SCOTSTOUN EAGLES CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
1ST SEPTEMBER 2020
Scotstoun Eagles Squash Club is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children in its care. It recognises the responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. Coaches and volunteers will work together to embrace difference and diversity and respect the rights of children and young people.
Scotstoun Eagles is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment in its work with children and young people. The formulation of our Child Protection Policy reflects this commitment. We believe that children and young people have rights as laid out in the U.N. Convention of the Rights of the Child and that abuse in any form is an abuse of these rights.
Abuse is the result of any individual or group misusing power that they have over another individual or group. Abuse can be physical, mental, emotional, and sexual or the result of neglecting to fulfil responsibilities.
“Protection from harm” covers other issues that do not necessarily come under the term ‘abuse’. In all cases, the safety of the individual concerned is paramount.
In our work with children and young people we recognise that every vulnerable person has the right to live free from abuse; however, we also recognise that every child and vulnerable young person is potentially at risk from abuse and exploitation.
We value and will respond promptly and appropriately to all information presented by children and young people, or third parties regarding the safety and welfare of children and young people.
We aim to:
- Provide children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care and supervision of Scotstoun Eagles staff, members and volunteers.
- Help all staff, members and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific Child Protection issues.
This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Scotstoun Eagles, including the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff and students and members. Throughout this Policy and procedures, we will refer to the sports volunteers/staff. By this we mean anyone involved in the delivery of the sport for example paid or unpaid staff including volunteer coaches, parent helpers, officials etc
This policy is influenced by the following legislation, regulation and guidance
- Children and young people (Scotland) Act 2014 (due for update 2020)
- The Children’s Act 2004 and 2007
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
- The Charity Commission Safeguarding and Protecting People guidance
- The Care Act 2014
- Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 as amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015
- Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Sexual Harm Prevention Orders, Sexual Risk Orders and forced Marriage)
- Sexual Offences Act 2003
- Sexual Offences Act Scotland 2009
- The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007
- Scottish Squash Child wellbeing and protection in squash guidance for clubs 2017
This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies, procedures, guidance, and other related documents, including:
- Role description for the designated Child Protection officer and related posts
- Dealing with disclosures and concerns about a child or young person
- Managing allegations against staff and volunteers
- Recording concerns and information sharing
- Child protection records retention and storage
- Code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- Behaviour codes for children and young people
- Photography and sharing images guidance
- Safer recruitment
- Online safety
- Managing complaints
- Health and safety
- Induction, training, supervision and support
- Adult to child supervision ratios
We believe that:
- children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind
- we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them.
We recognise that:
- the welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse
- some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
- working in partnership with children, young people their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
- valuing, listening to and respecting them
- appointing a nominated child protection lead, deputies and a lead board member for Child Protection
- adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- developing and implementing an effective online safety policy and related procedures
- providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures so that all staff and volunteers know about and follow our policies, procedures and behaviour codes confidently and competently
- recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- recording, storing, and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance
- sharing information about child protection and safeguarding good practice with children and their families
- making sure that children, young people, and their families know where to go for help if they have a concern
- using our child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families, and carers appropriately
- using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
- creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
- ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
- ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff, and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
- building a safeguarding culture where staff and volunteers, children, young people, and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.
Name: Scott McAlpine
Phone: 07710 424 412
Nominated child protection officer (CPO)
Board lead for child protection
Name: Scott McAlpine
Phone: 07710 424 412
Scottish Squash CPO
Name: Morva McKenzie
Phone: 0131 374 2020
Social Care Direct: 0141 287 0555 (You can find details of your local social work office on www.glasgow.gov.uk)
Police – Family Protection Unit: 101
Glasgow & Partners Emergency Social Work Services 0300 343 1505
Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration: 0131 244 2100
NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000
This policy statement came into force on 1st September 2020
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually. This policy statement and accompanying procedures were last reviewed on:
|Date of review||Reviewer||Changes made|
|01/09/2020||Scott McAlpine||Document adopted|
Dealing with disclosures and concerns about a child or young person
Scotstoun Eagles policy is to respond swiftly and appropriately to all concerns or allegations of abuse within a procedure that firstly respects and empowers the child, or participant, secondly is supportive for Scotstoun Eagles staff, members and volunteers and thirdly avoids collusion with the suspected perpetrator(s) of abuse.
- It is not the responsibility of anyone working within Scotstoun Eagles, in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether child abuse has taken place.
- Everyone working within Scotstoun Eagles can play an important part in promoting the safety and protection of young people with whom they are working. This is both a moral and a legal obligation.
- It is therefore vital that staff raise all cases of suspected or alleged child abuse in line with the procedures identified in the next section. It is important to do this as there may already have been concerns expressed by other members of staff that you do not know about and failure to do so may put a child or participant at risk.
- It is Scotstoun Eagles policy therefore, that suspicions and allegations of abuse will be reported to the Child Protection Lead who will liaise with the appropriate Local Social Work Departments, Education service or the Police, whose duty it will be to take further steps to protect the child/participant and investigate the allegations or suspicions.
There may be many reasons why you may consider not reporting the matter to CPL, for example:
- You are not sure that your concern is founded.
- You have been asked by the child/participant not to tell anyone.
- You believe the consequences of raising the issue may not be in, what you believe to be, the best interests of the child.
