Child Protection Policy



South East Community Music


48 Larner Road


Kent DA8 3RD




Policy Statement




South East Community Music is committed to practice which protects children from harm. Staff and volunteers in this organisation accept and recognise our responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause children harm.



This policy is based on the following principles:

·         Staff/volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.



We will aim to safeguard children by:


·         Adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers.

·         Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents and carers, staff and volunteers.

·         Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.

·         Carefully following the procedures for recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers.

·         Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through support, supervision and training.

·         We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice regularly.


This policy sets out agreed guidelines relating to the following areas:



1. Definitions of abuse


These definitions are based on those from Working Together to Safeguard Children (Department of Health, Home office, Department for Education and Employment, 1999)


Physical abuse


Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing harm to a child.

Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after. This situation is commonly described as factitious illness, fabricated or induced illness in children or “Munchausen Syndrome by proxy” after the person who first identified this situation.

A person might do this because they enjoy or need the attention they get through having a sick child.

Physical abuse, as well as being the result of a deliberate act, can also be caused through omission or the failure to act to protect.


Emotional abuse


Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making a child feel or believe they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of the other person.

It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may also involve causing children to feel frequently frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of a child.


Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.


Sexual abuse


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, or consents to, what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative acts such as rape, buggery or oral sex, or non-penetrative acts such as fondling.

Sexual abuse may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Boys and girls can be sexually abused by males and or females, by adults and by other young people. This includes people from all different walks of life.






Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or a carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, leaving a young child home alone or the failure to ensure that a child gets appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

It is accepted that in all forms of abuse there are elements of emotional abuse, and that some children are subjected to more than one form of abuse at any time. These four definitions do not minimise other forms of maltreatment.




Recent guidance notes other sources of stress for children and families, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, the mental illness of a parent or carer, or drug and alcohol misuse. These may have a negative impact on a child’s health and development and may be noticed by an organisation caring for a child. If it is felt that a child’s well-being is adversely affected by any of these areas, the same procedures should be followed.


 2. Recognising and Responding to Abuse


The following signs may or may not be indicators that abuse has taken place, but the possibility should be considered.


Physical signs of abuse



Changes in behaviour which can also indicate physical abuse:



Emotional signs of abuse


The physical signs of emotional abuse may include;



Changes in behaviour which can also indicate emotional abuse include:



Sexual Abuse


The physical signs of sexual abuse may include:



Changes in behaviour which can also indicate sexual abuse include:






The physical signs of neglect may include:



Changes in behaviour which can also indicate neglect include:




3. What to do if you suspect that abuse may have occurred


1. You must report the concerns immediately to the SECM secretary Chris Leeds


The role of the designated person is to:



The designated person has been nominated by South East Community Music to refer allegations or suspicions of neglect or abuse to the statutory authorities. In the absence of Chris Leeds the matter should be brought to the attention of Kate Atkinson.


2. Suspicions will not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above.


3. It is the right of any individual to make direct referrals to the child protection agencies. If for any reason you believe that the nominated persons have not responded appropriately to your concerns, then it is up to you to contact the child protection agencies directly.


 Allegations of physical injury or neglect


If a child has a symptom of physical injury or neglect the designated person will:


  1. Contact Social Services for advice in cases of deliberate injury or concerns about the safety of the child. The parents should not be informed by the organisation in these circumstances.
  2. Where emergency medical attention is necessary it will be sought immediately. The designated person will inform the doctor of any suspicions of abuse.
  3. In other circumstances speak with the parent/carer/guardian and suggest that medical help/attention is sought for the child. The doctor will then initiate further action if necessary.
  4. If appropriate the parent/carer will be encouraged to seek help from Social Services. If the parent/care/guardian fails to act the designated person should in case of real concern contact social services for advice.
  5. Where the designated person is unsure whether to refer a case to Social Services then advice from the Area Child Protection Committee will be sought.


Allegations of sexual abuse


In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse the designated person will:


  1. Contact the Social Service duty social worker for children and families directly. The designated person will not speak to the parent (or anyone else)
  2. If the designated person is unsure whether or not to follow the above guidance then advice from the Area Child protection Committee will be sought.
  3. Under no circumstances is the designated person attempt to carry out any investigation into the allegation or suspicions of sexual abuse. The role of the designated person is to collect and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and to provide this information to Social Services whose task it is to investigate the matter under section 47 of the Children Act.
  4. Whilst allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse should normally be reported to the designated person, their absence should not delay referral to Social Services.


4. Responding to a child making an allegation of abuse



Helpful statements to make



Do not say



5. What to do after a child has talked to you about abuse


The procedure


1. Make notes as soon as possible (ideally within 1 hour of being told) you should write down exactly what the child has said and what you said in reply and what was happening immediately before being told (i.e. the activity being delivered) You should record the dates, times and when you made the record. All hand written notes should be kept securely.


You should use the form “Reporting allegations or suspicions of abuse” This form is attached at the back of this policy. (Appendix 1)


2. You should report your discussion with the designated person as soon as possible. If this person is implicated you need to report to the SECM Chairperson Kate Atkinson. If both are implicated report to Social Services.


3. You should under no circumstances discuss your suspicions or allegations with anyone other than those nominated above.


4. After a child has disclosed abuse the designated persons should carefully consider whether or not it is safe for a child to return home to potentially abusive situation. On these rare occasions it may be necessary to take immediate action to contact Social Services to discuss putting safety measures into effect.


6. Recruitment and appointment of workers and volunteers


In recruiting and appointing workers South East Community Music will be responsible for the following:



7. Allegations against a member of staff

We will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child. Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:


The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation, but not necessarily.

Action if there are concerns


1. Concerns about poor practice:

·         If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice; this will be dealt with as a misconduct issue.

·         If the allegation is about poor practice by the  Designated Person or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the Chair who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not the organisation should initiate disciplinary proceedings.


2. Concerns about suspected abuse

3. Internal Enquiries and Suspension



8. Supervisory arrangements for the management of South East Community Music activities and services.


We will aim to protect children from abuse and our team members from false allegations by adopting the following guidelines:



9. Support and Training


South East Community Music is committed to the provision of child protection training for all our team members.





This policy was adopted on…24/9/2005………………………….



This policy will be reviewed on…24/9/2006………………………