PART 5 – PRACTICE NOTES
ANTI-BULLYING – Page 2
BEHAVIOURS – Page 6
CELEBRATION – Photography and Filming – Page 13
COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA – Page 19
HEALTH – Page 24
PLANNING AND ORGANISATION – Page 27
PREVENTION PLANNING – Page 32
RELATIONSHIPS – Page 36
TRAVEL AND TRIPS AWAY – Page 41
‘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.’(respectme)’
Children’s wellbeing can be seriously impacted by bullying behaviour. Bullying can take some children’s rights away from them. Bullying is both behaviour and impact, the impact is 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. This behaviour happens face to face and online. (respectme2015)
What is bullying?
Bullying behaviour can harm people both physically and emotionally. Something only has to happen once to make a child feel worried, scared, threatened, left out and hurt. The actual behaviour may not be repeated but the threat may be sustained over time, typically by actions, looks, messages, confrontations, physical interventions, or the fear of these. Bullying behaviour is not always deliberate, but that does not mean that the bullying behaviour does not need to be appropriately challenged.
The Club appreciates that bullying behaviour can be difficult to identify because it often happens away from others and young people may be reluctant to tell adults for fear of repercussions or an ‘over-reaction’ by adults. This Practice Note provides guidance for members of staff and volunteers to recognise ‘signs’ of bullying behaviour and understand the impact that it can have on the child or young person who is being bullied. It sets out how members of staff and Associated Persons should respond should they have any concerns about bullying behaviour.
Prejudice-based bullying is when bullying behaviour is motivated by prejudice based on an individual’s actual or perceived identity and can be based on characteristics unique to a child or young person’s identity or circumstance e.g. their ethnicity or religion or sexuality. When the bullying behaviour is as a result of prejudice, there is a need to address the root cause of the prejudice as well as effectively responding to incidents as they arise.
How to recognise bullying behaviour
|Bullying behaviour can include:|
|Being called names, teased, put down or threatened (face to face and/or online)|
Being hit, tripped, pushed or kicked
Being ignored, left out or having rumours spread about you (face to face and/or online)
Sending abusive messages, pictures or images on social media, online gaming platforms or by phone
|Behaviour which makes people feel like they are not in control of themselves or their lives (face to face and/or online)|
Being targeted because of who you are or who you are perceived to be (face to face and/or online)
Having belongings, including money, taken or damaged
|The impact can include:|
|Reluctance to attend training or get involved at the club|
Performance can be hindered or the young person may show a lack of interest
Change in behaviour when around particular people at the club e.g. being more withdrawn or appearing fearful
Change in behaviour in general e.g. may appear more anxious or more guarded
|Unexpected absences at training and/or matches|
Unexplained injuries – this may include injuries which have been self-inflicted as a means of coping
The child or young person saying they have lost or misplaced items
The Club will:
- Seek to prevent, reduce and respond effectively to bullying behaviour, through the implementation of this Policy and by ensuring that children and young people know what to do and who they can speak to if they are worried
- Highlight bullying based on prejudice and perceived differences to ensure our practices are effective in dealing with these issues
- Seek to understand the experiences and address the needs of children and young people who are bullied, as well as those who bully, within a framework of respect, responsibility, resolution and support
- Create an environment where bullying behaviour is not tolerated and is responded to in the best interests of the children and/or young people involved
How to create the right environment
Environments that promote respect, celebrate difference and encourage positive relationships and behaviour are less likely to see bullying as acceptable behaviour. Creating the right environment can discourage bullying behaviour and encourage children and young people to share any concerns.
|How to create the right environment:|
|Cultivate an ethos where there is an anti-bullying culture – it is especially important that adults are good role models for children and young people |
Take all signs and reports of bullying very seriously
Take all allegations seriously and take action to ensure that the child or young person is safe
Do not label children or young people as “victims” and “bullies”. Talk about ‘bullying behaviour’ and help and support the child or young person to change their behaviour and to understand and recognise its impact
Speak to those being bullied and those displaying bullying behaviour separately
|Respond to each incident of bullying behaviour individually and adopt different practices, if necessary, to find the most effective response |
Encourage all children and young people to speak and share their concerns. Help those being bullied to speak out by being open and encouraging children and young people to tell a coach or an adult who can help them
Have posters and signposting of local support services visible so children and young people know where they can go for advice and support if they do not feel comfortable speaking to someone within the club
How to respond to bullying behaviour
|When responding to incidents or accusations of bullying behaviour the approach should be to ask:|
|What was the behaviour? |
What impact did it have?
What do I need to do about it?
|What attitudes, prejudices or other factors have influenced the behaviour?|
What does the child or young person who has been bullied want to happen?
NEVER allow bullying behaviour, in any form, to go unchallenged and unreported.
What to do when bullying incidents and behaviour occur
|How to support the child or young person who is being bullied:|
|Listen to and give the child or young person your full attention, exploring options together of what you can do to help|
Reassure the child or young person reporting the bullying that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no-one else
Explain what will happen next and how they are going to be kept informed
Be clear that online bullying behaviour will be treated as seriously as any other form of bullying behaviour
Report any concerns to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer by completing the Concern Recording Form. This should include a record of what was said
|In cases of online/electronic bullying advise children or young people who are being bullied by text, email or online:|
-to report the behaviour to the social media site and retain the communication e.g. a screenshot or to print it out
-check their privacy settings to ensure their account is private and that no one can post on their page without them accepting the post
-consider blocking the person who is making negative or offensive comments
|Children and young people who are exhibiting bullying behaviour will need help and support too:|
|Talk with the child or young person who has been displaying bullying behaviour. |
Explain the situation and try to get them to understand the consequences of their behaviour.
