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Club Management

Safeguarding and Welfare

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Everyone involved in sport and activity, whether they are a volunteer, participant, spectator or an elite athlete, should never have to worry about abuse or harassment.

Safeguarding in sport is the process of protecting children and adults from harm by providing a safe space in which to play sport and be active. Everyone has a role to play in keeping others safe and people should know what to do if they have any concerns.

One important difference between safeguarding adults and safeguarding children is that, as well as focusing on creating processes and systems to safeguard, there also needs to be a culture that consults with adults on every decision that affects them. Adults can of course make their own decisions, so it's important to keep them well informed.

Safeguarding Children - What does my club need to know?

Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government 2018) outlines the duties of all organisations that work with children. These can be summarised as having:

  • A designated safeguarding lead (with support)
  • A senior board lead on safeguarding
  • Clear lines of accountability
  • Effective recruitment including safeguarding checks
  • A culture of listening to and consulting with children
  • Arrangements to share information with other organisations
  • Effective supervision, support and training for staff / volunteers
  • Clear safeguarding policies including how to respond to concerns

These duties are reflected in the CPSU Standards (Child Protection in Sport Unit) for Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sport and in the Clubmark criteria.

Each club should have a Safeguarding Children Policy which they have adopted and implemented at their club. The club should identify a Welfare Officer (this could include combined responsibilities for children and adults depending on the needs of the club, or could be split out). This person should receive adequate training and information about the role they are undertaking and their responsibilities. The name and role of the Welfare Officer should be clearly communicated to all club members. The club’s Safeguarding Children Policy and associated procedures should be made known to all clubs members and parents and details of where to go for help should be advertised in the club.

Use the links in the ‘Discover’ and ‘Downloads’ sections below for further guidance and resources.

Safeguarding Adults - What does my club need to know?

Safeguarding adults is everybody’s responsibility. Clubs need to look out for the welfare of all adults and be informed enough to ensure that any safeguarding concerns about adults are properly acted upon. Clubs should respond and follow up any safeguarding concerns that they have about an adult.

Safeguarding adults is linked to the circumstances that people are in, rather than individual characteristics of the adult. Most of the time, adults are fine. But sometimes they may need to look out for each other. Any adult could need safeguarding at any time if their circumstances change.

You may hear or may have heard the term ‘Adults at Risk’ used. This refers specifically to an adult who is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect and may need help with safeguarding themselves.

The links in the ‘Explore’, ‘Discover’ and ‘Download’ sections below provide more advice, including the Safeguarding Adults – The Essentials Guide.

Each club should adopt and implement a Safeguarding Adults policy. The club should identify a Welfare Officer (this could be a combined child and adult role, depending on the needs of the club, or could be split out). This person should receive adequate training and information about the role they are undertaking. The name and role of the Welfare Officer should be clearly communicated to all club members and made available on noticeboards and/or the club’s website.

Where can we go for support?

If your club is affiliated to a National Governing Body your starting point is to review the safeguarding policies, procedures and guidance recommended for your sport. Guidance on this can be found under the explore category below. For Children and Young People, if you are unsure who to contact at your governing body, you can access further information from the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU).

If your club isn’t affiliated to a governing body, or if your governing body doesn’t have everything you need, the CPSU has developed the CPSU self-assessment tool for activities involving young people. For adults, the Ann Craft Trust also has a number of resources for Safeguarding Adults in their resource centre.

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