Drumchapel Sports Centre
Menu
Close Menu
Child Protection Policy

Child Protection Policy

May - 2021

Contents

 

1. Drumchapel Sports Centre child protection officer

2. Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Policy

3. Drumchapel Sports Centre will identify any risks to children participating in our activities.

4.  Drumchapel Sports Centre Code of Conduct for adults & care givers

5. Drumchapel Sports Centre will support all adults working with children in our organisation to attend ‘Safeguarding & Protecting Children’ or other basic child protection awareness workshops.

6.  Drumchapel Sports Centre ‘recruitment and selection’ procedure for new staff/volunteers

                                                                                                                                         

7. ‘Responding to concerns’ procedures to ensure that staff/volunteers get the appropriate help for a child to challenge the inappropriate conduct of any adults within the organisation.

8.  ‘Disciplinary’ procedure to ensure the organisation can deal with any inappropriate conduct or child abuse and if necessary refer any individual to Disclosure Scotland for consideration on the Children’s List.

9. Procedure to review any child protection concerns which have arisen to ensure procedures are followed and appropriate action taken in the best interests of the child.

10. ‘Safe in Care’ guidelines that are appropriate for the organisation’s activities, e.g. trips away from home, physical contact, adult to child ratios, ICT and social media.

1. Drumchapel Sports Centre CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER

Drumchapel Sports Centre will:

  • Ensure there are policies, procedures, systems, structures, resources and personnel in place to promote the welfare and protection of children taking part in Drumchapel Sports Centre  events
  • Actively work jointly with parents/carers and other agencies through joint planning, training and monitoring of their arrangements for the protection of children.
  • Ensure there are quality assurance mechanisms in place to monitor, review and evaluate arrangements for the protection of children.

The Child Protection Officer:

 

Responsibilities

 

  • Lead on the effective implementation of policy and procedures throughout the sport.
  • Implement the SGB child protection policy and procedures within national organisation.
  • Encourage good practice by promoting and championing the child protection policy and procedures.
  • Monitor and review the child protection vulnerable adult policy and procedures to ensure they remain current and fit for purpose.
  • Regularly report to the Committee as appropriate.
  • Raise awareness of the SGB Child Protection Officer role to parents/carers, adults, and children involved in the organisation.
  • Raise awareness of the Code of Conduct for working with children/vulnerable adults to parents/carers, adults and children involved in the organisation.
  • Challenge behaviour which breaches the Code of Conduct.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field of child protection by liaising with the Safeguarding in Sport service, attending relevant training or events and subscribing to the Safeguarding in Sport newsletter.
  • Organise/signpost appropriate training for all adults working/volunteering with children in the organisation.
  • Respond appropriately to disclosures or concerns which relate to the well-being of a child.
  • Maintain confidential records of reported cases and action taken.
  • Where required liaise with statutory agencies and ensure they have access to all necessary information.
  • Support affiliated clubs and their Club Child Protection Officers.

 

 

Person Specification

 

  • The ability to build relationships with the Board members, parents/carers, children and adults working/volunteering with children within the organisation.
  • An interest in the well-being of children and in safeguarding and child protection matters.
  • A willingness to challenge opinion, where necessary, and to drive the child protection agenda.
  • Strong listening skills and the ability to deal with sensitive situations with integrity. 
  • The confidence and good judgment to manage situations relating to the poor conduct/behaviour of others towards a child.

Skills/Experience

 

  • Attend relevant training to fulfil the role of SGB Child Protection Officer.
  • Experience of working with children.

 

 

 

2. Drumchapel CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Drumchapel Sports Centre is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children in its care. It recognises the responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. For the purposes of this policy and associated procedures a child is recognised as someone under the age of 18 years.

Staff and volunteers will work together to embrace difference and diversity and respect the rights of children and young people.

This document outlines Drumchapel Sports Centre commitment to protecting children.

These guidelines are based on the following principles:

  • The welfare of children is the primary concern.
  • All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from all forms of harm and abuse.
  • Child protection is everyone's responsibility.
  • Children have the right to express views on all matters which affect them, should they wish to do so.
  • Organisations shall work in partnership together with children and parents/carers to promote the welfare, health and development of children.

Drumchapel Sports Centre will:

  • Promote the health and welfare of children by providing opportunities for them to take part in Drumchapel Sports Centre’s activities safely.
  • Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of children.
  • Promote and implement appropriate procedures to safeguard the well-being of children and protect them from abuse.
  • Recruit, train, support and supervise its staff, members and volunteers to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children from abuse and to reduce risk to themselves.
  • Require staff, members and volunteers to adopt and abide by this Child Protection Policy and these procedures.
  • Respond to any allegations of misconduct or abuse of children in line with this Policy and these procedures as well as implementing, where appropriate, the relevant disciplinary and appeals procedures.
  • Observe guidelines issued by local Child Protection Committees for the protection of children.
  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Policy and these procedures.

Review

This Policy and these Procedures will be regularly reviewed:

  • In accordance with changes in legislation and guidance on the protection of children or following any changes within Drumchapel Sports Centre
  • Following any issues or concerns raised about the protection of children within Drumchapel Sports Centre
  • In all other circumstances, at least every three years. 

3. IDENTIFY AND MANAGE RISK

 RISK ASSESSMENT

Drumchapel Sports Centre will carefully examine the risk involved in the context of any activities that could cause harm to other people. Measures will be put in place to identify and decide whether reasonable precautions are in place to prevent harm. 

Opportunities will be provided for children to participate safely and that appropriate procedures will be implemented to safeguard their wellbeing. The organisation is aware of the areas of risk and is adequately equipped to assess these risks.

  • making sure children and are safe
  • protecting staff and volunteers
  • making sure to comply with legislation
  • reducing or removing liability
  • giving our sport a good reputation.

As outlined in section 5 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 states that if you are 16 or over and have children in your care or control, then you must do what is reasonable in all circumstances to safeguard their health, welfare and development.

Ownership

We will be responsible for children taking part in our activities and take all reasonable measures to make sure they are safe from harm. We fulfil this duty by:

  1. Accepting we have this duty.
  2. Agreeing policies, procedures and practices which tell us what action we need to take in order to keep children and vulnerable adults safe from harm.
  3. Telling all relevant persons about safe practices; for example, through training.
  4. Putting them into PRACTICE.
  5. Ensuring they are being followed and reviewing them.

 DEFINITIONS

HAZARD        Any situation or any practice which might cause harm.

HARM             This includes harm which is not physical.  

                        A child may be harmed in a number of   ways;

                        for example, emotional, physical and/or sexual

                        abuse, neglect, intentional/inappropriate restraint, harassment or   bullying,

                        carelessness which amounts to neglect or failure to

                        attend to essential health and safety requirements.

RISK               The chance that someone could be harmed, and an indication of how serious the harm might be.

Identify & Manage the Risk

CONDUCTING A RISK ASSESSMENT

 

1          IDENTIFY WAYS IN WHICH CHILDREN AND ADULTS COULD BE HARMED, i.e. HAZARDS

 

2          DECIDE WHO MIGHT BE HARMED AND HOW

 

3          EVALUATE THE HAZARDS AND DECIDE ON PRECAUTIONS

                                               

4          RECORD YOUR FINDINGS AND ACT ON THEM

 

5          REVIEW YOUR RISK ASSESSMENT AND UPDATE IF NECESSARY

4. CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ADULTS AND CARE GIVERS

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN IN SPORT

 Drumchapel Sports Centre  supports and requires all members to observe the following standards of practice, including verbal and non-verbal actions when involved in activities with children.

All concerns about breach of this Code of Conduct will be taken seriously and responded to in line with Drumchapel Sports Centre Complaints Policy*, Performance Management*, Disciplinary Procedure and/or Procedure for Responding to Concerns about Child Abuse*.

 

GOOD PRACTICE

  • Make sport fun, enjoyable and promote fair play.
  • Treat all children equally, with respect, dignity and fairness.
  • Involve parents/carers wherever possible.
  • Build balanced relationships based on mutual trust.
  • Include children in the decision-making process wherever possible.
  • Always work in an open environment, wherever possible. Avoid private or unobserved situations.
  • Put the welfare of each child first before winning or achieving performance goals.
  • Be an excellent role model including not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of children.
  • Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
  • Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of children.
  • Avoid excessive training and competition, pushing children against their will and putting undue pressure on them.

 

PRACTICE TO BE AVOIDED

 

In the context of your role within Drumchapel Sports Centre the following should be avoided:

  • Having ‘favourites’ – this could lead to resentment and jealousy by other children and could be misinterpreted by others.
  • Spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.
  • Entering children’s bedrooms on trips away from home, unless in an emergency situation or in the interest of health and safety. If it is necessary to enter rooms, knock and say that you are coming in. The door should remain open, if appropriate.
  • Where possible, doing things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.

 

UNACCEPTABLE PRACTICE

In the context of your role within Drumchapel Sports Centre, the following practices are unacceptable:

  • Engaging in sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
  • Engaging in rough or physical contact unless it is permitted within the rules of the game or competition.
  • Forming intimate emotional, physical or sexual relationships with children.
  • Allowing or engaging in touching a child in a sexually suggestive manner.
  • Allowing children to swear or use sexualised language unchallenged.
  • Making sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
  • Reducing a child to tears as a form of control.
  • Allowing allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
  • Inviting or allowing children to stay with you at your home.
  • A Coach and/or other leader sharing a room alone with a child.

Sign-up:

I have read and agree to abide by this Code of Conduct

I have also read and agree to abide by the Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Policy, Procedures and Guidelines.

 

Name of staff member/volunteer:                                                                                             

 

Date signed:                                                                                                                                

 

Witnessed by:                                                                                                                              

(Child Protection Officer, if possible)

Date signed:                                                                                                                                

5. Drumchapel Sports Centre will support all adults working with children in our organisation to attend ‘Safeguarding & Protecting Children’ or other basic child protection awareness workshop.

TRAINING WORKSHOPS

Drumchapel Sports Centre will support adults working with children and vulnerable adults and provide access to the Child Protection workshops listed below.

Safeguarding & Protecting Children, sportscoach UK workshop (SPC)

This 3-hour workshop is suitable for coaches and volunteers who may come in to contact with children.  This workshop explores the Code of Conduct for those in contact with children and provides basic information on recognising child abuse and responding to concerns. It is recommended that all coaches and volunteers working with children and young people attend this workshop.

Safeguarding & Protecting Children 2, sportscoach UK workshop (SPC 2)

This 3-hour workshop reflects on practice, is aimed primarily at coaches and builds on knowledge gained on the ‘Safeguarding & Protecting Children’ workshop (SPC). Outcomes for delegates include increasing awareness, helping recognise the signs of abuse and poor practice and helping to deal sensitively and effectively with issues that arise. In order to keep knowledge up-to-date in this area, it is recommended that individuals first attend the SPC workshop and follow this up with SPC 2 every two to three years. 

6. PROCEDURE FOR THE RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION OF STAFF/VOLUNTEERS IN REGULATED WORK WITH CHILDREN

Drumchapel Sports Centre will take all reasonable steps to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from undertaking regulated work with children. Further, we recognise that we have a legal duty under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 to ensure that individuals who are barred from regulated work with children are not engaged (either paid or unpaid) in regulated work with children within Drumchapel Sports Centre.  

This recruitment and selection procedure has two functions. It:

  1. Provides Drumchapel Sports Centre with an opportunity to assess the suitability of the individual for a particular regulated work role with children.
  2. Provides the prospective employee or volunteer with an opportunity to assess the organisation and the opportunities available.

The following recommended procedure will be completed for all positions deemed to be regulated work with children within Drumchapel Sports Centre.

