Child protection/Safeguard and Vulnerable Adult Policy 2019/2020
What is Child Abuse?
Abuse is a powerful and emotive term. Child abuse is a term used to describe ways in which children can be harmed by adults and other young people, and often by those they know and trust. The coach often holds this trust and may be at risk of misusing their power over a young person, quite unaware. Abuse can be any of the following:
When adults or other young people deliberately inflict injuries on a young person, or knowingly do not prevent such injuries. It includes being kicked, punched or hit. It also includes forcing a young person to train/compete beyond his/her capabilities.
When adults persistently fail to show young people due care, love or affection, where a young person may be constantly shouted at, threatened or subjected to sarcasm and unrealistic pressures. It includes constant criticism, name-calling and ridiculing the young person.
Where girls and boys are abused by both male and female adults, who use young people to meet their own sexual needs. This includes making sexually suggestive comments and touching in an inappropriate manner. Sexual abuse can take place within peer groups or by an older child towards a younger child, or venerable adult.
Where adults fail to meet a young person’s basic needs such as food, warmth, adequate clothing, inadequate supervision and medical attention. It includes exposing young people to undue cold, heat or unnecessary risk of injury.
Where another young person uses deliberate, aggressive, hurtful behaviour, usually over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. It can include hurtful text messages, violence, tormenting, name-calling and the spreading of rumours. Safeguarding the welfare of our young participants is paramount. Coaches and volunteers have a moral and at times legal responsibility to provide the highest possible standard of care to all young people involved in Newry Triathlon Club and its associated disciplines.
GOOD PRACTISE NOT ONLY PROTECTS THE CHILD, IT ALSO PROTECTS ALL WORKERS AND THE ORGANISATION THEMSELVES
Remember you are a role model and mentor to young people
The children’s Act 1989 defines a child as someone under the age of 18
Good Practice Guidelines
All those who volunteer within Newry Triathlon Club should be, encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour at all times in order to protect children and themselves from allegations.
The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and environment within the Triathlon Club and its associated disciplines:
- Always be publicly open when working with young people
- Situations will occur when in order to keep the young person safe or to coach certain techniques, it will be necessary to make contact with the young person. Always inform the young person beforehand and ask if they have any objections
- If groups are to be supervised in changing rooms, always ensure that adults work in pairs, and that the gender is appropriate
- Where mixed teams compete away from home, they should always be accompanied by at least one male and one female adult
- Coaches must place the well-being and safety of the participant above the development of performance
- Avoid overtraining and over competing of participants
- Ensure development comes first, winning second
- Never allow injured participants to train or compete
- Ensure all equipment and facilities are safe and appropriate
- Never overtly criticise young people – their confidence is paramount
You should never:
- Spend excessive amounts of time alone with young people away from others
- Take young people alone on car journeys, however short
- Take young people to your home
- Engage in inappropriate physical contact including horseplay
- Share a room with a young person
- Permit young people to use unacceptable or explicit language unchallenged
- Make sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun
- Agree to meet a young person on your own, outside the context of the normal coaching or mentoring process
- Allow allegations made by a participant to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
When dealing with a Disclosure
- Make a detailed note of your observations and/or what was said exactly child may disclose abuse to you as a trusted adult at any time during your work with them. It is important that you are aware and prepared for this.
- Be as calm and as natural as possible
- Remember that you have been approached because you are trusted and possibly liked. Do not panic
- Be aware that disclosures can be very difficult for the child
- Remember, the child may initially be testing your reactions and may only fully open up over a period of time
- Listen to what the child has to say. Give them the time and opportunity to tell as much as they are able and wish to
- Do not pressurise the child. Allow him or her to disclose at their own pace and in their own language
- Conceal any signs of disgust, anger or disbelief
- Accept what the child has to say – false disclosures are very rare
- It is important to differentiate between the person who carried out the abuse and the act of abuse itself. The child quite possibly may like the alleged abuser while also disliking what was done to them. It is important therefore to avoid expressing any judgement on, or anger towards, the alleged perpetrator while talking with the child.
- It may be necessary to reassure the child that your feelings towards him or her have not been affected in a negative way as a result of what they have disclosed.
When asking questions:
- Questions should be supportive and for the purpose of clarification only
- Avoid leading questions
The primary responsibility of the person who first suspects or is told of abuse is to report it and to ensure that their concern is taken seriously. The guiding principles in regard to reporting child abuse may be summarised as follows:
- The safety and well-being of the child must take priority;
- Reports should be made without delay;
- The principle of natural justice shall apply, as appropriate;
- A person is innocent until proven otherwise however any measures necessary to protect a child must be taken;
- The principle of confidentiality shall apply, whereby only those who need to know should be told of a suspicion/allegation/disclosure of abuse and the number that need to be kept informed shall be kept to a minimum.
Acting on Concerns
It is not your responsibility to determine if abuse has taken place, however, it is your responsibility to act upon and report any concerns.
