Tue 10 Sep 2019 16:30

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Procedures Date of publication:30th Aug 2019 Review date: 30th Aug 2020 Table of Contents Child protection and safeguarding policy 1 Table of Contents 1-2 Policy statement and principals 3 Child protection statement 4 Policy principles 4 Policy aims 4 Definitions……………………………………………………….………………………………………………………………………………………..5-6 Safeguarding legislation and guidance 7 Roles and responsibilities…………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………..8 The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): 8-9 The Deputy Designated safeguarding lead(s): 9 Good practice guidelines and committee code of conduct 9 Abuse of position of trust 9 Children who may be particularly vulnerable 9-10 Whistle blowing if you have concerns about a colleague 10-11 Allegations against members of the committee 11 Training 11 Safer recruitment 11-12 Child protection procedures 13 Recognising abuse 13 Types of abuse……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..13-14 Bullying 14 Poor Practice…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………15 Indicators of abuse………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……15-16 Taking action 16 If you are concerned about a child’s welfare 16 If a Child discloses to you 16-17 Notifying parents 17 Confidentiality and sharing information 18-19 Enquiry to MASH 19 Reporting directly to child protection agencies 19 Children with sexually harmful behaviour 19-20 Sexual exploitation of children 20 Honour-Based Violence 20-21 Radicalisation and Extremism 21 Best Practice…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………21-22 Safe Environment…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….….22 Recruitment…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..22 Training…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………..22 Supervision…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….23 Adult : Child Ratios……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………23 Inappropriate Relationships……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….23-24 Safeguarding Disabled Children……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..24 Good Role Model………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….24 Alcohol…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….24-25 Contact Rugby……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..25 Coaching Techniques…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..25 Physical Interventions……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….26 Changing Rooms and Showers……………………………………………………………………………………………………………26-27 Transport……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..27-28 Photographic Images………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..28 Sharing of Electronic Material/Media………………………………………………………………………………………………..28 Touring with Children…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………29 17 year old male and female playing in the adult game……………………………………………………………….29 MASH Poster……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….30 Policy statement and principals The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children in the sport. All children are entitled to protection from harm and have the right to take part in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment. This Policy statement is based on the following key principles: • The welfare of the child is paramount • All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, size, language or sexual identity, have the right to protection from harm • All allegations, suspicions of harm and concerns will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately • Everyone will work in partnership to promote the welfare, health and development of children Effective safeguarding arrangements in every local area should be underpinned by two key principles: • safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and • a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children. Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government, 2013) This policy is one of a series in the rugby clubs integrated safeguarding portfolio. The purpose of Torrington Rugby Club Safeguarding and Child Protection policy is to provide a secure framework for those involved in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of those children/young people who attend our club. A copy of this policy is available from the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Charlene Hoare) Our core safeguarding principles are: • the club’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children is of paramount importance • safer children make more successful learners • representatives of the whole-club community of parents, coaches and committee will be involved in policy development and review • this policy will be reviewed at least annually unless an incident or new legislation or guidance suggests the need for an interim review. Child protection statement We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice. The procedures contained in this policy apply to all committee, coaches and volunteers and are consistent with those of the Devon safeguarding children board (DSCB). Policy principles • The welfare of the child is paramount • All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection • All committee members have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm • Children involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support from the club Policy aims • To provide all coaches, committee members and volunteers with the necessary information to enable them to meet their child protection responsibilities • To ensure consistent good practice • To demonstrate the club’s commitment with regard to child protection to children, parents and other partners Definitions Children Children are defined in the Children Act 1989 as people under the age of 18 years. For the purposes of this Policy the legal definition applies. Children’s Workforce All those who volunteer or are in a paid role at a rugby club and work with children are part of the children’s workforce, providing services to children. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) The DBS was created when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in December 2012 as a result of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA). The DBS runs checks at three different levels providing information on an individual’s criminal records. Regulated Activity The statutory definition of Regulated Activity applies to this Policy. In summary, this means teaching, training, instruction, care or supervision of children carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often) or on four or more days in a 30 day period, or overnight. Regulations 15 and 21 Regulation 15 is the RFU Regulation which deals with Age Grade Rugby and it is advisable for all those working with children in rugby union to read and refer to this regulation regularly. Regulation 21 relates to safeguarding aspects within the rugby union environment. Safeguarding Team The Safeguarding Team consists of the Safeguarding Manager, Case Officer, Advisor and Compliance Officer all based at Twickenham. Their contact details are on the RFU website. Safeguarding Toolkit This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Safeguarding Toolkit which provides further guidance and advice on safeguarding matters. Safeguarding legislation and guidance The following safeguarding legislation and guidance has been considered when drafting this policy: • The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 • Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2015 • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015 Roles and responsibilities The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): • has the status and authority within the club to carry out the duties of the post, including committing resources and supporting and directing other members of the club • is appropriately trained, with regular updates • acts as a source of support and expertise to the club community • has a working knowledge of DSCB procedures • makes committee members aware of DSCB training courses and the latest policies on safeguarding • keeps detailed written records of all concerns, ensuring that such records are stored securely and flagged on, but kept separate from any other information on the children • refers cases of suspected abuse to MASH or police as appropriate • attends and/or contributes to child protection conferences if and when necessary • coordinates the club’s contribution to child protection plans • develops effective links with relevant statutory and voluntary agencies including the DSCB • ensures that the child protection policy and procedures are reviewed and updated annually • makes the child protection policy available publicly The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead(s): Are trained to the same level as the DSL and, in the absence of the DSL, carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of children. In the event of the long-term absence of the DSL, the deputy will assume all of the functions above. Good practice guidelines and committee code of conduct Good practice includes: • treating all children with respect • setting a good example by conducting ourselves appropriately • involving children in decisions that affect them • encouraging positive, respectful and safe behaviour among children • being a good listener • being alert to changes in children’s behaviour and to signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation • recognising that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse • reading and understanding the club’s child protection policy and guidance documents on wider safeguarding issues • being aware that the personal and family circumstances and lifestyles of some children lead to an increased risk of abuse • referring all concerns about a child’s safety and welfare to the DSL, or, if necessary directly to police or MASH Abuse of position of trust All volunteers and committee members are aware that inappropriate behaviour towards children is unacceptable and that their conduct towards children must be beyond reproach. The committee understand that under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 it is an offence for a person over the age of 18 to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 18, where that person is in a position of trust, even if the relationship is consensual. This means that any sexual activity between a member of the committee and a child under 18 may be a criminal offence. Children who may be particularly vulnerable Some children may have an increased risk of abuse. Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur. To ensure that all of our children receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to children who are: • disabled or have special educational needs • young carers • affected by parental substance misuse, domestic violence or parental mental health needs • asylum seekers • living away from home • vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying • living in temporary accommodation • live transient lifestyles • living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations • vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexuality • at risk of sexual exploitation • do not have English as a first language • at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). • at risk of forced marriage. • at risk of being drawn into extremism. This list provides examples of additionally vulnerable groups and is not exhaustive. Special consideration includes the provision of safeguarding information and resources in community languages and accessible formats for children with communication needs. Whistle blowing if you have concerns about a colleague Committee members who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a child are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s