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Safeguarding and Protection Policy September 2018

DreamCatchers/DC Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

The policy has been written and approved by the DreamCatchers/DC Principal and will be kept under constant review and reviewed annually.

The policies and procedures are to be adhered to by all DreamCatchers/DC directors, employees, volunteers, casting/production teams and any individuals involved, or in contact with children where the safeguarding and welfare of children or young persons attending DreamCatchers/DC is the upmost priority.

DreamCatchers/DC acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice and requirements.

The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, and religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio- economic background, all children-

have a positive and enjoyable experience of Arts training at DreamCatchers/DC, in a safe and child centred environment

are protected from abuse whilst participating in DreamCatchers or outside of the activity. DreamCatchers acknowledges that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.

As part of our safeguarding policy DreamCatchers will

  • promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and young people

  • ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect to safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people

  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support will be provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern in accordance with this child protection policy. All complaints of suspected abuse will be dealt with by the Principle.

  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored

  • prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals


DreamCatchers/DC will

  • ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation. The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in DreamCatchers. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.

  • Monitoring the policy will be reviewed a year after development and then every three years, or in the following circumstances:

  • changes in legislation and/or government guidance as required by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, Councils or as a result of any other significant change or event.

  • DreamCatchers/DC Principal is the appointed officer in charge of the safeguarding, welfare and child protection of students at DreamCatchers/DC and will undertake effective recruitment, including Enhanced Disclosures for all staff and volunteers who work with children or have access to their contact details. The Principal is the decision-maker on what activities will take place involving the children and where these will take place, and as the

  • group holding ultimate responsibility, will be required to undertake Enhanced Disclosures.

  • Photographs, films or web-based materials of children or young adults participating in DreamCatchers/DC will only be taken with the consent of the parents/guardians/carers and in consultation with the children involved. Where permission is sought, the DreamCatchers/DC permission forms will follow data protection guidelines.

DreamCatchers/DC will keep up to date with health and safety regulations and will ensure changes in legislation are implemented into this policy regarding the protection of children and young adults.

• DC will maintain an accident record file and will require staff to enter a record of the accident when a child or young adult is injured whilst under DreamCatchers/DC supervision. The person responsible for the child will countersign the record, or, in the absence of that person, by a responsible member of staff. The accident book will be kept for 3 years.

• If a child or member of a vulnerable group arrives at the session with an obvious physical injury, a record will be made in the accident book and the person with responsibility for that individual will be required to counter-sign. This record will be used if a formal allegation is made later as a record that the individual did not sustain the injury whilst working with DreamCatchers/DC.

• All staff will be quipped with a fully equipped first aid kit in accordance with legislation guidelines and requirements and a high ratio of staff will be first Aid qualified.


Lost child procedures-

In the case of a child going missing whilst under the care of DreamCatchers the following actions should be taken-

• Check the register to confirm the child attended the class followed by a quick search of the venue, including cupboards and toilets.

• The person in charge of the session will send someone to check the outside and surrounding areas of the venue as quickly as possible, including under cars, hedges and the road.

• The person in charge will also check when the last time the child was seen, what they were wearing and their mental state.

• The police will then be called and advice given will be followed.

• The person in charge will telephone the parent and advise them of the situation. The person in charge will ask the parent to attend the venue using the route they usually take preferably walking.

• The second member of staff will keep searching the area, until instructed otherwise. The member of staff is to carry a mobile phone so that they can contact or be contacted.

• When the parent arrives, they will be asked to go home and wait or have someone wait at the home in case the child has made their way back.

• Telephone lines should be left free so that communication can be reached at speed.

• The dancing activities for the other children will continue as normal and staff not involved in the search will give children proper attention.

Lost child on an outing-

The following safety measures are implemented to minimise the loss of a child-

• A register is taken on the arrival and departure. If travelling by coach a register is taken whilst seated on the coach, followed by a headcount.

