Child protection policy
Bombastic ltd have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for children all staff, chaperones, parents/legal guardians and volunteers accept their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse. This means to ensure that everyone follow procedures to protect children and report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities.
There are three elements to our policy:
- Prevention through awareness of each individual child’s needs.
- Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect
- Procedures for identifying and reporting cases or suspected cases, of abuse.
The aim of the policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young people with appropriate safety/protection whilst in the care of Bombastic ltd and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
We recognise that the “entertainment industry” can be a very “adult” environment and we expect that all staff, chaperones, parents/legal guardians, volunteers and anyone else who comes into contact with children behave in an appropriate manner at all times, and remember that “The Welfare of the Child is Paramount”.
Bombastic ltd will therefore:
- Act within the Children’s Act 1989 & 2004
- Act within The Children (Performances and Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015
- Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel welcome and familiar with their environment and are informed of personal (toilets, dressing rooms etc) and emergency arrangements (fire exits, meeting points etc) and any Health and Safety Procedures (Dangerous equipment, First aid etc)
- Inform each child who the appropriate person or people are to speak to if they have any questions, problems or concerns.
- Ensure that all children are treated with respect and dignity and are treated as individuals and offered equality of opportunities.
- Always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and unnecessary physical contact with children) and involve/allow parents/chaperones
wherever possible, to take responsibility for the child/children they are responsible for.
(parents must only have responsibility for their own child)
- Recognising the individual needs of the child. eg recognising when a child may be tired and may need a break.
- Ensure that children are supervised appropriately.
- Ensure that all Chaperones are registered with the local authority in which they reside
and have an enhanced DBS check.
- Ensure all crew and staff coming into close contact with a child are DBS checked.
- Ensure that all staff and crew who don’t necessarily have close contact with children but who are assisting in the production are aware of their conduct around children.
Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect
A child is abused or neglected when somebody inflicts harm, or fails to act to prevent harm. A child or young person up to the age of 18 years can suffer abuse or neglect and require protection.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding,
drowning, suffocating, or otherwise physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be
caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after. This situation is commonly described using terms such as fabricated or induced illness.
Indicators of Physical Abuse:
- unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body
- multiple bruises- in clusters, often on the upper arm, outside of the thigh
- cigarette burns
- human bite marks
- broken bones
- scalds, with upward splash marks,
- multiple burns with a clearly demarcated edge.
Changes in behaviour that can also indicate physical abuse:
- fear of parents being approached for an explanation
- aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts
- flinching when approached or touched
- reluctance to get changed, for example in hot weather
- withdrawn behaviour
- running away from home
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual
activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Indicators of Sexual Abuse:
- pain or itching in the genital area
- bruising or bleeding near genital area
- sexually transmitted disease
- vaginal discharge or infection
- stomach pains
- discomfort when walking or sitting down
Changes in behaviour which can also indicate sexual abuse include:
- sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour e.g. becoming aggressive or
- fear of being left with a specific person or group of people
- having nightmares
- running away from home sexual knowledge which is beyond their age, or
- sexual drawings or language
- eating problems such as overeating or anorexia
- self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts
- saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about
- not allowed to have friends (particularly in adolescence)
- acting in a sexually explicit way towards adults
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of a child.
Indicators of Emotional Abuse:
- neurotic behaviour e.g. sulking, hair twisting, rocking
- being unable to play
- fear of making mistakes
- sudden speech disorders
- fear of parent being approached regarding their behaviour
- developmental delay in terms of emotional progress
Changes in behaviour which can also indicate neglect may include:
- extremes of passivity or aggression
- overreaction to mistakes
- self-depreciation (‘I’m stupid, ugly, worthless, etc’)
- inappropriate response to pain (‘I deserve this’)
Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; not ensuring adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or failing to provide access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Indicators of Neglect:
- constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children
- constantly dirty or ‘smelly’
- loss of weight, or being constantly underweight
- inappropriate clothing for the conditions.
Changes in behaviour which can also indicate neglect may include:
- complaining of being tired all the time
- not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments.
- having few friends
- mentioning being left alone or unsupervised.
- Having money or other property stolen;
- Being defrauded
- Being put under pressure in relation to money or other property
- Having money or other property misused
- Not meeting their needs for care and support which are provided through direct payments
- Complaints that persona property is missing
Legislation, Policy and Guidance
Bombastic ltd will adhere to the relevant legislation when working with children and young people under the age of 18 years as outlined in the following:
- Children Act 1989
- Children Act 2004
- Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
- Working Together to Safeguard People (Wales) Act 2015
- Wales Safeguarding Procedures 2019
Suspicion of Abuse
- If you see or suspect abuse of a child, immediately make this known to the
designated individual/manager responsible for child protection.
Disclosure of Abuse
If a child tells you that they or another child or young person is being abused:
- Always stop and listen straight away, show that you take their allegations seriously.
- Encourage the child to talk, but do not ask leading questions, interrupt or ask the child to repeat itself.
- Never promise that you will keep what is said confidential or secret – explain that if you are told something of concern that you will need to let someone know but that you will only tell the people who need to know and can help.
- Record what you have been told accurately and as soon as possible. Use the child‘s own words. Make a note of the time, location, whether any one else present and of the Child’s demeanour.
- Ensure that your concerns are reported immediately to the designated individual/manager.
- Do not confront the alleged abuser.
- If a child makes an allegation against a member of staff it must be reported as a matter of urgency to the designated manager/individual for child protection who will refer to Social Services department for Children’s Services. If the allegation is
against the designated person, then the information should be reported to another senior manager or directly to Social Services department for Children’s Services.
(This would generally be referred to the authority in which the alleged incident
- The alleged perpetrator should not be made aware of the allegation at this point.
- In all situations the details of allegation or reported incident must be recorded. Make
accurate notes of time, dates, incident or disclosure, people involved, what was said
and done and by whom, action taken to investigate, further action taken e.g.
suspension of individual and if relevant: reasons why the matter was not referred to a
statutory agency, name of person reporting and to whom it was reported
The record must be stored securely and shared only with those who need to know.
- DO NOT worry that you might be mistaken; you have a responsibility to pass on your concerns following a disclosure. Never think abuse is impossible, or that an accusation about a person you know well and trust is bound to be wrong.
IT IS YOUR DUTY TO REFER CONCERNS ON, NOT TO INVESTIGATE
The Designated Individuals/Managers for child protection and safeguarding.
Name: Sean Tuan John
Position in company: Artistic director
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
185, Railway Street
The contact details for the local authority children’s services department are:
Cardiff Child Services on 029 2053 6490 or outside of office hours call the Emergency Duty Team on 029 2078 8570.
Emergency Duty Team: 029 2078 8570.