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Presented by Mark Allen MPAGB/AV

Catchlight Camera Club Child Protection Policy

Mark Allen, Catchlight Camera Club Member.



Through appropriate procedures and guidelines, Catchlight Camera Club is committed to ensuring that children and young people who work with us are in an environment where, their safety and welfare is of primary concern.

Catchlight Camera Club Child Protection Policy is tailored to reflect the ethos, activities and structure of the Club.

The Aims Of The Policy


The aim of the policy is to safeguard the personal safety of all children who take part in our activities through actively promoting awareness, good practice and appropriate and effective procedures.


Taken together the following elements underpin the procedures:

  • Code of Conduct

  • Good recruitment and Vetting Procedures

  • Staff Training/ Supervision

  • Reporting Guidelines

  • Recognising Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

  • Role of the Designated Officer

  • Dealing with Disclosures

  • Methods of Recording Information

Statement On Child Protection


Our aim is to provide young people with the opportunity to experience all aspects of photography and Member's are committed to ensuring that young people are able to do this in an environment where their safety and welfare is paramount.


We believe that all children: have the right to be protected from harm at all times and in all situations; that all children are treated equally, and that all children who participate can do so in an enjoyable and safe environment in which they can have fun and feel valued and where their views are heard.


The aim is to minimise the potential for abuse and to create a positive atmosphere, facilitating a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all concerned. We are committed to reviewing our policy, procedures and practice at regular intervals, at least every three years.


We will endeavour to safeguard children by:

  • Following carefully the procedures laid down for recruitment and selection of Members. Ensure that all Members are informed and make themselves familiar with the camera clubs Child Protection Policy.

  • Provide effective management for Members through supervision, support and training.

  • Reporting concerns to statutory agencies who need to know and involving parents and children appropriately.

  • Adopting child protection guidelines through a code of behaviour for Members .

  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents & members.

  • Carry out risk assessments at accommodation and events and venues and ensure that safety procedures are adhered to.


The above policy statement applies to All Members of Catchlight Camera Club.

Area Child Protection Committees:

  • Eastern Health & Social Services Board, Champion House, 12-22 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BS (Tel: 028 90 321313;

  • Northern Health & Social Service Board, County Hall, 182 Galgorm Road, Ballymena, BT42 1QB (Tel: 028 2565 3333;

  • Southern Health & Social Services Board, Tower Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DR (Tel: 028 37 410041;

  • Western Health & Social Services Board, Londonderry, BT47 1TG (Tel: 028 71 860086;

  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000


Catchlight Camera Club Child Protection policy will be reviewed annually or sooner if there are changes in government directives or requirements. Information about our Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour will be provided to children, parents, members, artists, facilitators. Belfast City Council guidelines are currently being updated.

Definitions Of Abuse


The Children (NI) Order 1995 defines abuse under 4 headings:

  • Physical Abuse

  • Emotional Abuse

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Neglect

Indicators Of Abuse


Although our members will be trained to recognise and report abuse, they are not experts. Under the Children (NI) Order 1995, the relevant Health and Social Services Trust has a statutory duty to ensure the welfare of a child but we have responsibility to provide a safe environment for children by employing people who are suitable to work with, or to have contact with, children and who, if the situation should arise will follow our procedures to report any suspicions of abuse to the relevant Health and Social Care Trusts, PSNI and NSPCC.

Supervision Of Children


Children should be Supervised at all times by their parents or designated legal guardians. The parents and/or designated legal guardians of children will be responsible for the children during our projects. Dangerous behaviour by children should not be allowed.


Offensive behaviour will not be tolerated or accepted, and any child whose behaviour endangers the safety and welfare of either themselves or any other members may be asked to leave the venue at any event or project.

Codes Of Behaviour


Catchlight Camera Club Codes of Behaviour are in place with the aim to minimise the opportunity for children to suffer harm, and seeks to protect Club Members from false allegations. Catchlight Camera Club Codes of Behaviour ensure consistency of practice and promote the safety, protection, enjoyment and comfort of children. They are in place to give us the confidence to carry out our roles and develop positive relationships with children. It is an essential framework for interactions with children, with regard to support and supervision, training needs and disciplinary actions. All Club Members should:

  • Set a good example;

  • Treat everyone with respect;

  • Support diversity and additional needs;

  • Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy;

  • Explain to the young people why an activity should involve contact;

  • Be vigilant in case an innocent action might be misinterpreted;

  • Not have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with a young person in their care;

  • Avoid situations where they are left alone with a child.


Unless in case of emergency, it is advisable that Members should not be alone in a vehicle with a young child.


All accidents must be logged into the Catchlight Camera Club Accident Report Book.


