Child Protection Policy

SALLE OSSIAN

Child Protection Policy

• Introduction

• Policy Statement

• Policy Aims

• Promoting good practice

• Good practice guidelines

• Use of photographic/filming equipment

• Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers

• Responding to allegations or suspicions

Introduction

SALLE OSSIAN will strive to ensure that:

• The welfare of the child is paramount;

• All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious

beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse;

• All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and

responded to swiftly and appropriately;

• All staff (paid/unpaid) working in sport have a responsibility to report concerns to the

appropriate officer. Staff/volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to

decide if abuse has occurred.

Policy Statement

SALLE OSSIAN has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in SALLE OSSIAN

from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and

others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. SALLE OSSIAN

will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in FencingFit through

adherence to

the Child Protection guidelines adopted by SALLE OSSIAN.

A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).

Policy Aims

The aim of the SALLE OSSIAN Child Protection Policy is to promote good

practice:

• Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the

care of SALLE OSSIAN;

• Allow all staff /volunteers to make informed and confident responses to

specific child protection issues.

Promoting Good Practice

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 the appropriate 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, instructor,

teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and

be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All

suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines

in this document.

When a child enters the club activity having been subjected to child abuse

outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the

child’s self-esteem. In such instances the club activity organiser must work

with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required

support.

Good Practice Guidelines

All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in

order to promote childrens’ welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations

being made. The following are common sense examples of how to create a

positive culture and climate.

Good Practice Means:

• Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or

unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no

secrets)

• Treating all young people/disabled adults 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 players (e.g. it is not

appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with

a child or to share a room with them).

• Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers

children 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

Coach Education Programme. Care is needed, as it is difficult to

maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. Young

people and their parents should always be consulted and their

agreement gained

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

sport

• Involving parents/carers wherever possible. For example, encouraging

them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms. If

groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure

parents, teachers, coaches or officials work in pairs

• Ensuring that if mixed teams are taken away, they should always be

accompanied by a male and female member of staff. However,

remember that same gender abuse can also occur

• Ensuring that at tournaments or residential events, adults should not

enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms

• Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking

alcohol in the company of young people

• Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative

criticism

• Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people

and disabled adults – 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 administer 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

• Requesting written parental consent if club officials are required to

transport young people in their cars

Practices to be avoided

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where

these situations are unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and

consent of someone in charge in the club or the child’s parents. For example,

a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive

to pick a child up at the end of a session:

• Avoid spending time alone with children away from others

• Avoid taking or dropping off a child to an event or activity

Practices never to be sanctioned

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

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

horseplay

• Share a room with a child

• Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching

• Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged

• Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun

• Reduce a child to tears as a form of control

• Fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child

• Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults, that they

can do for themselves

• Invite or allow children 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 children, particularly if they are young or are disabled.

These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and

consent of parents and the players involved. There is a need to be responsive

to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/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 child to carry out particular

activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not

appropriately trained.

Incidents that must be reported/recorded

If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the

appropriate officer and record the incident. You should also ensure the

parents of the child are informed:

• If you accidentally hurt a player.

• If he/she seems distressed in any manner.

• If a player appears to be sexually aroused by your actions.

• If a player misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.

Use of photographic/filming equipment

There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an

opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and

disabled sportspeople in vulnerable positions. All clubs should be vigilant and

any concerns should to be reported to the Club Child Protection Officer.

Videoing as a coaching aid: there is no intention to prevent club coaches and

teachers using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However,

performers and their parents/carers should be made aware that this is part of

the coaching programme and their consent obtained, and such films should

be stored safely.

Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers

SALLE OSSIAN recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse

children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure

unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Pre-selection

checks must included the following:

• All volunteers/staff should complete an application form. The

application form will elicit information about an applicant’s past and a

self disclosure about any criminal record

• Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information from

the Criminal Records Bureau

• Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work

with children. These references must be taken up and confirmed

through telephone contact

• Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo)

Interview and Induction

All employees (and volunteers) will be required to undergo an interview

carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees and

volunteers should receive an induction, during which:

• A check should be made that the application form has been completed

in full (including sections on criminal records and self-disclosures).

• Their qualifications should be substantiated

• The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified.

• Child protection procedures are explained and training needs are

identified

• They should sign up to the organisation’s Code of Ethics and Conduct

and Child Protection policy

Training

In addition to preselection checks, the safeguarding process includes training

after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:

• Analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to

ensure their practice is not likely to result in allegations being made.

• Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about

suspected poor practice or possible abuse.

• Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person.

• Work safely effectively with children.

FencingFit requires:

• Coaching staff to attend a recognised 3-hour good practice and child

protection awareness training workshop, to ensure their practice is

exemplary and to facilitate the development of a positive culture

towards good practice and child protection.

• Non-coaching staff and volunteers to complete a recognised

awareness training on child protection.

• Relevant personnel to receive advisory information outlining good

practice and informing them about what to do if they have concerns

about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person.

• Relevant personnel to gain a national first aid training (where

necessary).

• Attend update training when necessary. Information about meeting

training needs can be obtained from Sports Coach UK, the NSPCC,

and the Sport Council

Responding to allegations or suspicions

It is not the responsibility of anyone working in SALLE OSSIAN, in a paid or unpaid

capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a

responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the

appropriate authorities.

