Safeguarding

Safeguarding Policy Summary for Espada Fencing Club

We want to make sure that everyone involved in fencing can do so in a safe and protected way. We need to ensure that everyone follows best practice and complies with the law. This policy identifies the steps that everyone in fencing should follow to protect both adults and children and how to deal with concerns that may arise.

This policy concerns safeguarding the welfare of children and adults at risk. This will include protecting them from any significant physical, sexual and emotional harm, and from neglect, bullying and financial harm.

All of our coaches attend up-dated training in safeguarding and child protection issues at least every 3 years. They are all DBS checked. Each coach also has basic and relevant first aid training. They are also committed to supporting our codes of conduct. Other committee members will also attend some of these training opportunities.

We recognise that members of our club/organisation whether they are staff or volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred, and therefore we have put in place a structure that will support them and most importantly protect the child.

The first point of contact for any concerns of abuse should be to the Welfare Officer. Depending on whether the allegations arise from within fencing (ie about a coach or volunteer within a club) or is a concern from outside of fencing (ie about a relative or family friend) what happens next is slightly different.

Safeguarding Children, Vulnerable Adults and Disabled Fencers

We will take particular care to protect our more vulnerable participants in fencing and take action if any information is given to us relating to a disabled or vulnerable participant.

Procedures for responding to concerns/allegations of abuse or poor practice

We follow the British Fencing Association’s advice on procedures to respond to concerns about incidents or allegations of abuse or poor practice. These are detailed in the full Safeguarding Policy for Espada.

If you have any welfare concerns please contact one of the following…

Club Welfare Officer, Vikki Clements on 07572453180

Club Chair & Welfare Officer – Marilyn Wheelband on 07734421854

If any of the following occur, this should be reported immediately to the Club’s Welfare Officer and the incident recorded. When a child is involved the parents of the child should also be informed. If…

• a fencer is accidentally hurt by a coach, volunteer or official

• he/she seems distressed in any manner

• a fencer appears to be sexually aroused by your actions

• a fencer misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done which then causes concern.

Please remember is it not our responsibility to decide whether or not a child is being abused, but to take action if you have concerns. You have a legal and moral obligation to do so

Once an allegation is received, it will be dealt with in accordance with British Fencing’s Disciplinary, Grievance and Safeguarding policies.

Reporting and Recording a concern or an incident concerning a child/vulnerable adult

If you suspect abuse or poor practice then you must inform a Welfare Officer and provide them with a written report. This must be accurate and a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern. It should include the following:

• The adult or child’s name (for child include age and date of birth)

• The child’s home address and telephone number (if appropriate. Available in club records)

• Whether these are your concerns or those of someone else

• The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information

• Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay and as far as possible use the adult’s and/or child’s own words (This may be their account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.)

• A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes

• Details of witnesses to the incidents.

Also include information regarding the following…

• Have the parents/carers been contacted? (If appropriate)

• If so what has been said?

• Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details

• If the adult/child was not the person who reported the incident, have they been spoken to? If so what was said?

• Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details

• Where possible referral to the police or Children’s Social Care (if under 18) should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded

Sharing Information arising from concerns about the welfare or safety of a child or young person or the behaviour of an adult or another young person who may represent a risk to them. In order to ensure that children and young people are effectively safeguarded it is important that concerns are shared with appropriate people and agencies. The British Fencing safeguarding policy clearly identifies the process for information sharing and the need for information to only be shared with those who have a clear need to know. The Welfare Officer will always be the first port of call. If they are not available then contact will be made with the British Fencing Safeguarding Hotline on 07526 003030. Our ultimate concern is the safety of the person, and to protect them from harm.

The Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly; it is not a barrier to sharing information. It gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them. For more information on the Data Protection Act, visit http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection.aspx

Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 gives further legal effect in the UK to the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. These rights not only impact matters of life and death, they also affect the rights people have in their everyday life: what they can say and do, their beliefs, their right to a fair trial and other similar basic entitlements.

For more information on the Human Rights Act 1998 visit http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/human-rights/what-are-human-rights/thehuman-rights-act/ .

Definitions

‘adult at risk’ or ‘vulnerable adult’ – Anyone over 18 who has any health or social care needs (irrespective of whether or not those needs are being met by social care) and who are unable to safeguard themselves as a result. Some people will be vulnerable due to their learning disability or mental health needs there are also those adults who are at risk due to a specific circumstance they may find themselves in. (The Law Commission Review in 2011 with slight amendments by The Sport and Recreation Alliance)‘child’ – A person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989). ‘position of trust’ – refers to anyone with a position of responsibility over a child or other adult. ‘Specific circumstances’ – for example (this is not an exhaustive list): domestic abuse, forced marriage, sexual or commercial exploitation.

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