CHILD PROTECTION GOOD PRACTICE SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

Safeguarding Children and

Vulnerable Adults

 

Contents

Introduction

Good Practice Safeguarding Policy

Reporting Procedures to be followed

A Summary of “Working Together to Safeguard Child” (2013)

Introduction

 

This good practice safeguarding policy has been written for Westminster Volleyball Club Ltd) staff, coaches/instructors employed by WVC and for providers who are commissioned by WVC.

 

The information that is contained in it is inline with “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2013).

Please thoroughly read the summary document of “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2013), which can be found at the end of the policy.

 

Good Practice Safeguarding Policy

Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about any action to take. Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, teacher, official or volunteer may have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where a young person needs protection.  All cases of suspected poor practice and abuse should be reported following the guidelines in this document.  When a young person participates in your activity/event having been subjected to abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in identifying and reporting concerns.  In such instances the activities personnel must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the young person receives the required support following disclosure and investigation.

 

Good Practice Guidelines

 

All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote young peoples welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made.  The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate within sporting activities/events:

 

Good Practice Means:

 

  • Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment (e.g. no secrets),

 

  • Treating all young people equally, and with respect and dignity,

 

  • Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals,

 

  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with young people (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a young person or to share a room with them),

 

  • Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers young people to share in the decision-making process,

 

  • Making sport fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play,

 

  • Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines provided by the Governing Body of Sport.  Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the young person is constantly moving. Young people and carers should always be consulted and their agreement gained,

 

  • Keeping up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance in sport,

 

  • Involving parents wherever possible (e.g. for the responsibility of their young people in the changing rooms). If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents/teachers/coaches/officials work in pairs,

 

  • Ensuring that at competitions or residential events, adults should not enter young people’s rooms or invite young people into their rooms,

 

  • Being an excellent role model - this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people and promoting a healthy diet,

 

  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism,

 

  • Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people - avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will,

 

  • Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment,

 

  • Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given,

 

  • Where staff witness an injury this must be reported to the parents at the first opportunity

 

  • Requesting written parental consent if young people are required to be transported in staff/coaches/officials/volunteers etc cars.

CHANGING ROOMS

 

Young people should be supervised at all times in the changing rooms by two members of staff.  Adult staff should not change or shower at the same time using the same facility as young people. If young people are uncomfortable changing or showering in public no pressure should be placed on them to do so. Encourage them to do this at home. If your activity/event has participants with disabilities involve them and their carers in deciding how they should be assisted and ensure they are able to consent to the assistance that is offered. No photographic equipment should be used in the changing room environment. This includes cameras, video cameras, mobile phones with photographic capabilities etc.

 

Medical Treatment of Young People

 

It is recommended that no young person should be treated in any way in a situation where the young person is on his/her own in a treatment room with the door closed. Prior to medical treatment being carried out on a young person, parental consent in the written form must be sought where appropriate.

 

It is recommended that all treatment procedures are explained fully to the young person and verbal consent is given before they are carried out,

 

It is strongly recommended that all treatment procedures should be ‘open’ i.e. the door remains open, parents are invited to observe treatment procedures.  Where strict medical confidentiality is to be observed then the parents of the young person should be invited to attend,

 

  • It is recommended that if treating an area of the body which is potentially embarrassing to a young person (i.e. the groin) a suitable adult (ideally a parent) acting as a chaperone should be present,

  • It is important to maintain medical confidentiality and patient dignity at all times.

 

Practice to be Avoided

 

The following should be avoided except in emergencies.  If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge at the activity/event or the young person’s parents.  For example, a young person sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a young person up at the end of a session.

 

  • Avoid transporting young people in your car unless in a medical emergency,

  • Avoid spending time alone with young people away from others.

 

Practice Never to be Sanctioned

 

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

 

  • Take young people to your home where they will be alone with you,

  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay,

  • Share a room with a young person,

  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching,

  • Allow young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged,

  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun,

  • Reduce a young person to tears as a form of control,

  • Allow allegations made by a young person to go unrecorded or not acted upon,

  • Do things of a personal nature for young people or disabled adults that they can do for themselves,

  • Invite or allow young people to stay with you at your home unsupervised.

