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Child Protection Policy

Hickling Windsurfing Club Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures (Revised April 2015)

Introduction

It is a condition of membership that members have read and accept this policy to help protect children.

We all enjoy windsurfing in the lovely surroundings of the Club at Hickling Broad and so it’s important children enjoy this too, and therefore we need to ensure children are kept safe at all times. There have been some alarming reports in the media in recent years, where children have not been kept safe and this high lights the need for us Club members to be vigilant.

  • It’s important to realise that the Club does not provide any safety cover and this includes looking after the safety of children.
  • Therefore parents/gaudians are responsible for their childrens safety at all times.

The Club has developed a simple approach to keeping children safe at the Club, the main points are:

1. Parents/Guardians –

  • You are responsible for your children’s safety, therefore you need to accompany them at all times at the Club – on the beach, car park, cars, changing rooms etc.

2. All Members –

  • Do not put yourself in a situation where you are alone with children.
  • If you find your self in a position where you are alone then get out of that situation asap e.g.
  • If children enter the changing room while you are in the changing room then ask the child to wait outside.
  • Be careful not to touch children e.g. helping to put on a life jacket,
  • Report any concerns you may have to the Club Welfare officer.

 Full details of the Club Policy and Member obligations are below.

 

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Hickling Windsurfing Club to safeguard children and young people taking part in windsurfing from physical, sexual or emotional harm. The Club will take all reasonable steps to ensure that, through appropriate procedures and training, children participating in Club activities do so in a safe environment. We recognise that the safety and welfare of the child is paramount and that all children, irrespective of sex, age, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual identity or social status, have a right to protection from abuse.

For the purposes of this policy anyone under the age of 18 should be considered as a child. All members of the Club should be aware of the policy.

Club Welfare Officer

The Club Welfare Officer is: Robbie Houghton. (Phone 07708 108244: email robbie.houghton@yahoo.co.uk)

Volunteers

All Club volunteers whose role brings them into regular contact with young people will be asked to undertake a self-declaration. The form is at Appendix D, and will be submitted to the Club Welfare Officer, who will retain it in confidence. We anticipate that this will be the “buddies”. The Club Welfare Officer and, if it should come about, those regularly instructing, coaching or supervising young people will also be asked to apply for an Enhanced Criminal Records Disclosure.

Good Practice

All members of the Club should follow the good practice guidelines attached Appendix C and agree to abide by this policy. Those who may volunteer with young people should be aware of the guidance on recognising abuse (Appendix E). Those who are “buddies” will annually sign to confirm that have reads and understood this policy.

Adults are requested not to enter the showers and changing rooms at times when children are changing before or after sailing. If this is unavoidable it is advised that they are accompanied by another adult.

The Club will seek written consent from the child and their parents/carers before taking photos or video at an event or training session or publishing such images. Parents and spectators should be prepared to identify themselves if requested and state their purpose for photography/filming. If the Club publishes images of children, no identifying information other than names will be included. Any concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography or the inappropriate use of images should be reported to the Club Welfare Officer.

Concerns

Anyone who is concerned about a young member’s welfare, either outside the sport or within the Club, should inform the Club Welfare Officer immediately, in strict confidence. The Club Welfare Officer will follow the attached procedures (see Appendix A, Flowcharts 1 and 2).

Any member of the Club failing to comply with the Safeguarding policy and any relevant Codes of Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action.

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What is child abuse?            (Appendix E)                                                 Revised Jan 2015

(Based on the statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2013)

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

Physical abuse may involve adults or other children inflicting physical harm:

  • by hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating
  • giving children alcohol or inappropriate drugs
  • in sport situations, physical abuse might also occur when the nature and intensity of training exceeds the capacity of the child’s immature and growing body.

 

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve:

  • conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate
  • not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
  • imposing expectations which are beyond the child’s age or developmental capability
  • overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction
  • allowing a child to see or hear the ill-treatment of another person
  • serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger
  • the exploitation or corruption of children
  • emotional abuse in sport might also include situations where parents or coaches subject children to constant criticism, bullying or pressure to perform at a level that the child cannot realistically be expected to achieve.

Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child.

Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse involves an individual (male or female, or another child) forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening, to gratify their own sexual needs. The activities may involve:

  • physical contact (eg. kissing, touching, masturbation, rape or oral sex)
  • involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images
  • encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways
  • grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet)
  • sport situations which involve physical contact (eg. supporting or guiding children) could potentially create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed. Abusive situations may also occur if adults misuse their power over young people.

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter
  • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • ensure adequate supervision
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
  • respond to a child’s basic emotional needs
  • neglect in a sailing situation might occur if an instructor or coach fails to ensure that children are safe, or exposes them to undue cold or risk of injury.

Bullying (including ‘cyber bullying’ by text, e-mail, social media etc) may be seen as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated or sustained over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. The bully may often be another young person. Although anyone can be the target of bullying, victims are typically shy, sensitive and perhaps anxious or insecure. Sometimes they are singled out for physical reasons – being overweight, physically small, having a disability or belonging to a different race, faith or culture.

The acronym STOP – Several Times On Purpose – can help you to identify bullying behaviour.

Recognising Abuse

It is not always easy, even for the most experienced carers, to spot when a child has been abused. However, some of the more typical symptoms which should trigger your suspicions would include:

  • unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries
  • sexually explicit language or actions
  • a sudden change in behaviour (eg. becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper)
  • the child describes what appears to be an abusive act involving him/her
  • a change observed over a long period of time (eg. the child losing weight or becoming increasingly dirty or unkempt)
  • a general distrust and avoidance of adults, especially those with whom a close relationship would be expected
  • an unexpected reaction to normal physical contact
  • difficulty in making friends or abnormal restrictions on socialising with others.

