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Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy & Procedures


Principles

Solihull Moors Football Club CIC (“the club”) is committed to safeguarding and protecting children and young people and fully accepts its responsibility for the safety and welfare of all children, and young people, who engage with the club. Simple flowcharts on how to respond to a safeguarding concern and what constitutes abuse and neglect can be found in Appendices 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The welfare of children, and young people, is of paramount importance, and all children and young people, have a right to be protected from abuse, regardless of their gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, belief, or age. Through the application of policy, procedures and best practice, the club promotes the safety, welfare and well-being of all children and young people enabling them to participate in any club activity in an enjoyable, safe, inclusive, and child-centred environment. This equally applies to the safety and security of those working with and who are responsible for the activities involving children and young people.

Employees, workers, consultants, agency staff and volunteers who come into contact with children and young people, in club related activities, should be positive role models, and display high moral and ethical standards in line with the club’s vision and values.

This Policy and Procedures is compliant with legislation including but not limited to the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, statutory guidance such as Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 and governing body rules and regulations including the FA Premier League Rules and FA Regulations.

This Policy and Procedure should be read in conjunction with related club policies and procedures, a list of which are available in Appendix 5.

 

Scope

This Policy is for use across the club, and is to be observed by all those working, and coming into contact with children, and young people to ensure best practice in safeguarding is promoted and adhered to.

 

Activities undertaken at the following locations/departments are under the remit of this policy including:

 

·         Solihull Moors First Team and Academy training ground (The Automated Technology Group Stadium & CTC Kingshurst Academy);

·         Solihull Moors Football Club;

·         Solihull Moors Soccer Schools;

·         Solihull Moors Schools Program;

·         Solihull Moors Ability Counts Section:

·         Community Moors;

·         The Automated Technology Group Stadium;

·         Solihull Moors Tiny Tekkers;

·         Solihull Moors Retail;

·         Travel, Events and Supporter Liaison;

·         Youth Development (Tally Ho, Tanworth Lane, John Henry Newman Catholic College, Shirley Town Football Club, Meadow Sports Centre, Solihull Sports Centre, Edenbridge Playing Fields, Wyre Forest Leisure Centre, Tudor Grange Academy, Bishop Ullathorne School).

·         Other club related entities/activities undertaken outside of the UK.

 

All employees and workers are made aware of the Policy and Procedures through induction and where appropriate their work with children and young people will be supported by a comprehensive on-going safeguarding training programme.

 

Definition of a Child

 

A child or young person is defined as anyone up to their 18th birthday.

Children Act 1989

Safeguarding children and young people is defined as:

 

·         Protecting children and young people from maltreatment;

·         Preventing impairment of children or young peoples’ health or development;

·         Ensuring that children and young people are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and

·         Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best life chances.

 

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015

Recruitment and Disclosure

As part of the club’s recruitment and selection process, offers of work for positions which come into contact with children, and young people are subject to a satisfactory self-declaration, and a criminal record check (CRC) as relevant, CV checks, appropriate references, right to work in the UK checks and a qualification check, if applicable. All offers of work are subject to a satisfactory outcome to the rigorous screening process, and until such time that all background checks are deemed as acceptable by the club, the person concerned is not permitted to commence work.

All employees, workers, consultants, agency staff and volunteers in a position of trust are required to undergo regular CRC disclosure clearances, normally every three years or earlier if required.

Should any person’s CRC reveal any cautions, convictions, community resolutions, warnings, or final reprimands, the club will consider whether the nature of the offence/offences renders the person concerned, unsuitable for working with children and young people. In such circumstances, when the nature of any disclosure must be considered, a risk assessment is carried out, to evaluate the information contained within the disclosure certificate. The person may also be required to attend a risk assessment meeting with a Head of Department (HoD) and/or a member of the club’s Safeguarding Team, prior to a recruitment decision being made.

 

All new employees, workers, consultants, agency staff and volunteers working with children and young people at the club are required to complete a self-declaration on commencement of duties.

 

When the club uses suppliers or agencies to undertake its work, they are being subject to rigorous vetting, and safeguarding checks and required to adhere to the club’s policy and procedures as set out in their contracts or service level agreements where relevant.

