Our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy is to insure the welfare of young people, vulnerable adults and the artists who work with us. Living Song is committed to ensuring that all leaders are fully aware of this health and safety policy, which includes:
- Safe Recruitment
- On-line Safety
- Safeguarding vulnerable adults
LIVING SONG ADHERES TO FOLLOWING THE SIX KEY PRINCIPLES THAT UNDERPIN SAFEGUARDING WORK (SEE CARE ACT GUIDANCE)
The principles above apply to staff employed by Living Song, Volunteers, Musicians, Artists and Young Artists. It applies to everyone we work with, including those living in challenging circumstances, in care due to illness, mental or physical. Living Song will ensure that the safeguarding action agreed is the least intrusive response to the risk. We expect partners from the community, or organizations involved in any safeguarding work in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse, working with Living Song CIC should be transparent and accountable in delivering safeguarding actions.
WHAT IS MAKING SAFEGUARDING PERSONAL (MSP)?
MSP means a case should be person-led and outcome-focused. The individual should be involved in identifying how best to respond to their safeguarding situation by giving them more choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety.
Living Song will not tolerate the abuse and will work with partner organisations during projects or singing programmes to ensure that participants are involved in their safeguarding arrangements and each individual is dealt with on a case by case basis, as we recognise that participants may have different preferences, histories and life styles, the same process may not work for all.
I. SAFE RECRUITMENT
The team at 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 leaders, artist, musician, freelancer or volunteer that comes into contact with them has police and health checks (DBS) and follows our Code of Conduct while working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
- 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 leader, 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, young people and vulnerable adults to continually ensure the safety of all the vulnerable people we work with.
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.
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
PROTECTING OUR TEAM
All leaders artists, musicians, freelancers and staff are encouraged to share concerns with the Living Song about their own needs and reflections. We value the leaders and artists we work with and are committed to supporting their development through the work we engage then in. Living Song will:
- Listening to our artistic lead team with regards their own sense of safety and support from Living Song.
- Building in training opportunities where possible on the projects we run.
- Ensure contracts, or letters of agreement make roles and responsibilities clear and that time is built in for reflection and evaluation reflected in pay scales.
- Pay scales will be decided based on the Artist Union https://www.artistsunionengland.org.uk/rates-of-pay/
CODE OF PRACTICE AND QUALITY ASSURANCE – 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.
II. ON-LINE SAFE-GUARDING
Living Song is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We strive to achieve the highest expectations of everyone engaged in Living Song work. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility; this policy sets out our expectations for all.
- protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and maltreatment
- preventing harm to children’s or vulnerable adults’ health or development
- ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care and vulnerable adults are given equal protection
- taking action to enable all children and young people and vulnerable adults to have the best outcomes.
ONLINE SAFETY FOR CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULT
Safeguarding online is complex and requires specific attention in relation to our work as Living Song CIC. The same definition and culture of safeguarding applies to online safety as it does in the everyday world. Many children enjoy and learn a great deal from being online and connecting with their friends on social media. There are many positive aspects to online learning and connection. There are however different risks posed by being and working online.
Increasingly educational professionals are encouraging children and young people to be online for music and singing lessons and group workshops and rehearsals. We need to be aware that we therefore become more a part of that world and must be fully aware of what children may be risking in all aspects of their online life.
Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the internet, facilitated through technology like computers, tablets, mobile phones and other internet-enabled devices (Department for Education, 2018; Department of Health, 2017; Scottish Government, 2014; Welsh Assembly Government, 2018).
It can happen anywhere online that allows digital communication, such as:
- social networks
- text messages and messaging apps
- email and private messaging
- online chats
- comments on live streaming sites
- voice chat in games.
Living Song works online with children and young people using 3 platforms: we have Whatsapp groupswith Young Artists and Leader teams and we hold Zoom sessions with our choirs and singing groups. We also share resources on our website and general information on our Facebook page and via Twitter.
In light of this, in addition to our Safeguarding, Child protection, Code of behaviour and Privacy policies, we are committed to the following:
- Ensuring that our lead teams and artists are made aware of the risks children and young people may be exposed to while being online, such as bullying, radicalisation, sexual exploitation and exposure to inappropriate images and messages. We follow NSPCC guidelines in this regard. (https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-abuse-and-neglect/online-abuse)
- Ensuring our lead teams feel confident about the procedures for reporting any suspicions they may have with regards to a child’s behaviour, or a child reporting a concern in the following way:
- Fostering an open, compassionate culture during online sessions so that children and young people feel confident to speak out if they have a concern about their own or another child’s safety. Leaders will:
- Listen to children’s concerns and respond calmly and non-judgmentally.
- Follow the school’s child protection policy and procedures when you have concerns about a child.
- Report your concerns to the nominated child protection lead as soon as possible.
- Make clear records of concerns following the school’s procedures.
- Understanding that children and young people may have limited time, or access online and may therefore be unable to participate in opportunities set up through Living Song.
- Exploring with parents of young children (under 12) and with young people (13+) within our choirs and groups, the best way to support their children in their learning online, working towards an infantry of understanding about online access for each of our young participants.
- Ensuring that all group members using Whatsapp for updates and information are OVER 16 and that we have received parental permission for 16-18yr olds to be part of the group. For Under 16 members we have a parent’s only group for communicating updates and information.
- Ensuring that there are always a minimum two professionals present in a Whatsapp group, one being a Safeguarding officer, in order to monitor all communications.
- Committing to all participants in our ZOOM online sessions adhering to:
- ensuring that all participants are 16 and over or have given parental/guardian permission to take part.
- that any participant under 12 years old has a parent present in the room, or within earshot during the sessions.
- using a neutral background as far as possible when connecting online, to protect their privacy.
- presenting themselves in a way they would in a usual rehearsal / workshop session.
- ensuring there are always a minimum of 2 adults in the session at any one time, including when using ‘break out’ rooms for small group, or sectional rehearsals.
- Ensuring that though follow up online practice, or homework is encouraged, it is not enforced in recognition of the variation of accessibility to online technology for our participants.
- Communicating regularly with parents/ guardians of under 16s with regards to online sessions via email, or on the phone, ensuring that permission has been received for their child to join any of our group activities.
- Making sure that children 11yrs or under have their parent or guardian in the room or nearby with them during an online session. Ideally, they will connect with the leader at the end of the session for a quick update with their child and the leader.
- Requiring parent/guardians of children 11yrs and under to sign a social online statement, in line with our policy.
- Pointing all parents/ guardians of under 18s and all our 18 and over young artists to the CEOP and NSPCC for guidelines, risks and benefits of children and young people being online.
- Ensure the leaders and any volunteers working with Living Song know who the Designated Child Protection Person (DCPP) is to report to at any time, should they have any concerns, before, during or after online sessions with children and young people.
It is our firm commitment that all participants in Living Song activities work in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. To this end we will ensure the following:
- There will be appropriate ventilation, in non-smoking venues for all workshops, rehearsals and performances.
- Leaders must make all participants aware of evacuation routes and procedures at any venue of rehearsal or performance.
- Leaders must advise participants to bring plenty of water to drink at rehearsals and performances, especially of hot days. Additional water will be provided during all singing activity to ensure the health of vocal-chords.
- Leaders will be vigilant of any behavior among participant that might imply mental health issues or discomfort in participating in any activities.
- Leaders will build in opportunities for children, young people or vulnerable adults to feedback, or share their thoughts and ideas to insure they feel supported.
- Participants and staff on must be accompanied by at least one peer at all times during workshops, for the legal safety of both singers and leaders.
- Participants are advised to travel to venues in small groups, or all together with a known adult for those under 16 years old.
- Parents/carers must arrange for safe journey home after workshops, rehearsals, or performances for any members under 16 years old.
- Members will be allowed appropriate rest, drink and toilet breaks during rehearsals and performances.
- All electronic equipment will be safety tested and fixed down to avoid tripping or tangling by participants moving in rehearsal venue’s or on stage.
- Fire procedures will be announced before activity in workshops or for new members to ensure all participants are aware of exit strategy of the venue, should a fire or emergency occur.
- Participants and leaders refrain from chewing gum during rehearsal or performance, to avoid risk of choking during singing activity.
- Participants and leaders are requested to wear loose, comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear for stepping and movement during singing. For leaders this can still be in line with professional presentation.
- During stretching exercises leaders will ensure that all participants are working within their own physical limits.
- Contact details for a next of kin must be available for all participants, should there be any need to contact someone due to a sudden onset of illness. This may be with a schoolteacher, if the workshop is within a school.
IV. SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE ADULTS
Living Song CIC works with vulnerable adults on occasions, offering singing and / or song making workshops.
This policy outlines the steps Living Song CIC will make to safeguard an adult with care and support needs if they are deemed to be at risk. This policy sets out the roles and responsibilities of Living Song CIC in working together with other professionals and agencies in promoting the adult’s welfare and safeguarding them from abuse and neglect.
Living Song CIC will ensure that decisions made will allow adults to make their own choices and include them in any decision-making. This includes for:
- Creative processes
- Repertoire choices
- Performance opportunities
- Organization in working spaces
Living Song CIC will also ensure that safe and effective working practices are in place.
This policy is intended to support staff and volunteers working with and for Living Song to understand their role and responsibilities in safeguarding adults. All staff and volunteers are expected to follow this policy. The key objectives of this policy are for all employees and volunteers Living Song CIC to:
- Have an overview of adult safeguarding
- Be clear about their responsibility to safeguard adults
- Ensure the necessary actions are taken where an adult with care and support needs is deemed to be at risk
THIS POLICY IS BASED ON:
- The Care Act 2014 and the Care and Support statutory guidance
- London Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures
- Human Rights Act 1998, which states that everyone has the right to live free from abuse and neglect. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights/human-rights-act
This policy is available to all artists, workshop leaders and teachers who work with Living Song CIC. We will not tolerate the abuse of adults in the organisation and staff and volunteers should be made aware of how this policy can be accessed.
WHAT IS SAFEGUARDING ADULTS?
‘Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.’
Care and Support Statutory Guidance, Department of Health, updated February 2017
All adults should be able to live free from fear and harm. But some may find it hard to get the help and support they need to stop abuse.
An adult may not be unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation due to many reasons, including their mental or physical incapacity, sensory loss or physical or learning disabilities. This could be an adult who is usually able to protect themselves from harm but maybe unable to do so because of an accident, disability, frailty, addiction or illness.
WHO DO ADULT SAFEGUARDING DUTIES APPLY TO?
The Care Act 2014 sets out that adult safeguarding duties apply to any adult who:
- has care and support needs, and
- is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse and neglect, and
- is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect, because of those needs.
WHO DO I GO TO IF I AM CONCERNED?
The named responsible person for safeguarding duties (MSP) for Living Song CIC is Jane Wheeler.
All staff and volunteers should contact Jane Wheeler for any concerns/queries they have in regards to safeguarding adults. A log of the concern must be kept.
The MSP will be responsible to make decisions about notifying adult social services if required and consider alternative actions, where necessary.
The MSP will also ensure that the safeguarding adults policies and procedures are in place and up to date. They will ensure a safe environment is promoted for staff and volunteers. Jane Wheeler will ensure they are up to date with their safeguarding adults training.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM CONCERNED?
Staff and volunteers at Living Song who have any adult safeguarding concerns should:
- Take emergency action if someone is at immediate risk of harm/in need of urgent medical attention. Dial 999 for emergency services
- Get brief details about what has happened and what the adult would like done about it, but do not probe or conduct a mini-investigation
- Seek consent from the adult to take action and to report the concern. Consider whether the adult may lack capacity to make decisions about their own and other people’s safety and wellbeing. If you decide to act against their wishes or without their consent, you must record your decision and the reasons for this.
- Name the person to whom staff/volunteers need to report any potential safeguarding concerns. This will usually be the organisation’s designated safeguarding lead (see above)
- Write an email as soon as possible addressed to the MSP, outlining the incident or any issues, describing what happened, what action wad taken, what action was recommended or promised.
- As far as possible, records should be written contemporaneously, dated and signed.
In making a decision whether to refer or not, the designated safeguarding lead should take into account:
- The adult’s wishes and preferred outcome
- Whether the adult has mental capacity to make an informed decision about their own and others’ safety
- The safety or wellbeing of children or other adults with care and support needs
- Whether there is a person in a position of trust involved
- Whether a crime has been committed
This should inform the decision whether to notify the concern to the following people:
- The police if a crime has been committed and/or:
- Relevant regulatory bodies such as Care Quality Commission, Ofsted, Charities commission
- Service commissioning teams
- Family/relatives as appropriate (seek advice from adult social services)
The designated safeguarding lead should keep a record of the reasons for referring the concern or reasons for not referring.
Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple and may affect one person or more. Staff and volunteers should look beyond single incidents to identify patterns of harm. Accurate recording of information will also assist in recognising any patterns.
As soon as Adult Social Services becomes involved, a 4-stage safeguarding adults process is followed. For more information about this 4-stage safeguarding adults process, refer to the London Safeguarding Adults Procedures.
WHAT ARE YOUR ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES?
All staff, management, trustees, artists, music leaders and volunteers working with Living Song are expected to report any concerns to the named MSP. If the allegation is against one Living Song CIC member, workshop leader, artist, young artist, teacher, volunteer, trustee or directors, seek advice from Living Song MSP – Jane Wheeler. If the allegation is against the safeguarding lead, Living Song will seek advice from the relevant council, or organisation concerned.
The designated safeguarding adults lead should be responsible for providing acknowledgement of the referral and brief feedback to the person raising the original concern. Feedback should be given in a way that will not make the situation worse or breach the Data Protection Act. If the police are involved, they should be consulted prior to giving feedback to the referrer to ensure any criminal investigation is not affected.
Living Song is committed to operate with integrity, transparency and honesty. This includes when things go wrong. All staff and volunteers should apologise and be honest with service users and other relevant people when things go wrong.
THE MENTAL CAPACITY ACT 2005
This can be used when decisions on behalf of those adults with care and support needs who are unable to make some decisions for themselves. Refer to the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice,
You will need to involve an advocate if the person lacks capacity to make decisions about the safeguarding concern.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND INFORMATION SHARING
It should however be noted that information should be shared with authorities if an adult is deemed to be at risk of immediate harm. Sharing the right information, at the right time, with the right people can make all the difference to preventing harm.
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
Living Song is committed to safe employment. Safe recruitment practices, such as Disclosure and Barring checks reduce the risk of exposing adults with care and support needs to people unsuitable to work with them. Refer to the council’s guidance on Safer Recruitment (please note this guidance is currently being updated).
TRAINING, AWARENESS RAISING AND SUPERVISION
Living Song ensures that all staff, artists, young artists, teachers and volunteers have received basic awareness training on safeguarding children and adults as they may come across adults with care and support needs who may be at risk of abuse. Those adults may report things of concern to staff or volunteers who should be equipped with the basic knowledge around safeguarding adults and be confident to identify that abuse is taking place and action is required. All staff and volunteers should be clear about the core values of Living Song CIC and commitment to safeguarding adults.
Similarly, staff and volunteers may encounter concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children.
Updated March 2021… And ongoing.