Langlands Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8BN

Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy

ST ANDREWS UNITED FC

CHILD WELLBEING AND PROTECTION POLICY
30th September 2022

Introduction

St Andrews United is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all players in its care.  The Club recognises its responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect players from harm, abuse and exploitation.  To help achieve this, the Club has in place the appropriate people, policies, procedures and practices to ensure the safety and wellbeing of players under its jurisdiction.

The wellbeing and protection of all children and young people is the responsibility of everyone within membership of the East of Scotland Football League regardless of their role. With this in mind, the following points are highlighted:

Please support us in these efforts by familiarising yourself with our Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy. This can be found online at teamwebsites.co.uk/clubs/standrewsunited

Donald Gellatly

Co-Chair/Secretary
St Andrews United FC
30th September 2021

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY STATEMENT

St Andrews United is fully committed to promoting, supporting and safeguarding the wellbeing of all children in its care. We recognise the child’s rights to protection as provided in Article 19 of the UNCRC: all forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.  ‘Child protection’ means protecting a child from child abuse or neglect, as stated within the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2014. 

For the purposes of this policy a child is recognised as someone under the age of 18 years.  This policy applies to all children regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion, socio-economic status or family circumstance.

St Andrews United will:

Review

This policy and associated procedures will be regularly reviewed and will include children’s participation and feedback on the content and actual experience of implementation as part of the review:

Review

St Andrews United is fully committed to embedding a rights-based approach in Scottish football.  We recognise and work within the general principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) for the best interests of the child, non-discrimination, participation as well as survival and development. 

For the purposes of this policy a child is recognised as someone under the age of 18 years.  This policy applies to all children regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion, socio-economic status or family circumstance.

St Andrews United will:

Review

This policy and associated policies, procedures and safeguards will be regularly reviewed and will include children’s participation and feedback on the content and actual experience of implementation as part of the review:

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY STATEMENT

St Andrews United is fully committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of all children in its care. We understand that children’s wellbeing can be seriously impacted by bullying behaviour.  St Andrews United therefore recognises the information provided for children by respectme, Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service: ‘Bullying is never acceptable; it doesn’t make a child better or stronger to get through it and it should never be seen as a normal part of growing up.  Bullying is a behaviour that can make a child feel frightened, threatened, left out and hurt.  Something only has to happen once to make a child feel worried or scared to go to school or other places they enjoy going’.

For the purposes of this policy a child is recognised as someone under the age of 18 years.  This policy applies to all children regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion, socio-economic status or family circumstance. St Andrews United will:

Review

This Policy and guidelines will be regularly reviewed and will include children’s participation and feedback on the content and actual experience of implementation as part of the review:

ANTI-BULLYING GUIDELINES

Bullying can take some children’s rights away from them. There have been many different definitions and theories about what constitutes bullying, but it’s not helpful to define bullying purely in terms of behaviour.  Bullying is a mixture of behaviours and impacts, behaviours that can impact on a person’s capacity to feel in control of themselves.  This is what is termed as their sense of ‘agency’.  Bullying takes place in the context of relationships; it is behaviour that can make people feel hurt, threatened, frightened and left out, it strips a person of their capacity for agency.

Bullying may be seen as particularly hurtful behaviour where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. It can be a ‘one-off’ occurrence or repeated over a period of time, and can take many forms including children being bullied by adults, their peers and in some cases by members of their families. Bullying can be difficult to identify because it often happens away from others and those who are bullied often do not tell anyone. Bullying is not always deliberate. 

Bullying behaviours can be:

When talking about bullying, it’s never helpful to label children as ‘bullies’ or ‘victims’. Labels can stick for life and can isolate a child, rather than helping them to recover or change their behaviour.  It is preferable to talk about someone displaying bullying behaviour rather than label them a ‘bully’ – behaviour can be changed with help and support.

Support for children involved in bullying behaviour:

These guidelines have been informed and developed with support from respectme, their publication ‘Bullying in Scotland 2014’ and the National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People, Scottish Government 2010.  Copyright remains with respectme and we acknowledge all and any material taken from www.respectme.org.uk.

CONCERN RECORDING FORM

This form must be completed as soon as possible after receiving information that causes a concern.  Contact Leo Micallef, Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer on 07427 673958 or leomicallef@live.co.uk to report the concern then email the completed form to leomicallef@live.co.uk as soon as possible after completion; do not delay by attempting to obtain information to complete all sections.  Please do not keep any electronic, printed or written versions of this form.  It is important to maintain confidentiality to delete or shred as soon as the information has been passed on.

Complete Part A where the concern relates to the wellbeing of a child and/or Part B where the concern relates to the conduct of an adult.  Finally, complete Part C to provide your contact information.

