WEST SOMERSET BRASS BAND
Safeguarding Policy and Procedures, This document sets out the policy and procedures of West Somerset Brass Band (“the band” or “WSBB”) for the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults at risk.
WEST SOMERSET BRASS BAND
Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
This document sets out the policy and procedures of West Somerset Brass Band (“the band” or “WSBB”) for the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults at risk.
1. This policy applies to all members, volunteers or anyone working on behalf of West Somerset Brass Band. 1. West Somerset Brass Band (“the band”) believes that a child, young person or adult at risk (with care and support needs) should never experience abuse of any kind. We recognise that we have a responsibility to promote and safeguard the welfare of all band members by a commitment to a practice which protects them.
2. We recognise that:
- The welfare of all band members is paramount.
- All band members regardless of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or
- identity, racial heritage, or religious belief, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
- Working in partnership with band members, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare. In addition to safeguarding children, the band recognises that it has safeguarding responsibilities towards adult members, some of whom may be vulnerable for a variety of reasons due to the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, care and support needs, communication needs or experience of abuse or neglect. The principles outlined in this policy in relation to children also apply to our work with these vulnerable adults. This group will be referred to henceforth as young people and vulnerable adults.
3. The purposes of the policy are:
- To provide protection for band members.
- To provide the Committee, trustees, tutors and other volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt if they suspect a young person or vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm. This policy, therefore, applies to everyone working for or with the band.
4. We will endeavour to safeguard band members by:
- Valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
- Ensuring that, in the case of adults, we work with their consent unless ‘vital interests’ (as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998) are at stake, or the person has been assessed as lacking mental capacity (as defined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005) by a professional person qualified to do so.
- Adopting child protection and adult safeguarding practices through procedures and a code of conduct for band members, trustees, tutors and other volunteers, including the development and implementation of an e-safety policy and related procedures.
- Recruiting trustees, tutors and other volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
- Sharing information about child protection, adult safeguarding and good practice with band members, parents, trustees, tutors and other volunteers.
- Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
- Providing effective supervision, support and training for trustees, tutors and other volunteers with responsibility.
Code of Conduct
Band members, tutors, voluntary helpers, trustees and anyone working on behalf of the band must:
- Treat all band members with respect.
- Provide an example of the good conduct you wish others to follow.
- Ensure that whenever possible there is more than one adult present during activities with young people and vulnerable adults, or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others.
- Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy, whilst encouraging young people and adults to feel comfortable enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like.
- Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.
- Be aware that physical contact with a band member may be misinterpreted.
- Recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with band members.
- Operate within our principles and guidance and any specific procedures.
- Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse.
Band members, tutors, voluntary helpers, trustees and anyone working on behalf of the band must not:
- Have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with band members.
- Allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour or make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of band members.
- Jump to conclusions about others without checking facts.
- Either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues.
- Show favouritism to any individual.
- Rely on your good name or that of the West Somerset Brass Band to protect you.
- Take a chance when common sense, policy or practice suggests another more prudent approach.
Abuse may take a number of forms and may be carried out by an adult or another child or children. Government Guidance ‘Working together to safeguard children’ (2015) classifies forms of abuse under the following headings:
Neglect: This is where adults/carers persistently fail to meet a dependent’s basic physical and/or psychological needs. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born neglect may involve a parent/carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter, warm clothing or medical care, or to protect them from physical and emotional harm or danger. Children might also be constantly left alone or unsupervised or in the care of an inadequate care giver.
Physical Abuse: This is where someone causes physical harm or injury, for example by hitting, shaking, throwing, squeezing, burning, scalding, poisoning, suffocating and biting or otherwise causing physical harm. Giving children alcohol or inappropriate drugs would also constitute physical abuse. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child/vulnerable adult.
Sexual Abuse: This involves forcing or enticing a child, young person or adult to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not they are aware of what is happening. Adults or other children, both male and female, who use children to meet their own sexual needs, can abuse girls and boys. This could include assault by penetration (for example oral/anal sex or full sexual intercourse), or non-penetrable acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing or fondling outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child/vulnerable adult in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).
Emotional Abuse: Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment or abuse, though it may also occur alone. Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve a persistent lack of love and affection, where children/vulnerable adults may be led to believe that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve serious bullying, being constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted. This can also include threats of harm, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, isolation and cyber bullying. It may include not giving the child/vulnerable adult opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or making fun of what they say or how they communicate. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. It may also feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. Emotional abuse also occurs when there is constant overprotection, which prevents children from socialising. Emotional abuse in banding might include situations where children are subjected by a parent or tutor to constant criticism, name-calling, sarcasm, bullying, racism or unrealistic pressure in order to perform to high expectations.