• In the case where parents or guardian are not present, the children will be allocated a chaperone. The chaperone will have a small group of children, no more than the recommended ratios. This chaperone will have a list of emergency contacts for the children and staff and medication. The chaperone must keep a mobile phone with them at all times.

• On trips a meeting point will be identified and communicated to the children and staff. In the case of a lost child we will send a member of staff to check this point.

• In the case of a lost child once on an outing the above steps for a lost child will be taken. If within a manned area, we will communicate the loss to the management so that they can help in the search.

Toilet Breaks-

  • Toilet breaks must be encouraged at the beginning and end of the class to minimise disruption to the learning.

  • If a child asks to go to the toilet during their lesson, they must be allowed. If there seems to be a pattern emerging with the same child each week, the Teacher should consult with the parent to discuss a suitable and more ideal solution.

  • During the class, the older children may escort younger children to the toilet. Especially in the case where the toilets are a distance from the class space or within the first weeks of joining.

  • A member of staff must acknowledge the time the children have gone and check if the children are longer than two minutes.If the teacher is concerned or has a feeling something is not right. They will firstly knock, secondly open the door slightly and then ask if everything is ok and if

required lastly go in to check, making sure they have a colleague/member of the School staff to assist.



On outings it is really important that children are escorted to the toilet. Teachers must take the children into the toilets waiting on the outside of the door whilst the child is in the toilet.

If there are all female teachers and boys, the boys must use a disabled toilet with the staff member waiting outside. Same for all male teachers with female students.



We aim to ensure boys and girls are changed separately, in cases where we don’t have the facilities, screens will be used to makeshift a separated changing area.

If children need help getting changed, this must be done in sight of another member of staff.

In the cases where we have children that have been abused and are in care, we ensure those children do not get changed or left unsupervised around others getting changed.

Food and drink-

DreamCatchers staff have a responsibility to ensure the children are kept hydrated whilst participating in DreamCatchers activities. We will ensure that the children have an adequate of 2-3 drink breaks per hour in our care. If the children are in DC care for longer than an hour, a healthy snack/pack lunch will be provided by the parents.

Parents can send in snacks and pack lunches but they must follow DC guidelines.

Food and snacks are monitored and regulated and we have strict rules of no nuts, fish, chocolate, sweets or fizzy drinks are to be given or consumed at DreamCatchers lessons, events or outings.

We promote healthy lifestyles for our children and any snacks that do not meet our rules will be given back to the parents at collection.

DreamCatchers staff also have a responsibility to safeguard children who suffer from allergies, any information is shared with staff and they must ensure the health and wellbeing of that child is not put at risk.

DreamCatchers Teachers must check all snacks to make sure they do not contain any ingredients that may cause a ‘known’ allergic child to have a reaction. These will be taken away and given back to the parent/child at the end of the class.

Emails will be sent out to parents if there is a child in their child’s class that has an allergy and we will ask them not to send in snacks containing any of the allergy triggers.

DreamCatchers staff must also practice what we preach about healthy eating in class to be good role models for the children.



  • Medication/care plans must be provided by the parent in advance of the class and the information should be shared at the earliest/ well in advance of the child’s participation in the class.

  • A reasonable amount of time needs to be given to DreamCatchers to allow care plans, plans of action and risk assessments to be amended/drawn up. Children will be delayed starting classes until staff are completely satisfied they can meet the medical requirements of the child and the needs of the other children in the class.

  • In the case where late notice of medical requirements has been given. And in a case where an incident occurs in our care without being given reasonable time to put safeguarding measures in place. The responsibility will be with the parent not DreamCatchers.

  • Medication should be clearly labeled with the child’s name and stored suitably. Medication should be handed to the Teacher by the parent at the start of class. If the medication is stored within the School, arrangements should be made between the parent and School as to how the teacher can access the medication and this information should be shared in writing to the DreamCatchers Principal well in advance of the class. The principle will then inform the teacher in charge.