1.         Advertising

All forms of advertising used to recruit and select staff/volunteers for regulated work with children will include the following:

  • The aims of Drumchapel Sports Centre and, where appropriate, details of the particular programme involved.
  • The responsibilities of the role.
  • The level of experience or qualifications required (e.g. experience of working with children is an advantage).
  • Details of Drumchapel Sports Centre open and positive stance on child protection. A statement that the position applied for is regulated work with children and will require PVG Scheme membership.

2.         Pre-application Information

Pre-application information for these positions will be sent to applicants and will include:

Evidence of qualifications will always be verified.

3.         Application and Self-Declaration Form

All applicants will be requested to complete an application form and self-declaration form. The purpose of the application form is to obtain relevant details for the position and referee contact details. The self-declaration form, which shall include information on any past criminal behaviour, records or investigations, shall be requested in a separate sealed envelope and will not be opened until the applicant is selected for an interview. This form will only be seen by those directly involved in the selection process. If the applicant is not selected the form will be destroyed.

4.         Review Applications

Drumchapel Sports Centre will review application forms and consider applicants for interview. Self-declaration forms of those deemed suitable for interview will then be opened and considered. If the applicant is no longer an interview candidate, the self-declaration form must be destroyed. Successful applicants will be invited to interview.

5.         Interview

Interviews will be carried out for all positions which are regulated work with children.

Sample Questions

 

Question

 

Answers should demonstrate:

Can you tell us why you want to take on the post of [insert]? 

 

A commitment to helping young people enjoy the sport safely and to share knowledge and experience.

Can you tell us about your experience of caring for, working with, or coaching children and young people?

 

Experiences as a parent, employment or voluntary work.

Interviewers must also assess what level of direct, unsupervised contact was involved.

What do you think are the attributes/skills required in a good coach/team manager of children and young people?

An understanding of issues that affect children.

Communication skills.

The importance of promoting enjoyment, not just achievement.

Promoting healthy competitiveness.

Being sensitive to the ability of children.

Encouragement, not criticism.

 

Can you give us examples of where and how you have used some of those skills?

Experience at work (perhaps working with adults, but the skills should be evident) or in voluntary work.

 

Can you think of an example where you have been critical towards a child? How could you have handled it differently?

 

Positively demonstrating or explaining how child could have acted/behaved.

If we approached people who know you well, what would they say were your strengths so far as this post/role is concerned?

 

Patience.

Supportive.

Encouraging attitude.

If a child approaches you to say they’re being bullied by others in the team, how will you handle this?

 

Interviewers should refer to the relevant section in the Safe in Care Guidelines and compare applicant’s response.

How will you gain the respect and trust of children and young people?

Being fair, consistent, not having favourites.

Being clear in what is said and done.

Being honest.

Positive.

Listening.

Respect.

 

6.         Offer of Position

Once a decision has been made to offer appointment, an offer letter will be sent to the applicant. This will include details of the position, any special requirements and any obligations e.g. agreement to the policies and procedures of, Drumchapel Sports Centre the probationary period and responsibilities of the role. The offer must be formally accepted and agreed to in writing e.g. by the individual signing and dating their agreement on the offer letter and returning it to Drumchapel Sports Centre

The applicant’s appointment will only be confirmed when:

  • the self-declaration form has been opened and considered
  • satisfactory references have been received and checked
  • a satisfactory Scheme Record/Scheme Record Update has been received.

7.         References

References will always be requested and thoroughly checked. Where possible at least one of these references will be from an employer or a voluntary organisation where the position required working with children. References from relatives will not be accepted. If the applicant has no experience of working with children, specific training requirements will be agreed before their appointment commences.

8.         Membership of the PVG Scheme

Drumchapel Sports Centre is registered with VSDS – Volunteer Scotland - Disclosure Services. Individuals carrying out regulated work with children within Drumchapel Sports Centre must be members of the PVG Scheme and applications will be processed via Drumchapel Sports Centre

Drumchapel Sports Centre will require the successful applicant to submit a Scheme Record/Scheme Record Update application which will be returned to and processed to Cynthia Robinson, Support & Finance Administrator, Table Tennis Scotland.          

Overseas Applicants

Applicants from overseas being appointed to regulated work with children within Drumchapel Sports Centre are required to join the PVG Scheme.

Applicants from overseas must prove their ‘right to work’ in the UK and be asked to provide a police check from their relevant country where possible. Where this is not possible, or in addition to the police check, the following information, where relevant to the position, will be requested:

  • A statement from the governing body in the country of origin of the applicant and/or the country from which they are transferring in regard to their participation and suitability for the position.
  • A statement from the international federation of the sport in regard to their participation and suitability for the position.

9.        Induction

After the applicant accepts post in writing, the induction process will include the following:

  • An assessment of training, individual aims needs and aspirations.
  • Clarification, agreement and signing up to the Child Protection Policy and procedures, including the Code of Conduct.
  • Clarification of the expectations, roles and responsibilities of the position.

10.       Training

Newly appointed staff/volunteers in regulated work with children should complete recommended training over an agreed period. Recommended training includes sportscoach UK’s ‘Safeguarding & Protecting Children’ (a basic introduction to child protection) and, should it become relevant, In Safe Hands (a workshop for club child protection officers).

11.       Probation

Newly appointed staff/volunteers will complete an agreed period of probation (e.g. 3 months).

12.       Monitoring and Performance Appraisal

All staff/volunteers in positions of regulated work with children will be monitored and their performance appraised.  This will provide an opportunity to evaluate progress, set new goals, identify training needs and address any concerns of poor practice.

13.       Ongoing suitability

Once an individual is in a position of regulated work, Drumchapel Sports Centre will require the individual to complete a self-declaration form and apply for a Scheme Record Update every three years. This ensures the organisation is continually risk assessing staff/volunteers to keep participating children safe.

14.       Existing staff/volunteers joining PVG Scheme

For existing members of staff/volunteers, who were not previously checked or were previously enhanced disclosure checked for a childcare position under the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003, Drumchapel Sports Centre will require those individuals to become PVG Scheme members if they are carrying out regulated work with children.

At the appropriate time, existing members of staff/volunteers will be notified by a Retrospective checks letter giving information on the process. Staff/volunteers will be required to complete a self-declaration form and submit a Scheme Record/Scheme Record Update application. This will ensure, over time that everyone in regulated work in the organisation is a PVG Scheme member.

15.       New vetting information on PVG Scheme Records

If new vetting information becomes available, either through retrospective checks of existing members of staff/volunteers or an ongoing suitability process, it is important to consider this information alongside a newly completed self-declaration form to assess any risks.

Should any risk be identified, it will then be necessary to follow the Drumchapel Sports Centre responding to Concerns about the Conduct of a Member of Staff/Volunteers and/or Disciplinary Procedures. 

16.       Consideration for Children’s List or Barred Individuals

If Disclosure Scotland inform Drumchapel Sports Centre that an individual is barred, that member of staff/volunteer will be removed from regulated work with children immediately in line with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 duties for organisations. 

If Disclosure Scotland notifies Drumchapel Sports Centre that a member of staff/volunteer is considered for listing that individual will be suspended as a precaution until the outcome of the case is determined. Remember that suspension is not a form of disciplinary action and does not involve pre-judgment. In all cases of suspension, the welfare of children will be the paramount concern. 

17.       PVG Scheme Member leaves Drumchapel Sports Centre

Drumchapel Sports Centre will update Disclosure Scotland on PVG Scheme members who are no longer in regulated work with children on behalf of the organisation. Should a member of staff/volunteer not be in contact with Drumchapel Sports Centre for up to three months, Drumchapel Sports Centre will then inform Disclosure Scotland that the individual is no longer in regulated work with children within the organisation.

7. PROCEDURE FOR RESPONDING TO CONCERNS ABOUT A CHILD

These procedures apply to all staff/volunteers involved in Drumchapel Sports Centre

1. Concerns about the General Welfare of a Child (NOT involving concerns about child abuse)

Drumchapel Sports Centre is committed to working in partnership with parents/carers whenever there are concerns about a child. Parents/carers have the primary responsibility for the safety and well-being of their children.

Where the concern does not involve the possibility of abuse, worries may be discussed with parents/carers. For example, if a child seems withdrawn, he/she may have experienced an upset in the family, such as a parental separation, divorce or bereavement. Common sense is advised in these situations.

Any significant, untoward or unusual incidents which cause concern about the welfare of a child should be recorded on the Significant Incident Form and reported to Drumchapel Sports Centre’s Child Protection Officer as soon as possible. Parents/carers should also be informed of the circumstances as soon as possible.

Advice should be sought from Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer if there is any uncertainty about the appropriate course of action where there are concerns about the general welfare of a child.

2. Concerns about the Abuse of a Child

What to Do if a Child Tells You about Abuse

No member of Drumchapel Sports Centre shall investigate allegations of abuse or decide whether or not a child has been abused.

Allegations of abuse must always be taken seriously. False allegations are very rare. If a child says or indicates they are being abused or information is obtained which gives concern that a child is being abused, the information must be responded to on the same day in line with the following procedure.

2.1       Respond

  • React calmly so as not to frighten the child.
  • Listen to the child and take what they say seriously. Do not show disbelief.
  • Reassure the child they are not to blame and were right to tell someone.
  • Be aware of interpreting what a child says, especially if they have learning or physical disabilities which affect their ability to communicate or English is not their first language.
  • Do not assume that the experience was bad or painful - it may have been neutral or even pleasurable.
  • Avoid projecting your own reactions onto the child.
  • Avoid asking any questions. If necessary only ask enough questions to gain basic information to establish the possibility that abuse may have occurred. Only use open-ended, non-leading questions e.g. Who? Where? When?
  • Do not introduce personal information from either your own experiences or those of other children.

Avoid:

  • Panicking.
  • Showing shock or distaste.
  • Probing for more information than is offered.
  • Speculating or making assumptions.
  • Making negative comments about the person against whom the allegation has been made.
  • Approaching the individual against whom the allegation has been made.
  • Making promises or agreeing to keep secrets and giving a guarantee of confidentiality.

Observation/Information from an individual or agency

A concern or possible abuse of a child may be observed by another child or adult and information can come from an individual or another agency/organisation.

Where there is uncertainty about what to do with the information, directly from a child’s disclosure or from someone else, Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer must firstly be consulted for advice on the appropriate course of action.

If Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer is unavailable or an immediate response is required, the police and social work services must be consulted for advice. They have a statutory responsibility for the protection of children and they may already hold other concerning information about the child. Record any advice given.

If you are concerned about the immediate safety of the child:

Take whatever action is required to ensure the child’s immediate safety.

Pass the information immediately to the police and seek their advice.

 

2.2       Record

Make a written record of the information as soon as possible using the Significant Incident Form, completing as much of the form as possible. The following information will help the police and social workers decide what action to take next:

  • Child’s name, age and date of birth.
  • Child’s home address and telephone number.
  • Any times, dates or other relevant information.
  • Whether the person making the report is expressing their own concern or the concerns of another person.
  • The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any injuries
    occurred using the child’s own words.
  • The nature of the concern (include all of the information obtained during the initial account e.g. time, date, location).
  • A description of any visible (when normally dressed) injuries or bruising, behavioural signs, indirect signs (do not physically examine the child).
  • Details of any witnesses.
  • Whether the child’s parents/carers have been informed.
  • Details of anyone else who has been consulted and the information obtained from them.
  • If it is not the child making the report, whether the child has been spoken to, if so what was said using the child’s own words.
  • The child’s views on the situation.

If completing the form electronically, do not save copies to the hard drive, disk or pen drive.  Print a copy, sign and date and then delete immediately. Pass the record to social work services or the police and to the Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer that day.

2.3       Sharing Concerns with Parents/Carers

Where there are concerns that the parents/carers may be responsible for or have knowledge of the abuse, sharing concerns with the parents/carers may place the child at further risk. In such cases advice must always firstly be sought from the police or social work services as to who informs the parents/carers.