 

N.B. It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for young people, particularly if they are young or are disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and written consent of parents/carers and the young people involved.  There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions.  If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with her about what you are doing and give choices where possible.  This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a young person to carry out particular activities.  Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.

 

If any of the following incidents should occur, they should be reported immediately to another colleague and make a written record of the event. Parents should also be informed of the incident:

 

  • If you accidentally hurt a young person,

  • If she seems distressed in any manner,

  • If a young person appears to be sexually aroused by your actions,

  • If a young person misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.

 

 

Genuine relationships do occur between the different levels of delivers and participants in a group but that no intimate relationship should begin whilst the member of staff / volunteer is in a ‘position of trust’ over them. The power and influence that an older member of staff has over someone attending a group, activity or event cannot be under-estimated. If there is an additional competitive aspect to the activity and the older person is responsible for the young person’s success or failure to some extent, then the dependency of the younger member upon the older will be increased. It is therefore vital for all personnel to recognise the responsibility they must exercise in ensuring that they do not abuse their positions of trust.

 

RESPONDING TO CONCERNS, DISCLOSURE, SUSPICIONS AND ALLEGATIONS

Allegations against Staff or Volunteers

 

This includes anyone working with young people in a paid or voluntary capacity (e.g. volunteers or helpers in clubs, coaches, team managers, training camp personnel etc.) It is crucial that those involved in providing sporting activities/events ensure that all allegations are taken seriously and appropriate action taken. It is important that any concerns for the welfare of the young person, arising from abuse, poor practice or harassment by a member of staff or volunteers, should be reported immediately.

 

Allegations may relate to poor practice where an adult’s or peer’s behaviour is inappropriate and may be causing concern to a young person. Poor practice includes any behaviour which contravenes the Code of Conduct (highlighted later in this policy), infringes individuals’ rights and/or is a failure to fulfil the highest standards of care. Poor practice is unacceptable in sport and will be treated seriously and appropriate actions taken.

 

The following action should be taken by anyone who has concerns about the welfare of a young person both in the sporting environment or the home or other settings.  If a young person says or indicates that she is being abused, or information is obtained or observations are made which give rise to concerns that a young person is being abused, you must RESPOND IMMEDIATELY.

 

N.B. Direct disclosure by a young person is relatively rare, however it is important to be aware that there are a number of different mechanisms for obtaining information – direct observation, report by other participants, spectators, parents or carers, other coaches, official and volunteers.

 

RESPONDING TO DISCLOSURE

 

Immediate action to take if a young person informs you directly that she, or another young person, is concerned about someone’s behaviour towards them (this is termed a disclosure).

 

The person receiving information concerning disclosure should:

  • React calmly so as not to frighten or deter the young person,

  • Tell the young person she is not to blame and that she was right to tell,

  • Take what the person says seriously, recognising the difficulties inherent in interpreting what is said by a young person who has a speech disability and/or differences in language,

  • Ensure the safety of the young person - if the young person needs immediate medical treatment, take the young person to hospital or call an ambulance, inform doctors of concerns and ensure they are aware it is a child protection issue,

  • Keep any questions to the absolute minimum to ensure a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said,

  • Reassure the young person but do not make promises of confidentiality which might not be feasible in the light of subsequent developments, but tell them you will only inform those people who need to know in order to be able to help them

  • Do not contact the parents until advice is sought from Social Services

  • Do not confront the alleged abuser

 

ACTIONS TO AVOID

 

The person receiving the disclosure should not:

  • Panic,

  • Allow their shock or distaste to show,

  • Believe that it could not happen in their setting

  • Probe for more information than is offered i.e. explicit details or ask leading questions e.g. “Did Jim/Jenny hit you?”

  • Speculate or make assumptions,

  • Make negative comments about the alleged abuser,

  • Approach the alleged abuser,

  • Make promises or agree to keep secrets.