 

When the club engages with schools and organisations in connection with child, or young people related activities, where appropriate the club writes to the school, or organisation to state the club’s policy and procedures in relation to criminal record checks and safe recruitment. The club only discloses the name, date of birth, disclosure and issue numbers of the employees, workers, consultants, agency staff or volunteers criminal record checks. Disclosure information in relation to checks will not be divulged. Schools and organisations are required to comply with the club’s safeguarding arrangements as set out in contracts and/or service level agreements.

 

Induction and training

During the induction process, employees who work with, or come into contact with children, and young people, are required to attend the club’s safeguarding and protection training, along with The FA safeguarding practice training. Employees also receive a copy of this Policy and Procedures as well as other club policies and are required to sign an acknowledgement that they have read and agree to abide by them.

 

Workers, consultants, agency staff and volunteers, who have roles that work with, or come into contact with, children and young people undertake club & The FA training. They also receive copies of the club’s Safeguarding Policies and Procedures and are expected to read and abide by them as set out in their Agreements.

 

Refresher safeguarding training is provided every three years or earlier as required.


Roles and responsibilities


The club has a comprehensive safeguarding structure, which ensures the safety and welfare of all children, and young people, who engage with the club. For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure, the Safeguarding Team consists of; the Head of Safeguarding, Safeguarding Committee and Safeguarding Administrator.


Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for all aspects of the club and to ensure safeguarding is a key priority at Board Level.


Sporting Director (SD) is responsible for providing club-wide strategic leadership that assists the club to deliver the safeguarding strategy, vison, values, priorities, policies, promoting the welfare of vulnerable groups, communicating at Director and Heads of Department level.


Head of Safeguarding (HoS) is responsible for the strategic and operational direction and embedding safeguarding across the club. The Head of Safeguarding is also lead point of contact should safeguarding concerns arise and the Lead Disclosure Officer.


Safeguarding Committee (SC) is responsible for all operational aspects and embedding safeguarding in all of the football related areas as well as being the lead point of contact in all those areas.


Head of Department (HoD) are responsible for embedding safeguarding within their own departments as well as being the point of contact should a concern arise within their own departments.


Safeguarding Administrator (SA) is responsible for ensuring all vetting checks including criminal record checks adhere to the club’s Recruitment Policy as well as legislation and governing body rules.


Employees, workers, agency staff, consultants and volunteers are responsible for familiarising themselves with the club’s policy and procedures, ensuring the safety and welfare of all children and young people as well as promoting best practice and creating a safe and inclusive environment to prevent harm occurring through awareness of what constitutes abuse and neglect.


Abuse and neglect

Abuse is defined as a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children or young people may be abused in a family, or in an institutional, or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child, children, young person, or young people.

 

There are 4 recognised categories of abuse as defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015:

 

1. Physical abuse;

2. Sexual abuse;

3. Emotional abuse (includes bullying); and

4. Neglect.

 

Full descriptions of each category of abuse and neglect can be found in Appendix 4.

 

Children and young people may be at additional risk of abuse and neglect through some of the additional vulnerabilities they may face.

 

Additional vulnerabilities

If children and young people have additional vulnerabilities when engaging with the club, further safeguards may need to be put in place to reduce the potential risk of abuse and neglect.

 

Radicalisation and extremism

Radicalisation and extremism of children and young people, is a form of emotional abuse. HM Government states that, the aim of radicalisation is to attract children and young people to a particular extremist ideology. In many cases it is with a view to inspiring children and young people eventually to become involved with harmful or terrorist activities. Radicalisation can take place through direct personal contact, or indirectly through social media. Extremism is defined 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.

 

Looked after children and young people

Looked after (such as those living in foster care) children and young people may be especially vulnerable to abuse and neglect for a number of reasons:

 

·         Experienced abuse and neglect previously;

·         Living with people who are not their immediate family or friends;

·         Less support networks; and

·         Stigma for being in care.

 

Online world

Although the online world provides many benefits to children and young people, there are also a number of potential associated risks:

 

·         Inappropriate language or images;

·         Online grooming;

·         Cyberbullying;

·         Sexting.

 

Further information about the online risks is contained in the club’s Safeguarding Social Media Policy and Procedures.


Deaf and disabled children and young people


The Equality Act (2010) defines a person as disabled, if they have a physical, or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term (has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months), adverse effect on one's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This definition includes conditions such as cancer, HIV, mental illness and learning disabilities.


