Bolton Sports Federation
Tennis League

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Child Protection Officer is ALi Al-Chalabi  -  Tel: 07833 448633

Child Protection Policy and Procedures  (June 2005)

 

Clicking on one of the following bookmarks will take you to the relevant section

Accident Definitions of abuse Parents/volunteers Remote supervision
Accident action follow up Domestic violence Photography Sexual abuse
Allegation Duty of care Physical abuse Social services
Anti-bullying policy Emotional abuse Position of trust Supervision
Anti-bullying strategies Expectations and attitude Principals The Children Act 1989
Appropriate questioning Forms Private vehicle registration Urgency
Approved driver Good practice Procedure if abuse is suspected Volunteers code
Bullying Head counts Ratio Volunteers responsibilities
Bullying by adults Incident Recognising abuse Your own feelings
Code of conduct Listening and re-assuring Record keeping  
Confidentiality of information Neglect Referral to designated person  
Core values Never make promises Relationships with parents/carers  

 

AN INTRODUCTION TO CHILD PROTECTION

These procedures are designed specifically for Bolton Sports Federation Tennis League, in particular for Club/League officials and volunteers because of their direct contact with children and young people who may be, or may become, victims of abuse. These responsibilities are created by The Children Act 1989.

B.S.F. Tennis League (Tennis League) recognises and accepts its responsibility for the safety and well being of those children and young people who come within the care of the Tennis League and its volunteers. These children and young people include those who play and train within the Tennis League.

 

Core Values:

All young people's Tennis League experiences must be guided by what is best for that young person.

Adults interacting with children and young people in the Tennis League should do so with integrity and respect for them.

All children and young people's Tennis League activities should be conducted in an atmosphere of fair play.

Children and young people's Tennis League activities should be conducted in a safe, positive and encouraging atmosphere.

Adults who take a responsibility for children and young people in the Tennis League have a duty to ensure that they are competent to provide safe and rewarding experiences for those in their care, through appropriate training and education.

Principals:

The welfare of children and young people is paramount.

All people, but especially children and young people, have the right to protection from abuse.

All incidents of poor practice, suspicions and allegations should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

It is the responsibility of child protection experts to determine whether or not abuse has taken place but it is everyone's responsibility to report any concerns.

Young people have a lot to gain from the Tennis League. Their natural sense of fun and spontaneity can blossom in positive sporting environments, which can promote progress in a child-centred way. The Tennis League provides an excellent medium in which children and young people can learn new skills, become more confident and maximise their own unique potential.

The Tennis League accepts its responsibility in the belief that the welfare and protection of children and young people is paramount. The Tennis League believes that this recognition will provide a solid foundation for the development of the children and young people and for effective Child Protection practice within the Tennis League.

The Tennis League will put into place systems that will prevent or minimise the risk of abuse occurring within its own organisation. As an integral part of this process, the Club will ensure that children and young people will have access to a complaints procedure. In all Child Protection issues, The Tennis League will work under the guidance of the Area Child Protection Committee.

The Tennis League will appoint an appropriate person who will act as the "Designated Person for Child Protection" to whom any concerns about the welfare of a young person should be reported. The Tennis League will ensure that systems are in place so that the welfare of young persons will be dealt with appropriately and sensitively. The Tennis League will also appoint a "Child Protection Officer" who will act in an advisory capacity.

All the Tennis League members working with children and young people will be required to share in the Tennis League's ethos of responsibility for the protection of children and young people. All volunteers will receive appropriate training in "Child Protection Awareness" and in the Tennis League's "Procedures" for implementing its Child Protection Policy. The Tennis League will ensure that all its current and potential volunteers are checked with the Criminal Records Bureau as to their suitability to work with children and young people *.

* within a time scale agreed by The Tennis League Committee.

The BSF Tennis League has specific responsibilities for the protection of Young People in events run by the Tennis League. This includes the annual Bolton Tournament and the Annual Presentation Dance. In addition the B.S.F. Tennis Committee will ensure that all Clubs playing in the League shall be made aware of their responsibilities for Child Protection and Mandate them to implement appropriate policies. This shall be fully implemented for the 2006 Season.

The parents and carers of children and young people working with the Tennis League will be informed of the Tennis League's "Child Protection Policy and Procedures".

Because of their statutory responsibility for children and young persons **, all Social Services Departments have a set of procedures giving guidance and information on protecting children and responding to child abuse.

** For the purposes of these Procedures a "child" or "young person"
is a person under the age of 18.

THE CHILDREN ACT 1989

The following principles extracted from the 'Children Act 1989', have been highlighted as being the most important for the purpose of these procedures.

The welfare of the child is paramount.

The wishes and feelings of the child must always be taken into consideration.

Race, culture, language and religion must always be taken into consideration when working with children and families.

Parents who have 'parental responsibility' must be involved in all decisions about the child.

If the parents are unmarried when the child is born, the mother will have 'parental responsibility', but the father does not.

To gain "parental responsibility' the father must take steps to acquire it, either through an agreement with the mother or by a court order.

In the case of children born after December 2003, fathers, although not married to the mother but whose name appears on the birth certificate, shall have parental responsibility.

'A DUTY OF CARE'

"The duty which rests upon an individual or organisation to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure the safety of any person involved in any activity for which that individual or organisation is responsible."