Identify the feelings that cause them to act this way and develop alternative ways of responding to these feelings
Encourage and support those displaying bullying behaviour to change this behaviour. Ask them to consider the impact their actions is having on the other person
Aim to restore positive relationships. In some cases it might be worth seeking an apology from those involved in bullying behaviour (for examples, where those on the receiving end wish a reconciliation). However, apologies are only of real value when they are genuine
|Be sensitive and use good judgement when it comes to informing the parents/carers of those whose negative behaviour is impacting on others. Put the child or young person at the centre – will telling the parents/carers result in more problems for the child or young person? What are the child/young person’s views on parents/carers knowing? If in any doubt seek advice from the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer before responding|
Only consider imposing consequences as necessary to ensure the safety of children and young people, e.g. exclusion from the team or particular activity until behaviour standards are improved
These guidelines have been informed and developed with support from respectme, their publication ‘Bullying in Scotland 2014’ and the Respect for All: National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People, Scottish Government 2017. Copyright remains with respectme and we acknowledge all and any material taken from www.respectme.org.uk
Football should be an enjoyable activity which allows everyone to take part in a fun and safe manner. At times this will involve managing behaviours in an appropriate way and responding to challenging behaviour in a safe and thought out manner.
This Practice Note aims to promote best practice that can help support children and young people manage their own behaviour. It also identifies unacceptable actions or interventions which must never be used by members of staff or volunteers.
These guidelines are based on the following principles:
- The wellbeing of the child or young person is the paramount consideration
- A risk assessment, by means of planning and preparing for each session, should be completed for all activities taking into consideration the needs of all children or young people involved in the activity. For further information see Practice Note – Prevention Planning
- Children and young people must never be subjected to any form of treatment that is harmful, abusive, humiliating or degrading and should always be able to maintain their dignity and respect
- No member of staff or volunteer should attempt to respond to behaviour by using techniques for which they have not been trained
It is important to create the right environment and model the behaviour that you expect from children and young people involved in football.
|Creating the right environment involves but is not limited to: |
Strong leadership – promoting positive relationships at all levels and a culture and ethos of positive and respectful relationships. Members of staff and volunteers should embody the behaviour expected from the children and young people.
Constructive communication – communication between the adults and children or young people includes listening to the child or young person without interruption, or trying to solve the problem, and recognising how the child or young person is feeling.
Behavioural reinforcement – rewards for good behaviour and consequences for negative behaviour.
All those delivering activities to children and/or young people should receive appropriate training and should be supported to address issues of behaviour through regular conversations with their manager and/or support from the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.
From time to time members of staff and volunteers working or volunteering with children and/or young people may be required to deal with a child or young person’s behaviour that they find challenging. Managing this behaviour will involve advance planning of activities, responding in an appropriate way to the challenging behaviour and reflecting on how practice can be improved.
Preparation and Planning
Agreeing Acceptable Behaviour
Members of staff, volunteers, children/young people and their parents/carers should be involved in developing an agreed statement of what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. This is commonly known as a ‘Code of Conduct’. All members of staff and volunteers working or volunteering with children and young people will be expected to sign up to the ‘Set the Standards – Behaviours, Expectations and Requirements’ and uphold the Wellbeing and Protection Values – Inclusive, Approachable, Empowering and Accountable.
The children and young people involved in club activities should also be encouraged to develop their own Code of Conduct. This will primarily involve children and young people who are playing football and can be done at the start of the season, in advance of a trip away from home or as part of a welcome session.
How do we help children and young people come up with a Code of Conduct?
- Ask the children and/or young people as a group to set out what behaviour they find acceptable and unacceptable within their group or team
- 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 will be asked to sign it, as can new members as they join
- If possible, a copy of the ‘agreement’ should be visible for reference during the activity e.g. in the team’s changing room
Good practice requires planning sessions around the group as a whole, but also involves taking into consideration the needs of each individual child or young person within that group. Planning sessions involves ‘risk assessing’ the sessions and those taking the session or activity 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.
|When planning a session, activity or event members of staff and volunteers should:|
|Identify the appropriate number of adults required to safely manage and support the session, increased supervision may be necessary for particular activities or events |
Be able to adequately respond to any behaviour and safeguard other members of the group, including other members of staff and/or volunteers
Where members of staff and/or volunteers identify any potential risks, strategies to manage those risks should be agreed in advance of the session, event or activity
|If it is identified that a child or young person is likely to display challenging behaviour: |
-Speak to their parents/carers before the session or at the start of the season to identify techniques used within the home setting to support the child or young person and manage difficult behaviour, if appropriate
-If appropriate, seek advice from professionals if the child or young person has particular needs. This should always been done with the support and agreement of the child/young person and their parents/carers
-Only in circumstances where the risk is too great towards the child or young person or others should the child or young person be asked to sit out of the activity
Managing behaviour during the activity
It is essential that responding to difficult behaviour is always done in a thought out and calm manner.
|Responding to a child who is displaying challenging behaviour:|
|Listen to the child or young person and use their name|
Ask the child or young person ‘what’s happened?’ to help calm the situation and give them an opportunity to reflect on why they are behaving this way
Give them a way out or offer ‘time out’ e.g. “would you like to take a break?
Tell them that you to want to hear what they have to say e.g. say to them “Help me to understand what you are saying to me?
|Recognise the emotions and feelings that the child or young person has by naming them e.g. “I can see that you are feeling frustrated” |
Separate the behaviour from the person
If there is going to be a consequence for their behaviour, explain to them what the consequence will be and what the behaviour was that has led to this consequence
|Consequences for risk-taking or unacceptable behaviours:|
|Time out – from the activity, group or individual work|
Payback – the act of giving something back
Missing an activity
|Making up – the act or process of making amends|
Use of individual ‘contracts’ or agreements for their future or continued participation
|Unacceptable conduct to manage children and young people’s behaviour:|
|Physical punishment or the threat of such|
Invading the child or young person’s personal space
Shouting, threatening, preaching or arguing
Verbal intimidation, ridicule or humiliation Telling the child or young person to “calm down”
Pointing or shaking your finger Trying to ‘win’ or have the last word
Interrupting e.g. “no, you listen to what I’m saying for a change…” The withdrawal of communication with the child or young person
|Taking it personally |
Dismissing their feelings
The child or young person being deprived of food, water or access to changing facilities or toilets
The threat that the child or young person will be ‘dropped’ from the team or not selected to play in the next game. Unless they present a risk of serious harm to themselves or other involved in the game and in these circumstances the reasons for this decision should explained to the child or young person and their parents/carers
After each activity
- Reflect on practice – what worked well, what did not work?
