The Southdown Sports Club aims to create an enjoyable, safe and secure environment for all children and young people who wish to take part in sport and social activities at the club. We believe that young people have the right to be treated with respect, be free from abuse, and to have their concerns listened to and acted upon. We will do this by:
o Appointing a Child Officer who is responsible for the safety of children and young people, and who will act as the main point of contact for parents, children and outside agencies
o Ensuring that the club provides for the needs of junior members through specific programmes, designated facilities, and safe practice.
o Ensuring that all our coaches, officials and volunteers are carefully selected and by accepting responsibility for helping to prevent the abuse of children and young people in their care.
o Responding swiftly and appropriately to all suspicions or allegations of abuse, by providing parents and children with the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have.
o Have procedures in place to ensure good practice both while young people are at the club and while travelling to sports events elsewhere.
o Ensuring the Club's Child Officer and at least one coach in each section of the club has attended Child Protection Training recommended by the sport agencies to which the club is affiliated (e.g. LTA, Squash England) and refresher courses as required.
o Ensuring that any club volunteers or professionals working with children are suitable to do so, through the use of references and background checks. We will ensure that all relevant people have been vetted and approved through the Criminal Record Bureau disclosure process and have completed the Club's Self Declaration Form.
o Ensuring that all of those working with children are made aware of the Club's Code of Conduct for People Working With Children, and are required to follow it.
o Ensuring that all photography and written information (e.g. notices, website, publicity, newsletters and media coverage) is in accordance with the Club's Media Policy and Guidelines on the Use of Images of Children/Young People under the age of 18. This includes ensuring that at junior tournaments or any events where children are present, photographers other than parents/coaches must obtain permission from the Event Organiser, Tournament Director or Referee to be at the event.
o Ensuring access to confidential information is restricted in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Code of conduct for people working with children
All adults providing or assisting with activities for children and young people have special responsibilities to the children. Abuse takes a number of forms and affects children in different ways. You should be very aware of the impact of your words and actions on young players. Good conduct not only prevents incidents and allegations, but also helps to highlight any conduct (by other people) that is unsafe or unprofessional. Those working with children in sport should:
1. Be professional and maintain the highest standards of personal behaviour at all times.
2. Recognise the trust placed in adults by children, and recognise the power held over children by adults. Treat this trust and this power with the highest responsibility.
3. Try to work in an open and accountable manner at all times. Work in view of others wherever possible, be wary of working alone and unobserved, and be willing to accept questions or criticism regarding good practice.
4. Expect others to work in an open and accountable manner. Question and criticise the practice of others if necessary.
5. Not be under the influence of drink, drugs or any illegal substance.
6. Use appropriate and respectful forms of discipline and communication. Physical aggression, intimidation, verbal abuse, rebuke and persistent shouting are not acceptable. Any form of assault (e.g. hitting, kicking, pinching) should be regarded as a serious incident. Positive messages are most effective.
7. Use appropriate language. Don’t swear, and never make sexual or suggestive comments to a child. If a child makes such comments, enforce these boundaries in your response.
8. Not appear to favour one child or show interest in one child more than another.
9. Not discriminate against a child because of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious belief or sexual identity.
10. Use physical contact with players only where necessary. If contact is necessary, (e.g. for the purposes of coaching or first-aid), then explain to the child what the contact is for, and change your approach if he or she appears uncomfortable. Any form of sexual activity with a young person is unacceptable and could lead to disciplinary or legal action.
11. Design and use training methods and programmes appropriate to the individual child.
12. Be aware of situations that could be misunderstood or manipulated by other adults. For example, if a coach or official is alone with a child in a clubhouse, changing room or car, he or she may be vulnerable to allegations of misconduct.
13. Be vigilant and aware of how actions can be misinterpreted by children. Actions made with good intentions can seem intrusive or intimidating to some children. Sometimes children become attracted to the adults working with them. Adults should be aware of the impact of their actions, and should sensitively address any misunderstanding.
14. Comply with the Club's Guidelines on the Use of Images of Children/Young People, Equality and Diversity Policy and Health and Safety Policy. Always ensure you have emergency contact details, medical history and full address details for all young players.
15. Operate a signing and out register for activities involving children and young people.
If a concern about a child’s welfare comes to your attention:
Recognising the signs of abuse can be difficult unless there are signs of physical or behavioural change. However, the possibility of abuse may be suspected from something the child says, or by something another person says or from something seen or heard. It is important to be aware and vigilant, and to deal with facts in an objective manner. Take seriously any suspicion or allegation of abuse, or any disclosure of concern made by a child (or adult).
16. If a concern comes to your attention, record information, including relevant details. Be sure to record opinions or feelings as such; do not record them as facts. Do not question or interview the people involved in the incident of concern.
17. For a child to disclose abuse takes great courage, however they are telling you because they want your help and for it to stop. Don't make promises of confidentiality, but explain that you will need to contact other professionals who will be able to help. Listen to what the child says and not suggest ideas. Use open questions (i.e. that cannot be answered simply by "yes" or "no"). Record what is said as soon as possible. It is important to use the exact words spoken by the child, recording facts and not opinions.
18. You must report any concerns within the area of Child Protection (physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect or bullying), in confidence and without delay, to the Club's Child Officer.
19. It is very important that you do not tell anyone else about the complaint until you discussed the situation with the Club's Child Officer. This includes the alleged offender or club official.
20. Complete the Club's
21. Any information you give, or the fact that you gave it, will always remain confidential.
The Southdown Club's Child Officer
Name Nigel Baker
Telephone 01273 480630
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