Rust & Stardust Safeguarding Policy

It is the policy of Rust & Stardust that the welfare of the children and young people is paramount regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity and that everyone who may take part in our workshops and activities has a right to protection from physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Children and young people are defined as under the age of 18. We also acknowledge our responsibilities in respect of adult volunteers or visitors who might be deemed to be ‘at risk’ because they are ‘vulnerable’. (A Vulnerable Adult is defined in accordance with The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) Order 2002 as a person aged 18 or over who has a condition of the following type: (i) a substantial learning or physical disability; (ii) a physical or mental illness or mental disorder, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs; or (iii) a significant reduction in physical or mental capacity.

Rust & Stardust is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults. It recognises its responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote best practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation.

Rust & Stardust acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse. We encourage the development of an ethos that embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of all children, young people and adults.

Rust & Stardust will therefore:

  1. Ensure that artists working with children understand their legal and moral obligations to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation.
  2. Develop best practice in relation to the recruitment of such artists. Rust & Stardust is committed to providing a safe and secure and promoting a climate where children and adults will feel confident about sharing any concerns which they may have about their own safety or the well-being of others.
  3. Ensure that artists understand their responsibility to work to the standards detailed in the company’s Child Protection Procedures.
  4. Ensure that artists understand their obligations to report care or protection concerns about a child/young person, or a volunteers’ conduct towards a child/young person, to the company’s designated person for child protection.
  5. Ensure that all procedures relating to the conduct of artists are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner.
  6. Ensure that the designated child protection person understands his/her responsibility to refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. police and/or children’s social care.)
  7. Provide opportunities for artists to develop their skill and knowledge particularly in relation to the care and protection of children and young people and adults at risk.
  8. Facilitate involvement of parents or carers make child protection procedures available to them.
  9. Ensure that written permission is received from parents/carers for their children to engage in workshop and theatre activities.
  10. Endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments relating to the care and protection of children and young people.
  11. Take seriously any allegation or suspicion of abuse towards a child with whom Rust & Stardust is in contact and recognise that any child can be subject to abuse and that any matter arising from this will be dealt with appropriately following a clear set of procedures.
  12. Ensure that artists who are in positions of trust in respect of children and young people, are aware of the law relating to sexual activity with under 18s.
  13. Particular vigilance will be exercised in respect of children and young people who could be vulnerable by virtue of disability, special educational needs, homelessness, refugee/asylum seeker status, the effects of substance abuse within the family, those who are young carers and those who are ‘looked after’ or ‘in the care’ of a Local Authority. In addition we acknowledge that children who are affected by abuse or neglect may demonstrate their needs and distress through their words, actions, behaviour, demeanour or other children. We will work hard to promote a strong positive ethos through our theatre activities and will have high expectations of the behaviour expected of all participants.

Responsibilities within this policy:

  1. All artists are responsible for the operation of the Child Protection Policy and they should act upon any concern no matter how small or trivial it may seem.
  2. All artists recognise the position of trust in which they have been placed.
  3. In every respect, artists ensure that the relationships they form with children and young people are appropriate.
  4. Rust & Stardust ensures that artists working directly with children and young people have a Disclosure and Barring Service. Volunteers requiring DBS disclosures are:
  1. In cases where there is an allegation or suspicion of child abuse, the Designated Person(s) will take steps immediately to ensure that no child or adult is placed in a position which could cause further compromise.
  2. Any allegation or suspicion of child abuse is reported to the appropriate authorities.
  3. Rust & Stardust will work with the appropriate local agencies, in particular the local police, to ensure that children are safeguarded through the effective operation of Rust & Stardust’s child protection procedures.
  4. Rust & Stardust is committed to reviewing our policy and good practice at regular intervals.
  5. All artists working with Rust & Stardust are required to report instances of actual or suspected child abuse to the Designated Person(s) with responsibility for child protection.

The Designated Person is: Eleanor Conlon

The Deputy Designated Person is: Katie Sommers

When an individual concern/incident is brought to the notice of the Designated Person(s), they will seek advice from Lewes District Council’s 24 hour help desk in relation to child protection issues.

Rust & Stardust

April 2019