- Issues of behaviour and control should regularly be discussed with members of staff, volunteers, the child or young person and their parents/carers in the context of rights and responsibilities
Members of staff and volunteers should review the needs of any child or young person on whom consequences are frequently imposed. This review should involve the child or young person and their parents or carers to ensure an informed decision is made about the child/young person’s future or continued participation in the group or team. Whilst it would always be against the wishes of everyone involved at the club ultimately, if a child or young person presents a high level of risk or danger to themselves, or others, they may not be able to continue participating. This assessment could result from a single incident.
There are a range of situations where members of staff and/or volunteers may come into physical contact with the children and/or young people. For example, to prevent or treat an injury, a child who is upset reaching out for comfort, congratulating a player who has done well, to position the player for a drill etc.
The general guidance is as follows:
- All forms of physical contact should be respectful and be sensitive to the needs and wishes of the child or young person and take place in a culture of dignity and respect
- Children and young people should be encouraged to express their views on physical contact
- Physical contact should be in a reasonable and appropriate manner in an open environment with other adults present, where possible
- Be mindful that to comfort a child or young person who is upset, it is not always necessary or appropriate to place an arm around them. Sitting down and listening to them and maybe holding their hand can show concern for their situation
- Sometimes children or young people will initiate a hug or other forms of excited/happy contact with coaches and other adults, this is a normal form of human expression. It is important that adults respond to this in an appropriate manner, where they engage with the child or young person in a positive way while not prolonging the contact or imitating it. Respond and then re-direct them into a more suitable coach/player form of positive expression such as a high 5 or dropping to one knee to speak to them at eye level
Members of staff and volunteers must never:
- initiate unnecessary physical contact with their participants
- engage in sexually provocative games e.g. horseplay or touching a child or young person in a sexually suggestive manner
- engage in ‘rough’ physical contact
Supporting a child with personal care
Some members of staff and/or volunteers may be working with younger children or young people with particular needs. It is recommended that the child’s parents/carer undertake any personal care, where possible. If it is necessary to help a child or young person with personal tasks e.g. toileting or changing, the child or young person and their parents/carers must be encouraged to express a preference regarding the support and work together with the member of staff and/or volunteer to develop practiced routines for personal care so that the child or young person and their parents/carers know what to expect. It is also important to establish what the child or young person can do themselves and any support should be limited to what the child or young person cannot do. The child or young person and their parents/carer should also be encouraged to speak out about methods of support with which they are uncomfortable.
Do not take on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained e.g. manual assistance for a child or young person with a physical disability.
Physical Contact for drills
Members of staff and/or volunteers who are training on particular techniques should demonstrate the move themselves or ask another player who can display the technique being taught. In exceptional circumstances, despite a demonstration or verbal description, it may be necessary to move the child or young person into a particular position. In these circumstances, the child or young person must be asked if they are comfortable to be moved into the correct position and a description given to the child or young person as to what it will involve e.g. “is it ok if I put my hands on your shoulders and move you into the correct position?” Manual support should be provided openly and must always be proportionate to the circumstances and must never involve contact with the child or young person’s buttocks, genitals or breasts.
The use of physical interventions should always be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary in order to prevent a child or young person 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 always be avoided with the buttocks, genitals and breasts|
Members of staff and volunteers should never behave in a way which could be interpreted as sexual
Any form of physical intervention should achieve an outcome that is in the best interests of the child or young person whose behaviour is of immediate concern and achieve a better outcome for the child or young person than if no physical intervention is used
Members of staff and volunteers should consider the circumstances, the risks associated with employing physical intervention compared with the risks of not employing physical intervention
Members of staff and volunteers shall never use physical intervention as a form of punishment
|The scale and nature of physical intervention must always be proportionate to the behaviour of the child or young person and the nature of harm/damage they might cause|
All forms of physical intervention should employ only a reasonable amount of force – the minimum force needed to avert injury to a person or serious damage to property – applied for the shortest period of time
Members of staff and volunteers should never employ physical interventions which are deemed to present an unreasonable risk to children or young people e.g. risk of injury
Members of staff and volunteers shall never use a form of physical intervention for which they have not been trained
Any physical intervention used should be recorded as soon as possible after the incident by the member of staff and/or volunteer and reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer as soon as possible. This can be done by completing the Concern Recording Form and emailing it to email@example.com
A timely debrief for members of staff and volunteers, the child or young person and their 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 on-going support offered where necessary. Members of staff and volunteers, the child or young person and their 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 or young person and their parents/carers about the child/young person’s needs and continued safe participation in the group, team or activity.
CELEBRATION – Photography and filming
Photographs, films and video clips can be used to celebrate achievements, promote activities and keep people updated. Footage can also be recorded for performance development and analysis reasons. It is important not to curb such activity and to remember that the majority of images taken are appropriate and taken in good faith.
This Practice Note sets out simples measures that must be taken to ensure the safety of children and young people in football when it comes to photography and filming. These measures are necessary to protect children and young people from those who would seek to take or manipulate photos and video footage in a way that harms children and/or young people or places them at risk of harm.
This Practice Note applies to members of staff, volunteers (including professional photographs contracted by the club for particular events and activities), as well as the children and young people and their parents/carer who themselves will want to take photographs or videos of games, training or football related activities.
- Inappropriate use, adaption or copying of images for use on websites
- Inappropriate photographs or videos being taken of children and young people
- Identification of children and/or young people when a photograph is accompanied by significant personal information
- Identification and locating of children and/or young people in inappropriate circumstances e.g. where the child or young person has been removed from their family for their own safety, or where there are restrictions on contact with one parent following a parental separation, or any other safeguarding concern away from football.
Young people who have a public profile as a result of their achievements are entitled to the same protection as all other children and young people. In these circumstances common sense is required and all decisions should reflect the best interests of the child or young person and be made in partnership with the child or person.
A Consent Form must be completed by the child or young person and their parents/carers before any photography or filming takes place and before any images are published online. This informs them that the child or young person may be photographed or filmed whilst participating in football and the purpose of this.
Special care must be taken in relation to vulnerable children and young people e.g. a child or young person fleeing domestic violence or a child or young person with a disability, and consideration given to whether publication or use of the photographs and/or video footage would place the child or young person at risk. If the Consent Form states that consent is not given to the child or young person being photographed this must be adhered to and practical arrangements put in place to avoid this happening. For example, the photographer should be told the child or young person’s squad number and advised that they are not be photographed or filmed. If the situation cannot be managed safely then filming and/or photography during the activity should be prohibited.
