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Somerset Golf Union

Somerset Golf Union (SGU) Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

INTRODUCTION

Everyone working with children and young people has a responsibility for keeping them safe, irrespective of their role, whether they are paid members of staff or volunteers.

The SGU is committed to ensure that the sport of golf is one within which all participants can thrive in a safe environment and that all children and young people have an enjoyable and positive experience when playing golf.

KEY PRINCIPLES

The welfare of children is paramount.
A child is defined by law in England and Wales as a person under the age of 18 years.
All children, regardless of their Age, Race, Religion or Belief, Disability, Gender identity or Sexual Orientation, have the right to protection from abuse.
All concerns and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
All children have the right to be safe.
All children have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
The SGU will work with children, their parents/carers and external organisations to safeguard the welfare of children participating in golf.
We recognise the authority of the statutory agencies and are committed to complying with Local Safeguarding Children Board Guidelines (LSCB), Working Together under the Children Act 2004, and any legislation and statutory guidance that supersedes these.
The SGU is committed to working in partnership with other key UK Golf Bodies to continually improve and to promote safeguarding initiatives across the sport.
The SGU owes a legal duty of care to children on their premises or engaged in their activities. That duty is to take reasonable care to ensure their reasonable safety and the duty is higher than it would be for adults.

OBJECTIVES

The SGU aims to ;Provide a safe environment for children and young people participating in golfing activities and try to ensure that they enjoy the experience.

Ensure robust systems are in place to manage any concerns or allegations.

Support adults (staff, volunteers, PGA Professionals, coaches, members and visitors) to understand their roles and responsibilities with regard to their duty of care and protection of children.

Provide appropriate level training, support and resources for staff, volunteers & coaches to make informed and confident responses to specific safeguarding issues and fulfill their role effectively.

Ensure that children and their parents/carers are informed and consulted and, where appropriate, fully involved in decisions that affect them.


Reassure parents and carers that all children and young people will receive the best care possible whilst participating in club activities and communicate Policy and Procedure to them through website/letter/consents.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND IMPLEMENTATION

The SGU will seek to promote the principles of safeguarding children by:

Reviewing their policy and procedures every three years or whenever there is a major change in legislation. Guidance from England Golf will be sought as part of the review process.
Conducting a risk assessment of club activities with regard to safeguarding and take appropriate action to address the identified issues within suitable timescales.
Using appropriate recruitment procedures to assess the suitability of volunteers and staff working with children and young people in line with guidance from England Golf.
Following National Governing Body (NGB) procedures to report concerns and allegations about the behaviour of adults and ensuring that all staff, volunteers, parents and children are aware of these procedures.
Directing staff, volunteers & coaches to appropriate safeguarding training and learning opportunities, where this is appropriate to their role.


1.  RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING

The SGU will endeavour to ensure that all volunteers and staff working with children and young people are appropriate and suitable to do so, and that they have all the information they require to undertake their job effectively and appropriately.

Each role which involves an element of responsibility with regard to children, particularly those involving the regular supervision of children, whether voluntary or paid, should be assessed by the recruiting body to establish which qualifications, checks and other requirements are necessary. These will include the following:

An application form (Appendix 1)
A self-disclosure form (Appendix 2)
References from 2 people  (Appendix 3)
A signed Code of Conduct (Appendix 4)
A Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check on people involved in ‘regulated activity’ with children (Guidance on Regulated Activity & DBS- Appendix 16)

Details of the requirements and the qualifications and checks of individuals will be recorded by the Club Welfare Officer/Secretary/Manager who will also hold copies of the necessary Safeguarding and Protecting Children (SPC) certificates. The nominated person will possess all relevant and appropriate contact details of all staff / volunteers and other relevant bodies.

All staff, volunteers & coaches will be offered access to appropriate child protection training. The SGU recommends attendance at the UK Coaching Safeguarding and Protecting Children (SPC) workshop and will ensure that all volunteers and staff who have significant contact with children attend. An online UK Coaching refresher course should be completed and repeated every three years for those involved in “Regulated Activity.”

All staff, volunteers & coaches working with children and young people will be asked to read and become familiar with the SGU Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.

All staff, volunteers & coaches involved with children and young people will be asked to read the SGU Code of Conduct relevant to their role, and sign to indicate their understanding and agreement to act in accordance with the code. The code is linked to the SGU Disciplinary Procedures. (Codes of Conduct-Appendix 4,5,6)

The SGU are committed to the fact that every child and participant in golf should be afforded the right to thrive through being involved in sporting activity for life, in an enjoyable, safe environment, and be protected from harm.  The SGU acknowledge the additional vulnerability of some groups of children (e.g. disabled, looked after children, those with communication differences).  The SGU will ensure that the environment is appropriate for the child, and tailored to their needs so that they have a positive experience of their sport without risk of harm

2. COMPLAINTS, CONCERNS AND ALLEGATIONS

2.1    If a player, parent/carer, member of staff or volunteer has a concern about the welfare of a child, or the conduct of another child/young person or an adult (whether they are a parent, coach, member, or otherwise), these concerns should be brought to the attention of the Club Welfare Officer without delay. The person reporting the concern is not required to decide whether abuse has occurred, but simply has a duty to pass their concerns and any relevant information to the Welfare Officer. Please refer to Flowcharts 1 & 2 for further details (see below).

