Safeguarding Children Policy
The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and young people are paramount in all circumstances as enshrined in the Children Act 1989. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or identity, or socioeconomic background, all children
- have a positive and enjoyable experience of chess in a safe and child centred environment
- are protected from harm and abuse whilst participating in chess or outside of the activity
It also aims to provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.
Safeguarding Officer – Role Description
The Lead for Safeguarding for the Sandhurst Chess Club // Camberley Junior Chess Club is:
Name: Alec Aslett
Purpose: To ensure that the Club has appropriate arrangements for keeping children and young people safe. To promote the safety and welfare of children and young people.
- Ensure that all issues concerning safety and welfare of children and young people who attend club events are properly dealt with through policies, procedures and administrative systems.
- Ensure that everyone involved has access to the Child Safeguarding Policy and procedures and is aware of what they should do if they have concerns about a child.
- Receive, record and report information from anyone who has concerns about a child who attends an event.
- Advise and support staff and volunteers on safeguarding/child protection
- Undertake annual monitoring and review of the policy
- Assist with updating the policy in consultation with the Lead for Safeguarding
- Take the lead on dealing with information that may constitute a child protection concern or an allegation about a member of staff or volunteer. This includes assessing and clarifying the information, and taking decisions where in consultation with colleagues, the Lead for Safeguarding, chair of the committee/board and statutory child protection agencies as required. Handle all information sensitively and confidentially.
- Consult with, pass on information to and receive information from statutory child protection agencies such as the local social care department and police. This includes making formal referrals to those agencies if required.
- Undertake “Duty to Refer” to the DBS if required
- Report to each board/committee meeting as required but at least once per year, on the level of risk management being achieved
- Be familiar with how the local safeguarding board works and how to contact them
- Be familiar with issues relating to child protection and keep up to date with developments.
- Attend training in issues relevant to child protection from time to time and share knowledge from that.
Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse
Staff and volunteers are required to recognise signs and symptoms of abuse.
There are 4 main areas of abuse:
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Neglect (intentional and unintentional)
Possible signs of abuse include:
- Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries or the explanation of the cause of the injury is does not seem right
- You observe or the child discloses abuse, or describes what appears to be an abusive act
- Someone else (child or adult) expresses concern about the welfare of another child
- Unexplained change in behaviour such as withdrawal or sudden outbursts of temper
- Inappropriate sexual awareness or sexually explicit behaviour
- Distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would normally be expected
- Difficulty in making friends
- Eating disorders, depression, self-harm or suicide attempts
PHYSICAL ABUSE: 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/carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
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 children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far 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 the 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, though it may occur alone.
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 include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or 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: 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. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Overview of actions
Overview of actions if you have concerns about the welfare of a child:
- a) Is the child in immediate danger or are they injured?
- b) Report the concern:
- c) Ensure you keep a record of your concern and how you reported it
If yes – Contact the emergency services 999
It is important that there should be no delay in contacting either the Social Services or the police if someone thinks a crime may have been committed. Any individual can do this, 24 hours/day, it does not have to be the Safeguarding Officer.
If it is not thought that a crime has been committed but there is concern for a child’s welfare then the issue should be reported to the safeguarding officer within 24 hours. The safeguarding officer will contact the local Children’s Social Care Services (Social Services) for advice or to make a referral in the first instance and follow up with a written report within 24 hours. If the safeguarding officer is not available the organiser or the individual raising the concern must do this.
This form is completed by the person raising the concern. All information recorded is confidential. Please note that parents/carers should not be spoken to if the discussions may put the child at risk of harm.
Children and young people have a right to confidentiality unless the organisation considers they could be at risk of abuse and/or harm. The legal principle is that the “welfare of the child is paramount”. Privacy and confidentiality should be respected where possible but if doing this leaves a child at risk of harm then the child’s safety has to come first. Legally, it is perfectly acceptable to share information if someone is worried about the safety of a child but only people who need to know should be told.
Child Protection Code of Conduct for Staff and Volunteers
Staff (officials, coaches, arbiters) and volunteers, involved in chess for children and young people have a great opportunity to be a positive role model and help build an individual’s confidence. Staff and volunteers are expected to:
- Ensure the safety of all children by providing effective supervision and proper planning of organised chess activities.
- Consider the wellbeing and safety of participants before engaging in activities such as coaching or organising playing of chess.
- Encourage and guide participants to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour.
- Treat all young people fairly and ensure they feel valued and respected. Have no favourites.
- Encourage all children not to discriminate on the grounds of religious beliefs, race, gender, social classes or lack of ability.
- Not allow any bullying, or the use of bad language or inappropriate behaviour.
