Seed and Somerset Film and Video Ltd Safeguarding Children And Young People Policy 2021
Seed is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and to protecting them against all forms of abuse to benefit from and enjoy the opportunities/resources Seed has to offer, whether face to face or through the use of digital technology, workshops and events. We expect everyone who works in our organisation to share the commitment. This policy should be read in conjunction with our safeguarding procedures (below) activity risk assessments and online (below), bullying (below), diversity, social media, health & safety and data protection policies. The procedures and recommendations made apply to all staff and volunteers including homeworkers, part-time, Casual staff, trustees, contractors and freelancers where appropriate. This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time. We will review this policy at least annually or as appropriate in response to new guidance and best practice.
This policy is informed by the guidance set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children and BFI Self-Auditing tool and by legislation such as the Children Act 1989 and 2004 and those policies provided by Citrus HR. A summary of the key legislation relating to children and young people is available from nspcc.org.uk/learning.
The Somerset Film and Video LTD Trustees have overall responsibility for the operation of this policy. They will ensure adequate resources are available for the effective implementation
The person with designated responsibility for safeguarding strategically and at operational level for Somerset Film on a day to day basis is Deb Richardson Contact firstname.lastname@example.org 01278 433187.
For Seed, the person with designated responsibility for safeguarding strategically and at operational level on a day to day basis is Laura Hylton contact email@example.com 01278 433 172.
Participation in any Seed project can give a sense of identity, develop confidence and provide the individual with a voice. Such benefits require trust between the participants and artist. Seed and SFV believes in the rights of children to be protected from abuse, harm or bullying.
Seed and SFV recognises the value of its relationships with leading organisations in this field such as Social Services, Barnardo’s and the NSPCC to advise on policy and training when required.
Seed and SFV has a great deal of experience in working with children. It constantly draws on this experience for risk assessments, project planning and the undertaking of projects. Seed and SFV recognises its responsibility when dealing with commissioning bodies to discuss and advise on matters contained within this policy.
Children and young people may be vulnerable to neglect and abuse or exploitation from within their family and from individuals they come across in their day-to-day lives. These threats can take a variety of different forms, including: sexual, physical and emotional abuse; FGM; honour-based violence; neglect; exploitation by criminal gangs and organised crime groups; trafficking; online abuse; sexual exploitation and the influences of extremism leading to radicalisation.
Whatever the form of abuse or neglect, Artists should put the needs of children first when determining what action to take. An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. And it can increasingly happen online.
Children and Young People
From ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’ children have said that they need:
- vigilance: to have adults notice when things are troubling them
- understanding and action: to understand what is happening; to be heard and understood; and to have that understanding acted upon
- stability: to be able to develop an ongoing stable relationship of trust with those helping them
- respect: to be treated with the expectation that they are competent rather than not
- information and engagement: to be informed about and involved in procedures, decisions, concerns and plans
- explanation: to be informed of the outcome of assessments and decisions and reasons when their views have not met with a positive response
- support: to be provided with support in their own right as well as a member of their family
- advocacy: to be provided with advocacy to assist them in putting forward their views
- protection: to be protected against all forms of abuse and discrimination and the right to special protection and help if a refugee”
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
- valuing, listening to and respecting them
- appointing a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for children and young people and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding
- adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- developing and implementing effective online safety including social media policy and related procedures such as video call management/security procedures.
- providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures
- recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- recording and storing information professionally and securely
- sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with staff and volunteers via induction procedures and staff training
- using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns about children and young people and relevant information with agencies who need to know, to obtain consent from adults or where it is necessary to share information without the express consent of the adult concerned that a record of this is made of the reasons for this; and to involved children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately
- using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
- creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
- ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
- ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance.
In law, a child is defined as up to and including the age of 18 in The Children Act 1989. (extensions of this exist for children who are disabled and for those in local authority care settings)
In loco parentis (the Latin means ‘in place of parent’) refers to the person legally responsible for the child in the absence of the child’s parent(s) or regular carer. For instance, in a school setting this is the child’s teacher.
We will make it clear to candidates when advertising a job role if the work involved is regarded as a regulated activity (work that involves unsupervised contact with children or adults at risk of harm) and will determine this in accordance with the provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. We will make this clear when advertising job roles and any offer of employment will be conditional upon satisfactory background checks. We reserve the right not to employ a candidate where these conditions are not satisfied. If staff are added to the barred list during employment we cannot legally allow them to be continued to engage in a regulated activity.
