CODE OF PRACTICE
The Band expects that all members and staff, who work, on its behalf, will be aware of this Code of Practice and adhere to its principles in their approach to all children.
1. The teaching process should be as open as possible, and it is important that no more time should be spent alone with children than is necessary for teaching purposes.
2. It is important not to have physical contact with children and this should be avoided.
3. It is not good practice to take children alone in a car on journeys, however short.
4. Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child, even in fun, as this could be misinterpreted.
5. It is important not to deter children from making a 'disclosure' of abuse through fear of not being believed, and to listen to what they have to say.
Guidance on handling a disclosure is set out in Appendix C. If this gives rise to a child protection concern it is important to follow the Band's procedure for reporting such concerns, and not to attempt to investigate the concern yourself.
6. Remember that those who abuse children can be of any age (even other children), gender, ethnic background or class, and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people to prevent appropriate action taking place.
7. Good practice includes valuing and respecting children as
individuals, and the adult modelling of appropriate conduct which will always
exclude bullying, shouting, racism, sectarianism or sexism.
DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. It may be the result of a deliberate act, but could also be caused through the omission or failure to act to protect.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. It may involve making a child feel or believe that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment of a child, though it may also occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of, or consents to, what is happening. It may involve physical contact, including rape or oral sex, or non-penetrative act such as fondling. Boys and girls can be sexually abused by males and/or females, and by other young people. It also includes non-contact activities such as involving children in watching or taking part in the making of pornographic material, or encouraging children to behave in inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. It may involve failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, or failing to ensure that a child gets appropriate medical care or treatment.
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCEDURES
Appropriate recruitment and selection procedures for staff in the context of child protection have been adopted by the Band and will include the following:
1. A clear definition of any role so that the most suitable appointee can be identified.
2. Identification of key selection criteria.
3. A wide circulation of vacancies to ensure equal opportunities.
4. Confirmation of the identity of the applicant.
5. Requirement of a declaration of previous convictions and submission to formal check, together with the issue of the Child Protection Policy.
6. A clear guarantee that disclosed information will be treated in confidence and not used against applicants unfairly, including adherence to the Disclosure and Barring Service code of practice.
7. Documentary evidence of qualifications.
8. Use of several selection techniques to maximise the chance of safe recruitment, e.g. interview, references, checks.
9. At least one representative of the Band meeting personally with every applicant, and an exploration of their attitudes towards working with children.
10. Written references.
RESPONDING APPROPRIATELY TO A CHILD MAKING AN ALLEGATION OF ABUSE
1. Stay calm.
2. Listen carefully to what is said.
3. Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to shared with others – do not promise to keep secrets.
4. Tell the child that the matter will only be disclosed to those who need to know about it.
5. Allow the child to continue at his/her own pace.
6. Ask questions for clarification only, and at all times avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer.
7. Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you.
8. Tell them what will you will do next, and with whom the information will be shared.
9. Record in writing what was said, using the child's own words as soon as possible – note the date, time, any names mentioned, to whom the information was given and ensure that the record is signed and dated.
10. It is important to remember that the person who first encounters a case of alleged abuse is not responsible for deciding whether abuse has occurred. That is a task for the professional child protection agencies, following a referral from a designated child protection person in the organisation.