POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR THE WELFARE OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN RUGBY UNION
This Appendix should be read in conjunction with the Welfare of Young People in Rugby Union Guidance (Guidance Document).
1. Roles and responsibilities
1.1. In order that the RFU/W Child Protection policy is implemented effectively there has to be recognition that RFU/W, Constituent Bodies, member Clubs and schools must work together, each with a role to ensure that young people enjoy rugby union in a safe environment. The Policy and Procedures for the Welfare of Young People in the Sport of Rugby Union is to be applied to all young players who are under 18. Within RFU Regulations a male player is permitted to play in the adult game when he reaches his 17th birthday. In these circumstances, paragraph 2.1(f) below cannot practically be applied. However, those responsible for the management of adult teams which include 17 year olds must at all times be mindful of their safety and wellbeing.
1.2. The RFU/W must:
a) Appoint a designated person to manage Child Protection;
b) Produce a national Child Protection Policy;
c) Produce a Child Protection Implementation Plan;
d) Manage the implementation of CRB disclosure;
e) Produce relevant resources to support the Child Protection Policy;
f) Delegate the management of cases to CBs where appropriate in accordance with RFU regulations;
g) Appoint a disciplinary panel when necessary; and
h) Ensure all appropriate individuals and bodies are informed of disciplinary decisions and ensure they are acted on.
1.3. The Constituent Body (CB) must:
a) Appoint a Welfare Manager (see Guidance Document, Appendix 2 for Terms of Reference);
b) Ensure that each Club has a Child Protection Policy;
c) Co-ordinate the management of CRB disclosure;
d) Ensure that all reported cases are managed in line with RFU/W Policy (See Guidance Document Section 4);
e) Manage Child Protection Disciplinary cases when instructed by RFU;
f) Monitor a minimum of 10% of Clubs per year; and
g) Identify a disciplinary panel which, where necessary, will be convened to hear cases of poor practice as identified by the RFU Child Protection Officer (see Guidance Document, Appendix 1).
1.4. Each Rugby Club must:
a) Appoint a Welfare Officer (plus another person to undertake the role in the absence of the designated person) who will act as the first point of contact for concerns about the welfare of young people (see Guidance Document, Appendix 2 for Terms of Reference);
b) Publish a Child Protection Policy within the Club. This must include all the detail set out in paragraphs 1.4 to 4.2 of this Policy and Procedures for the Welfare of Young People in the Sport of Rugby Union;
c) Ensure that all officers and committee members are aware of their responsibility in this area and that the Club respond to any indication of poor practice or abuse in line with RFU/W Policy (see Guidance Document, sections 4 and 5);
d) Implement a policy of Best Practice for all adults working with young people (see Guidance Document section 8, Appendix 3, and RFU Fair Play Codes);
e) Ensure that all relevant members who have regular supervisory contact with children or a management responsibility for those working with young people undertake an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure; and
f) Identify a disciplinary panel which, where necessary, is able to manage cases of poor practice as identified by the RFU Child Protection Officer (See Guidance Document Appendix 1).
2. Prohibited practices
2.1. Coaches, managers or volunteers including all professional staff must never:
a) Take young people to their own home or any other place where they will be alone with them;
b) Spend any amount of time alone with young people away from others;
c) Take young people alone on car journeys, however short;
d) If it should arise that such situations are unavoidable they should only take place with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the Club/governing body and/or a person with parental responsibility for the young person. In exceptional circumstances where a coach, manager or volunteer cannot obtain the consent of the someone in charge in the Club/governing body and/or person with parental responsibility for the young person then if it is in the welfare interest of the young person, paragraphs 2.1(a) and 2.1(c) do not have to be followed. If this occurs the adult must record the occurrence with the Club/governing body welfare officer.
e) Engage in rough, physical games, sexually provocative games or horseplay with children/ young people;
f) Take part as a player in any dynamic contact games or training sessions with young people. If there is a need for an adult to facilitate learning within a coaching session through the use of coaching aids e.g. contact pads, this should be done with the utmost care and with due regard to the safety of the young players;
g) Share a room with a young person unless the individual is the parent/guardian of that young person;
h) Engage in any form of inappropriate sexual contact and/or behaviour;
i) Allow any form of inappropriate touching. (See Guidance Document, Appendix 4);
j) Make sexually suggestive remarks to a young person even in fun;
k) Use inappropriate language or allow young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged;
l) Allow allegations by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded, or not acted upon;
m) Do things of a personal nature for a young person that they can do for themselves unless you have been requested to do so by the parents/carer (Please note that it is recognised that some young people will always need help with things such as lace tying, adjustment of Tag belts, fitting head guards and it is also recognised that this does not preclude anyone attending to an injured/ill young person or rendering first aid);
n) Depart the rugby Club or agreed rendezvous point until the safe dispersal of all young people is complete;
o) Cause an individual to lose self esteem by embarrassing, humiliating or undermining the individual;
p) Treat some young people more favourably than others; or
q) Agree to meet a young person on their own on a one to one basis.
3. Positions of Trust
3.1. All adults who work with young people are in a position of trust which has been invested in them by the parents, the sport and the young person. This relationship can be described as one in which the adult is in a position of power and influence by virtue of their position. Sexual intercourse or touching by an adult with a child under the age of 16 years is unlawful, even where there is apparent consent from the child. A consensual sexual relationship between an adult in a position of trust within the rugby setting and a child over 16 years of age is contrary to the Policy and Procedures for the Welfare of Young People in the Sport of Rugby Union.
3.2. Adults must not encourage a physical or emotionally dependant relationship to develop between the person in a position of trust and the young person in their care.
3.3. All those within the organisation have a duty to raise concerns about the behaviour of coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators and professional staff which may be harmful to the children, young people in their care, without prejudice to their own position
4. CRB Disclosure
4.1. All adults who have regular supervisory contact with young people must undertake CRB disclosure within 8 weeks of their appointment to a position which involves regular supervisory contact with young people. These adults will include:
- Professional Staff
- All coaches/assistant coaches
- Heads of Mini/Midi Rugby sections
- Heads of Youth Rugby Sections
- Team Managers
- All Referees who regularly officiate mini/midi and youth games
- Welfare Officers
- Club administrators
4.2. CRB disclosures must be conducted through the RFU Child Protection Department who have jurisdiction to deal with any matter arising from any such disclosure.