Before we can employ a candidate in a regulated activity, we will require the candidate to provide a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure with a relevant barred list check from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps us make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups. We will ensure that the correct level of DBS certificate is sought. The purpose of this check is to confirm that the candidate is suitable to perform this work and is not barred from doing so.
All enhanced disclosure certificates will be issued to the member of staff directly. As a consequence staff are required to provide the original DBS check to your line manager upon receipt. The DBS certificate number and date of issue will be noted for our records.
We will make any offer of employment in a regulated activity conditional upon satisfactory background checks, including satisfactory criminal record and barred list checks. We reserve the right not to employ a candidate where these conditions are not satisfied.
If work either becomes a regulated activity, or if staff and volunteers are asked to perform work that is a regulated activity, we will require them to provide a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure with a relevant barred list check from the Disclosure and Barring Service. The purpose of this check is to confirm that they are suitable to perform this work and are not barred from doing so.
If the member of staff or volunteer refuse to undertake these checks, or if a disclosure confirms that they have a relevant criminal conviction or have been placed on a relevant barred list, we will investigate the circumstances further and will fully consider the effect of this on continued employment.
Where they are not legally permitted to perform a regulated activity, or where we otherwise have reason to believe that this will be inappropriate, we may consider if there are any other non-regulated activities in which they can be employed.
We reserve the right to dismiss staff and volunteers where continued employment cannot be supported.
If staff or volunteers are added to a barred list during employment, we cannot legally allow them to continue to engage in a regulated activity.
Where staff or volunteers are not permitted to perform a regulated activity, we may investigate if there are any other non-regulated activities in which they can be employed.
We reserve the right to dismiss staff or volunteers where continued employment cannot be supported.
When an allegation is made against a member of staff
We will investigate all complaints of alleged or suspected abuse fully, in accordance with the disciplinary procedure.
We may be required to refer information to the Disclosure and Barring Service, and may also consider it necessary to inform the Police of allegations under investigation.
We reserve the right to suspend staff on full pay pending investigation into an allegation of abuse and pending any resulting disciplinary proceedings.
We have reason to believe that an allegation of abuse has foundation, we will arrange a disciplinary meeting with the individual. This could result in a decision to take disciplinary action against the employee, up to and including dismissal.
We are legally required to refer certain information about an individual to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
This duty applies where:
(a) a member of staff is dismissed because they have harmed, or may harm a child or adult.
(b) we have suspended a member of staff and have reason to believe that they have engaged in relevant conduct, or have harmed or may harm a child or adult, or have received a caution or a conviction for a relevant criminal offence.
(c) a member of staff resigns in circumstances where there is a suspicion that they harmed, or may harm, a child or vulnerable adult. This may, for example, arise where an employee resigns before disciplinary action is taken by the organisation.
Staff Induction and Training
We will provide staff, freelancers, artists and volunteers with copies of safeguarding and related policies and procedures on induction/contracting and will provide access to training where needed. This policy will form part of the terms and conditions of their contract.
All core staff should undertake safeguarding protection training and refresh this every three years.
The role of staff and volunteers
Staff and volunteers at Seed and Somerset Film are acting in a position of authority and have a duty of care towards the children and young people we work with. They are likely to be seen as a role model and are expected to act appropriately. Staff and volunteers should:
- listen to and respect children at all times
- value and take children’s contributions seriously
- respect a young person’s right to personal privacy as far as possible – if you need to break confidentiality in order to follow child protection procedures, it is important to explain this to the child or young person at the earliest opportunity.
Staff and volunteers are responsible for:
- prioritising the welfare of children and young people
- providing a safe environment for children and young people – ensuring equipment is used safely and for its intended purpose – having good awareness of issues to do with safeguarding and child protection and taking action when appropriate.
- following our principles, policies and procedures – including our policies and procedures for child protection/safeguarding, whistleblowing and online safety
- staying within the law at all times
- modelling good behaviour for children and young people to follow
- challenging all unacceptable behaviour and reporting any breaches of the behaviour code to your safeguarding lead
- reporting all concerns about abusive behaviour, following our safeguarding and child protection procedures – this includes behaviour being displayed by an adult or child and directed at anybody of any age.
There are a range of ways concerns might be raised.
- A child or adult might make a direct allegation of abuse by a child or young person.
- A child or adult might tell you they’re uncomfortable with a child or young person’s behaviour. They may not realise the behaviour is abusive.
- You might observe behaviour that gives cause for concern and make a report following your organisation’s safeguarding procedures.
- Your organisation may be informed that a child or young person is the subject of an investigation.
