THE BELFAST TATTOO

CHILD PROTECTION/VULNERABLE ADULT SAFEGUARDING POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT

  • We at The Belfast Tattoo are committed to good practice which protects children from harm. Staff and volunteers accept and recognise their responsibility to provide an environment which promotes the safety of the child at all times. To achieve this we will:
  • Develop an awareness of the issues which may lead to children being harmed.
  • Create an open environment by identifying a ‘Designated person’ to whom the children can turn to if they need to talk.
  • Adopt child centred and democratic teaching styles.
  • Adopt Safeguarding guidelines through codes of conduct for members and all adults, including tutors, parents and volunteers.
  • Ensure careful recruitment, selection and management procedures. These procedures will include regular support & supervision is provided to staff/volunteers.
  • Share information about concerns with children and parents and others who need to know.
  • Provide information as required to the management committee.
  • Ensure good and safe working/playing practices
  • Be involved in training made available through the various agencies and strengthen links with these agencies.
  • Keep Safeguarding policies under regular review (every 3 years minimum).
  • Have procedures relating specifically to bullying, away trips, transport and use of photography.
  • Make documentation/procedures available for parents, tutors and children clearly outlining their rights and responsibilities

Colin Wasson, The Belfast Tattoo
Date: 28th June 2017

The Children (Northern Ireland) Order (1995) is based on a clear and consistent set of principles designed with the common aim of promoting the welfare of children.

Children have the right to be safe. All tutors/volunteers should ensure that this fundamental principle takes precedence over all other considerations.

This policy applies to all those involved in The Belfast Tattoo, members, tutors, volunteers and young people.

CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT

We at The Belfast Tattoo will never promise to keep secrets. However, information of a confidential nature will only be communicated on a "need to know" basis, with the welfare of the child paramount.

Considerations of confidentiality will not be allowed to override the rights of children or young members to be protected from harm.
A full Safeguarding policy statement is displayed and available within Tattoo premises for all interested parties to read.

AWARENESS OF THE ISSUES

Background knowledge in relation to child abuse, the general principles of Safeguarding and the ability to recognise and respond to abuse are important issues. Of primary concern for The Belfast Tattoo is the issue of Safeguarding of our young members within the operation of the Tattoo. However, being cognisant of the indicators of abuse in respect of young members caused by others outside the Tattoo, are of an equal importance for the safety and wellbeing of that child.


Co-operating to Safeguard Children 2003 formally recognises four types of abuse:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the deliberate physical injury to a child, or the wilful or neglectful failure to prevent physical injury or suffering. This may include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, confinement to a room or cot, or inappropriately giving drugs to control behaviour.

Emotional Abuse

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 involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone. Domestic violence, adult mental health problems and parental substance misuse may expose children to emotional abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at or the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s physical, emotional and/or psychological needs, likely to result in significant harm. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate foods, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment, lack of stimulation or lack of supervision. It may also include non-organic failure to thrive (faltering growth). In addition to these The Belfast Tattoo recognises that we have a responsibility to:

“protect children from bullying and to have policies and procedures in places to do so” Co-operating to Safeguard Children DHSSPS, 2003

Tutors/Volunteers should challenge bullying in any form i.e. physical or emotional. Physical bulling can take the form of attacks, such as hitting, kicking, taking or damaging belongings. Emotional bullying may be a verbal assault, including name-calling, insults, repeat teasing, sectarian/racist assaults, or it may take more indirect forms, such as spreading malicious gossip, rumours or excluding someone from a social Tattoo. Bullying is not an accepted behaviour towards anyone at The Belfast Tattoo be they child, tutor, volunteer or parent. Anyone found to be bullying others will be dealt with seriously both in regards to the behaviour exhibited and the reasons for the behaviour. This Tattoo has an anti-bullying policy in place.

INDICATORS OF ABUSE

The following is a list of some indicators of abuse, but it is not exhaustive:

PHYSICAL INDICATORS
  • Unexplained bruising in soft tissue areas
  • Repeated injuries
  • Black eyes
  • Injuries to the mouth
  • Torn or bloodstained clothing
  • Burns or scalds
  • Bites
  • Fractures
  • Marks from implements
  • Inconsistent stories/excuses relating to injuries
BEHAVIOURAL INDICATORS
  • Unexplained changes in behaviour - becoming withdrawn or aggressive
  • Difficulty in making friends
  • Distrustful of adults or excessive attachment to adults
  • Sudden drop in performance
  • Changes in attendance pattern
  • Inappropriate sexual awareness, behaviour or language
  • Reluctance to remove clothing


RESPONDING TO DISCLOSURE OF ABUSE

    Always
  • Record what has been said ASAP
  • Remain sensitive and calm
  • Reassure child that they
    • are safe
    • were right to tell
    • are not to blame
    • are being taken seriously
  • Let child talk - don’t interview!
  • Listen & hear, give the person time to say what they want.
  • Ensure a positive experience
  • Explain that you must tell, but will maintain confidentiality
  • Tell child what will happen next
  • Involve appropriate individuals immediately
  • Stay calm.
  • Reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling and that it will be dealt with appropriately.
    Never
  • Question unless for clarification
  • Make promises you cannot keep
  • Rush into actions that may be inappropriate
  • Make/pass a judgment on alleged abuser
  • Take sole responsibility, consult the designated officer so you can begin to protect the child and gain support for yourself.

DESIGNATED PERSON/CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER

The Designated person within The Belfast Tattoo, is Diane Armstrong - Contact number: 02890 319319
Diane shall be made known to young members, volunteers and parents alike; as the designated person to whom concerns will be addressed. If the concern is about the designated person please report to Tattoo Chairperson.