The child or young person may be taking part in a game or event that involves live streaming bythe Club. Live streaming is the live visual broadcast over the internet. Live streaming must never take place in the changing rooms and should only be taken by authorised persons. The child or young person, if appropriate, and their parents/carers will be asked to provide consent. Before giving their consent they must be advised of the following:
- Where the live streaming will take place e.g. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc.
- Who the stream will be monitored by and for what purpose
- When the live stream will go live and when it will end
- Once the stream has finished, where the footage may be published and/or stored
- How individuals can withdraw their consent, if they wish to do so
|SAFE USE OF IMAGES OF CHILDREN/YOUNG PEOPLE|
Use of Images and Information
Where consent is given to the taking and use of images the following practices will be implemented:
|‘Action’ images should focus on the activity rather than the individual|
‘Celebration’ images should be group images rather than individual images, where possible
All images should reflect the positive aspect of the children and young people’s involvement in football
All children and young people featured in images and/or videos must be appropriately dressed e.g. a minimum of shirt and shorts
No photographing or filming will be permitted in changing areas, bathrooms or sleeping areas, including by the children or young people themselves
All photographic / videoing equipment must be switched off prior to going into changing rooms
|Images will not be shared with external agencies unless express permission is obtained from the child or young person and their parents/carers over and above the consent form referred to above|
When using a professional photographer, all children and/or young people and their parents/carers should be aware that a professional photographer will be in attendance No unsupervised access or one-to-one photography or video sessions will be allowed unless this has been explicitly agreed with the child or young person and their parents/carers
All images and accompanying information shared publicly will only include appropriate personal details
|Taking of Images|
|For promotional, marketing or social networking use of images for the Club publications or online, members of staff and volunteers will use the club’s equipment or equipment used by an approved contractor|
For both safety and safeguarding reasons children and young people and members of staff and volunteers should not use personal mobile phones, tablets or photographic/videoing equipment during training or at match or event activities
|The Club may seek publicity to positively promote football. Elite young players receiving endorsements or sponsorship may well welcome positive media coverage on a local, regional or national level. As well as giving consent, it is important for these players, their parents/carers and media representatives to be clear about appropriate arrangements and ground rules for interviews, filming and photo sessions|
Where images are taken agreement and arrangements can be in place for the child or young person and their parents/carers to be given copies but they must confirm they will not upload any of these images or videos to their own or the child or young person’s social media or online platforms
|Filming as a coaching aid|
|Members of staff and volunteers using videoing as a legitimate coaching aid should make the child or young person and their parents/carers aware that this will be part of the coaching programme and consent for this filming should be sought through the Consent Form|
External agencies need permission from the Club to take any images during the training environment
|At training, members of staff and/or volunteers will only use the club’s equipment, or equipment of an approved contractor, for the purposes to taking photographs or video for player development or performance analysis. There should be no personal use of equipment, including mobile phones|
|Matches and Events|
|Any photography or videos taken by children and young people and their parents/carers should be restricted to immediate family members for private, non-commercial purposes and not put online on any personal social media or online platforms. This must be communicated to child or young person and their parents/carers|
External agencies need permission from the Club to take any images during the match/event activities
|Photographers’ from external agencies should be aware of the organisations expectations with regards to photography and filming and the safeguards which must be adhered to|
If competing abroad, steps will be taken to find out about the hosting club’s rules and requirements on photography and videoing at events and games and information shared to the children and/or young people and their parents/carers about what to expect
The Club will take all reasonable steps to promote the safe use of photography and filming at all events and activities with which it is associated, however the club has no power to prevent individuals photographing or filming in public places.
If there are concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, the Club reserves the right at all times to prohibit the use of photography or filming at any event or activity with which it is associated and in locations where the club has jurisdiction.
|REMEMBER: It is not an offence to take appropriate photographs in a public place, even if the person has not been asked to do so. No one has the right to decide who can and cannot take images on public land. |
However, anyone behaving in a way which could reasonably be viewed as inappropriate in relation to filming or photographing should be approached for an explanation. If a satisfactory explanation is not provided, the circumstances should be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Office in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure.
If you have serious concerns about a possible child protection issue relating to the filming or taking of photographs then the matter should also be reported to the Police without delay. This action should be taken where you believe that someone may be acting unlawfully or putting a child or young person at risk.
|MOBILE PHONE CAMERAS/VIDEOS|
There have already been a number of cases where children and young people have been placed at risk as a result of the ability to discreetly record and transmit 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.
This Practice Note 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 filming should ever be permitted in such areas of personal privacy.
Members of staff and volunteers who become aware that inappropriate photographs or video footage has been taken in any of the above areas, whether by an adult or another child or young person, should immediately report the matter to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer as per the Responding to Concern Procedure.
The Club may post information, photographs and videos on its website which is available to all members of the public. In terms of publishing anything that includes an image or information about a child or young person, the following good practice should be followed:
|Use of Images and Information|
|Information published on the websites/social networking sites must never include personal information that could identify a child or young person e.g. home address, email address, telephone number of a child or young person. All contact must be directed to the club|
Children and young people must never be portrayed in a demeaning, tasteless or a provocative manner.
Children and young people should never be portrayed in a state of partial undress
|Information about specific events or meetings e.g. coaching sessions must not be distributed to any individuals other than to those directly concerned|
Where an event or game will be streamed live appropriate consent will be sought from the players and/or their parents/carers
Photographs of children and young people attending games as spectators may be used by the club for commercial purposes as specified in the terms and conditions for ticket purchase
|STORAGE AND RETENTION OF IMAGES|
The Clubwill ensure that all images, negatives, videos and photographs will be stored in a secure environment, whether digital or hard copy. These will not be kept for any longer than is necessary having regard to the purposes for which they were taken.
Images, negatives, videos and photographs will be reviewed regularly and held in line with the Club’s Data Retention Schedule.
