Child Protection Policy Good practice guidelines

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Facebook Детейлинг check It is important to develop a culture within the Club where both children and adults feel able to raise concerns, knowing that they will be taken seriously, treated confidentially and will not make the situation worse for themselves or others.

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Some children may be more vulnerable to abuse or find it more difficult to express their concerns.  For example, a disabled child who relies on a carer to help them get changed may worry that they won’t be able to sail any more if they report the carer.  A child who has experienced racism may find it difficult to trust an adult from a different ethnic background.

 

Minimising risk   

Plan the work of the organisation and promote good practice to minimise situations where adults are working unobserved or could take advantage of their position of trust.  Good practice protects everyone – children, volunteers and staff.

 

Common sense guidelines should be available to everyone within your organisation i.e.

 

  • Avoid spending any significant time working with children in isolation
  • Do not take children alone in a car, however short the journey
  • Do not take children to your home as part of your organisation’s activity
  • Where any of these are unavoidable, ensure that they only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge of the organisation or the child’s parents
  • Design training programmes that are within the ability of the individual child.
  • If a child is having difficulty with a wetsuit or buoyancy aid, ask them to ask a friend to help if at all possible
  • If you do have to help a child, make sure you are in full view of others, preferably another adult

 

You should never:

  • engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games
  • allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
  • allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged, or use such language yourself when with children
  • make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
  • fail to respond to an allegation made by a child; always act
  • do things of a personal nature that children can do for themselves.

 

It may sometimes be necessary to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are very young or disabled.  These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of both the child (where possible) and their parents/carers.  In an emergency situation which requires this type of help, parents should be fully informed.  In such situations it is important to ensure that any adult present is sensitive to the child and undertakes personal care tasks with the utmost discretion.

 

Responsibilities of staff and volunteers

 

Make sure your staff or volunteers are given clear roles and responsibilities, are aware of your organisation’s child protection policy and procedures and are issued with guidelines on:

  • following good practice
  • recognising signs of abuse

 

Changing rooms and showers                  

Shower areas should, where possible, be designed to allow both adults and children to shower and dress in reasonable privacy.  As a minimum there should be separate male and female changing rooms and, if relevant, unisex disabled changing.  If there is an opportunity to redevelop or refurbish changing facilities, clubs/centres should endeavour to provide some family changing areas similar to those provided at public swimming pools.

 

It is preferable for adults to stay away from the changing rooms while there are children there.  If this is unavoidable because adults are sailing at the same times, or the site is open to the public, it is better if one adult is not alone.  Parents should be made aware that adult club members and/or members of the public may be in the changing rooms.

 

Bullying can be an issue in changing rooms and showers.  If a child alleges bullying or shows signs of being bullied, this must be investigated.  Safeguarding and child protection procedures should include an Anti-Bullying policy   Children could be asked to sign up to the Club Code of Conduct .

 

If it is essential, in an emergency situation, for a male to enter a female changing area or vice versa, it is advised that they are accompanied by another adult of the opposite gender.

 

The use of cameras or smart phones/tablets in changing areas should not be permitted in any circumstances.  Such use by young people should be regarded as a form of bullying.

 

Additional vulnerability

Some children may be more vulnerable to abuse or find it more difficult to express their concerns.  For example:

  • a disabled child who relies on a carer to help them get changed may worry that they won’t be able to sail any more if they report the carer
  • a deaf child may not be able to express themselves or speak confidentially if they need an interpreter
  • a child who has experienced racism may find it difficult to trust an adult from a different ethnic background
  • children with low self-esteem or mental health problems can be more vulnerable to bullying or abuse, as can gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender young people, or any child who has a characteristic that marks them out in others’ eyes as ‘different’.

 

Grooming                             

Grooming is when someone develops a relationship with a child over a period of time to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation. Children and young people can be groomed online or face-to-face, by a stranger or by someone they know – for example a family member, friend or professional.    Sometimes the perpetrator grooms the entire family, building a relationship with the child’s parents/carers so that they are allowed more access to the child than would normally be the case. Similar behaviour could be used to radicalise young people and recruit them to a religious or political cause

 

Bullying

If a child alleges bullying or shows signs of being bullied, this must be investigated  Safeguarding and child protection procedures should include an Anti-Bullying policy.

 

Children and young people could be asked to sign up to the Club Code of Conduct (see Sample Document 5) or to agree their own Code as a group.

 

Parental responsibility and club liability                                                 

Parents play an essential part in their children’s participation, but occasionally their desire to see their child achieve success can put the child under too much pressure or give rise to friction between families or interference in coaching.  Clubs and class associations may wish to consider adopting a Code of Conduct  that can be signed up to by everyone involved, whether they are participants, parents, staff or volunteers, so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities towards each other and appropriate action can be taken if anyone’s behaviour fails to meet the expectations set out in the Code.

