SAFEGUARDING POLICY for MINORS and VULNERABLE ADULTS.
For the purposes of this policy a minor is taken to mean someone under the age of 18; and a vulnerable adult is one over the age of 18 that does, or may, need community care services because of a disability (mental or other), age or illness and is someone who could be unable to look after themselves, or protect themselves from harm or exploitation.
1.1 Abingdon Camera Club recognises that in its activities it has a responsibility towards others, especially any minor or vulnerable adult, to prevent any form of abuse.
The aim of the Policy is :
i. to assist members by setting out their responsibilities to safeguard minors and vulnerable adults.
ii. to provide guidance to members on adopting behaviours to protect minors, vulnerable adults and themselves under different circumstances that might arise in the Club.
iii. to have a process in place for reporting allegations or suspicions of abuse.
1.2 THE CLUB
Abingdon Camera Club exists to encourage members to practice, discuss, and enjoy their photography, and to improve their skills. The Club aims to be as inclusive as possible to all members of the community, including members who are under the age of 18, or who are vulnerable adults.
Abingdon Camera Club values all members, but recognises its particular responsibility to individual members who are minors or vulnerable adults. All members, especially minors and vulnerable adults, must be treated with respect and dignity, recognising any unique personal needs.
Adherence to the Policy is a condition of membership of the Club. The Policy is available to read on the Club website and will be reviewed once a year by the Club committee and endorsed at the AGM.
2. CLUB ACTIVITIES with SAFEGUARDING GUIDELINES for each.
2.1 Presentations, competitions and other meetings in general open to members held in a large meeting room.
These meetings are the main club activities. Those showing images, whether prints or projected images, must ensure that these images are not indecent nor likely to cause offence to adults or minors. If there is a likelihood of this, prior advice must be given before the meeting.
Meetings are low risk environments for minors or vulnerable adults. Committee members take responsibility for welcoming members and taking account of any special personal needs of members - for example, the siting of wheelchairs.
2.2 Occasional external meetings for which members arrange their own transport.
These involve small numbers meeting, usually in public places. Members are advised not to offer lifts to minors unless accompanied or authorised by a parent or guardian. Members should not work on their own with a minor or vulnerable adult. They should make sure they can be observed by others, and preferably that the parent, guardian or carer is present.
2.3 Members of the Club are sometimes invited by organisers of community events to take photographs.
The Club encourages individual members to respond to such invitations as it supports the community and also gives members wider photographic experiences.
Community events may include ones in which minors or vulnerable adults are taking part. If members are photographing these events by invitation then it is the responsibility of the inviting organisation to get permission for the photography from parents, guardians or carers if required. Asking permission from all parents, guardians or carers may not be possible and it is sufficient to have notices at the event that photography has been arranged. These could give a contact point for people who do not want photographs taken at the event. The member dealing with the initial request should ask the organisers to ensure that such arrangements are in place. This should be done such that the request and reply are on record, for example by e-mail.
2.4 Mentoring requested by members who need help with aspects of their photography.
Responding to this might involve visits to private homes. Informal mentoring is important to the club so that more experienced members can pass on expertise to others if requested. Mentoring of minors or vulnerable adults is only allowed with the explicit agreement of their parent, guardian or carer, and should take place only if another adult, preferably the parent, guardian or carer, is present.
2.5 Internet discussion groups and photo-sharing. The Club has a Flickr site, which members can elect to join.On the Flickr site members can post their pictures and also make comments or discuss with others. The Flickr site has at least two managers who control access and can remove material, should anything that was unacceptable be posted. Members are required to treat others with respect and politeness in their comments, even if their opinions differ.
2.6 The Club holds meetings via the Zoom platform.
This can involve the display of digital images from members of the Club, other clubs or external presenters. Prior to such meetings, those taking part should be advised of their responsibilities under this policy.
3. DISCLOSURE :
If a minor or vulnerable adult were to disclose an infringement of this policy to a club member in the course of Club events or activities, then the Club member should take such a disclosure seriously and communicate this to a member of the committee. The committee should then take prompt appropriate steps to support the minor or vulnerable adult and other appropriate action.
4. PHOTOGRAPHY and MEDIA protection policy :
4.1 The business of the Club is to encourage photography and to help its members improve their skills. However, issues can arise from the photography of minors or vulnerable adults. No photographs may be taken of minors or vulnerable adults who are undressed or inappropriately clothed for the activity taking place.
4.2 If a minor or vulnerable adult is a member of Abingdon Camera Club, then written permission must be gained from their parent/guardian or carer if photographs of them as the subject or model are to be taken. Separate written permission has to be sought if such photographs of a minor or vulnerable adult as the subject are to be published in any form, for example on the website, on social media, e-mailed to others, or used in competition.
4.3 No personal details of a member of the Club such as their address or telephone number, must be revealed without permission. In the case of a minor or vulnerable adult this permission should be given by the parent, guardian or carer. Committee members may need details for the Club membership list, but these should not be shared futher.
4.4 When taking photographs or video recordings at an event that involves minors or vulnerable adults it is good practice to ask the permission of the organisers or persons in charge and for the photographer be able to identify themselves if requested during the course of the event. It is noted that there are no legal restrictions on photographing people in public places, and it often may not be practicable to ask permission. If Club members have been invited to photograph an event, Club policy is set out in Section 2.3.
4.5 Mobile and on-line communication :
There are many ways for people to communicate. It is recommended that Club members should not communicate with a minor or vulnerable adult by text or on-line, unless in a general communication to all members, or to avoid immediate risk to the minor or vulnerable adult. When using phone or e-mail they should communicate with the Parent,Guardian or carer, rather than having direct contact with the minor or vulnerable adult.