The Lancashire Girls' Golf Association
Lancashire Ladies’ County Golf Association
Lancashire Ladies County Golf Association is referred to in this document as “the County” and these Policies and Procedures are for the benefit of all participants, employees and volunteers of the County and are intended to promote the objectives and principles set out below. The person with principal responsibility at the County is the County Welfare Officer who is Jackie Snowden, in addition any concerns can be raised with Margaret Milne (County Secretary).
Jackie Snowden e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 01254 249930
Margaret Milne e: email@example.com t: 0151 546 0479
These Safeguarding Policies and Procedures apply to anyone under the age of 18 or to adults at risk of harm, which shall include anyone who is unable to look after their own well-being, property, rights or other interest; and is at risk of harm (either from another person’s behaviour or their own behaviour); and because they have a disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, or are more vulnerable to being harmed than other adults.
A child or adult at risk of harm is referred to in these Policies and Procedures as the ‘participant’.
Part A: County’s Child Protection Policy Statement
The County acknowledges its duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk of harm and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance, England Golf policies and complies with best practice.
The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children have a positive and enjoyable experience of sport in a safe environment; and are protected from abuse whilst involved with the County or outside of the activity.
As part of our safeguarding policy the County will:
- promote and prioritise the safety and well-being of all participants;
- ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and that staff are provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people;
- ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern;
- ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored;
- prevent the employment or membership of unsuitable individuals; and
- ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation.
The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in the County. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may result in dismissal/exclusion from the County.
Part B: County’s Safeguarding Procedures
Recruitment of staff, consultants and volunteers
The County recognises the necessity of ensuring that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from having contact and working with children.
For staff, relevant consultants and volunteers pre-selection checks will include the following:
- All employees, consultants or volunteers must complete an application form. The application form will elicit information about an applicant's past and a self-disclosure about any criminal record.
- A Barred List Check through England Golf will be undertaken for anyone carrying out Regulated Activity. This is work that a barred person must not do as defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
- Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children, will be taken for anyone working/volunteering with children or vulnerable adults. These references will be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact.
- Evidence of identity should be provided (e.g. passport or driving licence with photo).
- Where appropriate, evidence of qualifications should be obtained.
All employees, consultants or volunteers will be required to undergo an interview and before any job role is offered a check should be made that the application form has been completed in full (including sections on criminal records and self-disclosures); that qualifications are genuine; and that safeguarding procedures are explained and training needs are identified.
Promoting good practice
Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions. It is important that any concern or issue which arises is dealt with calmly and objectively.
Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment for contact with young people or vulnerable adults in order to harm them. An employee, consultant, volunteer or member of the County is likely to have regular contact with children and vulnerable adults. Staff have a crucial role to play in supporting the County’s efforts to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.
Good practice guidelines
All staff, consultants and volunteers are required to demonstrate exemplary behaviour both in the interests of participants and in order to protect themselves from unjustified allegations.
The following are common sense examples:
- Always work in an open environment avoiding, where possible, private or unobserved situations, interactions or communications with unaccompanied children.
- Treat all participants equally with respect and dignity.
- Put the welfare of the participant first.
- Adults should respect a participant’s privacy and right to be safe from abuse and harm and not to do anything harmful or age inappropriate with or in front of them.
- Always make sport fun and enjoyable, emphasising the importance of fair play.
- Always ensure that you have the appropriate technical skills, valid qualifications and insurance cover.
- Where manual/physical contact is required, it should be provided openly and with the consent of the participant. Physical contact can be appropriate so long as it is neither intrusive nor disturbing and the participant’s consent has been given.
- Endeavour to involve parents/carers wherever possible (for example, encouraging them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms). If groups have to be supervised in changing rooms always ensure parents, coaches etc. work in pairs.
- Where teams are to be taken on overnight trips, staff should avoid spending time in children’s rooms and should not invite or have children in their rooms.
- Be an excellent role model, this includes not smoking, taking drugs or drinking alcohol in the company of young people.
- Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of the child and do not risk sacrificing welfare in desire for County or personal achievements. This means avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them in training against their will.
- Be positive, approachable and offer praise to promote the objectives of the County at all times.
- Respect and listen to the opinions of the participant.
The following must be avoided:
- Spending time alone in private with any child (other than your own) at county events.
- Taking young people alone in a car on journeys, however short.
- Engaging in, allowing or encouraging rough physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
- Engaging in any form of inappropriate touching.
- Striking any child.
- Acting immodestly or engaging in any behaviours with sexual connotations in the presence of any child.
- Engaging in exhibitionist behaviours involving nudity in the presence of participants.
- Subjecting any participant to physical intimidation.
- Use of inappropriate language in the presence of children, or allowing children’s use of inappropriate language to go unchallenged.
- Making sexually suggestive comments to or about a child or children.
- Humiliating, shouting at a participant or reducing him or her to tears.
- Allowing allegations relevant to this guidance made by a child to go unrecorded or not acted upon.
- Doing things of a personal nature that the participant can do for themselves.
When a case arises where it is impractical/impossible to avoid a certain situation e.g. transporting a young person alone in your car, the tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the parent/carer and the young person involved.
