Safe Guarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy

 

The protection of children and vulnerable adults within sport is both a moral and legal obligation for every Governing Body and is something that the NIFSA takes very seriously.

As part of its commitment to ensuring a safe environment for all participants the NIFSA has made Child Protection a cornerstone of all of its Policies and Plans;

 

  • It conducts Enhanced Disclosure checks on and provides training to all staff, office bearers, coaches and volunteers.

  • It communicates its commitment to all members, partner organisations.

 

The content in this section should answer most of the questions that you have regarding Child Protection but if you need more information or advice please contact the Federation Secretary at; info@nifsa.co.uk

 

 

Policy Statement

 

To affirm our commitment to the protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults within the sport of sea angling in Northern Ireland the NIFSA has developed a clear policy statement to ensure that everyone involved in whatever capacity is aware of our position.

 

Child Protection Policy

 

The NIFSA has developed the guidance in this document in conjunction with children1st in order to both assist clubs and volunteers in safeguarding the children and vulnerable adults in their care during normal routine activities and whilst travelling.

The Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Anglers are 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.

All Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Anglers staff, volunteers and members will work together to embrace difference and diversity and respect the rights of children and young people.

This document outlines the Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Angling's commitment to protecting children.

 

These guidelines are based on the following principles:

  • The welfare of children is the primary concern.

  • All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from all forms of harm and abuse.

  • Child protection is everyone’s responsibility.

  • Children have the right to express views on all matters which affect them, should they wish to do so.

  • Organisations shall work in partnership together with children and parents to promote the welfare, health and development of children.

 

The Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Angling will:

 

  • Promote the health and welfare of children by providing opportunities for them to take part in sea angling safely.

  • Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of children.

  • Promote and implement appropriate procedures to safeguard the well being of children and protect them from abuse.

  • Recruit, train, support and supervise its staff, members and volunteers to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children from abuse and to reduce risk to themselves.

  • Require staff, members and volunteers to adopt and abide by this Child Protection Policy and these procedures.

  • Respond to any allegations of misconduct or abuse of children in line with this Policy and these procedures as well as implementing, where appropriate, the relevant disciplinary and appeals procedures.

  • Observe guidelines issued by local Child Protection Committees for the protection of children.

  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Policy and these procedures.

 

Safe in Care Guideline:

 

Code of Practice for Safeguarding Children in Sea Angling

 

All NIFSA staff, coaches and volunteers who’s duties bring them into regular contact with children or vulnerable adults are required to read, sign and abide by the Code of Practice for Safeguarding Children in Sea Angling.

Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Children in angling has a number of important functions. It:

• sets out what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable

• defines standards of practice expected from those to whom it applies

• forms the basis for challenging and improving practice

• helps to safeguard staff/volunteers by encouraging them to adhere to agreed standards of practice

• sets out for children and parents/carers the standards of practice which they and the organisation   should expect from those who work/volunteer with children.

 

The Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Anglers supports and requires all members to observe the standards of practice set out in this code, including verbal and non-verbal actions when involved in activities with children. All NIFSA Officer Bearers, Coaches and Volunteers in positions involving working with children or vulnerable adults are required to complete, sign and return the attached Certificate to the NIFSA Child Protection Officer annually by 31st January. All concerns about breach of this Code of Conduct will be taken seriously and responded to in line with The Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Angler's Disciplinary Procedure and/or Procedure for Responding to Concerns about Child Abuse* .

 

RESPONDING TO CONCERNS

 

Why it is important to respond to concerns

It takes considerable courage for a child or adult to disclose abuse. Disclosures need to be handled very carefully and sensitively to avoid causing further distress to the child.

All concerns must be responded to in a way that ensures that a child receives appropriate help and support and to ensure that appropriate action is taken against those who pose a risk to children and to protect not only the child involved but all other children.

Robust procedures for responding to concerns will:

 

  • help to avoid those receiving information from engaging in judgements.

  • 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.

 

It is not the job of anyone in the Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Anglers to decide whether or not a child has been abused. It is however, everyone’s responsibility to report concerns

 

Confidentiality

 

The following is taken from Sharing Information About Children at Risk: A Guide to Good Practice (Scottish Executive, 2003).

Information provided to organisations should remain confidential unless permission has been given to share the information by the individual concerned or the safety of that person or another person may be at risk.

If there is a reasonable concern that a child may be at risk of significant harm, this will always override a professional or organisational requirement to keep information confidential. It is good practice to inform parents and children about the kind of situations which may lead to them having to share information with other agencies.

 

Defamation

 

Concerned adults are sometimes reluctant to report concerns about abuse for fear that the person suspected will sue them for defamation if the allegation turns out to be unfounded.

To be defamatory a statement must first of all be untrue. Even if subsequently shown to be untrue, the statement will be protected by ‘qualified privilege’ if it is made to the appropriate authority “in response to a duty, whether legal, moral or social or in the protection of an interest” (Norrie K, Defamation and Related Actions in Scots Law, 1995). Unjustified repetition of the allegations to other persons will not be protected by privilege.

The qualification on privilege refers to statements made by malice. If a statement, even to the appropriate authority, can be shown to be motivated by malice, then an action of defamation could be successful.

(Taken from Guidelines for Child Protection Prepared for the Independent Schools in Scotland, Kathleen Marshall, Second Edition, January 1997)

 

Procedures for Responding to Concerns About a Child or the Conduct of a Member of Staff or Volunteer

These procedures apply to all staff and volunteers involved in the Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Anglers.

 

Procedures for Post Incident Review of the Management of Child Protection Concerns

After any incident involving Child Protection concerns the NIFSA will conduct a thorough review of both internal procedures and policies and on the way in which the incident was managed throughout the process.  This review process is designed to ensure that all relevant lessons are learned and that policies and procedures are updated where required to ensure that every possible safeguard is in place. The post incident review will be conducted regardless of whether a concern raised is found to be legitimate or not and irrespective of whether any action is taken against a member of staff, coach or volunteer.

 

Child Protection Officer Contact Details

 

If you require any further information regarding Child Protection issues including;

 

  • Training

  • Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme

  • Working with or Travelling with Children

  • Reporting Concerns

  • or simply finding your way round our Policy

 

Contact the NIFSA C.P.O.  **To be announced**

Recruitment Procedures

The NIFSA takes great care in ensuring that the individuals accepted into posts within the Federation are appropriately qualified, vetted, interviewed and where applicable Disclosure Checked for the duties that they will be expected to undertake.  For this reason the NIFSA applies the same recruitment policy and procedures to all applicants, irrespective of the post that they are applying for.

 

TRAINING

 

The NIFSA undertakes Enhanced Disclosure checks on all of its personnel, whether they be Executive Committee Members, Office Bearers, Coaches or Volunteers, who have uncontrolled access to, or responsibility for, children of vulnerable adults within the course of their duties.

In addition, all of these personnel are required to undertake regular training and complete courses approved an/or run by Children1st.

These courses include:

 

  • In Safe Hands – Club Child Protection Officer Workshop

  • Safeguarding and Protecting Children

  • Safeguarding and Protecting Children 2

 

For our coaches, production of an in date certificate of attendance on one or all of the above courses is a pre-requisite for licensing.

The NIFSA also runs regular CPD events for all of its staff and Child Protection is one of the key elements of this training.

 

Code of Conduct

 

A Code of Conduct has a number of important functions. It:

• sets out what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable

• defines standards of practice expected from those to whom it applies

• forms the basis for challenging and improving practice

• helps to safeguard staff/volunteers by encouraging them to adhere to agreed standards of practice

• sets out for children and parents/carers the standards of practice which they and the organisation should expect from those who work/volunteer with children.

 

The Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Anglers supports and requires all members to observe the standards of practice set out in this code, including verbal and non-verbal actions when involved in activities with children. All NIFSA Officer Bearers, Coaches and Volunteers in positions involving working with children or vulnerable adults are required to complete, sign and return the attached Certificate to the NIFSA Child Protection Officer annually by 31st January. All concerns about breach of this Code of Conduct will be taken seriously and responded to in line with The Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Angler's disciplinary Procedure and/or Procedure for Responding to Concerns about Child Abuse* .

 

BEST PRACTICE: Make sport fun, enjoyable and promote fair play. • Treat all children equally, with respect, dignity and fairness. • Involve parents/carers wherever possible. • Build balanced relationships based on mutual trust. • Include children in the decision-making process wherever possible. • Always work in an open environment, wherever possible. Avoid private or unobserved situations. • Put the welfare of each child first before winning or achieving performance goals. • Be an excellent role model including not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of children. • Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism. • Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of children. • Avoid excessive training and competition, pushing children against their will and putting undue pressure on them.

PRACTICE TO BE AVOIDED: In the context of your role within the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers, the following should be avoided: • Having ‘favourites’ – this could lead to resentment and jealousy by other children and could be misinterpreted by others. • Spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others. • Entering children’s bedrooms on trips away from home, unless in an emergency situation or in the interest of health and safety. If it is necessary to enter rooms, knock and say that you are coming in. The door should remain open, if appropriate. • Where possible, doing things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.

UNACCEPTABLE PRACTICE: In the context of your role within the Northern Ireland Federation of Sea Anglers, the following practices are unacceptable: • Engaging in sexually provocative games, including horseplay. • Engaging in rough or physical contact. • Forming intimate emotional, physical or sexual relationships with children. • Allowing or engaging in touching a child in a sexually suggestive manner. • Allowing children to swear or use sexualised language unchallenged. • Making sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun. • Reducing a child to tears as a form of control. • Allowing allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon. • Inviting or allowing children to stay with you at your home. • A Coach and/or other leader sharing a room alone with a child.

 

Procedures for Post Incident Review of the Management of Child Protection Concerns

 

After any incident involving Child Protection concerns the NIFSA will conduct a thorough review of both internal procedures and policies and on the way in which the incident was managed throughout the process.  This review process is designed to ensure that all relevant lessons are learned and that policies and procedures are updated where required to ensure that every possible safeguard is in place. The post incident review will be conducted regardless of whether a concern raised is found to be legitimate or not and irrespective of whether any action is taken against a member of staff, coach or volunteer.