A POSITION OF TRUST - THE VOLUNTEER

All those working with children and young people are deemed to have a 'Duty of Care' (Children Act, 1989).

Sport provides easy access for someone who wants to harm children. Positions of Trust, working with children and young people will be subject to clearance by the Criminal Records Bureau as 'appropriate adults' and to the receipt of two satisfactory references.

The competitive nature of sporting activity places children and the adults working with them in vulnerable situations. Relationships between volunteers and young people must be totally professional at all times.

Sport is uniquely placed to contribute towards safeguarding the welfare of children and young people.

Everyone has a legal and moral duty to report a Child Protection concern. This is not always easy. Loyalty to a friend or colleague is misplaced if a young person's welfare is at risk.

Reporting a concern means that the issue will be carefully considered by someone with experience and expertise.

Remember, the welfare of the child is paramount.

 

A POSITION OF TRUST - THE VOLUNTEER

"A person who is regularly involved in caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of a child or young person and in the course of his/her involvement has unsupervised contact, whether face to face or by any other means, is deemed, in law, to be in a "Position of Trust".

A volunteer might become involved in a Child Protection Issue when:

a) a young person may inform a volunteer that they have been abused

b) a volunteer may suspect or witness abuse or abusive practice towards a young person by another adult or a young person

c) a volunteer may become concerned about a young person

d) a volunteer may be accused of abusing a young person

Tennis League volunteers working with young people should have built up good, trusting relationships. This may also mean that the young people come to see a volunteer as someone they can confide in and to whom they may go for help and protection.

In the course of their work with young people, volunteers must be prepared to hear information about abuse and to take seriously what they hear. The young people may communicate that something is upsetting them, not just verbally but through their attitude, actions and behaviour. A slow but definite change in a young person's behaviour, for example changing from an outgoing, happy person to a withdrawn, passive personality may cause an alert.

These Procedures are intended to help all involved with the Tennis League to understand more about Child Protection, confront some issues and consider how they might respond to a given situation.

The protection of all young people who are in the care of the Tennis League is the responsibility of all volunteers in the Tennis League. The aim is to create a safe, secure environment to enable those young people to achieve their full potential.

RECOGNISING ABUSE

This section should be read with caution. It is not a comprehensive guide to assessing child abuse. The presence of one or other of these features will not necessarily mean that a child has been abused and should not be seen in isolation, but may indicate that careful investigation (by an appropriate person) is needed.

Child Abuse may be described as harm to a child or the failure by a person with responsibility for a child to provide reasonable care, or a combination of both. Abuse may take the form of physical injury, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect. Harm to a child may be caused by a child's parents or carer, a relative, a stranger or someone known to the child, or even another child.

Physical Abuse: Where adults and children or young people, physically hurt or injure others by hitting, shaking, squeezing, burning or biting, bullying or by giving them alcohol, inappropriate drugs or poison. Attempted suffocation or drowning also comes within this category.

In the Tennis League, physical abuse might occur when the nature and intensity of training exceeds the capacity of the child or young person's immature and growing body or if illegal drugs are advocated to improve the child or young person's performance.

 

 

Neglect: Where adults fail to meet a child or young person's basic needs like food or warm clothing, fail or refuse to give children or young people love, affection and attention. Constantly leaving children and young people alone or unsupervised would fall into this category.

Neglect in the Tennis League could include a volunteer not ensuring children and young people are safe, exposing them to undue cold or to unnecessary risk or injury.

Sexual Abuse: Girls and boys are abused by adults - both male and female - who use them to meet their own sexual needs. This could include full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse and fondling. Showing children and young people pornographic material (books, videos, pictures or other electronic media) is a form of sexual abuse. Taking pornographic photographs and videos of children and young people in inappropriate sporting positions is also classified as sexual abuse. Sports, which necessitate physical support with young people, could potentially create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed.

No Tennis League volunteer or other responsible person is allowed to communicate with a person under 18 by any electronic means, including email and text messages so that no allegations of 'grooming' can be levelled at persons who can be vulnerable to any such allegations. Global messages can be sent but it is important to retain a time and date stamped copy so that the author has an auditable trail in the event of any allegation. Where this presents a problem arrangements should be made for electronic communication with parent(s)/carer(s). (See Sexual Offences Act 2003)

Physical support in The Tennis League is generally unnecessary: therefore physical contact should be minimal.

Emotional Abuse: Persistent lack of love and affection, where a young person may be constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted, which may make the child very nervous and withdrawn. Emotional abuse may also occur when there is constant overprotection (which prevents children and young people from socialising), or where there is neglect, physical or sexual abuse. Racism is a form of emotional abuse.

In the Tennis League, emotional abuse might occur if children and young people are subjected to constant criticism, bullying or unrealistic pressure to perform to high expectations consistently. The power of the coach over children and young people, if misused, may lead to abusive situations developing.

The main types of abuse are featured in the appendices at the end of this document.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence witnessed or experienced by children and young people creates a considerable impact on their lives.

The amendment to the Children and Adoption Bill, recently accepted by the House of Commons, will extend the legal definition of 'significant harm' to include suffering experienced by children when witnessing the ill-treatment of another person, such as domestic violence. When a child is at risk of 'significant harm' intervention will be compulsory.

