The law requires any organisation who might be in contact with young people and vulnerable adults to take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risk of harm is minimised and, where there are concerns, to share them with other agencies as appropriate.
The Midlands Hospitals’ Choir (henceforth referred to as the MHC in this policy) recognises that it is not the role of the organisation to decide whether a child or vulnerable adult has suffered abuse. This is the role of the local authority’s Social Services Department who has legal responsibility or the NSPCC who has powers to investigate child protection concerns under The Children Act 2004.
For the purposes of this policy, anyone up to the age of 18 years old is a child and anyone over 18 years old who may unable to take care of themselves or may be unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation is a vulnerable adult.
The MHC generally comprises of members who are independent adults but may also have some vulnerable adults as members, and on occasions, children may rehearse and/or perform with the choir. The MHC committee recognises the need to safeguard any young and vulnerable members and has therefore adopted the following Safeguarding Policy.
- The MHC committee will designate a committee member or other co-opted choir member to be the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO). The DSO will undertake appropriate training as required.
a) Currently, the MHC DSO is the Choir Secretary, Frances Rumball, who can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
b) Non-urgent safeguarding concerns or requests for further safeguarding information should be directed to the DSO.
c) Urgent safeguarding concerns
If you think someone is in immediate danger, call the police by dialing 999 from any UK phone.
As we are based in Birmingham, further information about who to contact with safeguarding concerns can be found on Birmingham City Council’s website (click link to open in a new tab)
- On any occasion when children or vulnerable adults are required to rehearse and/or perform with the MHC there will be at least two adults appointed (not necessarily choir members; can be parents or guardians of the children or vulnerable adults) who will remain responsible for them throughout rehearsals and performances.
- A choir member should never be alone with a child or vulnerable adult.
- Any concern regarding a vulnerable adult, adult choir member, child, or any other adult associated with the choir must be reported immediately to the DSO (or in their absence, to the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Committee) who will take the lead on responding to information as follows:
- Receive and record the information from the person expressing the concern
- Assess and clarify the information
- Inform the Chair of the Committee
- Make a referral to statutory organisations (e.g. local authority child protection services, the Police or Social Services) as appropriate.
- Store and retain records according to legal requirements
- Maintain confidentiality; this may necessitate sharing information with other appropriate parties on a need to know basis according to legal requirements
- If further advice is required the DSO or other person acting on their behalf may seek advice from the local authority’s Social Services Department in the case of a vulnerable adult or, in the case of a child, by calling the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or emailing email@example.com