Safeguarding Policy...

Protecting children and young people

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The purpose of this statement

The purpose of this policy statement is:

  • to protect children and young people who receive Second Wave Youth Arts’ 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.

Scope of this policy

This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Second Wave Youth Arts, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff and students.

Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance thatseeks to protect children in England. A summary of the key legislation is available from NSPCC .

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 a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding;
  • adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers;
  • developing and implementing an effective online safety policy and related procedures;
  • 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, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance [more information about this is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office: here ;
  • 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 and volunteers, children, young people and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.

Role description for the designated safeguarding officer

The DSO for Second Wave shall:

  • take responsibility for keeping this policy statement up to date in line with relevant legislation;
  • oversee safeguarding training for staff and volunteers by identifying evolving landscape of harms and threats facing children and young people;
  • maintain regular communications with staff, volunteers, service users and families around relevant concerns;
  • take every opportunity to strengthen a safe culture in the organisation;
  • handle referrals, complaints and coordinate with external agencies where required;
  • keep the trustees of the organisation informed of issues that may arise that threaten the feeling of safety for young people, staff and volunteers;
  • educate and refine the trauma-informed practice and resilience models within the programmes;
  • handle complaints against staff and volunteers and protect whistleblowers in line with this document. Where conflict of interest arises, inform the board of trustees for such and assist with all inquiries that follow.

Dealing with disclosures and concerns about a child or young person

Second Wave creates a safe space for all young people that is free of judgement. We recognise that as our themes and ideas come from young people themselves, young people feel understood in this space and feel safe to share their concerns with our staff and volunteers. We recognise this as a positive impact of our process.

Second Wave employs young staff members who act as peer mentors for younger participants. Though all young staff members are supervised and supported by older and more experienced facilitators in all programmes, we recognise that young people at the centre may often feel more comfortable disclosing to their peer mentors than the adult tutors. As such, we recognise that our safeguarding approach needs to support those disclosing and those receiving the disclosure.

We run termly safeguarding training sessions for all staff members and volunteers, in which we cover:

  • Importance of safeguarding;
  • stress the importance of working in teams – no staff member is expected to resolve a young person's disclosure on their own. In fact, such approach can be counterproductive;
  • ways in which young people may disclose – staff may observe behavioural changes, a young person may disclose in a jocular way, or serious conversations;
  • examples of disclosures that young staff members and volunteers ay have encountered;
  • dealing with all forms of abuse, including bullying or cyberbullying, emotional abuse, sexting, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation;
  • how to respond to request for “secrecy” – Second Wave is legally obligated to share safeguarding concerns as appropriate. Promising to keep a young person’s secret can hamper multi-agency work and ultimately jeopardise a young person’s safety.
  • Whistleblowing and making complains.

Dealing with allegations against a young person

In the rare event that a child has been accused of causing harm or distress of another young person, we will investigate the complaint seriously.

  • We will, in the first instance, make sure that any victims are safe and protected.
  • We will sensitively pause the involvement of the offending young person while we carry out an investigation on the complaint and any mitigating factors.
  • We will communicate with all parties involved and listen rigorously.
  • We will identify a set of escalating actions – from conversations, further training, warning to removal from Second Wave membership – that can be deployed depending on the outcome of our investigation.

Dealing with allegations against staff and volunteers

All complaints against staff and volunteers can be made to either the Designated Safeguarding Officer, Deputy Safeguarding Officer or Chair of Trustees (details at the end of this document).

  • All complaints will be investigated seriously.
  • We will acknowledge the receipt of the complaint and outline a timeline of investigation in our receipt.
  • If our investigation overruns, we will communicate this in writing (provided that the complaint included suitable contact details).
  • Where the investigation involves a minor, our processes around data protection would change the nature of the investigation and we many only be able to share limited information at the outcome stage.
  • Our course of action will be governed by our commitment to keeping Second Wave a safe and secure environment for all young people.

