Pick Me Up Theatre.com Ltd (PMU)

Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

Pick Me Up Theatre.com Ltd (PMU) is a not for profit independent theatre company that first performed in York in 2012. It is run by Robert Readman. 

 

The purpose of this policy is: 

  • to protect children and young people who receive PMU's services from harm. This includes the children of adults who use our services

  • to provide staff and volunteers, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection

 

This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of PMU including the director, paid staff, volunteers and students. 

It has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England. A summary of the key legislation is available from nspcc.org.uk/learning. 

 

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 an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse

  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues

  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people's welfare

 

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by: 

  • valuing, listening to and respecting them

  • appointing a nominated child protection lead for children and young people, a deputy and another senior team member for safeguarding

  • adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our polices, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers

  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures so that all staff and volunteers know about and follow our policies, procedures and behaviour codes confidently and competently

  • recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made

  • recording and storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance

  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children and their families via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions

  • making sure that children, young people and their families know where to go for help if they have a concern

  • using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately

  • using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately

  • creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise

  • ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place

  • ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance

  • building a safeguarding culture where staff, volunteers, children and young people and their families treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns

 

Safeguarding team contact details 

 

Nominated Child Protection Lead/ Designated Safeguarding Officer

Robert Readman PMU Artistic Director 

07761 024146 

pickmeuptheatre@gmail.com 

 

Designated Deputy Child Protection Lead/ Safeguarding Officer 

Jo Hird 

07969 050490 

Jo.hird@mac.com 

 

Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding and Child Protection

Susannah Baines 

07752 302718 

susannahjb@btinternet.com 

 

NSPCC Helpline 

 

0808 800 5000 

 

Responsibilities

 

Pick Me Up Theatre.com Ltd will at the outset of any production involving children: 

  • undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production

  • ensure that all parties are aware of the child protection policies and designated safeguarding personnel

  • ensure children are always supervised

  • engage licenced chaperones for any production

  • obtain Performance Licences if required

 

Parents 

  • Parents or carers are responsible for the drop off and collection arrangements for their children after rehearsals and performances

  • If parents or carers are running late, they must inform the person running the rehearsal, the designated safeguarding person or chaperone

 

Unsupervised Contact 

  • PMU will try to ensure that no adult has unsupervised contact with children. We will always have a minimum of two adults in the room if possible

  • If unsupervised contact arises, we will do everything to minimise risk, carrying out work in a public area or with the door open for example

  • We ask all adults leading rehearsals to have a DBS check

 

Photographs and sensitive information 

  • We will always seek permission from parents and carers for the taking and use of photographic material featuring children for promotional purposes

  • We will monitor our website regularly

  • We will conform to all data protection regulations under the GDPR guidelines

 

Chaperones 

  • Chaperones will be appointed for all productions involving children and PMU will follow the rules and guidelines for the use of licenced chaperones as set out by York Council or the council where the performance is taking place

  • Current policy is one chaperone to a maximum of 12 children of the same sex

  • During productions chaperones will meet the children at the stage door and sign them into the building

  • Children will always be supervised

  • Children have separate single sex dressing rooms

  • Children are not allowed to enter adult dressing rooms

  • Children are not to leave the theatre unsupervised by chaperones unless in the company of their parents or carers

  • Chaperones should be aware of the health and safety policy and any risk assessments as well as first aid procedures in the venue and will ensure that children in their care do not place themselves and others in danger

  • Children will be signed out when leaving the venue

  • If a parent or carer has not collected the child, it is the duty of the chaperone to stay with the child or make arrangements to take them home.

 

Hearing a disclosure 

 

If a child/young person says or indicates that he or she is being abused, or information is obtained which gives concern that a child/young person is being abused then you should follow the below guidance: 

 

RECEIVE: 

  • Listen to what is being said, without displaying shock or disbelief

  • Accept what is said and react calmly so as not to frighten the child/young person

  • Make of note of what has been said as soon as possible

 

REASSURE 

  • ​Reassure the child/young person, but only so far as is honest and reliable

  • Tell the child/young person that they are not to blame and that it was right to tell; I am glad you came to me

