts should always be used.
Under normal circumstances, workers will only give a lift home to a young person from group activities if the parents of the young person have specifically asked for them to do so. (If workers are asked to give a young person or child a lift home, they are not obliged to do so, it is left to their discretion).
In the case of trips or outings, it should be made clear if workers’ cars will be used and where the children or young people will be returned to.
Workers and assistants are by far the most valuable resource MK Dance has for working with young people. When recruiting and selecting paid workers and volunteers the following steps will be taken:
Completion of an application form;
Identifying reasons for gaps in employment, and other inconsistencies in the application;
Checking of the applicants’ identity (passport, driving license, etc);
Taking up references prior to the person starting work;
Ensuring criminal record checks have been carried out through relevant local agencies approved by the Criminal Records Bureau;
Taking appropriate advice before employing someone with a criminal record;
Allowing no unaccompanied access to children until all of the above have been completed;
A probationary period of 3 months for new paid workers and volunteers;
On-going supervision of paid workers and volunteers;
Ensuring good practice is followed in working with children and young people by providing appropriate training and guidance;
MK Dance representatives will regularly attend training sessions to ensure we can offer the best protection of children.
MK DANCE definition of Child protection
Child protection is the response to the different ways in which a young person’s or child’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health are damaged by the actions of another person.
What we will do
Listen to the child/young person
Look at them directly and do not promise to keep any secrets before you know what they are, but always let the child/young person know if, and why, you are going to tell anyone
Take whatever is said to you seriously and help the child/young person to trust his/her own feelings. Take notes of exactly what is said to you avoiding assumptions and conjecture.
It is not the role of the worker to investigate any allegations (this would contaminate evidence if a situation went to court). Any disclosure by a child/young person must be reported to the named child protection officer.
Speak immediately to the Local Authority or NSPCC for further advice and guidance.
What we will not do
Project workers/volunteers should not begin investigating the matter themselves.
Will not discuss the matter with anyone except the correct people in authority.
Will not form our own opinions and decide to do nothing.
This policy was adopted by the MK Dance on 01/02/2018 with KATHRYN BILLINGS BA (HONS) LRAD selected as the Child Protection Representative