PART A – WHERE THERE ARE CONCERNS ABOUT THE WELLBEING OF A CHILD

(SAFE, HEALTHY, ACTIVE, NURTURED, ACHIEVING, RESPECTED, RESPONSIBLE, INCLUDED)

  1. Child’s Details

Name:Date of Birth: 

Address:  Post Code:Tel No:

Child’s Named Person: (if known)Named Person Tel No:  

Preferred Language: Is an interpreter required? YES / NO

Any Additional Needs?  

  • Details of situation giving rise to concerns

(including date, time, location, nature of concern, who, what, where, when, why)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

  • Details of any witnesses/other people involved

(including names, addresses and telephone contacts)

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

  • Details of any injuries

(including all injuries sustained, location of injury and action taken)

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

  •  Child’s views on situation (if expressed).
     
    (Where possible, please use the child’s own words)

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

PART B – WHERE THERE ARE CONCERNS ABOUT THE CONDUCT OF AN ADULT

1.         Details of adult where there are concerns about their conduct

Name: Tel No:

Address:  Post Code:Relationship to Child:

2.         Details of concerns

      (including date, time, location, nature of concern, who, what, where, when, why,   continue on a separate sheet if necessary)

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

3.         Details of any action taken

………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

4.         Details of agencies contacted

(including date, time, name of person contacted and advice received)

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

5.         Have the child’s parents/carers been informed?              YES / NO

(delete as appropriate)

If yes, record details / If no, please state why not

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

PART C – YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION

Details of Person Recording Concerns

Name: Tel No:

Address:  Post Code:Position/Role:

Signed:             Date:               _________

CONCERN RECORDING FORM

This form must be completed as soon as possible after receiving information that causes a concern.  Contact Leo Micallef, Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer on 07427 673958 or leomicallef@live.co.uk to report the concern then email the completed form to leomicallef@live.co.uk as soon as possible after completion; do not delay by attempting to obtain information to complete all sections.  Please do not keep any electronic, printed or written versions of this form.  It is important to maintain confidentiality to delete or shred as soon as the information has been passed on.

Complete Part A where the concern relates to the wellbeing of a child and/or Part B where the concern relates to the conduct of an adult.  Finally, complete Part C to provide your contact information.

SAFEGUARDS

The following safeguards are a combination of best practice and guidelines to support children and adults in a range of situations.  Their purpose is to minimise risks that have been identified through previous experience and risk assessment.  Not every situation can be prepared for, however the following are circumstances which need an informed approach and common sense applied.  These include:

BEHAVIOURS:CHILDREN’S HEALTH:

Managing BehaviourPhysical ContactSexual ActivityFirst Aid and Treatment of InjuriesResponding to Allergies

CELEBRATION & COMMUNICATION: Safe Use of Images of U18 PlayersICT & Social MediaPLANNING & ORGANISATION Adult to Child RatiosCollection by Parents/CarersSafe Use of Changing FacilitiesTransporting ChildrenTrips Away from Home

Recognising that circumstances will always be different these safeguards provide generic advice which can be applied as appropriately considered by the member of staff or volunteer who is responsible at a particular time or in preparation of a specific activity.

BEHAVIOURS: MANAGING BEHAVIOUR

From time to time members of staff and volunteers delivering football to children may be required to deal with a child’s behaviour that they find challenging.  These guidelines aim to promote good practice which can help support children to manage their own behaviour.  They suggest some strategies and sanctions which can be used and also identify unacceptable actions or interventions which must never be used by members of staff or volunteers.

These guidelines are based on the following principles:

Planning Activities

Good coaching practice requires planning sessions around the group as a whole but also involves taking into consideration the needs of each individual player within that group. As part of a risk assessment, coaches should consider whether any members of the group have presented challenges in the past or are likely to present any difficulties in relation to the tasks involved, the other participants or the environment.

Where members of staff and volunteers identify any potential risks, strategies to manage those risks should be agreed in advance of the session, event or activity. The risk assessment should also identify the appropriate number of adults required to safely manage and support the session including being able to adequately respond to any behaviour and to safeguard other members of the group and the members of staff and volunteers involved.

All those delivering activities to children should receive training on these guidelines and should be supported to address issues of behaviour through regular supervision.

Agreeing Acceptable and Unacceptable Behaviours

Staff, volunteers, children and parents/carers should be involved in developing an agreed statement of what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. They should also agree upon the range of options which may be applied in response to unacceptable behaviour (e.g. dropped from the team for one game etc). This can be done at the start of the season, in advance of a trip away from home or as part of a welcome session.

Issues of behaviour and control should regularly be discussed with members of staff, volunteers, parents/carers and children in the context of rights and responsibilities.  It is beneficial to ask children as a group to set out what behaviour they find acceptable and unacceptable within their group or team.  It is also helpful to ask them what the consequences of breaking the ‘agreement’ should be.  Experience shows that they will tend to come up with a sensible and working ‘agreement’.  If and when such a list is compiled, every member of the group can be asked to sign it, as can new members as they join.  It can then be beneficial to have a copy of the ‘agreement’ visible for reference during the activity.

