These procedures should be read in conjunction with:
Child and Vulnerable Persons Protection Policy Statement.
Codes of Conduct
Anti Bullying Policy
Social Media Policy
All policies are available on our website or as a paper copy on request.
It is imperative that all coaches, volunteers, officials and parents read and fully understand the clubs Child and Vulnerable Persons Protection & Safeguarding Policy to ensure that all club members are protected from harm and safe to enjoy sport.
Our Codes of Conduct outline our expectations on acceptable behaviour when working with our members.
1. The Role of our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Officer
• To act as a point of contact in all issues relating to the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and to ensure all appropriate documentation and forms are in place.
• To ensure the club has a Child Protection Policy and implementation plan;
• To ensure Codes of Conduct are well publicised and followed;
• To ensure that all adults at the Club in contact with children and vulnerable adults are Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked.
• To ensure that the Child Protection Policies and procedures are kept up to date with current statutory requirements.
• To maintain an awareness and vigilance of activities taking place at the Club and to maintain familiarity with those in contact with children;
• Ensure all parents are aware of the club policy on Child Protection and that the correct protocol for voicing concerns is maintained and disseminated to parents;
• Be aware of local Social Services and Area Child Protection Committee contacts;
• To keep up to date with child protection issues and to act as a source of reference within the Club for any matters concerning child welfare.
2. Guidance for the Appointment of Coaches, Volunteers & Officials
When appointing a teacher, volunteer or official, it is essential for the person to undertake the following:
• The individual has been screened to check his/her suitability to work with Young People. Ideally this screening process will involve an official Enhanced DBS check, or otherwise will be a self-declaration form and references.
• The individual should be screened every three years.
• To complete an induction form to indicate that they have read and understood the: Code of Conduct, Role Description, the Club Constitution, The Child Protection Policy, and the Equity Statement.
3. Guidelines on Photography and Use of Video
The Club will:
• Always ask parents/guardians/carers to give their permission for photographs and/or video footage of their child(ren) to be taken and used to ensure that they are aware of the way the image will be used to represent the club or sport.
• If consent has not been given, all committee members and designated photographers will be informed Accompanying text will only use the members first name.
• Only use images of Children or Vulnerable Adults who are fully clothed or wearing an item of clothing over their swimming costume that covers their top half.
• Action shots of swimmers are permissible if the swimmer can not be identified.
• Encourage the reporting of inappropriate use of images of Young People. If you are concerned, report your concerns to the Club Child Welfare Officer
4. Guidelines on Transportation
The club organises transport for some away galas and some social events.
In these events:
• Members under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult
• A medical and contact information form must be completed and submitted to the Team Manager.
• Club members are responsible for independent travel from the venue, should unforeseen circumstances occur.
• Lifts may be organised between club members on a private basis. This is not organised by the club, therefore Turtles Swimming Club does not accept any responsibility for these arrangements.
• All members are responsible for organising transport to and from Turtles sessions.
5. Types of Abuse
Abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. It commonly occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility and is an abuse of power or breach of trust. Abuse can happen to a child, young person or vulnerable adult regardless of their age, disability, gender or race. Abusers can be adults (male or female) and other young people, and are usually known to and trusted by the child and family.
There are four main forms of child abuse:
• Physical abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Emotional abuse
The abuser may be a family member, or they may be someone the child encounters in residential care or in the community, including during sports and leisure activities. An individual may neglect a child directly, or may be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person harming that child/young person.
6. Bullying and Harassment
Bullying can be defined in the following ways:
• Physical: e.g. hitting, kicking and theft
• Verbal: e.g. name-calling, constant teasing, sarcasm, racist or homophobic taunts, threats and gestures
• Written: e.g. graffiti, letter or mobile text messaging
• Emotional: e.g. tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating and ignoring
• Sexual: e.g. unwanted physical contact or abusive comments
The damage inflicted by bullying can frequently be underestimated. It can cause considerable distress to Young People, to the extent that it affects their health and development or, at the extreme, causes them significant harm (including self-harm).
It is not the responsibility of those working in the club to decide that bullying or harassment is occurring, but it is their responsibility to act on any concerns.
This is to be read in conjunction with our Anti Bullying Policy.
7. Reporting Procedures Action to take if you suspect a child/vulnerable adult is being harmed
It is your responsibility to act upon any concerns you may have about poor practice or potential abuse arising from complaints, concerns, observations, allegations and/or disclosures. The reporting of such concerns should never be delayed and allegations made by Children or vulnerable adult must never be dismissed.
If you have cause for concern for whatever reason (may be simply a gut feeling), it is vital that an accurate written record of what you have heard or observed is recorded as soon as possible. It is imperative that a note be kept of all complaints, injuries or behaviours that cause concern. This information should be recorded on an Incident Report Form, which should be immediately signed and dated and should be kept securely.
