Child Protection Statement
Evolution Sports (ES) takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the children in its care and follows the guidance of “Working Together to Safeguard Children (March 2015) and “Keeping Children Safe in Education” (September 2016). This guidance outlines the responsibilities of ES, in carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children by ensuring that “mechanisms are in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities.”
We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children and adults. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of different types of abuse and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.
A core objective of ES is ensuring that the safeguarding of children is embedded in its day to day activities and programs. ES has robust policies and procedures that are reviewed on a regular basis and provides staff with the training required to know their role and responsibilities within safeguarding.
There are four main elements to our policy:
- Ensuring we practice safe recruitment in line with national legislation by using at least one suitably trained recruiter on all interview panels and by checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children and ensuring any unsuitable behaviour is reported and managed using the Allegations Management procedure
- Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep themselves safe
- Ensuring a suitably trained workforce, developing policies and procedures that support and assist ES staff identify possible cases, or suspected cases, of abuse and to report such cases.
- Establishing a safe environment, promote and support good outcomes in terms of health, development and educational achievement for all children in turn raising both physical and mental wellbeing.
We recognise that because of the contact with children accessing ES programmes, ES staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. ES will therefore:
- Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and have a voice;
- Ensure children know that there are adults working in ES whom they can approach if they are worried;
- Promote opportunities for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse;
- Work in partnership with child’s family;
- Recognise cultural diversity, at the same time recognising culture cannot be used as a defence for abuse;
- ES is committed to maintaining the highest possible sporting and social standards of behaviour;
- Celebrate children’s success and recognise achievement, effort and good behaviour;
- Provide a structured and progressive environment where children will work together taking a pride in themselves and their surroundings.
ES accepts and adheres to The Football Association (FA) Safeguarding Policy.
Along with this, ES adopts the guidelines and procedures on safeguarding as laid down in ‘Working Together to Safeguard children 2015,’ ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education Sept 2016’ (Department of Education).
ES recognises that the Local Authority Children’s Services Department, the NSPCC and the Police have a statutory duty to protect children and young persons at risk. ES accepts that it must work in partnership with these agencies when a safeguarding issue arises.
DEFINITIONS OF CHILD ABUSE
‘Child Abuse and neglect’ is a generic term encompassing all ill treatment of children including serious physical and sexual assaults as well as cases where the standard of care does not adequately support the child’s health or development. Children may be abused or neglected through the infliction of harm or through the failure to act to prevent harm. Abuse can occur in a family, an institutional or community setting. The perpetrator may be known or not known to the child. There are 4 broad categories of abuse which are used for the purposes of registration. These categories overlap and an abused child may suffer more than one type of abuse.
Concerns identified as child abuse will fall within the following five categories:
- Physical Abuse: A child is physically hurt or injured by an adult or an adult gives alcohol or drugs to a child or young person
- Neglect: A child’s basic physical needs are consistently not met or they are regularly left alone or unsupervised
- Sexual Abuse: An adult or peer uses a child or young person to meet their own sexual needs
- Emotional Abuse: Persistent criticism, denigrating or putting unrealistic expectations on a child or young person
- Bullying: Persistent or repeated hostile and intimidating behaviour towards a child or young person. Incidents of poor practice occur when the needs of children and young people are not afforded the necessary priority, so as their welfare is compromised. Hazing is any action or situation, with or without the consent of the participants, which recklessly, intentionally, or unintentionally endangers the mental, physical, or emotional wellbeing of a child or young person. Hazing is not tolerated in affiliated football.
The child’s welfare is and must always be the paramount consideration.
All children and young people have the right to be protected.
All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and dealt with promptly.
As outlined above working in partnership with other organisations, young people, children, their parents and carers are essential.
ES has a clear role to play in safeguarding children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying.
This applies to all staff working for ES whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.
ES recognises the importance of Safer Recruitment. All staff engaged in regulated activity, whether they are full time, casual or voluntary should undergo the following checks and procedures:
- Attend an interview and complete an application form.
