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CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

1. Purpose and Scope

VoxFresh works with children and families as part of its activities. These include weekly rehearsal sessions, offsite performances/events and overseas visits. 

The purpose of this policy statement is: 

• To protect children and young people who receive the services of VoxFresh.

• To provide parents, staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection. 

This policy statement applies to anyone working on behalf of VoxFresh including senior managers, paid staff, volunteers, youth volunteers, external providers.

2. Legislation

Legal Framework

  • This policy has been drawn up based on legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England.  A summary of the key legislation and guidance is available from nspcc.org.uk/child protection. 

We believe that:

  • Children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind.
  • We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them. 

We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount. 
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse. 
  • Some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues. 
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare. 

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • Valuing, listening to and respecting them. 
  • Appointing a nominated child protection/safeguarding lead and a deputy child protection/safeguarding lead. 
  • Developing child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures which reflect best practice. 
  • Using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately. 
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made. 
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training. 
  • Implementing a code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
  • Using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately. 
  • 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. 
  • Recording and storing information professionally and securely. 

3. Staff

• All staff will be subject to an Enhanced DBS check before working regularly with VoxFresh.

• All staff will adhere to the Staff/Volunteer Code of Conduct.

• Occasional volunteers will not be unsupervised with any children or young people.

• At each meeting of children and young people there should be sufficient adult supervision based on the NSPCC recommended ratios:

Age groupSupervision ratio (as recommended by the NSPCC)
4-8 years1 adult to 6 children
9-12 years1 adult to 8 children
13-18 years1 adult to 10 children

The NSPCC recommend having at least 2 adults present, even with smaller groups

• If it is felt appropriate for children to divide into smaller groups with only one adult supervising each smaller group, this is acceptable if there is an open door between the groups.  

  • No person under the age of 18 years should be left in sole charge of children of any age.
  • No child or young person should be left unattended at any time. This is of paramount importance. If it looks likely that a child will be left alone, a responsible adult should remain with the child and alert the child’s parents/another adult to the situation. 

4. Administration

  • A register will be kept of children and young attending each activity. It should include name, address, telephone number, date of birth and emergency contact details. This can be held digitally.

• A record will be kept of attendance at each meeting. This can be done digitally.

• If an activity is to be held somewhere other than at a choir rehearsal, then permission (informed consent) from parents/carers must be obtained specifically for this activity.

VoxFresh will be responsible for ensuring that:

  • Records, registration forms and registers are kept and stored confidentially in a secure place or with the staff team as they conduct their tasks. If held digitally this will be password protected.

• Each volunteer associated with that activity complies with this Child Protection Policy.

• Unsupervised contact with children is avoided unless the volunteer has been cleared by the DBS.

• There is a place where records can be stored securely and confidentially. Retention of DBS forms must be indefinite and VoxFresh will be responsible for their long-term secure storage.

Action if an allegation of abuse is made or an adult working with a child is concerned about possible abuse

  • A child should always be taken seriously. The adult should consult the Child Protection Lead (or Deputy). Contact details are given at the end of this document. 

• The adult will not investigate or contact Social Services directly except in an emergency.

Photography and image sharing

• Image consent must be obtained for all children and young people in attendance before any photographs or videos are shared.

• VoxFresh staff are responsible for posting on official social media sites. 

• No child or young person will be tagged or given their full name in any social media posts.

• VoxFresh singers are forbidden to take their own photographs which could be shared of any VoxFresh activity.

• Any deviation from these guidelines is discussed fully with parents/guardians and participants e.g. overseas visits.

  • All photos and videos will only be taken on the VoxFresh mobile phone. If staff phones are used the photos are to be immediately deleted once shared on official social media.

5. Contact Details

Nominated child protection lead – Kat Penn (Director): kat@voxfresh.com; 

07752976788

Deputy child protection lead – Sally Smithson/Lindsey Loane (Volunteers) – info@voxfresh.com     

NSPCC Helpline – 0808 800 5000 

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

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