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Clyde Football Club: Child and Adult Protection Policy

  1. Introduction
    As a community club, we would not be fulfilling our objectives if we did not build good relationships with the children, young people and vulnerable adults whom we work with every day. This policy is in place to make sure that the relationships we build and the environment we create is safe for everyone. While Child and Adult Protection – and the overall welfare of all participants – is paramount, it is not designed to stop us from interacting and engaging with our participants. The most effective tool you have is common sense and this document uses common sense to highlight best practice in ensuring the protection and welfare of each of the children, young people, vulnerable adults and staff members who are part of our club.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. Clyde Football Club (Community Interest Club) “(hereafter referred to as CFC)” has a duty of care to safeguard all children and vulnerable adults involved with CFC from harm. CFC will ensure the safety and protection of all children and vulnerable adults involved with CFC through adherence to the Child and Adult Protection guidelines adopted by CFC.
    2. These guidelines are:
      CFC will:
      1. Make sure that our recruitment procedure for vetting all staff and volunteers is properly adhered to at all times.
      2. Promote our Child and Adult Protection Policy by liaison with parents, children, vulnerable adults and their carers and all staff.
      3. Give all coaching and volunteer staff members proper training and guidelines for working with children and vulnerable adult
      4. Liaise with the appropriate external agencies and authorities whenever possible.
      5. Monitor our procedures and practices on a regular basis.
      6. Ensure that our Child and Adult Protection Policy is carried out.
  3. Guidelines
    1. Guideline 1 - Recruitment of Staff, Volunteers and Coaches
      • Pre-selection checks will include the following:
      • All volunteers, staff and coaches will complete an application form. The application will collect information about the applicants past and self-disclosure regarding any criminal record.
      • All volunteers, staff and coaches will complete an application to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme. CFC will process the application form and submit same to Disclosure Scotland for approval.
      • All volunteers, staff and coaches will be required to provide a confidential reference, which will be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact by CFC’s Child and Adult Protection Officer to the referee
      • CFC will confirm the applicant’s identity by either passport or photographic driving licence
      • All volunteers, staff and coaches will undertake a three month probationary period.
    2. Guideline 2 - Promote our Child and Adult Protection Policy
      CFC will
      • Hold progress meetings inviting the participation of parents, children, vulnerable adults and their carers and coaching staff.
      • Make certain that child and adult protection policy will be an ongoing agenda item at these meetings. (Any issues around our child and adult protection policy can of course be discussed at any time with CFC’s Child Protection Officer).
      • Ensure that all staff members, management and directors are aware of and have access to, our Child and Adult Protection Policy.
      • Ensure that volunteers and coaches will be given a copy of the CFC Code of Conduct for adults in football coaching and our Child and Adult Protection Policy. CFC will ensure that volunteers and coaches sign up to the CFC’s Child and Adult Protection Policy and Code of Conduct.
    3. Guideline 3 - Training and Guidelines
      1. When staff, volunteers and coaches have completed the pre-selection forms and have been accepted in their respective roles, an induction meeting will be held covering the following:
        • A check will be made that all the appropriate application forms have been completed and processed.
        • Qualifications will be substantiated.
        • Requirements and responsibilities of the job will be clarified.
        • CFC’s Code of Conduct and Child and Adult Protection Policy will be discussed and a copy provided for use by staff member, volunteer and coach.
        • Individual training needs will be identified.
      2. Clyde Football Club will also:
        • Carry out an annual review of our Code of Conduct.
        • Carry out an annual review of our Child and Adult Protection Policy. (All staff, volunteers and coaches will be invited to participate in these reviews.)
        • All coaching staff will be encouraged to attend SFA in-service coaching days.
        • Promote positive progression of coaching qualifications through attendance at SFA coaching courses.
    4. Guideline 4 - Liaison with external agencies
      1. As part of CFC’s existing Child and Adult Protection Policy, all staff, volunteers and coaches are vetted by Disclosure Scotland.
      2. CFC will endeavour to ensure that the Code of Conduct and Child and Adult Protection Policy continues to be reviewed and kept up to date with changes in legislation pertaining to child and Adult protection.
      3. Channel of communication with the following bodies will be maintained and encouraged:
        • Scottish Football Association
        • Police Scotland
        • Disclosure Scotland
        • North Lanarkshire Council and North Lanarkshire Leisure
    5. Guideline 5 - Procedures and Practices
      1. CFC will have regular meetings with staff, volunteers and coaches in order to ensure that our Code of Conduct and Child and Adult Protection Policy is understood and being adhered to.
      2. CFC will carry out an annual review of our Code of Good Practice and Child and Adult Protection Policy.
      3. In addition to general monitoring, unannounced visits will be made to coaching sessions/matches by the General Manager in order to ensure that the Code of Conduct and Child and Adult Protection Policy is being put into practice.
    6. Guideline 6 - Ensuring our Policy is carried out
      CFC will ensure our policy is carried out by adhering to the principles outlined below.
      1. Concerns about poor practice:
        1. If an allegation is clearly poor practice related, the CFC Child Protection Officer would deal with the matter as a misconduct issue.
        2. If an allegation is clearly about poor practice by the CFC Child Protection Offer, or if any concerns remain regarding inadequate handling of an allegation, this allegation will be reported to the Scottish Football Association.
      2. Concerns regarding use of photographic/filming equipment:
        1. CFC staff, volunteers and coaches will be vigilant ‘against the taking of inappropriate photographs or films’. Any concerns should be reported to the Child and Adult Protection Officer.