 

Although clubs have a duty of care to their members, and particularly to young people who cannot take full responsibility for their own safety, parents must be responsible for their children’s welfare and behaviour, or designate another adult to take that responsibility, outside formal club-organised activities.

 

When children are attending an organised training or coaching session or activity, the organisers have a duty of care for their safety and welfare at all times.  If the club/class/centre requires a parent (or designated responsible adult) to be on site, it must be made clear at what point responsibility transfers from the instructor, coach or organiser to the parent.

 

 

First aid and medical treatment

First aid, provided by an appropriately trained and qualified person, is part of an organisation’s normal duty of care. Obtain consent if medication or medical treatment is required in the absence of the parent/carer

 

Organising and hosting events

When hosting an open junior or youth event at your club, liaise with the relevant class association to ensure that all involved in the organisation of the event are operating to similar policies.  It should be made clear to all young competitors and their parents that there is someone responsible for their welfare who can be contacted if they have any concerns.

 

 

Communicating with young people

The world of the internet, social media and apps is constantly and rapidly evolving and it is hard to keep up to date, but it is important for parents and for anyone working with young people to develop some understanding of how they use technology, the risks involved and how to keep them safe.

Club websites and social media

When promoting your club and encouraging your members to interact online, there are a few issues to bear in mind in relation to children and young people:

  • follow the RYA guidance on the use of images of children (see Photography section below)
  • ensure that the content and language on your site or page, including contributions to blogs, forums etc, is not inappropriate for younger visitors and does not link directly to unsuitable material on other sites
  • provide a clear process for parents and others to report inappropriate content or online bullying and to request that content is removed
  • have a robust procedure for handling and assessing such a report or request and acting promptly to remove the offending content.

 

Coaches and Instructors

When working with children and young people you are advised to:

  • where possible have a business phone and a personal phone
  • only contact sailors on your business phone (or using your organisation’s text system)
  • avoid using over-familiar language and try to copy in the child’s parent/carer
  • only communicate regarding organisational matters, not for social or personal contact.

When using social media, it is recommended that you:

  • have a personal and a professional page for your social media
  • do not allow young sailors to follow or be friends with your personal account
  • set your privacy settings as high as possible on your personal account
  • challenge the way that young sailors post or comment to you or others on social media if it is inappropriate
  • educate young sailors about the boundaries between them and their Coach or Instructor.

 

Coaches on the RYA’s Youth and Junior squad programmes are expected to comply with the RYA Youth Racing Communications Policy.

 

Parents

Organisations are responsible for the content published on their sites, but parents must accept responsibility for their children’s access to and use of computers, tablets and smartphones.  See the links at the top of this page for guidance.

 

Children and young people

Unfortunately online communication and texting can often be used as a means of bullying.  ‘Cyberbullying’ should be treated in the same way as any other form of bullying.

 

Photography, images and video                                                           

Publishing articles, photos and videos in club newsletters, on websites, in local newspapers etc is an excellent way of recognising young people’s achievements and of promoting your organisation and the sport as a whole.  However it is important to minimise the risk of anyone using images of children in an inappropriate way.  Digital technology makes it easy to take, store, send, manipulate and publish images.

 

There are two key principles to bear in mind:

 

Before taking photos or video, obtain written consent from the child and their parents/carers for their images to be taken and used

 

  • A consent form could be included with the event entry form (see Sample Document 6 for sample consent form).
  • Any photographer or member of the press or media attending an event should wear identification at all times and should be fully briefed in advance on your expectations regarding his/her behaviour and the issues covered by these guidelines.
  • Do not allow a photographer to have unsupervised access to young people at the event or to arrange photo sessions outside the event.
  • Consent should also be obtained for the use of video as a coaching aid.  Any other use by a coach will be regarded as a breach of the RYA’s Code of Conduct.
  • Care must be taken in the storage of and access to images.

 

When publishing images, make sure they are appropriate and that you do not include any information that might enable someone to contact the child

 

  • It is preferable to use a general shot showing participants on the water, or a group shot of the prize winners, without identifying them by name.
  • If you are recognising the achievement of an individual sailor and wish to publish their name with their photo, DO NOT publish any other information (eg. where they live, name of school, other hobbies and interests) that could enable someone to contact, befriend or start to ‘groom’ the child.
  • Ensure that the young people pictured are suitably dressed, to reduce the risk of inappropriate use.

 

Most sailing activity takes place in areas that are open to the public and it is therefore not possible to control all photography, but any concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography, or about the inappropriate use of images, should be reported to the organisation’s child protection/welfare officer and treated in the same way as any other child protection concern.  Parents and spectators should be prepared to identify themselves if requested and state their purpose for photography/filming.