  • The Teacher will make sure the medication is put in a safe place, accessible, but out of reach from the children for the duration of the class. It is the parent’s responsibility to collect any medication from the Teacher at the end of the class.

  • If at any time we feel we are unable to meet a child’s medical needs, contact with the parent will be made to discuss.


    • Student’s phones must be turned off and placed in the care of the Teacher at the beginning of the day/class. They will be returned at the end of the day.

    • Children are encouraged not to bring phones unless it is vital.
    • Teachers phones must be switched to vibrate whilst teaching and

    should only be accessed for emergency purposes only.

    • Teacher’s use of ipods, iphones, ipads, tablets and any form of technology in class is used for teaching purposes only.

    • Any photos or videos taken will be recorded on the Teachers equipment and will be sent to the Principal and then deleted from the device. Teachers are aware of the data protection and child safeguarding procedures in regards to photography on their equipment.

    • Permission forms are given to parents, which includes consent signature for photography and the use of images/footage on social media.

• A list of children who have not given consent will be shared with the class teacher.

• Material is vetted by the Principal and Teachers before it is uploaded onto social media

• At any time a request can be made in
writing to remove/change photography/video consent. The parent must allow DreamCatchers a reasonable amount of time to remove any photography and in cases where the child is in a group picture, DreamCatchers will hide the child with use of a picture symbol or a blurred image.



• Registers including emergency contact info and medical info. A register will also have a sign in and sign out procedure so that each child is accounted for throughout the day.

• Risk assessments are also drawn up to put into place precautionary measures to ensure the children’s safety and wellbeing.

• All staff will be made aware of the fire evacuation process and will do a walk through a mock fire evacuation to ensure they are aware of the correct procedure to evacuate the children quickly and safely.

• All DC staff have a responsibility to escort anyone out from the area and if someone is acting suspiciously, communicate this to the person in charge or Principle immediately.



Shows are treated in the same way as classes and outings, with safeguarding measures established-

• Chaperones-To ensure the children’s safety and wellbeing needs

are being met and to ensure the safety and high level of care whilst with DreamCatchers.

• Registers including emergency contact info and medical info. A register will also have a sign in and sign out procedure so that each child is accounted for throughout the rehearsal/show/event/camp.

• Risk assessments are also drawn up to put into place precautionary measures to ensure the children’s safety and wellbeing.

• Children are actively engaged whilst not performing or rehearsing, chaperones/ teachers will make sure the children are fed, entertained and creatively stimulated.

• All staff will be made aware of the fire evacuation process and will do a walk through a mock fire evacuation to ensure they are aware of the correct procedure to evacuate the children quickly and safely.

• Parents will not be allowed backstage to see the children, unless authorized by the Principal and only authorized on exceptional circumstances. There will be a designated pick up point for parents.

• All DC staff have a responsibility to escort anyone out from the area and if someone is acting suspiciously, communicate this to the person in charge or Principal immediately.

• Whilst backstage and on stage, it is the stage manager, runners and chaperones responsibility to make sure the children are kept safe. Making sure entrances/exits are clear. Children are not touching anything that could cause harm to them or others. If staff members feel there is a risk of harm, the person in charge must be notified immediately. This member of staff will then act on the information and will make a decision as to the best action.




At DreamCatchers we have a no bullying policy- If a child is suspected of bullying or being bullied, the flowing steps will take place- A report will be made and parents of the children will be made aware of the issue. The children will be spoken to separately regarding the incident to get a full picture of the incident. The Principal will be asked to oversee the meeting and report. In the case where a child has been found to be bullying, they will attend a meeting with their parents to discuss the issue, if the bullying continues after the meeting. The child will be withdrawn from the club. The physical and emotional wellbeing of the victim will be of paramount importance and a duty of acre will be given to care for the child.


The DreamCatchers Code of Conduct-

• Be kind and respectful to others at all times!