 

N.B. It may not be that all young people are able to express themselves verbally.  Communication difficulties may mean that it is hard for them to complain or be understood.  Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the signs of abuse from the symptoms of some disabilities or conditions, in relation to the nature of an individual’s impairment.  However, where there are concerns about the safety of a young person, record what has been observed in detail and follow the procedures to report these concerns.

 

REPORTING PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED

 

1.     Make a full and factual record of what had been said, heard and/or seen as soon as possible.

 

2.     Report the concerns to the appointed Child Protection Officer (Suzanne Ball 07809 409240) immediately who will report the concerns directly to the Social Services Safeguarding Team (Jane Foster 020-7641-6108) or Police who will advise on the action to be taken, including advice on contacting parents. 

 

3.     If you cannot contact the appointed Child Protection Officer (Suzanne Ball 07809 409240) or the deputy’s (Ildiko Dobos 07415 117862 or Luca Toth 07708 070147) report your concerns immediately to the Children’s Services Duty and assessment team on 020-7641-7525 or Police who will advise you appropriately. Should you wish to seek other advice to help you decide on the best course of action you can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or Child line on 0800 1111.

•    If the concerns are about the appointed Child Protection Officer report your concerns to the Deputy Child Protection Officers, (Ildiko Dobos 07415 117862 or Luca Toth 07708 070147).  If they are unavailable report your concerns directly to the Social Services or the Police, who will advise on the action to be taken including advice on contacting parents;

•    Inform the appointed Child Protection Officer as soon as possible (if she is not the subject of the concern) who must also receive a copy of the information you have recorded,

•    Confidentiality should be maintained on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis and relevant documents stored in a   secure location;

•    If the individual being accused is from within the sporting/event agency or organisation environment, the incident will be reported by the Child Protection Officer to an independent external adviser.

 

It is never easy to respond to a young person who tells you that they are being abused and you may feel upset and worried yourself.  Make sure that you are offered adequate support by discussing the matter with the appointed Child Protection Officer.

 

Example Code of Conduct

The Code applies to all those involved with the WVC at every level, whether as a player, official, coach, club, volunteer or spectator have a responsibility to act according to the highest standards of integrity.  Allegations relating to the breaking of the Code should be referred to the Child Protection Officer

 

All partners must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person, player and non-player alike, treating everyone equally within the context of activities and events. In particular, to be aware of the special needs of young people, their well-being, including difficulties or possible abuse experienced from within the game or from other sources.  Sport has a duty to ensure that every child and young person involved in WVC activities or related events is able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse.

 

WVC is committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of behaviour and conduct at all activities and events.

Equality

 

WVC is opposed to discrimination of any form and will promote measures to prevent discrimination, in whatever form, from being expressed.  All those involved with WVC must respect the rights and choices of all human beings, treating everyone fairly and sensitively regardless of their gender, ethnic origin, cultural background, sexual orientation, religion or political affiliation.

Coaches

 

  • Set a good example which others can follow

  • Arrive in plenty of time to set up your activities and ensure safety

  • Children play for pleasure and winning is only part of the fun

  • Keep yourself informed about sound coaching practices and the principles of children’s growth and development

  • Be reasonable in your demands on children’s time, energy and enthusiasm - they need other interests too

  • The successful coach invests in the well-being and interests of their players, not their win/loss record

  • Teach your team that honest effort if more important than victory so that the  result of each game is accepted without undue disappointment

  • Never ridicule or shout at a child for making a mistake or losing

  • Teach players to be fair and to follow the rules

  • Divide your time equally between all standards of players

  • Check you have adequate insurance cover for the coaching you are undertaking

  • Ensure you and your players have respect for their opponents, the officials and opposing coaches and supporters

  • Follow advice from a professional when determining if an             injured player is ready to play or train

  • Take responsibility for the young people in your care until they have safely left the activity

Players/Participants

 

  • Treat everyone fairly and sensitively regardless of their gender, ethnic origin, cultural background, sexual orientation, religion or political affiliation..

  • Do not use foul, sexist or racist language at any time.