 

RESPONDING TO CONCERNS ABOUT A CHILD FLOWCHART

 
   

 

 

Disclosure by child to staff member /volunteer

Information from another individual /agency

 

Observation

Concern about child abuse

Report to CPO (if not available go to next box)

 

Record on Significant Incident Form

Refer to police and/or social work

 

Record advice given and action taken

Take steps to ensure child’s immediate safety, if required

 

Decide how to support child

PROCEDURE FOR RESPONDING TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE CONDUCT OF A MEMBER OF STAFF/VOLUNTEER

Concerns about the Conduct of a Member of Staff/Volunteer

This section of the procedure should be read in conjunction with Drumchapel Sports Centre Complaints Procedure/Performance Management Procedure/Disciplinary Procedure*. The following section details the procedure to be followed where the concern is about a member of staff/volunteer.

These procedures aim to ensure that all concerns about the conduct of a member of staff/volunteer are dealt with in a timely, appropriate and proportionate manner. No member of staff/volunteer in receipt of information that causes concern about the conduct of a member of staff/volunteer towards children shall keep that information to himself or herself, or attempt to deal with the matter on their own.

In the event of an investigation into the conduct of a member of staff/volunteer all actions will be informed by the principles of natural justice:

  • Employees and volunteers will be made aware of the nature of concern or complaint.
  • Where the concern is about possible child abuse, advice will firstly be taken from the police as to what can be said to the employee or volunteer.
  • An employee or volunteer will be given an opportunity to put forward their case.
  • Drumchapel Sports Centre will act in good faith; ensure the matter is dealt with impartially and as quickly as possible in the circumstances.

In all cases where there are concerns about the conduct of a member of staff/volunteer towards children, the welfare of the child will be the paramount consideration.

 

At any point in responding to concerns about the conduct of a member of staff/volunteer, advice may be sought from the police or social work services.

 

1          Initial Reporting of Concerns

Any concerns for the welfare of a child arising from the conduct of a member of staff/volunteer must be reported to the line manager/Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer on the day the concern arises, as soon as practically possible.

Where the concern is about the line manager or the Child Protection Officer it must be reported to the Chief Executive or significant member of the committee.

2                      Recording

Concerns must be recorded using the Significant Incident Form as soon as possible. Reporting the concerns to the line manager/Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer should not be delayed by gathering information to complete the form or until a written record has been made.

All subsequent actions taken and reasons for decisions shall be recorded (in the order in which they happened) on the Significant Incident Form. This should be signed and dated by the line manager/ Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer or the person appointed to manage the response to the concerns. Where Performance Management Procedures/Disciplinary Procedures are invoked, a written record will be made of all actions and reasons for decision. Guidance on the storage, sharing and retention of such records is contained in the relevant procedure.

3                      Establishing the Basic Facts

Once the concerns have been reported, the line manager/Drumchapel Sports Centre’s child Protection Officer will:

  • Establish the basic facts.
  • Conduct an initial assessment of the facts in order to determine the appropriate course of action.
  • Consult external agencies such as the police and social work services for advice at any time. This is important because they may hold other important information which, when considered alongside the current concerns, builds a significant picture of concern.

4                Conducting the Initial Assessment

The line manager/Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer will conduct the initial assessment.

The purpose of the initial assessment is to clarify the nature and context of the concerns. It should determine whether there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused/ harmed or is at risk of abuse or harm.  Every situation is unique so guidance cannot be prescriptive.

  • Where the established facts support a concern about possible abuse, the initial assessment will not form part of the disciplinary investigation.
  • Subject to the nature and seriousness of the situation, if it is not clear at this stage whether a criminal offence may have been committed, the member of staff/volunteer may be approached as part of the information gathering process.
  • Where the nature and seriousness of the information suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed, or that to assess the facts may jeopardise evidence, advice will be sought from the police before the member of staff/ volunteer is approached.
  • An initial assessment of the basic facts may require the need to ask a child(ren) some basic, open-ended, non-leading questions solely with a view to clarifying the basic facts. It may also be necessary to ask similar basic questions of other children, or other appropriate individuals.
  • Interviewing children about possible abuse and criminal offences is the sole remit of specially trained police officers and social workers. Questioning of children by those conducting an initial assessment should always be avoided as far as possible. If it is necessary to speak to the child in order to clarify the basic facts, best practice suggests that consent from the parent be obtained.

Possible outcomes of initial assessment:

  1. No further action (facts do not substantiate complaint).
  2. Situation is dealt with under Drumchapel Sports Centres Disciplinary Procedures.
  3. Child protection investigation (jointly by police and social work services).
  4. Criminal investigation (by the police).

The results of a criminal investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation, but not in all cases.

  1. Civil proceedings (by the child/family who alleged abuse).

5          Initial assessment supports concerns about poor practice and/or misconduct (but not possible child abuse)

The line manager/Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer will deal with the situation in line with Drumchapel Sports Centres Performance Management Procedures/Disciplinary Procedures

Pending the outcome of any investigation conducted under Performance Management Procedures or Disciplinary Procedures, precautionary suspension will be considered in all cases where there is significant concern about the conduct of a member of staff/volunteer towards children (see section 7). The welfare of children will be the paramount concern in such circumstances.

Where the circumstances meet the referral criteria set out in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007, Drumchapel Sports Centre has a duty to make a referral to Disclosure Scotland (see section 11).

6          Initial assessment supports concerns about possible child abuse

Where the initial assessment of information gives reasonable cause to suspect or believe possible child abuse the line manager/ Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer will refer the concerns to the police and/or social work services as soon as possible on the day the information is received.

The line manager/Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer will make a written record of the name and designation of the social worker or the police officer to whom the concerns were passed together with the time and date of the call, in case any follow up is required.

Referrals to the police/social work services will be confirmed in writing by the line manager/Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer within 24 hours. A copy of the Significant Incident Form should be provided to the police/ social work services on request.

Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the safety of the child(ren) or who may be at risk. The parents/carers of the child(ren) involved will be informed as soon as possible following advice from the police/social work services.

Advice will firstly be obtained from the police/social work services about informing the staff member or volunteer involved in the concerns. If the advice is to inform the staff member or volunteer, they will be told that information has been received which may suggest an allegation of abuse. As the matter will be sub judice (i.e. under judicial consideration) no details will be given unless advised by the police. All actions will ensure the best evidence is preserved for any criminal proceedings while at the same time safeguarding the rights of the employee or volunteer.

Drumchapel Sports Centre will take all reasonable steps to support a member of staff/volunteer against whom an allegation of abuse has been made.

7          Precautionary Suspension

Suspension is not a form of disciplinary action. The member of staff/volunteer involved may be suspended whilst an investigation is carried out. 

Suspension will be carried out by the Drumchapel Sports Centre Board in accordance with Disciplinary Procedures. At the suspension interview the member of staff or volunteer will be informed of the reason for suspension (within the confines of sharing information) and given the opportunity to make a statement – which will be recorded – should they wish to do so.

Notification of the suspension and the reasons will be conveyed in writing to the staff member or volunteer in accordance with Drumchapel Sports Centres Disciplinary Procedure

8          Disciplinary Investigation

An ongoing criminal investigation does not necessarily rule out disciplinary action. However, any action taken must not jeopardise the criminal investigation. Advice must be taken from the police on this. Sufficient information should be available to enable the line manager/Drumchapel Sports Centres Child Protection Officer to make a decision whether to go ahead with disciplinary action.

9          False or Malicious Allegations

In exceptional circumstances where an investigation establishes an allegation is false, unfounded or malicious:

  • The staff member or volunteer involved will receive an account of the circumstances and/or investigation and a letter confirming the conclusion of the matter. They may wish to seek legal advice.
  • All records pertaining to the circumstances and investigation should be kept in accordance with the Drumchapel Sports Centre Policy on the Secure Storage of Information.
  • The line manager/Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer will take all reasonable steps to support the individual in this situation. 
  • In these circumstances Drumchapel Sports Centre will review the child’s participation in Table Tennis. It may be appropriate to have a discussion with the child (with parental/carer permission).
  • Data collected for the investigation will be destroyed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998

10        Historical Allegations of Abuse

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event e.g. an adult who was abused as a child by someone who is still currently working with children. These procedures will be followed in the event of an allegation of historical abuse.

11        Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007                            

a)         Drumchapel Sports Centre will refer to Disclosure Scotland the case of any member of staff/volunteer who (whether or not in the course of their role within the organisation) has:

  • harmed a child
  • placed a child at risk of harm
  • engaged in inappropriate conduct involving pornography
  • engaged in inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature involving a child, or
  • given inappropriate medical treatment to a child.

AND as a result:

1. Drumchapel Sports Centre has dismissed the member of staff or volunteer.

2. The member of staff or volunteer would have been dismissed as a result of the incident had they not resigned, retired or been made redundant.

3.Drumchapel Sports Centre has transferred the member of staff/volunteer to a position in Drumchapel Sports Centre which is not regulated work with children.

4. The member of staff or volunteer would have been dismissed or considered for dismissal where employment or volunteer role was not due to end at the expiry of a fixed term contract; or,

5. The member of staff or volunteer would have been dismissed or considered for dismissal had the contract not expired.

Drumchapel Sports Centre will also refer the case of a staff member or volunteer where information becomes available after the member of staff or volunteer has:

  • been dismissed by Drumchapel Sports Centre,
  • resigned, retired or been made redundant,
  • been transferred to another position in Drumchapel Sports Centre which is not regulated work with children; and,
  • where Drumchapel Sports Centre receives information that a member of staff or volunteer who holds a position of regulated work has been listed on the Children’s List, the member of staff or volunteer will be removed from the regulated work with children post.

b)         If Disclosure Scotland notifies Drumchapel Sports Centre that a member of staff/volunteer is considered for listing that individual will be suspended as a precaution until the outcome of the case is determined. Remember that suspension is not a form of disciplinary action and does not involve pre-judgment. In all cases of suspension, the welfare of children will be the paramount concern. 

c)         If Disclosure Scotland informs Drumchapel Sports Centre that an individual is barred, that member of staff/volunteer will be removed from regulated work with children immediately in line with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. 

12 Media

All media enquiries relating to the conduct of a member of staff or volunteer will be referred to Drumchapel Sports Centre Chair/ESO and/or the Child Protection Officer

SIGNIFICANT INCIDENT FORM

This form must be completed as soon as possible after receiving information that causes concern about the welfare or protection of a child. The form must be passed to Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer – GINA DUFFY as soon as possible after completion; do not delay by attempting to obtain information to complete all sections.

Complete Part A of this form if the concerns relate to the general welfare of a child.

Complete Parts A and B if the concerns relate to possible child abuse.

PART A          where there are concerns about general welfare of a child

  1. Child’s Details

Name:

 

Date of Birth:

Address:

 

Postcode:

Tel No:

Preferred Language:

 

Is an interpreter required?                                         YES / NO

Any Additional Needs?

 

  1. Details of Person Recording Concerns

Name:

 

Position/Role:

Address: 

 

Postcode:

Tel No:

  1. Details of Incident giving rise to Concerns

             (including date, time, location, nature of concern, who, what, where, when, why)

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Details of any witnesses

            (including names, addresses and telephone contacts)

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Details of injuries

            (including all injuries sustained, location of injury and action taken)

 

 

 

 

 

PART B          where there are concerns about possible child abuse

  1. Details of person about whom there is a concern

Name:

 

Relationship to Child:

Address: 

 

Postcode:

Tel No:

  1. Details of concerns

            (including date, time, location, nature of concern, who, what, where, when, why

            Continue on a separate sheet if necessary)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Details of any action taken

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Details of agencies contacted

            (including date, time, name of person contacted and advice received)

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Have the child’s parents/carers been informed? YES/NO (delete as appropriate)

            If yes, record details / If no please state why not:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Child’s views on situation (if expressed). Where possible, please use the child’s own words. 