Managing Behaviour

In dealing with children who display risk-taking or unacceptable behaviours, members of staff and volunteers might consider the following options:

Adults and children shall never be permitted to use any of the following as a means of managing a child’s behaviour:

Members of staff and volunteers should review the needs of any child on whom consequences are frequently imposed. This review should involve the child and parents/carers to ensure an informed decision is made about the child’s future or continued participation in the group or team. Whilst it would always be against the wishes of everyone involved in the club, ultimately, if a child continues to present a high level of risk or danger to him or herself, or others, he or she may not be able to continue participating.

Physical Interventions

The use of physical interventions should always be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary in order to prevent a child injuring themselves, injuring others or causing serious damage to property.  All forms of physical intervention shall form part of a broader approach to the management of behaviour.

Physical contact to prevent something happening should always be the result of conscious decision-making and not a reaction.  Before physically intervening, the member of staff or volunteer should ask themselves, ‘Is this the only option in order to manage the situation and ensure safety?’  The following must always be considered:

Contact should be avoided with buttocks, genitals and breasts. Members of staff and volunteers should never behave in a way which could be interpreted as sexual.

Any physical intervention used should be recorded as soon as possible after the incident by the member of staff and/or volunteers involved using the Concern Recording Form, reported to and passed to Leo Micallef, Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer, leomicallef@live.co.uk as soon as possible.  In terms of wellbeing indicators, safety and any others in relation to the circumstances would be highlighted in terms of their behaviour risking their wellbeing.

A timely debrief for members of staff and volunteers, the child and parents/carers should always take place following an incident where physical intervention has been used. This should include ensuring that the physical and emotional wellbeing of those involved has been addressed and ongoing support offered where necessary.  Members of staff and volunteers, children and parents/carers should be given an opportunity to talk about what happened in a calm and safe environment.  There should also be a discussion with the child and parents/carers about the child’s needs and continued safe participation in the group, team or activity.

PHYSICAL CONTACT

All forms of physical contact should respect and be sensitive to the needs and wishes of the child and should take place in a culture of dignity and respect for all children. Children should be encouraged to express their views on physical contact.

In the first instance, coaching techniques should be delivered by demonstration (either by the coach or a player who can display the technique being taught). Educational instruction should be clearly explained with a description of how it is proposed to handle or have contact with the child before doing so.

This should be accompanied by asking if the child is comfortable. Manual support should be provided openly and must always be proportionate to the circumstances.

If it is necessary to help a child with personal tasks e.g. toileting or changing, the child and parents/carers should be encouraged to express a preference regarding the support and should be encouraged to speak out about methods of support with which they are uncomfortable. Members of staff and volunteers should work with parents/carers and children to develop practiced routines for personal care so that parents/carers and children know what to expect. Do not take on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained e.g. manual assistance for a child with a physical disability.

SEXUAL ACTIVITY

Within football, as within other activities, sexual relationships do occur.  It is important to address sexual activity both between children and between adults and children.

Sexual activity between children involved in football is prohibited during team events, in facilities and social activities organised by the club.  Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by a child may lead to the information being shared with the child’s Named Person and may lead to reports being made to external agencies such as the police or social services.

Sexual interactions between adults and children (16+) involved in football raise serious issues given the power imbalance inherent in the relationship. Where a child is of the age of consent, the power of the adult over that child may influence their ability to genuinely consent to sexual activity. A coach or other adult in a position of authority may have significant power or influence over a child’s career.

Sexual activity between adults and children (16+) involved in football is prohibited when the adult is in a position of trust or authority (coach, trainer, official) where they have signed the Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Children’s Wellbeing.  Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by an adult will lead to suspension and disciplinary action in accordance with St Andrews Uniteds Disciplinary Procedures which in the case of criminal behaviour must include contacting the police.

Sexual activity between adults and children under the age of 16 is a criminal act and immediate action must be taken to report it to the police.

CELEBRATION & COMMUNICATION

SAFE USE OF IMAGES OF U18 PLAYERS

Photographs, films and video clips can be used to celebrate achievements, promote activities and keep people updated.  Footage is also recorded for performance development and analysis reasons.  The aim of these guidelines is not to curb such activity but to ensure that children are protected from those who would seek to take or manipulate photos and video footage in a way that harms children or places them at risk of harm.

PERMISSION

Children and their parents/carers will be informed that the child may, from time to time, be photographed or filmed whilst participating in football. This could be for one of the following reasons:

USE OF IMAGES AND INFORMATION

General:

Taking of Images:

Matches / Events:

Storage and Retention of Images:

Misuse of an Image:

CONCERNS

CONCERNS

There are various ways in which we can celebrate and communicate using ICT and social media. Technology advances extremely quickly, meaning ways in which we communicate and receive and absorb information are changing all the time.  Depending on the football activity that each child is involved with, the club may contact children and their parents/carers via text/email or possibly through social networking sites.

