The principles of the Jersey Surfboard Club (JSC) Safeguarding & Protecting Children Policy are based on our moral and ethical duty to ensure children and vulnerable groups can enjoy surfing in a safe environment and as such they reflect current best practice and the local legislative framework
DUTY OF CARE
The Jersey Surfboard Club (JSC) is committed to ensuring that all those who surf are able to do so safely under the guidance and protection of coaches, volunteers and /or staff. This is particularly true in respect of children and vulnerable groups.
The JSC has a long and proud history of supporting the development of young people in surfing, and with the further development of the Junior Academy in recent years, the importance of continually ensuring best practice in safeguarding practice is paramount.
We all have a duty with respect to Safeguarding and Protecting Children to ensure children can participate and enjoy our sport with the highest possible standards of care. These standards apply also to vulnerable groups.
All JSC representatives should have a clear understanding of operating within an appropriate code of ethics, aware of what their ‘duty of care’ is and how this relates to their position in providing activities and being responsible for others.
‘Duty of care’ is defined as:
“The duty which rests upon an individual or organisation to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure the safety of any person involved in any activity for which that individual or organisation is responsible”
In an activity such as surfing, safety and keeping people safe is all about risk assessment and minimising the risks involved at all levels of participation. While all taking part in activity have a duty to their neighbours, in organised activity we all have a heightened duty of care and as such we should be aware that the principal risks extend to the quality of control exercised by those in charge. All trainers, coaches, officials or administrators should take ‘reasonable’ steps to safeguard those directly taking part in activities and at any time they may be deemed responsible for those in their charge - during Academy events, team training events, competitions and off island trips etc.
The content of this document provides specific information in respect of safeguarding and child protection in order that those concerned can appreciate their ‘duty of care’ with regard to these issues, risk assess their positions and support and advise those at possible risk of harm.
All JSC representatives share an objective to help keep children and young people safe by ensuring that:
- The welfare and rights of the child are paramount
- All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse or poor practice are taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately in accordance with this policy.
- All JSC representatives who work with children will be recruited with regard to their suitability for that responsibility and will be provided with guidance and training in good practice and child protection procedures and checks undertaken where required and able to.
- Where appropriate, the JSC will contribute to effective partnerships between parents/carers and partner agencies involved with providing services for children and young people.
SCOPE OF DOCUMENT
For the purposes of this document, a child or young person is defined as a person under the age of 18 years old (The Children Act 1989).
This policy applies to all JSC representatives.
The JSC Designated Safeguarding Officer should review this policy every 3 years, or whenever there is a major change in the club or in relevant local legislation.
GOOD PRACTICE & CONDUCT
It is the duty of ALL JSC representatives working with children to read this policy.
All JSC representatives should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote children’s welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made.
By following these guidelines you will help to protect both the children/vulnerable groups in our sport and our coaches/volunteers from wrongful allegations.
- Avoid situations where you are alone with one child. The JSC acknowledges that occasionally there may be no alternative, for example, where a child falls ill and has to be taken home. We would stress, however, that one to one contact must never be allowed to occur without good cause.
- If any form of physical support is required ask the child’s permission, explain what you are doing and why to both the child and their parents/carers.
- Where possible, ask parents/carers to be responsible for children when changing into wetsuits. Ensure that whoever supervises young people work in pairs.
- JSC representatives are required to adhere to the ‘JSC Off-Island Travel policy 2014’ when children travel off island to represent the JSC.
- Do not allow physically rough or sexually provocative games, or inappropriate verbal communication or physical contact.
- Ensure that any claims of abuse by a child are taken seriously and that it is dealt with by people who know what to do.
- Ensure that persistent claims of bullying or discrimination are taken seriously and referred to the Designated Safeguarding officer.
- Ensure that the nature and intensity of surf training does not exceed the capacity of a child’s age, physical capacity and ability.