If you have any concerns regarding a young person or if a young person informs you directly that he/she, or another young person, is concerned about someone’s behaviour towards them you should:
- React immediately
- Remain calm, so not to frighten or deter the young person
- Tell the young person that he/she is not to blame and that he/she was right to tell.
- Contact the Club Children’s Officer
- CCO will contact the duty social worker at Armagh Gateway Team 02837415285 out of hours is 02895049999 free phone 08007837745
- Report information to club chairperson
Code of Conduct for Parents
- Respect the rules and procedures set down by Triathlon Ireland.
- Respect your child’s teammates and leaders as well as athletes, parents and coaches from opposing teams. Encourage your child to treat other participants, coaches, technical officials and organisers with respect.
- Give encouragement and applaud only positive accomplishments whether from your child, his/her teammates, their opponents or the officials.
- Respect the officials and their authority during sessions and events within the organisation and under the auspice of Triathlon Ireland.
- Never demonstrate threatening or abusive behaviour or use foul language.
- Understand the complaints process and follow the proper procedure if you feel unjustly treated, with the knowledge that any complaint will be dealt with effectively and confidentially.
- Accept it is parents/Guardian’s responsibility for delivering and collecting your child/children. Parents/guardians should ensure they do not leave their child/children waiting unsupervised at any time.
- Ensure the environment is safe and enjoyable for your child/children.
- Promote fair play and the positive aspects of sport.
- Be a role model for your children and young people by maintaining the highest standards of personal conduct and respectful behaviour in any activity related to the Club or TI.
- Allow your child to focus their efforts and success in terms of their goals rather than winning being the main objective.
- Promote participation for children that is fun, safe and in the spirit of fair play.
- Ensure appropriate leaders are informed regarding any absenteeism, medical conditions or other relevant matters concerning your child.
- Arrange an appropriate time and place for discussing any matter with leaders and coaches; communication should not take place whilst leaders and coaches are in a position of supervision or responsible for other young people.
- You should have the opportunity to put forward suggestions and comments.
- Provide the Club and your child with emergency contact information.
- Abide by the Photography safeguarding policy.
- Be aware and abide by the TI Safeguarding Code as well as TI and club rules and regulations.
TRI-Safe - A Young Person’s Guide to keeping safe and having fun
Triathlon should be fun, friendly, and enjoyable and you should always feel safe. You cannot do this if you feel unhappy, for example, if someone is bullying or abusing you.
Bullying and abuse, in any form, is unacceptable in our sport, whether the behaviour is by a child, young person or an adult. We make sure everyone involved in Newry Triathlon club knows and understands how important safety and enjoyment of our sport is.
What can you do to keep safe?
You can follow these points at all times to help you and others keep safe and have fun:
Follow these “Dos’ and ‘Don’ts”
|Listen and Co-operate||Don’t shout or swear|
|Be dedicated and follow rules||Don’t disrupt the group|
|Respect everyone’s views||Don’t talk to strangers|
|Be friendly and help others||Don’t accept lifts from strangers|
|Tell your parents/carers where you’re going, when you’ll be home and if you’re getting a lift, tell them who with||Don’t leave the session without first informing the coach|
|Give parents/carers a number that you can be contacted on||Don’t be a bully|
|Tell the coach where you’re going and always inform them of any medical conditions or injuries||Don’t boast|
|Don’t arrive late|
If something is happening that spoils your fun or that hurts or frightens you, then this isn’t your fault and there are things that can be done to stop it.
When do you know if something is wrong?
You know something is wrong if someone:
- Constantly teases you, shouts at you or calls you names.
- Threatens you.
- Uses violence and hurts you in any way.
- Makes you feel uncomfortable by touching you.
- Makes suggestive remarks or pressures you to do something you don’t want to.
- Damages or steals your belongings.
- Is always unkind and makes fun of you or ‘leaves you out’ of games or activities.
- Does anything that makes you feel lonely, upset, worried, unsafe, or embarrassed.
If any of these things are happening to you then you need to tell an adult, you know and trust; you should tell them straight away! Don’t wait for it to happen again. It is not your fault, there are people who you can talk to and they will help. Newry Triathlon club want to make sure you are having fun and being the best, you can; that means not being upset or hurt by anyone.
What to do:
If you are being bullied, abused or if someone tries to make you do things you don’t like, it is not your fault. If any of these things are happening there are some things you can do:
- Tell an adult you know and trust as soon as possible; they can help you.
- Be firm and tell the person to stop.
- Say “No” in a very loud voice.
- Make a lot of noise to attract attention.
- Get away from the situation quickly.
- Keep a note of the date, time and place, what happened, how you felt and the name of anyone who may have seen what happened.
- You need to tell an adult you know and trust; you should tell them straight away! Your club has a Safeguarding Officer you can talk to them or any adult you know and trust. They will listen and can help work out what to do.
Peter McConville (Children’s Club Officer) ...+4407737775815
Judith Campbell (Children’s Club Officer) ...+44 07548696797
Siobhan Ladd Greer (Club Secretary) ...+353 0874199233
Gary McCourt (Club Chairperson) ...+44 07493099923
Revised January 2019