2.2    All concerns will be treated in confidence. Details should only be shared on a “need to know” basis with those who can help with the management of the concern. 

2.3    Concerns will be recorded on an Incident Report Form and sent to the England Golf Lead Safeguarding Officer and retained confidentially within the club.  Ash Ash Wilson England Golf Lead Safeguarding Officer will assist with completion of this form if required, 01526 351824. (Incident Report Form-Appendix 8)

2.4    The SGU will work with England Golf and other external agencies to take appropriate action where concerns relate to potential abuse or serious poor practice. The SGU disciplinary procedures will be applied and followed where possible.

2.5    In the event of a child making a disclosure of any type of abuse, the following guidance is given:

Reassure them that they have done the right thing to share the information
Listen carefully
Do not make promises that cannot be kept, such as promising not to tell anyone else
Do not seek to actively question the child or lead them in any way to disclose more information than they are comfortably able to: this may compromise any future action. Only ask questions to clarify your understanding where needed e.g. can you tell me what you mean by the word xxxxx?
Record what the child has said as soon as possible on an incident report form.

You should explain to children, young people and families at the outset, openly and honestly, what and how information will, or could be shared and why, and seek their agreement.
Parents or Carers should be informed if the allegation does not involve them.

2.6    The NSPCC Helpline is available to discuss concerns regarding poor practice and abuse in confidence with members of the public who need support. Those with concerns are encouraged to use this service. The Helpline number is 0808 800 5000.

2.7    Safeguarding children and young people requires everyone to be committed to the highest possible standards of openness, integrity and accountability. The SGU supports an environment where staff, volunteers, parents/carers and the public are encouraged to raise safeguarding and child protection concerns.  Anyone who reported a legitimate concern to the organisation (even if their concerns subsequently appear to be unfounded) will be supported.  All concerns will be taken seriously. (Whistleblowing Policy-Appendix 15)

3. EMERGENCIES AND INCIDENTS

3.1    Parental Consent Forms will be obtained and retained by the SGU for all children who are participating in events or activities, or attending coaching organised by the club. These forms will be treated in confidence and only shared with those who require the information they contain to perform their role effectively. (Junior Profile and Parental Consent Forms-Appendix 10)

3.2    In the event of a child requiring medical attention:

The parents will be contacted immediately.
In the event of failure to contact parents, the alternative emergency contacts will be used.
The consent form will be consulted to establish whether parents have given their consent for a club representative to act in loco parentis.
An adult club representative will accompany the child to seek medical attention, if appropriate, ensuring that they take the consent form with them.
A record of the action taken will be made and retained by a club representative.

3.3    Where a parent is late in collecting their child the following procedure will apply:

Attempt to contact the parent/carer using the contact details on the Parental Consent Form
Attempt to contact the first, then the second emergency contact nominated on the Consent Form
Wait with the young person(s) at the venue with, wherever possible, other staff/volunteers or parents.
If no one is reachable, contact the Club’s Welfare Officer for advice.
If all attempts to make contact fail, consideration should be given to contacting the police for their advice.

Staff, volunteers and coaches should try to avoid::

Taking the child home or to another location without consent.Asking the child to wait in a vehicle or the club with them alone.Sending the child home with another person without permission.

4. SUPERVISION

4.1    During coaching sessions, coaches should conduct a risk assessment to inform decision making about appropriate supervision levels. Regardless of the recommended ratio of adults to participants, it is recommended that a minimum of two adults should be present.  This ensures at least basic cover in the event of something impacting on the availability of one of the adults during the activity.

4.2    Parents may be encouraged to stay for coaching/competitions & other events where their children are of an age where greater levels of parental supervision are required.  

4.3    Wherever possible adults will avoid changing or showering at the same time as children but parents will be made aware that with limited changing room space there will be occasions when adults and children may need to share the facilities.

4.4    Parents should be aware that if children are left at a venue unsupervised, other than to attend specific coaching sessions, competitions, or other organised events, the club cannot accept supervisory responsibility.

4.5    Special arrangements will be made for away trips. Parents will receive full information about arrangements for any such trip and will be required to provide their consent for their child’s participation. (Managing Young People on Away Trips-Appendix 13)

5. GOOD PRACTICE GUIDELINES

5.1     Behaviour of adults and children

5.1.1 Adults who work with children are placed in a position of trust in relation to children, and therefore it is important they behave appropriately and provide a strong positive role model for children, both to protect children and those working with children from false allegations of poor practice. Codes of conduct will be issued to junior members & adults working with them to promote good practice.