Our website hosts a range of information, photographs and videos which is available for all members of the public.   However misuse of ICT and social media can also put children at considerable risk.  There are some adults who seek to harm children have been known to use messaging or areas online to “groom” children.

For children the safeguarding risks of these technologies include:

For adults, risks involved include:

TEXT / EMAIL

Members of staff and volunteers must consider whether it is necessary to communicate with children via text and email. The general principle is that all communications with children should be open, transparent and appropriate.  Good practice would include agreeing with children and parents/carers what kind of information will be communicated directly to children by text message. In the first instance parent/carer consent must be obtained for all children under 16 years.  Contact should always be made at the phone number/email address the parent/carer has provided on the child’s behalf.  Parents/carers should be offered the option to be copied in to any messages their child will be sent.  Although consent is not legally required for young people aged 16 and 17 years, it is still recommended that parents/carers are informed of the intention to send their child(ren) emails or texts.

The following good practice is therefore required:

INTERNET / WEBSITE

The club may post information, photographs and videos on our website which is available to all members of the public. In terms of publishing anything that includes a child, the following good practice should be followed:

Permission

Use of Images and Information

Concerns

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Where the club allows mutual access to social networking sites:

Permission

Concerns

INTERNET FORUMS

There has been an increase in the use and abuse of internet forums to target individuals or to engage contributors in debates which can cause upset and embarrassment to children. Sites should be well monitored and any offending comments removed.

A member of staff or volunteer should refrain from being drawn into any debates concerning selection, performance or personalities – even where the subject of the discussion is anonymous. This could be considered a breach of the Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Children’s Wellbeing.

MOBILE PHONE CAMERAS / VIDEOS

There have already been a number of cases where children have been placed at risk as a result of the ability to discreetly record and transit images through mobile phones. There is also scope for humiliation and embarrassment if films or images are shared on popular websites such as YouTube. The use of mobile phones in this way can be very difficult to monitor.

The guidelines for Safe Use of Images of U18 Players should be observed in relation to the use of mobile phones as cameras/videos. Particular care is required in areas where personal privacy is important e.g. changing rooms, bathrooms and sleeping areas. No photographs or video footage should ever be permitted in such areas of personal privacy.

CHILDREN’S HEALTH

FIRST AID AND THE TREATMENT OF INJURIES

All members of staff and volunteers must ensure:

CHILDREN WITH ALLERGIES

The club has a duty to be inclusive and to provide opportunities for children of all abilities and regardless of any medical conditions, disabilities or allergies which they may have.  These guidelines focus on how members of staff and volunteers should respond to children with allergies, as they have a responsibility to ensure their wellbeing whilst they are attending their football activity.

However, it is equally important that children with medical conditions or allergies are not unnecessarily excluded from taking part in activities with their peers and that reasonable steps are taken to accommodate their individual needs.

Parent/Carer Responsibility

When a child joins a football activity, parents/carers should:

Ensure if the child has a ‘rescue pack’ that, if necessary, this is given to the member of staff or volunteer. This may include antihistamines for mild reactions, possibly an inhaler and may have two adrenaline injectors for more serious reactions e.g. anaphylaxis.

East of Scotland Football League’s Responsibility

Members of staff and volunteers should:

PLANNING & ORGANISATION

ADULT TO CHILD RATIOS

As a general guide, the following ratios are recommended:

Age: 3 and over                             1:8

If all children are over 8               1:10

All activities should be planned to involve at least two adults.  The following factors will also be taken into consideration in deciding how many adults are required to safely supervise children:

COLLECTION BY PARENTS/CARERS

On some occasions, parents/carers can be late when picking their child up at the end of a football activity.  It is not the responsibility of the club to transport children home on behalf of parents/carers who have been delayed.

It is therefore important for the guidelines below to be followed:

Make sure that the club paperwork or communications:

Make sure that the club paperwork or communications:

Where possible make sure that there is more than one member of staff or volunteer at the end of the football activity.

Members of staff and volunteers will know how to deal with being left alone with a child.  Put preventative measures in place (points 1 and 2) and agree simple steps about how the situation should be dealt with if it arises. Although as a general rule we should not put ourselves in the position of being alone with a child there are exceptions and this situation is one of them. Remember the wellbeing and best interests of the child are paramount and have to take precedence, so leaving children alone is not an option.

Members of staff and volunteers should have access to a record of the child’s address, contact telephone number and an alternative phone number e.g. of a grandparent or other responsible adult.  You need this information to contact the adult responsible for the child and ask them to collect the child.  If you are unable to contact anyone then you have to make a decision of whether to take the child home yourself (see point 5) or call the police (point 6).

