Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection
Welfare officer: Michael “Fred” Thomas – 07930 443982; firstname.lastname@example.org
Saxon Fencing Club
Child and Vulnerable Adult
Saxon Fencing Club has drawn up these guidelines using British Fencing Association’s guidance and will be updated in line with British Fencing Association’s Child Protection and Procedures. The guidelines are based on the principles detailed in Appendix A.
Saxon Fencing Club believes that the welfare of children/vulnerable adults is everyone’s responsibility, particularly when it comes to protecting children/vulnerable adults from abuse. Everyone in fencing – administrators, club officials, coaches, parents, friends, children/vulnerable adults themselves, everyone – can help.
Abuse can occur anywhere there are children/vulnerable adults eg – at home, at school, in the park, or even the fencing club. Sadly, there are some people who will seek to be where children are simply in order to abuse them. We believe that everyone at Saxon Fencing Club has a part to play in looking after the children/vulnerable adults with whom we are working. This is both a moral and arguably a legal obligation. The Children Act 1989 indicates that anyone who has the care of children/vulnerable adults should “do what is reasonable in all circumstances for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child’s /vulnerable adults’ welfare.”
Finally, please remember that Saxon
Fencing Club will support anyone who, in good faith, reports his or her
concerns that a child/vulnerable adult is at risk of, or may actually be, being
Saxon Fencing Club Child Protection Procedures
Procedures put in place to protect children cover the following areas –
- Recruitment, Employment and Development of Staff and Volunteers
- Promoting Good Practice with Young People
- Recognition of Poor Practice, Abuse and Bullying
- Responding to Disclosure, Suspicions and Allegations
1. Recruitment, Employment and Development of Staff and Volunteers
All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with young people and disabled adults.
Any applicant for a full or part time position working with young people and vulnerable adults, paid or voluntary, will be asked to complete an application form (Appendix B) and will be asked to provide two references. They will also be expected to comply with the requirements for all coaches set out below.
Saxon Fencing Club will allow people to work with children and vulnerable adults only if they comply with the following –
- Possess a coaching qualification from a recognised professional body
This is likely to be from the British Fencing Association (BFA) or the British Academy of Fencing (BAF).
- Sign the BFA’s Code of Ethics and Conduct (see Appendix C)
- Possess an Enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau * (see Appendix D).
A coach will be required to renew the Disclosure every 3 years.
- Receive training in child protection awareness *
Child Protection courses are run by Local Authorities and by the BFA.
* All club officials are expected to comply with this requirement.
To further develop people working with children/vulnerable adults, the BFA recommends training in the following areas –
- First aid
- How to work effectively with children
- Child-centred coaching styles
Further details can be obtained from the
BFA at www.britishfencing.com
2. Promoting Good Practice with Young People
Avoid situations where teacher/coach/club official and child are alone.
Saxon Fencing Club acknowledges that occasionally there may be no alternative. For example, a child may fall ill and have to be taken home. We would stress, however, that one to one contact must never be allowed to occur on a regular basis. Further guidance on this issue is contained in the BFA’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.
If it’s necessary to do things of a personal nature for children/vulnerable adults make sure you have another adult accompanying you. Get the child’s/vulnerable adult’s consent if at all possible and certainly get consent from the parent/carer. Let the child/vulnerable adult know what you are doing and why.
A parent/carer and/or nominated club official will be responsible for children/vulnerable adult in changing rooms and equipment store.
All club equipment should have documented regular safety checks. It is also important that all fencers’ club equipment is the correct size for them.
Teachers/coaches/club officials should work in pairs if classes or groups of children have to be supervised in the changing room.
Ensure that mixed groups are always accompanied by male and female teachers/coaches/club officials.
Don’t allow any physically rough or sexually provocative games, or inappropriate talking or touching by anyone, in any group for which you have responsibility.
Saxon Fencing Club keeps a record of all their members contact details, including a telephone number in case of emergencies, on the premises.
