CONSETT AMATEUR SWIMMING CLUB

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

INTRODUCTION

Consett ASC is committed to ensuring that all those associated with the group have a positive enjoyable experience. Consequently, we are committed to ensuring that all young people who take part in our activities are kept free from harm. We will ensure that:

  • Everyone is treated with respect
  • Activities take place in a safe and secure environment
  • Adults who work with young people are checked and cleared through a DBS check
  • Opportunities exist for young people and parents/primary carers to talk to us about any concerns they may have
  • Young people and parents/carers feel comfortable and confident enough to discuss attitudes and behaviours they do not like
  • Adults associated with Consett ASC will take appropriate action when young people or parents/carers express concern about abuse
  • No adult is left alone with individual young people

What is child abuse?

Child abuse means harming a child. Child abuse is not a new problem and although it still occurs, there is evidence to suggest that its occurrence can be significantly reduced. How? By learning more about the problem, by giving young people self-protection strategies, by knowing how to listen to young people carefully, and by knowing what action to take when allegations of child abuse are made.

There are four types of abuse

Physical Abuse

The intentional, non-accidental use of physical force on the part of a parent/carer that aims to hurt, injure or destroy that child.

Emotional Abuse

The persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to the child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of the other person. It may involve causing children to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

Sexual Abuse

The involvement of dependant, developmentally immature children or adolescents in sexual activities they do not truly comprehend, or to which they are unable to give informed consent, or that violate the social taboos of family roles.

Neglect

When chronic inattention is given to the child by their parents/carers in the areas of medical, educational, stimulative, environmental, nutritional, physical or emotional needs.

Possible Signs of Child Abuse

Adults associated with Consett ASC will look out for the following possible signs of child abuse. However, it is understood that not all young people manifesting these symptoms will necessarily be suffering abuse. Caution, sensitivity and common sense will shape precisely how adults respond to these symptoms.

If a young person:

  • Becomes withdrawn or isolated
  • Becomes aggressive or starts seeking attention
  • Becomes afraid of certain people
  • Develops chronic medical problems such as stomach pains or headaches
  • Acts in a sexually inappropriate way towards adults or peers
  • Becomes anorexic or bulimic
  • Fails to thrive
  • Is often hungry
  • Has regular accidents
  • Has poor personal hygiene
  • Is regularly tired
  • Is reluctant to go home
  • Wears inappropriate clothing
  • Develops poor social relationships
  • Exhibits inappropriate emotional responses
  • Exhibits dramatic changes in mood or behaviour
  • Engages in drug or alcohol abuse
  • Runs away
  • Feels depressed
  • Has bumps, bruises or wounds
  • Has unconvincing explanations for bumps, bruises or wounds
  • Tells a friend of a problem of abuse

We will take steps to establish whether the young person is suffering abuse. If child abuse is suspected, adults associated with Consett ASC will:

Ensure that the appropriate officers within Consett ASC i.e. Lisa Watson, Child Welfare Officer and Ian Frame, Head Coach are made aware of the issue/situation
Ensure that the allegation/suspicion is taken seriously and that it is reported and recorded
Ensure that the appropriate authorities or charities are advised about the allegation/suspicion (eg Police, Social Services, MASH, The NSPCC)

Advice About Initial Disclosure Deriving from Young People

Adults will:

  • Always stay calm and listen patiently
  • Never show that you are upset or disgusted or you don’t believe what you are hearing
  • Ensure child is safe and feels safe
  • Keep an open mind
  • Do not ask questions (unless you need to clarify what is being said)
  • Do not make judgments or assumptions
  • Always take what the child says seriously
  • Never promise to keep secrets
  • Write down what they have disclosed as soon as possible
  • Contact Wefare Officer and if not contactable, then ring ASA Safeguarding Team as soon as possible

If an adult reports a concern:

  • Listen to what they are saying and consider what action you will need to take
  • Ask them to write down what they observed
  • Ensure they understand the need for confidentiality

NEVER: 

  • Confront alleged abuser
  • Promise to keep a secret
  • Take any action yourself other than to refer information appropriately
  • Act Alone

When recording allegations of, or suspicions about, child abuse adults will try to provide the following information:

  • Name of the young person
  • Age
  • Address
  • Any special factors (e.g. the young person has a disability, has been abused in the past)
  • Are you reporting your concern or someone else’s?
  • Brief description of what has prompted your concerns, including dates, times and specific incidents if possible
  • Are there any physical or behavioural signs that prompted, or support your concerns?
  • Have you spoken to the young person?
  • If yes, what was said?
  • Is anyone alleged to be the abuser?
  • Have you consulted anyone else?
  • Who was first disclosure to?

If allegations are made by a young person against a person not associated with Consett ASC, Social Services will be immediately notified and action taken on their advice. The decision as to whether to notify the young person’s parents/carers will be made in consultation with Social Services.

If allegations are made by a young person or parent/carer against another young person in Consett ASC, Social Services will be immediately notified and action taken on their request. If there are genuine grounds for concern, the parents/carers of both children will be notified. If it proves impossible for both young people to remain within Consett ASC as an enquiry into allegations is undertaken, the young person accused of the abuse will not be allowed to attend. The outcome of the enquiry will determine whether the young person accused of the abuse is allowed to return to Consett ASC.

If allegations are made by a young person or parent/carer against an adult associated with Consett ASC, Social Services will be immediately notified and action taken on their advice. If there are genuine grounds for concern, the adult associated with Consett ASC will be immediately notified of the allegation made against them and they will not be able to work in any shape or form with the club. Other adults associated with Consett ASC are advised that they should not discuss with the accused any aspects of the allegation/ incidents or the enquiry that follows disclosure, as this may seriously affect the outcome of the enquiry. The outcome of the enquiry will determine whether the adult accused of abuse is allowed to continue to work with Consett ASC.

Early police intervention may be required in cases of extreme abuse. Advice about police intervention will be taken from Social Services.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Once a year adults/officers associated with Consett ASC will meet to discuss the extent to which practice conforms with the content of the policy. Three years following adoption of the policy, adults/officers associated with the blub will meet to discuss whether the policy needs revising in light of new child protection legislation and best practice advise.

This Policy was adopted on: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (date)

This policy will be reviewed by . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (date)

Officers in Consett ASC responsible for ensuring that the policy is put into practice:

 

Chair

Name:. . . . . . . Darren Watson. . . . . . . . . . . . . 

 

Welfare Officer

Name:. . . . . . . .Lisa Watson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .