Child Welfare Policy
All sporting organisations which make provision for children and young people must ensure that:
- The welfare of the child is paramount.
- All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All involved have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.
Solutions Swim School has a duty of care to safeguard all children, involved in Solutions Swim School, from harm. All children have a right to protection and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. Solutions Swim School will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in Solutions Swim School through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted.
As per the 'Children's Act 1989' with regard to our policy, a child is defined as a person under the age of 18.
The aim of Solutions Swim School Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice:
- Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of Solutions Swim School
- Allow all involved to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues
All those involved in Solution Swim School should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate:
- Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets).
- Treating all young people/adults equally and with respect & dignity.
- Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.
- Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance when with the children.
- Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision making process.
- Making sport fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play.
- Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to the guidelines provided by the Coach Education Programme. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. Young people should always be consulted and their agreement gained. Some parents are becoming increasingly sensitive about manual support and their views should always be carefully considered.
- Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance in sport.
- Involving parents and/or carers wherever possible e.g. expecting them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms.
- Being an excellent role model - this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people.
- Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
- Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people - avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.
- Securing parental consent through the registration process, to act in loco parentis if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or medical treatment.
- Recording details of any injury that occurs, together with details of any treatment given, using the Centre's reporting procedures.
- Not spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.
- Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
- Allow children to use any inappropriate language unchallenged.
- Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
- Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
- Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
- Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.
- If you accidentally hurt a child.
- If he/she seems distressed in any way.
- If the child appears to be sexually aroused by your actions.
- If there is a misunderstanding or a misinterpretation of something you have done.
There is evidence to suggest that some people have used swimming as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of children in vulnerable positions. All involved, particularly all teachers and all parents are asked to be vigilant and any concerns should be reported, initially to the teachers and to any of the Solutions partners.
Solutions Swim School recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children:
- All staff complete an application form which will elicit information about an applicant's past and a self-disclosure about any criminal record.
- Consent is taken from an applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau.
- Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children are taken.
- Evidence of identity is required - driving licence or passport with photo.
- Teaching staff are required to attend recognised Continual Professional Development (CPD) training courses which include child protection awareness training, to ensure the development of a positive culture towards good practice and child protection.
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in Solutions Swim School to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.
Solutions Swim School assure all staff that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.
Detailed procedures are well documented by the Governing Body and by the NSPCC through their Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) - these are documented on their web site and can be made available by contacting the partners of Solutions Swim School.
"Please help us create a safe environment for your children"