Domestic Violence may be defined as:

"Any form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse which takes place within the context of a close relationship, in most cases the relationship between partners (married, co-habiting or otherwise) or ex-partners."

Whilst physical and sexual assaults are the most common form, domestic violence can include harassment, mental violence, restriction of liberty or availability of money, and damage to and loss of property.

Research shows that domestic violence can affect children in a number of ways:

They may witness violence;

They may take on a 'caring' role for a parent affected by domestic violence;

They may be used as accessories in the abuse of a parent;

They may be seen as the triggers or justification of violence;

A parent's ability to care for a child can be seriously affected when that parent is the victim of domestic violence;

If a woman is being abused there is a high probability that her children may also be being abused.

 

CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE WHO SEXUALLY ABUSE OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE

Sexual experimentation between children is part of normal development. It can be difficult to differentiate between consensual experimentation and sexual abuse.

Abusive behaviour in a child or young person, however, will have at least one of the following characteristics:

It may be against the victim's will, whether or not this is expressed;

It may be without the victim's informed consent;

It may be accompanied by aggressive, explosive or threatening behaviour;

It may involve an abuse of power e.g. age, disability.

Girls and boys of all ages may display sexually abusive behaviour, such behaviour must always be taken seriously.

When it is alleged that the abuse of a child is said to have been carried out by another child or young person, it is important that the appropriate Child Protection Procedures should be followed in respect of both the victim and the alleged abuser.

When such an incident is alleged it should be reported to the Designated Person immediately. Whilst these allegations are being investigated the Tennis League should consult with the "Child Protection Officer" about whether the young person should continue to attend any Tennis League activity because of the risk they may pose to others.

 

BULLYING

Bullying is the deliberate attempt by an individual or group to hurt, torment, tease, frighten or upset someone causing him/ her to feel intimidated uncomfortable or unhappy. Bullying includes racist and homophobic behaviour.

Bullying can be the physical, mental or emotional abuse of a person. It can take many forms, some more obvious than others. The following examples of bullying should be watched out for.

Name calling

Teasing

Hitting, pushing or unwelcome physical contact

Demanding food or money

Passing comments about the victim's family member/s

Tripping, punching or hair pulling

Forcing or encouraging someone to do wrong

Belittling

 

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

The Tennis League aims in relation to bullying are:

Bullying will not be tolerated in the Tennis League.

To create an ethos, within a safe environment, in which young people feel free to speak out about bullying.

To ensure that all young people who attend Tennis League activities feel safe and secure.

To ensure that all reported cases of bullying are dealt with efficiently, effectively and fairly.

To ensure that all Tennis League officials and volunteers are aware of the anti-bullying policy and are alert to any signs that a young person may be being bullied.

 

ANTI-BULLYING STRATEGIES

Bullying is often hidden. It is best prevented by Tennis League volunteers being alert and aware at all times.

Ensure that all young people who take part in Tennis League activities are aware that bullying will not be tolerated.

If bullying is spotted or suspected, it should be dealt with immediately in a sensitive manner. Volunteers should speak to the young person they suspect is being bullied to try to determine what the problem might be. If it is alleged that bullying is taking place. Details of the incident/s should be taken.

The young person against whom the allegation has been made should be sensitively questioned.

When the victim or the perpetrator is being questioned, two volunteers/officials should be present although care should be taken that their presence is not intimidating.

If the allegation is serious i.e. severe physical abuse or persistent emotional abuse, a decision must be made at a senior level as to whether the perpetrator can continue within the activity.

Parents should be informed in all circumstances. Parents of young people who are responsible for bullying others must be involved in and support any disciplinary actions taken.

Parents should be encouraged to inform the Tennis League if they suspect their child is being bullied. The above strategies should then be applied.

BULLYING BY ADULTS

ADULTS too may be guilty of bullying!

Volunteers involved in sporting activities should not intimidate, belittle or undermine any young person

They should avoid:

Sarcasm and humiliation, no matter how playfully delivered;

Aggressive, abusive shouting or bad language;

Use of physical punishments i.e. "press-ups".

Volunteers should be models of fairness:

Competition is healthy, but volunteers should use encouragement rather than penalties.

Criticism should ALWAYS be constructive

An early apology or clear explanation of intent by a volunteer will often prevent misunderstandings.

Parents should be models of fairness:

Parents should encourage rather than criticise

They should remember that the activity is SPORTING, and that they should act in a sporting manner and should expect their children to do likewise.

Volunteers, referees and opponents should always be treated with respect.

 

PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW IF ABUSE IS SUSPECTED

In cases of specific suspected abuse

If a specific incident or injury gives cause for concern or if a child/young person says that something has happened to them that falls within the remit of "Recognised Abuse", the Designated Person must be contacted immediately and a "Tennis League Referral Sheet" must be completed.

In cases of non-specific abuse

Concerns can sometimes arise about a child/young person without any specific incident or injury having occurred. These may be concerns that you have monitored over a period of time, or worries that you might wish to discuss with the "Designated Person".

It is important to mention your concern rather than to keep it to yourself as this could be vital in preventing a situation from becoming worse. In these circumstances the concern should be written up on the "Referral Sheet", and an arrangement for an early meeting with the "Designated Person should be made. In these situations, the Designated Person may decide to make an "advice call' to the Local Authority Social Services or to the police.