- The consequences for the alleged abuser may be very serious even if the case is not proven against them (personal reputation).
- You are not sure if the child/participant’s story is credible.
- The desire to protect a colleague or friend who is implicated.
However, all concerns must be reported to Child Protection Lead/ Officer
The following raising and reporting child protection issues flowchart outlines how to raise a concern and the corresponding actions
Guidelines on what to do if a child tells you that they have been or are being abused
The following are guidelines on immediate action to be taken following a reporting of abuse by a participant:
- React calmly and try not to frighten or deter them.
- Re-assure them that you are glad they have told you, and it is not their fault.
- Don’t promise to keep it to yourself, at the earliest opportunity remind participant of our confidentiality policy and explain what this means.
- Explain that you need to make sure that they will be safe and will have to pass on the information to somebody trusted to deal with it appropriately.
- Listen carefully to what the participant says and take them seriously.
- Allow them to tell you what happened in their own words.
- It is important to clarify what you have heard and to establish the basic facts; however, avoid leading questions and do not ask them specific questions about explicit details. This is the job of the professional Child Protection agencies.
- If possible, make brief notes during the initial disclosure, explaining to the participant why you are doing this. If not possible to do at the time, make notes as soon as possible afterwards.
- Keep a handwritten timeline and enter it into the log as soon as possible – someone else may need to pick this up after you and will not want to repeat previous conversations.
- At an early stage consider adjourning your meeting and taking advice.
If a concern or allegation of abuse or inappropriate conduct is made against any of the above or you have a suspicion regarding the conduct of any of the above with regard to children or young people, you must contact the CPL immediately.
If the allegation or suspicion concerns the Scotstoun Eagles Child Protection Lead, the chair of the board must be contacted immediately.
The procedures as outlined in the raising and reporting child protection issues flowchart must be followed. There will be additional factors to consider, as outlined below, but the overriding priority will be the immediate safety of the child/participant or vulnerable adult.
Each situation will be considered individually. However, initially there will be three courses of action:
- If there are clear grounds to believe that the allegations are malicious, an internal investigation will be held within 48 hours and referred to the Chair of the board for any further action.
- Where there are grounds for suspicion or grounds to believe that a member of staff may be involved in an incidence of abuse or inappropriate behaviour the following actions will be taken immediately:
- The staff member will be informed of the allegation and given opportunity to respond.
- The staff member will then either be removed from duties that have direct contact with children/young people or required to take special leave with pay without prejudice. Handing the allegation/ suspicion over to the investigating authority.
- Where there is no doubt that the reporting/allegation/suspicion is accurate then the member of staff will be removed from duties immediately and the matter handed on to the Police.
In all allegations of abuse involving a member of staff external support for that member of staff will be considered.
Lack of further Police and/or Social Work action will not preclude the possibility of there being a clear disciplinary case to answer.
The overriding priority in any situation is the immediate safety of the child/participant. Consideration must be given to removing the victim from any potential harm to a place where any physical/emotional needs can be supported.
- As well as establishing initial facts, there will be a need to ensure that both the victim and alleged abuser are kept apart.
- In a residential setting, in most cases, serious consideration must be given to returning one or both of the individuals to their homes if the police are not to be immediately involved. Bearing in mind that participants under 16 must be accompanied. This may mean bringing the whole group home or the accompanied return of one or both individuals. Staff must have procedures in place to provide for this eventuality.
- Where unprotected sex has occurred there may be an immediate need to seek emergency contraception. Where this is sought will depend on the circumstances; however, teams should have access in place to appropriate agencies e.g. Sandyford, pharmacy or local G.P. for use in such circumstances.
All action must be consistent and compliant with the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009
Action to be taken where consensual sex has taken place where one or both young people are underage and participants on a Scotstoun Eagles course or session
- Follow the process outlined in the child protection flow chart.
- Where either young person is below the age of legal consent it is important to try to ensure there has been no exploitation or coercion involved. Where the relationship is clearly mutual and consensual with both individuals it will still be necessary to take into account the legal age of consent and the law around protection of minors. It may be appropriate to encourage the young people to inform their parents/guardian or referral agency or it may be necessary for Scotstoun Eagles to contact external parties depending on any possible vulnerabilities of the young person / people involved.
- Speak to the individuals about the appropriateness and possible consequences of their relationship and provide ongoing support.
- Consider there may be a need to seek emergency contraception, and medical treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
- Where one young person is over 16, one or both parties could be deemed vulnerable, there is any concern or doubt about the relationship being abusive the raising and reporting child protection issues flowchart must be followed. Each situation will be considered individually; however, it may be necessary to refer the case externally considering the legal age of consent.
- Consider further aspects of the programme such as any residential elements.
- If you are satisfied that they are not at risk of harm, their confidentiality must be maintained and they must receive services appropriate to their needs (e.g., condoms, pregnancy/S.T.I. testing, contraception, advice, access to abortion, counselling etc).
- If you have any concerns that they or anyone else may be at risk, no matter how small that concern, you should discuss your concerns with the designated CPO
Where allegations are made against a participant by another child/participant involved in a Scotstoun Eagles programme the raising and reporting child protection issues flowchart must be followed.
Where both the perpetrator and the victim are involved in the programme Scotstoun Eagles will not automatically cease working with either but will consider the most appropriate way of managing and supporting each individual. This may include referring either party or both on to other organisations.
