Wareham Camera Club Policy Regarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Attending Club Activities

In the following, a child is considered to be a person under the age of eighteen. Additionally, the term "vulnerable individuals" is used in the following to cover both children and vulnerable adults.

This policy is designed to ensure that vulnerable individuals are protected, according to Human Rights legislation, at club meetings and activities from sexual, emotional and physical abuse, exploitation and other actions and activities that may be considered harmful.

Whilst it has, in the past, been rare for vulnerable individuals to attend club activities, the Club does not wish to circumvent the potentially complex issues surrounding their attendance by having a policy to exclude them.

On the other hand, the Club does not feel that it has the resources to have a sufficient pool of members having undergone the Disclosure and Barring Service (previously
CRB) checks so that the club could guarantee the presence of such a person at every Club activity in order for them to supervise any attending vulnerable individuals.

In the light of the above, the following policies shall be implemented within the Club:

1 When attending club activities, vulnerable individuals shall be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or a responsible adult appointed in writing by a parent or legal guardian.

2. Written permission from the parent or guardian shall be obtained prior to a vulnerable individual joining the club. This written permission shall include the following:
Nomination of the responsible adult to accompany the vulnerable individual if the parent/guardian does not wish to attend,
Agreement to pay the relevant membership subscription and attendance fees,
Agreement that the parent, legal guardian or nominated responsible adult is also responsible for the vulnerable adult until they arrive at the club venue and the activities commence and once the vulnerable adult leaves the venue at the conclusion of the official club activities.

3. Should a vulnerable individual arrive at a club activity unaccompanied, attempts shall be made to contact the parents and/or legal guardian for the individual to be collected as soon as possible. Until such time as he/she is collected, three club members shall be nominated to supervise the vulnerable individual. If no suitable arrangements can be made for his/her collection within a reasonable time, the police shall be contacted.

4. In the event that the parent, legal guardian or responsible adult accompanying the vulnerable individual is involved in other activities within the club that takes his/her supervising attention away from the vulnerable individual, then alternative supervision shall be organised involving at least three other club members.

5 Club portrait sessions shall only involve the taking of images of vulnerable individuals under the direct supervision of a parent or legal guardian.

6 Indecent images shall not be taken or displayed at club events. Regarding events at which images of a potentially suggestive nature could be taken or displayed, prior written agreement from a parent or legal guardian shall be obtained for the vulnerable individual to attend.

7 Vulnerable individuals shall be treated as equals by all those present. Acceptable language shall be used in the presence of vulnerable individuals.

8 Images of vulnerable individuals and identification of them in club literature should not be of a suggestive or indecent nature and, in any case, requires prior written approval from a parent or legal guardian.

9. Vulnerable individuals shall not be allowed to operate, assemble or disassemble equipment or enter the kitchen.

10. All club members should keep an eye open for possible abuse against vulnerable individuals. All reports of abuse, by a vulnerable individual or by a club member, shall be investigated. Once reported, records must be kept, recording times and dates of relevant club activities and members who were present. A small group of club officials shall be convened to decide how the matter should be handled. Depending on severity, this group should seriously consider reporting the matter to the relevant outside authorities (such as the police).

11. A copy of this Policy shall be placed on the Club's website and a hardcopy of this Policy shall be given to all members and to the parents or legal guardians of a vulnerable individual at the time of joining.