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South East Dance Safeguarding Policy

Online edition 2016

This policy summaries the key components of South East Dance’s full safeguarding policy for specific publication on the South East Dance website. The full safeguarding policy including appendices is available on request. Please contact hello@southeastdance.org.uk with details of your request.

Our safeguarding policy

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • protect children, young people and vulnerable adults who engage with South East Dance activity;
  • provide anyone working on behalf of South East Dance – including but not limited to staff, freelancers and volunteers – with the overarching principals that guide and necessary details that inform our approach to safeguarding.

The safety and welfare of each child, young person or vulnerable adult is of paramount importance to South East Dance. Children, young people and vulnerable adults have rights as individuals and should be treated with dignity and respect.  We believe that everyone, without exception, has the right to protection from abuse regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or spiritual beliefs, and all protected characteristics. This policy is approved and endorsed by our Board of Trustees. This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, freelance workers, volunteers and sessional workers, interns, students or anyone working on behalf of South East Dance

South East Dance (SED) is committed to practices that support the health, wellbeing and safety of children, young people, and believes that they should never experience abuse of any kind. SED has a responsibility to promote their welfare and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.

Legal framework

This policy was developed with reference to best practice guidance from NSPCC, Save The Children and The Charity Commission. It draws on the five principles of The Every Child Matters government policy and legislation in The Children’s Act 1989. Additional information from The Home Office has been used. 

South East Dance recognises that:

  • the welfare of our participants is paramount and that they must be protected from harm at all times;
  • all participants whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, or religious beliefs have the right to protection from abuse;
  • the needs of children, young people and vulnerable adults from ethnic minority groups and those with disabilities, and the barriers that they may face, especially concerning communication;
  • everyone working with children, young people and vulnerable adults has a responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of each person in our care.  They should feel safe and able to speak out if this is not the case;
  • all staff and volunteers should have the appropriate knowledge of how to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults, including an understanding of common safeguarding terms, in order to carry out their responsibilities effectively;
  • the use of information technology is an essential part of all our lives; it is involved in how we as an organisation gather and store information, as well as how we communicate with each other. It is also an intrinsic part of the experience of our children and young people and vulnerable adults, and is greatly beneficial to all. However, it can present challenges in terms of how we use it responsibly and, if misused by anyone, can be actually or potentially harmful to them. 

SED has appointed an e-safety designated staff member to ensure that trustees, staff, partners and freelance practitioners have a thorough understanding of the principles and procedures in e-safety so that children, young people and vulnerable adults have the opportunity and freedom to learn and develop in a safe and professional environment without fear of abuse. 

South East Dance meets its responsibility towards Safeguarding through:

  • ensuring proper recruitment and training for all staff and volunteers, including DBS checks where appropriate;
  • sharing information regarding policies and protocols with external contractors and volunteers;
  • ensuring that all external contractors and volunteers agree to follow the SED Code of Conduct;
  • ensuring that all documentation and sensitive information is treated confidentially and held and used in line with the Data Protection Act;
  • ensuring that the relevant consent procedures are taken for filming and photography;
  • ensuring that there is sensitivity to the content of project sessions, taking into account age, gender and abilities of the participants.

Children, young people, vulnerable adults and guardians/ parents are informed of the policy and procedures as appropriate. The policy is available on our website to exemplify our commitment to good practice. All concerns, and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously by trustees and staff and responded to appropriately - this may require a referral to children’s services and in some instances, the Police.

Trustees, staff and volunteers of SED are required to make themselves familiar with this policy as soon as they begin working with us. Anyone can seek the advice and support of the Safeguarding Officer at any time.

SED will ensure that partners, external contractors and parents have access to this Safeguarding Policy and are aware of the procedures that are put in place to safeguard all those involved in SED’s work.

South East Dance is committed to reviewing its policy and good practice regularly

The full South East Dance safeguarding policy was last reviewed: February 2015.

This edition was last reviewed for online publishing in May 2016.

The full policy and the online edition will be updated in tandem as necessary and at least every two years.

Signed: Cath James, Programme Director, South East Dance

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