Child And Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy (Safeguarding)
Date Ratified: 2nd August 2022
Frequency of Review by the trustees:- Every year (or when legislation changes)
Next Review: August 2023
Trustees are responsible for safeguarding.
This policy applies to all members of Up Close Theatre in whatever capacity they are involved. (Trustees, members, volunteers, staff).
Up Close Theatre believes that:
- The welfare of our members, in particular the young people and vulnerable adults we work with, is paramount.
- All people, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All members have a responsibility to report concerns to the designated person (Company Manager) the deputy or a trustee.
- Members are not trained or qualified to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.
2) The work of Up Close Theatre:
Up Close Theatre creates plays and performances and runs workshops related to productions and the theatrical arts. These take place in venues including but not limited to theatres, community centres, village halls, schools and places of entertainment.
3) Policy Statement
Up Close Theatre has a duty to promote the wellbeing and welfare of everyone involved in our projects and to protect them from harm. All children and vulnerable adults have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be considered. We will ensure the safety and protection of all members including children and vulnerable adults involved in our productions, projects, workshops and training through adherence to the safeguarding guidelines adopted by us.
4) Policy Aims
The aim of Up Close Theatre's safeguarding Policy is to promote good practice by:
• Ensuring that appropriate safety and protection is given to all, especially to children and vulnerable adults at the venues.
• Allowing all of our members to make informed and confident responses to specific protection issues.
5) Promoting Good Practice
All members should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from danger and from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.
Good practice means:
• Being an excellent role model.
• Always working in an open environment.
• Treating all young people/vulnerable adults equally.
• Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with members.
• Only touching participants when necessary and in relation to the activity.
• Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children and vulnerable adults to share in the decision-making process.
• Members who will be working with young people, or vulnerable adults must be prepared to be vetted through DBS checking.
Up Close Theatre will:-
• Keep up to date with Up Close Theatre's Public Liability Insurance.
• Keep up to date with Health and Safety.
• Keep informed about legislation and policies for protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults and undertake relevant development and training.
• Inform all members of our policies through providing hard copies (when requested), electronic copies, and posting on our website.
• Keep up to date with carrying out and monitoring risk assessments
• Identify at the outset the people with designated protection responsibility at venues.
• Ensure that team leaders working with children or vulnerable adults have been DBS checked.
• Keep a written record in an Accident/Incident Book of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
• Ensure that during performances all children under 16 will be supervised by a parent or licensed chaperone. https://www.gov.uk/chaperone-child-performers
As an Up Close Theatre member you should inform the parents, guardian of carer of the child or vulnerable adult:
• If you accidentally hurt a member of the group.
• If he/she seems distressed in any manner.
• If a young person or vulnerable adult appears to be sexually aroused by your actions.
• If a young person or vulnerable adult misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.
All incidents must be logged in the Accident/Incident Book and a full account of the circumstances given to the Company Manager or deputy. It is the Company Manager's (as designated person) ultimate responsibility to initiate any action which must be taken as a result of the accident/incident, or to ensure that the appropriate action takes place. If you are concerned about reporting an incident to the designated person, the deputy or a trustee then you can report directly to the appropriate authorities. Contact information is given in section 18 at the foot of this document.
6) Practices to be avoided:
The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge or the child's or vulnerable person's parents, guardian or carer. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a session:
• Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with vulnerable adults or children away from others.
• Avoid taking or dropping off a vulnerable adult or child to an event.
7) Practices never to be sanctioned:
Members should never:
• Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
• Allow people to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
• Allow allegations to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
• Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults that they can do for themselves.
8) Responding to allegations or suspicions
It is not the responsibility of members to decide whether or not abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.
Information about reporting can be found in section 18 at the foot of this document.
Up Close Theatre will assure all members that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a someone is, or may be, abusing.
Allegations or suspicions must be reported to the designated person (who is the company Manager) the deputy or any Trustee, who will inform the appropriate authority.
If a disclosure is made
- We recognise that it takes a lot of courage for someone to disclose abuse. They may feel ashamed, guilty or scared, their abuser may have threatened that something will happen if they tell, they may have lost all trust in adults or believe that what happened is their fault. Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abuse.
- Someone who makes a disclosure may have to tell their story on several subsequent occasions to the police and/or social workers. Therefore, it is vital that their first experience of talking to a trusted adult is a positive one.
During a conversation with a discloser you must;
- Listen to what the person has to say and allow them to speak freely
- Remain calm and not overact or act shocked or disgusted – the person may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting the listener
- Reassure them that it is not their fault and that they have done the right thing in telling someone
- Not be afraid of silences – staff must remember how difficult it is to disclose and allow them time to talk
- Take what is being disclosed seriously
- Ask open questions and avoid asking leading questions
- Avoid jumping to conclusions, speculation or make accusations
- Not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. It may be anything but comforting to someone who is being abused.