 

It is important to note that a child could be displaying some or all of these signs, or behaving in a way which is worrying, without this necessarily meaning that the child is being abused. Similarly, there may not be any signs, but you may just feel that something is wrong. If you have noticed a change in the child’s behaviour, first talk to the parents or carers. It may be that something has happened, such as a bereavement, which has caused the child to be unhappy.

If you are concerned

If there are concerns about sexual abuse or violence in the home, talking to the parents or carers might put the child at greater risk. If you cannot talk to the parents/carers, consult your organisation’s designated Child Protection/Welfare Officer or the person in charge. It is this person’s responsibility to make the decision to contact Children’s Social Care Services or the Police. It is NOT their responsibility to decide if abuse is taking place, BUT it is their responsibility to act on your concerns.

 

 

 

 

 

 Guidance and forms for the Club Officers:

Appendix A – Reporting Procedures for child Welfare Officer

Appendix B – Self-disclosure form

Appendix C – Good Practice Guide for Volunteers and Buddies

Appendix D – Safeguarding and Child Protection referral form

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Appendix A

Reporting Procedures                                                                                             Revised Jan 2015

If you believe that you have witnessed behaviours that breach the club’s policy, or otherwise place a child at risk, please contact the club’s welfare officer. The officer will follow the following procedure.

If the welfare officer is uncertain what to do at any stage, they will contact the RYA’s Safeguarding Manager on 023 8060 4104 or the NSPCC free 24-hour helpline 0808 800 5000.

Details of Children’s Social Care departments and emergency duty teams are listed on local authority websites and in local phone books. If you are unable to find the appropriate contact number, call the RYA’s Safeguarding Manager or, if a child is at immediate risk, the Police.

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Appendix B Self-disclosure form                                             Revised April 2015

Self-disclosure form for applicants for posts involving

regular contact with children and/or vulnerable adults

Hickling Windsurfing Club is committed to safeguarding children from physical, sexual and emotional harm. As part of our Safeguarding policy, we require applicants for posts involving frequent or regular contact with children to complete this self-disclosure form. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.

All information will be treated as confidential and managed in accordance with data protection legislation and guidance. You have a right of access to information held about you under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Name   …………………………………………………………………………………………..

  1. Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not ‘protected’ as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013)?   YES / NO

If yes, please supply details.

  1. Have you ever been known to any Children Services Department or the Police as being an actual or potential risk to children?   YES / NO

If yes, please supply details.

  1. Have you ever been the subject of any disciplinary investigation and/or sanction by any organisation due to concerns about your behaviour towards children? YES / NO

If yes, please supply details.

Declaration

I declare that to the best of my knowledge the information given above is correct and understand that any misleading statements or deliberate omission may be sufficient grounds for disciplinary action and/or the withdrawal of my appointment.

I understand that I may be asked to provide a Criminal Records Disclosure and consent to do so if required. I agree to inform the organisation within 24 hours if I am subsequently investigated by any agency or organisation in relation to concerns about my behaviour towards children or young people.

I understand that the information contained in this form and in the Disclosure, or relating to subsequent concerns about my behaviour, may be shared with regulatory bodies and/or other persons or organisations, in circumstances where this is considered necessary to safeguard children.

Signed: …………………………………………………………..   Date: ………………………Note: if the applicant is aged under 18, this form should be counter-signed by a parent or guardian

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Appendix C Good Practice Guide for Volunteers and Buddies

 

This guide only covers the essential points of good practice when working with children and young people. You should also read the organisation’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures which are available for reference at all times.

  • Avoid spending any significant time working with children in isolation
  • Do not take children alone in a car, however short the journey
  • Do not take children to your home as part of your organisation’s activity
  • Where any of these are unavoidable, ensure that they only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge of the organisation or the child’s parents
  •  Design training programmes that are within the ability of the individual child
  • If a child is having difficulty with a wetsuit or buoyancy aid, ask them to ask a friend to help if at all possible
  • If you do have to help a child, make sure you are in full view of others, preferably another adult

 

You should never:

  • engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games
  • allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
  • allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged, or use such language yourself when with children
  • make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
  • fail to respond to an allegation made by a child; always act
  • do things of a personal nature that children can do for themselves.

It may sometimes be necessary to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are very young or disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the child (where possible) and their parents/carers. In an emergency situation which requires this type of help, parents should be fully informed. In such situations it is important to ensure that any adult present is sensitive to the child and undertakes personal care tasks with the utmost discretion.

 

Appendix D Safeguarding and Child Protection referral form

 

Date and time of incident
Name and position of person about whom report, complaint or allegation is made
Name and age of child involved
Nature of incident, complaint or allegation(continue on separate page if necessary.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action taken(continue on separate page if necessary)  

 

 

If Police or Children’s Social Care Services contacted, name, position and telephone number of person handling case
Name, organisation and position of person completing form
Contact telephone number
Signature of person completing form
Date and time form completed
Name and position of organisation’s child protection/welfare officer or person in charge (if different from above)
Contact telephone number

 

This form should be copied, marked ‘Private and Confidential’, to the RYA Safeguarding Manager, Jackie Reid, RYA House, Ensign Way, Hamble, Southampton, SO31 4YA, e-mail jackie.reid@rya.org.uk and to the statutory authorities (if they have been informed of the incident) within 48 hours of the incident.