In all matters relating to allegations of Abuse it should be realised that Confidentiality must be observed. Referral (and discussion about the allegation) must only be conducted with the Designated Person or Child Protection Officer.

THIS IS PRIMARILY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE CHILD
BUT ALSO FOR ALL INVOLVED

The Role of the Designated Person

The Tennis League will appoint an appropriate person as "Designated Person for Child Protection'.

The Designated Person is responsible for all Child Protection and Child Welfare matters within the Club. The Designated Person is the link between the Tennis League and other agencies.

The Designated Person will be responsible for the management and co-ordination of Child Protection issues. She/He will set up and maintain a system of "Child Protection Records" including notes of all concerns referred to her/him, and be responsible for the security and confidentiality of this information.

These records will include:

Child Protection referrals to Local Authorities;

General concerns about young people;

Reports of abuse by a young person on another young person;

Incidents of serious bullying;

Any referral (including details and notes) of abuse by a Tennis League Volunteer.

The Designated Person will:

be responsible for ensuring that all volunteers are familiar with the "Tennis League Child Protection Policy and Procedures".

be responsible for ensuring that all volunteers receive initial training in respect of Child Protection.

be responsible for providing support to any volunteer in respect of any matter of Child Protection.

be responsible for referring Child Protection concerns or allegations of abuse to Social Services.

The Designated Person may also wish to contact Social Services with regards to general concerns
in order to receive advice about the best way to proceed.

Referrals will be made to the area Social Services unless it is known
the child/young person has a named Social Worker from another authority
.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
THE DESIGNATED PERSON CONTACTS SOCIAL SERVICES?

The Tennis League Designated Person

   

Social Services
(Referral information taken and initial enquires made by a Social Worker)

   

Discussion with regards to whether a Child Protection investigation should be conducted

If "YES"

If "NO"

Investigation is undertaken
by a Social Worker with co-operation from agencies
No further action required
(but keep the records safely & securely)
   

Strategy Meeting (Meeting involving police and Social Services to determine whether
there is a need for a criminal and Social Services investigation)

 
Child Protection Conference (All agencies attend a meeting to determine whether
the child's name should be placed on the "At Risk Register")
 
Assessment of Child and family to establish what are the "risks" and to work towards
the child's name being removed from the "At Risk Register"
   

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN ALLEGATION IS MADE
AGAINST A TENNIS LEAGUE VOLUNTEER?

1. All incidents or accusations of physical or sexual abuse involving a volunteer must be reported to the Designated Person immediately or as soon as practically possible on that day.

(In the event of the Designated Person being the subject of concern, then this must be reported to the Child Protection Officer, who will then undertake the role of Designated Person for the purpose of this investigation.)

2. In all cases of sexual abuse the Designated Person must report the concerns to the Police Child Protection Unit. The Police, as a matter of course, will refer to the local Social Services. N.B. The young person should not be questioned by anybody other than the police and Social Services, or the Child Protection Officer if the Joint Investigative team agrees that the Child Protection Officer can speak to the young person.

3. The Designated Person should also inform the appropriate Initial Referral Team.

4. The parents of the child should be informed of the concerns and of how the matter is being dealt with.

5. The Designated Person will inform the volunteer that he/she will be withdrawn from his/her duties. The Police/Social Services should be informed of the suspension.

N.B. If the suspended volunteer has any other involvement in working with young people, that organisation should be informed following consultation with the Joint Investigative Team (Police/Social Services).

Promoting and use of Good Practice with Children and Young People
in the Tennis League

Child abuse can evoke strong emotions in those facing such a situation and it is important to understand these feelings and not to allow them to interfere with your judgement. Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment.
Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them.
A coach, manager, referee or volunteer etc may have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where a young person needs protection. Any case of poor practice should be reported and further guidance and/or support offered.

In addition, all members should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are specific examples of where care must be taken ( ) when working within the Tennis League:

( ) always ensure you are never left alone with one child. Avoid situations where manager/coach/referee/volunteer and individual child are completely unobserved

( ) if any form of physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines as provided by the Tennis League. Young people should always be consulted and their agreement gained. Some parents/carers are becoming increasingly sensitive about physical support and their views should always be carefully considered and respected

( ) encourage an open environment (i.e. no secrets, always explain why you are doing something in that way, with young people being able to put their views forward).

( ) where working with girls/young women's teams, male coaches/officials must agree with parents/carers when, or if, it is appropriate to enter the changing area. It may be prudent to set a time, for example, 10 minutes before a game, when the coach could enter the room accompanied by parent/carer

( ) include young people in decisions to ensure the young athlete's voice is heard.

The following should be avoided (x). If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable, they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of the identified person in the section or the child's parents/carers:

x   avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with young people away from others

x   avoid taking young people alone on car journeys, however short

x   avoid taking young people to your home where they will be alone with you.

The following ( ) must never be sanctioned. You should never:

( ) engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay

( ) share a room with a young person

( ) allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching

( ) allow young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged

( ) make sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun

( ) do things of a personal nature for young people that they can do for themselves

( ) invite or allow young people to stay with you at your home unsupervised

( ) allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.