 Deaf and disabled children and young people may be vulnerable to abuse for a number of reasons:


·         Increased likelihood of social isolation;

·         Dependency on others for practical assistance in daily living (including intimate care);

·         Impaired capacity to resist, avoid or understand abuse;

·         Speech and language communication needs may make it difficult to tell others what is happening;

·         Limited access to someone to disclose to; and

·         Vulnerability to bullying.


 Children and young people with disabilities may also feel less valued than his/her peers and poor care may be observed but tolerated by others. This might include such things as not speaking directly to the child or young person; not offering choices; not moving and handling them safely; not respecting his/her privacy and dignity; not treating him/her according to his/her age; allowing physical restraint to occur; or using derogatory language.


 There is no single route to ensure that children and young people are protected, especially those with additional vulnerabilities. However, the safest environments are those that help children and young people, to protect themselves, by helping them to speak out and do their best to stop any abuse, and neglect from happening, and take responsibility for observing, challenging and reporting any poor practice and suspected abuse and neglect.


Safe environments for children and young people with additional vulnerabilities are also safer for all children and young people.


Use of photography and film


All images are taken by club photographers who have been briefed by a clubs Head of Department, or by a member of the Communications and Marketing Department responsible for the activity being photographed or filmed, in an appropriate way and manner. Where appropriate and possible, parent/carer consent is sought in writing at the start of the season or prior to an event via the Club’s Membership form. The club adhere to the following principles when using photography or film:


·        All children or young people featured in club publications are appropriately dressed;

·        Where possible, the image will focus on the activity taking place and not a specific child or young person;

·        Where appropriate, images represent the broad range of people participating safely in the event;

·        Designated club photographers will, where applicable, undertake a CRC check and attend the club’s and FA Safeguarding workshop and in any case will be personally responsible for keeping up to date with the latest guidelines on the ‘Use of Images’ policies from The FA. Club identification is worn at all times;

·        Children or young people who are the subject of a court order, will not have his/her images published in any club document;

·        No images of children or young people featured in club publications are accompanied by personal details such as his/her home address;

·        Recordings of children and young people for the purposes of legitimate coaching aids are only filmed by club officials and are stored safely and securely at the club’s premises;

·        Any instances of inappropriate images in football should be reported to a HoD or the club’s Safeguarding Team;

·        The club does not put young players under the age of 16 profiles, nor personal information on its website.


Good practice and code of conduct


To ensure all children and young people have the most positive and safe experience when engaging with the club, all employees, workers, consultants, agency staff and volunteers, should adhere to the following principles and action (to ensure they role model positive behaviours and so reduce the risk of allegations, abuse and neglect occurring):


·        Listen carefully to children and young people about his/her needs, wishes, ideas and concerns and take them seriously;

·        Treat all children and young people equally not showing favouritism;

·        Always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets);

·        Make the experience of the activity fun and enjoyable;

·        Promote fairness, confront, and deal with bullying;

·        Maintain a safe and appropriate distance with children and young people, and avoid unnecessary physical contact;

·        Where any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly, and with the consent of the child or young person;

·        If children, and young people have to be supervised in changing rooms, always ensure coaches etc. work in pairs;

·        Request written consent, if the club are required to transport children and young people using the club’s Multi-Use Consent Form (Appendix 6) for any activities, events, or significant travel arrangements e.g. overnight stays;

·        Employees and workers should maintain their qualifications and continued professional development;

·        A qualified first aider is in attendance or readily available;

·        Maintain appropriate professional relationships with children and young people, including only engaging with them online with prior approval and through the club’s social media channels;

·        On trips, ensure that adults should not enter a child or young person’s room, unless there is a safety concern, in which case two adults should enter and should not invite children or young people into their rooms;

·        Be a good role model, this includes not swearing, smoking, or drinking alcohol in the company of children and young people;

·        Always give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism;

·        Promote the club’s vision and values and be an ambassador for those values;

 ·        Ensure children and young people adhere to his/her relevant Code of Conduct;

·        Secure written consent for the club to administer emergency first aid or other medical treatment if the need arises;

·        Reward effort as well as performance;

 ·        Challenge unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour;

·        Encourage children and young people to take responsibility for his/her own behaviour and performance;

·        Keep a written record of any incident or injury that occurs, along with details of any treatment given or action taken using the club’s Accident and Incident Report Form (Appendix 7).

·        Recording safeguarding concerns on the Safeguarding Concern Form (Appendix 8).


 This list is not exhaustive

 
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