Safeguarding Policy

Introduction

Bounce Back Arts CIC is committed to safeguarding all children, young people and vulnerable adults that come into contact with our work. We believe that all children, young people and vulnerable adults have an equal right to protection from abuse, regardless of their age, race, religion, ability, gender, language, background or sexual identity and consider the welfare of the child / young person / vulnerable adult is paramount.

Bounce Back will take every reasonable step to ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are protected where our staff, associates and volunteers are involved in the delivery of work. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

Bounce Back enables all its staff and those who work with the CIC to make informed and confident decisions regarding safeguarding. We expect everyone (staff, board, associates, volunteers and anyone working on behalf of Bounce Back ) to have read, understood and adhere to this policy and related procedures.

Aims of the Safeguarding Policy

BBA will take every reasonable step to ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are protected where:

  • their own staff are directly involved in a project or programme.
  • they broker the relationship between a school / young person’s setting / community venue and an associate organisation.
  • they contract an associate / organisation to work with a school / young people’s / community setting.
  • they work in partnership with another organisation or agency.

BBA endeavours to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
  • adopting this policy and adhering to their associated procedures and code of conduct for staff.
  • recruiting all staff, volunteers and associates safely by ensuring that all the necessary checks are made.
  • sharing information about safeguarding and child protection with children, parents, school staff, community workers, carers, associates and staff.
  • sharing concerns with agencies who need to know involving children, school staff, community workers, carers and parents appropriately.
  • providing effective management of staff and associates through supervision, support and training.

Roles and Responsibilities

The designated person within BBA responsible for Safeguarding and Child Potection is Nicky Whittenham. The role of the Designated Person is to:

  • assume overall responsibility for safeguarding and child protection for the CIC.
  • help the rest of the CIC understand the key issues in relation to safeguarding and the cultural / education sectors.
  • establish contact with the senior member of social services responsible for child protection in the local area.
  • be a point of contact within the organisation for staff, board, partners and associates in relation to safeguarding and child protection.
  • be aware of local statutory safeguarding procedures and networks.
  • make decisions about safeguarding and child protection.
  • receive and assess information from staff and associates who have a child protection concern.
  • report the issue to the Safeguarding Officer/ within the school/ organisation where the events were taking place.
  • make a formal referral to a statutory child protection agency or the police without delay.
  • record the concern and action in the child protection log.It is not the role of the Designated Person or the CIC to decide whether abuse has taken place or not. The responsibility of the Designated Person or the CIC is to ensure that concerns are shared and appropriate action taken.

It is not the role of the Designated Person or the CIC to decide whether abuse has taken place or not. The responsibility of the Designated Person or the CIC is to ensure that concerns are shared and appropriate action taken.

Recruitment of staff, associates and volunteers

Bounce Back will ensure that all individuals working with BBA (either as a volunteer or an engaged freelance worker), will be carefully recruited on the basis of previous, similar work carried out; that references and qualifications will be thoroughly checked and; that the appropriate DBS checks are carried out on all, where applicable. All volunteers or freelance workers will be made aware of Bounce Back’s Safeguarding Policy.

Responding to allegations or suspicions

If a member of staff / associate has any reason to suspect that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is being subjected to physical, emotional or sexual abuse, then these steps must be followed:

  • Report the matter to the Designated Officer
  • The Designated Officer will assess the nature of the suspicions or the disclosure.
  • The Designated Officer will consult the relevant Officer at the venue (ie. School, theatre, community centre etc) involved, or contact social services.
  • Company staff must not attempt to investigate the matter themselves. This is the responsibility of social services and / or the police.
  • If an allegation is made against a member of the Company staff / associates, the Company will act swiftly and there will either be a criminal investigation, a child protection investigation and / or a disciplinary or misconduct investigation.

Whistle blowing policy

All staff, associates and volunteers are assured that they can disclose confidential information relating to unacceptable behaviour by other members of staff/associates.

Images and Documentation

The collection of images for promotional purposes by Bounce Back’s employees, or those authorised to do so on the CIC’s behalf, is acceptable providing permission has been granted by the individuals who will be photographed/videoed. Adults (including parents / guardians of children below the age of consent) and young people (over the age of consent) should be aware of:

  • the purpose for which the images will be used.
  • the length of time that they will be used for or that the use may be for an indefinite period.
  • good practice is that permission is not requested for any period longer than two years.

Child Protection Policy

Bounce Back is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for children and young people involved in any of its activities. We recognise the unique status of children and young people and seek to ensure that they are respectfully treated as individuals. All workers within the CIC, paid and voluntary, accept that the welfare of the child is paramount.

Bounce Back does this by:

  • Recognising that all children have the right to freedom from abuse.
  • Ensuring that all our staff, associates, partners and volunteers are carefully selected and accept responsibility for helping to prevent the abuse of children in their care.
  • Responding swiftly and appropriately to all suspicions or allegations of abuse, and providing parents and children with the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have.
  • All allegations of abuse are taken seriously and responded to appropriately.
  • Appointing a Designated Officer who will take specific responsibility for child safety and act as the main point of contact for parents, children and outside agencies.
  • Ensuring access to confidential information is restricted to the Designated Officer or the appropriate external authorities.
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of our Safeguarding Policy annually.

The definition of ‘child’ or ‘young person’ relates to anyone under the age of 18, and also to those above the age of 18 who are vulnerable for reasons of mental and physical ability.

Code of Behaviour

Bounce Back expects everyone who works with us (staff, associates, partners, volunteers) to follow the guidelines that follow in all aspects of their activities connected with the work of the Company.

  • Treat everyone with respect
  • Provide an example you wish others to follow
  • Respect people’s right to personal privacy
  • Provide access for people to talk about any concerns they may have
  • Support children, young people and vulnerable adults to create a safe environment where they feel comfortable to talk about attitudes or behaviours they do not like
  • Avoid situations that compromise your relationship with children, young people and vulnerable adults, which are unacceptable within a relationship of trust.
  • Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.
  • Recognise that caution is required even in sensitive moments of listening such as when dealing with bullying, bereavement or abuse.
  • Do not have any inappropriate physical or verbal contact with others.
  • Do not jump to conclusions about others without checking the facts.
  • Do not show favouritism to any individual
  • Do not make suggestive remarks or gestures, even in fun.
  • Do not let suspicion, disclosure or allegation of abuse go unrecorded or unreported.

Implementation of Policy

The Board of Directors has responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy. Each Director also has responsibility to abide by the policy and help create the environment of which is its objective. In order to implement this policy we will ensure that appropriate training and guidance will be provided for members, employees and associates and that adequate resources are made available to fulfil the aims of this policy.

Monitoring and Review

Progress on implementing this policy will be reviewed annually by the Bounce Back Board of Directors.

Complaints

Employees and associates who believe that they have suffered any form or discrimination, harassment or victimisation as part of their work with Bounce Back are entitled to raise the matter with the designated person, who will investigate the complaint confidentially, appropriately and without delay and will report to the police and social services where appropriate. The designated person will keep Bounce Back’s Board of Directors informed of all developments in relation to the complaint and will support police and social services with their enquiries, to the best of their ability.

These internal procedures do not replace or detract from the right of employees or associates to pursue complaints under any relevant discrimination legislation.

Every effort will be made to ensure that employees or associates making complaints will not be victimised. Any complaint or victimisation will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially.