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Amico Dance Academy

Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy

Our contact details:

Name:        Rachel Griffin       Phone Number:         07771753088

Name:        Sarah Toms         Phone Number:         07929760204

Website:     www.amicodance.co.uk

This policy was last reviewed and updated 1st November 2023.

At Amico Dance Academy we aim to make a positive contribution to a strong and safe community through our dance classes, performances and exams. We work with children, young people and their families and we recognise the right of every individual to stay safe.
 

Purpose and Scope
This policy seeks to ensure that Amico Dance Academy undertakes its responsibilities in relation to safeguarding, promotes the welfare of children who use our services and will respond to concerns appropriately. This includes the children of adults who use our services.
The policy establishes a framework to support anyone working on behalf of Amico Dance Academy, including paid staff, volunteers and students and clarifies our expectations and procedures.

We believe that

  • Children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind.

  • We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them
     

We recognise that

  • The welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take.

  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have equal rights to protection from all types of harm or abuse.

  • All staff and volunteers have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm.

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by

  • Listening, valuing and respecting children and young people.

  • Providing staff / volunteers with the necessary information to enable them to meet their statutory responsibilities to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children.

  • Ensuring consistent good practice, by training staff / volunteers and updating training as outlined in this policy.

  • Recruiting staff / volunteers safely ensuring all necessary checks are made.


Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England. The key pieces of legislation governing this policy are:

  • The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004

  • The Children and Social Work Act 2017

  • Working Together To Safeguard Children 2018

Definitions
A child is a young person who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.

 

Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children, wherever possible. In contrast, child protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.
 

Abuse is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation, and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture.
 

It can take a variety of forms, including the following:

  • Physical abuse

  • Sexual abuse

  • Emotional abuse

  • Bullying

  • Neglect

  • Financial (or material) abuse


Key Contacts

Rachel Griffin is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Amico Dance Academy.


Roles and Responsibilities

All staff/volunteers have a responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this document and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures.

We expect all staff/volunteers to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve themselves in developing safe practices.

Amico staff/volunteers recognise the power imbalance between children and staff and ensure that authority is never misused.

Staff/volunteers avoid compromising situations by ensuring that one-to-one interviews/tutoring etc. are conducted where participants can be seen but not heard by others.

As Designated Safeguarding Lead for Amico Dance Academy, Rachel Griffin will monitor the safeguarding aspects of:

  • Safe recruitment practices and ensuring Enhanced DBS checks are done.

  • Appropriate staff/volunteer training is available, updated and completed as required.

  • Records made and kept of supervision sessions.

  • Monitoring whether concerns are being reported and actioned.

  • Checking policies are up to date and relevant, annually OR when legislation changes.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead also has responsibility to:

  • Make this policy available online on the Amico Dance Academy website.

  • Review the current reporting procedure in place (see Berkshire West Safeguarding Children Partnership policy guidance http://berks.proceduresonline.com/)


Good Practice Guidelines

All staff / volunteers agree to the following standards of good practice:

  • Treating all children with respect

  • Setting good examples by their own conduct

  • Involving children in decision-making that affects them

  • Encouraging positive and safe behaviour among children

  • Being a good listener

  • Being alert to changes in a child’s behaviour

  • Recognising that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse

  • Asking the child’s permission prior to any physical contact

  • Maintaining appropriate standards of conversation and interaction with and between children

  • Avoiding the use of sexualised or derogatory language

  • Being aware that the personal and family circumstances and lifestyles of some children lead to an increased risk of neglect and/or abuse.

  • To be aware that disabled children may be especially vulnerable to abuse as they may have an impaired capacity to resist abuse.

  • Doesn’t delay in handing in paperwork due to lack of ability to complete all required information.

  • Speak to DSL for advice BEFORE talking to parents/carers or contacting a social care agency as this could potentially place the child at further risk

  • Remembers that any concern is never too small. Effective Child Protection is based on putting bits of a ‘puzzle’ together. Small concerns from different professionals can reveal a larger picture of abuse.

Photography and Images

To protect children, Amico Dance Academy:

  • Seeks theirs and parental consent for photographs/video/film images to be taken or published.

  • Ensures minors remain unidentifiable, reducing the risk of inappropriate contact.

  • Ensures that children are appropriately dressed.

Training

All staff/volunteers who are in contact with children as part of their role will have access to safeguarding training at an appropriate level. This training will be updated at least every three years. Sources and types of training will include NSPCC safeguarding training (https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/training).


Taking Action

If you are concerned about a child’s welfare, it is important that you talk to someone about this. Don’t ignore your concerns or delay taking action.

  • In an emergency, take the action necessary to help the child e.g. 999

  • Report your concern to the DSL(s) before the end of the day

  • Do not start your own investigation

  • Do not discuss the issue with colleagues, family or friends

  • Complete a written record of your concern

  • Seek support for yourself if you are distressed

If you need to report a concern, contact:

  • Contact Advice Assessment Service (CAAS) – Duty Social Worker: 01635 503190 OR email child@westberks.gov.uk

  • Emergency Duty Team (outside of office hours): 01344 786543

If you are unsure, but are concerned about a child, the NSPCC helpline is staffed by trained professionals who can provide expert advice and support. They can be contacted on 0808 800 5000 OR emailed at help@nspcc.org.uk.

If A Child Discloses Information

  • Allow them to speak freely

  • Only ask factual, open questions for clarification

  • Do not press, coerce or ask leading questions

  • At an appropriate time (not the start of the conversation nor the end) tell the child that in order to help them, you must pass the information on

  • Remain calm and do not over-react

  • Give reassuring nods or words of comfort

  • Remember how hard this must be for the child

  • Tell the child what will happen next (report to DSL)

  • Write up your conversation as soon as possible, using the child’s words and give it to the DSL

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