The concept of Whistle Blowing is important in any organisation that is committed to maintaining appropriate levels of safeguarding and good practice. Whistle Blowing allows individuals to raise issues of poor practice or misconduct by members and helpers.

Children and vulnerable adults are more susceptible to abuse and all adults who help at our club, must look to safeguard their welfare. We believe it is necessary to develop a culture where concerned individuals can raise issues about unacceptable practice and misconduct in a safe and supportive environment.

Whistle Blowing is an important part of the safeguarding of children/vulnerable adults in swimming, delaying raising concerns does not deal with them, it just delays the inevitable and may cause matters to get worse. Such matters will seldom, if ever, improve by being ignored and the damage to the children/vulnerable adults involved will inevitably increase.

When is it necessary to whistle blow, a member or volunteer may witness or be told about a situation of poor practice, a failure to safeguard or even an incident of abuse in which a colleague is implicated.

For example: a child/vulnerable adult might tell you of something that has happened to them while receiving support from a helper; or you might become suspicious about the behaviour of a member or helper; or a parent might make an allegation of abuse involving someone working with their child/vulnerable adult.

If you have a concern, it should be referred to the club Child/Vulnerable Adult Protection Officer or another appropriate member of the club committee. Anyone who refers a colleague or fellow club member in good faith will be supported by the Committee. Anyone against whom a concern is raised will have the concerns dealt with properly. Upon further investigation by two members of the committee it may be necessary to resort to our disciplinary procedure or refer to a statutory agency.

Once the concern has been raised, the Club Child/Vulnerable Adult Protection Officer will take action as appropriate. The person raising the concerns is likely to have mixed emotions at their action, as colleagues are seen as people to trust implicitly and suspecting unpleasant things about a colleague is hard.

It may be the person concerned finds it hard to accept what is being alleged and to think that the person raising the concern is disloyal. Alternatively they may fear victimisation if they raise a concern against a colleague. It is not unusual to feel this way but it is important to consider the welfare of the child/vulnerable adult as paramount and not allow your judgment on what is the right action to be taken to be clouded by personal feelings and beliefs.

We recognise that a person referring concerns involving a colleague may need additional support in light of the action they have taken.

Revised October 2017

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