 

 

 

 

 

Signed:                                                                                               Date:                                                  

 

Print Name:                                                                                        Position:                                ______

8.DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

 

Drumchapel Sports Centres aim is to encourage high standards of individual behaviour in all aspects of the sport. This procedure sets out the action which will be taken when the code of conduct is breached by a volunteer or a member of staff. This procedure should be read in conjunction with the procedure for Responding to Concerns about the Conduct of a Member of Staff/Volunteer

1. PRINCIPLES

a)         This procedure is designed to establish the facts quickly and to deal with disciplinary issues consistently.

  1. No disciplinary action will be taken until a matter has been fully investigated.
  2. The member of staff/volunteer involved may be suspended from their role while an investigation is carried out. Suspension is not a form of disciplinary action. A decision to suspend will be made by the Drumchapel Sports Centre Board of Directors. Notification of the suspension and the reasons will be conveyed in writing to the member of staff/volunteer.
  3. At every stage of the formal disciplinary procedure the member of staff/volunteer will have the opportunity to state his/her case at a disciplinary hearing. If so wished he/she will have the opportunity to be represented or accompanied at the hearings by a third party e.g. a friend or colleague or a trade union representative, (where applicable).
  4. The member of staff/volunteer has the right to appeal against any disciplinary action.
  5. The disciplinary procedure may be implemented at Stage 1, 2 or 3 if the member of staff/volunteer’s alleged misconduct warrants such action.

2. THE PROCEDURE

2.1 initial Assessment/Stage

The purpose of the initial assessment is to clarify the nature and context of the concern. It should determine whether there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused or harmed, or is at risk of abuse or harm. It will involve asking some basic questions of appropriate individuals with the sole purpose of clarifying the basic facts. 

If the nature of the concern suggests a criminal offence has occurred, or that a child may have been abused, then advice must be sought from the police before speaking to child witnesses or to the member of staff/volunteer at the centre of the allegation. 

The possible outcomes of the initial assessment are:

  1. No further action (facts do not substantiate complaint).
  2. Situation is dealt with under formal disciplinary procedures (by sports organisation).
  3. Child protection investigation (jointly by the police or social work services).
  4. Criminal investigation (by the police).

Where a member of staff/volunteer fails to meet the required standard of behaviour and the shortfall is of a minor nature, the Drumchapel Sports Centre board may decide to speak to the member of staff/volunteer on an informal basis to avoid the need for formal disciplinary action. The

The Drumchapel Sports Centre board will also advise the member of staff/volunteer of the need to achieve and maintain the standards required. The Drumchapel Sports Centre board may inform the member of staff/volunteer that failure to achieve the required standards will result in a formal disciplinary hearing, which may result in disciplinary action.

Facts of the conversation should be noted and confirmed in writing to the member of staff/volunteer so there is clarity about what has to be achieved.

Following the initial assessment, a period of precautionary suspension may be helpful or necessary while a concern is being further investigated.

2.2 Precautionary Suspension

Precautionary suspension may be considered in the following circumstances:

  • if the police or social work services advise suspension
  • if the allegation made against the member of staff/volunteer was ultimately to be proved, then there would be a significant concern about the conduct of that member of staff/volunteer towards children or other adults 
  • if the member of staff/volunteer’s attendance or involvement in the club could compromise the investigation
  • if Disclosure Scotland notify Drumchapel Sports Centre that an individual is being considered for the Children’s List.

Suspension is not a form of disciplinary action and does not involve pre-judgment. It should only be considered in the above circumstances.

In all cases of suspension, the welfare of children will be the paramount concern. 

2.3 Formal Disciplinary Procedure

  • Stage 1 – First warning

If conduct is unsatisfactory, the member of staff/volunteer will be given a written warning. Such warnings will be recorded. The warning will expire after 6 months of satisfactory conduct. A final written warning may be considered if there is no sustained satisfactory improvement or change.

  • Stage 2 – Final written warning

If the offence is serious, or there is no improvement in standards, or if a further offence of a similar kind occurs, a final written warning will be given. The written warning will expire after 12 months. Action at Stage 3 will be taken if there is no sustained satisfactory improvement or change.

  • Stage 3 – Dismissal or Action Short of Dismissal

If the conduct has failed to improve, the member of staff/volunteer may suffer demotion, disciplinary transfer, or dismissal.

Gross misconduct

If, after investigation, it is confirmed that a member of staff/volunteer has committed an offence of the following nature (the list is not exhaustive), the normal consequence will be dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice: - theft, damage to property, fraud, incapacity for work due to being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, physical violence, bullying, abuse of a child and gross insubordination.

Following advice from the police, cases that also involve a criminal investigation will not preclude disciplinary action being taken. This is provided sufficient information is available to enable Drumchapel Sports Centre to make a decision and that to do so does not jeopardize the criminal investigation. Any decision to dismiss will be taken by the Drumchapel Sports Centre only after full investigation.

3. APPEALS

A member of staff/volunteer who wishes to appeal against any disciplinary decision must do so, in writing, to the Drumchapel Sports Centre Board of Directors within seven working days of the disciplinary decision being made known to them.

The member of staff/volunteer should provide a written statement of the appeal, indicating the grounds for the appeal together with such accompanying documents as they feel appropriate. 

The appeal will be heard by Drumchapel Sports Centre Appeals Committee and a decision on the case made as impartially as possible.

The Appeals Committee will notify the member of staff/volunteer of the decision in writing as expeditiously as possible. The decision of Committee is final and there is no right of appeal.

4. REFERRALS TO THE CHILDREN’S LIST       

Where Drumchapel Sports Centre takes disciplinary action to remove a member of staff/volunteer from regulated work as a result of harmful behaviour towards a child, then they have a duty to refer the member of staff/volunteer to Disclosure Scotland so that consideration can be given to whether that individual should be barred from any kind of regulated work with children. Without this duty there would be no way of preventing individuals moving undetected to other organisations where they may continue to pose a risk.

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 stipulates that organisations must refer to Disclosure Scotland the case of any member of staff/volunteer who (whether or not in the course of their role within the organisation) has:

  • harmed a child
  • placed a child at risk of harm
  • engaged in inappropriate conduct involving pornography
  • engaged in inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature involving a child, or
  • given inappropriate medical treatment to a child.

AND as a result:

1. Drumchapel Sports Centre have dismissed the member of staff/volunteer.

2. The member of staff/volunteer would have been dismissed as a result of the incident had they not resigned, retired or been made redundant.

3. Drumchapel Sports Centre has transferred the member of staff/volunteer to a position in Drumchapel Sports Centre which is not regulated work with children.

4. The member of staff/volunteer would have been dismissed or considered for dismissal where employment or volunteer role was not due to end at the expiry of a fixed term contract; or,

5. The member of staff/volunteer would have been dismissed or considered for dismissal had the contract not expired.

Drumchapel Sports Centre will also refer the case of a member of staff/volunteer where information becomes available after the member of staff/volunteer has:

  • been dismissed by Drumchapel Sports Centre
  • resigned, retired or been made redundant
  • been transferred to another position in Drumchapel Sports Centre which is not regulated work with children; and,
  • where Drumchapel Sports Centre receives information that a member of staff/volunteer who holds a position of regulated work has been listed on the Children’s List, the member of staff/volunteer will be removed from the regulated work with children post.

        NOTICE OF PRECAUTIONARY SUSPENSION

 

 

                                                                                                                                    Date ____

Dear ____

I am writing to tell you that you that following the suspension interview/notification of your consideration for listing to the Children’s List*, you will now be suspended for ___ duration of time/until outcome is determined if you are barred from regulated work with children*. 

This is in response to ____.

You will next be informed of any disciplinary action that will follow the investigation period.

Yours

Signed ____

Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer

NOTICE OF DISCIPLINARY HEARING

 

                                                                                                                                    Date ____

Dear ____

 

I am writing to tell you that you are required to attend a disciplinary hearing on ____ at ____ am/pm which is to be held in ____.

At this meeting the question of disciplinary action against you, in accordance with the Drumchapel Sports Centre Disciplinary Procedure, will be considered with regard to:  

Description of incident e.g. “An incident which took place on ------- between yourself on the one hand and--------- on the other when it was alleged that you…”

Please find enclosed the following available evidence: e.g. written witness statements where available.

You will have the opportunity at the hearing to respond to the incidents as described and to the enclosed evidence.

You are entitled, if you wish to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.

If you are unable to attend this meeting, please contact the Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection officer or any member of the committee, as a matter of urgency to arrange an alternative date. You are required to take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting. Failure to attend without good reason could result in the meeting being held, and a decision being taken, in your absence.

Yours

 

Signed ____

 

Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer

Enclosed:

Dear ____

You attended a disciplinary hearing on ____ I am writing to confirm the decision taken that you be given a [written warning/final written warning] under the [first/second] stage of the Drumchapel Sports Centre Disciplinary Procedure.

This warning will be recorded but will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after a period of 6 months, provided your conduct improves.

a) The nature of the unsatisfactory conduct or performance was: ------------

b) The conduct or performance improvement expected is: ------------

c) The timescale within which the improvement is required is: ------------

d) The likely consequence of further misconduct or insufficient improvement is: ------------

You have the right of appeal against this decision.  Please submit your appeal in writing to ____ within [x working] days of receiving this disciplinary decision.

Yours

 

Signed ____

Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer

NOTICE OF DISMISSAL OR ACTION SHORT OF DISMISSAL

 

                                                                                                                                    Date ____

 

 

Dear ____

You attended a disciplinary hearing on ____ I am writing to confirm the decision taken that you be [dismissed/demoted/transferred] under the final stage of the Drumchapel Sports Centre Disciplinary Procedure.

The reasons for your [dismissal/demotion/transfer] are:

This will take effect from ------------------------

You have the right of appeal against this decision. Please submit your appeal in writing to Drumchapel Sports Centre Board of directors within 21 working days of receiving this disciplinary decision.

Yours

 

Signed ____

Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer

NOTICE OF APPEAL HEARING AGAINST DISCIPLINARY ACTION

                                      

                                                                                                                                    Date ____

 

Dear ____

 

You have appealed against the [written warning/final written warning] confirmed to you in writing on ____.

Your appeal will be heard by ____ in ____ on ____ at ____.

You are entitled to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.

The decision of this appeal hearing is final and there is no further right of review.

Yours

 

Signed ____

 

Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer

 

NOTICE OF RESULT OF APPEAL HEARING AGAINST DISCIPLINARY ACTION

 

                                                                                                                                    Date ____

 

 

Dear ____

 

You appealed against the decision of the disciplinary hearing that you be [dismissed/subject to disciplinary action].

The appeal hearing was held on ____.

I am now writing to confirm the decision taken by [name of manager who conducted the appeal hearing], namely that the decision to _____ [stands/is revoked].

Specify if no disciplinary action is being taken or what the new disciplinary action is.

You have now exercised your right of appeal under the Drumchapel Sports Centre Disciplinary Procedure and this decision is final.

Yours sincerely,

        

Signed ____

Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer

9. Procedure to review any child protection concerns which have arisen to ensure procedures are followed and appropriate action taken in the best interests of the child.

PLANNING A REVIEW

  1. WHY?

Drumchapel Sports Centre will set clear aims and objectives of any review, or why they are reviewing. This will establish who should be involved, how to go about it and what information required.

Examples of reasons for reviewing a case or cases:

  • To examine the role of all staff/volunteers in responding to concerns identified about a child or coach.
  • To establish whether the organisation’s procedures were followed and how effective they were in safeguarding the child.
  • To establish how well the child and the staff/volunteers involved in the case were supported by the organisation.
  • To explore how well all of the organisations involved in the case worked together.
  • To establish whether there are lessons to be learned, what those lessons are and to make recommendations for future action.

A remit for the review to keep the reviewer focused and also provide clarity to others about the process or intended outcomes should be prepared.

  1. WHO?

The child protection lead officer will help the organisation determine who should conduct the review.

