Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust (Darbar) recognises that some of the services it provides are used by children and young people (those under the age of 18). Darbar believes that children have the right to be safe from intentional and unintentional harm, and we are committed to protecting all the children in our care from all forms of abuse (physical, sexual, psychological). Darbar will appoint a member of staff as the Safeguarding Children/Child Protection Officer. This Officer will have suitable experience, training and expertise, and will be responsible for keeping abreast of relevant legislation and Charity Commission requirements and liaising with appropriate outside agencies on any child protection matter.
The Safeguarding /Child Protection officer is Darbar’s Head of Operations.
Darbar has a duty to ensure the welfare of its clients who may be at risk of harm. This duty involves assessing the risk and taking steps to mitigate against risks. This also involves reporting an incident of abuse or harm to a child to the relevant appropriate agencies.
Darbar will take every possible action to prevent harm to any child or young person it is involved with through its work and to respond to any reported incidents of intentional or unintentional harm to a child or young person as promptly and effectively as possible.
It is the responsibility of all staff and partners to take seriously any concerns, complaints, allegations, suspicions and incidents involving children and young people. Reporting these concerns to the Head of Operations is a mandatory requirement in Darbar. Failure to report will be considered a serious breach of Darbar’s Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy.
Aim of the Policy
The central aim of Darbar’s safeguarding policy is to set out to staff and its associates, Darbar’s approach to the safeguarding of the children and young people it works with; ways in which Darbar does this; the steps taken to avoid abuse taking place as well as unintentional harm and the actions that will be taken by Darbar to respond to incidents of abuse if they occur.
Definition of Abuse - Abuse of children or young people may take any of the following forms: physical abuse; sexual abuse; emotional abuse and neglect.
Duty of Care
Darbar has a legal and moral obligation to respond to cases of harm and abuse when these are identified through our engagement with children and young people.
Darbar has a duty to ensure that staff working with children adopt safe practices.
Darbar will undertake DBS checks on all new and existing staff as appropriate and will undertake regular supervision of staff to minimise any risks to clients posed by staff.
We must not, however, initiate interventions or offer advice that requires specialist child protection expertise as this is outside our area of competence and could inadvertently result in further harm to the child. When cases of abuse are identified, Darbar’s duty of care encompasses:
Listening and providing re-assurance to the child or young person
Helping the child or young person to share their concerns with a trusted adult who can help them decide what further action to take (e.g. parent/care-giver)
Providing details of recognised, child-friendly agencies who can provide protection (e.g. Police) or additional advice and support (e.g. recognised telephone helpline, a local child protection agency)
Ensuring concerns relating to Darbar’s staff or associates are fully investigated and action taken as appropriate
Darbar has a duty to report serious concerns relating to abuse to appropriate agencies including the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)
Darbar will –
Set out and inform staff of the procedures for reporting and responding to concerns or evidence of abuse
Implement policies which ensure that all new staff are rigorously checked, by the taking up of references and appropriate DBS checks
Ensure that all staff are given a copy of the Safeguarding /Child Protection Policy during their induction and are oriented on this policy and related procedures, including staff behaviour code of conduct
Incorporate material relevant to recognising signs of abuse and responding to and reporting abuse into staff training at all levels
Maintain vigilance concerning the possibility of abuse of children and young people from whatever source
Encourage a climate of openness which enables staff to pass on concerns about behaviour that might be abusive, whilst recognising that clear channels for raising concerns need to be in place and understood by staff, including the principle of confidentiality.
Produce and regularly revise policies and procedures to minimise the risk of abuse and unintentional harm.
Provide training and supervision for staff in all aspects of risk analysis and child protection and provide them with any relevant information and guidance including clear incident reporting procedures.
Ensure that all staff are aware of the main indicators of child abuse
Investigate any allegations of abuse quickly and thoroughly
Implement improvements to procedures if an investigation reveals deficiencies in the way in which Darbar operates
Collaborate with other relevant agencies in combating abuse and improving the protection of children and young people
If a member of staff who works with children in a regulated activity has been cautioned or convicted for a “relevant offence” Darbar must make a referral to the DBS and the member of staff will be removed from working in the regulated activity.
Darbar expects its staff to:
Refrain from any abusive action in relation to children and young people
Respond to a child or young person who may have been abused or exploited and report any child protection concerns in accordance with this policy.
Report to Darbar’s Head of Operations anything they witness which is or might be abusive or anything another member of staff reports to you that they have witnessed, using the Darbar Incident Reporting Form.
Co-operate in any investigation into alleged abuse
Participate in training activities relating to abuse and protection.
Staff should be aware of who they may turn to for advice if they become aware or suspect that abuse is occurring.
Failure by staff to report incidents or suspicions of abuse may lead to disciplinary action.
Darbar staff and associates must:
Behave appropriately in interactions with children and young people
Treat children and young people with respect and never act in a way which could shame, humiliate or degrade.
Never hit or physically chastise a child or young person (including using physical restraint to contain behaviour).
Never give assistance in aspects of personal care (e.g. dressing, bathing etc.).
Always wait for the child to initiate any type of physical contact.
Never show favouritism or spend excessive time with one child or young person.
Avoid being alone with children or young people or placing yourself in any situation which could be misinterpreted.
Never develop physical/sexual relationships with children or young people. Do not engage in or allow sexually provocative games or behave in a manner which might be considered inappropriate or sexually provocative. Never sleep in the same room or bed as a child or young person with whom you are working.
Contribute to building an environment where children and young people are encouraged to discuss their concerns and needs.
Always ask permission before taking photographs or videos and ensure that the proper consent for further usage is obtained.
Never ask for or accept personal contact details (this includes email, phone numbers, social media contacts, etc.) from any child, young person associated with Darbar’s work. Never share personal details about yourself (your hotel, home address or contact details) or agree to connect with children or young people on social media.
Never directly post images or stories about children or young people who are engaged with Darbar on your personal social media accounts. Consent is given to Darbar as an organisation and not to the individual for personal use. Do not accept contact requests or engage with children and young people you have met through Darbar via personal social media.
Darbar will carry out all relevant checks on recruits to ensure that they are of a high standard. Darbar will ensure that new employees working with children are checked as appropriate through the DBS; obtaining a standard or enhanced certificate as appropriate. For particular posts identified by Darbar, applicants will be required to undergo an enhanced DBS disclosure. In all cases enhanced disclosure will apply to applicants for posts where job involves “regulated activity”. Regulated Activity involving children includes:
Regularly undertaking unsupervised activities with children
Regularly working in certain establishments (e.g. schools) where there is an opportunity for contact with children
Providing relevant personal care such as washing and dressing and health care by or supervised by a professional (whether undertaken regularly or otherwise).
Procedures for Reporting Abuse
Darbar has a clear process for reporting and reacting to witnessed, suspected or alleged child abuse and/or violations of the Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy. This process supports, and should be understood by, all staff and associates, as well as children and young people with whom Darbar and its partners engage.
The first port of call for Darbar Music Teachers is the Child Protection Officer at Leicester Shire Music Hub as detailed in the Leicestershire Music Services Child Protection policy.
However, if you suspect a child or children may have been harmed or that abuse may be occurring, any staff member should discuss your concerns with the Darbar’s Head of Operations. Concerns should be documented on the Darbar Incident Reporting form (see Appendix 1). You should record any concerns that you have raised, who you reported them to and if you spoke to the person about the concerns. If you do not hear back from Darbar’s Head of Operations, contact them again. The incident will be investigated.
If your concerns are about a colleague, these should be reported to the Head of Operations immediately. If the alleged abuse is by a professional from another company or agency, the report should be made to the Head of Operations who will raise the issue with the organisation who employs the person and may also alert the authorities, depending on the nature of the incident. If the alleged incident is a criminal offence and involves a member of Darbar staff, they will be suspended, whilst the authorities investigate and depending on the outcome, could be dismissed following the investigation.
If the incident is not a criminal offence and the alleged perpetrator is a member of staff and there is sufficient evidence that harm to a child/children has or might have occurred, Darbar will suspend that person from duty pending the outcome of an investigation which may result in dismissal or disciplinary action.
The investigation will include interviewing the member of staff involved in the incident, hearing and assessing evidence from any others who might have knowledge of the incident and considering any other possible source of evidence.
Following the Investigation
If it seems from the investigation that abuse may have taken place, and the alleged perpetrator is a member of staff, Darbar will take action under Darbar’s disciplinary policy. If the alleged perpetrator is not a member of staff, Darbar will involve other appropriate responsible bodies.
Darbar will take appropriate steps to inform the DBS if a member of staff has been dismissed or removed from working with children because of concerns over their behaviour towards children.
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