Recording Child Protection incidents
It is essential to make notes on all events and action taken (e.g. phone calls made, content of conversations) as they happen. All should be recorded in the child protection form and a timeline built, as detailed in this document.
All concerns and reported allegations, and action taken must be recorded in line with the Incident Procedures and forwarded to the Child Protection Officer.
Your information should include:
- The nature of the suspicion or allegation.
- A description of any visible injury.
- A first-hand account of what has happened.
- Dates and times and any other factual information.
- The distinction between fact, opinion or hearsay.
It is recognised that dealing with Child protection can be very emotional for the individual(s) involved. Staff/volunteers involved with a Child protection case should work closely with the CPL to ensure appropriate support is received and they have the chance to debrief about what has or is occurring. If staff/volunteers want to speak to someone impartial they can contact the Scottish Squash CPO.
Scotstoun Eagles has a Confidentiality Policy. It is employed across the scope of Scotstoun Eagles work with young people and it should be read in conjunction with the Child Protection Policy.
The Confidentiality Policy should be explained as part of initial sessions.
In the case of an incident or if an incident is expected, at the earliest opportunity remind the participant of our confidentiality policy and explain what this means. Do not promise to keep information to yourself, all concerns or allegations of abuse must be raised.
Information held internally by Scotstoun Eagles must be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).
Liaison with Other Agencies and Information Sharing
Scotstoun Eagles will work to develop effective links with relevant services to promote the safety and welfare of all young people particularly where an action plan, child protection plan or a referral has been made from a support service such as Social work or police.
Scotstoun Eagles will:
- Co-operate as required, with key agencies in their enquiries regarding child protection matters including when requested to attend child protection conferences
- Notify the relevant School or Children’s Residential Unit immediately if we must exclude a
- young person attending programme, if that young person is attending programme instead of school
- There is an unexplained absence of a pupil who is subject to a Child Protection Plan
- There is any change in circumstances to a pupil who is subject to a Child Protection Plan
- Keep clear, detailed, accurate, written records of concerns about the young person (noting the date, event and action taken)
- All information sharing will be done in line with Data Protection and Scotstoun Eagles Data Protection Policy. The Data Protection Act does not prevent schools from sharing information with relevant agencies where that information may help to protect a child so therefore Scotstoun Eagles will receive sensitive information which will need to be stored and shared internally, this requires Data Protection be fully adhered to.
- If staff are in doubt about confidentiality, they will consult their line manager
- Ensure information about a young person is only shared on a ‘need to know’ basis and shared with
- sensitivity and respect for confidentiality.
- Only communicate with parents where appropriate and on the advice of the relevant statutory agency in the case of under 16 yr olds.
- In the event that information is requested by the Police in relation to a young person and there is no immediate danger to an individual, the request must be submitted on a Section 29 form of The Data Protection Act. This must be signed by an Inspector or above and the release of the information must be authorised within Scotstoun Eagles by Chair of the board and in their absence, the Child Protection lead.
Use of photographic and or video equipment
Children must be protected from those who would seek to use photos and videos to place them at risk of harm. Written consent must be obtained from the child’s parents/carers before any photography or filming takes place.
Management of Photography
Reasonable steps must be taken to promote the safe use of photography and filming at events and activities. It is not possible to prevent individuals photographing or filming in public places, but the club does have the right to prohibit the use of photography, film or video at its own events or activities at a private venue.
Where photography or filming is permitted, (and consent has been granted from parents/carers), the following guidelines should be followed:
- Put a system in place to allow easy tracking of photographers and their equipment. For example use a badge or sticker to identify those with permission to photograph or film.
- Children must never be portrayed in a demeaning, tasteless or a provocative manner. Children should never be shown in a state of partial undress, other than when depicting an action shot within the context of the sport. Attire such as tracksuits or t-shirts may be more appropriate.
- No unsupervised access or one-to-one sessions will be allowed unless this has been explicitly agreed with the child and parents/carers.
- Decisions about publishing images should reflect the best interests of the child and should consider whether they might place the child at risk. Special care must be taken in relation to vulnerable children such as those in care, fleeing domestic violence or a child with a disability.
- All negatives, copies of videos and digital images will be stored in a secure place. These will not be kept for any longer than is necessary having regard to the purposes for which they were taken.
- Indecent images of young people under 18 years of age are classified as child abuse imagery and must be reported immediately to the police.
Mobile Phone Cameras
A number of children have been placed at risk as a result of the ability to discreetly record and transmit images through mobile phones. Particular care is required in areas where personal privacy is important e.g. changing rooms, bathrooms and sleeping quarters. No photographs or filming should ever be permitted in such areas.
Anyone behaving in a way which could reasonably be viewed as inappropriate in relation to filming or photographing should be reported to the Club Child Wellbeing & Protection Officer, or the police.
Communication technology and social media
Communication technology and social media developments advance extremely quickly, meaning ways in which we communicate and receive and absorb information are changing all the time. This provides a great opportunity for clubs to promote their activities and communicate easily with members. But it can also put children and young people at considerable risk, which is why safeguards must be put in place.
Adults who seek to harm children have been known to use technology and social media to “groom” children. This area is now specifically addressed by the Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005. It is also widely acknowledged that children can be harmed by the behaviours and actions of their peers for example, on-line bullying and sexting.
