Child Protection Policy

The ICA's policy for the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

1. Context and Mission

The Institute of Contemporary Arts is a Centre for the Arts. Its mission is to provide a public playground for presenting challenging work across the arts and for forging innovative ways of thinking about culture. It comprises of gallery spaces and cinemas, a theatre, digital studio, bookshop, bar and restaurant, administrative offices and meeting rooms.

2. Policy Remit

2.1 The purpose of this policy is to set out the ICA's position on the protection of children and vulnerable adults. For the purpose of this policy, anyone under 18 years of age will be considered a child. The principles contained in this policy will also be applied to vulnerable adults.

2.2 Children visiting the ICA mainly do so as part of an organised group or with family and friends. Whilst the primary responsibility for the welfare of children and vulnerable adults rests with the supervising adult, the ICA wishes to ensure that all children and others who may be vulnerable, whether because of their age, physical or mental ability or ill health, are safe from harm while visiting our premises.

2.3 The welfare of the child is of paramount importance. We believe that every child, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief and sexual identity, has the right to be protected from abuse and harm at all times and in all situations. As such, the ICA is committed to providing a safe environment for children visiting the ICA.

2.4 Child protection is the responsibility of every adult who has involvement with children. It is the duty of all staff and volunteers working for the ICA to prevent the physical, sexual or emotional abuse of all children with whom they come into contact through the course of their employment.

2.5 Adults working with children must also be provided with safeguards and made aware of best practice so they can be protected from wrongful allegations. Appendix I of this policy contains guidelines, which will be adhered to when working with children.

2.6 This policy applies to all employees, trustees and volunteers of the ICA.

3. Policy Objectives

3.1 Awareness and prevention

3.1.1 Employees, trustees and volunteers working for the ICA recognise that there are four main types of abuse suffered by children. These are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.

3.1.2 All ICA employees, trustees and volunteers, have been made aware of the ICA's child protection policy and guidelines for working with children.

3.1.3 Through awareness and good practice, ICA employees, trustees and volunteers can minimise the risk of abuse to children and also protect themselves against false allegations of abuse.

3.1.4 The ICA is committed to careful planning of appropriate activities for children and young people in order to minimise situations where abuse could occur.

3.2 Recruitment

3.2.1 ICA employees, trustees and volunteers will be carefully selected, trained and monitored to ensure that children with whom they may come into contact are protected.

3.2.2 It is recognised that abuse is facilitated when an abuser can find an opportunity to be alone with a child or other vulnerable person. The risk that abuse may occur increases where an abuser can maintain regular contact in order to build a relationship with the child or other vulnerable person.

3.2.3 Only ICA staff or volunteers with the opportunity for unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults would need to undergo checks with the Criminal Records Bureau.

3.2.4 It is the policy of the ICA that, at present, staff should not be responsible for looking after children. A teacher, a parent or other appropriate adult should always accompany children. ICA employees should not therefore find themselves in a situation where they are alone with a child.

3.2.5 Furthermore, children visiting the ICA do not generally attend on a regular basis. This further reduces the risk of abuse, which is heightened by regular contact.

3.2.6 It is not, therefore, necessary for ICA employees, trustees or volunteers to be checked with the Criminal Records Bureau as a matter of course.

3.3 Reporting

3.3.1 The ICA seeks to develop a culture within which staff and volunteers feel able to point out inappropriate attitudes, behaviours and situations to the appropriate line manager or other senior officer.

3.3.2 Any volunteer or member of staff who suspects that abuse or inappropriate behaviour may have taken place, or who has had a disclosure made to them by a child, will report it to their line manager in the first instance. Further details of the procedure to be followed is set out in Appendix II.

3.3.3 All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, appropriately and in accordance with the procedure outlined in Appendix II.

3.3.4 Staff found to be in breach of the provisions of this policy and its appendices will be subject to disciplinary procedures.

3.4 Risk Assessment

3.4.1 To ensure that children are kept safe on educational visits, the ICA's education department will provide risk assessment advice in advance to schools/youth groups wishing to visit the ICA.

3.4.2 It will, however, be made clear that the onus is upon the individual schools'/youth groups' staff to carry out their own risk assessment to highlight any potential areas of risk and devise strategies to manage such risks. This will normally be compiled during a preliminary visit with guidance available, if required, from the ICA Head of Education.

4. ICA Departments and the Law

4.1 Cinema

The ICA adheres to the British Board of Film Classification guidelines in relation to film classification. The box office staff are aware of and follow these guidelines so as to avoid anyone under age being exposed to sexually explicit or potentially shocking or disturbing material, strong language, etc.

4.2 Bar

The ICA adheres to the Licensing Act 1902 in relation to sale of alcohol. The ICA fully recognises that legislation prohibits licensees from supplying intoxicating liquor to persons aged under 18 and requires that licensees shall not permit under age drinking on their premises.

4.3 Theatre

Where ICA theatre productions may contain nudity, strong language or other potentially shocking or disturbing material - our publicity carries a clear warning of the fact.

4.4 Gallery Space

Where ICA exhibitions contain potentially shocking or disturbing material there will be signage to warn of the fact.

4.5 Bookshop

ICA staff are aware of any publications which may contain text or imagery deemed unsuitable for children, young people and vulnerable adults and exercise vigilance in reducing the possibility of exposure to this possible risk.

4.6 Education

The ICA accepts responsibility as an organisation to check that all adults with substantial access to children, young people and vulnerable adults have been properly vetted. Most of the ICA's education work with children, young people and vulnerable adults does not involve artists and volunteers having unsupervised access. Relevant Disclosure Checks will however be carried out where deemed necessary.

5. Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers

5.1 The ICA recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children, young people and vulnerable adults in some way. All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.

5.2 Interview and Induction

All employees (and volunteers) are required to apply formally and to undergo an interview carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees, trustees and volunteers receive formal or informal induction, during which:

A check is made that the application form has been completed in full (including sections on criminal records and self-disclosures).

Qualifications are substantiated.

The job requirements and responsibilities are clarified.

The ICA's Code of Ethics and Conduct is explained and agreed.

The ICA's child protection procedures are explained and training needs are identified.

5.3 Training

In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:

Analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to ensure their practice is likely to protect them from false allegations.

Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse.

Respond to concerns expressed by a child or other vulnerable person.

Work safely effectively with children and other vulnerable persons.

5.3.1 The ICA works in partnership with Queen's Park New Media Centre. QPNMC is a community-based facility offering digital learning. All staff at the centre have Enhanced Disclosure as there is longer-term access to children and other vulnerable persons.

5.4 Enhanced Disclosure

Pre-selection checks for substantial contact include the following:

All volunteers/staff complete an application form. The application form elicits information about an applicant's past and a self-disclosure about any criminal record.

Consent is obtained from an applicant for discovery of information from the Criminal Records Bureau.

Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children and/or other vulnerable persons. These references are taken up and confirmed through telephone contact.

Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo), is checked.

6. Policy Review Basis

This policy will be reviewed on a three-yearly basis.