1.1 Overarching aims
1.3 Children’s Wellbeing in Scotland
1.4 Risks to Children’s Wellbeing in Scottish Football
1.5 Everyone’s Responsibility
- POLICY STATEMENT
Foreword on Children’s Wellbeing – Vice-Chairman Michael Hogarth.
This policy is designed to ensure that every child and young person that plays football for this club, or visits our club is safe, feels secure and is able to enjoy any time that they spend with us. This is a fundamental right and I recommend that this document should be read, understood and actioned upon by everyone at this club.
Michael Hogarth, Vice-Chairman Vale of Leithen Football Club. August 2022
Definition of the Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy
The Club’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy includes:
- Introduction – Overarching Aim, Definitions, Children’s Wellbeing in Scotland, Risks to Children’s Wellbeing in Scottish Football, Everyone’s Responsibility and Review
- Policy Statement
- Set the Standards – Behaviours, Expectations and Requirements
- Procedures – Appointment and Selection, Responding to Concerns and Case Review
- All associated Practice Notes
Herein all the documents listed above will be referred to as the ‘Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy’ or ‘this policy’.
Definition of Child
Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that everyone under 18 has the rights set out in the Convention. Within the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, a child is defined as anyone who has not reached the age of 18.
For the purpose of this policy “children”, “child”, “young person” and “young people” refer to any persons under the age of 18.
The Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy applies to all children and young people regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion, nationality, socio-economic status or family circumstance.
Definition of Adult
For the purpose of this policy an “adult” is any individual aged 18 and over or any individual under the age of 18 years old but who is in a ‘position of trust’.
Definition of Child Abuse
Child abuse is the act or omission that harms a child or young person. An individual may abuse a child or young person directly, or may indirectly be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person from harming that child or young person, or their inaction leads to harm or the risk of harm. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual or by neglect. Abuse can take place in person or online. Although typically thought of as when an adult is mistreating a child or young person, children and young people can also be perpetrators of abuse against other children or young people.
Definition of Safeguarding
Safeguarding is taking action to ensure that all children and young people are safe from harm when involved in football. It means proactively doing everything possible to minimise risk and prevent abuse of children and young people.
Definition of Child Protection
Child protection refers to the actions in response to a specific concern for a child or young person who is at risk or suffering from abuse. Child protection is an essential part of safeguarding if there is a concern that a child or young person is being abused or their safety is compromised.
Getting It Right for Every Child
The Scottish Government’s Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) is based on children’s rights, and its principles reflect the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The GIRFEC approach is child focused, based on an understanding of the wellbeing of a child or young person in their current situation, and based on tackling needs early in a collective way. As part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, the concept of wellbeing and the GIRFEC approach is now enshrined in law in Scotland.
The GIRFEC approach supports children and young people so that they can grow up feeling loved, safe and respected, and can realise their full potential. Children and young people should be; Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible, Included. These are the eight wellbeing factors and are commonly known as SHANARRI Indicators.
A child or young person’s wellbeing is influenced, both positively and negatively, by everything around them and the different experiences and needs they have at different times in their lives. There is no set level of wellbeing that a child or young person should achieve, but each child should be helped to reach their full potential as an individual. The wellbeing indicators make it easier for everyone to be consistent in how they consider the quality of a child or young person’s life at a particular point in time.
By having a universal language and understanding for everyone who works with children and young people, collectively we can contribute to promoting, supporting and safeguarding a child’s wellbeing whether they are in an educational, health, community or sport setting. It is essential that in Scottish football the wellbeing indicators are understood and if worried that something is impacting a child or young person’s wellbeing, staff and volunteers know how to respond and with whom to share that information.
A wellbeing concern is if a child’s wellbeing (measured using the 8 SHANARRI indicators) is, or is at risk of being, adversely affected.
A range of experiences can have a negative impact on children and young people. These can range from harmful or abusive behaviour to a family bereavement or social economic factors, such as poverty. The nature of a wellbeing concern will influence how to support the child or young person.
Behaviour which is abusive or neglectful and is, or is likely to cause harm, will often be referred to as a ‘child protection concern’. Regardless of whether a concern is a wellbeing or child protection concern, it must be responded to in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure.
1.4 Risks to Children’s Wellbeing in Scottish Football
The protection and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in Scottish football must be a priority for everyone working, volunteering or participating in the game, including spectators. For children and young people involved in football there may be risks associated with their involvement whether it be injury, the despair of their team losing, or exposure to poor practice or abusive behaviour. It is essential that those working or volunteering with children and young people are alert to the associated risks and take steps to prevent, minimise or respond to the risks.
In addition to recognising risks to all children and young people, it is important to understand that some children and young people may be more vulnerable to particular risks associated with taking part in football.
The Club is committed to ensuring the safety of all children and young people in football across all levels of the game. Children and young people who have additional care needs or who come from a minority ethnic group may face a range of additional challenges. Club staff and volunteers will be encouraged and supported to challenge, and address any behaviour or attitudes which compromise a child or young person’s wellbeing, or acts as a deterrent to the participation of some children and young people.
Children and young people who are deaf and disabled
In line with Article 23 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a child with a disability “should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community”.
Children and young people who have a disability have the same needs as other children and young people, but may also have additional needs associated with their disability. For example, additional steps may be needed to promote their wellbeing or they may be at an increased risk of abuse due to their vulnerability. Research has shown that children with a mental or physical disability are more likely to be abused than non-disabled children.
Children and young people who are deaf, disabled or have a learning disability can be additionally vulnerable because they may:
- Depend on a number of people for care and handling, some of which can be intimate care
- Depend on the abuser for their involvement in sport
- Fear disclosing abuse
- The signs of abuse can be misinterpreted as a symptom of the disability
- Have a reduced capacity to resist either verbally or physically
- Have significant communication differences – this may include very limited verbal communication, the use of sign language or other forms of non-verbal communication
- Lack a wide network of friends who support and protect them
- Lack access to peers to discover what is acceptable behaviour or to understand the inappropriateness of actions
- Not be believed due to negative attitudes towards children and young people with disabilities or possible failure to recognise the impact of abuse on children and young people with disabilities
Children and young people from black and ethnic communities
The UNCRC sets out the general principle of non-discrimination and that children should be protected from all forms of discrimination. It also states that children have the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family, whether or not these are shared by the majority of people in the country where they live. Unfortunately within wider society, and football, discriminatory behaviour still exists therefore children and young people from black and ethnic communities are additionally vulnerable because they may:
- Experience racism and racist attitudes
- Experience people in authority ignoring or not responding to racist abuse or comments
- Experience no action being taken by others for fear of upsetting cultural norms
- Be afraid of further abuse if they challenge others
- Want to fit in and not make a fuss
- Be using or learning English as a second language
Children in elite football
For many children and young people it is their dream to play football professionally. When they have the talent, skill and dedication to realise this dream they will pursue it. Unfortunately this can lead to a number of increased risks for children and young people involved in football at an elite level. For example, rivalry among their peers, inappropriate or detrimental relationships with their peers, pressure from their family, friends and the wider public, or, in some cases, exploitation by a trusted adult who can, or who they perceive can, help them ‘achieve’ this dream.
Research by Celia H. Brackenridge in 2010 highlighted the following about the risk to children and young people at an elite level:
- The greatest risk of emotional and sexual abuse occurs among the highest ranked athletes
- Poor practice, emotional abuse and bullying are probably more prevalent in sport than sexual abuse
- Athletes perpetrate more sexual harassment on their peers than coaches
- Athlete-athlete bullying is widespread
- Coach perpetrators are often very highly qualified and very highly respected which acts as a mask for their poor practice and abuse
The responsibility to safeguard, promote, support and protect a child or young person’s wellbeing does not rest on one person. We are all responsible.
Football can contribute in many different ways to a child or young person’s positive wellbeing including health benefits of being active, the achievements they can make in gaining new skills and their experiences of being included and respected as part of a team. Supporting and promoting a child or young person’s wellbeing at all times includes forming positive relationships, understanding their circumstances and responding appropriately to any concerns about their wellbeing. To ensure we can respond when a child or young person needs help or support, we must firstly understand their rights and the meaning of wellbeing. Secondly, we must recognise and acknowledge the risks that exist for children and young people in football and put in place a range of safeguards that minimise these risks. Leadership is essential to ensure that these safeguards are managed and promoted, and this will be done by staff and volunteers within particular roles at the Club who receive specific training for their level of responsibility. However, everyone must understand the risks associated for children and young people, and the appropriate processes which are in place should a child or young person’s wellbeing be at risk or they are in need for protection.
Everyone has the responsibility to recognise the concern, to ensure the child or young person is safe if they are at risk of immediate harm, and to report the concern to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer. Thereafter the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will respond appropriately in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure.
The Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy combined with relevant training, mentoring and support will give us the confidence and support needed to fulfil our role and responsibility to keep children and young people safe in football. In addition to this, advice can be sought at any point from the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.
|No matter your role or involvement in Scottish football, you have a responsibility to safeguard, promote, support and protect the wellbeing of all children and young people involved in Scottish football. If you have any concerns about the wellbeing of a child or young person or about the conduct of any adult then you must report the matter to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer, Rob Wilson, on 077515 80665 or at email@example.com. Full information on how to record and report a concern can be found in the Responding to Concerns Procedure.|
The Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy will be regularly reviewed and will include children and young people’s participation and feedback on the content and actual experience of implementation as part of the review.
This policy will be reviewed:
- In accordance with changes in legislation and guidance on children’s wellbeing, protection or rights
- Following the review of an issue or concern raised about the wellbeing or protection of children within the club, when the case review suggests that this policy should be reviewed
- In all other circumstances, at least every three years.
- 2. POLICY STATEMENT
Vale of Leithen FC is committed to ensuring that every child who takes part in football, in any capacity, is able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment, which promotes inclusion and protects them from harm, poor practice, exploitation, bullying or abuse. The Club values a rights-based approach within our sport, and our child wellbeing and protection policy is based on the fundamental rights of children as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy is based on the following principles:
- We will act in the best interests of children and young people
- The protection and wellbeing of all children in our care is everyone’s responsibility
- A child or young person’s rights, wishes and feelings should be respected and promoted. For example:
- A child or young person, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and/or sexual identity has the right to protection from all forms of harm, abuse and exploitation
- We see the child or young person before the player, coach, volunteer, spectator or referee
- Children and young people have the right to express views on matters that affect them, should they wish to do so, and to have those views taken into account
- Children and young people have the right to relax, play, and join in a wide range of sporting activities
- The best way to promote the wellbeing, health and development of a child or young person is to work in partnership with each other, the child or young person, their parents/carers and other relevant organisations
All staff and volunteers, when working or volunteering with children and young people involved in Club activities, will be:
Football is for everyone, irrespective of background. We celebrate what makes us unique and embrace our differences. We create a culture where rights are respected and everyone is treated fairly, with dignity and respect
We are visible, accessible, open and caring. We build respectful and supportive relationships, listening to children’s voices, and championing their views in everything we do
We are forward facing and strive to be the best for children and young people. We are brave, challenging ourselves and others to continually strive for the best outcomes for children and young people. We encourage and support children and young people to express their views.
We accept responsibility and take ownership of the wellbeing and protection of children in our game. Our collective leadership calls upon integrity, consistency and confidence in our everyday behaviours.
Every member of staff and volunteer at the club will be asked to sign up to the following standards, outlining the behaviour, expectations and requirements of Club staff and volunteers working or volunteering with children and young people.
Creating an environment where children and young people are respected, their rights are promoted, and they are supported to have fun, learn, and develop in a safe environment is essential to inspire them to love the game.
To achieve this goal the Club expects its staff and volunteers to embody the Wellbeing and Protection Values – Inclusive, Empowering, Approachable and Accountable – to create a positive football environment, and by displaying exemplary behaviour and implementing practices that make football a safe, fun, and positive experience for all children and young people involved.
|On and off the pitch, I will:|
|Make football a fun and enjoyable experience where everyone is involved Always show respect to everyone involved in the gameEncourage children and young people to be respectful to everyone involved in the gameAppreciate the importance of everyone involved in the gameBe proud of being part of the same ‘team’ and encourage others to be proud of their||Be a positive role model by: Leading with enthusiasm and encouragement Never engaging in, or tolerating, offensive, insulting or abusive behaviour whether in person or onlineBeing gracious in victory and defeat Challenging and reporting behaviour that does not meet the standards expected|
|When working with children and young people, I will:|
|Treat all children and young people equally with respect, dignity, honesty, sensitivity and fairness Promote the best interests of the young person and put their wellbeing before winning or achieving performance goalsPromote and protect the rights of all children and ensure that children and young people are aware of their rights||Never have favourites but praise children and young people that demonstrate commitment, positive attitude and good behaviour Consult with children and young people allowing them the chance to be heard by having a ‘door open’ approachAllow young people the right of being involved in decisions affecting themAlways listen to and act upon any concerns raised by a child or young person|
I confirm that I have read and agree to abide by the Club’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy including the Policy Statement, Procedures and all associated Practice Notes.
I agree to abide and demonstrate the Club’s Wellbeing and Protection Values.
I understand that a breach of the Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy will be taken seriously and will be responded to in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure and, where applicable, the Club’s Disciplinary Procedure.