position. All committee members must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. The club’s whistleblowing policy outlines the procedures which enables committee to raise concerns or allegations, initially in confidence and for a sensitive enquiry to take place. All concerns of poor practice or possible child abuse by colleagues should be reported to the Discipline officer Rob Bewes. The committee may also report their concerns directly to children’s social care or the police if they believe direct reporting is necessary to secure action. Allegations against committee When an allegation is made against a member of the committee, our set procedures must be followed. The full procedures for dealing with allegations against a member of the committee can be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2016) . Allegations concerning the committee who are no longer involved with the club or historical allegations will be reported to the police. Training It is important that all of the committee receive training to enable them to recognise the possible signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation and to know what to do if they have a concern. New committee members will receive a briefing when they first start with the club, which includes the club’s safeguarding policy. Safer recruitment Children are entitled to participate in rugby union activities in a safe and welcoming environment. Safe recruitment procedures will enable clubs or Constituent Bodies (CBs) to reduce the risk of abuse to children. When recruiting employees or volunteers to the Children’s Workforce all reasonable steps should be taken to ensure only suitable people are selected. “Paid and volunteer staff need to be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, how they should respond to child protection concerns and make a referral to Local Authority children’s services or the police if necessary.” Working Together March 2013, page 57, paragraph 37 Safer Recruitment Regulation 21 sets out in detail the requirements the RFU has for those working with children and the DBS. The RFU requires any individual engaged in Regulated Activity to undertake a DBS check through their club (using the online e-application system) in order to work with children. Depending on the nature of the role and the level of supervision the RFU will require either Enhanced or Enhanced with barred list checks. Further information about the DBS and the e-application system is available on the RFU website. The people who work in every rugby club are the most important asset a club has. A good recruitment process is essential to ensure the best people are chosen for the roles they undertake. These must be people who are suited to the club and who are less likely to harm children, intentionally or accidentally. A club which has good recruitment, induction and supervision processes shows those working there the value which is put on children’s safety and wellbeing. Official checks and vetting procedures are on their own, not enough to protect children. They are only part of a wider set of practices and an organisational culture which supports safe practice. Key members of the Youth committee have DBS checks, along with the Chair, secretary and discipline officer on the senior committee. Youth coaches and key positions within the youth committee undertake continuous professional development (CPD) including ‘play it safe’ and ‘in touch’. Child protection procedures Recognising abuse To ensure that our children are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect. Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, for example by hitting them, or by failing to act to prevent harm, for example by leaving a small child home alone. Abuse may be committed by adult men or women and by other children and young people. Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2016) refers to four categories of abuse. These are set out at Appendix One along with indicators of abuse. Types of abuse There are four main types of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional and neglect. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly or may be responsible for abuse by failing to prevent another person harming a child. Physical abuse Physical abuse is a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child (this used to be called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, but is now more usually referred to as fabricated or induced illness). Emotional abuse Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone. Sexual abuse Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. Neglect Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs. Bullying Bullying is often considered to be a fifth type of abuse but when it does occur, it usually has elements of one or more of the four categories identified. The bully can be a parent who pushes too hard, a coach or manager with a ‘win at all costs’ attitude or another intimidating child. It should also be recognised that bullying can take place in the virtual world of social networking sites, emails or text messages. Bullying should not be ignored and the victim should be supported through what can be a traumatic experience. Bullying will not just go away. Bullies can be very cunning and develop strategies to avoid it being seen by anyone but the victim. Bullying takes many forms but ultimately it is the perception of the victim that determines whether or not they are being bullied rather than the intention of the bully. There are opportunities to bully at any rugby club or activity. It is the way that incidences are dealt with which makes the difference between life being tolerable or becoming a misery for the victim. While bullying between children is not a separate category of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause anxiety and distress. All incidences of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying should be reported and will be managed appropriately. Poor Practice