The scope of this policy
The security and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in Pen and Paper Theatre activities is a moral and legal responsibility of all adults who work for or with the Company, whatever their official role, paid or unpaid. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
This policy applies to everyone, including members of the board, paid staff, freelancers, members, session workers, visiting staff, students or anyone working on behalf of Pen and Paper Theatre (PPTC).
This policy applies to any and all activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults run by the PPTC or by members of the PPTC in conjunction with other organisations (such as schools and colleges, other theatre companies, youth theatres etc).
The policy itself is supported by a suite of procedures and guidance created in line with The National Wales Safeguarding Procedures.
Available at: https://www.safeguarding.wales/index.html
For the purposes of this policy:
- A child is anyone who has not yet reached the official minimum school leaving age,
- A young person is anyone under 18,
- A vulnerable adult may be regarded as anyone over the age of 18 years who may be unable to protect themselves from abuse, harm or exploitation, which may be by reason of illness, age, mental illness, disability or other types of physical or mental impairment.
- Those at risk may live alone, be dependent on others (care homes etc.), be elderly, or be socially isolated.
This policy has been drawn up with reference to key legislation:
- Children Act 1989
- United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Children Act 2004 (and the All Wales Child Protection Procedures)
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Borders Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
- Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
- The well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015
- Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
- The Children (Performances and Activities (Wales) Regulations 2015
PPTC may provide ongoing/regular services or activities, and offer a wide range of engagement, participation or employment opportunities specifically aimed at children, young people and/or vulnerable adults through :
- The casting of children and/or young people in any PPTC production or projects
- Workshops or other activities provided as part of PPTC Education or well-being or other strands of the company’s work
- Work experience placements
- Workshops or research and development activities for specific commissions or projects
These activities may take place in any of the 22 local authority areas in Wales and may extend outside of Wales.
The purpose of this policy:
- to protect children, young people and/or vulnerable adults who engage with PPTC, including the children of adult staff, volunteers or participants who may be present during any PPTC activities
- to provide staff, freelancers and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults
PPTC believes that a child, young person or vulnerable adult should never experience abuse, harm or exploitation of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults and to keep them safe. We are committed to practising in a way that protects them.
This policy has been developed with reference to the guidance issued by the Safe Network (the National Safeguarding Unit for the Third Sector, which is jointly managed by the NSPCC and Children England) and by the Welsh Assembly Government. (see Guidance, National Context and Legal framework for more detail.)
We recognise that:
- the welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse and a right to be treated with dignity and respect
- 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, young people and vulnerable adults safe by:
- valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- adopting safeguarding practices through detailed procedures and a code of conduct for staff and PPTC
- recruiting staff safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training
- sharing information about child protection and safeguarding and good practice with children, young people and vulnerable adults, parents, staff and PPTC
- sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents, guardians and children, young people and vulnerable adults appropriately.
In particular, PPTC will:
- ensure that all staff, freelancers, workshop leaders, chaperones and artists working directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults are vetted appropriately and that they read and understand this policy and associated procedures
- provide guidance and/or training opportunities in terms of safeguarding for all members of staff and, in particular, for those undertaking activities which involve contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults;
- ensure that a risk assessment is undertaken for any activity involving children, young people or vulnerable adults, and ongoing risk assessments for repeated activity are regularly reviewed;
- make sure that, when working with any partner organisations (such as schools or youth groups) the responsibilities of each partner in terms of safeguarding are clear and include the responsibilities of each party;
- communicate the relevant contents of the policy to children, young people or vulnerable adults as appropriate and inform them who the appropriate person or people are to speak to if they have any questions, problems or concerns;
- establish and maintain an ethos where children, young people and vulnerable adults 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)
- ensure that a register (or signing in/signing out sheet) of every person taking part in projects is available and a contact name and number close to hand in case of emergencies, wherever possible;
- ensure that where children, young people and vulnerable adults take part in professional PPTC productions, this is with the informed consent of their parents or carers, that there are suitable required arrangements (chaperoning, licensing etc) in place and that everyone involved in the production is aware of the need to conduct themselves appropriately;
- ensure that parental/guardian consent is gained before photographs or video recordings are taken of children, young people or vulnerable adults, and that the use of this media is clearly understood.
The Board and Executive Director have overall responsibility for ensuring the policy and procedures framework. It will identify a Lead Board member or Executive Director for Safeguarding and, in particular, the Board will:
- assess the safeguarding risks that might arise from PPTC’s activities and operations
- approve suitable policies and procedures to handle allegations and incidents
- undertake ongoing monitoring to ensure effective implementation of those policies and procedures;
- take steps to ensure that both the Board and Executive Director along with people working within PPTC respond properly when allegations and incidents arise and report as necessary to the police and other agencies; and
- review policies and procedures both periodically and following serious incidents, using their experience of particular incidents to manage and minimise the risk of something similar happening again by making any necessary changes to PPTC’s policies and procedures.
The Managing Director has overall responsibility for the administrative and communication systems which underpin the Safeguarding policy. In particular, the Managing Director will:
- ensure that all issues concerning the safety and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults who engage with PPTC are properly dealt with through robust procedures and administrative systems
- ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place for making staff, freelancers, board members, PPTC children, young people and vulnerable adults aware of PPTC’s safeguarding procedures and what they should do if they have concerns about the mentioned parties
- ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place for keeping children and young people engaging with PPTC activities safe and for promoting the safety and welfare of children and young people.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) acts in terms of safeguarding and is responsible for the day-to-day procedures which support PPTC’s safeguarding policy. In particular, the DSL will:
- receive and record information from anyone who has concerns about children, young persons or vulnerable adults engaging in PPTC activities.
- take the lead on dealing with information that may constitute a safeguarding concern. This includes assessing and clarifying the information, and taking decisions, where necessary, in consultation with the Managing Director and statutory agencies.
- consult with, pass on information to and receive information from statutory agencies, such as the local authority children’s social care department and the police. This includes making formal referrals to these agencies when necessary.
- consult with the NSPCC Helpline when such support is needed.
- be familiar with and work within the All Wales Child Protection procedures
- be familiar with issues relating to a child, young person and vulnerable adult protection and abuse, and keep up-to-date with new developments in this area.
- attend training in issues relevant to a child, young person and vulnerable adult protection from time to time and share knowledge from that training with colleagues.
- arrange training for other staff, freelancers and relevant persons, as necessary, and maintain training records
- provide induction briefings for new staff, freelancers and relevant persons
- make arrangements with partner organisations to clarify procedures for specific projects
All staff, freelancers and associated persons (paid or unpaid) have a responsibility to follow the guidelines laid out in this policy and related policies and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures. We expect all staff, freelancers and associated persons (paid or unpaid) to promote good practice by being excellent role models, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and positively involve people in developing safe practices.
Approval, Monitoring and Review
This policy has been written by the Executive Director and is approved and endorsed by the Board. The policy and associated procedures will be reviewed annually.
Approved January 2023 | Review January 2024
Review Date: January 2024