It may sometimes be necessary for volunteers to do things of a personal nature for young people, particularly if they are very young or have disabilities. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents/carers and the young people involved. There is a need to be responsive to a child's reactions. If a child is fully dependent on you, talk with her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly necessary if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical support or lifting or assisting a child to carry out particular activities.

If you accidentally hurt a child and they seem distressed in any manner, appear to be sexually aroused by your actions, or misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done, report any such incident immediately to another Tennis League member, and make a brief written note of it. The child's parents/carers should also be informed of the incident, preferably in person.

Record Keeping

Always make an accurate record of the things you have observed or have been told. This should include a note of the date and time of a particular incident, or when a particular concern came to your attention. If a young person has told you something, it is essential that you write this down in the young person's own words. The written record should include a note about the size and appearance of any injury (a sketch is helpful). Injuries a young person arrives with at the start of any session should be noted: any injuries received during a session should always be recorded in the "Accident Book". This information will be useful when making a referral about suspected abuse. Your Designated Person may ask to see these records should there be a referral to Social Services.

Confidentiality of Information

The purpose of confidentiality is to protect young people, by providing appropriate privacy to young people and their families. The Tennis League will ensure that abusers are not assisted by access to confidential information. Information (written or verbal) should be shared only on a need to know basis. All Child Protection records should be kept separately from a young person's open records. They should be kept in a secure place and be accessed only by designated persons. Parents, volunteers and officials have no right of access to separate Child Protection Records which remain confidential at all times.

Listening and Re-Assuring

Young people need to be listened to and allowed time and space to talk about their experiences, even if they might have chosen a time inconvenient to you. They need to know that they are being taken seriously and be reassured that they have done the right thing in telling you about their concern.

Appropriate Questioning

It is important to know that interviewing young people in cases of abuse is a specialist role, which should be done only by trained social workers and police officers. Remember that the young person may be asked to talk to someone else at a later stage. Try to avoid interrupting or questioning the young person and instead allow them to talk at their own pace and in their own words but you can reassure that the young person is being taken seriously.

Your Own Feelings

Try not to make assumptions about what you are told and avoid using emotive words such as 'rape' 'assault' or 'beating' which might make the experience of telling even more difficult. It is important not to criticise the abuser e.g. 'X is a bad person". Try not to project your own feelings onto the young person. It might help you to sort out your own feelings if you talk to the Designated Person later.

Never Make Promises

Be honest and realistic: you should never promise not to tell or say you can do something you are unable to do. You have a duty to pass on any allegations or suspicions about abuse to the appropriate person. If you are going to pass information on, it is right to let the young person know why you are doing this and who you will be contacting. Older children will naturally be able to understand more fully what is to happen.

Relationships with Parents/Carers

If sexual abuse is suspected, or if there is any reason to believe that alerting the parent/carer might compromise the young person's welfare, you are advised not to discuss the matter with the parent/carer but you should contact the Designated Person immediately. Otherwise, if you see an injury about which you have suspicions or you have concerns about a young person's behaviour or welfare, you should ask the parent/carer for an explanation. If the parent/carer, when asked seems unaware of the injury, or will say nothing at all, is evasive or is inappropriately hostile, this may support your suspicions that the injury was non accidental. Tell the parent/carer that you are concerned. Say that injuries to young people must be investigated because young people are vulnerable. Say that there is a procedure you must follow. Tell the parents/carer that the procedure is to provide help for parents/carers as well as protection for children.

Urgency

Prompt action needs to be taken in all instances in which abuse is suspected or discovered.

Ratio

It is important to have a high enough ratio of volunteers to children for any activity. The factors to take into consideration include:

sex, age and ability of group children with special educational or medical needs nature of activities

experience of adults in supervision

duration and nature of the journey

type of any accommodation

competence of adults, both general and on specific activities

requirements of the organisation or location to be visited

competence and behaviour of children

first aid cover

Volunteer ratios are difficult to prescribe as they will vary according to the activity, age, group, location and the efficient use of resources but must take the above factors into consideration as part of the risk assessment. However, a general guide for activities, in normal circumstances, might be:

1 adult for every 6 children in school years 1 to 3 (age 4 to 7) (under 5s should have a higher ratio)

1 adult for every 10-15 children in school years 4 to 6 (age 7 to 11)

1 adult for every 15-20 children in school year 7 onwards (age 7 to 17 inclusive)

The above are examples only. Volunteer leaders should assess the risks and consider an appropriate safe supervision level for their particular group. There should be a minimum of one Volunteer leader in charge.

In addition to the volunteer leader in charge there should be enough volunteers to cope effectively with an emergency.

Parents/Volunteers

Where there is more than one volunteer leader/supervisor a group leader should be appointed who has authority over the whole group. If more than group is involved, an overall group leader should be identified, usually the person with the most experience in leading activities.

Where a high adult child ratio is required, it is not always feasible to use Tennis League volunteers alone.

Parents/volunteers may be used to supplement the supervision ratio. They should be carefully selected and ideally they should be well known to the Tennis League and the child group. Anyone who has not had a criminal conviction check should never be left in sole charge of children.

Supervision

For the protection of both adults and children, all adult volunteers should ensure that they are not alone with a child wherever possible.