PART 4 – PROCEDURES
Appointment and Selection
Responding to Concerns
APPOINTMENT AND SELECTION PROCEDURE
The Club will take all reasonable steps to ensure that its staff and volunteers who are working with children and/or young people in football, have been recruited appropriately and that the individuals work in a way that reflect the Wellbeing and Protection Values – Inclusive, Approachable, Empowering and Accountable.
As part of this process, we aim to select the best possible candidate for the role. For those working in a role which is regulated work with children and young people, the Club will fulfil its legal duty under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 to ensure that individuals who are barred from regulated work with children are not engaged (either paid or unpaid) in regulated work with children and young people within the club.
The following procedure will be completed for all staff and volunteers who will be working in a role which requires them to be in contact with children and young people.
Individuals who are applying for a position with the Club will be provided with pre-application information for the positions available and will include:
- A role description outlining the roles and responsibilities of the position
- A person specification, stating qualifications or experience of working with children required
- An application form
Applicants will be requested to complete an application form. The purpose of the application form is to obtain relevant details for the position and referee contact details.
|Review Applications and Interviews / Recruitment Conversations|
The Clubwill review application forms and consider which applicants to take forward. Successful applicants will be invited to a recruitment conversation, which may take the form of an interview. Interviews or recruitment conversations will then be carried out.
|Offer of Position|
Once a decision has been made to offer appointment, the applicant will be notified either in writing or verbally. The applicant will be given details of the position, any special requirements and any obligations e.g. agreement to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy, a probationary period and responsibilities of the role.
The applicant will be sent a Basic Disclosure form to complete and return, unless the role involves regulated work with the Club in which case they will require to be a member of the PVG Scheme.
Regulated work with Children
If the role involves regulated work with children and/or young people a PVG Scheme Membership form and self-declaration form will be sent out for the successful applicant to complete and return for processing.
It is recommended that the offer is formally accepted and agreed to in writing e.g. by the individual signing and dating their agreement on the offer letter and returning it to the Club. The applicant’s appointment will only be confirmed when:
- Two references have been received, checked and accepted;
- Self-declaration form has been returned and approved; and
- PVG Scheme Record/Scheme Record Update has been received and accepted.
References will be sought for all staff and volunteers who, by virtue of their role, will be working with children and/or young people within the Club.
Two references will always be requested and thoroughly checked. Where possible, at least one of these references will be from an employer or a voluntary organisation where the position required working with children and/or young people. References from relatives will not be accepted. If the applicant has no experience of working with children or young people, specific training requirements may be agreed before their appointment commences.
|Membership of the PVG Scheme|
The Clubmust be registered with Disclosure Scotland or Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services. All staff and/or volunteers carrying out regulated work with children and young people within the club must be a member of the PVG Scheme for regulated work with children.
Suitability for position
Should the Club receive any information via the self-declaration form and/or PVG scheme record that needs risk assessed, this will be carried out by the Club’s Safeguarding Panel.
The Safeguarding Panel will consist of at least three members from the Club, including the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer, Vice Chairman and Treasurer. This risk assessment considers any criminal conviction(s) or other information that would be considered relevant to the role. The decision of the Safeguarding Panel is by majority. The outcome of the decision with the Safeguarding Panel then contributes to the final decision of the applicant’s appointment as mentioned at point 4 above.
Applicants from overseas being appointed to regulated work with children and/or young people within the club are required to join the PVG Scheme. If the applicant is applying for a position of employment they must prove their ‘right to work’ in the UK and be asked to provide a police check from their relevant country where possible. For further information see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants.
Where this is not possible, or in addition to the police check, the following information, where relevant to the position, will be requested:
- A statement from the governing body in the country of origin of the applicant and/or the country from which they are transferring in regard to their participation and suitability for the position.
- A statement from the international federation of the sport in regard to their participation and suitability for the position.
|Induction and Training|
Staff and volunteers will receive an induction. This process should include clarification of the expectations, roles and responsibilities of the position and identify any training needs.
Newly appointed staff and volunteers should complete recommended training over an agreed period. This training will include an introduction to Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy. Further training, where the role works directly with children and young people, is then provided.
Newly appointed members of staff will complete an agreed period of probation.
|Review of ongoing suitability|
All members of staff and volunteers will have a performance review on a regular basis. Performances reviews should include an evaluation of progress and identification of training needs.
All individuals in regulated work for the Club will require to complete a self-declaration form on an annual basis and apply for a Scheme Record Update every three years. This ensures we are continually risk assessing members of staff and volunteers to keep children safe.
|New vetting information|
If new vetting information becomes available through a self-declaration form or PVG scheme record updates, this is will be considered through a risk assessment by the Club’s Safeguarding Panel.
Should any risk be identified, it will then be necessary to follow Responding to Concerns Procedure.
|Consideration for Children’s List or Barred Individuals|
If Disclosure Scotland notify the Clubthat a member of staff or volunteer is being considered for listing, that individual will be suspended as a precaution, until the outcome of the case is determined. Suspension is not a form of disciplinary action and does not involve pre-judgment. In all cases of suspension, the best interests of the child will be the primary consideration.
If Disclosure Scotland inform the club that an individual is barred, that member of staff or volunteer will be removed from regulated work with children and/or young people immediately in line with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 section 5 duties for organisations.
RESPONDING TO CONCERNS PROCEDURE
RECOGNISE> RECORD> REPORT > RESPOND
In all cases where there are concerns about a child or young person and/or the conduct of an adult which affects, or may affect, a child or young person, the best interests and wellbeing of the child or young person will be the paramount consideration.
The purpose of this Procedure is to safeguard and protect children and young people involved in Scottish football and to respond appropriately to any concerns ensuring they are dealt with in a timely, appropriate and proportionate manner. Following set of published procedures when dealing with concerns helps:
- To avoid those receiving information from engaging in subjective judgments
- Reassure those who report concerns that an appropriate course of action will ensue
- Support those charged with managing concerns by providing them with a step-by-step process to follow
- Safeguard the rights of those against whom complaints or allegations have been made
|REMEMBER: If you are concerned about the immediate safety of the child or young person: Take whatever action is required to ensure the child’s immediate safety.Pass the information immediately to the police and seek their advice.Report the concern to the club Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer, advising that the matter has been reported to the police|
No staff or volunteer in receipt of information that causes concern about a child or young person or the conduct of an adult shall keep that information to themselves, or attempt to deal with the matter on their own. Instead in all cases the following procedure must be followed regardless of whether the concerns arise through the adult or child or young person’s involvement in football or from outside of football.
At any time if you have a concern about the wellbeing of a child or young person, or think you may have a concern, you can contact Child Wellbeing and Protection Officerfor advice and support on 077515 80665or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|1. EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY|
A concern may range from mild verbal bullying to physical or sexual abuse and occur either through football or outside of it, for example in the child’s home. All concerns will be responded to by the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer. If a member of staff or volunteer has a concern it is NOT their responsibility to investigate BUT it is their responsibility to:
- Reassure the person making the report that they have done the right thing in raising the concern
- Listen openly and without judgement
- Record anything that is said
- Report the concern to the club’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer
- If there is a concern about the immediate safety of the child or young person, take the necessary steps to ensure their safety and contact the police
Everyone has a responsibility to recognise a concern, to record the concern either on the Concern Recording Form or in email format, and report the concern to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.
Staff and volunteers may become aware of a concern in different ways. For example:
- Direct disclosure by the child or young person.
- Observation of the concern, such as a change in the behaviour, appearance or nature of the child or young person or the conduct of an adult.
- Information that is shared from another individual or organisation e.g. an incident observed by another child or young person or adult and reported to them
All concerns must be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer on the day the concern arises or as soon as practically possible thereafter.
What to do if a child or young person discloses abuse
|Stay calm – ensure that the child or young person is safe and feels safeListen to the child or young person and take what they say seriously. Do not show disbelief. Show and tell them that you are taking what they say seriouslyReassure the child or young person that they are not to blame and were right to tell someoneBe aware of interpreting what a child or young person says, especially if they have learning or physical disabilities which affects their ability to communicate or English is not their first language||Avoid projecting your own reactions onto the child or young personAvoid asking any questions. If necessary only ask enough questions to gain basic information to establish the possibility that abuse may have occurred. Only use open-ended, non-leading questions e.g. What? When? Where? Who? Do not assume that the experience was bad or painful – it may have been neutral or even pleasurable e.g. the child or young person may think that they are in a consenting relationship with the adultDo not introduce personal information from either your own experiences or those of other children.|
|PanicShow shock or distasteProbe for more information than is offeredSpeculate or make assumptionsRush into actions that may be inappropriate||Make negative comments about the person against whom the allegation has been madeApproach the individual against whom the allegation has been madeMake promises or agree to keep secrets and give a guarantee of confidentiality|
Record keeping is of critical importance and all information should be recorded in line with the following:
|Make a written record of the information as soon as possible Make the record factual, accurate and legibleIf the concern arises from a disclosure from a child or young record using the child or young person’s exact words, where possibleInclude dates, times, locations and contexts, if available, in which the concern occurred together with any other relevant information||Give your personal opinion, unless it is backed up by substantial evidenceUse judgemental languageWrite the record in a way that protects the reputation of the Association or the individual who the concern relates to – remain unbiased|
Where the child or young person has made a direct disclosure, and when appropriate, it is important that the child or young person understands why we are recording their details. If a child/young person recognises that people can help and support, and that this is the purpose of their details being shared, they will be more included and informed of the processes.
The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer can be contacted in a number of ways:
- By telephone on 077515 80665
- By email at email@example.com
How to report the concern:
- Report the concern as soon as possible. It is recommended that initial contact is made with the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer by telephone
- Email the completed Concern Recording Form to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer, if you are able to do this via secure email
Do not delay in reporting the concern
- By attempting to obtain information to complete all sections of the Concern Recording Form
- By waiting until you can complete the Concern Recording Form
- If you have been unable to contact the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer by telephone
If you are unable to access a Concern Recording Form, please contact the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer by telephone or email the information to the above address, if you are able to do so securely, in order to report the concern.
|If you are unsure whether the information you have should be a cause for concern advice and support can be sought at any time from the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer by contacting them for advice and support. This can be done in a confidential manner anonymising the details of the parties involved.|
If the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer is not available and an immediate response is required the police and social work services must be contacted. They have a statutory responsibility for the protection of children and they may already hold other information about the child or young people. If the information is shared with the police or other agencies, record what information is shared and any advice given and actions taken. At the earliest opportunity thereafter the Club’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer should be informed.
To maintain confidentiality do not keep any electronic, printed or written versions of the information you have provided. The Concern Recording Form should be deleted or destroyed (by means of shredding) as soon as the information has been passed on. The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will maintain a copy of the information in a secure and confidential manner.
The Club recognises that voicing concerns, suspicions or allegations of poor practice, misconduct or abuse can cause great concern and stress – particularly if it relates to a colleague, volunteer or child/parent who is known to you. However, sharing information about the wellbeing of a child or young person is paramount in order to prevent the child or young person from suffering harm or further harm. Any member of staff or volunteer whom, in good faith, discloses information related to a concern will receive full support from the club.
Concern about the conduct of the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer
Where the concern is about the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer it must be reported to the Vice Chairman directly. In this situation, the Vice Chairmanwill take on the role and responsibilities as listed below of the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.
The following sets out the steps which will be taken by the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer after the concern has been reported.
|A. The process on receipt of a concern|
Once the concern has been reported the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will:
- Establish the basic facts and conduct an initial assessment of the facts in order to determine the appropriate course of action. The appropriate course of action may differ depending on whether the concern is about the wellbeing of a child/young person or about the conduct of an adult.
- Decide who should be informed of the concern, this may include the child or young person, their parent/carer, or external agencies.
- Consult external agencies such as the police and social work services for advice at any time, if required. This is important because they may hold other important information which, when considered alongside the current concern, builds a significant picture of concern.
All subsequent actions taken by the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer shall be recorded, in the order in which they happen, and the records should be signed and dated.
|B. Conducting the Initial Assessment|
The purpose of the initial assessment is to clarify the nature and context of the concerns. Every situation is unique so guidance cannot be prescriptive.
Where the concern relates to the conduct of an adult, pending the outcome of any investigation, precautionary suspension will be considered in all cases where there is significant concern about the conduct of a member of staff and volunteers towards children and/or young people. For further information on precautionary suspension see section 6 of this Procedure.
In all cases, the initial assessment may involve:
- Speaking to the member of staff or volunteer who raised the concern; and/or
- Speaking to other members of staff or volunteers who may have information related to the concern; and/or
- Speaking to the member of staff or volunteers whose conduct has been reported – this will be subject to the nature and seriousness of the situation and should not be done if the concern suggests that the conduct may be criminal behaviour; and/or
- If the concern involves a named child or young person it may be appropriate to speak to the child or young person. This should never been done in cases where there is a suggestion of criminal conduct without first seeking the advice of the police. If it is appropriate to speak to the child or young person all questions should be basic, open-ended, non-leading and asked solely with a view to clarifying the basic facts. When speaking to a child or young person another adult should always be present. It is recommended that this other adult is known to the child or young person and the meeting is pre-arranged so the child or young person will be aware that you are going to speak to them about a concern; and/or
- Speaking to other children and/or young people and/or other individuals to establish the basic facts. As above, all questions should be basic, open-ended, non-leading and asked solely with a view to clarifying the basic facts.
|Best practice advice Questioning of children by those conducting an initial assessment should be avoided, if possible. If it is necessary to speak to the child in order to clarify the basic facts, best practice suggests that consent from the parent/carer be obtained unless obtaining that consent may place the child at risk.|
Views of the Child
Children and young people have the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them and to have their views taken seriously (Article 12, UNCRC). This must be at the forefront of any concerns that are raised. The nature of the concern will impact on the decision as to whether it is appropriate to discuss the concern directly with the child or young person. The views of the child or young person must be considered based on the age and maturity.