The following guidelines should be met in order to safeguard all parties when communicating using texting/social media:
- all communications from the club with children should be open, transparent and appropriate
- messages should only be sent to communicate details of meeting points, training, match details, competition results etc.
- The same message should be sent to every member of the group/team
- it should always be clear that it is the club who is communicating information – one-to-one messaging arrangements between sports volunteers/staff should be strongly discouraged and safeguards should be in place and settings adjusted to prevent this happening
- messages should never contain any offensive, abusive or inappropriate language.
- They should not be open to misinterpretation
- written permission must be sought from parents/carers to communicate with children under 16 years via technology/social media
- parents should be offered the option to be copied into any messages their child will be sent
- consent to communicate via technology/social media should be sought directly from young people aged 16 to 18. Though consent from parents/carers is not required for this age group,
it is recommended that parents/carers are informed of the intention to communicate with their children
- children and young people should be informed about the means of communication at the club. They should also be given information on how to keep themselves safe and who to report any concerns to
- All concerns about the inappropriate use of technology and social media will be dealt with in line with the Procedure for Responding to Concerns about a Child. This may include the concerns being reported to police
- All phone numbers/email addresses of children and young people should be recorded and kept securely in a locked cabinet or password-protected electronic file or database
- The number of people with access to children and young people’s details should be kept to a
- practical minimum. A record should be kept of their numbers/addresses by the Club child Protection Officer
Use of images and Information
- Information published on the websites/social networking sites must never include personal information that could identify a child e.g. home address, email address, telephone number of a child. Credit for achievements by a child should be restricted to first names e.g. Tracey was Player of the Year 2002.
- Children must never be portrayed in a demeaning, tasteless or a provocative manner.
- Children should never be portrayed in a state of partial undress, other than when depicting an action shot within the context of the sport. Attire such as tracksuits or t-shirts may be more appropriate.
- Information about specific events or meetings e.g. coaching sessions must not be distributed to any individuals other than to those directly concerned
Within sport intimate relationships can occur. A person in a legally defined ‘position of trust’ who takes advantage of their position to develop an intimate relationship with a child/young person may be committing a criminal offence known as ‘abuse of trust’. Sports coaching is not currently defined in law as a ‘position of trust’, but the principle of the law should be followed
The notion of ‘positions of trust’ applies as much to young people in leadership roles as it does to adults.
All Scotstoun Eagles staff (including volunteers, trainees on placement, student placements and interns must always demonstrate appropriate behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive and a protective culture within Scotstoun Eagles.
Practice to be encouraged:
- Putting the welfare of each participant first before achieving goals.
- Treating all participants with respect and dignity
- Seeking opportunities to have conversations with participants about keeping safe both at Scotstoun Eagles and at home.
- Always working in an open environment, avoiding private or unobserved situations, and avoiding secrets and exclusive behaviour.
- Contact with young people should be made where other staff can see and preferably hear. It may be better to use public places such as café or another agency’s premises.
- When having a 1:1 with a participant in a room, it should ideally have a viewing window or CCTV. Where this is not possible the door should be left open.
- Adopt an open-door policy on all work rooms.
- Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with young people.
- Sometimes it may be necessary to do things of a personal nature for participants e.g. in an emergency. If you must be in physical contact, clearly tell the participant what you are doing and why, seek their permission and give choices where possible. Try to have another member of staff present. Be sure to record your actions on the accident/incident report. Try to keep yourself safe.
- Reporting all concerns, suspicions or allegations to your line manager/ CPL. Always act. If in doubt as to whether you should report something, always ask.
- Involving participants in the decisions that affect them when possible.
- Encouraging participants to invite family members or perhaps agency workers involved with them to become involved in their contact with Scotstoun Eagles. This could be for certificate presentations, Matches, tournaments or camps.
Any necessary physical contact during sport sessions should respect and be sensitive to the needs and wishes of the child and should take place in a culture of dignity and respect. Children should be encouraged to speak out if they feel uncomfortable.
Demonstrating a Technique
In the first instance, techniques should be delivered by demonstration (either by the coach or an athlete who can display the technique safely).
If physical contact is necessary, for example to provide support, this should be clearly explained to the child in advance and he/she should be given the chance to opt out. Physical support should be provided openly and must always be proportionate to the circumstances.
Dealing with difficult Behaviour
Sessions should be planned around the group and take into consideration the needs of each child.
Sports volunteers/staff should consider previous and likely behaviour. There should be strategies to manage risks agreed in advance. This should identify the appropriate number of adults required to manage and support the session safely, including being able to respond adequately to safeguard the group.
From time to time sports volunteers/staff delivering sport to children may have to deal with challenging behaviour.
The following principles should be applied:
- The wellbeing of all children is the paramount consideration.
- Children must never be subject to any form of treatment that is harmful, abusive, humiliating
- or degrading and should always be able to maintain their respect and dignity.
- No member of staff should attempt to respond to challenging behaviour by using techniques
- for which they have not been trained.
- None of the following should be used as a means of managing a child’s behaviour:
- Physical punishment or the threat of such.
- Withdrawal of communication.
- Being deprived of food, water or access to changing facilities or toilets.
- Verbal intimidation, ridicule or humiliation.
