CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

This policy is also used by the club for the protection of vulnerable adults.

Terminology

The term "volunteer" refers to club members, volunteers and members of the Executive Committee

The term "Harriers" refers to the club

Welfare officers:

Gary Dunlop, Claire O'Callaghan, Andrew Walker

Statement of Commitment

South Shields Harriers & AC believes that young people have the right to:

- Grow up unharmed

- Have the opportunity to develop emotionally and physically without threat

- To have their basic needs met

Aims of this Policy

- to ensure that Harriers' members and volunteers are aware of the abuse that goes on in our society

- to ensure that all volunteers see it as part of their duty of care to be alert to signs of abuse

- to ensure that prompt and appropriate action is taken where there's concern that a young person's well being may be threatened

- to ensure that young people are in a safe environment with people they can trust

Definitions of Child Abuse (The Children Act 1989)

Neglect -is the persistent or severe neglect of a child, or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold and starvation, or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the child's health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive.

Physical injury - is the actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury (or suffering) to a child.

Sexual abuse - is the actual or likely sexual exploitation of a child, or adolescent.

Emotional Abuse -is the actual or likely severe adverse effect on the emotional and behavioural development of a child caused by persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection.

Means of Delivering the Aims

All volunteers to be provided with a copy of this policy

All volunteers to sign, accepting that they have read and understood this policy

The Harriers' Child Welfare officers are the designated "Child Protection Specialists"

The Welfare officers and management committee will be responsible for the review and updating of this policy

Confidential information will be stored in sealed envelopes in an offsite office filing cabinet

The Harriers will offer training to volunteers on Child Protection on a regular basis

Recruitment

All coaches and Harriers' officers will be required to satisfactorily complete the following recruitment process.

Undergo a CRB check (enhanced for anyone working directly with young people)

Must have completed, as coaches,a Level 1 Athletics coaching course

Reporting concerns, suspicions and allegations

If you have any suspicion that a young person is or has been abused:

Discuss concerns immediately with the coaches, then decide whether action needs to be taken immediately, and contact the Harriers' Welfare officers if necessary.

The Welfare officers will offer advice regarding the next stage. This will either be contacting Children's Services immediately or logging the concerns. The choice will be based on the nature of the abuse i.e. whether it is significant harm

Record any facts and discussions which support the suspicion. Sign, date and forward any paper work to the Welfare officers.

In the unlikely event that you are unable to contact the Welfare officers, it is essential that you seek advice from Children's Services immediately

If a young person is about to disclose abuse:

Explain clearly the Harriers' confidentiality policy. You have a responsibility to notify the Welfare officers or Children's Services in the event of a disclosure. Never promise that the information will remain secret.

Allow the young person to speak, never interrupt. Even if you have an idea about the context, never put words in mouths or finish the sentence. However difficult this may be, the information needs to come direct from the young person, in the eyes of the law.

Never question the young person or attempt to investigate.

Try to alleviate feelings of guilt and isolation, remain non-judgemental, and offer support

Most importantly LISTEN.

What to do after a disclosure:

All information relating to an incident of child abuse is strictly confidential. It should only be discussed with:

- the Welfare officers

- Children's Services

- the Police

Make notes - These should include information about the details disclosed, together with a note of your actions. The report should be sealed and marked confidential and passed to the Welfare officers. All notes need to be made within 24 hours of the disclosure otherwise they may not be admissible in court.

Seek supervision and support from the Welfare officers. Dealing with child abuse can be one of the most difficult and distressing areas of youth work. Do not underestimate how it may make you feel.

Avoid being alone with young people, if during your work it becomes necessary then ensure that it is in full view of others

Do not allow young people onto the premises until sufficient leaders are present

Protecting Yourself as a Leader

Do not give lifts home to young people without first requesting permission or notifying the senior worker. Where appropriate lifts should be avoided if possible-use the phone to get parents to pick children up. If it cannot be avoided try to give lifts to children in pairs or more

Do not take young people to your home

Do not make inappropriate contact with young people

Do no leave young people in the presence of adults who are not suitably trained or CRB checked

Do not show favouritism to young people

Do not give out personal address or phone number to young people

How to Manage Allegations

If an allegation is made, or suspicions occur regarding anyone working with young people on behalf of the Harriers you MUST:

- Immediately report to the coaches, if appropriate

- Notify the Welfare officers

If the allegations relate to this person you should report to Children's Services.

The following should then be actioned:

- Make a detailed factual record of the allegation and action taken

- Suspend the person involved

- Advice the relevant external bodies (Children's Services, Police)

- Contact the parents of the young person and provide appropriate support

- Ensure that all information relating to the allegation remains confidential

External Contacts

Children's Services South Tyneside Council 0191-4245010 Out of hours:0191-4562093

Police (The Family Unit) 0191 4547555

Adopted February 2010



Where and When we meet

Gypsies Green Stadium
Sea Road
South Shields
Tyne And Wear
NE33 2LD

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