      3. Concerns regarding suspected abuse:
        1. Any suggestion that a member of staff or volunteer has abused a child, vulnerable adult or coach will be reported to the Child and Adult Protection Officer who will then take immediate steps to ensure the safety of the child/vulnerable adult/coach in question and any other child/vulnerable adult/coach who may be considered to be at risk. The Child and Adult Protection Officer will seek independent professional guidance regarding contact with the parents or carers and the involvement of the Police and will act according to the appropriate national or local authority child and adult protection guidelines existing at the time.
        2. No member of staff, volunteer or coach is qualified to handle such a sensitive issue. However, CFC have a responsibility to act on any concerns through close liaison with the appropriate authorities.
        3. Every effort will be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled on a need to know basis only.
        4. CFC Child and Adult Protection Officer, after consultation, will make an immediate decision whether the person/persons accused of abuse be temporarily suspended – pending further inquiries.
        5. Following the findings of any inquiry, CFC will decide after consultation with the appropriate authorities whether the person/persons involved should be reinstated.
        6. The welfare of the child/children/young person/vulnerable adult will remain of paramount importance throughout.
  4. Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children & Vulnerable Adults
    1. The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults details the Standards and practice required by all staff and members of CFC when in contact with children and vulnerable adults. These are categorised into good practice; practice to be avoided; practice never to be sanctioned; and safe practice in unforeseen circumstances.
    2. CFC supports and requires the following good practice with children and vulnerable adults:
      • Make football fun, enjoyable and promote fair play.
      • Always work in an open-environment e.g. avoid private or unobserved situations and encourage an open environment for activities.
      • Treat all children and vulnerable adults equally, with respect and dignity.
      • Put the welfare of each child or vulnerable adult first before winning or achieving goals.
      • Be an excellent role model including not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of children or vulnerable adults.
      • Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism. Ensure that if any form of manual or physical support is required for a child or vulnerable adult, it is provided openly and the child or vulnerable adult is informed of what is being done.
      • For educational instruction, the instruction is to be delivered firstly verbally; secondly role-modelled; and thirdly, and only if necessary, with hands on - which must be accompanied by telling the child or vulnerable adult where you are putting your hands and why. If it is known prior to a programme that hands on assistance will be required, the parent/guardian/carer’s consent must be obtained before they participate in the programme.
      • Maintain a safe and appropriate distance from children and vulnerable adults e.g. do not have an intimate relationship.
      • Build balanced relationships based on mutual trust that empowers children and vulnerable adults to share in the decision-making process.
      • Involve parents and carers wherever appropriate.
      • Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of children and vulnerable adults, avoid excessive training or competition and either pushing them against their will or putting undue pressure on them.
    3. Medical Consent, injuries and applying first aid:
      1. If a child or vulnerable adult requires first aid or any form of medical attention whilst in your care, then the following guidance must be followed:
        • All staff should endeavour to be aware of any existing medical conditions and/or pre-existing injuries and any treatment required.
        • Only those with a current, recognised First Aid qualification should respond to any injuries.
        • Where possible any course of action should be discussed with the child/vulnerable adult, in language which they understand, and their permission should be sought before any action is taken.
        • In more serious cases, assistance must be obtained from a medically qualified professional as soon as possible.
        • The child or vulnerable adult’s parents/guardians or carers must be informed of any injury and any action taken as soon as possible
        • An Incident Record Form must be completed and signed and passed to the Line Manager as soon as possible.
    4. Transporting of children or vulnerable adults:
      • Only transport children or vulnerable adults if absolutely necessary. Use a common-sense approach.
      • Request permission if staff are required to transport young people or vulnerable adults in their cars or minibuses.
      • Ensure all vehicles are insured.
      • Whilst acknowledging that same gender abuse can occur, ensure where possible, if a mixed group of children or vulnerable adults are taken away, the group has a male and female member of staff accompanying them.
      • All reasonable safety measures are taken e.g. children in the back seat, seatbelts
    5. Practice to be avoided
      The following practice should be avoided. If situations arise where these situations are unavoidable, they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of a line manager and/or the child or vulnerable adult’s parents/guardians/carers e.g. a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital or a parent/guardian/carer fails to pick up a child or vulnerable adult at the end of a session.
      • Avoid having ‘favourites’ - this could lead to resentment and jealousy by other children or vulnerable adults and could be a cause for false allegations.
      • Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children or vulnerable adults away from others.
      • Ensure that if children or vulnerable adults are taken away adults avoid entering their rooms unless in emergency situations or a health and safety issue arises.
      • Avoid taking children or vulnerable adults to your home.
    6. Practice never to be sanctioned
      • Never engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
      • Never allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
      • Never make sexually suggestive comments to a child or vulnerable adult, even in fun.
      • Never reduce a child or vulnerable adult to tears as a form of control.
      • Never allow allegations made by a child or vulnerable adult to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
      • Never invite or allow children or vulnerable adults to stay with you at your home unsupervised.
      • Never do things of a personal nature for children and vulnerable adults that they can do for themselves.
    7. Important Note: It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children or vulnerable adults, particularly if they are very young or vulnerable. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of their parents/guardians/carers involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child or vulnerable adult to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.
  5. Reporting
    It is very important if any of the following incidents should occur, that they are reported on the day to their line manager, and the CFC Incident Record Form is completed. Parents/Guardians/Carers should also be informed of the incident. It is expected that staff will apply judgement and common sense when reporting an incident for example, in any of the following circumstances:
    • If you accidentally hurt a child or vulnerable adult.
    • If a child or vulnerable adult seems distressed in any manner.
    • If a child or vulnerable adult misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done that has serious implications.
    • If a child or vulnerable adult appears to be sexually aroused by your actions.
    • If a child or vulnerable adult needs to be restrained.

Policy last reviewed June 2017