Physical interventions should only be used as a last resort to prevent a child from injuring themselves or others or causing serious damage to property. Only the minimum force needed to avert injury to a person or serious damage to property should be used and applied for the shortest period of time.
Physical intervention must never be used as a form of punishment
Collection By Parents
Make sure that start and finish times are clear and that the arrangements for collection are understood by all. Parents/carers who wish children to go home unaccompanied (according to their age and stage) should give consent in writing. Notify parents/carers that they should not drop children off too early and that they are expected to collect children promptly. Explain late collection procedures.
Have a late collection telephone contact and number on the Partnership with Parents/Carers Form, and let the parent/carer know how to contact the club if they are held up.
Dealing with the situation
If parents/carers are late when picking up their child, the wellbeing of the child will take precedence, and he/she must not be left alone. The leaders and coaches have a duty of care to the children in their charge and this continues when the activity has finished. However, it is not the responsibility of staff/volunteers to transport children home. If attempts to contact an adult who is responsible for the child fail, the CPL should be informed.
Where possible have more than one adult/leader to lock up at the end of an activity. If an adult is left in sole charge in these circumstances, they should record any actions taken and inform the CPL and parents/carers as soon as possible
Children are particularly vulnerable in the changing area of sports facilities.
Bullying can occur where children are left unsupervised in changing areas. It is recommended that particular attention is given to the supervision of children aged 10 and under in changing rooms.
Adults should avoid changing or showering at the same time as children. If limited changing facilities mean that adults and children must share, adults must take care to protect the modesty and privacy of themselves and the children. Parents/carers should be made aware if this is likely to be the case.
An adult should not be alone with a child in the changing areas. If possible, more than one adult should supervise changing areas. Extra vigilance may also be required if there is public access to the venue.
If children are uncomfortable changing or showering in public, do not pressure them to do so.
If you need to use a changing room for another purpose, such as a team talk, wait until all children are fully dressed.
No photography or filming should be allowed in changing areas.
Practice to be avoided where possible:
- Travelling alone with a participant in a vehicle – In these cases three people travelling in the vehicle should be the minimum. Where this is unavoidable it must be with the prior agreement of the parent/carer and you should ask participants to travel in the back of the vehicle.
- Taking young people to your home or to that of another staff member should be avoided as a default position
- Putting yourself in a position where you are working unsupported with a participant.
- Doing things of a personal nature that participants can do for themselves.
- Allowing or engaging in any form of inappropriate touching.
- Engaging in rough, physical or sexually provocative games or horseplay.
- Allowing inappropriate, foul, sexualised or discriminatory language, to remain unchallenged.
Working in a residential setting (See Scottish Squash Residential Guidance)
Residentials must be run in line with Scottish Squash policy, As a minimum sleeping arrangements must always be risk assessed. Each group and setting will differ. The following points must be considered:
- Avoid putting adults and children alone together.
- Supervising a single room/ dormitory is easier and safer, but not completely safe.
- When using single sex dormitories having two members of staff present may avoid allegations made about staff.
- Single sex dormitories with staff in separate dormitories protect staff but this doesn’t prevent participant to participant abuse.
- It is always important to remain vigilant and if deemed necessary consider the use of waking nights.
As a general guide a ratio of 1:10 is recommended in the National Care Standards for children 8 – 16 years, see also Guidelines on Away Trips on the Scottish Squash website.
Activities should be planned to involve at least two adults, preferably one male and one female.
As a general guide, the following factors will also be taken into consideration in deciding how many adults are required to safely supervise children:
- The number of children involved in the activity
- The age, maturity and experience of the children
- Whether any of the group leaders or children has a disability or special requirements
- Whether any of the children have challenging behaviour
- The particular hazards associated with the activity
- The particular hazards associated with the environment
- The level of qualification and experience of the leaders
- The programme of activities
- Whether there are volunteers under the age 18
Safe recruitment and PVG
(Extensive Guidance on the PVG Scheme is available on the Scottish Squash website)
A well-run recruitment process is part of the club’s commitment to putting the protection and wellbeing of children first. Many jobs are done by volunteers who have been recruited informally. If a job involves working with children, the club has a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that the person appointed is suitable.
Scotstoun Eagles has a legal duty, under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) 2007 Act, to make sure that the adults who are authorised to work or volunteer with children on behalf of the club are not on the Children’s List. The Children’s List is a list of individuals who have been barred from working with children by Disclosure Scotland.
The person/s in the club who are responsible for making the decisions about appointments and for managing the sports volunteers/staff should be clearly identified. The Club Child Protection Officer will play an important advisory role in relation to appointments to work with children but will not usually be responsible for the final decision about appointments. Therefore;
- All staff and freelancers working directly with participants are subject to an enhanced PVG check.
- When appointing staff or volunteers to a post which requires an enhanced PVG check, this should be sought as soon as possible after recruitment and prior to them commencing their role
- If a staff member or volunteer starts in their role prior to the receipt of a satisfactory disclosure the individual must always be supervised by a member of staff/volunteer with a satisfactory disclosure in place, until their own satisfactory disclosure is received
- If a member of staff is suspected as being unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults, a referral will be made to Disclosure Scotland explaining the nature of the concerns and stating any investigations or disciplinary hearing a staff member/volunteer has been involved with, if it is based on child protection concerns. This referral should only be made by the chair of the board or the CPL
When a PVG Scheme Member leaves
If a PVG Scheme member is no longer in regulated work with children on behalf of the club, Disclosure Scotland should be notified. Should a member of the sports volunteers/staff not be in contact for three months or more, inform Disclosure Scotland that the individual is no longer in regulated work with children.