  • This may be part of the Drumchapel Sports Centre’s child protection officer’s role.
  • An ex-officio member of the management team.
  • It may be appropriate for an independent person to conduct the review; for example, where individuals from the organisation have been very closely involved or there are concerns around the conduct of individuals or the processes they have applied.

Having someone independent carry out the review can be beneficial, particularly where the case has had a significant impact on the individuals involved and/or the sport. This ‘independent person’ should have the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding of child protection, from either within or out with the sport; for example, a child protection officer from another sports organisation or an existing volunteer who works professionally in child protection.

Where someone independent is involved, it is important to ensure there is agreement about confidentiality.

Other points that will be considered are:

  • Who else, if anyone, should be involved in the review?
  • Will other organisations involved in the case be invited to contribute? This may include police, social work or the governing body.
  • Will the child and parents/carers be involved? If so, how? If the child and parents/carers are involved, it is important to keep them informed of the progress of the review and to share findings with them.

3.  WHEN?

A review may be appropriate when:

  • At the conclusion of any case dealt with through the Drumchapel Sports Centre procedures for Responding to Concerns about a Child or Responding to Concerns about the Conduct of a Staff Member or Volunteer.
  • At the conclusion of legal proceedings.
  • At the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings including an appeal.
  • As part of an annual review of all child protection cases which arose during the year.

A review should be held as soon as possible to ensure that any lessons learned are acted upon timeously.

4.  HOW?

  • Agree a timescale for carrying out the review.
  • Ensure that police and/or social workers have completed any investigations and that there are no outstanding legal proceedings.

The review process will be informed by the reasons for reviewing, which will probably reflect the complexity of the incident.

The main source of information is likely to be the form for recording concerns (Significant Incident Form). This form may provide all the information required. In cases where these forms have not been completed or the quality of the information is poor, it may be necessary to speak to the people involved to get more details.

Drumchapel Sports Centre will consider and acknowledge how people might be feeling about the incident itself and the possible impact of a review. People may feel their actions are being called into question or scrutinised, which could leave them feeling anxious or threatened. Where the reviewer intends to speak to those involved, they should plan how they will introduce the review, explain the purpose of it and how they will deal with any reactions or questions from those involved; for example:

“I’ve been asked by Drumchapel Sports Centre to review how the organisation dealt with the concerns about X. This review will consider how procedures were followed and whether appropriate action was taken to protect those involved.  I understand that you were involved in this case and would like to talk to you about it. This will give you an opportunity to tell me about your experience and make any suggestions for improving things in the future.”

5.  RECORDING AND REPORTING THE FINDINGS

The reviewer will make a record of the review and its findings.

Containing the following information:

  • The source of the concern.
  • The nature of the concern.
  • A chronology of events, individuals and organisations involved.
  • Action taken.
  • An analysis of the key issues or matters linked to the aims of the review.
  • Any other relevant points or observations.
  • Lessons to be learned and changes to be made.
  • Recommendations.

PROCEDURE: REVIEW OF THE MANAGEMENT OF CONCERNS

1.         Establish the facts of the case, a chronology of events and the roles of individuals and             organisations involved.

Setting out the actual sequence of events will help the reviewer to understand what happened, when, and who was involved; for example:

 

23 April 2012               Child disclosed physical abuse to coach.

23 April 2012               Coach reported concern to club CPO.

24 April 2012               Club CPO reported incident to SGB CPO.

24 April 2012               SGB CPO sought advice from PC Smith, London Road Police Station, referral then made to the Family Protection Unit.

2.         Identify any issues or key questions relating to the aims of the review.

Having established the sequence of events the reviewer will then be able to answer the questions contained in the specific remit of the review.

If the reviewer considers that a child may still be at risk despite action taken during the case or as a result of failures of Drumchapel Sports Centre to take appropriate action, they should be prepared to act. Any urgent issues should be addressed immediately without waiting for the conclusion of the review.

3.         Identify any other relevant points or observations.

The reviewer may identify issues which are worth exploring further. These may include:

 

PROCEDURES

  • Were the relevant procedures followed?
  • If not, is there a reasonable explanation for this?
  • Were the timescales appropriate?
  • Do the current procedures provide adequate information about what to do in such a situation?
  • If appropriate, was a referral made to Disclosure Scotland as required by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007?

PEOPLE

  • Were the right people involved?
  • Were the views of the child/family obtained?
  • Were those involved aware of the procedures?
  • Had the people involved been trained on the procedures?
  • Where appropriate, were external organisations involved; for example, the police or governing body of sport?

 

OUTCOMES

  • Was the outcome appropriate in the case?
  • If not, why not?
  • Is there a need to take further action in this case; for example, referring the case to police/social work?

RECORDING

  • Were records kept?
  • Is the quality of the information recorded satisfactory?
  • Can the forms be improved?

4.         Identify any lessons to be learned and what changes need to be made.

5.         Make recommendations.

Recommendations may include changes to procedures, forms and/or the provision of training.

POST REVIEW

Responding to the Findings and Recommendations

Drumchapel Sports Centre will carefully consider how to respond to the findings and any recommendations. It will also consider how to advise/support any others on whose behalf it has conducted the review. Decisions on how to react to the recommendations will be taken by the appropriate board/management/executive committee.

Where recommendations are to be followed, the management will identify the priorities, what action is required, who will take action and timescales for completion. This information will be clearly communicated to those involved. Management will follow up to check that action has in fact been taken.

If it is decided not to follow the recommendations, this decision and the reasons will be clearly recorded in management minutes.

Applying the Learning in Practice

Lessons learned and/or changes made to procedures or practice will be communicated to those who need to know so they can be put into practice. This will be achieved in a number of ways:

  • a briefing note
  • training session
  • group email
  • Article in a Drumchapel Sports Centre publication or website.

The best method will be determined by the significance or nature of the information to be passed on. These changes in practice will be subject to regular monitoring and review to ensure compliance.

Sharing the Findings and Recommendations Internally and Externally

  • Demonstrates that Drumchapel Sports Centre is committed to continuous improvement.
  • Other individuals and organisations may benefit from the lessons Drumchapel Sports Centre learned from the experience.
  • It can contribute to the wider understanding of child protection in sport and the ways in which practice and guidance can be enhanced.

Details of the case will be confidential, so any information shared will be presented in a way that protects the anonymity and privacy of those involved.

Internally

Drumchapel Sports Centre will identify those who should get feedback on the outcomes of the review. This will include the board/management/executive committee; the individuals involved in the case, and where appropriate, member clubs.

Externally

Drumchapel Sports Centre will also consider whether there are other organisations or partners who would benefit from the review and its recommendations.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, there may be media interest in the outcome of the review.  Drumchapel Sports Centre will have a strategy in place to deal with any enquiries from the media.

REVIEW PLANNING

Name of reviewer:

 

 

Case reference:

 

If this record is going to be shared with others, the details of the case should be anonymised using a unique reference number or identifier.

Outstanding investigations and proceedings:

If relevant to this case, have the following been concluded:

  1. Police and social work child protection investigation? Y/N
  2. A criminal investigation by the police? Y/N
  3. Any related legal proceedings? Y/N

 

If the answer to any of these questions is no, the review cannot proceed.

Remit of review:

List here in bullet point form the reasons for the review

  •  
  •  
  •  

Timescales for completion:

This should be the dates when the review will begin and end with the reported findings.

 

 

How will the review be conducted?

List here the methods to be used to conduct the review; for example:

  • a review of all paper records
  • telephone/face to face interviews with relevant individuals
  • contact with other organisations involved as necessary.

 

Are there any special considerations or features in this case?

For example, this case was reported in the press, the child involved has a learning disability.

 

 

How will the findings and recommendations be reported?

 

 

 

 

Who will the outcomes of the review be shared with?

List here all internal and external parties with whom information will be shared.

 

 

 

Is a media strategy required?

 

 

 

10. ‘Safe in Care’ guidelines that are appropriate for the organisation’s activities, e.g. trips away from home, physical contact, adult to child ratios, ICT and social media.

SAFE IN CARE GUIDELINES 

These guidelines provide practical guidance for those working and/or volunteering directly with children on practices to keep children safe and to promote a safe operating environment for the member of staff/volunteer. These guidelines compliment and should be read in conjunction with the Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Children in Sport. Breach of these guidelines may be dealt with under the Drumchapel Sports Centre Complaints Policy*, Performance Management*, Disciplinary Procedure* and/or Procedure for Responding to Concerns about a Child*/Concerns about the Conduct of a Member of Staff or Volunteer

Sports organisations have a duty of care towards all children involved in activities. Children under the age of 16 years should not be placed in positions of sole responsibility in relation to other children. These guidelines apply to all children and young people under the age of 18 years. Common sense should be applied when considering the circumstances of older children and all children should have the opportunity to express their views on matters which affect them, should they wish to do so.

As sport takes place in many different structures, locations, environments and formats, it is impossible to provide specific guidance on many of the issues covered. The following guidelines are therefore based on generally recognised good practice and common sense. Ultimately, most practical situations will require a judgment to be made about what is practicable and reasonable in the circumstances.

ADULT TO CHILD RATIOS

The following ratios are recommended by Drumchapel Sports Centre -  Early Education and Childcare up to the Age of 16 (Scottish Executive, 2005):

 

Age: 3 and over                      1:8

If all children are over 8          1:10

 

All activities should be planned to involve at least two adults, preferably one male and one female. As a general guide, the following factors will also be taken into consideration in deciding how many adults are required to safely supervise children:

  • The number of children involved in the activity.
  • The age, maturity and experience of the children.
  • Whether any of the group leaders or children has a learning or physical disability or special requirements.
  • Whether any of the children have challenging behaviour.
  • The particular hazards associated with the activity.
  • The particular hazards associated with the environment.
  • The level of qualification and experience of the leaders.
  • The programme of activities.

There may be other considerations which are specific to the sport or environment in which the sport takes place. Some sports can take place in a variety of terrain from mountain moors to sand dune forests. The Scottish weather brings a lot of spontaneously changing weather conditions. The safety of children in certain sports relies on heavy planning and preparation, including checking weather forecasts and making sure the children are equipped with appropriate clothing to survive the worst case scenario of becoming injured in a remote area, during severe weather conditions.

 

PHYSICAL CONTACT

All forms of physical contact should respect and be sensitive to the needs and wishes of the child and should take place in a culture of dignity and respect for all children. Children should be encouraged to express their views on physical contact.

In the first instance, coaching techniques should be delivered by demonstration (either by the coach or an athlete who can display the technique being taught). Educational instruction should be clearly explained with a description of how it is proposed to handle or have contact with the child before doing so. This should be accompanied by asking if the child is comfortable. Manual support should be provided openly and must always be proportionate to the circumstances.

If it is necessary to help a child with personal tasks e.g. toileting or changing, the child and parents/carers should be encouraged to express a preference regarding the support and should be encouraged to speak out about methods of support with which they are uncomfortable. Staff/volunteers should work with parents/carers and children to develop practiced routines for personal care so that parents/carers and children know what to expect.

Do not take on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained e.g. manual assistance for a child with a physical disability.

FIRST AID AND THE TREATMENT OF INJURIES

All staff/volunteers must ensure:

  • Where practicable all parents/carers of children under the age of 16 have completed a Partnership with Parents/Carers Form before their child participates in Drumchapel Sports Centre events
  • There is an accessible and well-resourced first aid kit at the venue.
  • They are aware of any pre-existing medical conditions, medicines being taken by participants or existing injuries and treatment required.
  • Only those with a current, recognised First Aid qualification treat injuries. In more serious cases assistance should be obtained from a medically qualified professional as soon as possible.
  • A Significant Incident Form is completed if a child sustains a significant injury along with the details of any treatment given. Common sense should be applied when determining which injuries are significant.
  • Where possible, access to medical advice and/or assistance is available.
  • A child’s parents/carers are informed of any injury and action taken as soon as possible.
  • The circumstances in which any accidents occur are reviewed to avoid future repetitions.