Incidents of poor practice arise when the needs of children are not afforded the necessary priority, compromising their wellbeing. Poor practice can easily turn into abuse if it is not dealt with as soon as concerns are raised or reported. Examples of poor practice may be shouting, excessive training, creation of intra-club ‘elite squads’, ridicule of players’ errors, ignoring health and safety guidelines and failing to adhere to the club’s code of conduct. Indicators of abuse Physical signs define some types of abuse, for example, bruising, bleeding or broken bones resulting from physical or sexual abuse, or injuries sustained while a child has been inadequately supervised. The identification of physical signs is complicated, as children may go to great lengths to hide injuries, often because they are ashamed or embarrassed, or their abuser has threatened further violence or trauma if they ‘tell’. It is also quite difficult for anyone without medical training to categorise injuries into accidental or deliberate with any degree of certainty. For these reasons it is vital that the committee are also aware of the range of behavioural indicators of abuse and report any concerns to the designated safeguarding lead. It is the responsibility of the committee to report their concerns. It is not their responsibility to investigate or decide whether a child has been abused. A child who is being abused, neglected or exploited may: • have bruises, bleeding, burns, fractures or other injuries • show signs of pain or discomfort • keep arms and legs covered, even in warm weather • be concerned about changing for PE or swimming • look unkempt and uncared for • change their eating habits • have difficulty in making or sustaining friendships • appear fearful • be reckless with regard to their own or other’s safety • self-harm • frequently miss school, arrive late or leave the school for part of the day • show signs of not wanting to go home • display a change in behaviour – from quiet to aggressive, or happy-go-lucky to withdrawn • challenge authority • become disinterested in their school work • be constantly tired or preoccupied • be wary of physical contact • be involved in, or particularly knowledgeable about drugs or alcohol • display sexual knowledge or behaviour beyond that normally expected for their age • acquire gifts such as money or a mobile phone from new ‘friends’. Individual indicators will rarely, in isolation, provide conclusive evidence of abuse. They should be viewed as part of a jigsaw, and each small piece of information will help the DSP to decide how to proceed. Taking action Any child, in any family in any club could become a victim of abuse. The committee should always maintain an attitude of “it could happen here”. Key points for the committee to remember for taking action are: • in an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, if necessary call 999 • report your concern as soon as possible to the DSL, definitely by the end of the day • do not start your own investigation • share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family • complete a record of concern • seek support for yourself if you are distressed. If you are concerned about a child’s welfare There will be occasions when committee members may suspect that a child may be at risk. The child’s behaviour may have changed or physical signs may have been noticed. In these circumstances, the committee will try to give the child the opportunity to talk and ask if they are OK or if they can help in any way. The committee should use the welfare concern form to record these early concerns. If the child does reveal that they are being harmed, the committee should follow the advice below. Following an initial conversation with the child, if the member of committee has concerns, they should discuss their concerns with the DSL. If a child discloses to you It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual; their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell; they may have lost all trust in adults; or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault. Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abusive. If a child talks to a member of the committee about any risks to their safety or wellbeing, the committee member will, at the appropriate time, let the child know that in order to help them they must pass the information on to the DSL. The point at which they tell the child this is a matter for professional judgement. During their conversations with the child the committee will: • allow them to speak freely • remain calm and not overreact • give reassuring nods or words of comfort – ‘I’m so sorry this has happened’, ‘I want to help’, ‘This isn’t your fault’, ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’ • not be afraid of silences • under no circumstances ask investigative questions – such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings, or what does the child’s mother think about it • at an appropriate time tell the child that in order to help them, the member of committee must pass the information on and explain to whom and why • not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort • avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier. Saying things such as ‘I do wish you had told me about this when it started’ may be interpreted by the child to mean that they have done something wrong • tell the child what will happen next • report verbally to the DSL even if the child has promised to do it by themselves • complete the record of concern form and hand it to the DSL as soon as possible • seek support if they feel distressed. Notifying parents The club will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a child with their parents. This must be handled sensitively and the DSL will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure. Our focus is the safety and wellbeing of the child. Therefore, if the club believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from MASH and/or the police before parents are contacted. Confidentiality and sharing information All committee members will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the child and the committee member involved but also to ensure that information being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence. The committee member should only discuss concerns with the DSL or chair of committee (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-¬know’ basis. However, following a number of cases where senior leaders had failed to act upon concerns raised, Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) emphasises that any member of the committee can contact children’s social care if they are concerned about a child. Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. Information sharing is guided by the following principles. The information is: • necessary and proportionate • relevant • adequate • accurate • timely • secure. Information sharing decisions will be recorded, whether or not the decision is taken to share. Record of concern forms and other written information will be stored in a locked facility and any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals. Child protection information will be stored separately from the pupil’s school file and the school file will be ‘tagged’ to indicate that separate information is held. The DSL will normally obtain consent from the child and/or parents to share sensitive information within the club or with outside agencies. Where there is good reason to do so, the DSL may share information without consent, and will record the reason for not obtaining consent. Child protection records are normally exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Data Protection Act, which means that children and parents do not have an automatic right to see them. If any member of the committee receives a request from a child or parent to see child protection records, they will refer the request to the DSL. The Data Protection Act does not prevent members of the committee from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child. Enquiry to MASH The DSL will make an enquiry to MASH if it is believed that a child is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm. The child (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that an enquiry is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child. Any member of the committee may make a direct enquiry to MASH if they genuinely believe independent action is necessary to protect a child. Reporting directly to child protection agencies Committee members should follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy. However, they may also share information directly with children’s social care, police or the NSPCC if: • the situation is an emergency and the designated safeguarding lead, their deputy, are unavailable • they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the pupil’s safety • for any other reason they make a judgement that direct referral is in the best interests of the child. Children with sexually harmful behaviour Children may be harmed by other children or young people. The committee will be aware of the harm caused by bullying and will use the appropriate procedures where necessary. However, there will be occasions when a child’s behaviour warrants a response under child protection rather than anti-bullying procedures. Young people who display such behaviour may be victims of abuse themselves and the child protection procedures will be followed for both victim and perpetrator. Committee members, who become concerned about a child’s sexual behaviour, including any known online sexual behaviour, should speak to the DSL as soon as possible. Sexual exploitation of children Sexual exploitation involves an individual or group of adults taking advantage of the vulnerability of an individual or groups of children or young people, and victims can be boys or girls. Children and young people are often unwittingly drawn into sexual exploitation through the offer of friendship and care, gifts, drugs and alcohol, and sometimes accommodation. Sexual exploitation is a serious crime and can have a long-lasting adverse impact on a child’s physical and emotional health. It may also be linked to child trafficking. A common feature of sexual exploitation is that the child often doesn’t recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and doesn’t see themselves as a victim. The child may initially resent what they perceive as interference by the committee, but the committee must act on their concerns, as they would for any other type of abuse. All committee members are made aware of the indicators of sexual exploitation and all concerns are reported immediately to the DSL. Honour-Based Violence ‘Honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of HBV are abuse. FGM is the collective name given to a range of procedures involving the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is a criminal offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. The practice can cause intense pain and distress and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth. FGM is carried out on girls of any age, from young babies to older teenagers and adult women. Many such procedures are carried out abroad and the committee should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns expressed by female child about going on a long holiday during the summer vacation period. A forced marriage is a marriage in which a female (and sometimes a male) does not consent to the marriage but is coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse. In England and Wales the practice is a criminal offence under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. A forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage, which is common in several cultures, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses. Children may be married at a very young age, and well below the age of consent in England. Radicalisation and Extremism The government