Existing PVG Scheme Members
If the person you want to appoint to a position of regulated work is already a PVG scheme member, you should request a ‘Scheme Record Update’ from Disclosure Scotland. This will register the club’s connection to and interest in this person and provide you with any relevant updated information since the application was made.
This informs the club of previous convictions or investigations that might be relevant when taking an employment decision. Self-declaration forms should be completed anytime an individual applies for a PVG membership or Scheme Record Update. This step in the recruitment process has important legal implications. For more information please review the Safeguarding in Sport Self Declaration Briefing Paper: http://www.children1st.org.uk/media/4265/sgb_self_dec_briefing_paper_jan_2016.pdf
Always request and check 2 references. At least one reference should be from a role that involved working with children. References from relatives are not acceptable. These can be verbal or written. Record verbal references – who the reference was from and what was said. Induction & Training When a new post holder starts at the club the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer should:
- agree what training they need (e.g. safeguarding and protecting children) and when it should be done by
- explain the child protection policy and procedures, including the code of conduct
- get written agreement to abide by Child Protection and Wellbeing policies and the Code of Conduct for working with children
It is recommended that the club and any new members of the sports volunteers/staff agree a trial period to make sure that the role is a good fit for both.
Monitoring and Performance review
The club should monitor the performance of the individual doing regulated work. This gives an opportunity to check on progress and address any problems or concerns.
What is abuse
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting, or by failing to act to prevent, significant harm to the individual. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. Within this context abuse can take the form of physical, sexual, psychological, financial or material abuse, neglect or acts of omission, institutional abuse and discriminatory abuse.
The following definitions show some of the ways in which abuse may be experienced by a child or vulnerable adult but are not exhaustive, as the individual circumstances of abuse will vary from person to person.
Physical abuse is the causing of physical harm to a child or young person. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child they are looking after.
Possible physical and behavioural indicators can include
- unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body
- multiple bruises – in clusters, often on the upper arm or outside of the thigh
- cigarette burns
- human bite marks
- broken bones
- scalds, with upward splash marks
- multiple burns with a clearly demarcated edge
- fear of parents being approached for an explanation
- aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts
- flinching when approached or touched
- reluctance to get changed, for example in hot weather
- withdrawn behaviour
- running away from home
Emotional abuse is persistent emotional neglect or ill treatment that has severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve the imposition of age – or developmentally – inappropriate expectations on a child. It may involve causing children to feel frightened or in danger or exploiting or corrupting children. Some level of emotional abuse is present in all types of ill treatment of a child; it can also occur independently of other forms of abuse. It can also occur in response to the exploitation or corruption of children
Possible indicators of emotional abuse can include:
- over-protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.
- seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
- serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger
- neurotic behaviour e.g. sulking, hair twisting, rocking
- being unable to play
- fear of making mistakes
- sudden speech disorders
- fear of parent being approached regarding their behaviour
- developmental delay in terms of emotional progress
Sexual abuse is any act that involves the child in any activity for the sexual gratification of another person, whether it is claimed that the child either consented or assented. Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether the child is aware of what is happening or not. This may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of indecent images or in watching sexual activities, using sexual language towards a child or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Possible indicators of sexual abuse can include:
- pain or itching in the genital area
- bruising or bleeding near genital area
- sexually transmitted disease
- vaginal discharge or infection
- stomach pains
- discomfort when walking or sitting down
- sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour e.g. becoming aggressive or withdrawn
- fear of being left with a specific person
or group of people
- having nightmares
- running away from home
- sexual knowledge which is beyond their age, or developmental level, sexual drawings or language
- eating problems such as overeating or anorexia
- self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts
- saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about
- substance or drug abuse
- suddenly having unexplained sources of money
- not allowed to have friends (particularly in adolescence)
- acting in a sexually explicit way towards adults, young people or children
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse or may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing (including exclusion from home or abandonment). It can involve failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It can include failing to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care- givers) or failure to respond to a child’s basic emotional needs. Neglect may also result in the child being diagnosed as suffering from ‘non-organic failure to thrive’, where they have significantly failed to reach normal weight and growth where physical and genetic reasons have been medically eliminated. In its extreme form children can be at serious risk from the effects of malnutrition, lack of nurturing and stimulation. With young children, the consequences may be life-threatening within a relatively short period of time.
Possible indicators of neglect can include:
- constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from others
- constantly dirty or ‘smelly’
- loss of weight, or being constantly underweight
- inappropriate clothing for the conditions.
- complaining of being tired all the time
- not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments
- having few friends
- mentioning being left alone or unsupervised.
- persistent stealing of items such as food
Financial abuse is when a child or vulnerable adult is exploited for financial gain. It includes theft, fraud, exploitation, misuse of property or finance. Financial abuse is a criminal act and as such must be reported to the Police. As with all types of suspected abuse, staff should follow the process outlined in the raising and reporting child protection issues flowchart and discuss concerns with their line manager or the CPO
Child Sexual Exploitation
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. Children or young people may be tricked into believing they’re in a loving, consensual relationship, they might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol, or they could also be groomed online. Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation, but sexual exploitation can also happen to young people in gangs.