If you are left alone with a child then transparency is the key.  Keep a record of your actions (use the guidelines in Transporting Children and make sure that you inform Leo Micallef, Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer, leomicallef@live.co.uk and parents/carers as soon as possible.

When all else fails call the police.

SAFE USE OF CHANGING FACILITIES

One of the areas where children are particularly vulnerable at football facilities is the locker / changing / shower room. Limited changing facilities sometimes mean that people of all ages regularly need to change and shower during the same period.

To avoid possible misunderstandings and embarrassing situations, adults need to exercise care when in the changing room at the same time as children. However, bullying can be an issue where children are left unsupervised and a balance should be struck depending on the situation. In general it is better if one adult is not alone to supervise and extra vigilance may also be required if there is public access to the facility. If, in an emergency, a male has to enter a female changing area, or vice versa, another adult of the opposite gender should accompany him or her.

The following guidelines should be followed:

TRANSPORTING CHILDREN

Where it is necessary to transport children, the following good practice is required:

Where parents/carers make arrangements for the transportation of children to and from the activity, out with the knowledge of the club it will be the responsibility of the parents/carers to satisfy themselves about the appropriateness and safety of the arrangements.

Where the club makes arrangements for the transportation of children the members of staff or volunteers involved will undertake a risk assessment of the transportation required. This will include an assessment of the following areas:

Where transport arrangements are being made overseas, members of staff and volunteers will be aware of the risk assessment and plans in place for transporting the children, then able to inform parents/carers.

When transporting children, wherever possible they should be in the back seat of the car for health and safety reasons.

Where practicable and planned, written parent/carer consent will be requested or included within the Consent Form – U18 Players if members of staff and volunteers are required to transport children:

TRIPS AWAY FROM HOME (INCLUDING OVERNIGHT STAYS)

1. Designate a Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer for the Trip

Those in charge of the squad will be responsible for the safety and wellbeing of children in their care. It is essential that a member of staff designated as Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer coordinate the arrangements to safeguard the wellbeing of children during the trip. The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer should ensure all practical arrangements have been addressed and act as the main contact for dealing with any concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children whilst away from home.  A detailed itinerary will be prepared and copies provided to the designated contact for the club and parents/carers, including the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer contact details during the trip.

2. Risk Assessment

Potential areas of risk should be identified at the planning stage through a risk assessment, which should be recorded in writing. Safeguards should be put in place to manage the risks, where appropriate. Risk assessment should be an ongoing process throughout the trip as unexpected situations can happen!

3. Travel Arrangements

Members of staff and volunteers must ensure there is adequate and relevant insurance cover (including travel and medical insurance). If the trip involves travel overseas, organisers shall ensure they are aware of local procedures for dealing with concerns about the wellbeing of children and are familiar with the details of the emergency services in the location of the visit.  Children should be informed of any local customs. For more details see Transporting Children.

4. Adult to Child Ratios

All trips away should be planned to involve at least two adults.  The guidelines on Adult to Child Ratios will inform an assessment of the numbers of adults required to safely supervise the squad.  Where relevant those involved should be recruited and selected in accordance with the Appointment and Selection of Adults in Regulated Work with Children Procedure.   Everyone travelling should be familiar with and agree to abide by the club’s Child Wellbeing and Protection in Scottish Football Policies, Procedures and Safeguards.

5. Accommodation

Members of staff and volunteers should find out as much as possible about the accommodation and the surroundings at the planning stage to help identify all practical issues and allow time to address them in advance, in consultation with children and parents/carers where appropriate.  The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the practical things which should be considered in advance about the arrangements for accommodation:

Exchange Visits / Hosting

Before departure, members of staff and volunteers should ensure there is a shared understanding of the standards expected during home stays between them, host organisation/families, parents/carers and children themselves. These standards should include arrangements for the supervision of children during the visit. Host families should be appropriately vetted (adults should be PVG Scheme members) where possible or equivalent police checks undertaken and references thoroughly checked. Members of staff, volunteers, parents/carers and children should all be provided with a copy of emergency contact numbers. Children should be aware of who they should talk to if problems arise during the visit. Daily contact should be made with all children to ensure they are safe and well.

Residential at a Facility / Centre

Members of staff and volunteers should ensure the facility is appropriately licensed and has adequate and relevant insurance cover in place. The facility should have policies on Child Wellbeing / Protection and Health & Safety. Adequate security arrangements should be in place and facility staff should have been appropriately vetted. Facility staff involved in the training or instruction of children must be appropriately qualified and trained. Members of staff should ensure there is adequate supervision of the group for the duration of the stay, particularly when the facility is being shared with other groups.

6. Involving Parents/Carers

Where possible, a meeting should be held with parents/carers before departure to share information about the trip, answer their questions and make joint decisions about arrangements where appropriate. A Code of Conduct shall be agreed with children and parents/carers in advance of the trip along with sanctions for unacceptable behaviour. Parents/carers must complete a Consent Form – U18 Players and provide emergency contact details.

