Safeguarding Policy

Purpose

Bella Reid/Vixen Dance & Fitness has a duty of care’ to provide a safe environment for and to promote the health and well-being of children and adults, and the protection of children and adults is especially important within Vixen Dance & Fitness. Bella Reid/Vixen Dance & Fitness takes all reasonable steps to ensure that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children & adults is provided at all times. Bella Reid/Vixen Dance & Fitness believes that welfare of children and adults is paramount  that all children and adults regardless of age, disability, gender, race, sexual orientation or identity, or religious belief have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse. This policy applies to all students, parents/guardians, visitors and Bella Reid herself.

Aim of Policy

The aim of this policy is to,

  1. ensure that children and adults whom Bella Reid/Vixen Dance & Fitness comes into contact with are well protected and that there is a system in place to protect their welfare.

  2. Always facilitate protection for children and adults.

  3. to protect children and adults at risk where there is a concern about the behaviour of an adult including Bella Reid herself

  4. to provide a procedure in the event that a child or adult may be experiencing abuse or be at risk of abuse or harm

  5. to assist all individuals, who take part in activities with Vixen Dance & Fitness to meet their duty of care to safeguard all children and adults

  6. to uphold our duty to prevent children & adults from being drawn into terrorism (known as the prevent duty)

  7. to ensure that if anyone has any concerns about the welfare of children or adults they are in a position to take the appropriate steps to address these concerns

Legislation

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of UK law and guidance. Bella Reid supports the statutory guidance contained in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) which covers the legal requirements and expectations of individual services to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults and provide a clear framework for Local Safeguarding Partnerships.

Safeguarding & promoting the welfare of children and adults is defined as:

  1. protecting children/adults from mistreatment

  2. preventing the impairment of children/adult’s mental and physical health/development

  3. ensuring that children and adults are in an environment with safe and effective care

  4. taking action to enable all children and adults to have the best outcomes

 

The Children Act (1989), defines a child as a person under the age of 18 years old (or up to the age of 25 if that person is in receipt of social services/educational help). Under section 3 of this act an individual without parental responsibility who is caring for a child ‘may do what is reasonable for the purposes of safeguarding or promoting a child’s welfare while the child is in his or her care’.

In relation to adult abuse, local authorities and relevant partners must cooperate with each other to support and care for adults with support needs or their carers. There is also a common law duty of care applicable to organisations not to be negligent and to avoid causing harm or injury.

Terminology/ Definitions

There are four main recognised categories of child abuse,

  1. physical

  2. sexual

  3. neglect

  4. emotional

However there are other considerations that effect children and adults such as,

  1. self harm

  2. eating disorders

  3. bullying

  4. serious youth violence (gun/knife crime)

  5. female mutilation

  6. radicalisation

  7. sexual exploitation

  8. sexual violence

  9. sexual harassment

  10. psychological abuse

  11. financial/material abuse

  12. acts of omission

  13. discriminatory abuse

 

Appropriate authority is the correct authority to report an incident, allegation or suspicion (i.e. police, social services, local safeguarding authority)

Responsibilities

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults is everyone’s responsibility. All should ensure their approach considers at all times what is in the best interests of the child or adult. In order to full protect children and adults everyone needs to identify concerns, share information and take prompt action. Bella Reid is responsible for ensuring that appropriate training is effective and that this safeguarding policy and complies with the law at all times. Bella will promote a fair, open and positive culture and will ensure all involved feel able to report concerns, confident that they will be heard and responded to.

These procedures aim to create a balance between the need to protect children and adults whilst ensuring false allegations do not occur. Is it not anyone’s responsibility to decide whether a child or adult has been abused in the past, present or future, however it is everyone’s responsibility to act upon concerns so that children and adults can be supported and protected in the short term. If appropriate authorities decide to investigate incidents further it is not connected to Vixen Dance and Fitness and no one from Vixen Dance and Fitness will be investigating those incidents.

Abuse of children and adults can occur outside of the family/household setting and can be within organisations. This is rarely a one off event and Bella is able to respond to allegations or suspicions in the appropriate manner. Abuse of children and adults can be from another child or adult and where this occurs age and understanding of the alleged will be taken into account and will be assessed separately from the victim.

Policy

Bella Reid/Vixen Dance & Fitness will safeguard children and adults by,

  1. valuing, listening and respecting

  2. implementing child protection procedures

  3. sharing information about child/adult protection

  4. working openly as well as with parents, carers and guardians

  5. sharing information about concerns with the appropriate agencies

  6. preventing people (students, children and adults) from being drawn into terrorism.

  7. ensuring there are appropriate arrangements in place to safeguard the collection of children under 11 years old from the end of classes/activities.

Responding to Incident

If an incident occurs involving a child or adult the following response should be followed by Bella,

  1. Stop other activities, listen/focus on what is being said or what is seen - responding to the incident being reported will take immediate priority.

  2. react in a calm and considered way but show concern

  3. tell the child/adult/third party that they did the right thing by sharing the information and offer reassurance.

  4. take what the child/adult/third party has said seriously. Allow extra time where there is a speech/language difficulty

  5. questions will be kept to the absolute minimum necessary to gain clear and accurate understanding

  6. no interrogations

  7. listen and do not interrupt if they are recounting significant events

  8. ensure they understand that this information needs to be shared with the appropriate person

  9. Immediate action will be considered if it is in the interest/protection of the child/adult.

Bella is the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and will consider outside situations that could contribute towards abuse or exploitation. Please speak to Bella for further information regarding the responsibilities as the DSL.