Child Protection Policy

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The King’s Lynn & District Camera Club is committed to the welfare and safety of all members of our Club & users of our services and we strive to create an atmosphere in which everyone feels secure, valued, listened to and taken seriously.

Full membership of the Club is limited to those aged 18 years and over (Constitution para.7).  Younger people may attend as a student provided they are accompanied by a responsible adult family member.  Other children may attend open Club events.

It is necessary therefore to establish a Child Protection Policy.

Child Protection Policy

The King’s Lynn & District Camera Club is committed to following procedures for protecting children and young people from abuse.

The Club will ensure that appropriate procedures are in place for responding to situations in which any member believes that a child or young person has been abused or is at risk of abuse or neglect.  These procedures will also cover circumstances in which a member is accused of abuse.

The Designated Person/s

The Designated Person for Child Protection is the Chairman, or in the absence of the Chairman another Trustee, who will:

  • ensure that appropriate training and support in the area of child protection is provided to all members;
  • decide whether to take further action about specific concerns e.g. refer to Social Services (tel 01553 613846);
  • liaise with Social Services teams over suspected cases of child abuse;
  • ensure that accurate records relating to individual children are kept in a secure place;
  • ensure that we monitor children who have been identified as at risk;
  • provide guidance to parents, children, members and volunteers about obtaining suitable support.

Procedures

  • any member concerned about a child or young person must inform the Designated Person immediately;
  • the member must record information regarding the concerns as soon as possible. The recording must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observations;
  • the Designated Person will refer the concerns to the Social Services Department whose advice will be taken on who else needs to be informed;
  • if a referral is made to Social Services, the Designated Person will ensure that a written report of the concerns is sent to the Social Worker dealing with the case within 24 hours;
  • particular attention will be paid to the welfare of any child who has been identified as at risk, or who has been placed on the Child Protection Register.

When to be concerned

A member or volunteer should be concerned if a child –

  • has any injury which is not typical of the bumps and scrapes normally associated with children’s activities;
  • regularly has unexplained injuries;
  • frequently has injuries, even when apparently reasonable explanations are given;
  • offers confused or conflicting explanations about how injuries were sustained;
  • exhibits significant changes in behaviour, performance or attitude;
  • indulges in sexual behaviour which is unusually explicit and/or inappropriate to his or her age;
  • discloses an experience in which he or she may have been significantly harmed.

Dealing with a Disclosure

If a child discloses that he or she has been abused in some way, the member should –

  • listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief;
  • accept what is being said;
  • allow the child to talk freely;
  • reassure the child, but not make promises which it might not be possible to keep;
  • not promise confidentiality, as it might be necessary to refer the case to Social Services;
  • reassure the child that what has happened is not their fault;
  • stress that it was the right thing to tell;
  • listen, rather than ask direct questions;
  • ask open questions rather than leading questions;
  • not criticise the perpetrator;
  • explain what has to be done next and who has to be told.

Record Keeping

When a child has made a disclosure, the member should –

  • make some brief notes as soon as possible after the conversation;
  • not destroy the original notes in case they are needed by a court;
  • record the date, time, place and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child;
  • draw a diagram to indicate the position of any bruising or other injury;
  • record statements and observations, rather than interpretations or assumptions.

Support

Dealing with a disclosure from a child is likely to be a stressful experience. The member of staff concerned should consider seeking support for him/herself and discuss this with the Designated Person/s, who will instigate the appropriate support services, if required.

Allegations Involving a Member or volunteer

If a child, or parent, makes a complaint of abuse against a member or volunteer the person receiving the complaint must take it seriously and immediately inform the Designated Person.

Any member or volunteer who has reason to suspect that another member or volunteer may have abused a child immediately informs the Designated Person. A record of the concerns must be made, including a note of anyone else that witnessed the incident or allegation.

When a complaint is made against a member or volunteer, that person will be immediately relieved of any Club duties and responsibilities. A full investigation will then be instigated.

November 2008

Junior Members.  Please note that this addendum is not only for the protection of juniors but also for the protection of adult members against false accusations.

  • The Club is keen to encourage young photographers to join, but full membership is limited by the Constitution to those aged 18 and over. Those aged under 18 may join as Junior members.  The cost of Junior membership is determined by the Committee.
  • Junior members aged under 16 must be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian or other authorised adult.
  • Junior members aged over 16 but under 18 must have written permission from a parent or guardian to attend Club meetings.
    • A parent or guardian (or another adult with the written permission of the parent or guardian) must accompany the junior member to and from meetings.
    • They must stay until at least three other adult members have arrived.
    • After the meeting at least three adult members must stay until the junior member has been collected by the parent or guardian or other authorised adult.
    • A parent or guardian or other authorised adult is encouraged to attend the whole of any meeting, without charge, if they wish.
  • Repeated failure to adhere to these rules may result in the termination of the Junior’s membership.

April 2012

Reviewed by committee September 2018