junk ensemble Child
junk ensemble are committed to upholding the rights of children and young people as performers,
participants and audience members for their work.
Jessica Kennedy worked with
the youth organisation Arts Fusion, teaching dance and drama workshops in North-East
London schools from 2003-2004. In 2004-2006 she taught full-time youth dance
classes for Myriad Dance Company, Wexford. Jessica was Artistic Director of
Draoicht Youth Dance Company in 2007. Jessica and Megan were Artistic Directors
of Drogheda Youth Dance Company in 2007-2008.
is our child protection policy.
was drafted following working on Five Ways to Drown at Dublin Dance Festival 2010.
Since the publication of
the 1987 Child Abuse Guidelines by the Department of Health, the profile of
child abuse as a social problem has risen considerably in Ireland. During this period, significant reforms
have taken place in terms of legislation, policies and services established to
promote the protection and welfare of children. The Child Care Act, 1991 updated legislation for the welfare
and protection of children. In
September 1992, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified by
Ireland and came into force on 21 October 1992. Health board community care
services have been expanded considerably and management responsibilities for
child care and child protection have been re-organised. In 1993, Children First: National
Guidelines for the Protection of Children were issued. Finally, key aspects of the
Data Protection Act 1998 and its subsequent amendment, the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 also apply to working with children and youth.
ensemble 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 safe practice and to protect children, young people
and vulnerable adults form harm, abuse and exploitation. Paid staff and
volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an
ethos, which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of
children, young people and vulnerable adults.
policy relates to children and young people up to the age of 18 years and
key principles underpinning this policy are:
The interests and
safety of the child, young person or vulnerable adult are paramount
All children, young
people and vulnerable adults should be treated fairly and with respect
All children, young
people and vulnerable adults have the right to be protected from all forms
of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation
All children, young
people and vulnerable adults have the right to express their views on
matters that affect them.
work carried out by junk ensemble staff must comply with both the Children First: National Guidelines for the
Protection of Children and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as follows.
Every child [young
person or vulnerable adult] shall have the right to work and play in a
safe and inclusive environment.
Every child [young
person or vulnerable adult] shall have the right to freedom of expression;
this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information
and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing
or print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s
[young person’s or vulnerable adult’s] choice.
Every child [young
person or vulnerable adult] shall have the right to rest and to engage in
play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and
to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
Practice Code of Conduct
staff at junk ensemble are encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in
order to safeguard the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
junk ensemble requires all staff with substantial access to children to be
checked by An
Garda Síochána. Our aim is to strive towards creating a
positive culture and climate by adhering to the following guidelines:
Help to develop an ethos,
which promotes difference and diversity, where all people are treated equally
and with dignity and respect.
Always put the care,
welfare and safety needs of a child, young person or vulnerable adult first.
children, young people and vulnerable adults to be involved in making choices
and decisions, which directly affect them.
Listen attentively to any
ideas and views a child, young person or vulnerable adult wants to share with
Respect a child’s [young
person’s or vulnerable adult’s] culture and/or religious beliefs.
Respect a child’s [young
person’s or vulnerable adult’s] right to privacy and personal space.
Respond sensitively to a
child, young person or vulnerable adult who seems anxious about participating
in certain activities.
Be aware of the
vulnerability of some groups of children to being isolated and hurt (for
example: those with learning and physical disabilities, those from minority
ethnic groups, those with limited English language skills)
Ensure that a teacher,
parent or other responsible adult is present at all times. junk ensemble staff
never work “in loco parentis” (we are not solely responsible for children,
young people or vulnerable adults).
Speak to another member
of staff immediately if you suspect that a child is experiencing bullying or
Listen carefully to any
child who ‘tells you’ (sometimes through drawings and behaviour as well as
words) that they are being harmed and report what you have heard immediately to
either one of the Co-Artistic Directors or the Producer.
Only restrain a child,
young person or vulnerable adult who is at risk of inflicting harm to
themselves or others.
