Safeguarding Policy & Procedures

Safeguarding Policy

FMCA is committed to the health safety and welfare of all young people and vulnerable adults who join the Association. This policy is available to parents/carers on request and is on the FMCA website.

The Safeguarding Policy sets out how FMCA will discharge its responsibilities, including procedures for the recording and reporting of concerns and disclosures. The policy applies to all FMCA members, Trustees, Musical Directors & sessional workers.

Statement of Intent

We (FMCA) will seek to keep children, young people and vulnerable adults safe from abuse and harm. We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the young person and vulnerable adult is paramount
  • All people, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • Some young people/vulnerable adults are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • Working in partnership with children/vulnerable adults, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
  • The rights of vulnerable adults to live a life free from neglect, exploitation and abuse are protected by the Human Rights Act 1998. Specifically, a vulnerable adult’s right to life is protected (under Article 2); their right to be protected from inhuman and degrading treatment (under Article 3); and their right to liberty and security (under Article 5).

There are four main elements to our policy:

PREVENTION

  • The creation and maintenance of the protective ethos ‘Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility’
  • We have a Code of Conduct for FMCA members and volunteers to follow
  • We ensure general safety and risk management procedures are adhered to
  • We manage personal information, confidentiality and information sharing

PREVENTING UNSUITABLE PEOPLE WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

  • We recruit volunteers safely and effectively managing volunteers through support and training
  • We DBS check all Trustees, Musical Directors and those who have close contact with children and vulnerable adults
  • We provide official Chaperones where required

SUPPORTING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

  • We show that we value them by listening to them and respecting them
  • We have adopted appropriate child protection practices and set up clear procedures to follow
  • We have clear procedures for dealing with concerns and complaints

PROCEDURES for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse. The definitions of the four categories of abuse are attached (see Appendix 1);

  • We have clear procedures for raising awareness of and responding to abuse within FMCA and will implement them
  • We will share concerns with agencies who need to know, and involve parents and children appropriately

In the event that a young person or vulnerable adult discloses to a Musical Director, Trustee, committee member or other volunteer that they are being or have been abused, we will:

  • Listen to them.
  • Take their allegation seriously.
  • Reassure them that we will take action to keep them safe.
  • Report the matter to an FMCA designated child protection officer (DCPO), who will decide the appropriate action to take depending on the circumstances of the case, the seriousness of the allegation and the local multi-agency safeguarding arrangements in place. They may refer directly to children’s social care and/or the police, or discuss the concerns with others and ask for help. They will always explain to the child, young person or vulnerable adult the action that being taken. It is important to maintain confidentiality, but FMCA will not promise that the DCPO won’t tell anyone, as they may need to do so in order to protect the young person or vulnerable adult.

Responsibilities

FMCA has nominated a designated Child Protection Officer (DCPO) who is responsible for documenting and processing concerns raised, updating this policy when needed and ensuring that volunteers receive the relevant training. The DCPO for FMCA:

Beth Letts

The Chair of FMCA is responsible for overseeing safeguarding issues.

Any FMCA member or other person involved with FMCA must report their concern to a DCPO, who will be responsible for reporting to the relevant authorities.

This document contains material adapted from www.nspcc.org.uk

Safeguarding Procedures

These procedures set out the safeguarding measures FMCA has in place and the process to follow if there is a Safeguarding concern.

The appendices include the documentation to be used to log or report a Disclosure or a ‘Cause for Concern’.

These procedures apply to all FMCA volunteers, music group leaders, trustees, sessional workers, and players.

Site Security / Access / Chaperones

  • All volunteers and parents staying on site sign in upon arrival.
  • All players (adults and children) are registered into their band at the start of each session by the relevant Music Group Leader.
  • The Community Centre is accessible to the general public during FMCA sessions.
  • FMCA staff actively redirect any members of the public as appropriate to ensure no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to FMCA children/vulnerable adults.
  • FMCA has no responsibility for any keys or codes to the building. This responsibility is held by the duty caretaker who will be contactable by phone or in person during every session.
  • Students and children under 18 use toilets near the entrance and adults use the toilets through the double doors
  • Ticketed concerts – Chaperones supervise up to 12 children, have the relevant training, DBS checks and monitor safeguarding issues.

Abuse Allegations

We ensure that all families have access to our complaints procedure and that it is available online to make it accessible to any member of the public. Complaints may include allegations of abuse.

Any allegation of abuse, or suspected abuse, by a member of FMCA, will be reported to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

If a FMCA member has reason to believe that a child or vulnerable adult has potentially been abused outside of FMCA we will follow the FMCA Safeguarding procedures and report to the MASH.

Types of Abuse and Indicators

Abuse may be demonstrated through the things a child /vulnerable adult says (direct or indirect disclosure) and through changes in their behaviour or appearance.

Abuse can take different forms including:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Sexual
  • Neglect

Indicators of each type of abuse are provided at Appendix 1 (Appendix is not on the FMCA website)

Responding to suspicions of abuse

FMCA is committed to:

  • Responding to all incidents or concerns of abuse within one day
  • Recording – using the relevant form (Appendix 2 “Record of Disclosure or cause for Concern”)
  • Reporting to the local Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub MASH) where deemed appropriate
  • Dealing with suspicions of abuse in a calm, attentive, reassuring and non-judgemental manner. Where a child makes a disclosure, FMCA volunteers will follow the guidance which includes:
    • Offering reassurance to the child and let them know that they are being taken seriously – do not express shock or disbelief.
    • Explaining to the child that they have done the right thing to tell you.
    • Listening to the child, tell them they’re not to blame.
    • Telling the child that action will be taken and never promising not to tell, being honest and explaining that it will be necessary to tell someone else in order to help them and keep them safe.
    • Not questioning the child
    • Ensuring the immediate safety of the child

Consent of the parent is sought prior to sharing information unless there is:

  • Evidence or reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm;
  • Evidence or reasonable cause to believe that an adult is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, serious harm;
  • To prevent significant harm to a child or serious harm to an adult, including through the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crime.

Record Keeping

FMCA volunteers are provided with information about how to record and respond to concerns and this is regularly reviewed to keep up to date with any changes in procedures.

If concerned about the welfare of a child, FMCA volunteers will document their concerns on a Log of Concern form (see Appendix 2). Completed forms are forwarded to a Designated Child Protection Officer immediately.

Why do we keep records?

  • It is a legal requirement and provides evidence of concerns, discussions and actions taken.
  • It can provide evidence for investigations, enquiries, complaints or court proceedings.
  • It provides an accurate documented account of our involvement with children and families and supports continuity.
  • It supports effective working together with other organisations & demonstrates accountability.