Information and communication technology (ICT) and social media are developing and advancing extremely quickly, meaning the way in which we communicate and receive and absorb information is changing all the time. These advancements provide significant benefits for organisations, including opportunities to promote activities and communicate easily with children and young people, their parents/carers and the wider community through various channels e.g. text, email and social media. It allows people to connect to the world instantly and it enables organisations to disseminate information widely at a low to no cost and provide a platform to celebrate success.
In addition to the benefits there is also potential for misuse and it is the misuse of communication technology and social media which can put children and young people at considerable risk. Therefore, safeguards around its use must be put in place.
|Risks associated with ICT and Social Media |
For children and young people:
Access to inappropriate websites or inappropriate content
Inappropriate access to, use or sharing of personal details e.g. names, email address, school
Unwanted contact from adults or other children or young people with wrongful or questionable intent
Receiving, sending or sharing inappropriate or offensive images, material and/or comments
Grooming for sexual abuse
Direct contact and abuse
A distorted view between the “real world” and the “online world”
Their communication with children and young people being misinterpreted
Young People/Adults attempting to contact them or access personal information
The Club may contact children and young people and their parents/carers via text or email, or possibly through social networking sites, depending on the football activity that each child or young person is involved in with the club.
This Practice Note is for members of staff and volunteers who use any of these methods to communicate with children and young people.
|Communicate in an open and transparent manner |
Only send communication via text, email or social media if it is necessary and relates to the activity the child or young person is involved in
Get signed consent from parents/carers before using any of these methods of communication with children or young people. Explain to the parents/carers the purpose for the communication and the method by which communication will be sent to the children and/or young people
Get signed consent from the young person, if they are aged 13 or over, about the agreed methods of communication, depending on the young person’s maturity and ability to consent
Members of staff and/or volunteers should communicate information regarding programmes, events, training and matches through the agreed method of communication and:
-copy in with another designated member of staff or volunteer to the communication
-copy in the child and young person’s parents/carer, if possible
-only use group texts or emails, if possible
|For ‘private’ group chats on social media, make sure that there is more than one member of staff and/or volunteer part of the group chat |
Remove and report any offensive comments or messages immediately to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and to the social media site, if appropriate
Keep all phone numbers and/or email addresses of children and young people in a secure and confidential place
Keep access to personal mobile numbers and email addresses of the children and young people to a practical minimum with only relevant members of staff and/or volunteers having access to this information and only when necessary to enable them to fulfil their role
Report to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer any instances where you receive any inappropriate communications from a child and/or a young person. Do not reply. The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer will agree what action the club will take e.g. notifying parents and any other appropriate individuals or agencies
|Contact or correspond privately with a child or young person on a 1:1 basis unless in exceptional circumstances. |
If it is necessary to communicate directly this should only be in connection with the football activity and must never be sent from a personal device
Use language that is directly (or could be misinterpreted as being) racist, sexist, derogatory, threatening, abusive or sexualised in tone
|Send any messages which contain inappropriate, abusive or offensive material or that are open to misinterpretation |
Use text or emails for personal conversation, sending pictures, jokes or other items of a personal nature
Respond to emails from children and/or young people other than those directly related to club matters
|SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET FORUMS|
|REMEMBER – there is no such thing as privacy online Consider 3 key questions before posting anything online: Would you say this in front of your family members? Would you say this in front of the youngest child in your club? Would you say this to a journalist at a press conference or in front of your coach or manager? If the answer is no to any of the above then do not post it on social media!|
For further information on publishing photographs or videos of children and young people on social media see the Safe Use of Images section in the Practice Note – Celebration.
|What we expect of members of staff and volunteers|
|Get signed consent from parents/carers and/or the young person to allow mutual interaction with the organisation profile e.g. Facebook page or Twitter account|
Set up a closed (i.e. private) group chat between the team and ensure that the correct people are part of the group e.g. parents and/or another member of staff/volunteer to ensure impartiality and monitoring. If setting up a closed group chat consideration must be given to the minimum age requirements for that particular social media site
Make parents/carers aware of the profiles existence and the site the child or young person will be accessing and the restrictions of use for this preferred site
Have an official agreement should be in place which states that access to members’ profiles are used only to pass on relevant information or to answer questions regarding the Club or football issues
|Members of staff and volunteers should review the privacy settings on their own social media profiles and consider whether it is appropriate for children and young people to be able to view their profiles easily|
Monitor any organisational social media accounts and remove any abusive or offensive content and report the matter to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and police, if a criminal matter
Report any disclosure of abuse or bullying through social media to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure
Block and report anyone who is sending abusive or inappropriate messages. DO NOT respond to the post
|Become friends, follow or tag children and young people for whom they are in a position of authority or trust via their own social media account |
Give out their password, pin or login details either face to face or online and make sure they sign out of their social media if logged in on a shared device
Communicate with children via personal accounts or private messages. If a child or young person contacts them directly they should discourage the child or young person having conversations away from the group chats
|Communicate with children via social media about personal matters |
Contact children and young people who play for other clubs through social media as a means of attracting them to or signing them at the club
Become involved in any debates concerning selection, performance or personalities – even where the subject of the discussion is anonymous
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 and young people. Sites should be well monitored and any offending comments removed and reported to the relevant site and the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer, where appropriate.
Any inappropriate or offensive or abusive texts/email/use of social media must be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and will be dealt with in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure.
Any offensive or abusive comments posted on social media or within a shared group chat must be removed immediately. Group administrators must familiarise themselves with how to do this when the Group is set up.
During football there are times when children and young people may sustain an injury which requires treatment. This Practice Note looks at wellbeing and protection best practice in first aid and the treatment of injuries in these circumstances and covers situations where a child or young person has a pre-existing medical condition.
Parents or carers and the young person, if they are aged 13 and over, must complete the Consent Form before participating in any football activity. This ensures that members of staff and volunteers running an event or activity are aware of any pre-existing medical conditions, any medication taken by the participants or existing injuries and treatment required.
For children and young people who play football this form should be completed at the start of every season and will be retained by the Club for the season. Young people and parents/carers must update the form should anything change during the season.
For children and young people who are involved in a specific event or activity a consent form should be completed in advance of the event or activity.
|FIRST AID AND THE TREATMENT OF INJURIES|
|All members of staff and/or volunteers must ensure:|
|There is an accessible and well-resourced first aid kit at the venue, which is regularly checked to ensure that it contains appropriate stock|
Only those with a current, recognised First Aid qualification treat injuries. In more serious cases assistance should be obtained from a medically qualified professional as soon as possible
They are aware of any pre-existing medical conditions, relevant medication taken by participants or existing injuries and treatment required
Where possible, access to medical advice and/or assistance is available
A child or young person’s parents/carers are informed of any injury and action taken as soon as possible
Treatment should be administered in an open environment, when possible, avoiding private or unobserved situations. Where a private room is needed for the treatment to preserve the child or young person’s dignity their parent/carer or another appropriate adult must be present
|If a child or young person needs to be transferred to the hospital and their parents/carers are not in attendance a member of staff or volunteer must travel with them to supervise them and contact their parents/carers immediately|
If a child or young person sustains a significant injury the incident must be recorded as a concern and reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer along with the details of any treatment given. Common sense should be applied when determining which injuries are significant
Physio treatment should only be administered by a qualified and registered physiotherapist. If continued treatment is required, the child or young person’s parent/carer or another appropriate adult must be present
The circumstances in which any accidents occur are reviewed to avoid future repetitions as far as possible
|CHILDREN WITH ALLERGIES/PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS|
Football is an inclusive game and the Club seeks to provide opportunities to children and young people of all abilities regardless of any medical conditions, disabilities or allergies they may have. It is important that children or young people 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.
This Practice Note highlights how the club expects its members of staff and volunteers to respond to children or young people with allergies or pre-existing medical conditions in order to safeguard and protect the child or young person’s wellbeing whilst attending their football activity. It also sets out the responsibilities of the child or young person’s parents/carer in alerting members of the staff and volunteers of any pre-existing medical conditions or allergies. Parents/carers should be informed that they are required to provide this information, where appropriate.
|When a child or young person with an allergy or pre-existing medical condition joins a football activity, parents/carers should:|
|Ensure they complete the Consent Form accurately and also take the time to talk to the member of staff or volunteer about the specific needs of their child and how to address and accommodate these needs|
Update the member of staff or volunteer of any change in circumstances
Consider a medic alert bracelet/watch for their child
|Check the expiry date of adrenaline injectors and any medication regularly. An out-of-date injector may offer some protection, but this will be limited|
If their child has a ‘rescue pack’ this is given to the member of staff or volunteer along with instructions on how it should be used
The Club’s Responsibility
|Members of staff and volunteers should:|
|Ensure Consent Forms for all children and young people attending the football activity are available and up to date together with full details of the child’s allergies|
Ensure that the Consent Forms are stored in a confidential but accessible way so that appropriate members of staff and volunteers, those who need the information to fulfil their role, can access the information
Have a copy of the child or young person’s care plan for allergies and individual risk assessment
Communicate with the child or young person and their parent/carer directly, when necessary
Appropriately share the information with others involved in the football activity – ask yourself ‘do the right people know so they can respond if necessary?’
Ensure correct storage of medication by following the appropriate instructions
|Be familiar with the nearest medical facilities in the event it is required|
Medication should only be administered by the child or young person or their parent/carer unless it is an emergency. In such circumstances the medication should be administered in line with the parent/carer’s instructions or a medical professional. For trips away from home consideration should be given to the child’s parent/carer accompanying the trip in circumstances where the child or young person cannot administer the medication themselves
Have their mobile phones charged and check they have a signal to allow calls to be made
Plan for additional supervision e.g. depending on child or young person’s medical condition/s and environment
Record incidents or concerns and report them to a member of the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer
Planning and organising is a vital part of the delivery of club activities for children and young people and is essential to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all taking part.
|ADULT TO CHILD RATIOS|
All activities must be planned to involve at least two adults. For teams that include both girls and boys it is recommended that there is at least one male adult and one female adult present. For each activity a risk assessment should be completed and, based on that risk assessment, a decision made as to how many adults are necessary to safely supervise the activity. With a minimum of at least two adults present, the following ratios are recommended as a general guide:
|2 to 3 years old||1:5|
|3 to 7 years old||1:8|
|All children are aged 8 years old and over||1:10|
Other factors will also be taken into consideration in deciding how many adults are required to safely supervise the activity or event.
|This list is not exhaustive but it may include:|
|The nature of the activity e.g. training session, match, an event, does it include a trip away or overnight stay? |
The number of children or young people involved in the football activity
The age, maturity and experience of the children and/or young people involved
Whether any of the members of staff, volunteers or children or young people have a learning or physical disability or special requirements
|Whether any of the children or young people have challenging behaviour|
The particular risks associated with the football activity or event
The particular risks associated with the environment
The level of qualification and experience of the members of staff and volunteers
The programme of activities
 The ratios are recommended in the National Care Standards: Early Education and Childcare up to the age of 16 (Scottish Executive, 2005, revised September 2009). They are a relevant minimum for daytime activities, but should be modified for overnight stays, trips away from home and to take into account other risk factors.
A key part of the planning an activity or event is considering any risks associated with the activity or event and how these risks can be minimised and managed.
For further information on risk assessments see Practice Note – Prevention Planning.
|COLLECTION BY PARENTS/CARERS|
There may be occasions when a parent/carer is late to pick up their child at the end of a football activity. It is not the responsibility of the Club to transport children or young people home on behalf of parents/carers who have been delayed however, the club does continue to have a duty of care to the child or young person in the absence of their parent/carer.
Staff and volunteers will:
- Make sure that the club’s communications are:
- Clear about starting and finishing times of the football activity.
- Clear about the expectations of parents/carers not to drop children off too early and collect children promptly when the football activity finishes.
- Ensure that there is more than one member of staff and/or volunteers at the end of the football activity to supervise collections.
- Ensure that there is more than one member of staff and/or volunteers at the end of the football activity to supervise collections.
As a general rule, members of staff should not be in a position where they are alone with a child or young person, however there are exceptions and an emergency situation is such an example. For example, if there is an emergency situation which requires an adult to respond, this may result in the other adult being left alone a child or young person.
|REMEMBER: The wellbeing and best interests of the child/young person are paramount and have to take precedence, so leaving children or young people alone is not an option.|
- Ensure they have access, as appropriate, to child or young person’s address, contact telephone number and an alternative phone number of another responsible adult, provided by the parent/carer. The consent form completed prior to the activity or completed at the start of the season must include an emergency contact and a late collection contact number.