At competitions, be aware of people who don’t appear to be relatives or friends of children who are fencing but, nevertheless, seem to spend a lot of time videoing or photographing them, particularly if they are not authorised. Report these incidents to the organisers or the Centre management immediately.
When organising a competition all parents/relatives and friends and bona
fide press photographers are required to register with the organisers, the
organisers are responsible for monitoring all photography to ensure compliance
with BFA’s guidance.
3. Recognition of Poor Practice, Abuse and Bullying
Poor practice includes any behaviour that contravenes BFA’’s Code of Ethics and Conduct which is constituted around the following:
- Rights — for example of the player, the parent, the coach, the official etc.
- Responsibilities — for example responsibility for the welfare of the fencers, fencing, the profession of coaching, their own development.
- Respect — for example of other fencers, officials and their decisions, coaches, the rules.
It is generally acknowledged that there are four main types of abuse.
Physical Abuse is just what the term implies – hurting or injuring a child/vulnerable adult, for example, by hitting or shaking them, bearing in mind that certain bruises are fairly common when fencing. It might also occur if a child/vulnerable adult is forced to train beyond his/her capabilities. Bullying is likely to come into this category.
Sexual Abuse occurs when a child/vulnerable adult knowingly takes part in something which meets the sexual needs of the other person or persons involved. It could range from sexually suggestive comments to full intercourse.
Emotional Abuse occurs when a child/vulnerable adult is not given love, help and encouragement and is constantly derided or ridiculed or, perhaps even worse, ignored. Conversely, it can also occur if a child/vulnerable adult is over-protected. It is present in the unrealistic expectations of parents and coaches over what a child can achieve. Racially and sexually abusive remarks constitute emotional abuse and it can be a feature of bullying.
Neglect usually means failing to meet
children’s/vulnerable adults basic needs such as food, warmth, adequate
clothing, medical attention etc. It could also mean failing to ensure they are
safe or exposing them to harm or leaving the unsupervised in potentially
dangerous situations ie unsupervised ‘sword in hand’ training.
Recognising child abuse is not always easy – even for experts.
The examples listed below are not a complete list and they are only indicators – not confirmation.
- The child/vulnerable adult says that she or he is being abused, or another person says they believe (or actually know) that abuse is occurring
- The child has an injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent
- The child’s behaviour changes, either over time or quite suddenly, and he or she becomes quiet and withdrawn, or alternatively becomes aggressive.
- The child/vulnerable adult appears not to trust adults, eg. a parent or coach with whom she or he would be expected to have, or once had, a close relationship, and does not seem to be able to make friends
- He or she becomes increasingly neglected-looking in appearance, or loses or puts on weight for no apparent reason
- He child/vulnerable adult shows inappropriate sexual awareness for his/her age and sometimes behaves in a sexually explicit way.
Bear in mind that physically disabled children/vulnerable adults and children/vulnerable adults with learning difficulties are particularly vulnerable to abuse and may have added difficulties in communicating what is happening to them.
Bullying is not easy to define, can take many forms and is usually repeated over a period of time. The three main types of bullying are: physical (e.g. ‘hard hitting’ pushing), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, threats, name calling) and emotional (e.g. isolating an individual from activities).
They will all include:
- Deliberate hostility and aggression towards the victim
- A victim who is weaker than the bully or bullies
- An outcome which is always painful and distressing for the victim
Saxon Fencing Club is prepared to:
- Take the problem seriously
- Investigate any incidents
- Talk to the bullies and victims separately
Having talked to all parties, Saxon Fencing Club will decide on appropriate action, which could include:
- Obtain an apology from the bully to the victim
- Inform parents of the bully
- Insist on the return of items ‘borrowed’ or stolen
- Insist bullies compensate the victim, if applicable
- Hold club or class discussions about bullying
- Provide support for the coach and/or the victim.
4. Responding to Disclosure, Suspicions and Allegations
- Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis only
- Ensure the person in charge follows up with social services
- If the concerns are about someone who also plays a role within fencing, then the person in charge should inform the BFA Child Protection Officer (CPO).