- A child or young person might tell you they have harmed someone else or are at risk of doing so.
Who do I go to if I am concerned?
The person with designated responsibility for safeguarding strategically and at operational level for Somerset Film is Deb Richardson Contact firstname.lastname@example.org 01278 433187.
For Seed the person with designated responsibility for safeguarding strategically and at operational level for Somerset Film is Laura Hylton Contact email@example.com 01278 433172.
What should I do if I am concerned?
It’s important to keep accurate and detailed notes on any concerns you have about a child. You will need to share this record with your nominated safeguarding lead. Include:
- the child’s details (name, age, address)
- what the child said or did that gave you cause for concern (if the child made a verbal disclosure, write down their exact words)
- the details of any other children involved or impacted.
If allegations have been made against a child you should speak to your nominated child protection lead, who can advise you on the best way to proceed. If you confront the child about the allegations before taking advice, it may make the situation worse.
Deciding if a concern is a child protection issue
When a child or young person behaves inappropriately towards another child, a decision needs to be made about whether there may be a child protection concern.
Your organisation’s nominated child protection lead should make this decision in consultation with:
- the volunteer or staff member who is responsible for the supervision/pastoral care of the children involved
- the senior manager or trustee responsible for safeguarding
- any other agencies you know are working with the child
- the local child protection services if necessary.
When an allegation is a child protection concern
An allegation becomes a child protection concern when:
- the behaviour involves sexual assault or physical assault
- the child who has experienced the abusive behaviour has suffered significant harm
- the behaviour forms part of a pattern of concerning behaviour by the child or young person who is being abusive
- the child carrying out the abuse is displaying harmful sexual behaviour
- you are concerned that the child carrying out the abuse may be doing so because they have experienced abuse or other upsetting experiences themselves.
It is also a child protection concern when there’s a significant difference of power between the child who is displaying abusive behaviour and the person being abused, for example when:
- there’s an age difference of more than two years
- there’s a significant difference in terms of size or level of ability
- the child displaying abusive behaviour holds a position of power (such as being a helper, volunteer or informal leader)
- the child being abused is significantly more vulnerable than the other child or young person.
If we’re not sure
If we aren’t sure whether a child or young person’s behaviour is abusive, we should contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This may include making a referral to the local authority.
When working with children and young people two adults should be present at all times. Where this is not possible, staff should make every effort to avoid staying in close proximity to CYP whilst alone e.g. doors to offices should remain open.
Staff should communicate with children and young people via parents or appropriate teachers / groups leaders. Permission to directly communicate with children and young people must be requested in advance via the designated safeguarding lead.
Staff and volunteers should only use an organisational email account, profile or website when responding to messages and at least one other member of staff should be copied into any emails sent to children/young people.
Staff should choose a formal means of communication, such as face-to-face, in an email or writing, rather than via social media platforms. The use of Facebook groups for communication purposes must be requested in advance form the DSO and these groups should be closed and by invitation only. At least two members of staff should have access to the group.
Staff and volunteers should avoid where possible communicating with children/young people/adults at risk of harm via email or social media outside of normal office hours. Emails and other forms of communication should be signed off in a professional manner avoiding the use of emoji or symbols such as ‘kisses; (X’s). Any disclosures of abuse reported through social media should be dealt with following Seed and Somerset Film safeguarding guidelines and reported to the designated safeguarding lead.
Staff will avoid having children/young people personal mobile numbers and will instead seek contact through a parent or guardian. Permission to contact the children/young people/adult at risk of harm should be sought on each occasion – the purpose for each contact will be clearly identified and agreed upon a method of accountability will be arranged, such as copies of texts or communication. All communication will be for information purposes – such as reminders of events, workshop times, participation requirements, equipment etc.
Staff should seek advice from the designated safeguarding lead if they have any concerns about the use of the internet or social media.
Staff should not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ children/young people or adults at risk of harm from personal accounts. Staff and Volunteers should make sure any content posted is accurate and appropriate, as young people may choose to follow them via personal accounts or private message them.
Staff and volunteers should take every step to avoid any misinterpretation of messaging. If such communication is misinterpreted and the children/young people/adult at risk of harm tries to engage staff in a conversation the staff member will take the following steps: end the conversation or stop replying, suggest discussing the subject further at the next workshop or project engagement. If concerned about the child/young person/adults at risk of harm’s communication this must be discussed with Seeds designated safeguarding lead.