  • Arrive for training and matches in good time to prepare thoroughly

  • Play for fun and enjoyment - not just to please your parents and / or coach

  • Learn and play by the rules

  • Abide by the instructions of the coaches/staff and officials provided they do not contradict the rules.

  • Do not argue with match officials and/or the coach - use your energies for playing better

  • Recognise and applaud all good play

  • Be a good sport - win with modesty, lose with dignity

  • Respect opponents, coaches, club officials and match officials - treat them as you would wish to be treated

  • Co-operate with coach, team-mates and opponents

  • Think about improving your skills after training and competition

  • Inform the coach of any injury as soon as possible

  • Inform the coach if you need to leave the site early

  • Thank officials and opponents after competition

Spectators

 

  • Remember the participants are taking part for their enjoyment not yours. They are not professional or international athletes.

  • All spectators, on no account, must enter the field of play / activity unless authorised otherwise.

  • Do not use foul, sexist or racist language or harass players, coaches, officials or volunteers.

  • Condemn the use of violence and verbal abuse in all forms.

  • Respect the match officials’ decisions.  Remember he / she is only human with the  same feelings as you and, like you, sometimes makes an honest error

  • Do not ridicule participants who make mistakes.

  • Do not over emphasise the importance of winning.

 

Parents

 

  • Remember that children play for their fun, not yours!

  • Encourage your child always to play by rules and to respect the coaches, officials and volunteers.

  • Encourage children to play, do not force them

  • Praise your child’s efforts whether they win or lose

  • Applaud all good play

  • Never ridicule a child for losing or making a mistake

  • Children learn best by following a good example

  • Learn the rules to better understand what you are looking at and commenting on

  • Do not question the judgement of and show your appreciation to all officials, coaches and helpers

  • Condemn the use of violence, profane language and any form of abuse

  • Think of how you can best help the coach and/or the club

  • As a spectator you must never enter the field of play/activity.

 

Officials

 

  • Must treat everyone fairly and sensitively, regardless of their gender, ethnic origin, cultural background, sexual orientation, religion or political affiliation.

  • Be consistent, objective, impartial and courteous when applying the rules of the game.

  • Compliment both teams on good play when the opportunity arises.

  • Use common sense to ensure that the spirit of the game is not lost.

  • Encourage both teams and participants to play within the rules and the spirit of the game/competition.

  • Try to ensure that the game/competition is allowed to flow with only as many stoppages as is necessary.

  • Show patience and understanding towards players who may be learning the game/competition.

  • Not be afraid to take decisions. An official should be fair and firm and must resist any possible influence from protests on the part of players, team officials or spectators. 

  • Show respect towards players and team officials.

  • Be honest and completely impartial at all times, irrespective of the teams, players or team officials involved in the game/competition.

  • Inform the person or body directly responsible if unable to officiate for any reason.

  • Refrain from requesting hospitality of any kind, or accept any hospitality offered and considered to be excessive.

  • Always have regard to the best interests of the game/competition, including where publicly expressing an opinion on the game/competition or any particular aspect of it, including others involved.

  • Do not tolerate foul, sexist or racist language from players, officials, spectators.

  • The powers of an official must be used with wise judgement and care. Authority and a firm approach must be combined with respect.

  • An official should have regard to protecting the participants.

  • An official should show due respect when speaking with the participants, even in the event of infringements.

  • In reports, an official should set out the true facts and not attempt to justify any decisions.

  • It is necessary for the official’s authority to be protected, not only for the sake of the game/ competition, but also in the interest of fellow officials. This protection should, however, not influence the over-riding regard for protection of the participants.

  • An official should refrain from publicly expressing any criticism of fellow officials.

  • An official should assist with the development of less experienced officials and assistant officials.

 

Clubs/Providers

 

  • Must treat everyone fairly and sensitively regardless of their gender, ethnic origin, cultural background, sexual orientation, religion or political affiliation.

  • Accept the special role that you have to play in the establishment of standards by setting a good example of behaviour and conduct at all times.

  • Do not manipulate the rules in order to benefit yourself personally or your club.

  • Encourage all players and coaches to abide by the rules and spirit of the activity.

  • Do not use foul, sexist or racist language.