DreamCatchers/DC staff, employees or volunteers have a responsibility to report all cases of suspected child abuse or neglect, and to co-operate with any investigation. The following paragraphs outline the potential indicators that a child or young person is being abused.

• Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of or deliberately induces illness in a child.

• Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate

expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

• Some level of abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child though it may 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 what is happening. The activities may include physical contact including penetrative or non- penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

• Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to the appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of a child’s basic emotional needs. The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of Significant Harm that justifies compulsory intervention in the family life in the best interests of the child. Significant harm is measured against the severity, extent, duration, frequency, extent of the remediation and the degree of threat and coercion involved. It also takes into account of the effect on the child and the degree of difficulty in helping the child overcome the adverse impact of the ill treatment and includes hearing or seeing the abuse of another. If abuse is suspected the process of alert is listed in the guidelines below-

• The concerns or incident needs to be identified and recorded by the individual who has raised the suspicion. The report should be written in plain English, and should always

differentiate between facts and opinion or judgment and they should be dated.

• This information will be passed onto the Principal, who will contact the Child Protection Officer to ask for advice, if the CPO is not available then Surrey County Council Contact Centre or if worried about significant harm the police. A record of this discussion will be kept should it need to be referred to. The principle and the individual who raised the alarm may in future be asked to help with investigations and must do so as a duty to the safeguarding of that child.


DreamCatchers recognises that the well being of the child is the paramount consideration and the needs of the child must be put first. If a child reports abuse-

• DreamCatchers will check first act upon seeking medical assistance if an emergency.

• Reassure the child that they are safe.

• Once the child has been reassured and received medical assistance, a written report will be taken and passed onto the Principal.

• The Principal will raise the report with the Child Protection Officer.

• The child will not be forced to give over details, but instead will be offered support by listening to their concerns, and making sure they are emotionally supported and safe.

• It is the responsibility of the individual to act upon this information immediately by passing on the information or if severe, or there is suspicion the child will be in significant harm, urgent assistance will be called upon (emergency services/ CPO)

• Information disclosed will only be passed on to Principal and CPO to minimise rumours and upholding respect for the

child’s, families and/or staff’s rights to privacy.

• It may be suitable to mention to the child or parents that the information is being dealt with, in accordance to DreamCatchers policies, procedures and responsibility to safeguard the child. Sometimes concerns about a child may not be about abuse. It may be concerned that a child or family need some help in making sure all the child’s needs are met to address a particular problem. Examples of this might be where a child is suffering because of poverty, getting into trouble in the community, or has a disability and needs extra help. In these cases DreamCatchers/DC will consult the School or local authority and provide the family with support in gaining help. All reports of abuse/incidents/concerns/welfare issues will be kept secure by the Principal and will only be shared in cases where the information kept about a child, is required by the safeguarding and welfare officials.


  • DreamCatchers/DC will not pass on any details of children or members of vulnerable groups following the provisions set by the Data Protection Act 1998, the Children Act 2004 and The Safety of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and will follow the requirements and guidelines of these Acts when employing staff or volunteers who will have access to children’s records.

  • DreamCatchers/DC will support confidentiality in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and will not share any information about employees/artists or arts facilitators to other arts organisations other than in the ordinary course of business.

  • Whilst in DreamCatchers care, no child under the age of 18 will be allowed to leave the premises without supervision deemed appropriate by The Teachers. Parents/guardians/ will be required to inform the principal of the person who will be escorting their child(ren) from DreamCatchers /DC classes and, from week to week and is the duty of the

  • parent/guardian to keep the Principle/Teacher in charge informed of any changes. Where parents/guardians/carers wish to allow their child(ren) to travel home from DreamCatchers/DC activities without adult supervision, the Principal/Teacher will require authorisation in writing before the course/activity commences.

