Castletown Golf Links

2017 Safeguarding Policy


Safeguarding Policy 

CGC Welfare officer: Dave Adams - dave@castletowngolflinks.com

This policy comprises seven sections:  


  •  Introduction

  • Policy statement/aims

  • Promoting good practice

  • Good practice guidelines

  • Use of photographic/filming equipment

  • Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers

  • Responding to allegations or suspicions

1. Introduction 

This policy is designed to provide guidance and leadership to Isle of Man Golf (IOMG) and most importantly to affiliated golf clubs on the Isle of Man in Safeguarding Children in golf.  IOMG subscribe to and adopt the “Safeguarding Children Board (SCB) Inter Agency Child Protection Procedures” and the information and guidelines contained in the “Play Sport and Stay Safe” guide for parents and carers published by the Isle of Man Department of Education and Children. 
 
The key principles of the SCB are that: 

  • the child’s safety is, and must always be, the paramount consideration
  • all children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, faith or belief
  • all suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately  working in partnership with other organisations, children and young people and their parents/carers is essential. We acknowledge that every child or young person who plays or participates in sport should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from poor practice and abuse. IOM Golf recognise this is the responsibility of every adult involved. 

It recognises that many staff and volunteers will not be trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.

2. Policy statement/aims 

IOMG fully recognise it has a duty of care to safeguard all children from harm who are involved in competitions, training initiatives and other events promoted or run by IOMG. IOMG also seek to promote, encourage and assist affiliated golf clubs in child protection within golf on the Island. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. IOMG will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in IOMG through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by IOMG.  
IOMG has issued this Child Protection Policy to all affiliated Clubs a copy of which is retained on its website, www.isleofmangolf.im  
 
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 years (The Children and Young Persons Act 2001). 


Policy aims 
The aim of the IOMG Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice in golf and assist affiliated Clubs in the following: 

  •  Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of IOMG; 
  •  Allowing all staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
  • Promoting the same aims in affiliated Clubs. 


3. Promoting good practice 

Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgment about the appropriate action to take. 
 
Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school, youth work and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, instructor, teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice by those working within golf in the Isle of Man should be reported following guidelines in this document. 
 
When a child enters into any of our activities having been subjected to child abuse in another environment, we can play a crucial role in improving the child’s self-esteem. In such instances we must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required support. 

4. Good practice guidelines 

Everyone involved with IOMG should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote child safety and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate. 
 
Good practice means: 

  • Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets);
  • Treating all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity;
  • Always putting the safety of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals;
  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance (e.g. it is not appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them);
  •  Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process;
  •  Making our activities fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play;
  • Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be kept to an absolute minimum and provided openly. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. Young people and their parents should always be consulted and their agreement gained;
  • Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance relevant to activities undertaken; 
  •  Involving parents/carers wherever possible. For example, encouraging them to take responsibility for their children. If groups have to be supervised in changing rooms or similar situations, always ensure parents, teachers, coaches or officials work in pairs;
  • Ensuring that if mixed groups are involved in activities or outings, there should always be a male and female member of staff present or accompanying them. However, remember that same gender abuse can also occur;
  • Ensuring that at residential or other events, on or off Island, adults should not enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms;
  • Being an excellent role model - this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people;
  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism;
  • Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people avoiding excessive involvement or competition and not pushing them against their will;
  •  Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises, to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment;
  • Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given;
  • Requesting written parental consent if officials are required to transport young people in their cars. 
  • Ensuring transport providers have appropriate vehicle insurance to convey young people in their vehicles.
  • Parents dropping off children at events must make sure that Event Organisers and/or Junior Organisers/Volunteers are aware of relevant contact details if they are not remaining at the event.  Promoting, encouraging and explaining the rules and etiquette of golf to create a safe, fair and enjoyable playing environment. 


Practices to be avoided 
The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and consent of a senior official or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a session: 

  • Avoid spending time alone with children away from others;
  • Avoid taking or dropping off a child to an event or activity. 


Practices never to be sanctioned 
The following should never be sanctioned. You should never: 

  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay;
  • Share a room with a child;
  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching;
  • Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged;
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun;
  •  Reduce a child to tears as a form of control;
  • Fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child;
  • Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves;
  • Invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised. 

 
N.B. It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents and the individuals 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 to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained to undertake. 
 
 Incidents that must be reported/recorded 
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the appropriate person and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed: 

  • If you accidentally hurt a child;
  • If he/she seems distressed in any manner;
  • If he/she appears to be sexually aroused by your actions;
  • If he/she misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done. 


5. Use of photographic/filming equipment  

Each Club should obtain consent from the member/parent/carer should images be recorded whilst they are at the Club or other golfing events on the Island and inform that they may be published in accordance with the requirements of the Club. This written consent should normally be obtained on a form designed for the purpose or as part of the induction process used by the Club.  
IOMG will include notice that images may be recorded during their events on event application forms. 
There is evidence that some people have used sports events as an opportunity to take inappropriate images of young and disabled people in vulnerable positions. Care must be taken when using photographic/video equipment although it is accepted that, given modern technology, the control of recording images is impossible. Players, parents or carers must be made aware by the Club that images may be recorded by persons other than bone fide Club members, officials or the press.  Inappropriate use or publishing of images should be brought to the attention of the Club and IOMG. Action should be taken to identify the source of the image and take the necessary steps to deal with the specific issue. 

 6. Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers 

IOMG recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Before undertaking work with children checks will be undertaken which should include the following: 

  • All members/volunteers should complete an application form. The application form will elicit information about an applicant's past and a self disclosure about any criminal record;
  • All members/volunteers should complete the Isle of Man Constabulary vetting form if the volunteer will be working unsupervised, in closed environment with children on a regular basis.
  •  It is recommended that two confidential references be obtained from the applicant, including one regarding previous work with children.
  • Parents who undertake ad hoc involvement must identify themselves to the person running the event. If the parent’s involvement becomes more often the 

Club Junior Organiser must ask the volunteer to complete the Volunteer application form. This does not include the situation where a parent is acting as a caddy for their child. 
 