In the event of an emergency at home during the trip, parents/carers should be encouraged to make contact with the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer in the first instance so that arrangements can be put in to place to support the child on hearing any distressing news.

7. During the Trip

Members of staff and volunteers must ensure arrangements are in place for the supervision and risk assessment of activities during free time. Children shall not be allowed to wander alone in unfamiliar places.

Members of staff and volunteers should have clear roles and responsibilities for the duration of the trip. They must not be over familiar with or fraternise with children during the trip and remember that they are in a position of trust at all times.

The use of alcohol and/or drugs or engaging in sexual relationships (between two young people) should not be condoned during the trip, even if the legislation relating to any of these behaviours is more lenient than in Scotland.

Members of staff should maintain an overview of the wellbeing of all children during the trip. This can help to identify issues at an early stage and resolve them as quickly as possible. Children can participate in this process by, for example, taking turns to complete a daily diary about the trip.

This can be an overt or discreet way for them to communicate things (both positive and negative) that they want you to know.  Children should also know who they can talk to or speak directly with the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer if they have any worries or concerns while away from home.

8. After the Trip

Where appropriate, a debrief will take place with all those involved in the trip, including children. This will provide an opportunity to reflect on what went well, not so well and what could have been done differently. Feedback will be used to inform future trips.

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN’S WELLBEING

This Code of Conduct details the standards and practice required by all East of Scotland Football League volunteers and members of staff, including verbal and non-verbal actions when involved in activities with children and young people.  For the purposes of Child Wellbeing and Protection, we include all activities within St Andrews United with children and young people under the ages of 18 years old.

All concerns about breach of this Code of Conduct will be taken seriously and responded to in line with St Andrews United’s Responding to Concerns about the Conduct of an Adult and/or Disciplinary Procedures.

 GOOD CONDUCT

PRACTICE TO BE AVOIDED

In the context of your role within St Andrews United the following practice should be avoided:

 UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT

In the context of your role within St Andrews United the following practices are unacceptable:

Sign-up:

I have read and agree to abide by this Code of Conduct.

I have also read and agree to abide by St Andrews United’s Child Wellbeing and Protection in Scottish Football Policies, Procedures and Safeguards.

Name:                                                                                                      

Signature:                                                                                              

Witnessed by:                                                                                       

Witness Signature:                                                                              

Date signed: 

RESPONDING TO CONCERNS ABOUT A CHILD PROCEDURE

Children have the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them and to have their views taken seriously (Article 12, UNCRC).  This must be at the forefront of any concerns that are raised about a child.  Their views must be considered based on the age and maturity of each child. They also have a right to privacy (Article 16, UNCRC) which is also important to consider when assessing if and at what stage information is shared and who with. 

These procedures apply to all members of staff and volunteers involved in St Andrews United activities with children under 18 years old.

1. Best interests of the child

St Andrews United is committed to working in partnership with parents/carers whenever there are concerns about a child.  Parents/carers have the primary responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of their children.

Where concerns are raised about a child, this will be considered in line with the wellbeing indicators and may be discussed with parents/carers. For example, if a child seems withdrawn, he/she may have experienced an upset in the family, such as a parental separation, divorce or bereavement.  Common sense is advised in these situations and the best interests of the child will be considered as to what is the best support for each individual child. Children will be asked who they feel is suitable to be informed and when relevant, consent gained from the child. 

Confidentiality will not be maintained if it is assessed that a child is at risk or their wellbeing is being impacted in such a way that their right to be protected becomes more significant.  Any incidents which cause concern about the wellbeing of a child should be recorded on the Concern Recording Form and reported to Leo Micallef, Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer leomicallef@live.co.uk as soon as possible.  In line with early intervention, the principles of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and the Getting it Right for Every Child approach, appropriate and proportionate information may be shared with the child’s Named Person. 

2. Information regarding a concern about a child

Members of staff and volunteers may be informed in different ways with regards to details of a concern about a child.  This may be a direct disclosure by the child.  In this situation follow section 4 in responding to that disclosure.

The details may become clear due to the observation of a child, which is perhaps demonstrated in a change in their behaviour, appearance or nature.  A third option could be information that is shared from another individual or organisation.  A concern or possible abuse of a child may be observed by another child or adult.

Depending on the nature of the concern, observations or information from others, this may not need to be discussed with the child, instead the information recorded then reported.  Advice should be sought from the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer if there is any uncertainty about the appropriate course of action where there are concerns about a child’s wellbeing which can be discussed by anonymising the child, therefore maintaining confidentiality if appropriate.

If the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer is not available and an immediate response is required, the police and social work services must be contacted. They have a statutory responsibility for the protection of children and they may already hold other concerning information about the child. Record any advice given, actions taken and the response by other agencies.  At the earliest opportunity thereafter the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer should be informed and the child’s Named Person notified. 

