Child Protection Policy
The welfare of the Child is paramount
We will support victims of abuse
Confidentiality will be respected except where this could compromise the welfare of children
The club will take steps to ensure the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and protect them from abuse.
The Club will appoint and train a Child Protection co-ordinators.
If abuse is suspected, by any member of the Club they are to discuss their concerns with a Child protection co-ordinator.
Any allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and if appropriate referred to the statutory authorities promptly. No confrontation will be held with any member of the family or other suspect.
Records will be kept of meetings where children are present.
All sessions involving children of young people will be staffed by at least two leaders.
Periodic meetings will be held for children and leaders, to deal with child protection and other matters as necessary.
The child protection officer will have responsibility, on behalf of the Club for the implementation and enforcement of this policy
Appropriate checks will be undertaken of all new and established leaders.
All leaders will be given a copy of this policy and asked to sign to confirm their acceptance of the policy.
Unfortunately the abuse of children and young people is a reality: abuse can be in many forms - sexual, physical, and emotional and neglect. Abuse may be by parents, relatives, by friends and associates or rarely strangers. Child abuse is rare; however there is a need to be prepared for incidents, and to ensure that the Club itself is not used as a vehicle which enables abuse. It is therefore important that there is a Child Protection Policy in place, and that the requirements of the policy are known about and implemented by all members of the Club especially those who lead the mini rugby section.
Potential abusers do not fit any stereotype, can come from all walks of life and may be male or female. Our club is an open community where a welcome is extended to all: it is our duty to ensure that it is a place where children can develop safely: emotionally, spiritually and socially.
There may be occasions when children who have been abused will put their trust in an adult who they have met and developed a rapport with through the club, and seek assistance by confiding in them. Equally the behaviour of a particular child may result in a leader being concerned about the child. It is important that those responsible for the care of the children recognise such behaviour, and know what to do in these circumstances.
For these reasons, this policy has a number of aims:
To ensure the safety and welfare of children and young people whilst at the club or taking part in any club organised activities.
To enable leaders to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse, and provide a way for them to deal with ant suspicions they may have.
To protect leaders from any false allegations
To ensure that if a member or visitor to the club are known to be , or believed to be , a risk to children , then appropriate steps and agreements can be reached with them without prejudicing the welfare of the children
The club is not the only influence on children’s’ lives ,we work with and complement the work of parents schools and other organisations in the nurture and care of children so they can grow healthily in mind , body and spirit.
Scope of Policy
This policy has been adopted by the Management committee of the Northolt Rugby Club. It applies to children and young peoples groups which are organised by the Club
It is not intended to apply to casual users of the Club premises, for instance private lets: however hirers are to be made aware that there may be other users of the building at the same time as they are and are strongly advised to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to ensure the protection, safety and welfare of any children whilst on the premises.
Responsibility for this Policy and its implementation
The Child Protection officer will monitor and review this policy and report to the Annual Committee meeting. The policy will be reviewed annually.
Leaders must appreciate they are acting on behalf of the Club when working with children and maintain appropriate standards of behaviour.
They must be aware of their responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of children and young people in their care, and ensure they are always in a position to discharge this responsibility.
They should, for instance, avoid intoxicants such as alcohol when in a position of leadership.
Parents / Guardians are responsible to ensure that their child is collected punctually at the end of a session.
All members of the Club is asked to comply with the policy. The policy will be published and distributed, copies made available on request. A copy will be kept on the notice board. The Child Protection Co-ordinator will be responsible for ensuring that the copies are insitu and are up to date.
Child Protection Co-ordinators
The club will nominate and have trained to a suitable standard a number of child protection co-ordinators whose role will be to act as advisor to the Club and discuss child protection issues with other co-ordinators, leaders and officials as and when appropriate .Such discussions are to be confidential although in appropriate cases they will communicate the concerns of the Club to the Local Authority Social services or the Police.
A register will be maintained for the attendance of each children’s activity on a meeting by meeting basis and include which leaders were present at any session and whether any visitors attended, and their names and addresses. Any unusual incidents should be logged. The register should also contain emergency contact information for the child parent, guardian or carer. Any visiting children should be registered with their names address, contact number and status (Parent, Guardian etc) of the persons bringing them. The log will also provide a useful place to record if, for instance, a child is to be collected other than by one of its parents or carers.
The register will be kept securely locked away. Leaders are to collect and return it to the Club at each session.
There will be an annual meeting, where child protection issues will be discussed, this will be open to all leaders and those involved with children and young people. It will be to refresh and inform leaders about the child protection policy and will review the policy and implementation.
It is the responsibility of the Club to organise.
The club will have the right to call other meetings as necessary. The meetings will not discuss any individuals or concerns about specific children.
In the event of abuse by any persons being suspected by any member of the club, they will, at the next possible opportunity, discuss it with one of the Child Protection Co-ordinators. If there are sufficient grounds for concern, then the information and records will be communicated to the appropriate authorities without delay. Leaders and Co-ordinators are encouraged to make confidential notes about the incident as soon as possible, whilst their memories are fresh.
Even minor concerns should be raised with the co-ordinator as they may form part of a bigger picture.
It is not the role of the club to investigate child abuse itself, and it is inappropriate for the Club leadership to approach, challenge or speak to an alleged abuser about the allegations or concerns as this may prejudice any subsequent investigation.
In the event of a child telling a leader or other club member of abuse the role of the leader is to listen to, reassure and support the child.
When the child has finished the appropriate actions for the adult could include:-
a) to record the allegations in writing , and maintain those records confidentially but securely for future reference
b) to discuss the allegations at the earliest possible opportunity with the Child Protection Co-ordinator
c) to contact the Police via the 999 service if there are allegations that the child has been subject to a recent serious assault or is likely to return to a place where their safety is prejudiced
The Club acknowledges the need for confidentiality; the leaders have a duty to ensure that all records are kept confidential: those discussions are held in places where they cannot be overheard. A file will be maintained in the club safe , with individual records being retained within that file in sealed envelopes marked confidential , with sufficient details on the outside of the envelope to enable identification of the case only.
Protection of the Leaders
Unfortunately, allegations can on occasions be made against leaders, and these can be hugely damaging. In order to prevent this all sessions should, where possible, be held in the presence of a minimum of two leaders. Leaders should avoid being alone with a child.
If an outing is planned, parents should sign a detailed permission form. Transport arrangements should be made so that young people do not travel in a car with just one adult. In the event of this being necessary as an exception the young person should sit in the back.
Helping victims of abuse
Abuse has a serious effect on victims and families: we will seek to assist by providing support, advices and contact information about other expert agencies, as requested by the victims.
Appointment of Leaders
We welcome and encourage as many people as possible to take an active leadership role. The leadership role is generally on a voluntary basis and we are grateful to those who give freely of their time.
Leaders are drawn from a wide selection of society, Leaders and others involved in youth work will be issued with a copy of this policy and associated guidance: they will be asked to sign an agreement that they will discharge their leadership responsibilities properly at all times and will be asked to give their consent for Police and / or other checks to be made. Payment for these checks will be made by the Club.
The Child Protection Co-ordinators are authorised to arrange such checks, and jointly review the returns, on behalf of the Club.
Procedures and Code of Practice
Any procedures and guidelines used by leaders are to be attached to this policy.