Protection against online abuse

We commit to protecting our staff, volunteers and members against abuse or harassment, including digital attacks through trolling (repeated personal attacks) or doxxing (personal information shared online). We will encourage all who are involved with Second Wave to report any incidents of intimidation, aggression or threats from other staff members, or service users. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will listen to the report with compassion and identify suitable solutions at the earliest. Where the threat is on an online platform, we will block such profiles from our accounts as soon as we are made aware of the situation. Where accounts cannot be blocked (such as Google Maps) we will escalate the complaint with the service that is platforming the attacker and seek resolution.

We commit to monitoring our social media platforms to the best of our ability and action concerns at the earliest.

Our Social Media Communities Guideline document is aimed at members of public who wish to interact with us online and it provides guidance on code of conduct.

Protection for whistleblowers

Whistleblowing is when someone raises a concern about a dangerous or illegal activity or any wrongdoing within their organisation. Raising a concern is known as "blowing the whistle" and is a vital process for identifying risks to people's safety.

Anyone can whistleblow at Second Wave, by directly contacting Designated Safeguarding Officer, Deputy Safeguarding Officer or Chair of Trustees of Second Wave (contact details at the end of this document).

When you contact an officer of Second Wave, they will discuss your concerns with you and:

  • Talk you though our whistleblowing process;
  • Take details of your concerns;
  • Explain the protection available to you if you need it;
  • Get relevant agencies and authorities to take action on your concern.
You don’t have to tell us who you are if you don’t want to – you can remain anonymous. If you do give us your name and details, you can ask us not to share these with other agencies.

Photography and image sharing guidance

Second Wave takes images and records media of our workshops, events and trips. The purpose of this is to raise awareness of the organisation’s work. Occasionally, the images may be requested by our funders to demonstrate the efficacy or completion of works.

We obtain yearly consent from all young people, and parents where a young person is under 16 years of age, for taking their images and/or videos and such materials to be used on our publicity materials, including print and online mediums, as well as occasional sharing of images with funders.

We have designated photographs and videographers who have demonstrated their understanding of consent and comply with our safeguarding and data protection policies.

Where our workshop process involves media training, all recorded materials are transferred onto Second Wave systems.

Consent can be withdrawn (not retroactively) by young people or parents of under 16s at any time, in writing.

Safer recruitment practice

Second Wave is committed to creating a safe environment for young people by robustly managing our recruitment practice through all levels of the organisation:

  • All staff, volunteers and trustees are required to undergo interviews and provide references.
  • Contractors who may carry out duties (such as maintenance of equipment, building repairs etc.) will not be allowed unsupervised contact with young people and where possible, these activities will be scheduled outside our operational schedules
  • All staff and volunteers who come into contact with young people are required to undergo DBS checks. These checks must be refreshed on an annual basis.
  • If background checks raise concerns against an applicant, the Board of Trustees will investigate these concerns prior to any offer of work.
  • If any individuals are identified to be unsuitable for working with children and young people, either during interviews, DBS checks, during their work, or following the outcome of an investigation, their application, employment or contract will be terminated immediately. Where this requires referrals to third party agencies, this will be actioned.
  • If complaints are made against an individual that affect their suitability around working with children and young people, their involvement at Second Wave will be suspended pending an investigation.

Online safety / Digital safeguarding

We recognise that while the online world offers opportunities, digital safeguarding requires special considerations that merit inclusion in our safeguarding practice. On our social media platforms, we will:

  • Engage with young people positively though official Second Wave accounts only;
  • Examine risks of individual social media platforms before signing up to them;
  • Deploy a robust protocol around content shared on our platforms by developing clear chains of approval;
  • Make our community social media guidelines easily available on our website.

We will develop and engage in young people’s resilience in online spheres by:

  • Being curious about how young people use social media, what pressures and challenges they face in those spheres;
  • Developing programmes which support young people to extend their critical thinking skills into online worlds.

In recognition of the fact that digital landscape evolves rapidly and different platforms may pose different risks, we commit to keeping all our staff and volunteers abreast of changes at regular intervals.

Contact details

Designated Safeguarding Office (DSO)
Name: Ann Considine

Deputy Safeguarding Office
Name: Hena Chowdhury

Trustee / Senior lead for safeguarding
Name: Cheryl Brown

This notice was last updated: January 2024
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