Use of photographic/filming equipment at sporting events
Only film or take photos of children with the express consent of their parents or the child and be clear what the photos/videos will be used for. Only publish or onwardly transmit with the permission of their parents or the child.
There is general evidence (not related directly to the County) that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of children. Any concerns should to be reported to the County Welfare Officer.
There is no intention to prevent County coaches and teachers using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However, participants and their parents will be made aware that this is part of the coaching programme and such films will be stored safely.
Bullying is defined as deliberate hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves.
Bullying can be physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, slapping), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, name calling, graffiti, threats, abusive text messages), emotional (e.g. tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, ignoring, isolating from the group) or sexual (e.g. unwanted physical contact or abusive comments).
All members of staff and volunteers are expected to take all signs of bullying very seriously. Response will be dependent on the circumstances; however serious matters or concerns should be reported to the County Welfare Officer.
Members of staff should:
- Encourage all participants to speak and share any concerns.
- Take seriously all allegations about bullying and take action to ensure that the victim is safe.
- Keep a record of any conversations about bullying.
- Challenge any behaviour that is indicative of bullying.
- Inform their line manager and the child’s parents of any action taken.
- When dealing with a child suspected of bullying, members of staff should:
- Talk with the child, explain the situation, and help the child to understand the consequences of their behaviour.
- Inform the child’s parents.
- Encourage and support the child to change their behaviour.
Incidents that must be reported/recorded
If any of the following occur you should report this as soon as is practicable to the County Welfare Officer or other senior member of staff:
- If you accidentally hurt a child.
- If he/she seems distressed.
- If you witness any incident which raises any concern that anyone has acted inappropriately in relation to the County’s Safeguarding Policy.
The County Welfare Officer will record the incident and normally inform the child’s parents, or arrange for the child’s parents to be informed the incident (unless doing so may place the child at increased risk of abuse or harm) and decide how to proceed in accordance with this policy.
County Welfare Officer will inform England Golf of all reported incidents. This is to ensure that cases are managed appropriately and in particular that appropriate cases are dealt with at County level but that more serious cases are investigated and dealt with by England Golf. Informing England Golf also ensures a national overview so that any concerns about anyone’s behaviour can be cross checked with any potentially previously reported concerns. England Golf liaises with other golf bodies, such as the PGA, the Golf Union of Wales and the Golf Foundation.
Receiving evidence of Possible Abuse/Harm
Where a concern is reported directly to a member of staff it is important that staff respond appropriately:
- Stay calm so as not to frighten the participant.
- Listen carefully to the participant to show that you are willing and able to listen and taking them and their concerns seriously.
- Keep questions to a minimum inviting the participant to communicate further if she/he wishes. Avoid any specific or direct questions.
- Do not promise to keep the participant’s confidence. Inform the participant that you will have to inform other professionals i.e. England Golf, the police and/or children’s social care about what they have told you so that they can take action to keep the child safe.
- Record all of the information and report to the County Welfare Officer as soon as possible.
When recording information as much detail as possible should be included. You should confine yourself to the facts and distinguish what is your personal knowledge and what others have told you. The report should include:
- The participant’s name, age and date of birth of the child.
- The participant’s home address and telephone number.
- Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
- The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information. Use as many of your own and the participant’s words as you can recall.
- A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
- Details of witnesses to the incidents.
- The participant’s account, if it has been given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
Dealing with allegations or suspicions – General
It is not the responsibility of the County or any employee or officer of the County to decide whether or not abuse or harm has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns. This may include, for example, reports to England Golf, the police and/or statutory authorities or robust measures to manage any possible risk of harm to a participant or participants.
The County assures all staff and volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone who in good faith reports his/her concern that an employee, member or visitor has abused or harmed a participant. The County will view any victimisation or threatened victimisation (whether direct or indirect) of any person raising any concern or providing relevant information as a very serious matter.
The County will expect any member of staff who is the subject of any complaint or allegation to provide full and constructive cooperation to the County in seeking to resolve any issues arising. Every member of staff is expected to support the County’s safeguarding objectives.
The County will not be precluded from taking appropriate safeguarding measures recommended by England Golf solely on the basis that a member of staff or volunteer has not been convicted of any criminal offence nor been the subject of a finding of serious misconduct.
The County will seek to keep information concerning the allegations and the identity of any children or members of staff involved confidential to the extent that they can reasonably do so. The County may, however, provide information to the Police and/or Local Authority Children’s Social Care Services and will provide information to England Golf.
Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the participant and, following the investigation, the alleged perpetrator.
Dealing with child abuse/harm allegations or suspicions – Initial Process
Any concern relating to a member of staff or volunteer in the context of child protection should be reported immediately to the County’s Welfare Officer. The Welfare Officer will inform England Golf of the concern and will liaise with them on proposed action.
If the concerns are not serious and there is no concern relating to abuse or harm, the County may seek to resolve issues and this may include a discussion and/or advice to any of the individuals concerned. If following consideration of the concern it is deemed to relate to poor practice and if there is found to be no material risk of harm or abuse to the children, it may be dealt with as a standard disciplinary matter.
More serious cases will be dealt with by England Golf in accordance with the procedures set out in the England Golf Safeguarding policies and procedures, with which all staff and volunteers agree to comply.