If the discloser talks to you about any risks to their safety or wellbeing you must let the discloser know that you will have to pass the information on to the appropriate body..
9) Information for social services or the police about suspected abuse:
To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which could include the following
• The name, age and date of birth of the abused person.
• The home address and telephone number of the abused person.
• Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
• The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.
• Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
• A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
• Details of witnesses to the incidents.
• The abused person's account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
• Have the parents, guardian or carer been contacted?
• If so what has been said?
• Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details.
• If the alleged victim was not the person who reported the incident, has the alleged victim been spoken to?
If so what was said?
• Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.
• Where possible referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded.
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:
• Safeguarding Officer at the venue.
• The parents, guardian or carer of the person who is alleged to have been abused.
• The person making an allegation.
• Social services/police.
• An alleged abuser (and parents, guardian or carer if the alleged abuser is vulnerable or a child). Advice should be sought from social services on who should approach the alleged abuser.
Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).
11) Concerns about poor practice (whistleblowing):
Suspicions or allegations about wrong doings such as: -criminal offences, failure to comply with any legal obligations, failure in the protection of children or vulnerable adults, miscarriages of justice, health and safety risks to individuals. damage to the environment, or concealment of the above must also be reported to the Company Manager or to the deputy designated person (also any trustee may be contacted.
• If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice, the Company Manager will deal with it as a misconduct issue and notify the trustees for ratification.
• If the allegation is about poor practice by the Company Manager or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the Trustees who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings.
12) Internal Enquiries and Suspension
• The Safeguarding Officer at the venue and the Company Manager at Up Close Theatre will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.
• Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries Up Close Theatre will assess all individual cases to decide whether a membership can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, Up Close Theatre must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of probability the accused person should not be reinstated. The welfare of the victim should remain of paramount importance throughout.
13) Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse:
• Consideration should be given to the kind of support that vulnerable adults, children, parents and members may need.
• Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged perpetrator.
• Consideration should be given to support for the person carrying out an investigation.
14) Allegations of previous abuse
Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children or vulnerable adults.
15) Action if bullying is suspected
Up Close Theatre take physical and mental bullying seriously. If it is reported or suspected the same procedure should be followed as set out in 'Responding to suspicions or allegations' above.
16) Photographs and Video Footage:
Up Close Theatre will endeavour to ensure that any photographs or video footage taken and used by the company or a third party will have the permission of the participants, parents or other responsible adults as appropriate. In all cases we will not name any children except at the request of the parents or responsible adults. It is the responsibility of any organisation outside of Up Close Theatre that provides photographs or video footage to the company to obtain appropriate permission.
Up Close Theatre will carry out appropriate permission procedures where photographs or video footage are taken of all current activities.
17) Radicalisation and ExtremismThe Prevent Duty for England and Wales (2015) under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on services to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
Extremism is defined as 'as 'vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs'. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
Some are at risk of being radicalised; adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal or dangerous.
Up Close Theatre is clear that exploitation of vulnerable children and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern and follows the Department for Education guidance for schools and childcare providers on preventing children and young people from being drawn into terrorism.
Up Close Theatre seeks to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, or to Far Right / Neo Nazi / White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements.
When any member has concerns that someone may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the Manager. They should then follow normal safeguarding procedures. If the matter is urgent then Devon & Cornwall Police must be contacted by dialling 999. In non-urgent cases where police advice is sought then dial 101.
18) Reporting to authorities
Child protection. The website of Devon Children and Families Partnership contains information about keeping children safe and recognising the signs of abuse. It is found at https://www.dcfp.org.uk
If you are concerned about a child or young person in Devon and want to speak to someone, or if you are a child or young person worried about your own safety or that of a friend, contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071 or email
Protection of adults. The website of Devon Safeguarding Adult Partnership contains information to help you identify abused individuals. It is found at - https://www.devonsafeguardingadultspartnership.org.uk/abuse/
If you are concerned about an adult in Devon and want to speak to someone, or if you are worried about your own safety or that of a friend, contact Devon Safeguarding Adult Partnership0345 155 1007 or email
Whistleblowing. The Public Interest Disclosure Act came into force in July 1999information on whistleblowing can be accessed through the government websites. https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing
If you are worried about sharing concerns about abuse with a senior colleague, you can contact the agencies above or the police direct, or the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or Childline on 0800 1111.
Principles, legislation and guidance used to prepare this policy can be found through the following web links.
Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-duties-for-charity-trustees#children-adults-at-risk