The team with Living Song believe that every child and young person regardless of age, gender, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic, national origin, religious belief or sexual orientation has, at all times, and in all situations, the right to feel safe and protected from any action or practice that results in physical or psychological damage.
In our organisation, if we have suspicions about a participant’s physical, sexual or emotional wellbeing, we will take action. We will protect our participants by:
- Ensuring any worker, artist, musician, freelancer or volunteer that comes into contact with them has police and health checks, and follows our code of conduct of working with children and young people and vulnerable adults.
- Ensuring new workers, artists, musicians, freelancers, volunteers or members of the organisation complete a personal profile form.
- Requesting previous addresses on volunteer/job application forms.
- Asking for names and two referees who are prepared to give a written reference.
- Following up each reference with a phone call or personal contact during which we will discuss the applicant’s suitability to work with children and young people. A record of this discussion will be kept on the applicant’s file.
- We will interview prospective workers, artists, musicians, freelancers or volunteers and observe them working in their current, or related context.
- We will carry out a probationary period for all workers, artists, musicians, freelancers or volunteers and staff for a proportion of the project time or 3 months if the duration of the project is 6 months or longer.
- Regularly monitoring and reviewing of our procedures on child and young people to continually ensure the safety of all the vulnerable people we work with.
All volunteers, freelancers and staff are encouraged to share concerns with the Living Song child protection officer. If the situation is clearly an urgent case, the child/venerable adult is too frightened to go home, or there are very serious doubts about the child’s safety, we will contact social services or the police immediately.
If concerns about a child, young person or vulnerable adult are more general, then the matter will be discussed with the Living Song child protection officer who will then make a referral to social services who, who will explore the matter further.
CODE OF PRACTICE – WORKSHOPS
Living Song is committed to safeguarding the welfare of the children we work with and has established the following code of practice:
- All workers, artists, musicians, freelancers or volunteers are given clear and established roles for their education work.
- All existing workers, artists, musicians, freelancers or volunteers used by the organisation are police checked to ensure that no one has a conviction for criminal offences against children.
- When working with schools, all workshops are conducted in the presence of a teacher.
- Living Song works in teams of at least two people, unless a relationship is already established with a group, in which case an individual may work alone.
- Children are supervised at all times during projects, including lunch breaks and travel to and from the venue.
- Workshop leaders are responsible for ensuring health and safety requirements are met in the working environment.
- Full evaluations are carried out after all workshops, completed by teachers/staff members to ensure that any problems are aired and that these areas can be addressed in the future.
ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DESIGNATED CHILD PROTECTION PERSON (DCPP)
Living Song has appointed a designated child protection person (DCPP) who is responsible for dealing with any concerns about the protection of children. This person, Jane Wheeler, is contactable by web form on Contact Us page. On projects, the Project Manager will be the first person to report to, s/he will then report to the Living Song DCPP.
THE ROLE OF THE DESIGNATED PERSON IS TO:
- Know which outside child protection agency to contact in the event of a child protection concern coming to the notice of the Board, any member of staff or associate of Living Song.
- Provide information and advice on child protection within the Board.
- Ensure that appropriate information is available at the time of referral and that the referral is confirmed in writing under confidential cover.
- Liaise with local social services and other agencies, as appropriate.
- Keep relevant people within the Board informed about any action taken and any further action required: for example, disciplinary action against a member of staff.
- Ensure that a proper record is kept of any referral and action taken, and this is kept safely and in confidence.
- Advise the Board of child protection training needs.
- Liaise with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to review the operation of the Child Protection Policy regularly to ensure the procedures are working and that they comply with current best practice.