At Fixation Academy of Performing Arts (FAPA) we fully recognise our responsibility for safeguarding children and protecting them from harm. FAPA’s procedures and policy for safeguarding children are in accordance with the Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2015 procedures. FAPA believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by a commitment to protect them.
Fixation Academy of Performing Arts is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse, harm and radicalisation.
- We recognise that all staff, including volunteers, have a full and active part to play in protecting our members from any type of harm.
- Our company provides a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment which promotes the social physical and moral development of each individual child.
Fixation Academy of Performing Arts will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur. Fixation Academy of Performing Arts child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by The Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership https://thebarnetscp.org.uk/bscp
There is a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) available at all times while the Academy or Holiday Club is in operation. The DSL coordinates safeguarding and child protection issues and liaise with external agencies (eg Social Care and Ofsted).
Fixation Academy of Performing Arts designated DSL site managers. The on call / heads of DSL are Laura Davitt and Carly Pryke Co-Directors.
We aim to provide safe participatory and creative opportunities for all the children and young people who use our activities.
In order to do this we recognise that:
- The welfare of the child/young person is paramount.
- All children and young people, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender,
language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
- Working in partnership with children and young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting their welfare.
FAPA will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by:
- Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- Adopting child safeguarding guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for
staff and volunteers
- Recruiting staff and volunteers safely ensuring all necessary checks are made
- Sharing information about child safeguarding and good practice with children,
parents, staff and volunteers
- Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, involving
parents and children appropriately
- Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support
We will ensure that:
- Laura Davitt & Carly Pryke, Co-Directors, are the designated person(s) in charge of any issue relating to Child Protection who has up to date training and is supported by all members of staff.
- Desirable that staff are fully up-to-date with any child protection training and that all members understand their responsibility in a child protection matter. All staff are given Online Safeguarding Training in their Induction Training.
- All members of staff know how to respond to any signs of abuse.
- To regularly review and update our safeguarding training for staff.
- All staff to be trained how to report and escalate any concerns.
Supporting Young children:
- We recognise that an abused child may find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self worth. We recognise that an abused child may feel helpless and humiliated. We recognise that a child may feel self blame.
- We recognise that our company may provide abused children with a sense of stability and confidence.
- Research demonstrates that children who are abused behave in a multitude of different ways, including withdrawing from groups, becoming aggressive and some showing no signs and behaving normally. We accept that children who witness violence or are subjects of abuse behave in different ways and as a company we will ensure to support students in whatever way they illustrate their signs of abuse.
Child abuse and neglect
Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm, Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below.
Emotional Abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause serve and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.
Signs of child abuse and neglect
Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:
- significant changes in a child’s behaviour
- deterioration in a child’s general well-being
- unexplained bruising or marks
- comments made by a child which give cause for concern
- reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, eg in the child’s home, or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital mutilation (FGM), or that the child may have witnessed or be living with domestic abuse
- inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.
NB: Many children with learning or communication difficulties will display some of the above signs although they are not suffering emotional abuse.
If abuse is suspected or disclosed
When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will:
- reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to speak out
- listen to the child but not question them
- give reassurance that the staff member will take action
- record the incident as soon as possible (see Logging an incident below).
If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the matter straightaway using the Logging a concern form. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Social Care directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that the Club is obliged to and the incident will be logged accordingly.
All staff recognise that children may not feel ready or know how to tell someone that they are being abused, exploited or neglected and/or they may not recognise their experiences as harmful. This could be due to their vulnerability, disability or language barriers. They may also feel embarrassed, humiliated or are being threatened. Our staff recognise this and where they have any concerns about a child they will raise these with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) without unreasonable delay.
Female genital mutilation (FGM)
FGM is an illegal, extremely harmful practice and a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. FGM is therefore dealt with as part of our existing safeguarding procedures. All of our staff receive training in how to recognise when girls are at risk of FGM or may have been subjected to it.
If FGM is suspected or disclosed
We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse and will make a report to Children’s Social Care directly.
Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Child-on-Child abuse is taken seriously by staff and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the potential uses of technology and the internet for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.
Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of peer-on-peer abuse:
- Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting
- One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (eg much older)
- One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (eg in terms of disability, confidence, physical strength)
- There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy.
If child-on-child abuse is suspected or disclosed
We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse.
Extremism and radicalisation
All childcare settings have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, eg:
- feeling alienated or alone
- seeking a sense of identity or individuality
- suffering from mental health issues such as depression
- desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause
- associating with others who hold extremist beliefs
Signs of radicalisation
Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include:
- changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive
- claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified
- viewing violent extremist material online
- possessing or sharing violent extremist material
If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any relevant information or observations on a Logging a concern form, and refer the matter to the DSL.
Responsibilities of designated Child Protection person/s is to:
- Know which protection agency to contact in the event of a child protection issue
- Keep all child protection issue confidential
- Provide information/advice/training on safeguarding to all staff
- Confidentially document all issues and refer information to the appropriate party/parties.
- Liaise with local services and other agencies
- Keep relevant parties informed of any action that has been taken and up-to-date with any further issues
Logging a concern
All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure, or concern about radicalisation, will be recorded on the Logging a concern form as soon as possible after the event. The record should include:
- date of the disclosure, or the incident, or the observation causing concern
- date and time at which the record was made
- name and date of birth of the child involved
- a factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, you must use the child’s own words
- name, signature and job title of the person making the record.
The record will be given to the Fixation Academy of Performing Art’s DSL who will decide on the appropriate course of action.
For concerns about child abuse, the DSL will contact Social Care. The DSL will follow up all referrals to Social Care in writing within 48 hours. If a member of staff thinks that the incident has not been dealt with properly, they may contact Social Care directly.
For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the DSL will contact Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership https://thebarnetscp.org.uk/bscp. For more serious concerns the DSL will contact the Police on the non-emergency number (101), or the anti- terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. For urgent concerns the DSL will contact the Police using 999.
Allegations against staff
If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff:
- The allegation will be recorded on an Incident record Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.
- The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted. The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg police) should be informed, and the Club will act upon their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.
- Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation.
- If appropriate, the Club will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Promoting awareness among staff
Fixation Academy of Performing Arts promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its staff training. The Fixation Academy of Performing Art ensures that:
- the designated DSL has relevant experience and receives appropriate training in safeguarding and the Prevent Duty, and is aware of the Channel Programme and how to access it
- designated person training is refreshed every three years.
- safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff
- all staff have a copy of this Safeguarding policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect or radicalisation
- all staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about radicalisation
- all staff receive basic safeguarding training, and safeguarding is a permanent agenda item at all staff meetings ensuring staff receive at least annual safeguarding updates.
- all staff receive basic training in the Prevent Duty
- staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File which is kept on the google drive.
- the Fixation Academy of Performing Art’s procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)’ and staff are familiar with ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused (2015)’.
What is the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub?
The Barnet MASH acts a single ‘front door’ for children in need of additional support and/or protection. Co-located within the MASH is a partnership of professionals from a range of agencies including the police, health, education, children’s social care, children’s early help, substance misuse, housing, probation and domestic violence services.
The professionals work together to share and analyse information held on multiple client data systems to build a picture of the child’s history, current circumstances, support systems, needs and risks, so that proportionate and timely decisions can be made about the type and level of services children need to safeguard their welfare, meet their needs and improve their outcomes, ensuring that children receive the right help first time.
- In the case of urgent child/vulnerable adult protection concerns, the protection officer or Director responsible for child/vulnerable adult protection should be contacted immediately.
Additional information for FAPA Staff:
- Name of Fixation Academy of Performing Arts child protection officer(s): Laura Davitt & Carly Pryke
- All camp Managers are also training in DSL Level 3.
Contact details: 07708608570 (Work) | 07845659907 (Personal)
- The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
The MASH operates Monday–Thursday 9 am to 5.15 pm and 9 am to 5 pm on Fridays. Outside of these hours care and welfare concerns about children and young people that require an immediate response should be reported to the Emergency Duty Team on 020 8359 2000. If a child or young person is at significant harm the police will need to be contacted.
Hertfordshire County Council Safeguarding Officer Details
- Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board Team, Room 147, Postal Point CHO143, County Hall, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG13 8DF
Telephone:0300 123 4043
Fax: 01992 588201
- Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Board- HSCB: 01992 588757
- NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000 or email@example.com
- ChildLine: 0800 1111 (textphone 0800 400 222) or childline.org.uk
Designated Officer: – 01992 555420
- Or the police on 101
- If the danger is immediate, always call the police on 999.
|Signed: L. Davitt||Date: 01 September 2022|
|Date to be reviewed: September 2023|