An initial assessment of basic facts may require the need to ask a child or young person some basic, open-ended, non-leading questions solely for with a view to clarifying the basic facts. It may also be necessary to ask similar basic questions of other children and young people, or other appropriate individuals who may have information.
It will not always be appropriate to speak directly with the child or young person about the concern. Advice should be sought from the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer if there is any uncertainty about the appropriate course of action.
If the information indicates that a criminal offence has been committed against the child or young person it would not be appropriate to ask the child or young person questions about the incident or speak to them directly about the incident(s), unless it is a disclosure directly from the child. Interviewing children and young people about possible abuse or criminal offences is the sole remit of specially trained police officers and social workers.
|Where the concern about a child’s wellbeing suggests they are in need of protection, the information must be passed on with or without their consent for the purposes of their protection. Allegations of abuse must always be taken seriously. No member of the Club shall investigate allegations of abuse or decide whether or not a child has been abused. False allegations are very rare. If a child says or indicates they are being abused or information is obtained which gives concern that a child is being abused, the information must be responded to on the same day in line with this procedure.|
Fairness and natural justice
In the event of an investigation into the conduct of a member of staff or volunteers all actions will be informed by the principles of natural justice:
- They will be made aware of the nature of concern; and
- They will be given an opportunity to put forward their case; and
- The Clubwill act in good faith, ensuring the matter is dealt with impartially and as quickly as possible in the circumstances.
|C. Concluding the Initial Assessment|
Decisions reached on conclusion of the Initial Assessment may differ depending on whether the concern relates to the wellbeing of a child or young person or to the conduct of an adult. Sometimes, the concern may relate to both the wellbeing of a child and the conduct of an adult in which case two sets of conclusions should be reached.
A concern about the wellbeing of a child/young person
At the end of the initial assessment one of the following conclusions should be reached:
- The facts do not substantiate the concern, therefore no further action will be taken
- The concern has been successfully addressed by the child or young person, their parent and/or club staff or volunteers and no further action is needed
- The concern has not been successfully addressed and further support is needed for the child or young person
- Information should be shared with statutory services, for example Police Scotland or the Social Work Department due to the gravity of the concern
- Information should be shared with the child’s Named Person, if applicable, for consideration
In all cases consideration should be given support as to what support, if any, is required for the child or young person and whether there is a need to share information with the Scottish FA in terms of a Data Sharing Agreement.
Sharing Concerns with Parents/Carers
The Club is committed to working in partnership with parents/carers whenever there are concerns about a child or young person. Parents/carers have the primary responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of their children. Where concerns are raised about a child or young person this will be considered in line with the wellbeing indicators and may be discussed with parents/carers. For example, if a child seems withdrawn, he/she may have experienced an upset in the family, such as a parental separation, divorce or bereavement. Common sense is advised in these situations and the best interests of the child will be considered as to what is the best support them. Children and young people will be asked who they feel is suitable to be informed and when relevant, consent gained from the child or young person.
Where there are concerns that the parents/carers may be responsible for or have knowledge of the abuse, sharing concerns with the parents/carers may place the child or young person at further risk. In such cases advice must always firstly be sought from the police/social work services or Named Person as to who informs the parents/carers.
Sharing Information with Police and statutory agencies
Where the concern about a child or young person’s wellbeing suggests that they are in need of protection or that a criminal offence has been committed against them the concern must be reported to the police and/or social work services. The police and local authority have a statutory duty of care for all children.
A concern about the conduct of an adult
At the end of the initial assessment one of the following conclusions should be reached:
- The facts do not substantiate the concern, therefore no further action will be taken
- Information supports concern of poor practice
- Information supports concern of serious poor practice and/or misconduct
Initial Assessment Supports concern of poor practice
If the initial assessment supports a concern that the conduct of an adult amounts to poor practice, the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will share the findings of the initial assessment with the relevant member of staff at the Club, who has responsibility for the staff or volunteer whose conduct has amounted to poor practice, who will respond in line the Club’s procedures.
The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will carry out any further investigation, as necessary and take appropriate action depending on the nature and seriousness of the conduct.
Initial Assessment supports concern of poor practice and/or misconduct
If the concern relates to the conduct of a member of staff or volunteer the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will share the findings of the initial assessment with the relevant member of staff in the HR Department, if applicable, who will respond in line the club’s Disciplinary Procedures, or with the official at the Club who has responsibility for the staff or volunteer whose conducted has amounted to serious poor practice and/or misconduct.
Initial Assessment supports concern of possible criminal behaviour
Where the initial assessment of information gives reasonable cause to suspect an adult’s behaviour has been a criminal offence, the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will:
- report the concern to the police as soon as possible on the day the information is received, along with supporting information; and
- make a written record of the name of the police officer to whom the concerns were passed together with the crime reference number, time and date of the call, in case any follow up is required; and
- on request, provide the police with a copy of the Concern Recording Form; and
- following the advice of the police, inform the parents/carers of the child involved as soon as possible unless the police advice is not to do this; and
- if appropriate, share the information with the child’s Named Person if there is any impact on a child’s wellbeing caused by an adult’s possible criminal behaviour unless the police advise not to do this.
Advice will firstly be obtained from the police about informing the member of staff or volunteer involved in the concerns. If the advice is to inform them, they will be told that information has been received which may suggest an allegation of abuse or possible criminal offence. As the matter will be sub judice (i.e. under judicial consideration) no details will be given unless advised by the police. All actions will ensure the best evidence is preserved for any criminal proceedings while at the same time safeguarding the rights of the member of staff and volunteer.
The clubwill take all reasonable steps to support a member of staff or volunteer whom a concern has been raised about, as well as others who may be involved as witnesses.
Possible outcomes include one or more of the following:
- Police investigation – may involve a child protection investigation jointly by police and social work services
- Criminal proceedings
- Civil proceedings (by the child/family who raised the concern)
- Disciplinary Proceedings
- Referral to Disclosure Scotland, where the PVG criteria is met
Referral to Disclosure Scotland under Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007
Depending on the nature of the concern and the action taken by the club, there may be a requirement, in law, to notify Disclosure Scotland. The following will apply where the member of staff or volunteer is in regulated work with the club and a member of the PVG scheme.
Referring to Disclosure Scotland
The Club will refer to Disclosure Scotland the case of any member of staff or volunteer who (whether or not in the course of their role with the club) has:
- harmed a child
- placed a child at risk of harm
- engaged in inappropriate conduct involving pornography
- engaged in inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature involving a child, or
- given inappropriate medical treatment to a child.
AND as a result the club has taken or would have taken one of the following options:
- The Clubhas dismissed the member of staff or volunteer; or
- The member of staff or volunteer would have been dismissed as a result of the incident had they not resigned, retired or been made redundant; or
- The Clubhas transferred the member of staff or volunteer to a position in the club which is not regulated work with children; or
- The member of staff or volunteer would have been dismissed or considered for dismissal where employment or volunteer role was not due to end at the expiry of a fixed term contract; or
- The member of staff or volunteer would have been dismissed or considered for dismissal had the contract not expired.
The Clubwill also refer the case of a member of staff or volunteer where information becomes available after the member of staff or volunteer has:
- been dismissed by the club; or
- resigned, retired or been made redundant; or
- been transferred to another position in the clubwhich is not regulated work with children.
Information from Disclosure Scotland
If Disclosure Scotland notifies the club that a member of staff or volunteer is being considered for listing that individual will be suspended as a precaution until the outcome of the case is determined. Precautionary suspension is not a form of disciplinary action and does not involve pre-judgment. In all cases of suspension the best interests and wellbeing of children and young people will be the paramount consideration.
If Disclosure Scotland informs the club that an individual is barred, that member of staff or volunteer will be removed permanently from regulated work with children immediately in line with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007.
|6. PRECAUTIONARY SUSPENSION|
Suspension is not a form of disciplinary action. The member of staff involved may be suspended whilst an investigation is carried out. Suspension will be carried out in accordance with the Club’s Disciplinary Procedures.
An ongoing criminal investigation does not necessarily rule out disciplinary action by the club or investigation by the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer. However, any action taken must not jeopardise the criminal investigation. Advice must be taken from the police on this. Sufficient information should be available to enable the club to make a decision whether to go ahead with disciplinary action/response under this concerns procedure.
In any event, once criminal proceedings have concluded the Club will consider the matter and the outcomes in line with this procedure.
|FALSE OR MALICIOUS ALLEGATIONS|
In exceptional circumstances where an investigation establishes an allegation or concern raised is false, unfounded or malicious:
- The member of staff and volunteers involved will receive an account of the circumstances and/or investigation and a letter confirming the conclusion of the matter. They may wish to seek legal advice; and
- All records pertaining to the circumstances and investigation shall be kept confidentially; and
- The Club will take all reasonable steps to support the individual in this situation; and
- In these circumstances the Club will review the participation or continued involvement in club activities of the individual who made the false or malicious allegation. If the false or malicious allegation has been made by a child or young person, it will only be appropriate to have a discussion with the child or young person to determine their views and opinions with parental/carer permission; and
- Data collected for the investigation will be destroyed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
|ALLEGATIONS OF NON-RECENT ABUSE|
The Club recognises that sharing personal experience of abuse can be difficult, challenging and sensitive. Therefore allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event e.g. an adult who was abused as a child by someone who is still currently working with children. These procedures will be followed in the event of an allegation of non-recent abuse, including the club’s responsibility to refer to Disclosure Scotland.
All media enquiries relating to concerns under this procedure must be referred to Michael Hogarth, Treasurer.
CASE REVIEW PROCEDURE
|1. PURPOSE OF CASE REVIEW|
Case reviews take place to establish whether there are lessons to be learned about the ways in which a concern has been investigated and responded to. Reviewing a concern allows the Club to consider:
- How the Responding to Concerns Procedure was implemented; and
- The effectiveness of the Responding to Concerns Procedure; and
- Informing policy and improving practice with regards to wellbeing & protection matters.
|2. DECIDING TO CONDUCT A REVIEW|
The Clubwill follow the criteria set out below when considering and establishing a case for review.
- The harm or risk of harm to a child was high; and/or
- Views expressed by those involved in the case have raised concern about the way it was handled; and/or
- There was a clear failure of procedure in handling the case: and/or
- The case attracted a significant amount of media interest; and/or
- The case concerned an unusual practice or behaviour; and/or
- The case took a significantly long period of time to resolve; and/or
- TheBoard decides a review is appropriate.
A case deemed eligible for review may be a particular concern or matter or, in some cases, may be cumulative concerns.
From time to time the Club may, internally, take a sample of cases to review to ensure the level of service provided in case management is consistent and to highlight any learning to take forward into future cases.
|3. IDENTIFYING WHO UNDERTAKES THE REVIEW|
The Club will appoint a case reviewer, this may be internal or external to the club. The case reviewer, whether internal or external, will have expertise in the area of the concern. These skills may differ according to the circumstances of each case and the agreed role of the case reviewer.
External Case Reviewer
The following criteria will be considered when deciding whether the case review should be external to the club.
- Are the recommendations likely to influence and/or change practice across the whole of Scottish football?
- Was the risk of harm to the child high?
- Has the case has attracted a significant amount of media interest?
- Is there a lack of experience and knowledge internally regarding the nature of the case?
- Have the Board expressed a preference towards an external reviewer as being more appropriate?
Where the answer has been yes to one or more of the criteria above, there is a presumption that an external case reviewer will be appointed by the club. The club continue to have an overview of the review and will set out clear expectations in respect of timescales (see section below), milestones in the process and deadlines for completion of reports but will not have any input into the findings or recommendation of the review.
Where an external reviewer is commissioned, consideration will be given to any formal contractual arrangements required, appropriate legal advice sought, which agencies will enter into the arrangements (if any) and a contract drawn up covering timescales, fees and confidentiality including data protection.
Internal Case Reviewer
Reviews may also be undertaken internally and a case reviewer will be appointed from within the club.
A case will not be reviewed by any individual who had an involvement in the concern or incident, either as a named individual or witness, in the matter of concern.
|4. TIMESCALES FOR REVIEW|
It is desirable that the case review should be undertaken as speedily as feasible and all cases will aim to be reviewed within an 8 week period from the point the case reviewer has been appointed and received all evidence and correspondence relating to the case.
Timescales will be open to change due to particular circumstances relating to each case. Where an extension is necessary a progress report and explanation for the extension must be submitted for approval to the club’s vice chairman.
|5. FIRST STEPS OF THE REVIEW|
After an individual has been identified, the Case Reviewer will give consideration where there may be some outstanding investigations or proceedings that are still ongoing. These considerations will be:
- Is there a Police and/or social work protection investigation still ongoing?
- Is there a criminal investigation by the police still ongoing?
- Are there any related legal proceedings in relation to the case?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the review cannot proceed until any of the above has concluded.
|6. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS|
If the review can proceed, the case reviewer will need to consider how people may feel about the case being reviewed and the possible impact this could have. These reviews are not in place to reopen concerns or reinvestigate them. All evidence and correspondence relating to the concern itself will be considered and only in exceptional circumstances will contact be made with those involved e.g. parents, children and witnesses for opinions or comment.
People may feel anxious about their actions being scrutinised but it should be made clear at the start of the review what it is set out to achieve to relieve any concerns, for example:
“I’ve been asked by the club to review how the organisation dealt with the concerns about XXXXX. This will consider how procedures were followed and whether appropriate action was taken to protect those involved. I understand that you were involved in this case but I would like to clarify that this review is in place to…”
Throughout the case review, the case reviewer will make a record of the review and its findings. This may not be a lengthy report, although a full report may be appropriate in certain circumstances. Generally, any record of a review should contain the following information:
- The source of the concern.
- The nature of the concern.
- A chronology of events, individuals and organisations involved.
- Action taken.
- An analysis of the key issues or matters linked to the aims of the review.
- Any other relevant points or observations.
- Lessons to be learned and changes to be made.
CASE REVIEW PROCEDURE
|Establish the facts of the case, a chronology of events and the roles of those involved|
Setting out the actual sequence of events will help the case reviewer to understand what happened, when, and who was involved; for example:
23 April 2018 Young person discloses physical abuse to their coach during a training session
23 April 2018 Coach reports the matter to Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer
24 April 2018 Advice sought by CWPO from DC Smith at the Family Protection Unit, Police Scotland and the disclosure is reported to the police
25 April 2018 CWPO speaks to coach about any appropriate support for the young person
|Identify any issues of key questions relation to the aims of the review|
The case reviewer should then be able to answer the questions contained in the specific remit of the review. If the case reviewer considers that a child or young person may still be at risk despite action taken during the case or as a result of failure to take appropriate action, they should be prepared to act.
|Any urgent issues should be addressed immediately without waiting for the conclusion of the review.|
|Identify any other relevant points or observations|
The case reviewer may identify issues which are worth exploring further. These may include:
|PROCEDURES Were the relevant procedures followed?If not, is there a reasonable explanation for this?Were the timescales appropriate?Do the current procedures provide adequate information about what to do?If appropriate, was a referral made to Disclosure Scotland as required in law?||PEOPLE Were the right people involved?Were the views of the child/family obtained?Were those involved aware of the procedures?Had the people involved been trained?Where appropriate, were external organisations involved; for example, the police or governing body of sport?|
|OUTCOMES Was the outcome appropriate in the case?If not, why not?Is there a need to take further action in this case; for example, referring the case to police/social work?Were the right people told the right things about the outcome?||RECORDING Were records kept?Is the quality of the information recorded satisfactory?Can the forms be improved?|
(This list is not exhaustive)
|Identify any lessons to be learned, changes needed and make recommendations|
If the case reviewer has gone through the above table and can identify gaps or missed opportunities then this will inform the case reviewer’s recommendations.
Recommendations may include things like changes to procedures, forms and/or the provision of training. It may be helpful for the case reviewer to prioritise the recommendations; for example, essential, desirable or helpful.
|Responding to the Findings and Recommendations|
Recommendations will be reported to the club’s Vice Chairman.
The report should include the recommendations only and not any details about the case, in order to preserve the child or young person’s privacy, as well as others involved. The club will consider how to respond to the findings, any recommendations and how to advise/support any others on whose behalf it has conducted the review.
Where recommendations are to be followed, the club will identify:
- the priorities;
- what action is required;
- who will take action to address the recommendations; and
- timescales for completion.
This information must be clearly communicated to those involved.
If it is decided not to follow any recommendations, this decision and the reasons shall be clearly recorded. The Vice Chairmanwill consider whether this decision requires to be communicate further e.g. the club’s Board or any interested parties e.g. persons involved in concern or individual who conducted the case review.
|Remember that many of the details of the case will be confidential, so any information shared must be presented in a way that protects the anonymity and privacy of those involved.|
PART 5 – PRACTICE NOTES
CELEBRATION – Photography and Filming
‘Bullying is never acceptable; it doesn’t make a child better or stronger to get through it and it should never be seen as a normal part of growing up.’ (respectme)’
Children’s wellbeing can be seriously impacted by bullying behaviour. Bullying can take some children’s rights away from them. Bullying is both behaviour and impact, the impact is on a person’s capacity to feel in control of themselves. This is what is termed as their sense of ‘agency’. Bullying takes place in the context of relationships; it is behaviour that can make people feel hurt, threatened, frightened and left out. This behaviour happens face to face and online. (respectme 2015)
What is bullying?
Bullying behaviour can harm people both physically and emotionally. Something only has to happen once to make a child feel worried, scared, threatened, left out and hurt. The actual behaviour may not be repeated but the threat may be sustained over time, typically by actions, looks, messages, confrontations, physical interventions, or the fear of these. Bullying behaviour is not always deliberate, but that does not mean that the bullying behaviour does not need to be appropriately challenged.
The Club appreciates that bullying behaviour can be difficult to identify because it often happens away from others and young people may be reluctant to tell adults for fear of repercussions or an ‘over-reaction’ by adults. This Practice Note provides guidance for members of staff and volunteers to recognise ‘signs’ of bullying behaviour and understand the impact that it can have on the child or young person who is being bullied. It sets out how members of staff and Associated Persons should respond should they have any concerns about bullying behaviour.
Prejudice-based bullying is when bullying behaviour is motivated by prejudice based on an individual’s actual or perceived identity and can be based on characteristics unique to a child or young person’s identity or circumstance e.g. their ethnicity or religion or sexuality. When the bullying behaviour is as a result of prejudice, there is a need to address the root cause of the prejudice as well as effectively responding to incidents as they arise.
How to recognise bullying behaviour
|Bullying behaviour can include:|
|Being called names, teased, put down or threatened (face to face and/or online)Being hit, tripped, pushed or kickedBeing ignored, left out or having rumours spread about you (face to face and/or online) Sending abusive messages, pictures or images on social media, online gaming platforms or by phone||Behaviour which makes people feel like they are not in control of themselves or their lives (face to face and/or online) Being targeted because of who you are or who you are perceived to be (face to face and/or online)Having belongings, including money, taken or damaged|
|The impact can include:|
|Reluctance to attend training or get involved at the clubPerformance can be hindered or the young person may show a lack of interestChange in behaviour when around particular people at the club e.g. being more withdrawn or appearing fearfulChange in behaviour in general e.g. may appear more anxious or more guarded||Unexpected absences at training and/or matchesUnexplained injuries – this may include injuries which have been self-inflicted as a means of coping The child or young person saying they have lost or misplaced items|
The Club will:
- Seek to prevent, reduce and respond effectively to bullying behaviour, through the implementation of this Policy and by ensuring that children and young people know what to do and who they can speak to if they are worried
- Highlight bullying based on prejudice and perceived differences to ensure our practices are effective in dealing with these issues
- Seek to understand the experiences and address the needs of children and young people who are bullied, as well as those who bully, within a framework of respect, responsibility, resolution and support
- Create an environment where bullying behaviour is not tolerated and is responded to in the best interests of the children and/or young people involved
How to create the right environment
Environments that promote respect, celebrate difference and encourage positive relationships and behaviour are less likely to see bullying as acceptable behaviour. Creating the right environment can discourage bullying behaviour and encourage children and young people to share any concerns.
|How to create the right environment:|
|Cultivate an ethos where there is an anti-bullying culture – it is especially important that adults are good role models for children and young people Take all signs and reports of bullying very seriouslyTake all allegations seriously and take action to ensure that the child or young person is safeDo not label children or young people as “victims” and “bullies”. Talk about ‘bullying behaviour’ and help and support the child or young person to change their behaviour and to understand and recognise its impactSpeak to those being bullied and those displaying bullying behaviour separately||Respond to each incident of bullying behaviour individually and adopt different practices, if necessary, to find the most effective response Encourage all children and young people to speak and share their concerns. Help those being bullied to speak out by being open and encouraging children and young people to tell a coach or an adult who can help them Have posters and signposting of local support services visible so children and young people know where they can go for advice and support if they do not feel comfortable speaking to someone within the club|
How to respond to bullying behaviour
|When responding to incidents or accusations of bullying behaviour the approach should be to ask:|
|What was the behaviour? What impact did it have? What do I need to do about it?||What attitudes, prejudices or other factors have influenced the behaviour?What does the child or young person who has been bullied want to happen?|
NEVER allow bullying behaviour, in any form, to go unchallenged and unreported
What to do when bullying incidents and behaviour occur
|How to support the child or young person who is being bullied:|
|Listen to and give the child or young person your full attention, exploring options together of what you can do to helpReassure the child or young person reporting the bullying that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no-one else Explain what will happen next and how they are going to be kept informed Be clear that online bullying behaviour will be treated as seriously as any other form of bullying behaviour Report any concerns to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer by completing the Concern Recording Form. This should include a record of what was said||In cases of online/electronic bullying advise children or young people who are being bullied by text, email or online:to report the behaviour to the social media site and retain the communication e.g. a screenshot or to print it outcheck their privacy settings to ensure their account is private and that no one can post on their page without them accepting the postconsider blocking the person who is making negative or offensive comments|
|Children and young people who are exhibiting bullying behaviour will need help and support too:|
|Talk with the child or young person who has been displaying bullying behaviour. Explain the situation and try to get them to understand the consequences of their behaviour. Identify the feelings that cause them to act this way and develop alternative ways of responding to these feelings Encourage and support those displaying bullying behaviour to change this behaviour. Ask them to consider the impact their actions is having on the other personAim to restore positive relationships. In some cases it might be worth seeking an apology from those involved in bullying behaviour (for examples, where those on the receiving end wish a reconciliation). However, apologies are only of real value when they are genuine||Be sensitive and use good judgement when it comes to informing the parents/carers of those whose negative behaviour is impacting on others. Put the child or young person at the centre – will telling the parents/carers result in more problems for the child or young person? What are the child/young person’s views on parents/carers knowing? If in any doubt seek advice from the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer before respondingOnly consider imposing consequences as necessary to ensure the safety of children and young people, e.g. exclusion from the team or particular activity until behaviour standards are improved|
These guidelines have been informed and developed with support from respectme, their publication ‘Bullying in Scotland 2014’ and the Respect for All: National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People, Scottish Government 2017. Copyright remains with respectme and we acknowledge all and any material taken from www.respectme.org.uk
Football should be an enjoyable activity which allows everyone to take part in a fun and safe manner. At times this will involve managing behaviours in an appropriate way and responding to challenging behaviour in a safe and thought out manner.
This Practice Note aims to promote best practice that can help support children and young people manage their own behaviour. It also identifies unacceptable actions or interventions which must never be used by members of staff or volunteers.
These guidelines are based on the following principles:
- The wellbeing of the child or young person is the paramount consideration
- A risk assessment, by means of planning and preparing for each session, should be completed for all activities taking into consideration the needs of all children or young people involved in the activity. For further information see Practice Note – Prevention Planning
- Children and young people must never be subjected to any form of treatment that is harmful, abusive, humiliating or degrading and should always be able to maintain their dignity and respect
- No member of staff or volunteer should attempt to respond to behaviour by using techniques for which they have not been trained
It is important to create the right environment and model the behaviour that you expect from children and young people involved in football.
|Creating the right environment involves but is not limited to: Strong leadership – promoting positive relationships at all levels and a culture and ethos of positive and respectful relationships. Members of staff and volunteers should embody the behaviour expected from the children and young people. Constructive communication – communication between the adults and children or young people includes listening to the child or young person without interruption, or trying to solve the problem, and recognising how the child or young person is feeling. Behavioural reinforcement – rewards for good behaviour and consequences for negative behaviour.All those delivering activities to children and/or young people should receive appropriate training and should be supported to address issues of behaviour through regular conversations with their manager and/or support from the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.|
From time to time members of staff and volunteers working or volunteering with children and/or young people may be required to deal with a child or young person’s behaviour that they find challenging. Managing this behaviour will involve advance planning of activities, responding in an appropriate way to the challenging behaviour and reflecting on how practice can be improved.
Preparation and Planning
Agreeing Acceptable Behaviour
Members of staff, volunteers, children/young people and their parents/carers should be involved in developing an agreed statement of what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. This is commonly known as a ‘Code of Conduct’. All members of staff and volunteers working or volunteering with children and young people will be expected to sign up to the ‘Set the Standards – Behaviours, Expectations and Requirements’ and uphold the Wellbeing and Protection Values – Inclusive, Approachable, Empowering and Accountable.
The children and young people involved in club activities should also be encouraged to develop their own Code of Conduct. This will primarily involve children and young people who are playing football and can be done at the start of the season, in advance of a trip away from home or as part of a welcome session.
How do we help children and young people come up with a Code of Conduct?
- Ask the children and/or young people as a group to set out what behaviour they find acceptable and unacceptable within their group or team
- Ask them what the consequences of breaking the ‘agreement’ should be. Experience shows that they will tend to come up with a sensible and working ‘agreement’
- If and when such a list is compiled every member of the group will be asked to sign it, as can new members as they join
- If possible, a copy of the ‘agreement’ should be visible for reference during the activity e.g. in the team’s changing room
Good practice requires planning sessions around the group as a whole, but also involves taking into consideration the needs of each individual child or young person within that group. Planning sessions involves ‘risk assessing’ the sessions and those taking the session or activity should consider whether any members of the group have presented challenges in the past or are likely to present any difficulties in relation to the tasks involved, the other participants or the environment.
|When planning a session, activity or event members of staff and volunteers should:|
|Identify the appropriate number of adults required to safely manage and support the session, increased supervision may be necessary for particular activities or events Be able to adequately respond to any behaviour and safeguard other members of the group, including other members of staff and/or volunteersWhere members of staff and/or volunteers identify any potential risks, strategies to manage those risks should be agreed in advance of the session, event or activity||If it is identified that a child or young person is likely to display challenging behaviour: Speak to their parents/carers before the session or at the start of the season to identify techniques used within the home setting to support the child or young person and manage difficult behaviour, if appropriateIf appropriate, seek advice from professionals if the child or young person has particular needs. This should always been done with the support and agreement of the child/young person and their parents/carers Only in circumstances where the risk is too great towards the child or young person or others should the child or young person be asked to sit out of the activity|
Managing behaviour during the activity
It is essential that responding to difficult behaviour is always done in a thought out and calm manner.
|Responding to a child who is displaying challenging behaviour:|
|Listen to the child or young person and use their nameAsk the child or young person ‘what’s happened?’ to help calm the situation and give them an opportunity to reflect on why they are behaving this way Give them a way out or offer ‘time out’ e.g. “would you like to take a break?Tell them that you to want to hear what they have to say e.g. say to them “Help me to understand what you are saying to me?||Recognise the emotions and feelings that the child or young person has by naming them e.g. “I can see that you are feeling frustrated” Separate the behaviour from the person If there is going to be a consequence for their behaviour, explain to them what the consequence will be and what the behaviour was that has led to this consequences|
|Consequences for risk-taking or unacceptable behaviours:|
|Time out – from the activity, group or individual workPayback – the act of giving something backMissing an activity||Making up – the act or process of making amendsUse of individual ‘contracts’ or agreements for their future or continued participation|
|Unacceptable conduct to manage children and young people’s behaviour:|
|Physical punishment or the threat of suchInvading the child or young person’s personal space Shouting, threatening, preaching or arguingVerbal intimidation, ridicule or humiliation Telling the child or young person to “calm down”Pointing or shaking your finger Trying to ‘win’ or have the last wordInterrupting e.g. “no, you listen to what I’m saying for a change…” The withdrawal of communication with the child or young person||Taking it personally Dismissing their feelingsThe child or young person being deprived of food, water or access to changing facilities or toiletsThe threat that the child or young person will be ‘dropped’ from the team or not selected to play in the next game. Unless they present a risk of serious harm to themselves or other involved in the game and in these circumstances the reasons for this decision should explained to the child or young person and their parents/carers|
After each activity
- Reflect on practice – what worked well, what did not work?
- Issues of behaviour and control should regularly be discussed with members of staff, volunteers, the child or young person and their parents/carers in the context of rights and responsibilities
Members of staff and volunteers should review the needs of any child or young person on whom consequences are frequently imposed. This review should involve the child or young person and their parents or carers to ensure an informed decision is made about the child/young person’s future or continued participation in the group or team. Whilst it would always be against the wishes of everyone involved at the club ultimately, if a child or young person presents a high level of risk or danger to themselves, or others, they may not be able to continue participating. This assessment could result from a single incident.
There are a range of situations where members of staff and/or volunteers may come into physical contact with the children and/or young people. For example, to prevent or treat an injury, a child who is upset reaching out for comfort, congratulating a player who has done well, to position the player for a drill etc.
|The general guidance is as follows: All forms of physical contact should be respectful and be sensitive to the needs and wishes of the child or young person and take place in a culture of dignity and respectChildren and young people should be encouraged to express their views on physical contactPhysical contact should be in a reasonable and appropriate manner in an open environment with other adults present, where possible Be mindful that to comfort a child or young person who is upset, it is not always necessary or appropriate to place an arm around them. Sitting down and listening to them and maybe holding their hand can show concern for their situationSometimes children or young people will initiate a hug or other forms of excited/happy contact with coaches and other adults, this is a normal form of human expression. It is important that adults respond to this in an appropriate manner, where they engage with the child or young person in a positive way while not prolonging the contact or imitating it. Respond and then re-direct them into a more suitable coach/player form of positive expression such as a high 5 or dropping to one knee to speak to them at eye level Members of staff and volunteers must never: initiate unnecessary physical contact with their participantsengage in sexually provocative games e.g. horseplay or touching a child or young person in a sexually suggestive mannerengage in ‘rough’ physical contact|
Supporting a child with personal care
Some members of staff and/or volunteers may be working with younger children or young people with particular needs. It is recommended that the child’s parents/carer undertake any personal care, where possible. If it is necessary to help a child or young person with personal tasks e.g. toileting or changing, the child or young person and their parents/carers must be encouraged to express a preference regarding the support and work together with the member of staff and/or volunteer to develop practiced routines for personal care so that the child or young person and their parents/carers know what to expect. It is also important to establish what the child or young person can do themselves and any support should be limited to what the child or young person cannot do. The child or young person and their parents/carer should also be encouraged to speak out about methods of support with which they are uncomfortable.
Do not take on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained e.g. manual assistance for a child or young person with a physical disability.
Physical Contact for drills
Members of staff and/or volunteers who are training on particular techniques should demonstrate the move themselves or ask another player who can display the technique being taught. In exceptional circumstances, despite a demonstration or verbal description, it may be necessary to move the child or young person into a particular position. In these circumstances, the child or young person must be asked if they are comfortable to be moved into the correct position and a description given to the child or young person as to what it will involve e.g. “is it ok if I put my hands on your shoulders and move you into the correct position?” Manual support should be provided openly and must always be proportionate to the circumstances and must never involve contact with the child or young person’s buttocks, genitals or breasts.
The use of physical interventions should always be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary in order to prevent a child or young person injuring themselves, injuring others or causing serious damage to property. All forms of physical intervention shall form part of a broader approach to the management of behaviour.
Physical contact to prevent something happening should always be the result of conscious decision-making and not a reaction. Before physically intervening, the member of staff or volunteer should ask themselves, ‘Is this the only option in order to manage the situation and ensure safety?’
|The following must always be considered:|
|Contact should always be avoided with the buttocks, genitals and breastsMembers of staff and volunteers should never behave in a way which could be interpreted as sexualAny form of physical intervention should achieve an outcome that is in the best interests of the child or young person whose behaviour is of immediate concern and achieve a better outcome for the child or young person than if no physical intervention is used Members of staff and volunteers should consider the circumstances, the risks associated with employing physical intervention compared with the risks of not employing physical interventionMembers of staff and volunteers shall never use physical intervention as a form of punishment||The scale and nature of physical intervention must always be proportionate to the behaviour of the child or young person and the nature of harm/damage they might causeAll forms of physical intervention should employ only a reasonable amount of force – the minimum force needed to avert injury to a person or serious damage to property – applied for the shortest period of time Members of staff and volunteers should never employ physical interventions which are deemed to present an unreasonable risk to children or young people e.g. risk of injury Members of staff and volunteers shall never use a form of physical intervention for which they have not been trained|
Any physical intervention used should be recorded as soon as possible after the incident by the member of staff and/or volunteer and reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer as soon as possible. This can be done by completing the Concern Recording Form and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A timely debrief for members of staff and volunteers, the child or young person and their parents/carers should always take place following an incident where physical intervention has been used. This should include ensuring that the physical and emotional wellbeing of those involved has been addressed and ongoing support offered where necessary. Members of staff and volunteers, the child or young person and their parents/carers should be given an opportunity to talk about what happened in a calm and safe environment. There should also be a discussion with the child or young person and their parents/carers about the child/young person’s needs and continued safe participation in the group, team or activity.
CELEBRATION – Photography and filming
Photographs, films and video clips can be used to celebrate achievements, promote activities and keep people updated. Footage can also be recorded for performance development and analysis reasons. It is important not to curb such activity and to remember that the majority of images taken are appropriate and taken in good faith.
This Practice Note sets out simples measures that must be taken to ensure the safety of children and young people in football when it comes to photography and filming. These measures are necessary to protect children and young people from those who would seek to take or manipulate photos and video footage in a way that harms children and/or young people or places them at risk of harm.
This Practice Note applies to members of staff, volunteers (including professional photographs contracted by the club for particular events and activities), as well as the children and young people and their parents/carer who themselves will want to take photographs or videos of games, training or football related activities.
|Potential risks: Inappropriate use, adaption or copying of images for use on websitesInappropriate photographs or videos being taken of children and young peopleIdentification of children and/or young people when a photograph is accompanied by significant personal information Identification and locating of children and/or young people in inappropriate circumstances e.g. where the child or young person has been removed from their family for their own safety, or where there are restrictions on contact with one parent following a parental separation, or any other safeguarding concern away from football.|
Young people who have a public profile as a result of their achievements are entitled to the same protection as all other children and young people. In these circumstances common sense is required and all decisions should reflect the best interests of the child or young person and be made in partnership with the child or person.
A Consent Form must be completed by the child or young person and their parents/carers before any photography or filming takes place and before any images are published online. This informs them that the child or young person may be photographed or filmed whilst participating in football and the purpose of this.
Special care must be taken in relation to vulnerable children and young people e.g. a child or young person fleeing domestic violence or a child or young person with a disability, and consideration given to whether publication or use of the photographs and/or video footage would place the child or young person at risk. If the Consent Form states that consent is not given to the child or young person being photographed this must be adhered to and practical arrangements put in place to avoid this happening. For example, the photographer should be told the child or young person’s squad number and advised that they are not be photographed or filmed. If the situation cannot be managed safely then filming and/or photography during the activity should be prohibited.
The child or young person may be taking part in a game or event that involves live streaming bythe Club. Live streaming is the live visual broadcast over the internet. Live streaming must never take place in the changing rooms and should only be taken by authorised persons. The child or young person, if appropriate, and their parents/carers will be asked to provide consent. Before giving their consent they must be advised of the following:
- Where the live streaming will take place e.g. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc.
- Who the stream will be monitored by and for what purpose
- When the live stream will go live and when it will end
- Once the stream has finished, where the footage may be published and/or stored
- How individuals can withdraw their consent, if they wish to do so
|SAFE USE OF IMAGES OF CHILDREN/YOUNG PEOPLE|
Where consent is given to the taking and use of images the following practices will be implemented:
|‘Action’ images should focus on the activity rather than the individual‘Celebration’ images should be group images rather than individual images, where possibleAll images should reflect the positive aspect of the children and young people’s involvement in footballAll children and young people featured in images and/or videos must be appropriately dressed e.g. a minimum of shirt and shortsNo photographing or filming will be permitted in changing areas, bathrooms or sleeping areas, including by the children or young people themselvesAll photographic / videoing equipment must be switched off prior to going into changing rooms||Images will not be shared with external agencies unless express permission is obtained from the child or young person and their parents/carers over and above the consent form referred to aboveWhen using a professional photographer, all children and/or young people and their parents/carers should be aware that a professional photographer will be in attendance No unsupervised access or one-to-one photography or video sessions will be allowed unless this has been explicitly agreed with the child or young person and their parents/carersAll images and accompanying information shared publicly will only include appropriate personal details|
|Taking of Images|
|Filming as a coaching aid|
|Members of staff and volunteers using videoing as a legitimate coaching aid should make the child or young person and their parents/carers aware that this will be part of the coaching programme and consent for this filming should be sought through the Consent FormExternal agencies need permission from the Clubto take any images during the training environment||At training, members of staff and/or volunteers will only use the club’sequipment, or equipment of an approved contractor, for the purposes to taking photographs or video for player development or performance analysis. There should be no personal use of equipment, including mobile phones|
|Matches and Events|
|Any photography or videos taken by children and young people and their parents/carers should be restricted to immediate family members for private, non-commercial purposes and not put online on any personal social media or online platforms. This must be communicated to child or young person and their parents/carersExternal agencies need permission from the Club to take any images during the match/event activities||Photographers’ from external agencies should be aware of the organisations expectations with regards to photography and filming and the safeguards which must be adhered toIf competing abroad, steps will be taken to find out about the hosting club’s rules and requirements on photography and videoing at events and games and information shared to the children and/or young people and their parents/carers about what to expect|
The Club will take all reasonable steps to promote the safe use of photography and filming at all events and activities with which it is associated, however the club has no power to prevent individuals photographing or filming in public places.
If there are concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, the Club reserves the right at all times to prohibit the use of photography or filming at any event or activity with which it is associated and in locations where the club has jurisdiction.
|REMEMBER: It is not an offence to take appropriate photographs in a public place, even if the person has not been asked to do so. No one has the right to decide who can and cannot take images on public land. However, anyone behaving in a way which could reasonably be viewed as inappropriate in relation to filming or photographing should be approached for an explanation. If a satisfactory explanation is not provided, the circumstances should be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Office in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure. If you have serious concerns about a possible child protection issue relating to the filming or taking of photographs then the matter should also be reported to the Police without delay. This action should be taken where you believe that someone may be acting unlawfully or putting a child or young person at risk.|
|MOBILE PHONE CAMERAS/VIDEOS|
There have already been a number of cases where children and young people have been placed at risk as a result of the ability to discreetly record and transmit images through mobile phones. There is also scope for humiliation and embarrassment if films or images are shared on popular websites such as YouTube. The use of mobile phones in this way can be very difficult to monitor.
This Practice Note should be observed in relation to the use of mobile phones as cameras/videos. Particular care is required in areas where personal privacy is important e.g. changing rooms, bathrooms and sleeping areas. No photographs or filming should ever be permitted in such areas of personal privacy.
Members of staff and volunteers who become aware that inappropriate photographs or video footage has been taken in any of the above areas, whether by an adult or another child or young person, should immediately report the matter to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer as per the Responding to Concern Procedure.
The Club may post information, photographs and videos on its website which is available to all members of the public. In terms of publishing anything that includes an image or information about a child or young person, the following good practice should be followed:
|Use of Images and Information|
|Information published on the websites/social networking sites must never include personal information that could identify a child or young person e.g. home address, email address, telephone number of a child or young person. All contact must be directed tothe clubChildren and young people must never be portrayed in a demeaning, tasteless or a provocative manner. Children and young people should never be portrayed in a state of partial undress||Information about specific events or meetings e.g. coaching sessions must not be distributed to any individuals other than to those directly concernedWhere an event or game will be streamed live appropriate consent will be sought from the players and/or their parents/carers Photographs of children and young people attending games as spectators may be used by the club for commercial purposes as specified in the terms and conditions for ticket purchase|
|STORAGE AND RETENTION OF IMAGES|
The Clubwill ensure that all images, negatives, videos and photographs will be stored in a secure environment, whether digital or hard copy. These will not be kept for any longer than is necessary having regard to the purposes for which they were taken.
Images, negatives, videos and photographs will be reviewed regularly and held in line with the Club’s Data Retention Schedule.
Information and communication technology (ICT) and social media are developing and advancing extremely quickly, meaning the way in which we communicate and receive and absorb information is changing all the time. These advancements provide significant benefits for organisations, including opportunities to promote activities and communicate easily with children and young people, their parents/carers and the wider community through various channels e.g. text, email and social media. It allows people to connect to the world instantly and it enables organisations to disseminate information widely at a low to no cost and provide a platform to celebrate success.
In addition to the benefits there is also potential for misuse and it is the misuse of communication technology and social media which can put children and young people at considerable risk. Therefore, safeguards around its use must be put in place.
|Risks associated with ICT and Social Media For children and young people: Access to inappropriate websites or inappropriate content Inappropriate access to, use or sharing of personal details e.g. names, email address, school Unwanted contact from adults or other children or young people with wrongful or questionable intentReceiving, sending or sharing inappropriate or offensive images, material and/or comments Online bullying Grooming for sexual abuseDirect contact and abuseA distorted view between the “real world” and the “online world” For adults: Their communication with children and young people being misinterpretedBullyingYoung People/Adults attempting to contact them or access personal information|
The Club may contact children and young people and their parents/carers via text or email, or possibly through social networking sites, depending on the football activity that each child or young person is involved in with the club.
This Practice Note is for members of staff and volunteers who use any of these methods to communicate with children and young people.
|Communicate in an open and transparent manner Only send communication via text, email or social media if it is necessary and relates to the activity the child or young person is involved in Get signed consent from parents/carers before using any of these methods of communication with children or young people. Explain to the parents/carers the purpose for the communication and the method by which communication will be sent to the children and/or young peopleGet signed consent from the young person, if they are aged 13 or over, about the agreed methods of communication, depending on the young person’s maturity and ability to consent Members of staff and/or volunteers should communicate information regarding programmes, events, training and matches through the agreed method of communication and:copy in with another designated member of staff or volunteer to the communicationcopy in the child and young person’s parents/carer, if possible only use group texts or emails, if possible||For ‘private’ group chats on social media, make sure that there is more than one member of staff and/or volunteer part of the group chat Remove and report any offensive comments or messages immediately to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and to the social media site, if appropriateKeep all phone numbers and/or email addresses of children and young people in a secure and confidential placeKeep access to personal mobile numbers and email addresses of the children and young people to a practical minimum with only relevant members of staff and/or volunteers having access to this information and only when necessary to enable them to fulfil their roleReport to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer any instances where you receive any inappropriate communications from a child and/or a young person. Do not reply. The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will agree what action the club will take e.g. notifying parents and any other appropriate individuals or agencies|
|Contact or correspond privately with a child or young person on a 1:1 basis unless in exceptional circumstances. If it is necessary to communicate directly this should only be in connection with the football activity and must never be sent from a personal deviceUse language that is directly (or could be misinterpreted as being) racist, sexist, derogatory, threatening, abusive or sexualised in tone||Send any messages which contain inappropriate, abusive or offensive material or that are open to misinterpretation Use text or emails for personal conversation, sending pictures, jokes or other items of a personal natureRespond to emails from children and/or young people other than those directly related to club matters|
|SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET FORUMS|
|REMEMBER – there is no such thing as privacy online Consider 3 key questions before posting anything online: Would you say this in front of your family members? Would you say this in front of the youngest child in your club? Would you say this to a journalist at a press conference or in front of your coach or manager? If the answer is no to any of the above then do not post it on social media!|
For further information on publishing photographs or videos of children and young people on social media see the Safe Use of Images section in the Practice Note – Celebration.
|What we expect of members of staff and volunteers|
|Get signed consent from parents/carers and/or the young person to allow mutual interaction with the organisation profile e.g. Facebook page or Twitter accountSet up a closed (i.e. private) group chat between the team and ensure that the correct people are part of the group e.g. parents and/or another member of staff/volunteer to ensure impartiality and monitoring. If setting up a closed group chat consideration must be given to the minimum age requirements for that particular social media site Make parents/carers aware of the profiles existence and the site the child or young person will be accessing and the restrictions of use for this preferred siteHave an official agreement should be in place which states that access to members’ profiles are used only to pass on relevant information or to answer questions regarding the Club or football issues||Members of staff and volunteers should review the privacy settings on their own social media profiles and consider whether it is appropriate for children and young people to be able to view their profiles easily Monitor any organisational social media accounts and remove any abusive or offensive content and report the matter to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and police, if a criminal matter Report any disclosure of abuse or bullying through social media to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure Block and report anyone who is sending abusive or inappropriate messages. DO NOT respond to the post|
|Become friends, follow or tag children and young people for whom they are in a position of authority or trust via their own social media account Give out their password, pin or login details either face to face or online and make sure they sign out of their social media if logged in on a shared device Communicate with children via personal accounts or private messages. If a child or young person contacts them directly they should discourage the child or young person having conversations away from the group chats||Communicate with children via social media about personal matters Contact children and young people who play for other clubs through social media as a means of attracting them to or signing them at the clubBecome involved in any debates concerning selection, performance or personalities – even where the subject of the discussion is anonymous|
There has been an increase in the use and abuse of internet forums to target individuals or to engage contributors in debates which can cause upset and embarrassment to children and young people. Sites should be well monitored and any offending comments removed and reported to the relevant site and the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer, where appropriate.
Any inappropriate or offensive or abusive texts/email/use of social media must be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and will be dealt with in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure.
Any offensive or abusive comments posted on social media or within a shared group chat must be removed immediately. Group administrators must familiarise themselves with how to do this when the Group is set up.
During football there are times when children and young people may sustain an injury which requires treatment. This Practice Note looks at wellbeing and protection best practice in first aid and the treatment of injuries in these circumstances and covers situations where a child or young person has a pre-existing medical condition.
Parents or carers and the young person, if they are aged 13 and over, must complete the Consent Form before participating in any football activity. This ensures that members of staff and volunteers running an event or activity are aware of any pre-existing medical conditions, any medication taken by the participants or existing injuries and treatment required.
For children and young people who play football this form should be completed at the start of every season and will be retained by the Club for the season. Young people and parents/carers must update the form should anything change during the season.
For children and young people who are involved in a specific event or activity a consent form should be completed in advance of the event or activity.
|All members of staff and/or volunteers must ensure:|
|There is an accessible and well-resourced first aid kit at the venue, which is regularly checked to ensure that it contains appropriate stockOnly those with a current, recognised First Aid qualification treat injuries. In more serious cases assistance should be obtained from a medically qualified professional as soon as possibleThey are aware of any pre-existing medical conditions, relevant medication taken by participants or existing injuries and treatment requiredWhere possible, access to medical advice and/or assistance is available A child or young person’s parents/carers are informed of any injury and action taken as soon as possible Treatment should be administered in an open environment, when possible, avoiding private or unobserved situations. Where a private room is needed for the treatment to preserve the child or young person’s dignity their parent/carer or another appropriate adult must be present||If a child or young person needs to be transferred to the hospital and their parents/carers are not in attendance a member of staff or volunteer must travel with them to supervise them and contact their parents/carers immediatelyIf a child or young person sustains a significant injury the incident must be recorded as a concern and reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer along with the details of any treatment given. Common sense should be applied when determining which injuries are significant Physio treatment should only be administered by a qualified and registered physiotherapist. If continued treatment is required, the child or young person’s parent/carer or another appropriate adult must be present The circumstances in which any accidents occur are reviewed to avoid future repetitions as far as possible|
|CHILDREN WITH ALLERGIES/PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS|
Football is an inclusive game and the Club seeks to provide opportunities to children and young people of all abilities regardless of any medical conditions, disabilities or allergies they may have. It is important that children or young people with medical conditions or allergies are not unnecessarily excluded from taking part in activities with their peers and that reasonable steps are taken to accommodate their individual needs.
This Practice Note highlights how the club expects its members of staff and volunteers to respond to children or young people with allergies or pre-existing medical conditions in order to safeguard and protect the child or young person’s wellbeing whilst attending their football activity. It also sets out the responsibilities of the child or young person’s parents/carer in alerting members of the staff and volunteers of any pre-existing medical conditions or allergies. Parents/carers should be informed that they are required to provide this information, where appropriate.
|When a child or young person with an allergy or pre-existing medical condition joins a football activity, parents/carers should:|
|Ensure they complete the Consent Form accurately and also take the time to talk to the member of staff or volunteer about the specific needs of their child and how to address and accommodate these needsUpdate the member of staff or volunteer of any change in circumstancesConsider a medic alert bracelet/watch for their child||Check the expiry date of adrenaline injectors and any medication regularly. An out-of-date injector may offer some protection, but this will be limitedIf their child has a ‘rescue pack’ this is given to the member of staff or volunteer along with instructions on how it should be used|
The Club’s Responsibility
|Members of staff and volunteers should:|
|Ensure Consent Forms for all children and young people attending the football activity are available and up to date together with full details of the child’s allergiesEnsure that the Consent Forms are stored in a confidential but accessible way so that appropriate members of staff and volunteers, those who need the information to fulfil their role, can access the information Have a copy of the child or young person’s care plan for allergies and individual risk assessmentCommunicate with the child oy young person and their parent/carer directly, when necessaryAppropriately share the information with others involved in the football activity – ask yourself ‘do the right people know so they can respond if necessary?’ Ensure correct storage of medication by following the appropriate instructions||Be familiar with the nearest medical facilities in the event it is requiredMedication should only be administered by the child or young person or their parent/carer unless it is an emergency. In such circumstances the medication should be administered in line with the parent/carer’s instructions or a medical professional. For trips away from home consideration should be given to the child’s parent/carer accompanying the trip in circumstances where the child or young person cannot administer the medication themselvesHave their mobile phones charged and check they have a signal to allow calls to be made Plan for additional supervision e.g. depending on child or young person’s medical condition/s and environment Record incidents or concerns and report them to a member of the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer|
Planning and organising is a vital part of the delivery of club activities for children and young people and is essential to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all taking part.
All activities should be planned to involve at least two adults. For teams that include both girls and boys it is recommended that there is at least one male adult and one female adult present. For each activity a risk assessment should be completed and, based on that risk assessment, a decision made as to how many adults are necessary to safely supervise the activity. With a minimum of at least two adults present, the following ratios are recommended as a general guide:
|2 to 3 years old||1:5|
|3 to 7 years old||1:8|
|All children are aged 8 years old and over||1:10|
Other factors will also be taken into consideration in deciding how many adults are required to safely supervise the activity or event.
|This list is not exhaustive but it may include:|
|The nature of the activity e.g. training session, match, an event, does it include a trip away or overnight stay? The number of children or young people involved in the football activityThe age, maturity and experience of the children and/or young people involvedWhether any of the members of staff, volunteers or children or young people have a learning or physical disability or special requirements||Whether any of the children or young people have challenging behaviourThe particular risks associated with the football activity or eventThe particular risks associated with the environmentThe level of qualification and experience of the members of staff and volunteersThe programme of activities|
A key part of the planning an activity or event is considering any risks associated with the activity or event and how these risks can be minimised and managed.
For further information on risk assessments see Practice Note – Prevention Planning.
|COLLECTION BY PARENTS/CARERS|
There may be occasions when a parent/carer is late to pick up their child at the end of a football activity. It is not the responsibility of the Club to transport children or young people home on behalf of parents/carers who have been delayed however, the club does continue to have a duty of care to the child or young person in the absence of their parent/carer.
Staff and volunteers will:
- Make sure that the club’s communications are:
- Clear about starting and finishing times of the football activity.
- Clear about the expectations of parents/carers not to drop children off too early and collect children promptly when the football activity finishes.
- Ensure that there is more than one member of staff and/or volunteers at the end of the football activity to supervise collections.
- Ensure that in emergency situations, the members of staff and/or volunteers know how to deal with being left alone with a child or young person. This will be done by putting preventative measures in place and agreeing simple steps about how the situation should be dealt with if this arises.
As a general rule members of staff should not be in a position where they are alone with a child or young person, however there are exceptions and an emergency situation is such an example. For example, if there is an emergency situation which requires an adult to respond, this may result in the other adult being left alone a child or young person.
|REMEMBER: The wellbeing and best interests of the child/young person are paramount and have to take precedence, so leaving children or young people alone is not an option.|
- Ensure they have access, as appropriate, to child or young person’s address, contact telephone number and an alternative phone number of another responsible adult, provided by the parent/carer. The consent form completed prior to the activity or completed at the start of the season must include an emergency contact and a late collection contact number.
- It may be appropriate for a young person to travel unaccompanied to and from the activity or event e.g. if the activity is for young people who are an appropriate age and ability to travel independently. If it would be appropriate for a young person to make their way to and from the activity or event alone consent must first be sought from the young person themselves and their parents/carers. This can either be done through the Consent Form signed annually or verbal consent.
A child or young person should never be allowed to travel home alone unless the express consent of the parent/carer has been given in advance or is obtained by telephone and, even with this consent, a common sense approach should be taken about whether it is safe for them to do so in the circumstances e.g. the distance, location, time of day and weather will all be relevant factors.
- Never transport a child or young person alone on a 1 to 1 basis, unless necessary due to an emergency situation. In such circumstances the child or young person should be transported in line with the requirements set out in Practice Note – Travel and Trips Away on ‘Transporting Children’.
- In the rare situation when a the staff or volunteer are left alone with a child or young person, transparency is the key Keep a record of your actions; and Inform the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and the child’s parents/carers as soon as possible.
- When all else fails and a child or young person has not been collected and there is no sign of them being so and it would not be appropriate to or you are unable to transport the child or young person, call the police.
- Any concerns about the child or young person or their parents/carers which arise during collection should be responded to in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure. If you have a concern about the immediate safety of a child or young person, or others, you must take all reasonable steps to ensure their safety and contact the police.
|REMEMBER: While running the football activity members of staff and volunteers have a duty of care to the children and/or young people that are in their charge. When the football activity has finished the duty of care continues in the absence of a parent/carer or other responsible adult.|
One of the areas where children and young people are particularly vulnerable at football is the changing room. Limited changing facilities sometimes mean that people of all ages regularly need to change and shower during the same period.
To avoid possible misunderstandings and embarrassing situations, adults need to exercise particular care when children or young people are changing and provide enough supervision to recognise if there are any issues between the children and young people while they are using the changing room e.g. bullying behaviour.
|To ensure the wellbeing of all children and young people while they are using the changing rooms the following strategies should be followed:|
|Adults should not change or shower at the same time as children and young peopleIf space is limited identify a period of time which is solely for children and young people or adults to use the changing facilities and a sign placed on the door to make people aware of the restricted useIf a child or young person is uncomfortable changing or showering in public, no pressure should be placed on them to do soChildren aged 10 and under must be supervised/monitored in the changing rooms – see below for further informationWhere no changing facilities are available the children and/or young people and their parents/carers should be notified in advance and advised to make alternative arrangements and to take appropriate additional clothing e.g. tracksuits||The use of mobile phones and/or photographic equipment is prohibited within areas where children and/or young people are changing or showering – see Practice Note – Celebration for further information If a child or young person requires assistance when changing due to their age or ability, this should be done by the child or young person’s parent/carer. If this is not possible, the child or young person, where possible, and their parents/carers should be involved in deciding how they should be assisted – see Practice Note – Health for further information While some activities may be restricted to changing rooms for the purposes of team talks, if at all possible another area should be considered for this. If there are no other options, it is best practice to wait until all children and young people are fully dressed|
|Chaperoning/Supervising changing facilities|
|Members of staff and volunteers must always work in pairs and not to be alone in these circumstancesExtra vigilance may be required if there is public access to the facility Depending on the needs and age of the children or young people, supervision of the changing rooms can be done from outside the door with a call in or entering briefly and walking through||Only those members of staff and/or volunteers who are in regulated work and appointed in accordance with the appointment and selection procedure for those in regulated work should enter the changing room when children and/or young people are present, unless there is an emergency situation that requires assistance|
|In an emergency, if a member of staff or volunteers is required to enter the changing area they should be accompanied by another adult. If they have to go into a single gender changing room e.g. a male has to enter a female changing area, or vice versa, another adult of the opposite gender should accompany them.|
Prevention planning is considering all the risks associated with running football related activities and planning and managing the risks by putting in preventative measures to minimise them. Prevention Planning may take the form of various assessments but for day to day activities or one off events this will involve conducting a risk assessment as part of planning and organising the activity or event.
Members of staff and volunteers who provide football activities for children and young people have a duty to undertake a risk assessment of the environment in which they are operating, the activity itself and the group to ensure that the group’s requirements are met. Potential areas of risk should be identified at the planning stage and should be recorded in writing. Safeguards should then be put in place to manage the risks identified. Depending on the nature of the event, activity or trip the risk assessment may be an ongoing process as unexpected situations can arise.
What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is an important step to ensure the safe delivery and involvement of everyone participating in football activities, in any capacity e.g. as a player, a coach, a spectator, a referee, a volunteer etc. Completing a risk assessment allows those running day to day football activities or a specific event or activity to focus on the risks that really matter – the ones with the potential to cause significant harm.
A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what could cause harm to other people so that the risks are identified and an informed decision be made as to whether enough precautions have been taken or more should be done to prevent harm.
Why is a risk assessment necessary?
The Policy Statement declares that the Club will act in the best interests of children and young people and promote children’s rights, including the right to be protected from harm and abuse. To do this effectively, those working with children and young people must first be aware of the areas of risk and be able to adequately assess these risks. By doing this members of staff and volunteers will be:
- making sure children and young people are safe
- protecting members of staff and volunteers
- making sure that the club complies with legislation
- reducing or removing liability
- giving the sport a good reputation
What does the law state?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) states that all children have the right to be protected from harm, abuse and exploitation at all times. Section 5 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 states that if you are 16 or over and have children in your care or control then you must do what is reasonable in all circumstances to safeguard their health, development and welfare.
Carrying out a risk assessment
Step 1 – Identify potential risks
Think about who or what might cause harm to children and/or young people taking part in the activity or event.
|In preparation for an activity member of staff and volunteers must the following:|
|What is the nature of the activity? Where will the activity be carried out? What are the potential risks? Who may be at risk? Will the group be mixed? What will the age range be? Are there special needs within the group? How do you control the risk? What actions need to be carried out to do this?||What are the experience and qualification levels of the coaches and/or volunteers?Is a First aider present? A qualified First Aider with a First Aid kit must be present for all activitiesHow will children be supervised? Children should be properly supervised at all times, always with a satisfactory ratio of coaches and volunteers to children|
Step 2 – Identify who might be harmed and how
When identifying who might be harmed and how try to be specific. For example, during the game a child may be injured by an opponent’s tackle. In this example, the possibility of an injury has been identified as a potential risk and this step allows for further consideration as to how this risk can be reduced and responded to in the event it does arise.
Step 3 – Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
Evaluating risks includes considering how likely it is that harm could occur and how serious would it be. This is often described as ‘rating’ risk. Risk should be evaluated for likelihood and impact and a risk rating given for each. An example of rating is:
High: could occur quite easily High: could cause significant harm
Medium: could occur sometimes Medium: could cause moderate harm
Low: unlikely, although conceivable Low: could cause minimal harm
In the example above of the young person being injured by an opponent tackle the evaluation may be High/Low to Medium. This would show that the risk ‘could occur quite easily’ but would cause minimal to moderate harm.
Once the risk has been evaluated a decision can be made on what action should be taken. It is up to the member of staff and/or volunteer as to what action should be taken and this will include understanding that the law expects the club to do what is reasonable in all the circumstances.
For each risk assessment a risk owner should be assigned. The risk owner will assess what current controls are in place to reduce the risk, what future actions must be done to reduce the risk and what else they need to do about the risk.
The risk owner should consider the following:
- Can we eliminate the risk altogether?
- If yes, what do we need to achieve this?
- If no, what can we do that will allow us to manage the risk so that it becomes an acceptable level of risk?
- Who will manage this risk?
If the assessment of risk is that there is a high likelihood of occurring and a risk of significant harm and safeguards cannot be put in place to reduce the likelihood or harm then the activity should not go ahead.
Step 4 – Record your findings and act on them
It is helpful to record the result of your risk assessment. The benefits of recording are:
- It shows everyone involved that you take this seriously and that you value their involvement; and
- It will be helpful in the future when you look back to review what action is identified.
Keep it simple. If there are a number of actions required, tackle the important ones or those which are rated ‘high’ first. Agree timescales for addressing the other actions and who will be responsible.
Step 5 – Monitor and review
After the event/activity/trip review how it went:
- Were the controls effective?
- Were the actions effective?
- What can we learn?
Ask the children and/or young people who took part in the activity or event, their parents and carers and the member of staff and volunteers who were involved as to what would be realistic and work in practice for future activities and events. Where appropriate, children and young people should also be consulted at the planning stage as they may be able to highlight risks which have not been considered by the adults involved.
Developing good relationships leads to positive behaviour on and off the pitch. Positive relationships are essential for creating the right environment. Unfortunately, there may be occasions where inappropriate relationships with children and young people are formed through football.
Within the Club all staff and volunteers are expected to be proactive in promoting positive relationships with all children and young people involved in football. This Practice Note sets out how members of staff and volunteers can develop positive relationships, it includes information about ‘positions of trust’ and it highlights behaviour which is inappropriate and the response which should be take should by anyone involved in football if they have concerns.
Positive relationships are essential for creating an environment of inclusivity and fun. They lead to effective learning and create place where children and young people feel able to share any worries or concerns. Where children and young people feel included, respected, safe and secure they are more likely to develop self-confidence, resilience and positive views of themselves.
|How to develop positive relationships with the children and young people:|
|Have fun and help them get the most out their football experience Support the children and young people to understand their rights in football Treat them with respect, dignity, sensitivity and fairnessListen to what they have to say and, when possible, include them in decisions on matters that affect them Set clear boundaries so they know what to expect from you and what you expect from them||Celebrate the success but put the interests of each child before winningEncourage them to be the best version of themselves and to recognise their strengths and weaknesses Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback Challenge inappropriate behaviour e.g. bullying behaviour, swearing or sexualised language Involve the parents/carers wherever possible|
|Have ‘favourites’ – this could lead to resentment and jealousy by other children and could be misinterpreted by othersSpend excessive amounts of time alone with children and young people away from others Make sexually suggestive comments to a child or young person, even in fun||Form intimate emotional, physical or sexual relationships with children and young peopleHave a child or young person to stay at your home where this is not part of a pre-existing family relationship or social relationship with other members of your family|
|POSITION OF TRUST|
In football, as in many sports, children and young people look up to the adults involved in the game and those in leadership roles. They see these individuals are idols, role models and sometimes the people who can help them achieve their goal of becoming a professional footballer, whether this is real or perceived.
A position of trust is any position of authority that requires the holder of the position to enjoy the trust of a person over whom they exercise this authority and can also be known as a ‘relationship of trust’. In the context of this Practice Note people who hold positions of trust are generally adults but will also apply to young people who are aged under 18 and have taken on leadership roles.
|The power and influence a member of staff and/or volunteer has over a child or young person, who they are coaching or looking after in football, cannot be underestimated. Therefore, members of staff and volunteer will be considered to be in a position of trust.|
If there is an additional competitive aspect to the activity and the person in the position of authority is seen as having a role in the child or young person’s success or failure, for example through team selection, then the dependency of the younger person has upon the person in a position of authority will be increased. It is therefore vital for everyone to recognise the responsibility they must exercise in ensuring that they do not abuse their position of trust.
Current sexual offences legislation classifies any sexual activity involving children under 16 years old as unlawful. The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 defines specific roles and settings where sexual activity between 16 or 17 year olds and those in a position of trust, responsibility, or authority, constitutes a criminal offence. The legislation does not currently include sports roles (e.g. coaches, instructors or helpers) or sports organisation settings (e.g. clubs, leisure facilities or events) within these definitions. Nonetheless the Club recognises the influence that a member of staff and/or volunteer has over children and young people, and that by virtue of their role they have the capacity to influence their personal, social and sporting development.
Genuine relationships do occur, however, no intimate relationship should begin whilst the member of staff or volunteer is in a position of trust with the child or young person, regardless of whether they are both over the legal age of consent.
Any concerns that a member of staff and/or volunteer is or has abused their position of trust must be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.
|PEER ON PEER ABUSE|
Football is a great place to make new friends and increase your social circle. Through a common interest in football friendships will form and relationships will develop between the children and young people. This may include intimate emotional relationships between children and/or young people. Often no harm comes from them, indeed they can be positive relationships. However, children and/or young people who suffer abuse can do so at the hands of other children and/or young people. Peer on peer abuse may include physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse. The Club takes harmful behaviour by children and/or young people towards other children and/or young people seriously. Any concerns about such conduct must be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and, if appropriate, reported to the police and local statutory services.
‘Positions of trust’ also apply to children and young people who have taken on a leadership role within football. If there is a concern that a young person has abused their position of trust or acted inappropriately towards another young person this will be responded to in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure.