So all children can enjoy, learn and be creative and actively take part in events, workshops, training and activities supported or delivered by Seed we will discourage the use of personal mobile phones during activities. As part of our good practice and policy we will make children aware of how to contact and who to contact if there is an emergency or a change in arrangements. Seed will inform parents/guardians of start and finish times and will take all the appropriate emergency contact information including risk assessments. If an activity requires mobile phone use during activities terms and conditions of use will be agreed and put in place by Seed in agreement with parents/guardians and the child/young person.
Smartphone users should respect the private lives of others and not take or distribute pictures/images/videos of other people if it could invade their privacy. Staff and volunteers must not engage in ‘sexting’ or send pictures/images/film to anyone that are obscene, indecent or menacing.
Managing our online accounts – our website or social media platforms will adhere to the following guidelines:
All social media accounts will be password protected and at least 3 members of staff will have access to each account.
All accounts will have a designated person managing our online presence and will seek advice from the designated safeguarding lead to advice on safeguarding requirements:
Twitter – Seed Sedgemoor: Kirsten Mulcahy
Facebook – Seed Sedgemoor: Kirsten Mulcahy
Facebook – Glow Home: Kirsten Mulcahy
Facebook – Front Garden Music Festival: Kirsten Mulcahy
Instagram -Seed Sedgemoor: Kirsten Mulcahy
Youtube – -Seed Sedgemoor: Kirsten Mulcahy
Any inappropriate post by children, adults or staff will be removed and DSO Lead and trustees will be informed of any incidents as well as anyone who may have been affected (including their parents/guardians).
Our aim is to also protect children/young people working with Seed and who make use of technology (such a mobile phones, games consoles and the internet) while in our care or participating in a Seed project.
We will understand the safety aspects – including what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for staff and children when using websites, social media, apps and other forms of digital communication. The same safety aspects will apply whether it is a computer, mobile phone, or game console when using social media platforms (including Facebook, twitter, Instagram, YouTube, sound cloud etc.). We will ensure that we adhere to relevant legislation and good practice guidelines regularly reviewing existing safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that online safeguarding issues are fully integrated, including: making sure concerns of abuse or disclosures that take place online are written into our reporting procedures incorporating online bullying (cyberbullying) into our anti – bullying policy.
Risk and safeguarding will be managed in the same way as face to face sessions.
Staff should avoid being left alone in an online environment with a child or young person. This includes breakout rooms.
Staff should close all other apps, tabs and windows on your device before an online session, especially programs that use a lot of memory or data, or docs with sensitive information, as accidental screensharing can happen.
Online events or interaction will be set to private unless this event or project is for the public. Child or adult at risk of abuse focused projects will always be set to private unless stated otherwise in the project description (approval will be required by the DSO Lead).
An event setting or group set to ‘private’ will be by invite only or pending approval by admin. Members should not share personal details such as child’s full name, home address, school name or telephone number.
Seed aims to involve parents/carers wherever possible encouraging them to join in and take responsibility for their child/children’s online safety.
- Children/young people (where appropriate) must have parental/guardian consent to engage in Zoom. All under 16’s will be required to have a parent/guardian to be present. For 16 – 18 year olds a parental consent form must be completed and sent to a member of staff.
- Parents and carers are asked to read and agree to the terms and conditions, and safety guidance and provide signed media release forms prior to project participation e.g. on booking.
- All participants will be informed of safety guidance and procedures when engaging in an online activity: either at the start of the session verbally (e.g. zoom) or through on-screen instruction (e.g. game).
- Content from online activity must not be shared or recorded in any way without permission from participants or workshop leaders and in agreement with DSO. Parents/guardians will have completed the appropriate media release forms before any recorded content e.g. via zooms etc is shared via other online platforms
- Activity risk assessments will be completed for each online project outlining any potential hazards for example: recording or filming from home or in the community, being aware of your surroundings avoiding any potential hazards such as wires, tables or trip hazards.
Staff will advise participants on what to do if the connection is not performing well, how to use the chat function, the length of the session and break times and the process for addressing unacceptable behaviour.
Online Safety Guidance and Code of Conduct for Children and Young People
CYP will be advised in advance and at the start of each session/activity be encouraged to
- Avoid showing their full name or share personal contact details
- Welcome learning from others and be accepting of others ideas
- Consider all participants as equal
- Wear appropriate clothing for online viewing or participation
- Avoid filming or streaming from a bedroom – where possible they should use a shared space
- Be aware of who is in the room with them or in the background when speaking or watching content
In addition they will be asked not to:
- Record or share content without permission
- Upload files unless requested to do so and only as part of the workshop and then only through ‘approved’ channels