5.1.2 The SGU requires that all staff and volunteers working with children and young people adhere to the standards set out in the Code of Conduct relevant to their role. Similarly, children are expected to follow their own Code of Conduct to ensure the enjoyment of all participants and assist the club in ensuring their welfare is safeguarded.

5.1.3 The SGU requires that all staff and volunteers working with children adhere to the guidelines on Managing Challenging Behaviour. (Managing Challenging Behaviour-Appendix 7)

5.1.4 Parents and carers should also work together with the club to ensure that the welfare of all children is safeguarded. A sheet on “Parental Guidance” is provided to assist them in understanding how they can best assist the club (Parental Guidance-Appendix 12)

5.2      Adults and Children playing golf together

One of the reasons for the popularity of golf is that the game is not restricted by ability, age or gender. Responsible interaction between adults and children helps bring mutual respect and understanding and will be encouraged as part of club activities. Adults should always be aware however that age related differences do exist and conduct themselves in a manner that both recognises this and prioritises the welfare of any children involved.

5.3    Physical Contact

Physical contact with children by coaches or volunteers should always be intended to meet the needs of the child and the sport, not the adult. That is, to develop golf technique, to protect the child from injury, to provide first aid or treat an injury. It should always take place in an open environment, and should not, as a general principle, be made gratuitously or unnecessarily.

5.4    Transport

5.4.1    The SGU believes it is primarily the responsibility of parents/carers to transport their child/children to and from events. It is not the responsibility of club volunteers or coaches to transport children and young people to and from events, activities, tournaments or matches.

5.4.2    The SGU may make arrangements for transport in exceptional circumstances, such as team events. Where this is the case, the written permission of the parents of the relevant children will be sought. The drivers used will be checked for their suitability to transport and supervise children (see Section 1 Recruitment and Training) and their insurance arrangements verified.

5.4.3    Children and young people are often involved in competition. When taking young people away from their home club, consideration and planning needs to be paramount to ensure the duty of care for the young people within the team is fulfilled.

5.5    Photography/ Videoing

5.5.1 Permission will be sought from parents prior to the publication or use of any video or photographic images of their child, for instance in newspapers, websites or for coaching purposes. The personal details of the child will not be used in any promotional material. (Photography Consent-Appendix 11)

5.5.2 Any press/official photographers attending events will be required to seek permission from the club before taking photographs and also permission of parents to use the images. (Photography Policy – Appendix 20)

5.6    Social Media

Social media provides unique opportunities for the SGU to engage and develop relationships with people in a creative and dynamic forum where users are active participants. It is important that all staff, volunteers, coaches, officials/referees, board members, or anyone working on behalf of the SGU are aware of the SGU Social Media policy (Social Media Guidance–Appendix 14)

5.7     Anti Bullying Procedures

5.7.1 The SGU believes that every effort must be made to eradicate bullying in all its forms.

 Bullying can be difficult to define and can take many forms which can be categorised as;

Physical – hitting, kicking, theft
Verbal – homophobic or racist remarks, threats, name calling
Emotional – isolating an individual from activities or a group

All forms of bullying include;

Deliberate hostility & aggression towards an individual(s)
A victim who is weaker and less powerful than the bully or bullies
An outcome which is always painful & distressing for the victim

Bullying behaviour may also include;

Other forms of violence
Sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing
Tormenting, ridiculing, humiliation
Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
Unwanted physical contact or abusive or offensive comments of a sexual nature.

The SGU and its Staff, Volunteers & Coaches will not tolerate bullying in any of its forms during club matches, competitions, coaching or at any other time while at the club. (Anti-Bullying Policy -Appendix 21)

5.7.2 The SGU will

Provide a point of contact where those being bullied can report their concerns in confidence – The SGU Welfare Officer.

Take the problem seriously.

Investigate any and all incidents and accusations of bullying.
Talk to bullies and their victims separately along with their parents/carers.
Impose sanctions where appropriate
Keep a written record of all incidents referred to England Golf and the action taken.
Have discussions about bullying and why it matters.

5.8    Confidentiality

5.8.1 Details of all juniors will be kept on file in the office and will not be shared with a third party without parent/carer consent.

5.8.2 All concerns/allegations will be dealt with confidentially by the club and information will only be shared on a need to know basis, either internally or externally depending on the nature/seriousness of the concern/allegation.

5.9     Changing rooms

The changing rooms are used by all members & visitors.  Juniors will only be supervised if needed at club organised events. Parents will be made aware that adults use the changing rooms throughout the day for changing & showering. Where a parent/carer does not consent to their child accessing the changing rooms, it is their responsibility to either supervise the child while in the changing rooms or ensure that they do not use them.












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