AFYM – Child Protection Policy
The British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech (BIFF) works for amateur festivals everywhere to help create thousands of educational performance opportunities for children and young people each year.
The Federation and our member Festivals are committed to ensuring safe environments for children and young people and believe that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to recommend best practice which protects them. This policy applies to our Board of Trustees, paid staff, Adjudicator members, volunteers, students or anyone working on behalf of the Federation and our member Festivals. It has been drawn up on the basis of relevant law and guidance that seeks to protect children and young people, and its purpose is to set out the overarching principles that guide our approach.
We recognize that:
- the welfare of the child/young person is paramount
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
- working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies
is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
The purpose of the policy:
- to provide protection for the children and young people who participate in our festivals, including the children of festival members
- to provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.
We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
- valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- appointing a Federation Head of Safeguarding and, for each festival, at least one Festival Safeguarding Officer
- adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and safe working practice for staff and volunteers
- working within the legislation and guidance that specifically addresses the needs of young performers (specifically, the Children and Young People Acts 1933 and 1963, and the Children (Performance and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014
- adopting a safe and balanced approach to the issue of creating and using photography and images of children and young people at our festivals and in our communications
- recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- sharing information about child protection and safe working practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
- sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
- providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.
The Federation will review this policy each year in line with NSPCC guidance or sooner in light of any changes in legislation or guidance.