- Follow the approved guidelines for social media & photography and video use as set out in the JSC Social Media Policy (2014).
- If you accidentally cause harm to a child, you should report such an incident immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Officer or a Club Coach/official and make a written note of it. You should also inform the child’s parents/carers, preferably in person.
- If a coaching technique would benefit from physical contact or support then first ask the child’s permission. It is useful to take time to explain why and how this will occur to the surfer and their parent /carer. Touching is appropriate as long as it is neither intrusive or for the wrong reason.
- If a child/young person appears to have misinterpreted or misunderstood your conduct or intentions, you have a duty to report this immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Officer (both verbally and in writing) so that this can be addressed immediately.
- All staff/volunteers should complete an application form, which will elicit information about the applicants past and a self-disclosure about any criminal record.
- All staff/volunteers are required to undergo Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. This will be managed and overseen by the JSC Designated Safeguarding Officer and the local Sports Development Officer for The Department for Education, Sport and Culture (ESC).
- Level 1 local Safeguarding Partnership Board (SPB children) safeguarding training will be made available for coaches/volunteers as required.
WHAT IS ABUSE?
Child Abuse can be broadly separated into the following categories:
*(Definitions 1-4 taken from the Jersey SPB Multi Agency Procedures 2011)
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Emotional abuse occurs when a child is not given adequate love, emotional warmth, help and encouragement and is constantly derided or ridiculed e.g. racial or sexual remarks. It can also occur if a child is over protected or where they may have witnessed or heard the ill treatment of another. Abuse can occur where a parent or coach has unrealistic expectations over what a child can achieve.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs. Neglect may involve a parent failing to;
- Provide adequate shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger.
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care givers)
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Bullying & Discrimination
This usually occurs over time as repeated deliberate actions or hurtful behaviour, rather than being a single aggressive act. It can be psychological, verbal, physical, emotional, racial or sexual in nature e.g. being called names, insulted or verbally abused. Being deliberately embarrassed and humiliated by other children, being made to feel isolated, being physically assaulted or threatened with violence.
INDICATORS OF ABUSE
There are physical and behavioural signs that might cause you concern about the welfare or safety of a child. They are only indicators - not confirmation. Bear in mind that some physically disabled children, children with communication and learning difficulties and vulnerable groups can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and may have added difficulties in communicating what is happening to them.
Some examples are where the child:
- Discloses that he/she is being abused, or another person says they believe that abuse is occurring.
- Has an injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent.
- Behaviour changes, either over time or quite suddenly, becoming aggressive, withdrawn or unhappy.
- Appears not to trust adults, e.g. a parent or coach with whom he/she would be expected to have, or once had, a close relationship.
- Shows inappropriate sexual awareness for his/her age and sometimes behaves in a sexually explicit way.
- Becomes increasingly neglected-looking in appearance, or loses or puts on weight for no apparent reason.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS
NB: It is not your responsibility to decide whether a child is at risk - but it is your responsibility to pass the information on to the JSC Designated Safeguarding Officer / appropriate agency as soon as possible.
If you are alerted to information or possible indicators of abuse that could place a child/young person at risk of significant harm, report this immediately to the JSC Designated Safeguarding Officer (contact details - Page 10). It is the Designated Safeguarding Officer’s role to explore your concerns and to make an assessment about an appropriate response.
Rules to remember when dealing with a disclosure/concern:
- Stay calm.
- Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in talking about their worries
- Do not promise to keep it to yourself; explain that you are duty bound to share information with appropriate personnel to ensure their safety.
- Listen objectively to what the child says and, please, take it seriously.
- Do not ask leading questions but illicit enough information to understand whether this is a safeguarding matter. Questions that are acceptable to use are: ‘tell me a bit more about that’, or ‘what does that mean?
- Do not leave the child unattended and keep them informed of the next steps.
- Contact the JSC Designated Safeguarding Officer. If the Designated Officer is not available, continue to make contact with the Deputy Designated Officers. (contact details Page 10).
