Protection Policy for Children & Vulnerable Adults

Policy Statement

The Southern Skirmish Association has a duty of care under English Law to safeguard all children and young persons involved in re-enacting with the Association.  The purpose of this policy is to safeguard the welfare of all children and young persons at its events and venues by protecting them from physical, sexual and emotional harm or from neglect. It also intends to apply the same safeguards for vulnerable adults of all ages.

Terminology

For the purposes of this policy, the following terminology may be used:

 

The position of children and young people and vulnerable adults within the Association

The Association recognises children as either family or cadet members, but does not allow them “onto the field” to participate in battles.  Those aged between 14 and 18 must have parental or guardian approval before they are permitted participate in battles. 

All members covered by this policy may all participate in other events, such as living history, camping, parades etc. where it is historically accurate; where there is a responsible adult available and willing to supervise them, and where their parent, guardian or primary carer is in agreement.

Good Practice Guidelines
All members of SOSKAN should be aware of these guidelines, and are expected to demonstrate behaviour of an impeccable nature in order to protect themselves from false allegations, and assure parents and carers that the Association is a safe and conscientious organisation.
The following are recommended actions which should be carried out by all members, particularly adults:

Practices to be avoided

Incidents that must be reported to the Executive Committee and recorded

Allegations and Suspicions

It is not the responsibility of any member of SOSKAN to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place.  There is, however, a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.  The Association assures all members that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith, reports a concern that another member is, or may be abusing a child, young person or vulnerable adult (whether physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect).

Any member SOSKAN, who observes injuries which appear to be non-accidental, or who are told anything significant, MUST report their concerns to a member of the Executive Committee at the earliest possible opportunity.  It will then be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to decide how to progress the complaint, by:
(a) taking such action within the powers and responsibilities of SOSKAN as they deem appropriate,
(b) referring the matter on to specialist agencies or the police if appropriate.

Where there is a complaint against a member there may be:

 

The results of any police and/or child protection investigation may influence a SOSKAN investigation, but not necessarily. 

Confidentiality

Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned.  Information should be handled on a need-to-know basis.  This includes:

 

Social Services and/or Police advice should be sought on who should approach the alleged abuser.  Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people to conform to data protection laws.

Internal Enquiries

The Executive Committee of SOSKAN should make the decision as to whether a member who has been accused of abuse should be suspended or expelled from the Association or otherwise dealt with pending evidence or a decision from the appropriate authorities.

The welfare of the child and/or young person and/or disabled person should be of paramount importance.  However, any decisions regarding the member must be made in the light of accurate and fair information provision, not on unsubstantiated or malicious accusations.

Allegations of Previous Abuse

Sometimes allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event.  The Association should act immediately, as above.

Information for Social Services/Police about suspected abuse.

The following information regarding the abused person may be required:

 

Bullying

Bullying is a form of abuse, which is often carried out by the victim’s peers as well as adults. If bullying is suspected, it is important to:

The main purpose of these actions is to prevent the bullying continuing, and to encourage the bullies to recognise the results of their actions.

In order to do this it is valuable to attempt the following: