Child Protection Policy
It is essential that children and young people participating in swimming and water polo are able to do so in a safe and secure environment. Sutton and Cheam Swimming Club recognises and accepts its responsibility to safeguard the health and welfare of children under its care by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm; and from neglect or bullying.
Sutton and Cheam Swimming Club is committed to raising awareness of child protection in swimming; and takes every possible measure to ensure that swimming is a safe and secure experience for children.
To this end, the club has adopted the Wavepower 2009/11 ASA Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
Wavepower 2009/11 is the new Amateur Swimming Association Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures manual folder and replaces all previous ASA Child Protection Policies and Procedures documents.
All club coaches, teachers, assistants, officials, poolside helpers, volunteers and team managers are therefore required to undertake Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks through its Disclosure service. This service enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving children or vulnerable adults.
The club recognises that all those directly involved in the club and its activities have a responsibility to:
The club therefore requires and encourages all coaches and helpers to attend suitable training so that they are able to:
The following procedures and guidelines were produced in conjunction with the ASA and have been adopted by the club on the subject of child abuse. They are intended as a guide for people involved in club activities and are provided for the reference of coaches, officials, volunteers, parents and members alike.
The following procedures are based on the principles that:
The aim of the policy is to introduce the subject of child abuse in all its forms and to provide ways of recognising the warning signs, and dealing with it quickly and effectively.
Child abuse is an emotive term used to describe all the ways in which children can be harmed, usually by adults and often by those they know and trust. Child abuse can occur anywhere there are children, at home, at school, or even within a sports environment such as the swimming club. Sadly there are some people who will seek to be where children are simply in order to abuse them.
The Children Act (1989) and Working Together to Protect Children (1999) states there are four main types of abuse, physical, sexual, emotional and neglect. Abuse may be the action (or inaction), by for example a coach, volunteer, family member or even another young swimmer.
Physical Abuse In general terms, physical abuse takes place when adults or even children, deliberately inflict hurts or injures on a child by hitting, striking, throwing, shaking, biting burning, scolding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm. It can also occur by knowingly not preventing such injuries.
In a swimming context, it might also occur if a child is pushed to train beyond his or her capabilities; where an adult gives children alcohol or where inappropriate drugs are used to enhance performance.
Sexual Abuse occurs when adults or other children (both male and female) use children to meet their own sexual needs. This includes 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, or showing children pornographic material. In a sporting context, it could also involve inappropriate photography or videoing, for the sexual gratification of the viewer. The club therefore ensures that all children are protected by accordance with the "Guides for use of photographic/filming equipment at Competitions", issued by the ASA.
Emotional Abuse is the emotional ill treatment of a child resulting in severe and persistent adverse affects. Emotional abuse can occur when a child is not given love, help and encouragement or is constantly shouted at, threatened, derided or subject to sarcasm. Conversely, it can also occur if a child is over-protected. It is the persistent emotional ill treatment such as to cause severe and persistent effects on the child's emotional development.
In a swimming context, this may occur if children are subject to constant criticism, name-calling or sarcasm. It is also present in unrealistic expectations of coaches and parents over what a child can achieve. Racially and Sexually abusive remarks constitute emotional abuse and it can be a feature of bullying. The club has therefore adopted the following Anti-Bullying Policy, again following ASA guidelines.
Neglect usually occurs when adults fail to meet a child's basic physical and psychological needs, resulting in the serious impairment of the child's health and development. It may involve for example persistent lack of care or leaving a child alone or unattended, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, failure to provide food, warmth, adequate clothing, medical attention etc. In a swimming context, it could occur for example b a coach 'turning a blind eye' to bullying or abuse from another or exposing them to unnecessary risk of injury.
Indicators of Abuse
Recognising child abuse is not always easy, even for experts. The list below is not exhaustive and it should be realised that these are indicators only. They are not in any way confirmation that abuse has occurred.
It should be borne in mind that disabled children and young people are particularly vulnerable to abuse and may have added difficulties in communicating what is happening to them. Dependency on others for primary needs such as feeding, clothing and intimate care may make a young person feel powerless to report abusive treatment. A fear of retribution for 'telling' can be a powerful silencer. Difficulty in identifying abusive situations or behaviour may allow it to continue.
If you have concerns about the welfare of a child; please remember, it's not your responsibility to decide whether or not a child is being abused but we are asking you to act on your concerns.
Please make a detailed note of what you've seen or heard and don't delay passing on the information to an appropriate person.
If you are a member of Sutton and Cheam Swimming Club, or the parent/carer or friend of a member, you should tell a club officer such as the welfare officer, club secretary, chairperson, coach or any Committee member or team manager, unless of course you suspect them of being involved
Club Welfare Officer
The club recognises that swimmers need access to an independent person who can listen to any concerns they may have. To this end, the club is grateful to Clare Bayles for taking on the role of Welfare Officer.
Swimmers and parents with any concerns about their own or any fellow swimmers' welfare while training or competing with the club should in the first instance speak to Clare in complete confidence. She will deal with any issues or escalate them further as appropriate.
Your information should include:
If you are a club officer or team manager you can:
If you are working with athletes away from home, at a training camp or a national or regional competition, tell the Team manager or the Chief Coach. Again, please remember to make a detailed note of what you've seen or heard and don't delay passing on the information.