Child Protection Policies and Guidelines
(Adapted from ECB Guidance)
The following are the principles upon which the Club's Child Protection Policy is based:
- the Club aims to provide the highest standards of coaching and cricket facilities for its Colts section;
- the Club acknowledges that an environment of care, patience, understanding and encouragement is the most effective way to deal with young cricketers;
- the Club has a firm commitment to the health, safety and welfare of the colts;
- the Club is committed to protect all colts from any form of abuse and discrimination;
- the Club is committed to following the ECB's 'Safe Hands' policy and has adopted it in its constitution.
WHAT IS ABUSE?
Child abuse is the term used to describe ways in which children are harmed, the following being the main forms of abuse:
- Physical abuse
This occurs when striking, hitting, shaking, squeezing, biting, burning or exerting excessive force on a child.
- Sexual abuse
This occurs when adults seek their own sexual gratification from youngsters.
This arises when an adult fails to meet or supervise the basic needs of a child, with regard to food, warmth, hygiene, clothing and medical care.
- Emotional abuse
This occurs where a child is threatened, taunted, shouted at or berated, or where effort or progress is ignored.
In addition, it is acknowledged that as well as abuse by adults, children can abuse other children, for example by bullying and name-calling.
RECOGNISING AND REPORTING OF ABUSE
Colts coaches, team managers and authorised helpers are responsible for protecting children in their charge from all forms of abuse and discrimination and to ensure that they receive equal treatment, regardless of age, sex, race, culture, religion, language or ability.
The coaches, etc, therefore, need to be aware of the different types of abuse, how to recognise it and what steps to take to prevent it.
The coaches, etc are not responsible for determining whether or not abuse has taken place, but if they have any suspicion of this, they are responsible for alerting a Club Welfare Officer, who will then contact the appropriate agencies so that they can make enquiries and take the necessary action. Reporting of such matters should never be delayed.
SUPPORT FROM THE CLUB
Any coach, team manager or other person who reports suspected abuse will be supported fully by the Club's General Committee.
It is expected that the report will be made by the Club Welfare Officers to the authorities on a confidential basis, and that the Club Welfare Officers will advise the Colts Manager, or Director of Cricket, or Chairman as appropriate.
Should it be proven subsequently that abuse had occurred; the Club will deal severely with any perpetrator.
CHILD PROTECTION ACTION
The Club has developed the following child protection procedures in place:
- Good practice guidelines for coaches, team managers and authorised helpers;
- Indicators for the recognition of abuse;
- Details of the local agencies for the reporting of abuse;
- Declaration forms, to be signed by all coaches, team managers and authorised helpers, regarding previous criminal history.
It is the responsibility of the Colts Manager to ensure that all coaches, team managers and authorised helpers are issued with this policy document, the good practice guidelines and the local contact list. The Colts Manager is also responsible for ensuring that each one of them signs the declaration form.
GOOD PRACTICE GUIDELINES IN THE CARE OF COLTS
(Issued to all coaches, team managers and authorised helpers)
Coaches, team managers and authorised helpers (i.e. coaches, etc.) should be sensitive to any concerns about abuse and act on them at an early stage. They should also offer appropriate support to those who report concerns.
Good Practice in the Care of Children
The following are examples of care that should be taken when dealing with colts:
- Always be publicly open when working with children. Avoid situations where you are working completely unobserved;
- Wherever possible, parents should take on the responsibility for their children in the changing rooms. If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure coaches, etc work in pairs. Encourage an open environment (i.e. no secrets);
- Where there are mixed teams, a male and female coach/helper should always accompany them;
- If any form of manual support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines provided by the ECB. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. Parents' views should always be obtained in advance;
- If you accidentally hurt a child, if he/she seems distressed in any manner, or if he/she appears to be sexually aroused by your actions, report the incident immediately to another colleague. You should also make a brief written note of the incident and ensure that the parents are informed;
- Do not spend excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others;
- Never take children alone on car journeys, however short, except with the express consent of the parents or team manager;
- Never take children to your home where they will be alone with you;
- Never engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay;
- Never share a room with a child;
Never allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching;
- Never allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged;
- Never make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun;
- Never do things of a personal nature for children they can do for themselves;
- Never allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
Listening to Children
The first responses to child abuse are crucial, regardless of how knowledge of the abuse arises. Often children will be frightened, confused and feeling vulnerable. Listen carefully to the child. He/she should be reassured in a calm manner that they are safe, and have done the right thing by telling.
- keep calm and reassure the child or whoever discloses;
- listen carefully to any disclosures;
- emphasise that any claims are being taken seriously;
- say that it will be necessary to involve someone else, to ensure that the abuse stops;
- take accurate, factual notes (e.g. names, times, dates and places, details of any visible injuries and a description of the allegation);
- report the incident or allegation to one of the Club Welfare Officers.
- make judgements;
- agree to keep secrets;
- approach the alleged abuser.
Typical indicators of abuse include the following, but this list is not exhaustive:
- Injuries that are inconsistent with normal play or sports injuries, of an unusual type or in an unusual location on the body;
- Inconsistent or unreasonable explanations of injuries by a child or parent;
- Inconsistent or inappropriate behaviour, such as sexually suggestive remarks or actions, mood swings, uncharacteristic quietness/aggression, or severe tantrums;
- Social isolation;
- Over or under-eating, weight gain or loss;
- Inappropriate, unkempt or dirty clothing;
- Self inflicting injury;
- Open distrust of, or discomfort with a parent or coach, etc;
- Delayed social development, poor language or speech;
- Excessively nervous behaviour, such as rocking or twisting hair;
- Low self esteem.
Additional indicators, which may also signal sexual abuse, include:
- Recurring abdominal pain;
- Reluctance to go home;
- Recurring headaches;
- Flinching when approached or touched.
COMMON SITES FOR NON-ACCIDENTAL INJURY
The most common sites for non-accidental injury are:
- Ears – pinch or slap marks, bruising;
- Cheek and side of face – bruising, finger marks;
- Eyes – bruising, particularly both eyes;
- Mouth – torn frenulum;
- Skull – fracture, bruising or bleeding under skull (from shaking);
- Shoulders and neck – bruising, grasp marks;
- Chest and upper and inner arms – bruising, grasp marks;
- Back, buttocks and thighs – linear bruising, outline of belt/buckle, scalds/burns;
- Genitals – bruising;
- Knees – grasp marks.
Bruises are likely to be frequent, patterned (e.g. finger and thumb mark) and old and new in the same place.
Burns and scalds are likely to have clear outline, splash marks around burn area, unusual position (e.g. back of hand) and indicative shapes (e.g. cigarette burns, bar of electric fire).
Suspicious injuries are bite marks, fingernail marks, large and deep scratches or incisions (e.g. razor blades)
Sexual abuse may result in unexplained soreness, bleeding or injury in genital or anal area.