- Provide 2 references from 2 different professional sources.
- Be able to prove identity.
- Be able to prove the right to work in the UK.
- Undergo a DBS Enhanced Disclosure producing the necessary documents (referencing the statutory guidance on regulated activity).
- This will also include checks against the barred list if appropriate.
- Attend an induction where the Safeguarding Policy and the Code of Conduct procedures will be explained.
- Have attended the FA Safeguarding workshop.
- The DBS has to be renewed every 3 years.
Training will have to be undertaken by all staff once a year, with staff required to attend and complete the FA Safeguarding and Emergency Aid workshops. All staff will be required to familiarise themselves with the content of their job descriptions this will include their responsibilities for safeguarding children and safe working practice.
Any issues relating to concerns raised over disclosures on the DBS will be discussed in terms of the risk that disclosure poses to children by a panel made up of the Safeguarding Officer and Director of ES. The owner of the DBS will also be invited to this meeting.
ES is committed to achieving the highest possible standards of service and the highest possible ethical standards in public life and in all of its practices. To achieve these ends, it encourages freedom of speech. It also encourages staff to use internal mechanisms for reporting any malpractice or illegal acts or omissions by its employees or ex-employees.
ES in line with the FA policies and procedures has appointed a designated person to deal with first reports of poor practice or abuse. This person will be known as the Safeguarding Officer but will perform the same functions as the FA’s Club Welfare Officer. This falls in line with the recommendations from the Football League and the Premier League.
The Safeguarding Officer who may receive the first reports of poor practice and or abuse will contact the relevant child protection agencies/services to report the concerns. The Safeguarding Officer will familiarise themselves with the local authority children’s services reporting process.
The Safeguarding Officer will report to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), the Police or the County FA Welfare Officer any allegations made against ES staff that relate to their role working with children.
IDENTIFICATIONS & REFERRALS
ES recognises that the protection of children is everybody’s responsibility. All staff and volunteers at ES who are involved with children and young persons will be made aware of how to recognise child abuse and make appropriate referrals to the Safeguarding Officer.
If a child or young person is at risk of immediate harm or danger, ES staff will contact police or social services.
In addition, any child or young person identified to the safeguarding lead who is subject to a child protection plan, who is looked after or subject to any other intervention will be supported in conjunction with and guided by the statutory services and professionals.
The Safeguarding Officer will be responsible for the recording of all safeguarding issues and updating records kept about the latter and any referrals made. These records will be kept in a designated locked cabinet and only be accessible to the Safeguarding Officer and the ES Director.
If there are concerns about a child then this should be reported to the ES Safeguarding Officer and inform the programme lead unless they are part of allegation.
If the issue is one of poor practice then ES Safeguarding Officer will either:
- Deal with the matter internally with the support from Management Team and/or director or
- Seek advice from the CFA Welfare Officer (football related incidents only).
If the concern is one of abuse then the ES Safeguarding Officer will either contact the Police or the Local Authority Children’s Services Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH or both depending on the nature of the concern?
ES Safeguarding Officer will also contact the relevant CFA Welfare Officer and FA Case Manager if the concern is a football related one. If the allegation is against the Safeguarding Officer then all information should be directed to the ES Director who will action as above. The same procedure will be in place if the Safeguarding Officer is absent.
If the child needs immediate medical treatment they should be taken to hospital or an ambulance called. If the latter is the case, then the ambulance staff should be informed that there is a child protection concern. ES Safeguarding Officer should then be informed to take the necessary actions.
All allegations against staff will be taken seriously particularly if they:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children;
- First reports can be made to Management Team who will inform the Safeguarding Officer or reports can go straight to the Safeguarding Officer;
- Once received the Safeguarding Officer will work with ES Management Team and/or Director to establish the facts of the allegation or complaint and decide on the next course of action.
These could include:
- Referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
- Referral to DBS.
- If football related informing the County FA or FA Case Management Team.
- Referral to the Police if the case is of a serious enough nature.
- Suspension of the member of staff or volunteer whilst the investigation happens.
The Safeguarding Officer or designated person shall also be responsible for contacting the parents / carers of the child. Possible outcomes will be as follows:
- A police investigation of a possible criminal offence.
- Enquiries and assessment by children’s social care about whether a child is in need of protection or in need of services.
- Consideration by an employer of disciplinary action in respect of the individual.
ACCESS TO POLICY
The Safeguarding Policy will be accessible to Staff, Coaches, Volunteers, Parents, Carers and Children in hardcopy and via ES website.
USE OF MOBILES / SOCIAL MEDIA
All staff must communicate to children and young people in an appropriate manner.
Staff wishing to communicate with children and young people outside of ES activities must do so via parents and carers.
No mobile phone numbers or email addresses should be taken and stored on devices belonging to a member of staff.
Staff must not use social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter to communicate with children and young people on ES programmes.
All ES social media pages exist where non personalised messages can be sent to groups involved in ES and/or to promote sessions i.e. cancellation of a certain session or a reminder about events. If a young person tries to establish a relationship with a member of staff, this request must be denied and the Safeguarding Officer informed so that they can liaise with that child’s/young person’s parents / carers.
ES will not allow photos or videos to be taken of children or young people unless there is specific parental / carer written consent.
Parents and carers and the children and young people will be informed of the use of the images as well and where possible be given copies of these.
No personal cameras / phones etc. may be used to record such images.
When the image is used, ES will not identify the name of the child / young person.
CODE OF CONDUCT
All staff will be asked to sign a Code of Conduct which sets out the working practices and parameters of their responsibilities and engagement.
Where appropriate parents / carers will be asked to sign codes of conduct setting out their responsibilities and expected standards of behaviour. A clear list of sanctions is also available to view setting out ES responses to non-compliance to these codes.
ES will not accept any behaviour and or language considered to be discriminatory with prejudice or is oppressive towards any race, gender, culture, age, disability, religion, sexuality or political persuasion
DISABLED CHILDREN & ADULTS AT RISK
Children and young people with a disability are at an increased risk of abuse. This could be due to:
- Lack of peer group support;
- Intimate / physical care / invasive medical care meaning that the young person does not know what is appropriate and non-appropriate touch;
- Communication difficulties;
- Difficulty in resisting and reporting abuse;
- Multiple carers;
- Being dependent on a potential abuser for basic needs;
- Having medical conditions that could be used to falsely explain non-accidental injuries.
ES will ensure that staff working with disabled children and young adults:
- Learn the child’s / young person’s communication methods
- Ensure the young person’s needs are known
- Ensure care plans are in place
- Give the child or young person the opportunity to make informed choices
- Have clear strategies to deal with difficult behaviour
A child at risk is defined by the provision of support and care that they are receiving.
By having a disability or mental health issue alone may not constitute that they are a child at risk. If they receive support i.e. by a statutory service to enable them to deal with everyday living then they would most likely meet the definition.
MONITORING & REVIEW
ES Safeguarding Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis usually coinciding with the start of a new academic year.
The Policy may also be updated if there are organisational changes or changes due to safeguarding incidents or new legislation.
ES Safeguarding Officer – Jordan Cousins
- 07921 338584
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) via the Children’s safeguarding unit on 020 8921 4438
Children’s Services Contact and Referral Team 020 8921 3172
Children Services out of hours 0208 854 8888
Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board 020 8921 4477 or
Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board – Staff Training and Development 020 8921 5713 or
Kent Specialist Children’s Services – Central Duty Team 08458 247 100
Bromley Safeguarding Children’s Board 0208 461 7816 BSCB@bromley.gov.uk
Bexley West Child Care Unit 020 8310 0566
Bexley East Child Care Unit 020 8303 7777 extension 2627
Bexley Out of Hours team 020 8303 7777
LSCB-Training@bexley.gov.uk 020 8303 7777
FA/NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 / Text phone 0800 056 0566