The Sussex Otters Swimming Club

Child and Vulnerable Persons Protection Policy

 

Our Protection Policy Statement

Sussex Otters Swimming Club has a duty of care to safeguard all children and vulnerable persons involved with The Sussex Otters Swimming Club from harm. All children and vulnerable persons have a right to protection and the needs of all must be taken into account. Sussex Otters Swimming Club will ensure the safety and protection of all children and vulnerable persons involved through adherence to the Child and Vulnerable persons guidelines adopted by the Sussex Otters Swimming Club. ( A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 years Ė The Children Act 1989. )

Policy Aims

The aim of the Sussex Otters Swimming Club Child and Vulnerable Persons Protection Policy is to promote good practice:

Promoting Good Practice

Child and vulnerable person abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to take.

Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. Any suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document.

When a person enters the club having been subjected to abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the personís self-esteem. In such cases the club must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure that the person receives the required support.

Good Practice Guidelines

All volunteers should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are commonsense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.

Good Practice means:

Practices to be avoided

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If a case arises where these situations are unavoidable (eg the child / vulnerable person sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent/carer fails to arrive to pick a person up at the end of a session), it should be with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the Club or the childís/vulnerable personís parents/carers.

Otherwise, avoid:

Practices never to be sanctioned

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

NB It may sometimes be necessary for volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children and vulnerable persons, particularly if they are young or disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents/carers and the persons involved. There is a need to be responsive to a personís reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a person to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.

Incidents that must be reported/recorded

If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to another colleague and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child/vulnerable person are informed:

 

Use of photographic/filming equipment at sporting events

There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled sportspeople in vulnerable positions. All clubs should be vigilant and any concerns should to be reported to the Club Protection Officer.

 

Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers

The Sussex Otters Swimming Club recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children or vulnerable persons in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from helping with them.

Pre-selection checks must included the following:

Volunteers can broadly be divided into two categories:-

Section A

Young people completing the "Service" section for the Duke of Edinburgh Award and those persons who have disabled family members in the Sussex Otters Swimming Club and are already known to the Club.

Section B

Other persons who have shown an interest in helping (either at the Pool side or in an Administrative capacity) having been introduced to us through one of our advertisements or our web site.

 

All volunteers will be required to undergo an interview carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations and should receive an informal induction, during which:

Training

In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help volunteers to:

Sussex Otters Swimming Club requires that where possible:

 

Criminal Records Bureau Checks:

As all current helpers, volunteers and Management Committee have been known to the Club for a number of years, it is not considered necessary that CRB checks be carried out on these members. This arrangement will need to be reviewed should the law require it.

 

Responding to allegations or suspicions

It is not the responsibility of any volunteer of Sussex Otters Swimming Club to decide whether or not abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.

Sussex Otters Swimming Club will assure all volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone who in good faith reports his/her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child/vulnerable person.

Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:

The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation, but not necessarily.

Action

1. Concerns about poor practice:

2. Concerns about suspected abuse:

Confidentiality

Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only.

This includes the following people:

Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser.

Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (eg that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).

Internal enquiries and suspension

Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse

Allegations of previous abuse

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (eg by an adult who was abused as a child or by a volunteer who is still currently working with children/vulnerable persons).

Where such an allegation is made, the club should follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police. This is because other children/vulnerable persons, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Protection of Children Act 1999.

Action if bullying is suspected

If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in 'Responding to suspicions or allegations' above.

Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in sport:

Action towards the bully(ies):

3. Concerns outside the immediate swimming environment (eg a parent or carer):

4. Information for social services or the police about suspected abuse:

To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should include the following:

If you are worried about sharing concerns about abuse with a senior colleague, you can contact social services or the police direct, or the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or Childline on 0800 1111.

Declaration

The above policy was agreed at a Committee Meeting of the Sussex Otters Swimming Club held on 3 April 2007 and will be subject to an annual review. The Club Protection Officer will take all necessary steps to ensure that it is adhered to.

signed - M.A.Morris

Chairman.



The Club/Child Protection Officer for the Sussex Otters Swimming Club is:-

Michael A. Morris

Telephone: 01243 781259