YOU SHOULD NOT
Exaggerate or trivialise
another member of staff’s concerns about a child, young person or vulnerable
Ignore an allegation or
suspicion of abuse in the hope that it will either ‘go away’ or that ‘someone
else will deal with it’
Discuss personal issues
about a child [young person or vulnerable adult] or their family with other
people except with one of the Co-Artistic Directors or the Producer when you
are concerned about the child’s [young person’s or vulnerable adult’s] well
Be drawn into any
derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children, young people or vulnerable
adults. You should lead by example and where ever possible comply with the
rules that govern the organisation you are in (e.g. school).
Allow a child, young
person or vulnerable adult to be bullied or harmed by either a member of the
organisation or by one of their peers.
Allow children to swear
or use sexualised language unchallenged.
YOU SHOULD NEVER
Engage in sexually
provocative games including horseplay.
Allow others or yourself
to engage in touching a child, young person or vulnerable adult in a sexually
Make sexually suggestive
comments to a child, young person or vulnerable adult, even in jest.
Engage in rough or
physical contact unless it is permitted within the rules of a game or sports
activity or conforms to the guidance on appropriate physical restraint.
emotional or physical relationships with children, young people or vulnerable
Harass or intimidate a
child, young person vulnerable adult or co-worker because of their age, race,
gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, socio-economic class or
Invite a child, young
person or vulnerable adult to stay with you at your home.
Child Protection and Other Artistic Companies
artistic companies who collaborate and/or co-produce with junk ensemble are
required to have their own Child Protection Policy and procedures in place
where members of the company are children, young people or vulnerable adults or
where the visiting company plan to work with children, young people or
vulnerable adults as part of an ancillary education package. Additionally
venues where our work is performed should ideally also have such policies but
where they do not, the Company’s Child Protection Policy remains central to the
conduct of our relations with children and young people.
ensemble reserves the right to ask for copies of all child protection
documentation on request and ensure that all permissions and arrangements for
supervision are in place.
Health and Safety in the performance spaces
thorough assessment to identify risks will be carried out prior to every
rehearsal, performance and/or workshop that involve children to ensure that
children, young people and vulnerable adults using the performance area,
dressing rooms and back stage areas for said activities are safe and
comfortable. The following things will be checked prior to a group of children,
young people or vulnerable adults use a space:
Is the room
Is the room light
Are the exits
clearly identified and free from obstruction
Is the floor area
free from obstruction?
Are there any
potential trip, slip or other hazards?
Are the fire
extinguishers clearly visible and unobstructed?
member of staff leading the session/rehearsal, or another member of Junk
Ensemble’s staff present, must be made aware of fire evacuation procedure from
the space they are using.
with concerns/ disclosures of abuse
Contact Details for Child Protection Officer
Child Protection Officer is Richard Wakely, the Company’s Producer who can be
Mobile: 087 667 2137
the Child Protection Officer is unavailable please contact one of the
Co-Artistic Directors or the Producer or in an emergency situation contact
social services or the police.
General definition of abuse
young people and/or vulnerable adults may be in need of protection where their
basic needs are not being met, in a manner appropriate to their stage of
development, and they will be at risk from avoidable acts or omissions on the
part of their parent(s), sibling(s), other relative(s) or carer(s).
define an act or omission as abusive and/or presenting future risk for the
purpose of registration a number of elements must be taken into account. These
include demonstrable or predictable harm to the child, young person or
vulnerable adult as a result of action or inaction by the parent or other
carer. Abuse can include: physical
injury, physical neglect, sexual abuse, non-organic failure to thrive (e.g. children who significantly
fail to reach normal growth/developmental milestones where physical and genetic
reasons have been medically eliminated) and emotional abuse.
are also 4 main categories of abuse as outlined in Children’s First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of
Children. Please refer to the Company’s Child Protection Officer for
Dealing with Concerns of Abuse
following action should be taken if you suspect a child may be suffering abuse
in some way:
Do not attempt to investigate
Privately voice your
concerns to the supervising teacher/youth worker/carer
If you continue to
feel concerned speak immediately to the company’s designated child
protection officer who will contact the relevant authorities
As soon as possible after
becoming aware of possible abuse, make notes about your concerns.