Where St Andrews United has a service level agreement in place with a local authority, the members of staff based in these local authorities under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 have a legal duty to share information with the child’s Named Person.

3. Concerns affecting a child’s wellbeing

If a concern about a child is identified that affects one or more of their eight wellbeing indicators (SAFE, HEALTHY, ACTIVE, NURTURED, ACHIEVING, RESPECTED, RESPONSIBLE, INCLUDED), complete Part A of the Concern Recording Form.

When information is being recorded about a child, it is important that the child understands why we are recording their details and gain their consent where possible for further reporting of the concern.  If a child recognises that people can help and support, and that this is the purpose of their details being shared, they will be more included and informed of the processes.

Where there is information or details in relation to the conduct an adult affecting a child’s wellbeing, this should be recorded in Part B of the Concern Recording Form.

4. Child’s right to be protected

Where the concern about a child’s wellbeing suggests they are in need of protection, the information must be passed on with or without their consent for the purposes of their protection.  Allegations of abuse must always be taken seriously. No member off St Andrews United shall investigate allegations of abuse or decide whether or not a child has been abused. False allegations are very rare. If a child says or indicates they are being abused or information is obtained which gives concern that a child is being abused, the information must be responded to on the same day in line with the following procedure.

What to Do if a Child Discloses Abuse

4.1      Respond

Avoid:

If you are concerned about the immediate safety of the child: Take whatever action is required to ensure the child’s immediate safety. Pass the information immediately to the police and seek their advice.

4.2 Record

Make a written record of the information as soon as possible using the Concern Recording Form completing as much of the form as possible. It is important that we include the contact details of the child’s Named Person which will have been collated within their Consent Form – U18 Players.

4.3 Report

Contact Leo Micallef, Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer on 07427 673958 or leomicallef@live.co.uk to report the concern then email the completed form to leomicallef@live.co.uk as soon as possible after completion; do not delay by attempting to obtain information to complete all sections.  Please do not keep any electronic, printed or written versions of this form.  It is important to maintain confidentiality to delete or shred as soon as the information has been passed on.

4.4 Sharing Concerns with Parents/Carers

Where there are concerns that the parents/carers may be responsible for or have knowledge of the abuse, sharing concerns with the parents/carers may place the child at further risk.

In such cases advice must always firstly be sought from the police/social work services or Named Person as to who informs the parents/carers.

RESPONDING TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE CONDUCT
OF AN ADULT PROCEDURE

In all cases where there are concerns about the conduct of an adult towards a child, the best interests and wellbeing of the child will be the paramount consideration.  These procedures aim to ensure that all concerns about the conduct of an adult are dealt with in a timely, appropriate and proportionate manner. 

No member of staff and volunteer in receipt of information that causes concern about the conduct of an adult towards children shall keep that information to himself or herself or attempt to deal with the matter on their own.

At any point in responding to concerns about the conduct of an adult, advice may be sought from the police or social work services.

1. Initial Reporting of Concerns

Any concerns for the wellbeing of a child arising from the conduct of an adult must be reported to Leo Micallef, Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer, 07427 673958 or leomicallef@live.co.uk on the day the concern arises, as soon as practically possible.

Where the concern is about the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer it must be reported to the Chairperson.  In this situation, they will then take on the role and responsibilities as listed below of the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.

2. Recording and Reporting

Concerns must be recorded using the Concern Recording Form as soon as possible. Contact Leo Micallef, Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer on 07427 673958 or leomicallef@live.co.uk to report the concern then email the completed form to leomicallef@live.co.uk as soon as possible after completion; do not delay by attempting to obtain information to complete all sections.  Please do not keep any electronic, printed or written versions of this form.  It is important to maintain confidentiality to delete or shred as soon as the information has been passed on.

All subsequent actions taken and reasons for decisions shall be recorded (in the order in which they happened).  These records should be signed and dated by the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer. Where St Andrews United’s Disciplinary Procedures are invoked for members of staff or volunteers, a written record will be made of all actions and reasons for decision.

3. Establishing the Basic Facts

Once the concerns have been reported, the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will:

4. Conducting the Initial Assessment

The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will conduct the initial assessment.

The purpose of the initial assessment is to clarify the nature and context of the concerns. It should determine if the adult’s conduct was inappropriate behaviour, serious poor practice/misconduct or whether there is reasonable cause to suspect an adult’s behaviour and conduct has been criminal.  Every situation is unique so guidance cannot be prescriptive.

Possible outcomes of initial assessment:

5. Initial Assessment Supports Concerns about Poor Practice and/or Misconduct

The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will deal with the concern in line with St Andrews Uniteds Disciplinary Procedures for members of staff and volunteers.  In the event of an investigation into the conduct of a member of staff and volunteer all actions will be informed by the principles of natural justice:

Pending the outcome of any investigation, precautionary suspension will be considered in all cases where there is significant concern about the conduct of a member of staff and volunteer towards children.  Any impact on a child’s wellbeing caused by an adult’s poor practice and/or misconduct will be passed on to the child’s Named Person.