• DreamCatchers/DC Teachers will stay on the premises until all children have been collected by the authorised parent/guardians and staff will never leave a child unattended until they have been handed back into safe care. An exception to this would be in the case where the child is handed over to a Teacher/School official or after School Club.This would be arranged with the School and parent in advance. (In the case a parent is extremely late to collect and the Teacher needs to leave to get to another responsibility)

• DreamCatchers/DC will consult the recommended ratios for supervision of children recommended by the NSPCC when deciding staffing of activities.

• In relation to any activities requiring chaperone assistance only licensed local authority chaperones will be used to deliver and support these activities.

DreamCatchers/DC conduct in a working environment operates

• A no-smoking policy. Staff, others working for DreamCatchers/DC, children or adult members of the company may not smoke in any premises being used or occupied by DreamCatchers/DC or care of any children attending DreamCatchers/DC activities.

• Alcohol and recreational drugs may not be taken into any space where children or young adults are working. As part of their contract, staff are not allowed to consume alcohol or take

recreational drugs before working with, or in the presence of, children or adult members of the company.

• Prescribed drugs will be kept locked and out of reach of children and adult members of the company.

• Staff language and conversation will be appropriate when talking to or within hearing distance of children or adult members of the company. Likewise, all participants will be actively encouraged to maintain the same standards in language and conversation, both with staff and with each other. All staff will be issued with the guidelines at the start of employment. All staff and volunteers must-

• Not take, receive or share contact details from children or members of vulnerable groups, except through the lines of permission set down by the Principal.

• Will not arrange any contact with children or young adults met through DreamCatchers/DC outside of those activities, except with the express permission of parent/guardian/carers, which must be sent to the principal who will make a note on file.

• Must keep an appropriate distance from participants and not engage in any inappropriate physical contact. Staff may only touch participants when it is absolutely necessary to the particular arts activity. In this case, agreement will be sought from participants prior to any physical contact.

• Will remain professional and appropriate at all times.

• Will always treat children and adult members of the company equally, and with respect and dignity, putting the welfare of each participant before the goals of the project.

• Ensure feedback is enthusiastic and constructive.

• Will always work in an open environment and avoid private or unobserved situations. Allegations made against staff. Chaperones or other individuals that the children may come into contact with-

• If an allegation is made against a member of the DreamCatchers/DC staff, production team, chaperone, matron, cast, helper, full co-operation will be sought from those in charge, the individual member of staff and the authority.

• In the case of a serious allegation, it will be necessary to suspend the member of staff immediately until the investigation is concluded.

• Any unnecessary physical contact will be avoided by individuals, as it could be misconstrued either by the young person themselves or by others. Direct physical contact necessary for dressing, make up, teaching should be wherever possible only undertaken in the presence of other adults, and should not involve intimate touching.


DreamCatchers /DC will take seriously all complaints of suspected or actual child abuse or concerns that a child(ren) is being put at risk. The complaints/concerns will be acted upon immediately. If someone believes that a child may be suffering, or may be at risk of suffering significant harm, then s/he must make the


DreamCatchers/DC Principal aware, who will then notify social services. In the event of a complaint, a record will be taken and acted on appropriately by the Principle.


If a complaint or allegation is made against a member of DreamCatchers/DC staff, s/he should be made aware of his or her rights under both employment law and internal disciplinary procedures and a full investigation would take place.


Any member of staff involved with DreamCatchers (employee or volunteer) will be given a detailed job description including their

roles, responsibilities and a copy of the policies. The individual will be asked to agree to a DBS check prior to the work commencing. A contract will be issued and signed before any work can go ahead.


It is the member of staff’s responsibility to make sure they have read the policies and that they understand and agree to implement the guidelines laid out in the policies and procedures.


All staff and others working for DreamCatchers/DC (paid and unpaid) will be made aware of this policy and its procedures throughout all areas of their work. Their Principal will ensure that they understand their responsibilities, have read and have ready access to the guidance on appropriate responses, which is set down in the appendices of this policy.

Principal/Safeguarding Officer- Casey Maton

Last reviewed SEPTEMBER 2018

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