- The Designated Safeguarding Officer will assess whether a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Enquiry is appropriate.
- The Designated Safeguarding Officer will liaise with the child’s parents/carer, UNLESS it could place the child at increased risk of harm. This will be assessed in partnership with appropriate agencies. IT IS NOT the role of the coach/volunteer to liaise with the child’s parents/carers if child protection is a concern.
- In cases where the child is at an immediate risk of harm (such as physical or sexual abuse) you should inform the Police IMMEDIATELY on Tel: 612612 or 999.
- A written, dated record (using the reporting form on page 11) should be made of the allegations as soon as practicable (and certainly within 24 hours) and signed by the JSC representative to whom the allegation was made. This record should be shared with the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
- Ensure to the best of your ability, that your recording represents the child’s words and version of events. Do not log your own interpretation of events.
ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF
These principles underpin the management of allegations against any staff members / volunteers:
- Any allegations against JSC staff/volunteers regarding possible poor practice, misconduct or unsafe behaviour should be brought to the attention of the Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately.
- If an allegation is regarding poor practice the Designated Safeguarding Officer, in partnership with the JSC Committee, will determine whether the matter requires a disciplinary approach, suspension or permanent expulsion from the JSC.
- Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or volunteer should be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately, who will take steps to ensure the safety of the child in question and other children who may be at risk.
- It is not up to the recipient of the allegation to determine its validity and failure to report to the Designated Safeguarding Officer could result in disciplinary action.
- The Designated Safeguarding Officer will make an enquiry to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) when allegations are of an abusive nature. This may also lead to a police investigation.
- A Children’s Service/Police investigation must take priority over an internal investigation.
- The Designated Safeguarding Officer will advise parents/carers of the intention to make an enquiry to MASH and their views and co-operation sought unless there is reason to believe that doing so may place the child at increased risk of significant harm or where it may interfere with a police investigation.
- The member of staff/ volunteer should be informed of allegations against them as soon as possible but with due regard to protecting evidence and disclosure of information. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will be advised by partnership agencies as to when this is appropriate.
- Following advice from MASH/Police, the JSC Disciplinary Committee will meet to discuss the member of staff/volunteer’s future involvement with the JSC or possible expulsion.
- In cases where the member of staff/volunteer are found to have been falsely accused, it is the duty of the Designated Safeguarding Officer and the JSC Committee to offer appropriate support. The JSC Committee will also consider the child’s future involvement in the club.
- On the conclusion of any investigation and any related disciplinary proceedings, the Designated Safeguarding Officer should inform the child or children who made the allegations and their parents/carers of the outcome of proceedings. The Designated Safeguarding Officer should also offer appropriate on-going support.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAVE ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST YOU?
- Contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately to explain the allegation made and your version of events.
- Record the allegation and version of events in writing at your earliest convenience and provide a copy to the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
- Do not discuss the allegation with the child’s parents/carers; this is the role of the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
- The Designated Safeguarding Officer will provide support and keep you informed, where appropriate, of the necessary steps listed above.
The JSC is committed to ensuring that every effort is made to ensure confidentiality for all parties. Information should only be disseminated on a ‘needs to know’ basis.
Information sharing may include the following persons/agencies:
- The Designated Safeguarding Officer
- The person making the allegation
- The parents/carers of the child who is alleged to have been placed at risk
- The JSC Disciplinary Committee
- The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
- The Police
A comprehensive summary of the allegation/concern, how it was followed up, the decisions made and action taken should be recorded.
Documents relating to an internal or external investigation should be retained in a secure, confidential file, together with a written record of the outcome of the investigation.
|JSC Designated Safeguarding Officer
|Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
|Enquiry Coordinator (Office hours only)
|Out of hours contact (concern about the immediate safety of a child)
|612612 or 999
|Accident & Emergency Department
|NSPCC 24-hour helpline
|0808 800 5000