  • It is important that you do not promise to keep it a secret as your professional responsibilities may require you to report the matter. If you make this promise to a child/young person and then break it, you confirm to the child/young person yet again that adults are not to be trusted

 

REACT: 

  • React to the child/young person only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether you need to refer this matter, but do not interrogate for full details

  • Take what the child/young person says seriously, recognising the difficulties inherent in interpreting what is said by a child/young person who has a speech disability and /or differences in language

  • Do not ask leading questions for example 'what did he do next?' {This assumes he did) or 'did he touch your private parts?' such questions may invalidate your evidence or that of the child/young person in any later prosecution in court

  • Explain what you have to do next and whom you have to talk to

 

RECORD: 

  • Make some brief notes at the time on any paper which comes to hand

  • Do not destroy your original notes in case they are required in court

  • Record the date, time, place, persons present and any noticeable non­verbal behaviour

  • Be specific when noting the words used by the child/young person

 

REMEMBER: 

  • To share your concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Officer or the Deputy Child Protection Lead or the Senior Lead for Safeguarding and Child Protection who will want to take the matter forward

 

Reporting allegations. suspicions or concerns 

 

It is not the responsibility of anyone working at PMU to decide whether or not a child/young person is being abused or might be being abused. However, there is a responsibility to act on concerns to protect children and young people in order that appropriate agencies can then make enquiries and take any necessary action to protect the child/young person. 

If you become aware of any issue or complaint relating to the welfare or wellbeing of children and young people then you should raise these with the Designated Safeguarding Officer, the deputy or senior lead safeguarding officers who will be responsible for documenting your concern. All concerns will be considered, and a decision reached as to whether the concern should be referred to Social Services. 

All documents should be securely stored. 

 

Making a referral to Social Services 

If a decision is made to raise a concern with Social Services, it will be the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Officer to formally report this concern. If the Designated Safeguarding Officer is unable to lead this for whatever reason, then the Deputy or Senior Lead will make the referral. 

 

Referrals should be made to: 

 

NSPCC HELPLINE 

0808 800 5000

 

PMU will make all referrals within 24 hours of a serious concern or disclosure coming to light. When a referral is made PMU will record the name and role of the children and young people's services member of staff or police officer to whom the concerns were passed, together with the time and date of the call/ referral 

If a concern is allayed and a decision is made not to make a referral then PMU will still be required to record details of the concern and details as to why a referral was not made. This information may become relevant later if further concerns emerge. 

 

Allegations of misconduct or abuse by staff or volunteer 

 

In the event of allegations being made against an employee (paid staff or volunteer), PMU has a dual responsibility in respect of both the child/ young person and employee. The same person must not have responsibility for dealing with the welfare issues about children and young people and the staff employment issues. 

 

Two separate procedures must be followed 

 

  • In respect of the child/young person the Designated Deputy Child Protection and Safeguarding Officer will lead the process related to the child/young person

  • In respect of the staff member against whom the allegation is made the Designated Safeguarding Officer/ Child Protection Lead will lead the process related to the staff member.

 

With regards to the child/young person, the aforementioned process will be followed. With regards to the staff member against whom the allegation is made, the below process will be followed: 

  • PMU will make formal contact with the NSPCC who is responsible for providing instruction in the event of an allegation of abuse or suspicious behaviour made against a staff member

  • PMU is legally required to alert the LADO (local authority designated officer) to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children and young people has:

  • Behaved in such a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child/children and /or a young person/ young people;

  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against a child/children and/or a young person/young people;

  • Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable for such work

  • The LADO will instruct PMU on procedure and what information may be shared with the person who is the subject of the allegation. PMU and LADO will decide, in consultation with the Police and/or any other relevant agencies, what may be shared in situations that may possibly lead to a criminal investigation

  • Subject to advice from the LADO, and to any consequent restrictions on the information that can be shared, PMU will, as soon as possible, inform the accused person about the nature of the allegation, how enquiries will be conducted and the possible outcome.

 

In all instances PMU will seek to ensure that any staff member is treated fairly and honestly and that they are supported to understand the concerns expressed and processes involved. They will be kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation and the implications for any disciplinary or related process. 

 

Contact details for York Council LADO: 01904 551 783 lado@york.gov.uk 

 

This policy came into force on September 1st 2019.

 

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

 

R.I. Readman