defines extremism as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Some children are at risk of being radicalised: adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal or dangerous. Islamic extremism is the most widely publicised form and schools should also remain alert to the risk of radicalisation into white supremacy extremism. Best Practice Guidance TRFC’s aim is to create a culture where everyone feels confident to raise legitimate concerns without prejudice to their own position. Concerns about the behaviour of coaches, officials or any members of the children’s workforce which may be harmful to a child in their care must be reported to the RFU Safeguarding Team through the Club Safeguarding Officer. While remembering that it is the safety and welfare of children that is of paramount importance, there will be times when those responsible will need to exercise discretion and common sense to ensure their wellbeing. This Guidance is designed to provide information on a number of different topics which clubs and their volunteers and employees may find useful and will help them to create safe, friendly and welcoming environments for children. Further guidance is available from the RFU website, or the RFU Safeguarding Team. There is also guidance relating to Regulation 15 on the RFU website which may be useful when considering this section. Safe Environments A safe environment is one where: the possibility of abuse is openly acknowledged; volunteers and employees are appropriately recruited and trained; and those who report suspicions and concerns are confident that these will be treated seriously and confidentially. Communication is central to maintaining a safe environment; this includes information given to parents at the start of the season (such as the DSL’s name), choosing the correct and appropriate method of providing information to children (email/phone to parents), listening to children’s views on matters which affect them, as well as considering how to communicate in an emergency (mobile/landline). Messages relating to children, sent via telephone, emails and texts, should be through their parents/guardians. Where appropriate older players may be copied in but this should always be done by blind copying in order to protect their data. Direct personal communication with children should be avoided, unless in exceptional circumstances. Recruitment Clubs should have a suitable children’s workforce and all reasonable steps should be taken to exclude anyone who may pose a threat to children. When recruiting new members of the children’s workforce, clubs should consider asking anyone unknown to the club to provide a written reference, which the club should then verify. Training Clubs should encourage all adults who have a coaching role to attend an appropriate Rugby Union Coaching course and a “Play It Safe” course. This is an introductory level safeguarding course designed for any club members. All Club Safeguarding Officers must, within six months of being appointed, attend the RFU “In Touch” Workshop, which covers their role and responsibilities. Failure to attend means they may not be permitted to continue in the role. This course is a more detailed course providing information about reporting and responding to incidents. Any club official is encouraged to attend this course to ensure their club is fully aware of its responsibilities. The behaviour and performance of new volunteers and employees should be monitored for a period to ensure they are following best practice. Supervision To provide a safe environment, clubs should ensure that their volunteers and employees when working with children avoid working in isolation out of the sight of parents or other volunteers. Whilst volunteers and employees are awaiting their DBS disclosure they must be supervised by someone who does have DBS clearance. Contingency planning should ensure that if a player’s injury requires significant attention, or coaches are absent or away with a team, levels of supervision can be maintained by suitably DBS checked adults. However, in an emergency, the first attention must be paid to an injured player and if there are insufficient suitably DBS checked adults available to supervise the remaining players, clearly, other responsible adults will need to be asked to step in. Adult : Child Ratios There should always be at least one DBS checked adult in charge of any group of children. The RFU recommends a minimum ratio of adult to children of: • 1:10 for children over 8 years old aged at least 9 • 1:8 for children under 8 years old aged 7 and 8 • 1:6 for children under 7 years old Inappropriate Relationships with Children An adult in a position of trust must not enter into a sexual relationship with a child in their care. Sexual intercourse, sexual activity, or inappropriate touching by an adult with a child under the age of 16 years is a criminal offence, even where there is apparent consent from the child. A sexual relationship between an adult in a position of trust and a child over 16 years of age is a breach of trust and an abuse of the adult’s position. Whilst it may not be a criminal offence, in a rugby union setting it will be treated very seriously and may result in RFU disciplinary action, including suspension from attending rugby clubs. The RFU has a legal duty to refer anyone removed from Regulated Activity to the DBS. Therefore, an adult in a position of trust involved in a sexual relationship with a child over 16 years of age may be referred to the DBS for consideration. This could result in the adult being barred from working with children by the DBS. No-one in a position of trust should encourage a physical or emotionally dependent relationship to develop between them and a child in their care; this is often referred to as grooming. Adults must never send children inappropriate or sexually provocative messages or images by text, or other electronic media. Safeguarding Disabled Children Disabled children and their families may