Bullying: This may be bullying of a child or adult by an adult or another child. Bullying is defined as deliberate hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. It may be physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, theft), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, threats, name-calling, graffiti, abusive text messages transmitted by phone or on the internet), emotional (e.g. tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, ignoring, isolating from the group), or sexual (e.g. unwanted physical contact or abusive comments).
Emerging forms of abuse: It should be noted that perpetrators are increasingly using online methods to access children and young people. It is important to also be aware of the sexual exploitation of children and young people for commercial gain, forms of modern slavery, County Lines and abuse linked to cultural or religious belief such as FGM (female genital mutilation), honour violence, forced marriages and radicalisation.
Discrimination: This type of abuse may include discrimination based on gender, race, colour, language, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation, age or disability and may take the form of any of the abuses mentioned above.
Financial and material abuse: This is the use of a person’s property, assets, income, funds or any other resources without their informed consent or authorisation. It may include theft, fraud, internet scamming, misuse of possessions, exploitation or coercion in relation to financial affairs or arrangements such as financial transactions, wills, inheritance or property.
Indicators of abuse may include one or more of the following:
- Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries.
- An injury for which an explanation seems inconsistent.
- The child describes what appears to be an abusive act involving him/her.
- Someone else – a child or adult, expresses concern about the welfare of a child.
- Unexplained changes in behaviour – e.g. becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper - or behaviour changing over time.
- Inappropriate sexual awareness.
- Engaging in sexually explicit or inappropriate behaviour.
- Distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would normally be expected.
- Difficulty in making friends.
- Being prevented from socialising with other children.
- Displaying variations in eating patterns including overeating or loss of appetite.
- Losing weight for no apparent reason.
- Becoming increasingly dirty or unkempt.
Signs of bullying may include:
- Behavioural changes such as reduced concentration or becoming withdrawn, clingy, depressed, tearful, emotionally up and down, reluctant to go to band rehearsals or to competitions.
- An unexplained drop-off in standard of performance.
- Physical signs such as stomach aches, headaches, difficulty in sleeping, bedwetting, scratching and bruising, damaged clothes and bingeing on food, cigarettes or alcohol.
- A shortage of money or frequent loss of possessions.
Responding to Suspicions and Allegations
Many cases of abuse in fact take place within the family setting, often by someone known to the victim. However, abuse can and does occur in other situations as well, which may include brass banding or other social activities, and is rarely a one-off event when it occurs within such a setting. It is crucial that those involved in the band are aware of this possibility and that all allegations are taken seriously and appropriate action taken.
It is, however, NOT the responsibility of anyone in the band to decide whether or not abuse is taking place. Our responsibility is to inform appropriate agencies of possible abuse so that they can then make inquiries and take any necessary action to protect the child. This applies both to suspicions of abuse occurring within the band and to allegations that abuse is taking place elsewhere. This section explains how you should respond to such concerns.
We may become aware of possible abuse in various ways:
- We may see it happening ourselves;
- We may suspect that it is occurring because of signs such as those listed above;
- It may be reported to us by someone else, or directly by the child affected.
In the last of these cases, it is particularly important to respond appropriately.
Procedures for responding to a safeguarding concern
If someone is in immediate danger or in need of emergency medical attention:
- If someone is in immediate danger and is with you, remain with them and call the police.
- If someone is elsewhere, contact the police and explain the situation to them.
- If immediate medical attention is necessary call an ambulance and get help from a band first aider.
- Contact the band’s named Welfare Officer responsible for child protection/adult safeguarding to let them know what is happening.
- Ensure an incident form is completed and the family/relevant agencies are contacted, taking the advice of the police or medical professionals already involved.
If someone is not in immediate danger or requiring medical attention:
- Band member records their concerns or any disclosures made using the appropriate incident form.
- Band member shares the incident form with the band’s designated Welfare Officer.
- Welfare Officer will discuss concerns with the child/adult’s family/carer unless a family member might be responsible for the abuse, someone may be put in danger by the family being informed or informing the family might interfere with a criminal investigation. In this case the Welfare Officer will contact the local authority Somerset Direct or the NSPCC Helpline. Advice can be sought without disclosing the identity of the child/family.
- If the concern remains the band’s Welfare Officer will refer to the local authority Somerset Direct within 48 hours.
- If there is no longer a concern no further action is needed. The Welfare Officer will decide whether to discuss the initial concern with other services to ensure the needs of the child/adult are being met.
If a child or adult says or indicates that he or she is being abused, or information is obtained which gives you concern that a child or adult is being abused, you should:
- React calmly so as not to frighten or cause alarm.
- Reassure the child/adult that they are not to blame, that it was right to tell and what you are going to do next (i.e. discuss the matter with the band welfare officer) to keep him/her safe.
- Take what is said seriously, recognising the difficulties inherent in interpreting what a child/adult who has a speech disability and/or differences in language says.