Guidelines for recording/ dealing with incidents/accidents will be outlined later in this policy document.

SAFE RECRUITMENT PROCEDURES FOR VOLUNTEERS / TUTORS

  • Volunteers and tutors are carefully selected, trained and supervised. The office bearers of the Tattoo committee must vouch for new volunteers/tutors potential involvement and their participation must be ratified by the unanimous approval of Tattoo committee.
  • Individuals engaged in regulated activity(as defined by Access N.I.) must complete and sign the Access NI Disclosure Certificate Application Form which gives permission to enable The Belfast Tattoo to administer an Access NI check (proof of identity MUST be provided).
  • Declaration of past convictions or cases pending and agreement to have an Access NI check completed, is of course a pre-requisite to approval to tutor/volunteer to work with young people.
  • ALL volunteers/tutors must agree to abide by the Tattoo’s Safeguarding Policy and all are required to sign the Code of Conduct.
  • Any concerns or objections with regard to suitability of a tutor/volunteer should be submitted to the designated person.

TRAINING FOR VOLUNTEERS/TUTORS

  • Education and training in the basics of Safeguarding will apply to all tutors/volunteers/management committee members working with the children or young members. The Belfast Tattoo is committed to continuous updating and review of our current Safeguarding Policy.
  • Safeguarding training should include
    • Basic awareness of Safeguarding issues Our Tattoo’s Safeguarding policies and procedures including our Code of Conduct
  • Training will be carefully selected to ensure it is sufficient. We will seek that training from a specific training provider with experience and knowledge of good practice.
  • Ensure all tutors and volunteers should receive induction, and training appropriate to their role. Training should be updated and reviewed regularly for new tutors/ volunteers and in line with changing legislation.

CODES OF CONDUCT

A Code of Conduct lets all our tutors/volunteers in our Tattoo know what behaviour is expected and what is unacceptable. It will also let all involved know what sanctions will be applied for non-compliance with the Code. A written Code of Conduct will be prominently displayed or communicated to everyone associated with the Tattoo. It will be applied consistently. This Tattoo has a code of conduct for tutors/volunteers and young people and a code of expectations for parents/guardians.

GUIDELINES RELATING TO AWAY DAYS AND RESIDENTIALS

Travelling to engagements/competitions is sometimes necessary for this Tattoo. Trips may vary from short journeys to play at local events or involve more complicated arrangements including overnight stays. But The Belfast Tattoo is committed to ensuring that we follow certain standards to ensure the safety of our members.

GUIDELINES FOR REPORTING ACCIDENTS

In the event of an accident, the following procedure will be carried out:-
  • Make contact with parents/guardians
  • Contact emergency services/ GP if required
  • Record in detail all facts surrounding the accident, witness's etc.

GUIDELINES FOR REPORTING ALLEGATIONS/ INCIDENTS

  • Inform designated person ASAP
  • Ensure confidentiality - only "need to know basis" (reference confidentiality statement)
  • Inform parents, unless to do so may put the child at further risk
  • The designated person will be responsible for storing any report in a safe and secure environment
See flow charts for further guidance.

USEFUL NUMBERS

Health and Social Care Trust - 028 9504 0100 NSPCC Helpline - 0808 800 5000
PSNI Public Protection Unit - 028 9065 0222 (Ask for your local Public Protection Unit)
Childline - Freephone 0800 1111

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR

YOU MUST:
  • Treat all children and young people with respect.
  • Provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow.
  • Ensure that, whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others.
  • Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy and encourage young people and adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like.
  • Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well – intentioned.
  • Be aware that even physical contact with a child or young person may be misinterpreted.
  • Recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children and young people.
  • Operate within the organisations principles and guidance and any specific procedures.
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations or suspicions of abuse.
YOU MUST NOT:
  • Have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children or young people.
  • Allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention –seeking behaviour or make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children or young people.
  • Jump to conclusions about others without checking facts.
  • Either exaggerate or trivialise about child abuse issue.
  • Show favouritism to any individual.
  • Rely on your good name or that of the organisation to protect you.
  • Believe ‘it could never happen to me’
  • Take a chance when common sense, policy or practice suggests another more prudent approach.
You should give guidance and support to inexperienced helpers.

IMPLEMENTATION AND AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION

It is important that there is a free flow of information between tutors/volunteers, children and parents, in terms of promotion of the Tattoo and what we aim to achieve in relation to your child. This Tattoo will insist that a parent/guardian consent form is completed for each under 18 year old member.

Parents should know what we do and how we do it, and the tutors/designated person will always be on hand at Tattoo activities for consultation or advice.

When appropriate, letters (or telephone contact) will be issued in relation to further information or specifics in respect of an event etc.

A regular review of Tattoo policies will take place through meetings with tutors/volunteers and feedback from children and parents. As a Tattoo we have developed a plan for implementing our safeguarding procedures

If you do not know who to turn to for advice or are worried about sharing your concerns with a senior colleague, you should contact the Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT) Gateway Team direct (or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000). At any stage during the process in the left hand column the issue can be refered externally either formally or informally for advice. Following the external (right column) outcome the matter may be refered back to the organisation’s Disciplinary Committee.

Dealing with concerns about a colleague

The vast majority of people who work with children are well motivated and would never harm a child. Unfortunately a few do and it is essential that the Tattoo creates a culture that makes tutors / volunteers willing and comfortable to voice their concerns, particularly those about someone with whom they work or whom they know. Again, the Tattoo’s Safeguarding procedures should be followed.

During an investigation, support should be given both to the individual who voices concerns and to the suspected abuser. Once the investigation is completed, the Tattoo committee must decide what action, if any, is necessary to prevent a similar situation arising again.



When the concern is about possible abuse outside the Tattoo