Appointment of a Safeguarding Lead Person
The Safeguarding Lead Person will ensure that policies and procedures are developed and implemented.
They will ensure that any policy or procedures are in line with the most up-to-date guidance available from the DfE
They will ensure that new members and volunteers are aware of the policy and procedures.
They will ensure that those adults with the responsibility for supervising performances and rehearsals of Young Magna have had the necessary checks (currently, that they possess a current CRB or DBS check)
They will ensure that the emergency contact list is regularly maintained
The Safeguarding Lead Person for Magna is Betty Morris
Appointment of a Named Person for Child Protection
The Named Person for Child Protection’ role is:
• To receive and record information from anyone who has concerns
• Assess the information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information when necessary
• Consult initially with a statutory child protection agency, (Herefordshire Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)) to talk about any doubts or concerns
• Make a formal referral when required to Herefordshire MASH or the police.
It is not the named person’s responsibility to decide whether a child has been abused or not.
The Named Person for Child Protection at Magna is Betty Morris
However, it is the responsibility of ALL adults to ensure that all concerns are shared and that appropriate action is taken.
What to do if you have concerns that a child is at risk of abuse?
Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention (neglect). Neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse.
An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. It can increasingly happen online.
Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs. It’s dangerous and children can suffer serious and long term harm.
Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts. It is also seeking unnecessary medical attention for a child.
Emotional abuse (or psychological abuse) can take forms such as emotional neglect, intimidation, constant criticism or witnessing domestic violence. Bullying is a form of emotional abuse.
Sexual abuse is when a child is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. There doesn’t have to be physical contact. It can happen online.
If any adult involved with Magna as a member or volunteer has a reason to believe that any child is suffering OR at risk of suffering abuse, they must inform the Named Person for Child Protection.
A written record of the concern must be made. This will include the details of the concern, how it was responded to, who it was reported to and what the outcome was.
Usually, the Named Person, or another adult will discuss the concern with the child or their family. If the Named Person feels that this will put the child at risk of further harm, the child’s family will not be contacted. If the concern meets the threshold of need (according the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board’s criteria) a referral will be made to Herefordshire MASH.
What to do if a child discloses abuse
There are lots of reasons or triggers that can lead to a child reporting abuse, including:
• realising that the abuse they’ve suffered is wrong
• not being able to cope with the abuse any more
• the abuse getting worse
• wanting to protect other children from being abused
• the desire to see the abuser punished
• reaching a point where they trust someone enough to tell them
• when someone notices some signs and asks them directly
Quite often a child may find that the easiest person to talk to is another child, so adults must be aware that members of Young Magna could disclose abuse that is happening to a friend of theirs. All disclosures must be acted on, regardless whether the child is a member of Young Magna or not.
The child disclosing abuse or neglect may feel ashamed, angry, scared (especially that the adult won’t believe him/her), and/or powerless. The adult may feel outrage, anger, frustration, sadness, disbelief, or disgust in response to what the child is saying. It is very important that the adult remains calm in order to be able to reassure the child that they will see to it that something is done to help keep him/her safe.
• Listen carefully to what the child is saying
• Tell the child you believe him/her
• Tell the child the abuse was not his/her fault
• Let the child know you will make a report to help stop the abuse
Adults must NOT:
• Make promises you cannot keep, such as promising that you will not tell anyone
• Push the child into giving details of the abuse; your job is to listen to what the child wants to tell you, not investigate
• Ask direct questions to the child – this could be harmful to the investigation
• Discuss what the child has told you with others who are not directly involved with helping the child
After the child has made the disclosure, the adult must make notes of the conversation including if anyone else was present. This must be a record of facts and not opinion.
The notes need to be passed on to the Named Person for Child Protection who will assess the information. Usually, the Named Person, or another adult will discuss the concern with the child or their family. If the Named Person feels that this will put the child at risk of further harm, the child’s family will not be contacted. If the concern meets the threshold of need (according the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board’s criteria) a referral will be made to Herefordshire MASH.
How to respond to allegations of abuse against a member
Whilst this may be difficult for any member to deal with, we need to be prepared that at some point, a child may make an allegation against any adult member.
If a child or parent makes an allegation, this needs to be brought to the attention of the Named Person for Child Protection. The Named Person should assess the information taking advice where necessary from the Herefordshire MASH or the Herefordshire Local Authority Designated Officer for Safeguarding.
In order to protect both the child and the adult, neither should attend Magna whilst there is an ongoing investigation.
As a result of the investigation, if it is considered that abuse has taken place:
If the allegation is against an adult member, a referral must be made to the police.
If the allegation is against a child member (under the age of 18) a referral must be made to Herefordshire MASH
How information will be recorded
Magna has emergency contact details for all children who attend Young Magna.
Child protection Information will be recorded by the person who has the contact with the child and wants to raise the concern. The decisions made and outcomes will be recorded by the Named Person.
This information is stored in a confidential place. Privacy and confidentiality should be respected where possible but if doing this leaves a child at risk of harm then the child’s safety has to come first. Remember:
Legally, it is fine to share information if someone is worried about the safety of a child.
Not everyone needs to know when a concern or worry is raised. This respects the child’s, family’s and/or member’s rights to privacy. Only people who need to know should be told about it.