Opera Worcester – hereafter referred to as OW, is committed to adopting a culture amongst the members of the Society that accepts and recognises the need to develop an awareness of the issues that can cause harm to children and young people. The Society recognises its duty of care under the law.

OW is aware of the need to be vigilant to the possible risks of harm to children and young people whilst creating a safe environment where they can enjoy rewarding and stimulating experiences related to the learning and practice of theatrical skills. This includes taking part in amateur theatrical productions.

OW acknowledge that when referring to children and young people this will encompass all persons who have not yet reached their 18th birthday. (Children Act 2004).

OW recognise that abuse and maltreatment of children can take many forms, whether it is physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect.

OW believes that:

  • The welfare of the child or young person is paramount.
  • All children and young people, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief, and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and responded to promptly and appropriately.

OW will endeavour to ensure that:

  • All children and young people are treated equally and with respect and dignity.
  • The welfare of each child and young person will always be put first.
  • It holds an up to date register of every child and young person involved with OW including current contact names and numbers of parent/carer/ legal guardian/relative/friend for use in case of emergencies, medical conditions and information. These contact details will always be readily available at OW events.
  • A balanced relationship based on mutual trust will be built which empowers the children and young people to share in the decision making process.
  • Enthusiastic and constructive feedback will be given rather than negative criticism.
  • Bullying will not be accepted or condoned.
  • All adult members of the Society provide a positive role model for dealing with other people.
  • Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour.
  • It keeps up to date with health and safety legislation.
  • It keeps informed of changes relating to legislation and policies for the safeguarding and protection of children.
  • It will undertake relevant development and training.

OW has a designated Child Protection Officer.

Their role is to:

  • Act as source of advice to the Society.
  • Liaise with the relevant agencies at the time of a referral.
  • Ensure that information is available to assist the relevant agency with any investigation.
  • Work closely with the Officers of the Society during any investigation maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
  • Lead on the development and implementation of this Policy along with the procedures and good practice guidelines.

This Policy will be regularly monitored by the OW committee and will be subject to annual review.

July 2021