Interview and induction 
A. Employees 
All employees will be required to undergo an interview carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees should receive an induction, during which: 

  • A check should be made that the application form has been completed in full (including sections on criminal records and self-disclosures);
  •  Their qualifications should be substantiated;
  • The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified;
  • Child protection procedures are explained and training needs are identified;
  • They should sign up to the Club’s Code of Ethics and Conduct and Child Protection policies. 


B. Volunteers 
All Volunteers will undergo an induction meeting to ensure there is a complete understanding of the following; 

  • The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified;
  • Child protection procedures are explained and training needs are identified;
  • They should sign up to the Club’s Code of Ethics and Conduct and Child Protection policies. 


Training 
In addition to the above checks, the child protection process includes joint-agency training after recruitment to help Staff and Junior Organisers to: 

  • Be able to recognise signs and indicators of abuse;
  • Analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to ensure their practice is not likely to result in allegations being made;
  • Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse;
  • Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person;
  • Work safely and effectively with children. 

The induction program undertaken by Volunteers should aim to include the above points. 
  

7. Responding to allegations or suspicions 

It is not the responsibility of anyone working in IOMG, in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the appropriate authorities. 
 
IOMG will assure all staff, members and volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern over potential child abuse including that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child. 
 
Where there is a complaint there may be three types of investigation: 

  • A criminal investigation;
  • A child protection investigation;
  • A disciplinary or misconduct investigation. 

The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence and inform the disciplinary investigation, but all available information will be used to reach a decision. 
 
Action if there are concerns 
 
A. Concerns about poor practice: 

  • If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice; the Child Protection Officer will investigate the incident and report findings to the Board of Directors as a misconduct issue.
  • If the allegation is about poor practice by IOMG, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the appropriate person at England Golf who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings. 

B. Concerns about suspected abuse: 

  • Any suspicion that a child has been abused should be reported to the appropriate Club official, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk. The Club may then inform IOMG if appropriate.
  • The parents or carers of the child will be contacted.
  • Where there is likely to be media interest in the incident the IOMG Child Protection Officer should notify the Board of Directors for consideration of contacting England Golf Safeguarding/Child Protection Officer) who will deal with any media enquiries outside of the Isle of Man.  

 
C. Confidentiality 
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated when required on a need to know basis only. This could include any of the following: 

  • The Club’s Child Protection Officer;
  • The parents/carers of the person who is alleged to have been abused;
  • The person making the allegation;
  •  Social Care/Police. 

Seek advice from the Police or Social Care on who should approach the alleged abuser (or parents if the alleged abuser is a child). 
Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure). 
 
D. Internal enquiries and suspension 

  • The Directors of affiliated Clubs will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further Police and Social Services inquiries.
  • Irrespective of the findings of Police or Social Services inquiries the Club will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff, Club Member or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the Police. In such cases, the Club must assess all available information which could suggest that on a balance of probabilities, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The safety of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.
  •  The Club should inform the persons involved, as well as IOMG, of the outcome. 

Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse: 

  • Consideration should be given by the Club to the kind of support that children, parents and members of staff may need. Use of help-lines, support groups and meetings may be considered if necessary.  
  • Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged perpetrator. 

 
Local Support Groups Include: 

  • Social Services Duty Team – 686179
  • Victim Support – 679950
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – 642875. 


E. Allegations of previous abuse 
Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a child or by a member of staff who is still currently working with children). 
 
Where such an allegation is made, the organisation should follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the Police or Social Services. This is because other children may be at risk from this person.  


F. Action if bullying is suspected 
If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in section 7 above, Responding to suspicions or allegations'. 
 
Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in our organisation: 

  • Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
  • Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns (It is believed that up to 12 children per year commit suicide as a result of bullying, so if anyone talks about or threatens suicide, seek professional help immediately). Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in authority. Create an open environment.
  • Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe. Speak with the victim and the bully(ies) separately.
  • Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no-one else.
  • Keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom, when).
  • Report any concerns to the Club Child Protection Officer or the school (wherever the bullying is occurring). 


G. Action towards a Bully: 

  • Club to take positive action according to Club procedures and inform parents/carers of the outcome. 
  • Club to keep a record of the outcome. 


H. Concerns outside the immediate environment (e.g. a parent or carer): 

  • Report your concerns to the Club, who should contact the Police as soon as possible. See I. below for the information Social Services or the Police will need :
  • The Club Welfare Officer should also report the incident to IOMG who  should ascertain whether or not the person/s involved in the incident play a role in Isle of Man Golf or other affiliated Clubs and act accordingly.
  • Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis only. 

 
I. Information for Police or Social Services about suspected abuse 
To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should include the following: 


  1. The child's name, age and date of birth.
  2. The child's home address and telephone number.
  3. Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
  4. The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.
  5. Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
  6. A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
  7. Details of witnesses to the incidents.
  8. The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
  9. Have the parents been contacted?
  10. If so what has been said?
  11. Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details.
  12. If the child was not the person who reported the incident, has the child been spoken to? If so what was said?
  13. Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.
  14. Where possible referral to the Police or Social Services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded. 

If you are worried about sharing concerns about abuse with a colleague, you can contact:

Social Services on 686820, or the

Police on 631212, or the

NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or

Childline on 0800 1111. 


Useful web links; 
www.childreningolf.org  
www.isleofmansport.com  
www.gov.im/categories/caring-and-support/children-and-families  
www.nspcc.org.uk






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