6. Initial Assessment Supports Concerns about Possible Criminal Behaviour

Where the initial assessment of information gives reasonable cause to suspect an adult’s behaviour and conduct has been a criminal offence, the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will report the concerns to the police as soon as possible on the day the information is received. The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will make a written record of the name of the police officer to whom the concerns were passed together with the time and date of the call, in case any follow up is required.

Referrals to the police will be confirmed in writing by the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer within 24 hours. A copy of the Concern Recording Form should be provided to the police on request.  Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the safety of the child(ren) or who may be at risk. The parents/carers of the child(ren) involved will be informed as soon as possible following advice from the police.  Any impact on a child’s wellbeing caused by an adult’s possible criminal behaviour will be passed on to the child’s Named Person.

Advice will firstly be obtained from the police about informing the member of staff and volunteer involved in the concerns.  If the advice is to inform them, they will be told that information has been received which may suggest an allegation of abuse or possible criminal offence.  As the matter will be sub judice (i.e. under judicial consideration) no details will be given unless advised by the police.  All actions will ensure the best evidence is preserved for any criminal proceedings while at the same time safeguarding the rights of the member of staff and volunteer.

St Andrews United will take all reasonable steps to support a member of staff and volunteer whom a concern has been raised.

7. Precautionary Suspension

Suspension is not a form of disciplinary action. The member of staff or volunteer involved may be suspended whilst an investigation is carried out.  Suspension will be carried out in accordance with St Andrews United’s Disciplinary Procedures.  At the suspension interview the member of staff or volunteer will be informed of the reason for suspension (within the confines of sharing information) and given the opportunity to make a statement – which will be recorded – should they wish to do so.

Notification of the suspension and the reasons will be conveyed in writing to the member of staff or volunteer in accordance with St Andrews United’s Disciplinary Procedures.

8. Disciplinary Investigation

An ongoing criminal investigation does not necessarily rule out disciplinary action.  However, any action taken must not jeopardise the criminal investigation.  Advice must be taken from the police on this. Sufficient information should be available to enable the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer to make a decision whether to go ahead with disciplinary action.

9. False or Malicious Allegations

In exceptional circumstances where an investigation establishes an allegation or concern raised is false, unfounded or malicious:

10.       Historical Allegations of Abuse

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event e.g. an adult who was abused as a child by someone who is still currently working with children. These procedures will be followed in the event of an allegation of historical abuse.

11. Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

a) St Andrews United will refer to Disclosure Scotland the case of any member of staff or volunteer who (whether or not in the course of their role with St Andrews United) has:

AND as a result:

St Andrews United will also refer the case of a member of staff or volunteer where information becomes available after the member of staff or volunteer has:

b)        If Disclosure Scotland notifies St Andrews United that a member of staff or volunteer is considered for listing that individual will be suspended as a precaution until the outcome of the case is determined.

Precautionary suspension is not a form of disciplinary action and does not involve pre-judgment. In all cases of suspension the best interests and wellbeing of children will be the paramount consideration. 

c)        If Disclosure Scotland informs St Andrews United that an individual is barred, that member of staff or volunteer will be removed from regulated work with children immediately in line with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. 

12.       Media

All media enquiries relating to the conduct of a member of staff and volunteer will be referred to the Chairperson, St Andrews United.

REVIEW OF THE MANAGEMENT OF CONCERNS PROCEDURE

1.         Planning the review.

Set out the remit, aim and purpose of carrying out the review.  The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer should help identify a person to carry out the review and in some circumstances this may be appropriate to have an independent person.  In this case, confidentiality must be maintained.  Agree a timescale and format for completing the review.

2.         Establish the facts of the case, a chronology of events and the roles of individuals and organisations involved.

Set out the actual sequence of events to help to understand what happened, when, and who was involved.

3.         Identify any issues or key questions relating to the aims of the review.

Having established the sequence of events the reviewer should then be able to answer the questions contained in the specific remit of the review.

If the reviewer considers that a child may still be at risk despite action taken during the case or as a result of St Andrews United’s failure to take appropriate action, they should be prepared to act.  Any urgent issues should be addressed immediately without waiting for the conclusion of the review.

4.         Identify any other relevant points or observations and complete review.

The reviewer may identify issues which are worth exploring further. These may include:

PROCEDURES

PEOPLE 

OUTCOMES

RECORDING

5. Respond to anything identified within the review. 

On completion of the review, any learning, training needs or update to policy and procedures must be addressed and responded to within an agreed timescale.  Where appropriate, outcomes of the review should then be shared for wider learning or specific improvements to particular activities.