Information must be as detailed as possible as it may be used in any subsequent legal action. See incident report (appendix 3)
Remember, this information should remain strictly confidential.
If you have serious concerns about the immediate safety of a child or vulnerable adult, contact Police by dialling 999.
When responding to a disclosure you need to always:
• Stay calm
• Keep an open mind
• Listen carefully to what is said and take the Young Person seriously
• Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others - do not keep secrets
• Ask questions for clarification only, and at all times avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer
• Reassure the child/vulnerable adult that they have done the right thing by telling you
• Tell them what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared
• Record in writing what was said using the child/vulnerable adults own words as soon as possible.
• Report the incident to the Club Child Welfare Officer or another committee member
You must report your concerns or any information received immediately to the Club Child Welfare Officer (Andy Wallis), who will refer the matter to an appropriate statutory agency, such as the Police or Childrens Services (formerly Social Services) or to the NSPCC at the earliest opportunity.
You should give or send the completed Incident Report Form to the Club Child Welfare Officer as soon as possible in a sealed envelope marked Private and Confidential. No copies of this form should be kept.
A record must also be made of the name and designation of the Childrens Services member of staff or Police Officer to whom the concerns were passed, together with the time and date of the call, in case any follow-up is needed.
The Club Child Welfare Officer or Statutory Services (e.g. Police, Childrens Services etc) are then responsible for deciding the next course of action to be taken to ensure the safety of the child/young person in question and any other child/young person who may be at risk.
On referring the matter to Childrens Services or the Police, the Club Child Welfare Officer will seek guidance on their next course of action to ensure that they do not take any steps that will adversely affect a resulting investigation.
8. Confidentiality & Information Sharing:
The Club is aware that the Government has published guidance on information sharing as part of Every Child Matters, which explicitly highlights the importance of sharing information to protect the welfare of all children.
The Club recognises that it is important for decisions to share information are made using case-by-case judgements and that, in all cases, the safety and welfare of a child or young person must always be the overriding consideration.
All concerns will be taken seriously and managed accordingly within the Clubs policies and procedures for the Safeguarding the welfare of Children and Vulnerable Adults in sport.
9. If an allegation is made against you
Any concerns involving the inappropriate behaviour of an Adult/Young Leader towards a Child or Vulnerable adult will be taken seriously and investigated.
If you are the person who is the centre of an allegation, the situation will be explained to you and you may be asked to stop working with Children/vulnerable adults in the Club. This may result in suspension from activity within the Club and the sport whilst a full investigation is carried out. This is not an assumption of guilt but is to protect all parties involved.
On completion of the investigation, depending on the outcome, the Club and other appropriate agencies will assess the appropriateness of you returning to work with Children/Vulnerable adults in the Club and how, if applicable, this will be managed.
Appendix 1. Principles of Good Practice
• Ensure that the sport is fun, enjoyable and fair play is promoted.
• Treat all Young People and Vulnerable Adults equally, with respect and dignity.
• Always put the welfare of each Young Person and Vulnerable Adults first, before winning or achieving goals.
• Always work in an open environment (e.g. avoid private or unobserved situations and encourage an open environment, e.g. no secrets).
• Build a balanced relationship based on mutual trust, which empowers Young People and Vulnerable Adults to share in the decision-making process.
• Ensure the activity is appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of participants.
• Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of Young People and Vulnerable Adults, avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.
• Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback, rather than negative criticism. Never ridicule or shout at a participant for making a mistake or losing.
• Ensure that if any form of manual/physical contact is required, it should be provided openly and only when necessary. Always ask parent/ carer permission.
Appendix 2 Principles of Poor Practice
The following practice will place Young People or Vulnerable Adults and those working with them in a vulnerable position and is deemed to be poor practice. If poor practice is identified through a complaint or referral, this may result in an investigation and disciplinary action in terms of various relevant authorities (as listed at the end of this procedure).
All individuals working with Young People or Vulnerable Adults should avoid the following practice.
You should NEVER:
• Spend time alone with Young People or Vulnerable Adults away from others.
• Take Young People or Vulnerable Adults to your home.
• Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games.
• Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching or physical abuse.
• Allow Young People or Vulnerable Adults to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
• Make sexually suggestive comments to a Young Person or Vulnerable Adult, even in fun.
• Show favouritism or personally reward a Child, Young Person or Vulnerable Adult.
• Reduce a Young Person or Vulnerable Adult to tears as a form of control or use humiliating punishments.
• Allow allegations made by a Young Person or Vulnerable Adult to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
• Do things of a personal nature for Young People or Vulnerable Adults that they can do for themselves.