Pass on your written
record to the company’s designated child protection officer. Do not discuss the incident
with anyone else
Ask for support for yourself if you feel you need it
Dealing with Disclosures
following action should be taken if a child who has suffered abuse confides in
to what the child, young person or vulnerable adult is saying
Do not promise
confidentiality. The child, young person, vulnerable adult must understand
that you will have to pass on information and why it is important
Ask open non-leading
questions, which help to clarify what the child is say but not lead into
an investigative situation. Intrusive questioning could contaminate a
subsequent child protection investigation.
Reassure the child,
young person vulnerable adult that s/he has been courageous in speaking to
you about this.
Do not make
judgements about what is disclosed or about the alleged abuser.
Explain the next
step, the child should know that they will be kept informed and supported
Treat the allegation
seriously and report it immediately to the company’s designated child
Write down exactly
what was said using the pro-forma attached to this policy
On no account should
you speak to the parent or carer about what has been alleged until the
child protection officer has discussed concerns with Social Work.
Ask for support for yourself if you feel you
Dealing with disclosures against a staff member
Good practice in
both the recruitment and supervision of staff and volunteers should be
designed in such a way that the risk of abuse is reduced and staff can
protect themselves from false allegations. However, the possibility of
abuse cannot be eliminated and constant vigilance is necessary.
If a user tells you
that someone in the organisation has caused them harm, this should be
treated in the same way as any other disclosure a child may make.
should be passed on to the company’s designated child protection officer
and handled in the same manner.
Please note that in managing concerns/disclosures
it is not your responsibility to decide whether or not abuse has taken place.
You must abide by these guidelines if you are concerned about the welfare of a
producing this policy we prefer the following definition and approach to
addressing issues of defamation as described in Guidelines on Child Protection prepared for the independent schools
in Scotland by Kathleen Marshall.
“Concerned adults are sometimes reluctant to report
suspicions of abuse for fear that the person suspected will sue them for
defamation if the allegation turns out to be unfounded. To be defamatory, a
statement must first of all be untrue. Even if subsequently shown to be untrue,
the statement will be protected by ‘qualified privilege’ if it is made to the
appropriate authority ‘in response to a duty, whether legal, moral, social or
in the protection of an interest’. Unjustified repetition of the allegations to
other persons will not be protected by privilege.
The qualification on privilege refers to statements
motivated by malice. If a statement, even to the appropriate authority, can be
shown to be not only untrue, but motivated by malice, then an act of defamation
could be successful.”
you are still concerned about defamation you are advised to seek legal advice.
Storing of and access to confidential child
ensemble abides by the Data Protection
Act 1998 and its subsequent amendment, the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003. These acts set out
provisions for the regulations of processing of information relating to
individuals, including obtaining, holding, use or disclosure of such
information. Children are entitled to the same duty of confidence as adults,
provided they have the ability to understand the choices and their consequences
relating to the proposed lines of action. Where consent had not been obtained
the law permits disclosure of confidential information necessary to safe guard
a child where s/he is considered to be at risk.
All child protection information will be stored
securely and will only be shared with authorised personnel and appropriate
Managing Disclosure Information
ensemble is committed to the development of best practice in relation to the
recruitment of staff.
accordance with recognized best practice, junk ensemble will ensure the following
only be requested when necessary and relevant to a particular post/role
and the information provided on a Disclosure certificate will only be used
for these purposes
junk ensemble will
ensure that an individual’s consent is obtained before seeking and using
information will only be shared with Traverse personnel who are authorised
to see it in the course of their duties
disclosure information is provided to junk ensemble this will only be
discussed with the applicant should the Disclosure information have an
impact on the outcome of the recruitment process.
information will be stored securely for a maximum of six months and will
be accessible only to junk ensemble authorised personnel. There after,
information will be shredded and disposed of through confidential waste
No image or
photocopy of the Disclosure information will be made however, the
following details will be retained:
Name of subject
Date of Disclosure
Position for which
disclosure was requested
Reference number of
Pro-forma for recording concerns/allegations of
and telephone number: