Advice for Clubs
It is extremely important for sports clubs to adopt and apply good practice when dealing with children and adults with care and support needs and ensure their safety is paramount. Every sports club should have a safeguarding policy along with a designated safeguarding officer. All of the club’s coaches and volunteers should be appropriately screened, trained and informed of safeguarding issues to protect themselves, the organisation and the members of the club.
If the sport has a National Governing Body (NGB) consult them for guidance and advice on safeguarding and welfare specific to the sport. See here for a list of NGBs: www.sportengland.org/our-work/national-work/national-governing-bodies/sports-that-we-recognise.
The Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) has excellent advice and resources available from its website: www.thecpsu.org.uk/help-advice
The CPSU Resource Library contains a wealth of documents and templates useful for all aspects of safeguarding: www.thecpsu.org.uk/resource-library.
Club Self-Assessment Toolkit: The Child Protection in Sport Unit provides a very useful self-assessment toolkit to help clubs evaluate their safeguarding provision: https://thecpsu.org.uk/self-assessment-tool/.
Advice for Coaches and Volunteers
Coaches and volunteers within sport should be appropriately screened, trained and informed of safeguarding issues to protect themselves, their organisation and all vulnerable people.
The Child Protection in Sport Unit’s website contains useful information and resources to assist with implementing safeguarding procedure, including codes of conduct for staff and volunteers, good practice in safeguarding for coaches, and managing challenging behaviour: www.thecpsu.org.uk.
Advice for Parents and Carers
As a parent you play a very important role in helping to ensure that your child is able to participate in sport in a safe and friendly environment. The vast majority of sports clubs and facilities are run by well-meaning people and have safeguarding policies and practices in place.
Being well informed will help you recognise when things are of the standards they should be and provide a positive experience for your child and peace of mind for you.
Never be afraid to ask to see qualifications, insurance and safeguarding documentation when your child joins a new club or activity. Reputable and well-meaning clubs and individuals will be happy to share this information.
The links below will provide you with some advice on what you should be looking for when deciding on a club or coach for your child and also information on how to keep your child safe online:
Child sexual Exploitation on line (can this be made a link to this web page? http://www.escb.co.uk/en-gb/safeguardingtopics/childsexualexploitation/onlinechildsexualabuse.aspx)
Getting involved in your child’s sports club can be a good way to help to promote and encourage a safe environment and share in your child’s experience and enjoyment. Volunteering in sport can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience in building new friends and having a sense of achievement in helping others.
Advice for Young People
Sport is good for many reasons, like the fact that it is fun and a great way to make new friends. However, for a few children and young people their fun may be spoiled because of the actions of others which may frighten or even hurt them. Often when a child or young person feels like this, they may feel too frightened or worried to tell anyone what is happening. But it best to always tell someone you can trust. This can be a parent, a teacher or another adult that they trust. There are also people you can talk to on the phone who are especially there to help. Contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit their website to find-out more information: www.childline.org.uk.
It is important to recognise the additional vulnerabilities of some young people who through factors such as ability to communicate, disability or intellectial impairment may require additional care and support. The Child Protection in Sport Unit has specific advice for handling these situations: https://thecpsu.org.uk/resource-library/2017/additional-vulnerability-and-support-planning/.