Our policies and procedures

Nailsworth Dramatic Society recognises its duty of care under the Children’s and Young Person’s Act 1963, the Child Performance Regulations 1968, the Protection of Children’s Act 1099, the Criminal Justices and Court Services Act 2000, and the Protection of Freedom’s Act 2012.
The Society is committed to practices which protect children from harm whether physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect. All members of the Society working with children recognise their responsibility to protect children who take part in any of the Society’s activities. For the purposes of this Policy, children are defined as being under the age of 18 years.
The Society will ensure that:
* The welfare of the child is paramount
* All children will be treated equally and with respect and dignity
* All suspicions and/or allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
* All members of the Society will be clear as to appropriate behaviour and response
* A balanced relationship based on mutual trust will be fostered with children to ensure that they feel able to share, discuss and report any issues that may arise
* Constructive and enthusiastic feedback will be given to the child in a positive manner and atmosphere
* Bullying will not be accepted or condoned
* Action will be taken to prevent/stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour
* It will keep up to date with health and safety legislation and child protection legislation
* At every activity involving children, a person with appropriate training/ official safety checks/clearance will oversee their welfare
At the outset of any production involving children the society will:
* Obtain written consent from parents/guardians for children to participate, retaining the contact name and number for use in emergencies
* Undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production process
* Identify at the outset the person with designated responsibility for child protection and ensure that parents and children know who this is
* Engage in effective recruitment of chaperones and others with responsibility for children
* Ensure children are supervised at all times
* Know the procedure for contacting the local authority services in case of the necessity to report a concern
* The Society believes it to be important that there is a partnership with parents. Parents are encouraged to be involves in the activities of the Society and to share the responsibility for the care of children
* The Society’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures will be accessible to parents on the web-site
* All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children after rehearsals, activities and performances
Unsupervised Contact
* The Society will attempt to ensure that no adult has unsupervised contact with children during any of the Society’s activities
* If possible there will always be two or more adults in the room when working with children
* If unsupervised contact is unavoidable, steps will be taken to minimise risk eg. working in a public space, or a space with all doors open
* If it is anticipated that an individual is likely to need unsupervised contact, he or she will be required to undergo a “Disclosure and Barring Service “check
Managing Sensitive Information
* Permission will be sought from parents and children for the taking, usage and storage of photographs and images children
* The Society will ensure confidentiality in order to protect the rights of its members, including the secure handling, storage and disposal of sensitive information
Suspicion and Disclosure of Abuse
* Any suspected abuse of a child during the Society’s activities must be made known to the designated person with responsibility for child protection. If this person is the source of the problem, the Chairman should be informed
* Notes and evidential records should be kept wherever possible
* In the case of serious allegation against any member of the Society the individual must be excluded from the Society’s activities and must have no further contact with children until an investigation has taken place
* If a child confides that abuse has taken place
1. Listen carefully and ask questions for clarification only
2. Make it clear to the child that you cannot keep this a secret
3. Reassure the child and tell him/her what will happen next
4. Make immediate notes of what was said, names, dates, times and sign and date the record
5. Speak immediately to the person with responsibility for child protection whose responsibility it is to liaise with the relevant authorities (usually social services or police)
* wherever possible, for children under 11 years, a parent will be encouraged to be present at rehearsals and during the production
* where a parent is unavailable, chaperones will be appointed by the Society for the care of children under 16. A chaperone is acting in loco parentis and should exercise the care to be reasonably expected of a parent.
* The maximum number of children inn the care of a chaperone shall not exceed 12
* Chaperones should be responsible for meeting children when they arrive and signing them in. They should then be aware of where they are at all times, and ensure they do not leave the premises unsupervised
* Chaperones should ensure the safety, health and welfare of the children
And ensure they undertake no dangerous activities such as heavy lifting, working with electricity, or up ladders
* Chaperones should ensure that children use separate dressing rooms and are adequately supervised when going to and from the toilets
* Chaperones should report and record any accidents, incidents or problems
* After a rehearsal performance the Chaperone must stay with a child until he/she is collected by the parent/guardian
* In all situations of disclosure causing concern, the details of the allegation or incident will be recorded
* Accurate notes should be made of the issue, the date, the time and place, what was said, by whom to whom.
* If any complaint is made against a member of the Society, the person
will be made aware of their rights including their rights to confidentiality under the Data Protection legislation
* All members, including chaperones and children must be advised of health and safety procedures, of “house rules” regarding appropriate dress, shoes etc.
* If a child is injured while in the care of the Society a designated first aider will administer first aid and the injury recorded in the Society’s accident register.
* If a child joins a production with an obvious prior physical injury this should be noted inn the accident book, countersigned by the person responsible for child protection

Any queries and/or complaints by a parent or guardian should be put in the first place to the Child Protection Officer and/or the Chairman

These policies and procedures will be subject to annual review by the Committee
Chairman: Julian Dennis
Child Protection Officer: Julie Bignell