- Appreciate the efforts of all young people and encourage sensible participation in chess activities. Never exert undue influence over performers to obtain personal benefit or reward.
- Be positive, approachable and offer praise to promote the objectives of the club/organisation at all times.
- Not let any allegations of abuse of any kind or poor practice to go unchallenged or unrecorded. Incidents and accidents to be recorded in the line with the procedures. Parents will be informed.
- Never use sanctions that humiliate or harm young people.
- Report accidents or incidents of alleged abuse or poor practice to the designatedSafeguarding Officer/person.
- Administer minor first aid (if appropriate) in the presence of others and where required refer more serious incidents to the designated “first aider” or send for/to medical assistance. Avoid administering First Aid involving the removing of children’s clothing unless in the presence of others
- Have access to telephone for immediate contact to emergency services if required.
- Ensure the rights and responsibilities of children or young people are enforced.
- Establish and address the additional needs of disabled participants or other vulnerable groups.
- Not abuse children or young people physically, emotionally or sexually.
- Not engage in a sexual relationship with a child or young person for whom they are responsible
- Maintain confidentiality about sensitive information.
- Respect and listen to the opinions of young people.
- Develop an appropriate working relationship with participants, based on mutual trust and respect.
- Be a role model, displaying consistently high standard of behaviour and appearance (disciplined/committed/time keeping), remember children learn by example.
- Refrain from smoking and consumption of alcohol during direct coaching.
- Avoid taking photos without permission, especially of individuals
- Not accept or give individual gifts to Children and young people without permission from parents/guardians
- Not add minors to their social media accounts or have telephone numbers unless parents have given permission.
- Not spending excessive amounts of time alone with children unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- Never taking children to their home, hotel bedroom or similar (e.g. for coaching) without the additional presence of a person who is, or is authorised by their parent/guardian, or without explicit parental/guardian consent.
- Plan activities which involve more than one other person being present or at least are within sight or hearing of others where possible. This applies to such activities as one-to-one training and travelling to or from chess events.
- Not have any inappropriate verbal or physical contact (Including suggestive gestures) with/in front of children or young people
- For activities such as coaching chess: Hold appropriate valid qualifications/accreditation and/or have appropriate experience in playing chess or engaging in chess activities with children and young people.
Emergency action and first aid
Chess Organisers, coaches and leaders should be prepared with an action plan in the event of an emergency. This will include as a minimum:
- Access to First Aid equipment and a first aid book and/or other similar resource
- Plan for actions if no qualified first aider is available
- Emergency evacuation plan
- Telephone contact if the participant is a minor for consent and information purposes (although prior consent for minor first aid may also be gained in addition to this)
- Telephone contact to the Emergency Services
Stages of Acting on a Concern
- Initially talk to a child/young person about what you are observing. It is okay to ask questions, for example: “I’ve noticed that you don’t appear yourself today, is everything okay? But never use leading questions
- Listen carefully to what the young person has to say and take it seriously. Act at all times towards the child as if you believe what they are saying.
- It is not the responsibility of groups to investigate incidences of suspected child abuse but to gather information and refer only. Since you are not investigating, do not take photographs of injuries or video the child.
- Always explain to children and young people that any information they have given will have to be shared with others, if this indicates they and or other children are at risk of harm.
- Notify the organisation’s Named Person forsafeguarding
- Record what was said as soon as possible after any disclosure; the person who receives the allegation or has the concern should complete a pro-forma and ensure it is signed and dated.
- Respect confidentiality and file documents securely;
The Named person(s) should take immediate action if there is a suspicion that a child has been abused or likely to be abused. In this situation the Named Person should contact the Children and Young Peoples Service or police.
Once you have made contact with Children and Young Peoples Service they should within 24 hours of receiving your referral:
- discuss reasons for the concern with the referrer
- involve and discuss with appropriate professionals/agencies
- establish if a criminal offence has been committed and involve the police
- take into consideration, based on available information, whether there are concerns about the child’s health or developments.
- look at a further enquiry, assessment or take immediate action if necessary
- consider timescales and how best to undertake it.
NB Parents / carers will need to be informed about any referral to Children & Young People’s Service unless to do so would place the child at an increased risk of harm.
Sometimes concerns about a child may not be about abuse. You may be concerned that a child or family need some help in making sure all the child’s needs are met to address a particular problem. Examples of this might be where a child is suffering because of poverty or has a disability and needs extra help. In these instances you can get them help from the Children and Young Persons Services who can use Common Assessment Framework (CAF) as a means of support.
CHILDREN’S SOCIAL CARE SERVICES POLICE: 101
NSPCC: 0808 800 500
CHILDLINE: 0800 1111
In an emergency Dial 999 for the Police – REMEMBER DO NOT DELAY