Child Protection Policy


CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Thurrock Harriers AC will endeavour at all times through its provision of coaching to:

  • promote the welfare, health and full development of children and protect them from harms of all kinds
  • recognise that children have rights as individuals and treat them with dignity and respect
  • raise awareness about what children are entitled to be protected from
  • plan coaching sessions so as to minimise opportunities for the children to suffer harm
  • develop effective procedures for responding to alleged or suspected incidents of abuse
  • a child is defined as anyone who is under the age of 18 years
 
PROTECTING CHILDREN,COACHES AND HELPERS

To reduce the likely situations for abuse of children and to help protect the coaches and helpers from false accusations of abuse, everyone should be aware of the following guidelines.

As a rule it is not advised to:
spend excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others;
take children alone on a car journey, however short;
or take children to their home.
Where occasions arise when the above is unavoidable, such instances should occur with the full knowledge and consent of the child’s parent/guardian.

Coaches and Helpers should:
Always ensure that the parent/guardian collects the child.
For the older child who may wish to travel to the track, circuit training or race on their own, written permission from the parent/guardian must be obtained.

Coaches and Helpers should not:
Leave a child alone with someone else.
Be alone with a child in the changing room.
Treat a child for an injury alone and away from others.
Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
Let allegations a child makes go unchallenged or unrecorded.

ORGANISED TRIPS
For trips such as a weekend competition, where a child will be travelling without a parent, additional steps should be taken to ensure the welfare and protection of the child.

The following list is a guideline for the trip:
  • Parents/guardians must be given full information about a trip.
  • Parents/guardians written permission must be given for a child to be included on the trip.
  • The coach/team manager/helper must be aware of any special medical problems a child has and must be satisfied that they can be dealt with.
  • Written permission must be given by the parent/guardian that in extreme circumstances, medical attention can be given to a child.
  • Coaches, team managers and helpers are responsible for the welfare and safety of the children whilst they are on the trip.
  • The children must be adequately supervised at all times.
  • There should be a minimum of two adults accompanying the children on a coach trip. If the group consists of both sexes then male and female supervision should be provided.
  • If a coach/team manager/helper is providing a lift in a car to a coaching session or race meeting, permission must be obtained from the parent/guardian and any necessary insurance cover provided.
RECORDING ALLEGATIONS OR SUSPICIONS OF ABUSE
In all cases where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of the club, a record of the incident must be made, using the Child Protection Report form. Copies of this form are available from either Child Protection Officer. Once completed it should be given to the club’s Child Protection Officers who will record it in the Incident Record Book. Further investigation will be the responsibility of the clubs Child Protection Officers.

This report contains:
Name of the child
The age of the child
The parent’s name
Home address and telephone number
Nature of the concern:
  • Is the person making the report expressing their own concerns or passing on those of someone else.
  • What has prompted the concerns? Give dates and times of specific incidents. Any physical signs? Behavioural signs? Indirect signs?
  • Has the child been spoken to? If so, what was said?
  • Have the parents/guardians been contacted? If so, what was said?
  • Has anybody been alleged to be the abuser? If so record details.
  • Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details.
The Child Protection Officers will assess all allegations promptly and decide on appropriate action.
If it is a concern by a coach, team manager or helper as to the possible abuse of a child then they will report the concerns to the Child Protection Officers, on the Child Protection Report form. The CPO will investigate and after consultation report the concerns to Social Services and other agencies.
Full documentation will be kept. All information will be treated as confidential and held securely by the Child Protection Officers.

CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER/S

The Child Protection Officers for Thurrock Harriers AC will be responsible for:
  • Implementation of the Child Protection Policy within the Club.
  • Undertake any training that may be needed, keep up to date with any new guidelines that may be issued by the Governing Body of the Sport, NCF or Social Services.
  • Ensure that all club coaches, helpers, officials complete a volunteer reference form and agreement to adhere to the clubs Child Protection Policy and keep these up to date.
  • Keep up to date records of all qualifications of coaches, helpers and officials.
  • Receive and advise on reports from coaches, helpers, and any other club member.
  • Ensure that parents, children and young people know the Child Protection Officers are available to discuss any concerns.
  • Initiate action where appropriate. Once identified, concerns must be reported to the appropriate services, i.e. Social Services, Police.
  • Keep confidential any matter or information referred to them.
  • Keep and record all information.
  • Ensure the Chairperson is kept informed where appropriate.
Thurrock Harriers AC Child Protection Officers currently are:
JILL BOOSEY & DAVID STAINES & CLAIRE WHITBREAD