  • Use your official position to take action against others who harass abuse or use foul, sexist or racist language towards participants, coaches, officials and volunteers.

  • Ensure that proper supervision is provided by suitably qualified coaches and officials who are capable of promoting good sporting behavior and good technical skills.

  • Ensure all equipment and facilities meet safety standards.

  • Respect the rights of other clubs.

  • Show respect to players, coaches, officials and other volunteers involved in the activity/competitions.

  • Not endeavor to influence the result of an activity/competition by any actions that are not strictly within the rules.

  • Remember activity is enjoyed for its own sake - play down the importance of awards.

  • Always have regard to the best interests of the sport, including where publicly expressing an opinion of the sport and any particular aspect of it, including others involved in it.

  • Resist all illegal or unsporting influences, including banned substances and techniques.

  • Promote ethical principles.

 

 

A summary of "Working together to safeguard children" (2013)

 

The new guidance came into force on 15 April 2013.

Summary

The new Working together to safeguard children (2013) streamlines previous guidance documents to clarify the responsibilities of professionals towards safeguarding children and strengthen the focus away from processes and onto the needs of the child.

There are 5 chapters in the new 2013 guidance.

Introduction

The guidance seeks to emphasise that effective safeguarding systems are those where:

  • the child's needs are paramount, and the needs and wishes of each child, should be put first, so that every child receives the support they need before a problem escalates;

  • all professionals who come into contact with children and families are alert to their needs and any risks of harm that individual abusers, or potential abusers, may pose to children;

  • all professionals share appropriate information in a timely way and can discuss any concerns about an individual child with colleagues and local authority children's social care;

  • high quality professionals are able to use their expert judgement to put the child's needs at the heart of the safeguarding system so that the right solution can be found for each individual child;

  • all professionals contribute to whatever actions are needed to safeguard and promote a child's welfare and take part in regularly reviewing the outcomes for the child against specific plans and outcomes;

  • local areas innovate and changes are informed by evidence and examination of the data.

Effective safeguarding arrangements in every local area should be underpinned by two key principles:

  • safeguarding is everyone's responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and

  • a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.

Chapter 1: Assessing need and providing help

Contains guidance on:

  • providing early help

  • information sharing

  • undertaking assessments under the Children Act 1989

  • focusing on the needs and views of the child

  • focusing on outcomes

  • timeliness of assessments

  • commencing child protection proceedings (strategy discussion, section 47 enquiries, initial child protection conference, child protection plan, child protection review conference).

 

Chapter 2: Organisational responsibilities

Contains guidance on:

  • section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children)

  • specific safeguarding duties placed on schools and colleges, early years and childcare, health services, police, adult social care services, housing authorities, British Transport Police, Prison Service, Probation Service, secure estate for children, Youth Offending Teams, United Kingdom Border Agency, CAFCASS, armed services, voluntary and private sectors and faith organisations.

 

Chapter 3: Local Safeguarding Children Boards

Contains guidance on:

  • statutory objectives and functions of LSCBs

  • LSCB membership

  • LSCB chair

  • accountability and resourcing; and information sharing.

 

 

Chapter 4: Learning and improvement framework

Contains guidance on:

  • serious case reviews including requirements around publication

  • other case reviews

  • local learning and development framework

  • a national panel of independent experts on serious case reviews.

 

Chapter 5: Child death reviews

Contains guidance on:

  • responsibilities of the LSCB

  • responsibilities of relevant bodies in relation to child deaths

  • responsibilities of Child Death Overview Panels

  • definition of preventable child deaths; action by professionals when a child died unexpectedly

  • involvement of the coroner and pathologist.

Appendix A: Glossary

Includes definitions of: children; safeguarding; types of abuse; young carers.

Appendix B: Statutory framework

Includes legislation relevant to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.

Appendix C: Further sources of information

Includes a list of supplementary guidance on particular safeguarding issues published by: the Department of Education; other government departments and agencies; and non-governmental organisations.

References

HM Government (2013) Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (PDF). London: Department for Education (DfE).

Children Act 1989

Children Act 2004

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