- Keep questions to the absolute minimum necessary to establish that there is a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said, and be careful not to ask leading questions.
- Reassure the child/adult, but do not promise to keep the matter secret. Ask them what they would like to happen because of what they have said but explain that to resolve the problem it will be necessary to inform other people as appropriate.
You should make a note as soon as possible of whatever information you obtained, both for your own future reference and possibly for passing on to others, appropriate agencies such as the social services department or the police. In writing such a note, you should confine yourself to the facts, and distinguish between what is your own personal knowledge and what you have been told by other people. You should not include your own opinions on the matter, to avoid the possibility of libel.
Information should include the following:
- The nature of the allegation, in as much detail as possible, including times, dates, locations and other relevant information.
- Details of the child/adult involved, including name, age, address and other contact details, and identifying who has parental responsibility for the child.
- Details of the person against whom the allegation is made, including name, relationship with the child, age and contact details (if known).
- The identity and contact details of any informants or other witnesses.
- The child’s/adult’s account of what has happened.
- A description of any visible bruising or other injuries.
- Details of who else has been informed of the alleged incident.
- Any other relevant information.
- The form should be signed and dated by all those involved in its completion and stored confidentially.
An example of an incident report for recording such information is set out in Appendix 1.
As with other forms of information arising in relation to child protection/safeguarding, information of this kind is highly sensitive and confidential. Accordingly, it should be held under secure conditions and only made available to those who have a definite need for it.
You should report your concerns immediately to the Welfare Officer. If the allegation is against the Welfare Officer, you should report the matter to the Chairman of the band.
The role of the Welfare Officer
To take the lead role in ensuring that appropriate arrangements are in place at the band for safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults.
To promote the safety and welfare of young people and vulnerable adults who are members of the band, and other young people or vulnerable adults with whom the band may come into contact.
Duties and responsibilities:
- Make sure that all issues concerning the safety and welfare of young people and vulnerable adults who are members of the band are properly dealt with through policies, procedures and administrative systems.
- Make sure all players, volunteers, young people and vulnerable adults, parents/carers and the management committee are made aware of the procedures and what they should do if they have a safeguarding concern.
- Receive and record information from anyone (band members, tutors, other volunteers, children or parents and carers) who has safeguarding concerns.
- Assess the information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information about the matter as appropriate.
- Consult with, pass on information to and receive information from statutory child protection and adult safeguarding agencies, including consulting with the NSPCC and/or the Brass Band England Designated Safeguarding Officer when support is needed.
- Be familiar with issues relating to child/adult safeguarding and abuse and keep up to date with new developments in this area.
- Attend Training in issues relevant to safeguarding and share knowledge with other volunteers and committee members, ensuring that the band’s safeguarding policies and procedures remain appropriate.
To report a concern about a child or adult at risk:
- Telephone Somerset Direct: Office hours: 0300 123 2224. Out of office hours: The Emergency Duty Team: 0300 123 2327
- ChildLine: 0800 1111.
- NSPCC 24 hour helpline: 0808 800 5000
- Brass Bands England Welfare Officer : 01226 771015
The band’s Welfare Officer is Kath Mann.
Our vetting procedure will be used prior to the appointment of band members, tutors and voluntary helpers who have significant access to young people and/or vulnerable adults.
Applicants will be required to
- Complete a Declaration Form (Appendix 2)
- If not already known to us, permit us to take up two references (Appendix 3)
- Obtain or view an Enhanced DBS Disclosure
Anyone who receives an unsatisfactory DBS Disclosure will be given the opportunity to challenge its conclusions and request errors to be corrected. If, however, the Disclosure is not erroneous, the application will not be confirmed and any existing association with the band will be ended.
The band website will not permit direct contact through the website with band members.
Photographs of band members may, with their consent, appear on the website or on the band facebook page.
The safeguarding policy and procedures will be added to the website.
This policy has been drawn up based on advice given by Brass Bands England and on law and guidance that seeks to protect children and adults at risk, namely:
- Children Act (1989) and (2004)
- United Convention of the Rights of the Child (1991)
- Data Protection Act (1998) and subsequent data protection guidance
- Sexual Offences Act (2003)
- Protection of Freedoms Act (2012)
- Working together to safeguarding children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; HM Government (2015)
- The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
- The Human Rights Act (1998)
- The Children and Families Act (2014)
- Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice: 0 – 25 years – Statutory guidance for organisations which wwork with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities. HM Government (2014)
- General Data Protection Regulations (European Union) (2017)
- Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers; HM Government (2015)
- The Care Act (2014) (Care and support statutory guidance)
- The Mental Capacity Act (2005)
- Brass Bands England Safeguarding Advice and Guidance
WSBB will undertake to review and if necessary update this Policy and any associated guidance documents on at least an annual basis.
The full Safeguarding PDF is available to download from here