Volunteers' responsibilities

All adult volunteers, including group leaders and parent/volunteer helpers, must understand their roles and responsibilities at all times. It may be helpful to put this in writing. In particular, all volunteers should be aware of any children who may require closer supervision, such as those with special needs or those likely to cause trouble. Group leaders retain responsibility for the group at all times.

Head counts

Whatever the length and nature of the visit, regular head counting of children should take place, particularly before leaving any venue. All volunteers should carry a list of all children and adults involved in the activity at all times. Children, particularly in school years 1 to 3, should be easily identifiable, especially if the activity is in a densely populated area. Brightly coloured caps or T-shirts can help identify group members more easily. Children should not wear name badges. Consider providing children with badges displaying the name of the Tennis League and its emergency contact number. The group leader should establish rendezvous points and tell children what to do if they become separated from the group.

Remote supervision

The group leader should establish during the planning stage of the activity, whether the children are competent in remote supervision and should ensure parents have agreed this part of the activity. The group leader remains responsible for children even when not in direct contact with them.

Parents should be told, before the activity, whether any form of remote supervision will take place.

VOLUNTEERS CODE

A Child's safety and protection is paramount

1. Emphasise fun and enjoyment.

2. Ensure your players know the rules and encourage them to play by them.

3. Set good examples by being friendly to the opposition.

4. Praise children for controlling their tempers.

5. Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children's sporting activity, including the behaviour of parents and spectators of either team.

6. In the event of a game compromising the health and safety of a child, the volunteer reserves the right to:

a. Refuse to play or continue the game

b. Remove the players from the field of play

The following circumstances may necessitate the volunteer to implement the above:

i. no access for emergency services

ii. no access for wheel chairs, prams or other similar facilities

iii. where there is no first aid provision

iv. confrontation between the parties associated with each team

v. where parents and spectators are failing to adhere to the code of conduct

  7. Never shout, argue or swear at your team or the opposition.

  8. Don't use jargon or sarcasm.

  9. Respect the official's decision.

10. Encourage your team to shake hands at the end of the game.

11. A volunteer should consider substituting a player where they anticipate their behaviour may, lead to a confrontation.

12. Where volunteers fail to abide by the volunteers code of conduct, the Tennis League will institute disciplinary proceedings.

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PARENTS AND SPECTATORS

Parents and spectators have a great influence on children's enjoyment and success in Tennis. All children play Tennis first and foremost because they love the game - its fun. It is important to remember, that however good a child becomes at a sport within our League, it is vital for parents and spectators to give positive encouragement, which will contribute to:

Children enjoying Tennis

A sense of personal achievement

Self esteem

Help them understand the rules and encourage your child to play by them

Improving the child's skills and techniques

A parent's and spectator's expectations and attitude have a significant bearing on a child's attitude towards:

Other players

Officials

Managers

Spectators

Parents and spectators are expected to:

Be positive and encouraging towards all of the children, not just your own.

Applaud the opposition as well as our own team.

Give attention to each of the children involved in the game not just the most talented.

Respect the referees decision.

Remain a minimum of 12 yards from the pitch.

Not stand behind the scorers, batters or similar areas.

Show due respect for the opposition and match officials.

Parents and spectators must not:

Coach the children during the game.

Shout and scream.

Run up and down the side of the area of play.

Go on the area of play during the game.

Use or tolerate inappropriate language.

Parents and spectators are reminded that the children's enjoyment and development is paramount and winning is not.

====================================================================================================

Appendices

DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE

1. PHYSICAL ABUSE

Actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury or suffering to a child.

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.

Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child they are looking after (fabricated or induced illness).

 

The following are the most common Indicators of Physical Injury:

Bruises

Particular attention should be paid to bruising on the head or face (including eyes, ears and around the mouth). Bruises on shins and knees may be consistent with the normal activities of a young person, but marks on softer parts of the body e.g. inner thighs, arms, shoulders, neck or buttocks should be treated with suspicion. Attention should also be paid to finger-tip bruises (small round or oval) grasp marks on arms or chest, or hand prints and bruises with unusual outlines which may suggest the use of an implement such as a belt or stick.

Injuries to eyes

Blood spots can indicate abuse. Black eyes, in particular two black eyes, may indicate a fracture of the skull as a result of an assault. Bruising around the nose and forehead is more likely to be present with black eyes as a result of an accident.

Injuries to bones and joints

A fracture could be indicated if there are signs of severe, pain, loss of function, displacement or swelling. The most common fractures are to arms, legs and ribs.

Bites

These may show a marked 'edge' with an undamaged 'inner' or an outline of two sets of teeth in a round or oval shape.

Burns and scalds

These may include cigarette burns (circular, punched out, with a dark thick base appearance), burns on buttocks or scalds caused by immersion in hot water. Burns may be seen in unusual places such as the back of the hand. Care should be taken not to confuse these with conditions such as impetigo.

Internal injuries

Injuries within the abdomen can be life threatening e.g. a torn liver, spleen or ruptured intestine. These can be present without any bruising to the abdominal wall.

Injuries to the anal and genital areas

These may include bleeding or soreness (see Section on Sexual Abuse)

With all these injuries a number of other factors need to be taken into account, including whether the explanation matches the injury or if it appears inconsistent or vague. Suspicion of the use of any implement such as a stick or a belt should alert you. Any repetition or continuation of injuries e.g. bruises which appear to be of different ages may be significant when you are considering whether a child has been abused.