Sexual exploitation is used in gangs to:
- Exert power and control over members
- Initiate young people into the gang
- Exchange sexual activity for status or protection
- Entrap rival gang members by exploiting girls and women
- Inflict sexual assault as a weapon in conflict
Sexual exploitation of children and young people involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive something e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money etc as a result of them performing, and/ or others, performing on them sexual activities. CSE can occur using technology with a child or young person being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet or mobile phone without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, emotional state, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common in exploitative relationships and the child/young person has very little choice as a result of their social, economic and/or emotional vulnerability.
The above list outlining the factors that can increase the risk of a person being abused can also contribute to a young person becoming the victim of sexual exploitation. Additional influences or contributory factors can include:
- Attending school or being friends with young people who are sexually exploited
- Being unsure about their sexual orientation or not being able to disclose sexual orientation to their families
- Lacking friends from the same age group
- History of abuse, risk of forced marriage, risk of honour-based violence or history of physical and emotional abuse and neglect
- Being homeless, living in residential care, or a hostel, B&B accommodation or supported accommodation.
- Low self-esteem or self-confidence.
- Living in a gang neighbourhood.
The following signs and behaviours are generally seen in young people who are being exploited and they may:
- Be involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations.
- Hang out with groups of older people, or antisocial groups, or with other vulnerable peers.
- Associate with other young people involved in sexual exploitation.
- Get involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership.
- Have older boyfriends or girlfriends.
- Spend time at places of concern, such as hotels or known brothels…
- Not know where they are, because they have been moved around the country
- Go missing from home, care or education.
- Have physical injuries.
- Be involved in drug or alcohol misuse.
- Have repeat sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and terminations.
- Have received gifts from unknown sources.
- Have poor mental health, self-harm or have thoughts of or attempts at suicide.
Any child displaying several vulnerabilities from the above lists should be considered at high risk of sexual exploitation. Any young person considered at risk must be referred to the relevant agency who will investigate to determine the risk of CSE along with preventative and protective actions as required.
Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation. Grooming can take place either online or in the real world by either a stranger or someone the child/young person knows. Groomers can be either male or female. Many children and young people don’t realise they have been groomed or that what has happened is abuse. Grooming can involve having someone pretend to be someone they are not such as saying they are the same age online, buying gifts, giving attention, taking the young person on trips, outings or holidays
Once groomers have established trust, they will exploit the relationship by trying to isolate the child or young person from friends and family making them dependent on them. This will progress by using any means of power or control to make the young person feel they have no choice but to do what the person wants. Groomers will use blackmail, guilt, shame or any other means to stop the child or young person telling anyone about the abuse.
Groomers no longer need to directly meet children or young people in real life to abuse them, increasingly, groomers are sexually exploiting their victims by persuading them to take part in online sexual activity. They are often opportunists who don’t necessarily target one person, they may send something out to hundreds and wait to see who replies. However, they will often target those who may post public comments that suggest the young person has low self-esteem or is vulnerable. The groomer will then use information from the young person’s profile to befriend them and build up a relationship.
If a young person discloses or you suspect that a child or young person is being groomed, you must report this to your line manager straight away. It is probable that disclosures of grooming will be reported externally and may also lead to police involvement.
As outlined in the above Grooming section, Children and young people may expose themselves to danger, whether knowingly or unknowingly when using the internet and other technologies. Additionally, some young people may find themselves involved in activities which are inappropriate, or possibly illegal through social networking sites etc including ‘cyber-bullying’. Young people who send naked or inappropriate photos of themselves or ‘sexting’ to other people are sending child images and therefore committing a criminal offence. Although a lot of young people may see sexting as harmless, taking, sharing or receiving images can have a long-lasting effect including blackmail, bullying, unwanted attention and emotional distress.
Staff should not communicate with young people through the staff member’s personal/private mobile phones, private email accounts or social networking sites nor make contact outside of working hours without prior agreement with their line manager.
The phrase ‘self-harm’ is used to describe a wide range of behaviours and is often understood to be a physical response to an emotional pain of some kind. Self-harm often happens during times of anger, distress, fear, worry, depression, low self-esteem or trying to handle or control negative feelings. It can include many forms of the person injuring themselves such as:
- hair pulling
- abusing substances
- under eating or overeating
- picking or scratching at the skin
- Hitting walls
- Excessive exercising
- Getting into fights where the person knows they will get hurt
Self-harm can be very addictive and become a way for a young person to cope with their problems when they feel they have no other option. Often dealing with the fundamental issue instead of the act of self-harm is found to be more helpful. If a young person self-harms during their time on activity, this may require first aid and should be dealt with accordingly. There are alternative means of provoking a similar release to self-harming which can include:
- Having an elastic band on the wrist
- Holding ice
- Hold a hand under running cold water
- Hit cushions
- Rip magazines / newspapers
- Run / exercise
- Break sticks
- Scream into a cushion
- Dance / sing to loud music
None of the above actions will replace the need to have the fundamental cause of distress to be dealt with and it is therefore crucial that the appropriate support is sourced. That may involve just letting the young person talk about what is troubling them or may involve sign posting or referring to outside support. If a young person does self-harm on programme, it should be reported on an Unplanned incident form. If the young person discloses the cause of their distress is safeguarding related, the Child Protection flow chart must be followed
If a young person is engaged on activity who is known to self-harm, this should be discussed with your line manager to identify if a risk assessment is required or if any additional actions or support is required. If there is a residential element to the programme, thought should be given to the likelihood of self-harm occurring and how it could be managed. Consideration should also be given to other young people on programme, accessing external support, trigger points and the form the self- harm usually takes.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for nonmedical reasons. FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of the human rights of girls and women and is illegal in the UK and Europe. It is estimated that 130 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where FGM is concentrated.