SEXUAL ACTIVITY*

Within sport, as within other activities, sexual relationships do occur. It is important to address sexual activity both between children and young people and between adults and young people.

Sexual activity between children/young people involved in sport should be prohibited during team events, in sports facilities and social activities organised by Drumchapel Sports Centre. Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by a young person may/will lead to disciplinary action in accordance with the Drumchapel Sports Centre Disciplinary Procedure and reports being made to external agencies such as the police or social services.

Sexual interactions between adults and young people (16+) involved in sport raise serious issues given the power imbalance inherent in the relationship. Where a young person is of the age of consent the power of the adult over that young person may influence their ability to genuinely consent to sexual activity. A coach or other adult in a position of authority may have significant power or influence over a young person’s career.

Sexual activity between adults and young people (16+) involved in the same sport should be prohibited when the adult is in a position of trust or authority (coach, trainer, official). Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by an adult should lead to suspension and disciplinary action in accordance with the Drumchapel Sports Centre Disciplinary Procedures, which in the case of criminal action must include contacting the police.

Sexual activity between adults and children under the age of 16 is a criminal act and immediate action must be taken to report it to the police.

MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR

Staff/volunteers delivering activities to children may, from time to time require to deal with a child’s challenging behaviour.

Drumchapel Sports Centre aim to promote good practice which can help support children to manage their own behaviour. Strategies and sanctions will be used to identify unacceptable actions or interventions which must never be used by staff or volunteers.

These guidelines are based on the following principles:

  • The welfare of the child is the paramount consideration. 
  • A risk assessment should be completed for all activities which take into consideration the needs of all children involved in the activity.
  • Children must never be subject to any form of treatment that is harmful, abusive, humiliating or degrading and should always be able to maintain their respect and dignity.
  • No member of staff should attempt to respond to challenging behaviour by using techniques for which they have not been trained.

      Planning Activities

Good coaching practice requires planning sessions around the group as a whole but also involves taking into consideration the needs of each individual athlete within that group. As part of a risk assessment, coaches should consider whether any members of the group have been challenging in the past or are likely to present any difficulties in relation to either the tasks involved, the other participants or the environment.

Where staff/volunteers identify any potential risks, strategies to manage those risks should be agreed in advance of the session, event or activity. The risk assessment should also identify the appropriate number of adults required to safely manage and support the session including being able to adequately respond to any challenging behaviour and to safeguard other members of the group and the staff/volunteers involved.

All those delivering activities to children should receive training on these guidelines and should be supported to address issues of challenging behaviour through regular supervision.

Agreeing Acceptable and Unacceptable Behaviours

Staff, volunteers, children and parents/carers should be involved in developing an agreed statement of what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. They should also agree upon the range of options which may be applied in response to unacceptable behaviour (e.g. dropped from the team for one game etc). This can be done at the start of the season, in advance of a trip away from home or as part of a welcome session at a residential camp.

Issues of behaviour and control should regularly be discussed with staff, volunteers, parents/carers and children in the context of rights and responsibilities. It is beneficial to ask children as a group to set out what behaviour they find acceptable and unacceptable within their group/team. It is also helpful to ask them what the consequences of breaking these rules should be. Experience shows that they will tend to come up with a sensible and working set of ‘rules’. If and when such a list is compiled, every member of the group can be asked to sign it, as can new members as they join. It can then be beneficial to have a copy of the ‘rules’ visible for reference during the activity.

Managing Challenging Behaviour

In dealing with children who display risk-taking or challenging behaviours, staff and volunteers might consider the following options:

  • Time out - from the activity, group or individual work.
  • Making up - the act or process of making amends.
  • Payback - the act of giving something back.
  • Behavioural reinforcement - rewards for good behaviour, consequences for negative behaviour.
  • Calming the situation - talking through with the child.
  • Increased supervision by staff/volunteers.
  • Use of individual ‘contracts’ or agreements for their future or continued participation.
  • Consequences e.g. missing an outing.

Adults and children shall never be permitted to use the any of the following as a means of managing a child’s behaviour:

  • Physical punishment or the threat of such.
  • The withdrawal of communication with the child. 
  • Being deprived of food, water or access to changing facilities or toilets.
  • Verbal intimidation, ridicule or humiliation.

Staff and volunteers should review the needs of any child on whom consequences are frequently imposed. This review should involve the child and parents/carers to ensure an informed decision is made about the child’s future or continued participation in the group or activity. Whilst it would always be against the wishes of everyone involved in Drumchapel Sports Centre, ultimately, if a child continues to present a high level of risk or danger to him or herself, or others, he or she may have to be barred from activity in the sport.

            Physical Interventions

The use of physical interventions should always be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary in order to prevent a child injuring themselves, injuring others or causing serious damage to property. All forms of physical intervention shall form part of a broader approach to the management of challenging behaviour.

Physical contact to prevent something happening should always be the result of conscious decision-making and not a reaction. Before physically intervening, the member of staff or volunteer should ask themselves, ‘Is this the only option in order to manage the situation and ensure safety?’

The following must always be considered:

  • Contact should be avoided with buttocks, genitals and breasts. Staff/volunteers should never behave in a way which could be interpreted as sexual.
  • Any form of physical intervention should achieve an outcome that is in the best interests of the child whose behaviour is of immediate concern.
  • Staff/volunteers should consider the circumstances, the risks associated with employing physical intervention compared with the risks of not employing physical intervention.
  • The scale and nature of physical intervention must always be proportionate to the behaviour of the young person and the nature of harm/ damage they might cause.
  • All forms of physical intervention should employ only a reasonable amount of force - the minimum force needed to avert injury to a person or serious damage to property – applied for the shortest period of time.
  • Staff/volunteers should never employ physical interventions which are deemed to present an unreasonable risk to children or staff/volunteers.
  • Staff/volunteers shall never use physical intervention as a form of punishment.

Any physical intervention used should be recorded as soon as possible after the incident by the staff/volunteers involved using the Significant Incident Form and passed to the Child Protection Officer as soon as possible. 

A timely debrief for staff/volunteers, the child and parents/carers should always take place following an incident where physical intervention has been used. This should include ensuring that the physical and emotional well-being of those involved has been addressed and ongoing support offered where necessary. Staff/volunteers, children and parents/carers should be given an opportunity to talk about what happened in a calm and safe environment.

There should also be a discussion with the child and parents/carers about the child’s needs and continued safe participation in the group or activity.

TRANSPORTING CHILDREN

Where it is necessary to transport children, the following good practice is required:

  • Where parents/carers make arrangements for the transportation of children to and from the activity, out with the knowledge of Drumchapel Sports Centre it will be the responsibility of the parents/carers to satisfy themselves about the appropriateness and safety of the arrangements.
  • Where Drumchapel Sports Centre makes arrangements for the transportation of children the members of staff/volunteers involved will undertake a risk assessment of the transportation required. This will include an assessment of the following areas:

- Ensuring that all vehicles and drivers are correctly insured for the purpose.

- Ensuring the driver has a valid and appropriate license for the vehicle being used.

- All reasonable safety measures are available e.g. fitted, working seatbelts, booster seats where appropriate.

- An appropriate ratio of adults per child. 

- Ensuring drivers have adequate breaks.

  • When transporting children, wherever possible they should be in the back seat of the car for health and safety reasons.
  • Where practicable and planned, written parent/carer consent will be requested if staff/volunteers are required to transport children.

To safeguard the member of staff/volunteer the following good practice is required:

  • Agree a collection policy with parents/carers which will include a clear and shared understanding of arrangements for collection at the end of a session.
  • Always tell another member of staff/volunteer that you are transporting a child, give details of the route and the anticipated length of the journey.
  • Take all reasonable safety measures e.g. children in the back seat, seatbelts worn.
  • Where possible, have another adult accompany you on the journey.
  • Call ahead to inform the child’s parents/carers that you are giving them a lift and inform them when you expect to arrive.

COLLECTION BY PARENTS/CARERS

On some occasions, parents/carers can be late when picking their child up at the end of a session. It is not the responsibility of Drumchapel Sports Centre to transport children home on behalf of parents/carers who have been delayed. It is therefore important for the guidelines below to be followed:

- It is clear that while the club/session/training is running then leaders and coaches have a duty of care to the children that are in their charge. This is a principle of good practice and one, which we all should to sign up to.

- When the session has finished, obligations that we have under guidance, good practice and legislation still remain. We still have care and control of the child in the absence of a parent/carer or other responsible adult.

- To help avoid this situation occurring in the first place, here are some points to consider:

  1. Make sure that Drumchapel Sports Centre literature, application forms and consent forms;
  • Are clear about starting and finishing times of sessions.
  • Are clear about the expectations of parents/carers not to drop children off too early and collect children promptly when sessions finish.
  • Ask parents/carers whether they give consent for children to go home unaccompanied (according to their age and stage).
  • Have a late collection telephone contact and number on the partnership – parents/carer form.
  1. Where possible make sure that there is more than one adult/leader to lock up at the end of a session.
  2. Discuss and rehearse with members of staff/volunteers how to deal with being left alone with a child.  Put preventative measures in place (points 1 and 2) and draw up simple guidelines about how the situation should be dealt with if it arises. Although as a general rule we should not put ourselves in the position of being alone with a child there are exceptions and this situation is one of them. Remember the welfare of the child has to take precedence, so leaving children alone is not an option.
  3. That you have access to a record of the child’s address, contact telephone number and an alternative phone number e.g. of a grandparent or other responsible adult. You need this information to contact the adult responsible for the child and ask them to collect the child. If you are unable to contact anyone then you have to make a decision of whether to take the child home yourself (see point 5) or call the police (point 6)
  4. If you are left alone with a child, then transparency is the key. Keep a record of your actions (use the guidelines above in Transporting Children re; good practice to safeguard member of staff/volunteer) and make sure that you inform the Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer and parents/carers as soon as possible.
  5. When all else fails call the police.

TRIPS AWAY FROM HOME (INVOLVING OVERNIGHT STAYS)

1.         Designate a Child Protection Officer for the Trip

Those in charge of the group will be responsible for the safety and well-being of children in their care. It is recommended that one of the group leaders co-ordinates the arrangements to safeguard the safety and welfare of children during the trip. The Child Protection Officer should ensure all practical arrangements have been addressed and act as the main contact for dealing with any concerns about the safety and welfare of children whilst away from home. A detailed itinerary will be prepared and copies provided to the designated contact for Drumchapel Sports Centre and parents/carers.

 2.        Risk Assessment

Potential area of risk should be identified at the planning stage through a risk assessment, which should be recorded in writing. Safeguards should be put in place to manage the risks, where appropriate. Risk assessment should be an on-going process throughout the trip as groups can often find themselves in unexpected situations despite the best laid plans!

3.         Travel Arrangements

Organisers must ensure there is adequate and relevant insurance cover (including travel and medical insurance). If the trip involves travel abroad, organisers shall ensure they are aware of local procedures for dealing with concerns about the welfare of children and are familiar with the details of the emergency services in the location of the visit. Children should be informed of any local customs.

4.         Adult to Child Ratios

All trips away should be planned to involve at least two adults, preferably one male and one female where possible. The guidelines on adult to child ratios above, will inform an assessment of the numbers of adults required to safely supervise the group.

Those involved should be recruited and selected in accordance with the procedure for recruitment and selection of staff/volunteers in regulated work with children.

Group leaders should be familiar with and agree to abide by the Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Policy, Procedures and Code of Conduct.

5.         Accommodation

Organisers should find out as much as possible about the accommodation and the surroundings at the planning stage. Where possible, an initial visit to the venue/accommodation should take place to help those organising the trip identify all practical issues and allow time to address them in advance, in consultation with children and parents/carers where appropriate.