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR
DO treat everyone with respect.
DO provide an example you wish to follow.
DO run coaching sessions in sight or hearing of others.
DO respect a young person's right to privacy.
DO provide access for young people and adults to feel comfortable enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like and provide a caring atmosphere.
DO maintain a healthy adult lifestyle.
DO use common sense in selecting subjects to demonstrate skills on.
DO remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.
DO recognise that caution is required especially in sensitive moments of counselling such as when dealing with bullying, bereavement or abuse.
DO have separate sleeping accommodation for coaches and children.
DO NOT permit abusive youth peer activities (e.g. ridiculing, bullying).
DO NOT have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with others.
DO NOT jump to conclusions about others without checking facts.
DO NOT allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking behaviour such as tantrums or crushes but deal firmly and fairly with such behaviour at all times.
DO NOT exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues.
DO NOT show favouritism to any individual.
DO NOT make any suggestive remarks or gestures or tell jokes or stories of a ‘smutty’ nature to children.
DO NOT rely on your good name to protect you - it may not be enough!
DO NOT believe "it can never happen to me" - it can!
DO NOT get close to or have physical contact with a young person without clearly explaining what you are doing (e.g. correcting position of a foot in a throw or a stretching routine etc.).

All adults coaching, managing teams, helping or coming into contact with children or young people under the aegis of activities of Thurrock Harriers AC must comply with the Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour of the Club.

As one such person you are required to sign a copy of this document. By signing you agree to comply with the Policy and to follow the Code of Behaviour. The signed form should be returned to a Child Protection Officer. Thurrock Harriers AC accepts that in matters concerning child protection the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration.

It is the policy of Thurrock Harriers AC to safeguard the welfare of the children and all others involved in its activities by protecting them from physical, sexual and emotional harm.

Everyone coaching, and helping with children and young people will be required to disclose all convictions, whether spent or not.

Anyone involved with an offence involving abuse or causing harm to children will be subject to disciplinary action, which could include expulsion from Thurrock Harriers AC and prohibition from participating in the activities of the Club and include notifying the appropriate authority.

Persons against whom allegations of such offences have been made, which appear well founded, will be denied access to children even though they may not have been convicted of a relevant offence. Any person so accused does have the right to appeal against this decision.

If you suspect a child is being abused:
1a. immediately tell a Child Protection Officer.
2a. record the facts as you know them on a CPR form and give a copy to your Child Protection Officer.
3a. ensure that the child has access to an independent adult.
4a. ensure that no other situation arises which could cause any further concern.
If a child discloses to you abuse by someone else:
1a. allow the child to speak without interruption, accepting what is said.
2b. alleviate feeling of guilt isolation, while passing no judgement.
3b. advise that you will try to offer support, but that you must pass the information on.
4b. same steps as 1a-4a as in suspecting a child is being abused.
If you receive an allegation about any adult or about yourself:
1c. immediately tell your Child Protection Officer.
2c. record the facts as you know them on a CPR form and give a copy to your Child Protection Officer.
3c. try to ensure that no-one is placed in a position which could cause further compromise.
You must report and refer any abuse; you must not investigate.

I agree to adhere to Thurrock Harriers Athletic Club Child Protection Policy and to follow the code of behaviour issued.
NAME …………………………………………………..(print)
Signed ………………………………………………….
Date ……………………………………………………..


Volunteer Information Form (Coach/ Team Manager /Official/Helper)
Surname ………………………………………………………………..
Forename ………………………………………………………………
Address …………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………….Post Code ………………………
Telephone No…..…………………Mobile No………. ………………
Coaching Qualifications
…………………………………..Grade………………Exp Date……
First Aid Qualification
……………………………………………..Exp date ………………….
Other Information you feel relevant ………………………………..
……………………………………………………………………………..
I DECLARE THAT I HAVE NEVER BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY OFFENCE AGAINST A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 18.

Signed………………………………………Date………………………


 REPORT FORM


Name of Person making reportDate
Name of ChildAge
Parents NameTelephone No.
Home Address

Nature of Concern
Is the person making the report expressing their concerns or passing on concerns of someone else.


What has prompted the concerns. Are signs physical, behavioural, indirect or a mixture.


Details of incident/s, giving dates and times.


Has the child been spoken to? If so, what was said.


Have the parents/guardian been contacted? If so what was said. (continue on separate page if required)