UK communities that are most at risk of FGM include but are not exclusive to Kenyans, Somalis, Sudanese, Sierra Leoneans, Egyptians, Nigerians and Eritreans. However, women from non-African communities that are at risk of FGM include Yemeni, Kurdish, Indonesian and Pakistani women.
FGM is carried out on children between the ages of 0–15, depending on the community in which they live. It is extremely harmful and has short and long term effects on physical and psychological health. The procedure is often carried out in non-sterile environments without anaesthetic where the girl is the pinned down and the procedure is carried out.
Suspicions may arise in several ways that a child or young girl is being prepared for FGM to take place abroad. These include knowing that the family belongs to a community in which FGM is practised, there is knowledge that an older sibling or the mother has undergone FGM, the family are making preparations for the child to take a holiday, arranging vaccinations or planning absence from school/college or programme. The child may also talk about a ‘special procedure/ceremony’ that is going to take place or talks about being prepared for marriage.
Indicators that FGM may already have occurred include prolonged absence from school or programme, noticeable behaviour change on return and long periods away from classes or other normal activities, finding it difficult to sit still and appears to be experiencing discomfort or pain and possibly have bladder or menstrual problems and talk about pain between their legs.
If you have concerns that a girl or young women may be taken overseas for FGM or even being prepared for the procedure to happen in the UK despite it being against the law, you must escalate this immediately following the raising and reporting child protection issues flowchart. If time is critical and the young person is leaving activity with no indication of returning, you must raise this with the relevant authority i.e. Police or Social Work as a priority. Where possible try to speak to your line manager or the CPO beforehand and fill the relevant Record in as soon as possible afterwards.
If time is pressing but not at the critical point, you line manager will make appropriate and timely referrals to Social Work if FGM is suspected. In either case, parents will not be informed before seeking advice. The case will still be referred to Social Work even if it is against the young person’s wishes.
Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence
Forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. Forced marriage is a criminal offence in Scotland. The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (e.g. taking someone’s wages and not giving any money back) can also be a factor.
It is important that staff are sensitive to differing family patterns and lifestyles and to child-rearing patterns that vary across different racial, ethnic and cultural groups. At the same time, they must be clear that child abuse cannot be condoned for religious or cultural reasons, therefore forced marriage must be responded to as a child protection issue. In cases of forced marriage, discussion with the family or any involvement of the family or local community members will often place the child or young person at greater risk of harm. Families should not be approached if forced marriage is suspected.
Forced marriage is automatically handled as a child protection issue and staff should share information quickly when a child or young person is at risk. Staff should follow child protection procedure and cases will be referred to the Home Office based Forced Marriage Unit. In the event of needing to get assistance for someone dealing with possible forced marriage and there is no time to go through the normal escalation channels, contact the Police or the Forced Marriage Unit.
Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline
0800 027 1234 (24 hour service)
The Forced Marriage Unit
020 7008 0151
From overseas: +44 (0)20 7008 0151
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Out of hours: 020 7008 1500 (ask for the Global Response Centre)
Roles and Responsibilities
- The Chair is ultimately responsible for the implementation of Child Protection policy.
- Will act as Child Protection Officer in absence of CPO or CPL
- Responsible for ensuring that the role of Child Protection Lead is maintained
Child protection lead
- Responsible for ensuring that the role of Child Protection Officer is maintained and for acting as Child Protection Officer in their absence.
- Will ensure that Child Protection implications are constantly reviewed across the scope of the operation and are fully considered in the development of all new pieces of work.
- Will consider and authorise any immediate changes in operational policy required due to a Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection incident or near miss.
- Will ensure that the Child Protection Policy is regularly reviewed.
- Will liaise with Scottish Squash to ensure appropriate Child Protection training is in place.
- Will liaise with Disclosure Scotland re PVG applications and reporting.
- Is responsible for supporting staff/volunteers with advice on Child Protection issues and advising the Board regarding decision and action to be taken in any Child Protection situation.
- Will attend meetings of the board to report on Child Protection incidents and advise on Child Protection issues.
- Will keep and monitor central records of all Child Protection cases
Child Protection Officer
- Is responsible for supporting staff/volunteers with advice on Child Protection issues and advising Senior Management/Board regarding decision and action to be taken in any Child Protection situation.
- Will attend board meetings to report on Child Protection incidents and advise on Child Protection issues.
- Will keep and monitor central records of all Child Protection cases.
Board Child Protection Officer
- is responsible for overseeing safeguarding and child protection.
- They provide support to staff and provide oversight ensuring that best practice is followed.
- They also check that everyone in the organisation is receiving safeguarding and child protection training that’s appropriate to their role.