The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the practical things which should be considered in advance about the arrangements for accommodation:

  • Location: central and remote locations both present different challenges.
  • Accommodation facility: health & safety of building confirmed by owners/providers.
  • Sleeping arrangements. These will enable suitable sharing in terms of age and gender and appropriately located staff/volunteer bedrooms for both supervision and ease of access in case of emergency. Parents/carers and children should be consulted in advance about arrangements for sharing where possible and appropriate.
  • Appropriate safeguards where others have access to the sleeping quarters.
  • Special access or adaptive aids required by group leaders or children.
  • Environmental factors.
  • Personal safety issues.

Exchange Visits/Hosting

Before departure, organisers should ensure there is a shared understanding of the standards expected during home stays between them, host organisation/families, parents/carers and children themselves. These standards should include arrangements for the supervision of children during the visit. 

Host families should be appropriately vetted (adults should be PVG Scheme members) where possible or equivalent police checks undertaken and references thoroughly checked. Organisers, parents/carers and children should all be provided with a copy of emergency contact numbers.

Children should be aware of who they should talk to if problems arise during the visit. Daily contact should be made with all children to ensure they are safe and well.

Residential at a Facility/Centre

Organisers should ensure the facility is appropriately licensed and has adequate and relevant insurance cover in place. The facility should have a policy on the protection of children and Health and Safety. Adequate security arrangements should be in place and facility staff should have been appropriately vetted. Facility staff involved in the training or instruction of children must be appropriately qualified and trained.

Organisers should ensure there is adequate supervision of the group for the duration of the stay, particularly when the facility is being shared with other groups.

6.         Involving Parents/Carers

Where possible, a meeting should be held with parents/carers before departure to share information about the trip, answer their questions and make joint decisions about arrangements where appropriate. A Code of Conduct shall be agreed with children and parents/carers in advance of the trip along with sanctions for unacceptable behaviour.

Parents/carers must complete a Partnership with Parents/Carers Form and provide emergency contact details.

In the event of an emergency at home during the trip, parents/carers should be encouraged to make contact with the group leaders in the first instance so that arrangements can be put in to place to support the child on hearing any distressing news.

7.         During the Trip

Organisers must ensure arrangements are in place for the supervision and risk assessment of activities during free time. Children shall not be allowed to wander alone in unfamiliar places.

Group leaders should have clear roles and responsibilities for the duration of the trip. They must not be over familiar with or fraternise with children during the trip and remember that they are in a position of trust at all times. The use of alcohol and/or drugs or engaging in sexual relationships (between two young people) should not be condoned during the trip, even if the legislation relating to any of these behaviours is more lenient than in Scotland.

Group leaders should maintain an overview of the well-being of all children during the trip. This can help to identify issues at an early stage and resolve them as quickly as possible. Children can participate in this process by, for example, taking turns to complete a daily diary about the trip. This can be an overt or discreet way for them to communicate things (both positive and negative) that they want you to know.

8.         After the Trip

Where appropriate, a de-brief will take place with all those involved in the trip, including children. This will provide an opportunity to reflect on what went well, not so well and what could have been done differently. Feedback will be used to inform future trips.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY (ICT) AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Technology advances extremely quickly, meaning ways in which we communicate and receive and absorb information are changing all the time. This provides a great opportunity for organisations to promote their activities and communicate easily with members. But it can also put children and young people at considerable risk, which is why safeguards must be put in place.

Whether your organisation is considering setting up a social networking page or using email to inform young people about match details, be aware that the following guidelines should be met:

  • Where possible, try to ensure that no one is excluded, e.g. young people who may not have access to a mobile phone/internet etc;
  • that written permission is sought from parents/carers for all children under 16 years;
  • that the need for the technology is clearly identified and its use is specific;
  • that it is the organisation who is communicating information – one-to-one interaction is strongly discouraged and safeguards should be in place and settings adjusted to prevent this happening;
  • Children and young people should be briefed about the introduction of the technology. They should also be given information on how to keep themselves safe and who to report any concerns to Drumchapel Sports Centre.

All concerns about the inappropriate use of technology will be dealt with in line with the Drumchapel Sports Centre Complaints Policy, Performance Management*, Disciplinary Procedure* and/or Procedure for Responding to Concerns about a Child*/Concerns About the

  • Conduct of a Member of Staff or Volunteer*. This may include the concerns being reported to the police.

1. COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY

There are significant benefits for organisations using texts/emails and setting up social networking sites. Not only is it cheap, it’s one of the most direct forms of communication with young people. However, there are risks. Adults who seek to harm children have been known to use messaging to “groom” children. This area is now specifically addressed by the Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005.

For children and young people, the safeguarding risks of these technologies include:

  • inappropriate access to, use or sharing of personal details (e.g. names, email addresses);
  • unwanted contact with children by adults with wrongful/questionable intent;
  • being sent offensive or otherwise inappropriate material;
  • online bullying by peers;
  • grooming for sexual abuse;
  • direct contact and abuse.

For adults, risks involved include:

  • their communication with children being misinterpreted;
  • potential investigation (internal or by statutory agencies);
  • potential disciplinary action.

1.2 TEXT/EMAIL

Staff/volunteers must consider whether it is necessary to communicate with children via text and email. The general principle is that all communications with children should be open, transparent and appropriate. 

Good practice would include agreeing with children and parents/carers what kind of information will be communicated directly to children by text message. This information should only be “need to know” information such as the last minute cancellation of a training session.

In the first instance parent/carer consent must be obtained for all children under 16 years. Contact should always be made at the phone number/email address the parent has provided on the child’s behalf. Parents/carers should be offered the option to be copied in to any messages their child will be sent. Although consent is not legally required for young people aged between 16 and 18 it is still recommended that parents are informed of the intention to send their child(ren) emails or texts. It is also good practice to obtain the consent of the 16 to 18-year-old.

The following good practice is also required:

  • All phone numbers/email addresses of children and young people should be recorded and kept securely in a locked cabinet or password-protected electronic file or database;
  • The number of people with access to children and young people’s details should be kept to a practical minimum. A record should be kept of their numbers/addresses (preferably by the Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer.
  • Messages should never contain any offensive, abusive or inappropriate language. They should not be open to misinterpretation;
  • The organisation should be clear that messages should be sent only to communicate details of meeting points, training, match details, competition results etc. The same message should be sent to every member of the group/team. One-to-one messaging arrangements between coaches/volunteers and children should be strongly discouraged.
  •  

1.3 INTERNET

The internet brings with it an opportunity for organisations to extend their community profile, advertise and communicate easily with their members. Sometimes this is done via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Thought should be given to content, tone and how sites or social networking sites and pages will be monitored. In terms of publishing information and pictures the following good practice should be noted:

Permission

  • Written parent/carer consent must be obtained for all children aged under 16 before publishing any information or pictures of a child. If the material is changed from the time of consent, the parents/carers must be informed and consent provided for the changes.
  • Special care must be taken in relation to vulnerable children e.g. child fleeing domestic violence or a child with a disability, and consideration given to whether publication would place the child at risk.
  • Young athletes who have a public profile as a result of their achievements are entitled to the same protection as all other children. In these cases, common sense is required when implementing these guidelines. All decisions should reflect the best interests of the child.

Use of Images and Information

  • Information published on the websites/social networking sites must never include personal information that could identify a child e.g. home address, email address, telephone number of a child. All contact must be directed to Drumchapel Sports Centre. Credit for achievements by a child should be restricted to first names e.g. Tracey was Player of the Year 2002.
  • Children must never be portrayed in a demeaning, tasteless or a provocative manner. Children should never be portrayed in a state of partial undress, other than when depicting an action shot within the context of the sport. Attire such as tracksuits or t-shirts may be more appropriate.
  • Information about specific events or meetings e.g. coaching sessions must not be distributed to any individuals other than to those directly concerned.

Concerns

  • Any concerns or enquiries about publications or the internet should be reported to the Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer. 

1.4 SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

The following is recommended if the organisation decides to allow mutual access between it and its members (including children):

Permission

  • Obtain written permission from parents/carers of under 16s to allow mutual interaction with the organisation profile. Make parents/carers aware of the profile’s existence, the site the child will be accessing and the restrictions of use for this preferred site.
  • An official agreement should be in place which states that access to members’ profiles are used only to pass on relevant information or to answer questions regarding organisation or sport issues. This agreement should also be incorporated into the Drumchapel Sports Centre Articles of Association or Code of Conduct.
  • Set up a DRUMCHAPEL SPORTS CENTRE profile rather than staff/volunteer profiles. This avoids access from members to individual’s profiles.
  • Keep the DRUMCHAPEL SPORTS CENTRE profile on “private” - allowing only members access to it (the organisation can monitor this and accept or decline requests to join).

Concerns

  • Informal online “chat” with members around subjects outside the sport/activity should be immediately discouraged. Private matters or questions should also be discouraged. However, any disclosures should be removed from the site and dealt with in line with Responding to Concerns about a Child/Concerns about the Conduct of a Member of Staff/Volunteer.

1.5 INTERNET FORUMS

There has been an increase in the use and abuse of internet forums to target individuals or to engage contributors in debates which can cause upset and embarrassment to children and young people. Sites should be well monitored and any offending comments removed. A coach, member of staff or volunteer should refrain from being drawn into any debates concerning selection, performance or personalities – even where the subject of the discussion is anonymous. This could be considered a breach of the code of conduct or poor practice.

1.6 MOBILE PHONE CAMERAS/VIDEOS

There have already been a number of cases where children have been placed at risk as a result of the ability to discreetly record and transit images through mobile phones. There is also scope for humiliation and embarrassment if films or images are shared on popular websites such as YouTube. The use of mobile phones in this way can be very difficult to monitor.

The Procedure for the use of Photographs, Film and Video should be observed in relation to the use of mobile phones as cameras/videos. Particular care is required in areas where personal privacy is important e.g. changing rooms, bathrooms and sleeping quarters. No photographs or video footage should ever be permitted in such areas of personal privacy. 

PROCEDURE FOR THE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS, FILM AND VIDEO

Photos and video clips can be used to celebrate achievements, promote your activities and let people know that bit more about your team, club or sport. Footage is also recorded for performance development reasons. The aim of these guidelines is not to curb such activity but to ensure that children are protected from those who would seek to take or manipulate photos and video footage in a way that harms children or places them at risk of harm.

Some sports take place in areas where organisers have little or no control over the environment such as open river or areas to which the public have general rights of access e.g. the open countryside. In these circumstances, organisers should take all reasonable steps to promote the safe use of photographing and filming and to respond to any concerns raised.

  1. PHOTOGRAPHS, FILM and VIDEO

Scope

  • Drumchapel Sports Centre will take all reasonable steps to promote the safe use of photographing and filming at all events and activities with which it is associated. However, Drumchapel Sports Centre has no power to prevent individuals photographing or filming in public places.
  • Drumchapel Sports Centre reserves the right at all times to prohibit the use of photography, film or video at any event or activity with which it is associated.

Notification

  • Parents/carers and children will be informed they may, from time to time, be photographed or filmed whilst participating in Drumchapel Sports Centre events. This could be for one of the following reasons:

(i)         Video footage for performance development.

(ii)        Media coverage of an event or achievement.

(iii)       Promotional purposes e.g. website or publication.

  • Materials promoting events will state, where relevant, that photography and filming will take place.
  • Those who have sought and obtained permission to photograph or film will be formally identifiable e.g. a badge or sticker will be issued, after production of the letter of approval and identification (Request for Permission to Use Camera and Video Equipment and Notification to Applicant)
  • Information about what to do if concerned about photographing and filming will be available at all events.
  • Registration of intention to photograph will be required on the day. This enables tracking of the equipment and operator should concerns arise in the future.