- It may be appropriate for a young person to travel unaccompanied to and from the activity or event e.g. if the activity is for young people who are an appropriate age and ability to travel independently. If it would be appropriate for a young person to make their way to and from the activity or event alone consent must first be sought from the young person themselves and their parents/carers. This can either be done through the Consent Form signed annually or verbal consent.
A child or young person should never be allowed to travel home alone unless the express consent of the parent/carer has been given in advance or is obtained by telephone and, even with this consent, a common sense approach should be taken about whether it is safe for them to do so in the circumstances e.g. the distance, location, time of day and weather will all be relevant factors.
- Never transport a child or young person alone on a 1 to 1 basis, unless necessary due to an emergency situation. In such circumstances the child or young person should be transported in line with the requirements set out in Practice Note – Travel and Trips Away on ‘Transporting Children’.
- In the rare situation when the staff or volunteer are left alone with a child or young person, transparency is the key Keep a record of your actions; and Inform the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and the child’s parents/carers as soon as possible.
- When all else fails and a child or young person has not been collected and there is no sign of them being so and it would not be appropriate to or you are unable to transport the child or young person, call the police.
- Any concerns about the child or young person or their parents/carers which arise during collection should be responded to in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure. If you have a concern about the immediate safety of a child or young person, or others, you must take all reasonable steps to ensure their safety and contact the police.
|REMEMBER: While running the football activity members of staff and volunteers have a duty of care to the children and/or young people that are in their charge. When the football activity has finished the duty of care continues in the absence of a parent/carer or other responsible adult.|
|SAFE USE OF CHANGING FACILITIES|
One of the areas where children and young people are particularly vulnerable at football is the changing 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 particular care when children or young people are changing and provide enough supervision to recognise if there are any issues between the children and young people while they are using the changing room e.g. bullying behaviour.
|To ensure the wellbeing of all children and young people while they are using the changing rooms the following strategies should be followed:|
|Adults should not change or shower at the same time as children and young people|
If space is limited identify a period of time which is solely for children and young people or adults to use the changing facilities and a sign placed on the door to make people aware of the restricted use
If a child or young person is uncomfortable changing or showering in public, no pressure should be placed on them to do so
Children aged 10 and under must be supervised/monitored in the changing rooms – see below for further information
Where no changing facilities are available the children and/or young people and their parents/carers should be notified in advance and advised to make alternative arrangements and to take appropriate additional clothing e.g. tracksuits
|The use of mobile phones and/or photographic equipment is prohibited within areas where children and/or young people are changing or showering – see Practice Note – Celebration for further information |
If a child or young person requires assistance when changing due to their age or ability, this should be done by the child or young person’s parent/carer. If this is not possible, the child or young person, where possible, and their parents/carers should be involved in deciding how they should be assisted – see Practice Note – Health for further information
While some activities may be restricted to changing rooms for the purposes of team talks, if at all possible another area should be considered for this. If there are no other options, it is best practice to wait until all children and young people are fully dressed
|Chaperoning/Supervising changing facilities|
|Members of staff and volunteers must always work in pairs and not to be alone in these circumstances|
Extra vigilance may be required if there is public access to the facility
Depending on the needs and age of the children or young people, supervision of the changing rooms can be done from outside the door with a call in or entering briefly and walking through
|Only those members of staff and/or volunteers who are in regulated work and appointed in accordance with the appointment and selection procedure for those in regulated work should enter the changing room when children and/or young people are present, unless there is an emergency situation that requires assistance|
|In an emergency, if a member of staff or volunteers is required to enter the changing area they should be accompanied by another adult. If they have to go into a single gender changing room e.g. a male has to enter a female changing area, or vice versa, another adult of the opposite gender should accompany them.|
Prevention planning is considering all the risks associated with running football related activities and planning and managing the risks by putting in preventative measures to minimise them. Prevention Planning may take the form of various assessments but for day to day activities or one off events this will involve conducting a risk assessment as part of planning and organising the activity or event.
Members of staff and volunteers who provide football activities for children and young people have a duty to undertake a risk assessment of the environment in which they are operating, the activity itself and the group to ensure that the group’s requirements are met. Potential areas of risk should be identified at the planning stage and should be recorded in writing. Safeguards should then be put in place to manage the risks identified. Depending on the nature of the event, activity or trip the risk assessment may be an ongoing process as unexpected situations can arise.
What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is an important step to ensure the safe delivery and involvement of everyone participating in football activities, in any capacity e.g. as a player, a coach, a spectator, a referee, a volunteer etc. Completing a risk assessment allows those running day to day football activities or a specific event or activity to focus on the risks that really matter – the ones with the potential to cause significant harm.
A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what could cause harm to other people so that the risks are identified and an informed decision be made as to whether enough precautions have been taken or more should be done to prevent harm.
Why is a risk assessment necessary?
The Policy Statement declares that the Club will act in the best interests of children and young people and promote children’s rights, including the right to be protected from harm and abuse. To do this effectively, those working with children and young people must first be aware of the areas of risk and be able to adequately assess these risks. By doing this members of staff and volunteers will be:
- making sure children and young people are safe
- protecting members of staff and volunteers
- making sure that the club complies with legislation
- reducing or removing liability
- giving the sport a good reputation
What does the law state?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) states that all children have the right to be protected from harm, abuse and exploitation at all times. Section 5 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 states that if you are 16 or over and have children in your care or control then you must do what is reasonable in all circumstances to safeguard their health, development and welfare.
Carrying out a risk assessment
Step 1 – Identify potential risks
Think about who or what might cause harm to children and/or young people taking part in the activity or event.
|In preparation for an activity member of staff and volunteers must the following:|
|What is the nature of the activity? |
Where will the activity be carried out?
What are the potential risks?
Who may be at risk?
Will the group be mixed?
What will the age range be?
Are there special needs within the group?
How do you control the risk?
What actions need to be carried out to do this?
|What are the experience and qualification levels of the coaches and/or volunteers?|
Is a First aider present?