The vast majority of adults involved in Club activities with children and young people participate with the aim of providing a fun and positive experience for those with whom they work. However, the club recognise that some people (though a minority) may use football as a way of gaining access to children and young people for inappropriate reasons, including sexual abuse.
In order to gain access to children and young people, those who commit offences often first earn the trust of people surrounding the child or young person. This may include representatives of the child or young person, members of the club, coaches and volunteers, parents and carers and other children or young people. This process is referred to as ‘grooming’. This predatory behaviour is an offence and may be prosecuted separately to direct sexual abuse. Those who commit offences often portray themselves as caring and trustworthy individuals so they are freely entrusted with the care of children or young people. Once they have gained access to children or young people, they befriend them in order to break down any pre-existing barriers. As soon as a trusting friendship has been established, they manipulate and control children or young person into gratifying their sexual needs. It is important to recognise that this can occur over a very short or a very long period of time depending on the individual and the role they have, for example if a person is perceived by the child or young person as being able to influence their sporting career then the process can be very short indeed.
Some children or young people who have been sexually abused may not consider that they have been abused as a result of grooming and instead may think that they are in a ‘loving’ relationship with the adult. It is important to understand that grooming is part of the abuse and is a criminal offence. The Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005 addresses the predatory behaviour of those who “groom” children with the aim of abusing them, by introducing an offence of “grooming”. Any member of staff or volunteer must report any suspicions or allegations of grooming to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure.
|OPPORTUNISTIC OR SITUATIONAL BEHAVIOUR|
Not all people who abuse children and young people are predatory or go into a role with the intention of abusing children and young people. In some circumstances, the adult may take advantage of the opportunity through misuse of their position of trust and a lack of clear boundaries (“opportunistic behaviour”). Others may be in a situation where through working with a child or young person they start to feel an attraction (“situational behaviour”). For those whose behaviour is opportunistic or situational, they may have never previously considered abusing a child or young person or had a sexual attraction to children or young people and may be just as confused about their own behaviour, thoughts and feelings. This does not mean that their behaviour is any less concerning. The wellbeing and safety of the child or young person must always be the paramount consideration and all actions should be taken in their best interests. Any concerns of such behaviour must be responded to under the Responding to Concerns Procedure and reported to the police, if possible criminal behaviour.
In circumstances of opportunistic or situational behaviour the Appointment and Selection Procedure becomes less effective as a preventative measure and prevention planning becomes necessary as part of an on-going assessment to the safety of all children and young people involved in the activity or event.
Within football, as within other activities, sexual relationships do occur. It is important to address sexual activity both between children and between adults and children.
Sexual activity between children and/or young people involved in football is prohibited during team events, in facilities and social activities organised by the Club. Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by a child or young person may lead to the information being shared with the child/young person’s Named Person and may lead to reports being made to external agencies such as the police or social services. Sexual activity between children and young people is unlawful if one or both are aged under 16.
Sexual interactions between adults and young people (aged 16 and over) involved in football while not illegal raise serious issues given the power imbalance inherent in the relationship. Where a young person is of the age of consent, the power of the adult over that young person may influence their ability to genuinely consent to sexual activity. Members of staff and/or volunteers in a position of authority may have significant power or influence over a young person’s career. Sexual activity between adults and young people (aged 16 and over) involved in football is prohibited when the adult is considered to be in a position of trust or authority (coach, official etc). Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by an adult will lead to suspension and disciplinary action in accordance with the club’s Disciplinary Procedures, which in the case of criminal behaviour must include contacting the police.
Sexual activity between adults and children or young people under the age of 16 is a criminal act and should be immediately reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and the police.
*All references and information provided on legislation listed above has been taken from ’10 Steps to Safeguard Children in Sport’ published online by the Safeguarding in Sport Service: www.children1st.org.uk/what-we-do/our-services/search-our-services/safeguarding-in-sport/10-steps-to-safeguard-children-in-sport
Travel to away games and trips away from home should be both safe and fun for children and young people. It should be a chance for all children and young people to grow in confidence, self-esteem and skills. Parents and carers will often worry when their children are away but careful planning and preparation should help to ease those worries and demonstrate that consideration has been given to the various needs of their children and the potential risks associated with trips away.
This Practice Note sets out what is expected of members of staff and volunteers when travelling with children and young people as part of the football activities and should be read in conjunction with the Practice Note on Planning and Organisation.
|TRANSPORTATION OF CHILDREN|
Where it is necessary to transport children and/or young people it is important to consider the risks associated. The following provides information about the responsibilities of both the child’s parents/carers and the Club and sets out what is required when transporting children and young people.
|Responsibility of Parents/Carers|
|Parents/carers must complete the Consent Form declaring that they consent to their child being transported by persons representing the clubParents/carers should inform those travelling with their child of any issues their child may have e.g. travel sickness||Ask appropriate questions about journey time, route etc. Make sure parents/carers are clear about the departure times and arrival timeMake sure an appropriate adult is present when the child or young person is collected and dropped|
|REMEMBER: Where parents/carers make arrangements for the transportation of their children to and from the activity, outwith the knowledge of the club, it will be the responsibility of the parents/carers to satisfy themselves about the appropriateness and safety of the arrangements.|
|Responsibility of the Club|
|Check the driver(s) has a valid and appropriate licence for the vehicle being used e.g. D1 classification for driving minibuses Ensure that all vehicles and drivers are correctly insured for the purpose of the tripEnsure that all vehicles are fit for purpose and have relevant breakdown cover Check that all reasonable safety measures are available e.g. fitted, working seatbelts, booster seats where appropriateRequire children and/or young people wear seatbelts at all times and travel in the back seat for health and safety reasons Make sure there is an appropriate ratio of adults per child. For further information on Adult to Child ratios see Practice Note – Planning and Organisation Require drivers to have adequate breaks when driving long distance. Further information on the legal requirement on drivers in relation to appropriate breaks can be found at https://www.gov.uk/drivers-hours/gb-domestic-rules||Make sure there are signed consent forms for all children and young people who are being transported Inform parents/carers that the club will be transporting their child, the reasons why and how long the journey will takeTell the children and/ young people about the travel arrangements to make sure they are comfortable with the plansAgree a collection policy with parents/carers which includes a clear and shared understanding of arrangements for collection at the end of a football activity Have a point of contact and a working mobile phone in case of break down or any other issues enroute When the transportation is not pre-planned, call ahead to inform the child’s parents/carers that you are giving them a lift and inform them of when you expect to arrive|
|Travel alone with a child or young person. Staff should travel in pairs or, in exceptional circumstances, with more than one child in the car. If you require to transport a child due to an emergency situation and it is not possible for another adult to travel with you, tell another member of staff or volunteer that you are transporting a child or young person, give details of the route and the anticipated length of the journey|
|TRIPS AWAY FROM HOME (INCLUDING OVERNIGHT STAYS)|
Travelling to away fixtures, tournaments and residential stays are regular activities which may require detailed arrangements involving overnight stays. Even what may appear as the most straightforward trip will require some level of planning and coordination by the members of staff and/or volunteers involved to make sure that it is a safe and enjoyable experience.
The following information outlines a number of issues that members of staff and volunteers must take into consideration when travelling with children and young people. This guidance applies to all away trips including trips which involve overnight stays and travelling abroad.
Planning and preparation
|Who should travel with the team?|
|All trips away must be planned to involve at least two adults. For further information on appropriate Adult to Child ratios see Practice Note – Planning and Organisation Members of staff and/or volunteers travelling on the trip who have responsibility for the children and young people or who are in regulated work must be selected in accordance with the Appointment and Selection Procedure A Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer should be designated for the trip and that person(s) must have undertaken appropriate training||Everyone travelling should be familiar with and agree to abide by the Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy and have received appropriate training There should be a qualified first aider as part of the group with access to a full and up to date first aid boxMake sure the appropriate members of staff or volunteers have been selected for the trip e.g. if travelling with a male group of players, there should always be a male member of staff and vice versa|
Designated Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer for the Trip
During the trip members of staff and/or volunteers will be responsible for the safety and wellbeing of children and/or young people in their care. It is essential that a member of staff or volunteer is designated as Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer (CWPO) to coordinate the arrangements to promote, support and safeguard the wellbeing of the children and/or young people during the trip. The CWPO will ensure all practical arrangements have been addressed and act as the main contact for dealing with any concerns about the safety and wellbeing of the children and/or young people whilst away from home. A detailed itinerary will be prepared and copies provided to the club’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and parents/carers, including the CWPO’s contact details during the trip. The CWPO should be familiar with contact details for the club’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer so that advice can be sought, if required.
In the event of an emergency at home during the trip, parents/carers should be encouraged to make contact with the CWPO in the first instance so that arrangements can be put in to place to support the child on hearing any distressing news.
|How to involve the parent/carers and children and young people in the preparation and planning|
|For trips involving overnight stays meet with parents/carers before any trip, when possible, to explain the arrangements, itinerary and important contact details and address any concerns or questionsParents/carers must complete the Consent Form in advance of the trip. If appropriate, the young people should also complete the Consent FormGive the children and young people and their parents/carers an information pack which includes: dates, what you are doing, where you are going, rules, kit list, recommended pocket money, medical care needs etc. Provide the parents/carers with contact details in case of an emergency. This must include the contact details for the designated CWPO||Work with the children and young people establish rules for the trip, including consequences for breaking the rules Children and young people should also know who they can talk to if they have any worries or concerns while away from home. All children and young people and their parents/carers should know who the designated CWPO will be for the trip and given the CWPO’s contact details For trips abroad, children and/or young people should be informed of the local customs. Information can be found at on the UK Government website at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice Ask the children and/or young people and their parents/carer to make you aware of any dietary requirements. This can include dietary requirements due to allergies or religious beliefs e.g. a child or young person may be observing Ramadan|
|Members of staff and/or volunteers must ensure there is adequate and relevant insurance cover (including travel and medical insurance) Where possible, the whole squad should travel in identifiable clothing e.g. team tracksuitIf travelling abroad, check if you need visas and/or vaccinations Potential areas of risk should be identified through a risk assessment. Further information on risk assessments can be found in the Practice Note – Prevention PlanningMembers of staff and/or volunteers should have clear roles and responsibilities for the duration of the trip||Members of staff and/or volunteers should also familiarise themselves with the nearest hospital/A&E Department and if travelling abroad, the details of the emergency services in the location they visit e.g. what is the telephone number for the emergency services in that country?If the trip involves overseas organisers shall ensure they are aware of local procedures for dealing with concerns about the wellbeing of children and/or young peopleMembers of staff and/or volunteers must ensure arrangements are in place for the supervision and risk assessment of activities during free time|
Members of staff and/or volunteers should find out as much as possible about the accommodation and the surroundings at the planning stage to help identify all practical issues and allow time to address them in advance, in consultation with children/young people and their parents/carers, where appropriate.
|The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the practical things which should be considered in advance about the arrangements for accommodation:|
|Location: central and remote locations both present different challengesAccommodation facility: health & safety of building confirmed by owners/providersAppropriate safeguards are in place for accommodation where the same areas can be accessed by others e.g. if staying in a hotel can other guests and hotel staff access this area? Special access or adaptive aids required by members of staff or volunteers or children or young people||Environmental factorsPersonal safety issues For overnight stays, agree who is sharing with whom before you go. This will enable suitable sharing in terms of age and gender. Parents/carers and the children and young people should be consulted in advance about arrangements for sharing, where possible and appropriate, and there should be a certain amount of flexibility as friendships can change|
Residential at a Facility / Centre
Members of staff and/or volunteers should ensure the facility is appropriately licensed and has adequate and relevant insurance cover in place. The facility should have policies on Child Wellbeing / Protection and Health & Safety. Adequate security arrangements should be in place and facility staff should have been appropriately vetted. Facility staff involved in the training or instruction of children and/or young people must be appropriately qualified and trained. Members of staff and/or volunteers should ensure there is adequate supervision of the group for the duration of the stay, particularly when the facility is being shared with other groups.
During the trip
|Check all rooms e.g. are there the correct number of beds, is there any damage which needs to be reported etc. Ensure there is no access to alcohol in the rooms and that all rooms are non-smoking Ensure movie access is appropriate or not available in the roomsEnsure that everyone is aware of the fire exits and the emergency proceduresEnsure there is somewhere to store money or valuables||Ideally all the bedrooms should be together, however if they are not ensure that members of staff and/or volunteers spread out e.g. if the group is over three floors, there should be at least one adult room on each floor Adults must never share a room alone with a child or young personHave a meeting on arrival to review the programme and rule|
After the trip
Where possible, a debrief will take place with all those involved in the trip. Ask the children and/or young people and the staff and/or volunteers what they enjoyed and they would change. This will provide an opportunity to reflect on what went well, not so well and what could have been done differently. Feedback will be used to inform future trips.
 The ratios are recommended in the National Care Standards: Early Education and Childcare up to the age of 16 (Scottish Executive, 2005, revised September 2009). They are a relevant minimum for daytime activities, but should be modified for overnight stays, trips away from home and to take into account other risk factors.
 Brackenridge, C.H (2010) ‘Myths and evidence – learning from our journey’, keynote address to the conference ‘How Safe is Your Sport’ held at the Excel Sports Centre, Coventry on 25 Feb, hosted by the Coventry Sports Foundation and the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit – http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/4177
 Source: Jones, L et al Prevalence and risk of violence against children with disabilities: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies (NSPCC) (2012)
 Article 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 section 97(1)