Responding to Disclosure
If a child/vulnerable adult tells you that he or she is being abused.
- Stay calm and move the child/vulnerable adult away from the group
- Don’t promise to keep it to yourself
- Listen to what the child/vulnerable adult say and, please, take it seriously. Do not ask leading questions.
- Only ask questions if you need to identify what the child/vulnerable adult is telling you. Do not ask the child/vulnerable adult any explicit details.
- Make a detailed note of what the child/vulnerable adult has told you but please don’t delay passing on the information. Any notes will be attached to the Incident Report form.
Responding to Suspicions and Allegations
If you are a member of Saxon Fencing Club or the parent/guardian/friend of a member, you should in the first instance:
- tell the Club Welfare officer or a club official such as the club secretary, chairperson , coach or any committee member, or
- at an event, tell a member of the Directoire Technique – unless, of course you suspect them of being involved.
Again please remember to make a detailed note of what you’ve seen or heard but don’t delay passing on the information.
The club official will then do one or more of the following –
- Talk to the child’s/vulnerable adult’s parents/carers about the concerns if there is an obvious explanation such as a bereavement or pressure from studies/exam
- Contact local Social Services. The telephone number is available from local phone book (including out of hours Duty Social Worker)
- Contact the BF Child Protection Officer via BFA headquarters
The club official is then required to complete an Incident Report form (Appendix E). Any notes you have taken will be attached to the form.
If you’re working with fencers away from home, at a training camp, perhaps, or at a national/international competition – tell the team manager or the chief coach.
If you’re working with the school – tell the head teacher.
You should contact BRITISH FENCING to advise them of your concern and to whom you have reported it.
Equality and Safeguarding Manager, Liz Behnke for advice on 077177 40125.
If, however, despite the action you’ve taken, you feel that the situation hasn’t changed, or that nothing has been done please contact Social Services.
The guidance given in the procedures is based on the principles set out below:
- The welfare of young people, (the Children’s Act 1989 defines a young person as under 18 years of age) and disabled adults is the primary concern
- All young people, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse
- It is the responsibility of the child protection experts to determine whether or not abuse has taken place but it is everyone’s responsibility to report any concerns
- All incidents of suspicious poor practice and allegations should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
- Confidentiality should be upheld in line with the Data Protection Act 1984 and the Human Rights Act 2000.
This form is to be completed by employees and volunteers in fencing.
|Position applied for:|
|Surname and title (Mr/Mrs/Miss):|
|Any first name, surname or maiden name previously known by:|
|Date of birth: Place of birth:|
|Present address: Postcode: Telephone Number(s) E-mail address:|
|Former address (if moved within the previous three years):|
|Academic/school: (not essential for those applying for voluntary posts to complete)|
|Sporting qualifications and experience:|
APPENDIX B (2)
|Current occupation: Name of organisation: Role: Address: Start date:|
|Previous occupation: Name of organisation: Start date: Finish date:|
|Previous experience of working with young children in a voluntary or professional capacity:|
|Reasons for applying:|
APPENDIX B (3)
|Name and address of two people who know you well (and are not related to you) who have first-hand experience of you working with children and who we can contact for a reference, or who have provided you with a reference testimonial: With your approval we shall also contact your current employer (where appropriate) for a reference|
|I agree to abide by any Code of Ethics and Conduct which British Fencing has in force. I agree to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau Print name: Signed: Date:|
|NB Failure to disclose information may result in exclusion from the club or organisation|
BFA Code of Ethics & Conduct
All fencing coaches must ensure that every individual particularly all young/vulnerable people in their care are respected as individuals and treated equitably and with dignity at all times. They should ensure that all training complies with the current guidance issued by British Fencing Association (BFA) and does not form any sort of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, bullying, neglect etc.). See examples of inappropriate behaviour over page.
All relationships should be based on respect, honesty and openness.