SALLE OSSIAN will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone,

who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.

Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three

types of investigation:

• A criminal investigation,

• A child protection investigation,

• A disciplinary or misconduct investigation.

The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence

and inform the disciplinary investigation, but all available information will be

used to reach a decision.

Action if there are concerns

1. Concerns about poor practice:

• If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice;

the designated/Club Child Protection Officer will deal with it as a

misconduct issue.

• If the allegation is about poor practice by the Organisation/Club Child

Protection Officer, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and

concerns remain, it should be reported to the relevant officer at Scottish Fencing who will

decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary

proceedings.

2. Concerns about suspected abuse

• Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff

or a volunteer should be reported to the Organisation/Club Child

Protection Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to

ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may

be at risk

• The Organisation/Club Child Protection Officer will refer the allegation

to the social services department who may involve the police

• The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible

following advice from the social services department

• The Organisation/Club Child Protection Officer should also notify the

relevant officer at Scottish Fencing who in turn will inform the Child Protection Officer who

will deal with any media enquiries

• If the Organisation/Club Child Protection Officer is the subject of the suspicion/allegation,

the report must be made to the appropriate Manager or in his/her absence the Scottish

Fencing Child Protection Officer who will refer the allegation to Social Services

Confidentiality

Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned.

Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This

includes the following people:

• The Club Child Protection Officer

• The parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused

• The person making the allegation

• Social services/police

• The FencingFit and Scottish Fencing Child Protection Officers

• Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser (or parents if the

alleged abuser is a child)

Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in

line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant

and secure).

Internal Enquiries and Suspension

• The SALLE OSSIAN Child Protection Officer will make an immediate decision about

whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further

police and social services inquiries.

• Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the SALLE OSSIAN

Disciplinary Committee will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff

or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a

difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by

the police. In such cases, the SALLE OSSIAN Disciplinary Committee must reach a

decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of

probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child

should remain of paramount importance throughout.

Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse:

• Consideration should be given to the kind of support that children, parents and members

of staff may need. Use of helplines, support groups and open meetings will maintain an

open culture and help the healing process. The British Association for Counselling

Directory is available from The British Association for Counselling, 1 Regent Place,

Rugby CV21 2PJ, Tel: 01788 550899, Fax: 01788 562189, E-mail:

bac@bacp.co.uk, Internet: http://www.bacp.co.uk.

• Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged

perpetrator

1.Allegations of previous abuse

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult

who was abused as a child or by a member of staff who is still currently

working with children). Where such an allegation is made, the club should follow the

procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police.

This is because other children, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from

this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is

automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the

Protection of Children Act 1999.

2.Action if bullying is suspected

If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in ‘Responding

to suspicions or allegations’ above. Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in sport:

• Take all signs of bullying very seriously.

• Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns (It is believed that up to 12

children per year commit suicide as a result of bullying, so if anyone talks about or

threatens suicide, seek professional help immediately). Help the victim to speak out and

tell the person in charge or someone in authority. Create an open environment.

• Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe.

Speak with the victim and the bully(ies) separately.

• Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them,

although you cannot promise to tell no one else.

• Keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom, when).

• Report any concerns to the Club Child Protection Officer or the school

(wherever the bullying is occurring).

Action towards the bully(ies):

• Talk with the bully(ies), explain the situation, and try to get the bully

(ies) to understand the consequences of their behaviour. Seek an

apology to the victim(s).

• Inform the bully’s parents.

• Insist on the return of ‘borrowed’ items and that the bully(ies)

compensate the victim.

• Provide support for the victim’s coach.

• Impose sanctions as necessary.

• Encourage and support the bully(ies) to change behaviour.

• Hold meetings with the families to report on progress.

• Inform all organisation members of action taken.

• Keep a written record of action taken.

• Most ‘low level’ incidents will be dealt with at the time by coaches and volunteers.

However, if the bullying is severe (e.g. a serious assault), or if it persists despite efforts to

deal with it, incidents should be referred to the designated/Club Child Protection Officer as

in”responding to suspicions or allegations” above.

3.Concerns outside the immediate sporting environment (e.g. a parent or a carer)

• Report your concerns to the Club Child Protection Officer, who should contact social

services or the police as soon as possible.

See 4. below for the information social services or the police will

need:

• If the Club Child Protection Officer is not available, the person being

told of or discovering the abuse should contact social services or the

police immediately.

• Social Services and the Club Child Protection Officer will decide how to

involve the parents/carers.

• The Club Child Protection Officer should also report the incident to the

Scottish Fencing. The Governing Body should ascertain whether or not the person/s

involved in the incident play a role in FencingFit and act accordingly.

• Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis only.

• See 4 below regarding information needed for social service

4. Information for social services or the police about suspected abuse

To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record

should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should

include the following:

• The child’s name, age and date of birth of the child.

• The child’s home address and telephone number.

• Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own

concerns or those of someone else.

• The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors

and other relevant information.

• Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.

• A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect

signs, such as behavioural changes.

• Details of witnesses to the incidents.

• The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how

any bruising or other injuries occurred.

• Have the parents been contacted?

• If so what has been said?

• Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details.

• If the child was not the person who reported the incident, has the child

been spoken to? If so what was said?

• Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.

• Where possible referral to the police or social services should be

confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who

took the referral should be recorded.

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