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Safeguarding Children in Sport

Safeguarding Children in Sport

Safeguarding Children in Sport

Safeguarding children in sport is a priority. Many sporting clubs and academies will be and should be looking at how they should be safeguarding children in sport right now. Particularly in light of the 500 or so footballers who have now made allegations of historic abuse against clubs they were signed to when they were children. Safeguarding children in sport should be a priority. It is imbumbent on any organisation which interacts with children to not only have a safeguarding policy but to ensure that it is implemented.Organisations should not pay lipservice to this document. This is not a document to be drafted lightly. It requires committment and understanding from all those involved.
Here are some ideas for safeguarding children in sport. This is a starting point. Organisations should seek to keep children safe from not only abusers but also non-abusers who so often stand by and consequently do nothing. They are as complicit in the abuse as the abuser.

Appoint a named contact

Everyone has a responsibility to ensure children are safe from harm. In an organisation a child protection officer will be the main co-ordinator of education and training. Compliance should be their responsibility. They will be in control of implementation and monitoring.

Management supportsafeguarding children in sport

The Child Protection Policy should be championed by all at management/committee/board level within the organisation. It should support, encourage and facilitate the role of the child protection officer. The board should ensure that everyone is taking responsibility for child protection. It should underpin all decisions. Any concerns if raised should be properly investigated and the authorities contacted.

Identify any risks to children participating in your activities

By identifying any risks, organisations can then work towards reducing the risks. They should make the activities as safe as possible. Developing and implementing procedures and guidelines helps protect children.

Code of Conduct for working

All staff should sign a separate Code of conduct for working. This contractually commits people to make an additional declaration of compliance. It puts child protection at the forefront of the company and every encounter with children in their charge.

Workshops & training

Facilitate the implementation of training and committment by sending staff on training workshops. There are many courses for safeguarding children in sport. A yearly reminder and update is always useful. All new staff should attend.

Recruitment

Safeguarding children in sport should start with recruitment. New staff or volunteers should be carefully considered and vetted. Make sure they are authorised to do regulated work with children. Be wary of those that move about regularly. Investigate references.

Remember to also communicate all of the above to the children and parents/ carers who use your organisation as everyone must recognise and understand the important safeguards in place.

It is hoped that the above is taking place in organisations. This is not a paper exercise. This requires implementation and committment. Safeguarding childen in sport is on ongoing process.

Have you been a victim of historic abuse? Do you want to make a claim? Make that important first step and contact us so that we can talk about the process and discuss how  we can help.

Freephone 0800 470 2009 or email vhandley@handleylaw.co.uk

All cases are dealt with confidentially on a ‘no win no fee’ basis

 


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