All fencing coaches should recognise the personal development of young fencers takes priority even over the development of their performance.
All fencing coaches should encourage young/vulnerable fencers to be responsible for their own behaviour and performance.
All fencing coaches should have an ongoing commitment to their own training and work with others (i.e. referees, medical advisors, sports scientists, parents and other coaches) to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all fencers in order that they can develop both within fencing as well as outside.
All fencing coaches should respect a fencer’s need for confidentiality.
All fencing coaches should work within their own competency and qualifications.
All fencing coaches should strive to be positive role models, working within BFA guidance displaying high standards of personal behaviour.
All fencing coaches have a responsibility to develop in partnership with all fencers particularly parents and young/vulnerable fencers clear expectations both on and off the piste and what the young/vulnerable fencer is entitled in return to expect of the coach.
All fencing coaches should promote good behaviour within the rules of Fencing.
I agree to comply with the BFA’s Code of Ethics and Conduct set out above.
APPENDIX C (2)
Examples of behaviour deemed inappropriate for BFA coaches:
- Invite a child to your home or secluded place when they will be alone with you
- Share a bedroom with a child
- Neglect their responsibility for any child under their care at any time
- Bully a child either physically or verbally, nor reduce a child to tears as a form of control
- Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games
- Make sexually suggestive remarks to a young/vulnerable fencer – even in fun
- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
- Allow the use of inappropriate language to go unchallenged
- Do things of a personal nature for a fencer that they can do for themselves unless specifically requested to do so and then with the utmost discretion
- The last official must never vacate the venue until the supervision of the safe dispersal of all the fencers is complete
- Spend excessive amounts of time with individual fencers away from others
- Abuse the coaches’ position of power or trust in any way
- Allow allegations made by a
child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
- Embarrass, humiliate or undermine any individual or cause them to lose self esteem
- Make remarks about another individual that are in any way offensive or in any way can be construed as such
- Fail to record any incident in line with BFA guidelines
Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)
Protecting the vulnerable
In order to meet the CRB’s seminal aim of protecting the vulnerable there are two levels of checking designed to safeguard jobs or posts that involve working with children or vulnerable adults. These are designated Standard Disclosure and Enhanced Disclosure.
Both these levels of Disclosures contain details of all convictions on the PNC (Police National Computer) – including ‘spent’ convictions. These ‘spent’ convictions are ones that happened some time ago and normally do not need to be revealed as specified in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
Both levels also contain details of any police cautions, reprimands or warnings. Also for posts involving contact with children they contain any relevant information contained on the government department lists held by the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Skills.
The essential difference between Standard and Enhanced is that Enhanced Disclosures are for positions which involve greater (often unsupervised) contact with either children or vulnerable adults. For example, the type of work might involve regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in charge of such people.
This difference is reflected in the depth
and detail of checking that is carried out for Enhanced Disclosures. In
addition to all other checks, Enhanced Disclosures also involve an extra level
of checking with local police force records. Where local police records contain
additional information which might be relevant to the post the applicant is
being considered for, the Chief Officer of police may release information for
inclusion in an Enhanced Disclosure. Exceptionally, and in a very small number
of circumstances (typically to protect the integrity of current police
investigations), additional information may be sent under separate cover to the
Countersignatory and should not be revealed to the applicant.
INCIDENT REPORT FORM
|Parents/carers names and address;|
|Child’s date of birth:|
|Date and time of any incident:|
|Exactly what the child said and what you said: (Remember, do not lead the child — record actual details. Continue on separate sheet if necessary)|
|Action taken so far:|
APPENDIX E (2)
|External agencies contacted (date & time) If ‘Yes’ — Provide name, contact number and details of advice received.|
|Social Services Yes/No|
|British Fencing Yes/No|
|Local Authority Yes/No|
|Other (eg NSPCC) Yes/No||Provide names of external agencies and relevant details.|
|Signature: Print name:|
A copy of this form and any interview notes should be sent to Social Services if necessary.