Permission

  • Written consent must be obtained from the child’s parents/carers before any photography or filming takes place. 
  • Special care must be taken in relation to vulnerable children e.g. child fleeing domestic violence or a child with a disability, and consideration given to whether publication or use of the pictures/film would place the child at risk.
  • Young athletes who have a public profile as a result of their achievements are entitled to the same protection as all other children. In these cases, common sense is required when implementing these guidelines. All decisions should reflect the best interests of the child.
  • All actions by Drumchapel Sports Centre will be based on the best interests of the child.
  • No unsupervised access or one-to-one sessions will be allowed unless this has been explicitly agreed with the child and parents/carers.
  • No photographing or filming will be permitted in changing areas.
  • All images and accompanying information will comply with the Drumchapel Sports Centre Safe in Care Guidelines, where this is within the control of Drumchapel Sports Centre
  • Drumchapel Sports Centre will ensure that all negatives, copies of videos and digital photograph files are stored in a secure place. These will not be kept for any longer than is necessary having regard to the purposes for which they were taken.
  • Images will not be shared with external agencies unless express permission is obtained from the child and parents/carers.

Concerns

  • Anyone behaving in a way which could reasonably be viewed as inappropriate in relation to filming or photographing should be reported to the person in charge on the day. They should be approached for an explanation. If a satisfactory explanation is not provided, the circumstances should be reported to the person in charge on the day or Drumchapel Sports Centre Child Protection Officer.
  • Where appropriate concerns should also be reported to the police.

CLUBHOUSES AND CHANGING ROOMS

One of the areas where children are particularly vulnerable at many sports facilities is the locker/changing/shower room. Limited changing facilities sometimes mean that people of all ages regularly need to change and shower during the same period.

To avoid possible misunderstandings and embarrassing situations, adults need to exercise care when in the changing room at the same time as children. However, bullying can be an issue where children are left unsupervised in locker rooms, and a balance should be struck depending on the situation. In general, it is better if one adult is not alone to supervise in a locker room, and extra vigilance may also be required if there is public access to the venue. If, in an emergency, a male has to enter a female changing area, or vice versa, another adult of the opposite gender should accompany him or her.

The following advice may be useful:

  • Wherever possible, adults should avoid changing or showering at the same time as children.
  • Parents/carers need to be aware that on occasions, adults and children may need to share a changing facility.
  • It is recommended that particular attention is given to the supervision of children aged 10 and under in changing rooms. It is advisable for adults not to be alone with any such child under these circumstances.
  • If children are uncomfortable changing or showering in public, no pressure should be placed on them to do so.
  • While some organisations may be restricted to changing rooms for the purposes of team talks, if at all possible another area should be considered for this. If there are no other options, it is best practice to wait until all children are fully dressed.

VOLUNTEERS AGED 18 OR UNDER

There is no legal barrier to anyone aged 18 or under becoming a coach or volunteer with children or young people. If their remit falls into that of regulated work as per the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 then they should be subject to the same recruitment and selection procedures as other volunteers, including Scheme Record/Scheme Record Update (note that there is no lower age limit with regards to PVG Scheme Membership).

Anyone under 16 is defined as a child (under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995), and it is not recommended that they take up regulated work with children.

They can, however, be encouraged to help out and should be supervised by a more senior qualified coach or volunteer who has been appropriately vetted. In turn, the organisation has a responsibility to support the supervising coach.

Remember that young coaches or volunteers may come under different pressures (e.g. lack of respect from peers, closeness in age could lead to possible relationship) so regular supervision, training and extra support is recommended.

It is important that adult to child ratios are reassessed as a young volunteer may not be experienced/capable of overseeing a group of children and young people.

PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO BULLYING BEHAVIOUR

Bullying may be seen as particularly hurtful behaviour where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves, it can be a ‘one-off’ occurrence or repeated over a period of time, and can take many forms including children being bullied by adults, their peers and in some cases by members of their families. Bullying can be difficult to identify because it often happens away from others and those who are bullied often do not tell anyone. Bullying is not always deliberate.

Examples of Bullying

  • Physical e.g. theft, hitting, kicking (in some cases, this might constitute an assault).
  • Verbal (including teasing) e.g. spreading rumours, threats or name-calling, ridicule or humiliation.
  • Emotional e.g. isolating a child from the activities or social acceptance of the peer group.
  • Cyberbullying e.g. sending insulting messages via text or emails; posting images or upsetting information on social networking sites or forums etc.
  • Using abusive or insulting behaviour in a manner which causes alarm or distress.
  • Prejudiced based – singling out children who are perceived as different due to, e.g.  race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, children who are asylum seekers, looked after children, young carers and so on.
  • Having belongings stolen or damaged.
  • Being targeted because of who the child is or who they are perceived to be.

Signs which may raise concerns about bullying include:

  • hesitation or reluctance to attend training or activity

 

  • often last one picked for a team or group activity for no apparent reason, or being picked on when they think your back is turned
  • reluctance to go to certain places or work with a certain individual
  • clothing or personal possessions go missing or get damaged
  • bruising or other injuries
  • ‘losing’ pocket money repeatedly
  • becoming nervous and withdrawn
  • suddenly prone to lashing out at people, either physically or verbally, when normally quiet

When talking about bullying, it’s never helpful to label children and young people as ‘bullies’ or ‘victims’. Labels can stick for life and can isolate a child, rather than helping them to recover or change their behaviour. It is preferable to talk about someone displaying bullying behaviour rather than label them a ‘bully’ – behaviour can be changed with help and support

Action to help children and young people on the receiving end of bullying behaviour:

  • Cultivate an ethos where there’s an anti-bullying culture – it is especially important that adults are good role models for children and young people.
  • Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
  • Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns. Help those being bullied to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in authority. Create an open environment.
  • Take all allegations seriously and take action to ensure the young person is safe. Speak with those being bullied and those displaying bullying behaviour separately.
  • Reassure the young person that you can be trusted and will help them, although you can’t promise to tell no-one else.
  • Keep records of what is said i.e. what happened, by whom and when.
  • In cases of cyber bullying advise young people who are being bullied by text, email etc to retain the communication or to print it out.
  • Report any concerns to the person in charge at the organisation where the bullying is occurring.

Support for children and young people involved in bullying behaviour:

  • Talk with the young person (or people), explain the situation and try to get them to understand the consequences of their behaviour.
  • In some cases, it might be worth considering seeking an apology from those involved in bullying behaviour (for example where those on the receiving end wish reconciliation). Apologies are only of real value however, when they are genuine.
  • Be sensitive and use good judgement when it comes to informing parents/carers of those whose negative behaviour is impacting on others. Put the child at the centre – will telling the parents/carers result in more problems for the young person?
  • If appropriate, insist on the return of 'borrowed' items and compensation for the person/people being bullied.
  • Impose consequences as necessary, e.g. exclusion from the team until behaviour standards are improved. Sport offers good opportunities for this.
  • Encourage and support those displaying bullying behaviour to change this behaviour. Ask them to consider the impact their actions are having.
  • Keep a written record of action taken. 

What can your organisation do?

Creating an anti-bullying ethos is the best prevention. We should not underestimate the importance of the behaviour of adults as they are role models for children and young people.

Strategies and solutions do not come in ‘one size fits all’. Each case is unique and requires an individual response to the individual situation. What might work in one situation might not work in another. You might have to adopt different strategies before finding one that is effective.

It is also important to ask for help and support if you need it to deal with a bullying incident. The Useful Contacts list has more details but www.respectme.org.uk, ChildLine and ParentLine Scotland are useful contacts to know.

SAFE IN CARE - PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS/CARERS FORM

 

Drumchapel Sports Centre values the involvement of children in our sport. We are committed to ensuring that all children have fun and stay safe whilst participating in Drumchapel Sports Centre. To help us fulfil our joint responsibilities for keeping children safe. Drumchapel Sports Centre have Safe in Care Guidelines. These Guidelines tell you what you can expect from us when your child participates in Drumchapel Sports Centre events and details the information we need from you to help us keep your child safe.

We need you to complete this form at the start of every season and to let us know as soon as possible if any of the information changes. All information will be treated with sensitivity, respect and will only be shared with those who need to know.

Child’s Name:

 

Date of Birth:

Address:

 

 

Postcode:

Tel No:

Emergency Contact Name:

 

Relationship to Child:

Emergency Contact Tel No:

Late Collection Contact:

 

Relationship to Child:

Contact Tel No:

Name of GP:

 

Tel No of GP:

Address of GP:

 

Postcode:

  1. GENERAL & MEDICAL INFORMATION

Please complete the following details. If none, please state “none”.

  1. Does your child have a disability/medical condition that will affect their ability to take part in sport? If yes, please give details:
  2. Does your child take any medication?  If yes, please give details:
  3. Does your child have any existing injuries (include when injury sustained and treatment received)?  If yes, please give details:
  4. Does your child have any allergies, including allergies to medication? If yes, please give details:
  5. Is there any other relevant information which you would like us to know about your child? (e.g. access rights, disabilities, etc.)
  6. CONSENT – MEDICAL TREATMENT

I consent / I do not consent (delete as appropriate) to my child receiving medical treatment, including anaesthetic, which the medical professionals present consider necessary.

 

  1. CONSENT – TRANSPORTATION OF CHILDREN

I consent / I do not consent (delete as appropriate) to my child being transported by persons representing Drumchapel Sports Centre as individual members or affiliated clubs for the purposes of taking part in Table Tennis

I understand Drumchapel Sports Centre will ask any person using a private vehicle to declare that they are properly licensed and insured and, in the case of a person who cannot so declare, will not permit that individual to transport children.

  1. CONSENT - PHOTOGRAPHS AND PUBLICATIONS (INCLUDING WEBSITE)

Your child may be photographed or filmed when participating in Drumchapel Sports Centre events

I consent / I do not consent (delete as appropriate) for my child to be involved in photographing/filming and for information about my child to be used for the purposes stated in Drumchapel Sports Centre Safe in Care Guidelines.

 

  1. CONSENT – CONTACT INFORMATION

 Drumchapel Sports Centre may contact your child from time to time via email, text or social networking site.

I consent / I do not consent (delete as appropriate) for my child to be contacted via email, text or social networking site for the purposes stated in Drumchapel Sports Centre Safe in Care Guidelines. I do / do not (delete as appropriate) wish to be copied in to these messages.

 

  1. CONSENT – SIGNATURE

1. I am aware of the Safe in Care Guidelines for Drumchapel Sports Centre and agree to work in partnership with Drumchapel Sports Centre to promote my child’s safe participation in Drumchapel Sports Centre events

2. I am aware of Drumchapel Sports Centre Code of Conduct and Child Protection Policy and Procedures.

3. I undertake to inform Drumchapel Sports Centre should any of the information contained in this form change.

 

Parent/Carer’s Signature:                                                                            Date:                                      

(Please state relationship to child if not parent)

 

Print Name:                                                                                       

 

REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO USE CAMERA AND VIDEO EQUIPMENT

 

This form must be completed by individuals seeking permission to use camera or video equipment. 

 

Section A       To be Completed by the Applicant

 

Name:

 

Designation:

Address:

 

 

Postcode:

Venue/event:

 

Date:

Purpose:

 

 

I declare that the pictures/film(s) produced will not be altered in any way without prior written permission of the person(s) concerned. I understand that I may only use the pictures/film(s) for the purpose stated above. I have read and agree to abide by Drumchapel Sports Centres Safe in Care Guidelines and Child Protection Policy. 

Signature:                                                                                          Date:                                      

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Section B        For Official Use Only

 

Application    APPROVED / REFUSED       (delete as appropriate)

 

Signed:

 

Date:

Print Name:

 

Designation:

Reason for refusal

 

 

 

Now complete “Notification to Applicant” form, and keep a copy of this form. 

NOTIFICATION TO APPLICANT

 

Your application has been ACCEPTED / REFUSED (delete as appropriate) for use as follows:

 

Name:

 

Designation:

Venue/event:

 

Date:

Purpose:

 

 

Permission granted by:

 

Designation:

Signature:

 

Date:

 

NOTE: Proof of identity and this letter of approval must be produced on request at the event or activity to which it relates.