Safeguarding Policy

The National Youth Arts Trust (hereafter NYAT) understands the vital importance of having proper safeguards in place for the protection of young people under 18 years of age and other vulnerable groups. NYAT recognises its responsibility to ensure that those benefitting from, or working with NYAT, are not harmed in any way through contact with the Trust.
Trustees, employees, volunteers and adult beneficiaries of NYAT must always act in accordance with our Safeguarding Policy and follow the procedures and best practices as indicated below.

The National Youth Arts Trust strongly believes:
  • The welfare of a child is paramount;
  • All children without exception have the right to protection from abuse regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs.

Definition of child abuse
Child abuse happens when an adult inflicts harm on a child or young person, even, in some cases, if the adult’s actions are not deliberate. There are four broad categories of child abuse:
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • neglect
  • emotional abuse.
Physical abuse happens when a child is deliberately hurt, causing injuries such as cuts, bruises and broken bones.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities.
Neglect is persistently failing to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs resulting in serious damage to their health and development.
Emotional abuse can severely damage a child’s emotional development. Active emotional abuse involves an adult deliberately trying to scare, humiliate or verbally abuse a child. Passive emotional abuse happens when a parent or carer denies the child the love and care they need in order to be healthy and happy.

The National Youth Arts Trust will ensure:
  • all concerns, and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously by trustees, employees and volunteers and responded to appropriately - this may require a referral to children’s social care services, the independent Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for allegations against staff, trustees and other volunteers, and in emergencies, the Police.
  • safe recruitment, selection and vetting for all trustees, employees and volunteers; all employees and volunteers who come into direct contact with the young people we work with, will be required to have an up-to-date enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.
  • trustees, employees and volunteers are clear on NYAT’s policies and procedures in regards to children’s safety and well-being.

Code of behaviour
Each trustee, employee and volunteer has a responsibility to ensure that young people are protected from harm. It is the responsibility of all to ensure that:
  • Their behaviour is appropriate at all times and they provide a good example of acceptable behaviour.
  • They recognise the position of trust in which they have been placed.
  • The relationships they form with the young people under their care are appropriate.
  • They show respect and understanding of young people, and their safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects our principles.

How to recognise the signs of abuse
Children rarely tell if they are being abused. However, there may be signs that are an indication of a child being neglected or abused. The child or young person may:
  • have unexplained bruising, or bruising in an unexpected place
  • appear quiet, withdrawn, or afraid
  • be afraid to go home
  • appear constantly hungry, tired or untidy
  • be left unattended or unsupervised
  • have too much responsibility for their age
  • be acting in a sexually inappropriate way
  • be misusing drugs or alcohol
  • tell you something that sounds as if they have been hurt by someone.

Procedures
How to respond to allegations, disclosures or suspicions of abuse:
All allegations, disclosures or suspicions of abuse, no matter how insignificant, must be recorded on an incident form and referred to the chair of the board of trustees in the first instance. No information must be withheld.
The persons involved must not investigate the allegations, disclosures or suspicions but always refer to the chair of the board or in the event the chair is unavailable, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be contacted dependent on the location the situation has occurred. The appropriate LADO’s contact details will be made known on the outset of any new charitable activities.

Confidentiality policy
Privacy and confidentiality should be respected where possible but if this leaves a child at risk of harm then the child’s safety has to come first.
Not everyone needs to know when a concern or worry is raised. This respects the child’s, family’s and/or staff’s rights to privacy. Only refer an incident to the chair of the board of trustees or in the event the chair is unavailable, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be contacted.
It is however, fine to say that a concern has been raised and it is being dealt with following NYAT’s procedures.
This policy is reviewed and approved by the board of trustees annually or when legislation changes.
To see a copy of our full Safeguarding Policy, please contact our administrator:
admin@nationalyouthartstrust.org.uk