Child Protection Policy and Procedures

Children and young people should be able to participate in sport without fear of harm or exploitation.
Their parents or carers should be able to allow them to make use of opportunities to enjoy themselves, to grow and to develop without fear that the trust they place in others will prove to be misguided. Sport is, as it should be, usually able to meet these. Sadly, however, we know that some people will use organisations to gain access to children and young people simply to abuse them. Through our selection and recruitment screening processes, our reporting procedures, and through the training we will provide access to, we are determined to do all we can to prevent this occurring within our sport.

Tecnico Coaching is committed to ensuring that all children and young people who participate in our sport are able to do in a safe and enjoyable environment. It is our responsibility to take every possible action to both protect them from abuse and to react positively and effectively to any concerns which may arise regarding their welfare. All affiliated schools, clubs, academies and individuals will be expected to support this policy and to comply with the associated procedures. Compliance is a condition of that affiliation.

This policy and procedures are based on a number of principles recognised both within and outside of sport. They are recognised both in UK legislation and in international agreements **

Above all, the welfare of the child/young person is paramount. Each of them, whatever their ethnicity, gender, age, sexual identity, disability or religion or culture, has a right to be protected from physical and emotional harm. Their welfare is our concern and as the providers of activities designed for them, and as responsible adults, we must not fail them.

* For the purposes of this statement a child is defined as someone below 13 years and a young person between 13 and 17 years.

** The children Act 1989. The children (Northern Ireland) Order, The Children (Scotland) Act, and The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child.

Introduction

As someone who works with children or young people, you may become concerned that one of them is possibly being, or has been, abused at home or in some other situation. This concern may be raised in a number of ways including:

■ their confiding in you as a person he/she has come to trust.

■ injuries which require but have not received medical attention.

■ unexplained changes in behaviour.

■ age inappropriate sexual knowledge.

■ sexually inappropriate behaviour

■ their being discouraged from socialising with others of the same age.

■ their becoming dirty or unkempt

■ changes to eating patterns.

Many children and young people will exhibit some of these indicators at some time and the presence of one or more should not be taken as proof that abuse is occurring. There may well be other reasons such as a death or crises in the family, the birth of a new child, etc. Your knowledge of a child over a period of time may help you to understand whether there is at least some cause for you to be concerned. You may also wish to discuss your concerns with their parents or carers who may be able to reassure you. This should not be done, however, if you think that to do would put them in even greater danger because you believe it may be the parent or carer who is physically abusing the child or young person.

Responding to a child or young person

If a child or young person confides in you that they are being, or have been, abused, they have placed you in a position of trust. Trust that you will act to help them, even if they ask you not to do anything or tell anyone. Simply through their telling you they have demonstrated their trust that you will act. It is important in this situation to remain calm, listen carefully and only ask questions of clarification if you do not understand something.

Do not ask questions simply to obtain additional information.

Do take them seriously and reassure them they were right to tell. Do not criticise the person they say has abused them or allow them to see any distress in you. And, do not promise either that you will keep the information to yourself or what the outcome will be. The best thing you can do is acknowledge their courage in telling, reassure them they should not feel guilty and tell them what you will now do. After reporting, your role will be supporting the child/young person as appropriate.

It is really important to remember that you should not ignore your own judgement as to whether or not to be concerned. More important, however, is to remember that it is not your responsibility to determine whether abuse is occurring or not. Identifying abuse is a difficult and complex task and is the responsibility of the Social Services and Police. Your responsibility is to ensure that your concerns are passed to relevant people and your actions recorded, as set out in the following procedure.

PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS THAT A CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON MAY BE BEING ABUSED AT HOME OR ELSEWHERE.

ACTION TO BE TAKEN:

If a child/young person, or someone else on behalf of them, discloses abuse to you or you become concerned that abuse is occurring or has occurred you must immediately inform Barbara Piper who is the Child Welfare Office for Tecnico Coaching. It will be Barbara’s responsibility to inform Social Services and the County Welfare Officer at Hampshire FA. Outside of normal office hours the Social Services ‘Out of Hours Duty Officer’ should be contacted. If for any reason it is not possible to contact Social Services, the Police should be informed.

If the person in charge is not available, you must immediately inform the Authorities as above and then inform the person in charge as soon as possible.

When contacting Social Services or Police, the caller should:

■ state that this is a child protection referral.

■ be prepared to give your name, role and contact number.

■ have the name, address and date of birth of the child/young person.

■ provide details of the nature of the allegation or the concerns.

■ provide details of anything they have said, preferably in their own words.

■ provide any other relevant information you may have.

You should also be advised by them as regards any contact with the family or discussion with other adults.

Keep a record of the name and designation of the person to whom the referral was made and confirm the details of the call, in writing, within 24 hours.

Record details as outlined in the following section on recording.

FLOWCHART1

As someone involved with children and young people through sport, you may also become concerned that one of them is at risk from, or has been abused by, someone associated with your club. This concern may be raised in a number of ways including:

■ the child/young person confiding in you as a person he/she has come to trust.

■ a third party, perhaps another child or a colleague, sharing their concerns with you.

You may also become concerned through observing:

■ an adult consistently ignoring the ‘Good Practice’ guidelines.

■ the attitude of a child or group of children/young people changing with respect to a specific adult.

Whatever the reason for your concern, it is essential to remember that it is not your responsibility to determine whether abuse is occurring or not. Your responsibility is to ensure that your concerns are passed to the relevant people and your actions recorded, as set out in the following procedure.

PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS THAT A CHILD MAY BE BEING ABUSED

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN:

If you become concerned that an adult associated with the school or family or club, or may have, abused a child or young person you must immediately inform Barbara Piper who is the Child Welfare Office for Tecnico Coaching It is Barbara’s responsibility to inform Social Services and the appropriate authority. Outside of normal office hours the Social Services ‘out of Hours Duty Officer’ should be contacted. If for any reason it is not possible to contact Social Services the Police should be informed.

If the person in charge is not available or, if they are the subject of your concerns, you must immediately inform the Authorities as above.

When contacting Social Services or the Police, the Caller should:

■ state that this is a child protection referral

■ be prepared to give your name, role and contact number

■ have the name , address and date of birth of the child/young person

■ provide details of the nature of the allegation or concerns

■ provide details of anything they have said, preferably in their own words

■ provide any other relevant information you may have

You should also be advised by them as regards any contact with the family or discussion with other adults.

Keep a record of the name and designation of the person to whom the referral was made and confirm the details of the call, in writing, within 24 hours.

Record details as outlined in the following section on recording.

FLOWCHART2

If however, the person in charge of the club Child Welfare and is the subject of your concern, you should inform the Social Services Department and/or Police.

PROCEDURE FOR RECORDING CHILD PROTECTION REFERRALS

Once you have informed the appropriate authorities of your concerns, as set out above, you should:

■ make a detailed note of the circumstances leading to the referral, i.e., what was said, by whom, where and when, whether there was anyone else present. Anything which will help to explain the context to the referral being made.

■ detail anything such as an injury or behaviour which you directly observed which gave you cause to be concerned.

■ make a record of all actions taken by you. Whom did you speak to, what was said, etc. This should be in as much detail as possible and should include the designation of the person to whom the information was passed or to whom the referral was made.

■ forward a copy of this record to Barbara Piper who is the Child Welfare Office for Tecnico Coaching MARKED CONFIDENTIAL, FOR ADDRESSE’S EYES ONLY.

■ retain a copy of this record in a secure place for future reference.

Remember, it is essential for the sake of the child/young person and because legal proceedings could result from your referral that you retain confidentiality. You should not discuss the event nor show the written records to anyone else without the express consent of the Social Services and/or Barbara Piper who is the Child Welfare Office for Tecnico Coaching.

Principles of ‘Good practice’

The following ‘good practice’ guidelines have been developed in order to reduce, as far as possible, the risk of anyone using our sport to gain access to children or young people. They will also protect Managers, Coaches and volunteers from the risk of their actions being misinterpreted and from false allegations. Most of all however, they demonstrate our commitment to the welfare of children/young persons.

Recruitment and selection:

Clubs are responsible for ensuring that no person is allowed to participate in any activity, which in any way brings them into contact with children or young people, without their having undergone appropriate screening. Those who have previously been screened, when applying to become Manager, Coach or First Aider should be asked to provide sufficient evidence that an Enhanced CRB check is in place, an FA safeguarding Children’s workshop certificate is in place and a first aid certificate is in place and all are up to date.

Candidates should also supply the names of at least two people, not relatives, who will provide references that comment on their suitability for, and if possible work with, children or young people.

*This includes anyone coming into contact with children or young people, whether in a paid or voluntary capacity, through the sport itself or through any associated activities.

Guidelines which can help to reduce risk:

■ all managers, coaches, first aiders and volunteers should be aware of these Policy and Procedures.

■ Members, Parents, Guardians & Volunteers of Tecnico Coaching should show respect for children and young people at all times.

■ Members, Parents, Guardians & Volunteers of Tecnico Coaching should be involved in club activities as much as possible.

■ Training and matches should be planned in a way which minimises any opportunity for abuse, e.g. avoiding situations in which an adult is alone with a child.

■ Managers, Coaches, First Aiders should never take, or offer to take, a child to their own home.

■ agree in advance with parents/carers when it is allowed for males to enter female dressing /changing rooms and vice versa and ensure all children and young people are aware of these arrangements.

■ ensure at least one responsible adults are on-site prior to children arriving and have a clear plan to cover situations such as parents/carers failing to arrive to collect a child/young person after practice or a match.

■ do not allow abusive activities such as ridiculing or bullying to take place.

■ discuss, and agree, with parents/carers how, by whom and under what circumstances any specific
medical or care needs of the child/young person will be met.

■ be aware of the prejudice and discrimination experienced by children and young people from ethnic minorities and the increased vulnerability of those with a disability. They may feel less able to share their worries with you.

General guidelines for the care of children and young people within football.

■ Coach to child ratio – adults are responsible for the safety and well-being of children and young people in their care.

■ Weather conditions—common sense should prevail. Conditions of heat, cold and rain must be taken into account in deciding whether to proceed, postpone or use indoor facilities.

■ Playing/training times – again, common sense would suggest this should be linked with prevailing
conditions and the ages of the children/young people. Coaches should monitor the players closely,
paying particular attention to their levels of interest, concentration and physical reactions and respond appropriately.

■ Food and drink – adequate fluid should be available at all times and drink stops encouraged, particularly if it is very hot. As a guide, 200mls, the equivalent of a paper cup should be taken every 230 minutes during exercise.

■ First aid – A qualified first aid trained adult is present at all times during the sessions.