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Suffolk Golf Union takes it’s responsibilities to the children participating in golf within the County, affiliated premises and within the representative County Junior system very carefully, and has produced the following Safeguarding Policy and underpinning procedures in order to set out the standards SGU wishes to uphold in providing activities for children and safeguarding the welfare of children in our care.
SGU is a member of the English Golf Union and our professional coaching staff are members of the Professional Golfers’ Association. SGU recognises the policies of these Governing Bodies, as set in out in Guidelines for Safeguarding Children in Golf.
POLICY STATEMENT & OBJECTIVES
SGU acknowledges its duty of care to safeguard the welfare of all children (defined as those under 18) involved in golf within the county. All children have a right to protection, and have their particular needs taken into account. SGU will therefore endeavour to ensure the safety and protection of all children involved with the Union through the Safeguarding policy guidelines adopted by the SGU Junior Committee. It is the responsibility of all adults within the Union to assist the Junior Committee in this endeavour and to:
•Provide children with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of the Union and also help them to enjoy their experience of the sport. •Reassure parents that their children will receive the best practicable care possible whilst participating in activities within the County. •Provide support to staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues and to fulfil their role effectively.
The welfare of children is paramount. SGU believes all children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, ethnic origin and religious beliefs have the right to protection from abuse.
All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
All staff and volunteers working in golf have a responsibility to report concerns to the relevant Club Welfare Officer or the SGU Junior Welfare Officer
Within the County, relevant staff, volunteers, coaches, referees and members will be supported to understand their role and responsibility with regard to the duty of care and protection of children and young people.
Specific individuals will receive support through education and training to be aware of and understand best practice and how to manage any welfare or child protection issues that may come to light.
SGU will work in partnership with parents to review and implement child protection and welfare procedures.
SGU’s policy and procedures are based on the above principles and UK and international legislation and government guidance and take the following into consideration:
•The Children Act 1989 and 2004 •The Data Protection Act 1994 & 1998 •The Police Act 1997 •The Human Rights Act 1998 •The Protection of Children Act 1999 •Caring for the young and vulnerable - Home Office Guidance for preventing the abuse of trust 1999 •The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 •What to do if you are worried a child is being abused 2005 •Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 •The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child •Any subsequent legislation relating to child protection would implicitly be incorporated into this document.
ABUSE & CONCERNS
Definitions of abuse are available within the Governmental guidance known as ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2010. This policy is relevant for all forms of child abuse which may occur in a domestic, institutional or community setting and includes physical and sexual, emotional abuse and neglect.
Bullying and, in particular, cyber-bullying are examples of emotional abuse which involve an imbalance of power and may occur both over a period of time, as well as rapidly via systems such as social networking sites.
Recent changes in society have seen more children with ready access to Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and this policy acknowledges the increasing access to the Internet, social networking sites and other communication methods. SGU fully supports the principles set out within the county’s e-safety strategy at www.suffolk.gov.uk to further safeguard children.
Concerns or allegations must be raised as soon as practicable after being identified and the child subject of the concern or allegation must feel confident that the matter is being taken seriously.
RESPONSIBILITIES & COMMUNICATION
The primary responsibility will always be the safety of the child (and other siblings). In an emergency, the police should be contacted via 999.
Referrers should record the nature of the concern or allegation as soon as practicable after it has been identified or disclosed, using the child’s own words. A child who has disclosed abuse should not be interviewed by anyone other than trained staff from the Local Authority and the police in the first instance.
Depending on the nature of the concern or allegation, the SGU Junior Welfare Officer should be contacted so advice can be provided and further referral to the National Governing Body may be considered.
Where a child discloses, the person who receives the disclosure should not offer confidentiality, but that child who discloses should be reassured that the matter is being taken seriously. Doing nothing is not an option under this Policy.
Suffolk Golf Union’s Safeguarding Policy will be available to all members, parents, staff, volunteers and participants.
SGU’s Junior Committee has responsibility for ensuring that the policy and procedures are implemented, including taking any appropriate disciplinary action necessary.
SGU’s Junior Welfare Officer has responsibility for responding to any allegations, concerns or child protection incidents, passing information to the appropriate National Governing Body Lead Child Protection Officer and informing the appropriate SGU and other relevant staff.
Working with SGU Junior Committee, parents and carers have a responsibility to help implement procedures and provide children with the necessary information to safeguard themselves.
The Policy will be reviewed every three years by SGU’s Junior Committee, and amended as appropriate. Guidance from golf’s governing bodies will be sought as part of the review process.