Guidelines for anti-bullying policy and sanctions for children who break the code of behaviour. Bullying will not be accepted or condoned in any activities run by CCC. All forms of bullying will be addressed.


Bullying can include:

  • Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching etc;

  • Name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing and deliberate isolating of a child;

  • Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures etc;

  • Sexual/homophobic comments and or/suggestions;

  • Unwanted physical contact.


Offensive behaviour will not be accepted or tolerated by Catchlight Camera Club and any child’s behaviour which threatens or endangers the safety and welfare of either themselves or any other member may be asked to leave the venue, event or project.

Physical Restraint


Catchlight Camera Club Members must never physically restrain a child except in the following situations:

  • To prevent physical injury to the child, or to other children, or to him/herself or other members of staff;

  • To prevent damage to property;

  • To prevent the young person committing a criminal offence.

If physical restraint is deemed necessary it must always be appropriate and reasonable.

Signs And Symptoms

  • Inappropriate physical contact between an adult and a child;

  • Adults behaving suspiciously (e.g. hanging around the toilet or changing area when there is no good reason to be there);

  • Indulging in gratuitous horseplay with a child;

  • Using inappropriate language in front of a child.

Reporting Procedure

Procedure for dealing with an allegation of child abuse against an Catchlight Camera Club Members

All Members should be made aware that allegations can be made and that there is a procedure to deal with that laid down in the Child Protection Policy.

  1. In all circumstances all allegations should be reported to the Designated Officer. Mark Allen, MSc, BA, DPAGB/AV

  2. In the absence of the designated officer, all allegations should be reported to the Club Secretary.


Designated Officer / Safeguarding Officer (the new name for child protection) Mark Allen

Following a preliminary investigation, decisions will be taken with regard to:


Whether there is a need for a full investigation; Or

Whether the Department of Health and Social Services/PSNI should be informed.

Reporting Concerns Procedure


This procedure must be made clear to all Members

It is in place to minimise the number of individuals that come across the information. Follow up a vocal concern / disclosure or allegation with a pro-forma (that is kept factual)


Catchlight Camera Club needs to ensure that all Members should be well informed, trained, supervised and supported so that they are less likely to become involved in actions that could be open to misinterpretation or cause harm.


This process should cover the following:

  • Induction – The need to be familiar with Catchlight Camera Club Child Protection Policy, Code of Behaviour, Health and Safety Policy and Equal Opportunities Policy

  • Supervision and support.


N.B. Since most child abusers have not been convicted in a Court of Law there may be no records for ACCESS NI to check. However, it is still a valuable service for employers although it cannot be totally conclusive in its findings.


Disciplinary Procedure - Following the outcome of the investigation

  • Dismissal may occur

  • The police may be informed

  • The Department of Health and Social Services may be informed.


The Club must set out in writing The Members alleged conduct or other circumstances which have led them to contemplate dismissal or disciplinary action. The Club must send the statement or a copy of it to the Member and invite the Member to attend a meeting to discuss the matter. The meeting must take place before action is taken, except in the case where the disciplinary action consists of suspension. After the meeting The Club must inform the Member of their decision and notify them of the right to appeal against the decision if they are not satisfied with it.


The Role and Responsibility of the Designated Officer is to:

  • Provide information and advice on child protection within Catchlight Camera Club

  • Ensure that Catchlight Camera Club Child Protection Policy and Procedures are followed and if the situation arises inform Social Services of concerns about individual children;

  • Advise about training needs;

  • Act as the first point of contact and support;

  • Record an allegation of abuse made by a child to a Member of The Club

  • Discuss future action with the person who made the report;


All personal and sensitive details which have been confided to Catchlight Camera Club (re: family situations, personal details etc.) will not be talked about or passed on to others without prior consent. Information of a confidential nature will only be communicated on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Complaints And Grievance Procedure


At the outset of any Catchlight Camera Club project involving children, all parents / guardians will be provided with detailed information of the project. A registration form with all relevant details about the child plus contact numbers, including emergency contact numbers should be completed before the child/young person starts The Club. In the event of a parent/guardian making a complaint or voicing a concern to a member of The Club, the complaint/reporting procedure laid down in the child protection policy must be followed. Parents/guardians must be supplied with the relevant contact numbers for the Designated Officer and the postal address if they wish to contact in writing. If you are unhappy or concerned about anything involving The Club, the first stage would be to try to resolve the issue informally through dialogue with – the first point of contact any committee member.


If the issue cannot be dealt with at this stage, then you must set out the grievance in writing and send the statement or a copy of it to Mark Allen, marcallen @ 07 531 531 247 (spaces included to avoid spam).


We have procedures in place to ensure a speedy and effective response to all complaints.

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