It should be noted that only a clinical medical officer or a consultant paediatrician should diagnose when an injury is non-accidental. It is not the responsibility of the Tennis League to determine the cause of an injury.

2. NEGLECT & FAILURE TO THRIVE

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

It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to the appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child's basic emotional needs.

Neglect is the most difficult form of abuse to detect, but the impact of neglect can damage the child right through to adulthood.

Children need loving care and concern, stimulation, praise and encouragement as well as sufficient food, warmth, clothing and medical care in order to grow and develop properly.

Indicators of neglect could include the following:

Lack of physical growth or erratic weight gains and losses, under nourishment, excessive appetite;

Poor physical appearance, the child may appear cold, dirty, inadequately clothed, and may have pale, mottled skin (particularly on hands and feet, which may also be swollen), thinning hair or bald patches, there may be recurrent infections;

The child may appear fearful, inappropriately wary, 'frozen' in one position, or be apathetic and dejected with a lack of responsiveness;

Developmental delay.

3. SEXUAL ABUSE

Sexual Abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.

The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape or buggery) or non-penetrative acts.

They may include non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at or in the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

The possibility of sexual abuse may be indicated by the presence of one or more of the following:

Injuries or soreness in the anal or genital area;

Sexualised behaviour;

Unusual/excessive sexual knowledge;

Pregnancy in a girl under the age of 16;

Sexual abuse can also include any of the following:

Inappropriate fondling or kissing;

Mutual masturbation;

Oral or genital contact;

Anal/vaginal intercourse;

Penetration by a finger or fingers;

Exposure to pornography;

Talk intended to create sexual arousal;

Exhibitionism (exposure of the genitals);

Voyeurism (obtaining sexual pleasure by watching sexual activity).

4. EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects of 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 feature age or developmental by inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.

It may involve 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 ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

The areas of concern are:

Rejection

Lack of praise and encouragement

Lack of comfort and love

Lack of attachment

Lack of proper stimulation e.g. fun and play

Lack of continuity of care e.g. frequent moves

Lack of appropriate handling relative to age

Inappropriate non-physical punishment

Serious over-protectiveness

Exposure to marital or family conflict and/or violence.

 

Forms

The following forms are a rough representation of the forms in the  paper document

REFERRAL TO THE 'DESIGNATED PERSON'

 

The Designated Person will require:

1. The name, date of birth and the home address of the child/young person;

2. The name and address of the person with parental responsibility for the young person;

3. A clear statement of any injuries, and if medical attention is required;

4. Any explanation or comment the young person or their parent/carer may have made for marks, injuries, or behaviour;

5. A general 'picture' of the young person in respect of how they normally present themselves at training sessions or activities.

 

Bolton Sports Federation Tennis League
Child Protection Referral Sheet

Name of child/young person d.o.b.
Address
 
Name and address of person with parental responsibility
 
Nature of concern/Details of the incident: date & time
 
Urgent action taken (if any)
 
Date referred to Designated Person
Name of Referrer
Referrer's relationship with parents (i.e. "Close", "Good", "Distant", "Poor".)
Name of Child/Young Person's General Practitioner
Has the Family been informed of the concerns?:
Any other relevant information e.g. relations with any other team member, changes in Attitude, behaviour, performance.
 
If any information is not available, or if you need help in completing this referral sheet, discuss the matter with the Designated Person.
 

 

Guidelines for Photography Proforma for Use of
Photographic Images Activities Registration Form

Guidelines on Use of Photographic and Filming Equipment at activities

The Tennis League is dedicated to the welfare and safety of its children and young people. As part of this commitment, the only photographs allowed at all Tennis League activities will be those taken by designated Tennis League/Club officials.

All young people photographed must be properly dressed.

Photographs or recordings should focus on the activity and not on a particular player.

Images should be recorded in groups of at least four players.

Images published should not be accompanied by full name and / or personal details of the players.

Images of a player who is subject to a court order must never be used.

Images must never be entered on to a computer.

Parents / carers / students must sign and return the 'Images Permission Form' at the start of each season.

 

Parental/Carer and Young Person Permission Form
or the Use of Photographs and Recorded Images

This form is to be signed by the Legal Guardian of a Child or Young Person under the age of 18, together with the Child or Young Person.

Please note that if you have more than one Child under the age of 18 registered with the Tennis League, you will need to complete separate forms for each Young Person.

The Tennis League recognises the need to ensure the welfare and safety of all children and young people in the Tennis League.
As part of our commitment to ensure the safety of children and young people we will not permit photographs, video images or other images of children and young people to be taken or used without the consent of the Parents/Carers and the child or young person.

 

Guidelines for Photography - Proforma for Use of Photographic Images

Registration Form

The Tennis League will follow the guidance for the use of images of Young People, as detailed within The Tennis League Child Protection and Procedures Policy (excerpt attached for information).

The Tennis League will take steps to ensure these images are used solely for the purposes they are intended, which is the promotion and celebration of the activities of The Tennis League.

If you become aware that these images are being used inappropriately, you should inform the Tennis League Child Protection Officer immediately.

If at any time either the Parent/Carer or the Young Person wishes the data to be removed from the website, 7 days' notice must be given to the Tennis League Welfare Officer after which the data will be removed.

 

To be completed by Parent/Carer
I
(Parent/Carer full name)
consent /do not consent to The Tennis League photographing  under the stated rules and conditions and I confirm I have legal  parental responsibility for this child and am entitled to give this consent.
I also confirm that there are no restrictions related to taking photos.
(name of Young Person)
Signature : Date:
 
To be completed by Young Person (if 12 years or older)
I
(Full Name of Young Person)
consent /do not consent to The Tennis League photographing my involvement in activities under the stated rules and conditions.
Signature : Date:

Conditions of use

1. This form is valid for one year from the date of signing. The consent will automatically expire after this time.

2. We will not re-use any images after this time.

3. We will not include details or full names (which means first name and surname) of any child or adult in printed publications, without good reason. For example, we may include the full name of a competition prize-winner if we have their consent.

4. We will not include personal e-mail or postal addresses, or telephone or fax numbers on our web site or in printed publications.

5. If we use images of individual children, we will not use the name of that child in the accompanying text or photo caption without good reason. And if a child is named in the text, we will not use a photograph of that child to accompany the article without good reason. For example, we may include a picture and full name of a competition prize-winner if we have their consent.

6. We may use group with very general labels, such as "Junior Inter-League team" or "Juniors training".

7. We will only use images of individuals who are suitably dressed, to reduce the risk of such images being used inappropriately.

 

GUIDELINES FOR DEALING WITH AN INCIDENT/ACCIDENT

Stay calm but act swiftly and observe the situation. Is there danger of further injuries?

Listen to what the injured person is saying.

Alert the first aider who should take appropriate action for minor injuries.

In the event of an injury requiring specialist treatment, call the emergency services.

Deal with the rest of the group and ensure they are adequately supervised.

Do not move someone with major injuries. Wait for the emergency medics.

Contact the injured person's parent/guardian.

Complete an incident/accident report form.

 

B.S.F. TENNIS LEAGUE ACCIDENT REPORT FORM

This form is to be completed by all Sections with regard to ANY ACCIDENT*
within 24 hours (or immediately on return from a game).

*An ACCIDENT is anything that may require further action to be taken.

Authorised Activity Organiser / Team Captain / Manager / Club Secretary:

(Please print in BLOCK CAPITALS)

Date of Accident:  Time of Accident:
Names of individuals involved in accident plus Club/team details:
Name: Club/team:
Name: Club/team:
Name: Club/team:
Name: Club/team:
Name: Club/team:
Name: Club/team:
Nature of Accident and Extent of Injury: (please give as much detail as possible)
 
 
 
Action Taken:
 
 
 
Cause of Accident:
 
 
 

 

ACCIDENT ACTION FOLLOW UP

1. Has the cause of the accident been investigated? Yes No
2. Was the accident due to insufficient training? Yes No

If yes, has the correct training been given or arranged?

Yes No
3. Was the accident due to faulty equipment or facilities? Yes No

If yes, have steps now been taken to rectify the situation?

Yes No

4. On a scale of 1 to 10 what do you rate the likelihood of the accident happening again?

1 = Never and 10 = often

 

Please explain what action you have taken to prevent this type of accident occurring again:

Relevant Contact Names, Addresses and Phone Numbers

Name: Name:
Address: Address:
   
Tel: Tel:
   
Name: Name:
Address: Address:
   
Tel: Tel:

Tennis League Member Completing This Form:

Position in Club

Signed

Date

Signed - Chair/Secretary

Date

 FOR LEAGUE/FACILITY USE ONLY

Date Form Received:  
Action Taken: Copy to parent/carer if a young person was involved
 
 
Signed Date

 

Private Vehicle Registration Form

To be completed by Volunteer Tennis League Drivers

Purpose of the form

To register the private vehicles used for the transportation of individuals in connection with Tennis League activities.

To inform drivers of the need to amend their insurance, if they intend to use their vehicle on behalf of the Tennis League and if passengers are being carried in connection with Tennis League activities . The form must be completed by the driver of any private vehicle used for the transportation of individuals to and from the Tennis League activity on behalf of the Tennis League.

Completed forms must be handed to the Tennis League Secretary or Chair.

Driver Details

Vehicle Details

Full Name:

Registration No:

Colour

Name of Registered Keeper

Postcode

Make

Tel:

Model

Driving licence No and type (e.g. full)

Other members authorized to drive the vehicle:

MOT Expiry Date:

Insurance Company:

Insurance Expiry Date:

Road Tax Expiry Date:

 

Private Vehicle Registration Form

Declaration

Please tick each box

I have informed the insurance company of my intention to transport members, on behalf of the Tennis League.
I have stated if I will be claiming expenses in connection with this additional use.
 
I have extended the policy and paid any additional premium as required by the insurance company.
 
 
My vehicle is roadworthy and complies with all current traffic legislation
 
 
I will inform all passengers of the legal requirements to wear seat belts when the above vehicle is being used
on behalf of the Tennis League.
 
I am aware that it is not good practice to give individual Children and Young People a lift on their own.
 
 
I declare that the information stated here is correct and that I will inform the Tennis League of any changes.
 
 

 

Signed
Print Name
Date

 

B.S.F. Tennis League
Approved Driver

Name  
Registration Number  
Signed Date
Tennis League Chair/Secretary  

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