Safeguarding Policy

The scope of this policy
The security and welfare of children and young people involved in NTW activities is a moral and legal responsibility of all adults who work for or with the Company, whatever their official role, paid or unpaid. This policy applies to everyone, including senior managers, members of the board of trustees, paid staff, TEAM members, session workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of National Theatre Wales (NTW).  It applies to any and all activities involving children or young people run by NTW or by members of the NTW company 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, including a code of conduct for staff and information about action to be taken if a safeguarding concern is raised.

Context
NTW does not currently provide ongoing / regular services or activities specifically aimed at children and/or young people.  It does, however, offer a wide range of engagement, participation or employment opportunities through:

  • The casting of children and/or young people in an NTW production
  • Workshops or other activities provided as part of TEAM Education, TEAM or other strands of the company’s work
  • Work experience placements
  • Workshops or research and development activities for a specific production

These activities may take place in any of the 22 local authority areas in Wales.

The purpose of this policy:

  • to protect children and young people who engage with NTW, including the children of adult staff, volunteers or participants who may be present during NTW activities
  • to provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection

 Definition
For the purposes of this policy, a child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday

 Policy Statement
NTW believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.

Legal framework
This policy has been drawn up with reference to key legislation (see Guidance, National Context and Legal framework for more detail):

  • 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
  • Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
  • The Children (Performances and Activities (Wales) Regulations 2015

Guidance
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 and young people safe by:

  • valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • adopting safeguarding practices through detailed procedures and a code of conduct for staff and TEAM
  • recruiting staff safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training
  • developing and implementing an effective e-safety policy and related procedures (by end March 2017)
  • sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and TEAM
  • sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.

In particular, NTW will:

  • ensure that all employees, all workshop leaders, chaperones and artists working directly with children and young people 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 permanent members of staff and, in particular, for those undertaking activities which involve contact with children or young people;
  • ensure that a risk assessment is undertaken for any activity involving children or young people, and that generic risk assessments for repeated activity are regularly reviewed;
  • make sure that, when working with partner organisations (such as schools or youth groups) the responsibilities of each partner in terms of safeguarding are clear and include the responsibilities of chaperoning;
  • communicate the relevant contents of the policy to children and young people 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 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 young 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 and young people take part in professional NTW productions, this is with the informed consent of their parents or carers, that there are suitable chaperoning / licensing arrangements 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 or young people, and that the use to which these images will be put is clearly understood.

Responsibilities
The Board has overall responsibility for ensuring the policy and procedures framework.   It will identify a Lead Board member for Safeguarding and, in particular, the Board will:

  • assess the safeguarding risks that might arise from NTW’s activities and operations
  • approve suitable policies and procedures to handle allegations and incidents
  • undertake on-going monitoring to ensure effective implementation of those policies and procedures;
  • take steps to ensure that both the Board and people working within NTW 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 NTW’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 and young people who engage with NTW are properly dealt with through robust procedures and administrative systems
  • ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place for making staff, Board members, TEAM children and young people aware of NTW’s safeguarding procedures and what they should do if they have concerns about a child or children

The Executive Producer has overall responsibility for the activities in which children and young people might engage.  In particular, the Executive Producer will:

  • ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place for keeping children and young people engaging with NTW activities safe and for promoting the safety and welfare of children and young people.

 The Production Coordinator acts as NTW’s Designated Person in terms of safeguarding and is responsible for the day to day procedures which support NTW’s safeguarding policy.  In particular, the Production Coordinator will:

  • receive and record information from anyone who has concerns about a child engaging with NTW activities.
  • take the lead on dealing with information that may constitute a child protection concern. This includes assessing and clarifying the information, and taking decisions, where necessary, in consultation with the Managing Director and/or Executive Producer and statutory child protection agencies.
  • consult with, pass on information to and receive information from statutory child protection 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 child protection and abuse, and keep up-to-date with new developments in this area.
  • attend training in issues relevant to child protection from time to time and share knowledge from that training with colleagues.
  • arrange training for other staff members, as necessary, and maintain training records
  • provide induction briefings for new staff / free-lancers
  • make arrangements with partner organisations to clarify procedures for specific projects

All staff (paid or unpaid) have responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures. We expect all staff (paid or unpaid) to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.

Approval, Monitoring and Review
This policy is approved and endorsed by the Board.  The policy and associated procedures will be reviewed annually.

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