need additional information, help and support. The club’s paid and volunteer workforce may require training and advice to ensure they include and safeguard them. Some children may be more susceptible to harm than other participants because they may: lack the mutual support and protection of a peer group, require higher degrees of physical care and support, have limited communication skills, find it difficult to resist inappropriate interventions, have several carers making it difficult to identify an abuser, have a history of having limited or no choice or have a degree of dependency on a carer conflicting with the need to report harm or raise concerns. It is also important to be aware of the additional vulnerability some children experience as a result of a wide spectrum of issues such as autism, attention deficit disorder and a variety of other disorders. There is guidance on how to deal with some of these issues on the RFU website. Good Role Models The children’s workforce should consistently display high standards of personal behaviour and appearance and refrain from pursuits considered unhealthy in front of their players. They must not make sexually explicit comments to children and any language which causes them to feel uncomfortable or lose confidence or self-esteem is unacceptable, as is the use of obscene or foul language. Alcohol It is important that all rugby clubs’ management committees take considered, positive action to ensure that they are responsible licensees. It is against the law: • To sell alcohol to someone under 18 • For an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of someone under 18 • For someone under 18 to buy alcohol, attempt to buy alcohol or to be sold alcohol • For someone under 18 to drink alcohol in licensed premises, with one exception - 16 and 17 year olds accompanied by an adult can drink but not buy beer, wine and cider with a table meal • For an adult to buy alcohol for a person under 18 for consumption on licensed premises, except as above At training sessions and games for children, adults’ drinking habits may affect both children’s attitude to alcohol and their emotional well-being. As role models adults should avoid excessive drinking in their presence. The unexpected can always happen; there should always be adults who abstain from drinking alcohol to deal with any emergencies and to manage the safety and welfare of children in their care. Contact Rugby The wellbeing and safety of children must be placed above the development of performance. Contact skills must be taught in a safe, secure manner paying due regard to the physical development of the players involved. Adults and children must never play contact versions of the sport together including training games or contact drills. They may play either tag or touch rugby together if these games are managed and organised appropriately (see the RFU website for further information). A risk assessment on the conditions, players and apparent risks should be carried out by a person responsible for the overall session. There is further information available in the Guidance to Regulation 15 which also provides a variety of alternatives. Coaching Techniques Any inappropriate or aggressive contact between adults and children is unacceptable and a number of principles should be followed when teaching contact rugby: • Physical handling by a coach must only be used for safety reasons or where there is no other way of coaching the technique (Level 1 Coaching Award in Rugby Union) • The reasons for physical contact should be explained wherever practicable so that children and their parents are comfortable with this approach • The activity should always be conducted in an open environment and in the presence of another adult. Physical Intervention Discipline on the field of play is the responsibility of the players. Coaches, team managers and parents must always promote good discipline amongst their players, both on and off the field. Penalising lack of discipline on the field of play which contravenes the laws of the game is the responsibility of the referee. Coaches, managers and spectators should not intervene or enter the field of play. In a situation where individuals have to consider whether to intervene to prevent a child being injured, injuring themselves or others, physical intervention should always be avoided unless absolutely necessary. In these situations it is imperative to: • Consider your own safety • Give verbal instructions first • Use the minimum reasonable force and only when necessary to resolve the incident, the purpose being restraint and reducing risk • Do not strike blows, act with unnecessary force or retaliate • Avoid contact with intimate parts of the body, the head and neck • Stay in control of your actions The DSL should be notified at the earliest opportunity of an incident of physical intervention which involves possible dispute as a complaint might be lodged with the RFU or the police by a parent whose child has been physically restrained. The incident should be recorded on the RFU Initial Issue/Concern Reporting Form which may be found on the Safeguarding pages of the RFU website and sent to the RFU’s Safeguarding Team. Physical intervention, often referred to in education as ‘Positive Handling’, should only be used to achieve an outcome in the best interests of the child whose behaviour is of immediate concern or other children involved and never as a form of punishment. Further guidance on managing challenging behaviour can be found on the RFU website. Changing Rooms & Showers Adults and children must never use the same facilities to shower or change at the same time. Adults must only enter changing rooms when absolutely necessary due to poor behaviour, injury or illness. Adults must only ever enter the changing rooms by themselves in an emergency and when waiting for another adult could result in harm to a child. If children need supervising in changing rooms, or coaches or managers need to carry out a range of tasks in that environment this must involve two individuals cleared to work in Regulated Activity of the same gender as the children. For mixed gender activities separate facilities should be available. If the same facilities must be used by adults and children on the same day a clear timetable should be established. No pressure should be placed on children who feel uncomfortable changing or showering with others, if this is the case they should be allowed to shower and change at home. Where a disability requires significant support from a parent; or carer, the person concerned and their parents should decide how they should be assisted to change or shower. Before any assistance is offered by another person, appropriate consent should be given by a parent. Transportation Clubs should develop a transport policy preferably publicised to parents via the club welcome pack and club website giving advice on dropping off and collecting children. It should be made clear that in most instances it is the responsibility of parents, not the club, to transport their child to and from the club or nominated meeting point. If parents make arrangements between themselves this is a private arrangement and at the parents’ discretion. If a club hires a coach from a reputable commercial coach company it is entitled to assume that the company provides properly maintained and insured vehicles and properly licensed drivers. However, children must never travel unaccompanied. A member of the club must travel with the children and that adult’s contact details must be readily available to any parent who has reason to contact them. If the club formally arranges transport eg using minibuses or people carriers (as opposed to facilitating travel arrangements between parents) then the club should ensure that: • Drivers have a valid driving licence and recruitment procedures, including vetting criteria have been followed and appropriate insurance and breakdown cover has been arranged • The vehicle is suitable for the number of passengers and has operational safety belts and appropriate child car seats • Parents give their consent and have the driver’s contact details, with the driver having easy access to parents’ contact details including mobile phone numbers • No child is left alone in the car with the driver, unless it is the adult’s own child. If, in extenuating circumstances, this situation arises the child should sit in the back of the car if possible • The children involved are happy with the arrangement and adults are alert to any signs of disquiet. In the event of a late collection of children, coaches and volunteers should: attempt to contact the parents, wait with the child, preferably in the company of others, notify the DSL/ club official and remind parents of their responsibility to collect their child promptly. Photographic Images The RFU and TRFC welcomes the taking of appropriate images of children in rugby clubs and has developed guidance for parents and the children’s workforce to enable suitable photographs to be taken celebrating the Core Values of the sport. There are risks associated with the use of photographic images. RFU Guidance on Photographic Images and professional photography can be found in the Safeguarding Toolkit; it is based on common sense. Clubs are advised to ensure that everyone is fully aware of, and complies with, this guidance. The key principle is that clubs should ensure they obtain parental consent for photographs to be taken whilst a child is either at the club or at away fixtures. Sharing of Electronic Material/Media Websites can be a positive way to communicate with children. However, there are risks associated with internet usage. Rugby clubs are legally responsible for their website content and there should be nothing included which could harm a child, directly or indirectly. It is important to note that it is not acceptable to share sexually explicit or inappropriate material via any form of media with children. The online environment is ever changing; the guidance will be reviewed and updated when necessary. Touring with Children. Tours are a long standing tradition of rugby and the best tours are usually the result of good planning. The aim is to ensure that no children or staff come to any harm or become ill unnecessarily. The tour leaders need to decide if a hazard is significant and whether the precautions taken are satisfactory to ensure the risk of harm is small. It is essential to record your decisions and keep clear written evidence of your decisions. If it is not possible to visit the venue prior to the tour to carry out risk assessments this must be done with as much information available as possible. The RFU Touring with children guidance will be read and adhered to, in conjunction with the RFU Safeguarding Policy, Guidance & Procedures and the RFU Safeguarding Toolkit, all of which may be found on the safeguarding pages of the England Rugby website. 17 year old males and females playing in the adult game. This policy covers all players under 18. However, in accordance with the RFU Regulation 15, a male or female player can, with the necessary written consent, play in the adult game when he/she reaches his/her 17th birthday provided: • they have been assessed as capable of playing with adults; • the RFU’s Playing Adult Rugby Form has been duly completed and signed; and • the player does not train or play in the front row of the contested scrum. Once a player has reached the age of 18, the player may play in any position. Please refer to Regulation 15 for more information: www.englandrugby.com/mm/Document/General/General/01/31/97/52/RFURegulation152016-2017_English.pdf A club’s management team must have assessed and continue to assess, that any 17 year old player playing in adult games or training is both physically, emotionally and intellectually capable of taking part. The RFU Playing Adult Rugby Form must be completed and kept secure by the player’s club.

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