A qualified First Aider with a First Aid kit must be present for all activities
How will children be supervised?
Children should be properly supervised at all times, always with a satisfactory ratio of coaches and volunteers to children
Step 2 – Identify who might be harmed and how
When identifying who might be harmed and how try to be specific. For example, during the game a child may be injured by an opponent’s tackle. In this example, the possibility of an injury has been identified as a potential risk and this step allows for further consideration as to how this risk can be reduced and responded to in the event it does arise.
Step 3 – Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
Evaluating risks includes considering how likely it is that harm could occur and how serious would it be. This is often described as ‘rating’ risk. Risk should be evaluated for likelihood and impact and a risk rating given for each. An example of rating is:
High: could occur quite easily High: could cause significant harm
Medium: could occur sometimes Medium: could cause moderate harm
Low: unlikely, although conceivable Low: could cause minimal harm
In the example above of the young person being injured by an opponent tackle the evaluation may be High/Low to Medium. This would show that the risk ‘could occur quite easily’ but would cause minimal to moderate harm.
Once the risk has been evaluated a decision can be made on what action should be taken. It is up to the member of staff and/or volunteer as to what action should be taken and this will include understanding that the law expects the club to do what is reasonable in all the circumstances.
For each risk assessment a risk owner should be assigned. The risk owner will assess what current controls are in place to reduce the risk, what future actions must be done to reduce the risk and what else they need to do about the risk.
The risk owner should consider the following:
- Can we eliminate the risk altogether?
- If yes, what do we need to achieve this?
- If no, what can we do that will allow us to manage the risk so that it becomes an acceptable level of risk?
- Who will manage this risk?
If the assessment of risk is that there is a high likelihood of occurring and a risk of significant harm and safeguards cannot be put in place to reduce the likelihood or harm then the activity should not go ahead.
Step 4 – Record your findings and act on them
It is helpful to record the result of your risk assessment. The benefits of recording are:
- It shows everyone involved that you take this seriously and that you value their involvement; and
- It will be helpful in the future when you look back to review what action is identified.
Keep it simple. If there are a number of actions required, tackle the important ones or those which are rated ‘high’ first. Agree timescales for addressing the other actions and who will be responsible.
Step 5 – Monitor and review
After the event/activity/trip review how it went:
- Were the controls effective?
- Were the actions effective?
- What can we learn?
Ask the children and/or young people who took part in the activity or event, their parents and carers and the member of staff and volunteers who were involved as to what would be realistic and work in practice for future activities and events. Where appropriate, children and young people should also be consulted at the planning stage as they may be able to highlight risks which have not been considered by the adults involved.
Developing good relationships leads to positive behaviour on and off the pitch. Positive relationships are essential for creating the right environment. Unfortunately, there may be occasions where inappropriate relationships with children and young people are formed through football.
Within the Club all staff and volunteers are expected to be proactive in promoting positive relationships with all children and young people involved in football. This Practice Note sets out how members of staff and volunteers can develop positive relationships, it includes information about ‘positions of trust’ and it highlights behaviour which is inappropriate and the response which should be take should by anyone involved in football if they have concerns.
Positive relationships are essential for creating an environment of inclusivity and fun. They lead to effective learning and create place where children and young people feel able to share any worries or concerns. Where children and young people feel included, respected, safe and secure they are more likely to develop self-confidence, resilience and positive views of themselves.
|How to develop positive relationships with the children and young people:|
|Have fun and help them get the most out their football experience |
Support the children and young people to understand their rights in football
Treat them with respect, dignity, sensitivity and fairness
Listen to what they have to say and, when possible, include them in decisions on matters that affect them Set clear boundaries so they know what to expect from you and what you expect from them
|Celebrate the success but put the interests of each child before winning|
Encourage them to be the best version of themselves and to recognise their strengths and weaknesses
Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback
Challenge inappropriate behaviour e.g. bullying behaviour, swearing or sexualised language
Involve the parents/carers wherever possible
|Have ‘favourites’ – this could lead to resentment and jealousy by other children and could be misinterpreted by others|
Spend excessive amounts of time alone with children and young people away from others
Make sexually suggestive comments to a child or young person, even in fun
|Form intimate emotional, physical or sexual relationships with children and young people|
Have a child or young person to stay at your home where this is not part of a pre-existing family relationship or social relationship with other members of your family
|POSITION OF TRUST|
In football, as in many sports, children and young people look up to the adults involved in the game and those in leadership roles. They see these individuals are idols, role models and sometimes the people who can help them achieve their goal of becoming a professional footballer, whether this is real or perceived.
A position of trust is any position of authority that requires the holder of the position to enjoy the trust of a person over whom they exercise this authority and can also be known as a ‘relationship of trust’. In the context of this Practice Note people who hold positions of trust are generally adults but will also apply to young people who are aged under 18 and have taken on leadership roles.
|The power and influence a member of staff and/or volunteer has over a child or young person, who they are coaching or looking after in football, cannot be underestimated. Therefore, members of staff and volunteer will be considered to be in a position of trust.|
If there is an additional competitive aspect to the activity and the person in the position of authority is seen as having a role in the child or young person’s success or failure, for example through team selection, then the dependency of the younger person has upon the person in a position of authority will be increased. It is therefore vital for everyone to recognise the responsibility they must exercise in ensuring that they do not abuse their position of trust.
Current sexual offences legislation classifies any sexual activity involving children under 16 years old as unlawful. The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 defines specific roles and settings where sexual activity between 16 or 17 year olds and those in a position of trust, responsibility, or authority, constitutes a criminal offence. The legislation does not currently include sports roles (e.g. coaches, instructors or helpers) or sports organisation settings (e.g. clubs, leisure facilities or events) within these definitions. Nonetheless the Club recognises the influence that a member of staff and/or volunteer has over children and young people, and that by virtue of their role they have the capacity to influence their personal, social and sporting development.
Genuine relationships do occur, however, no intimate relationship should begin whilst the member of staff or volunteer is in a position of trust with the child or young person, regardless of whether they are both over the legal age of consent.
Any concerns that a member of staff and/or volunteer is or has abused their position of trust must be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.
|PEER ON PEER ABUSE|
Football is a great place to make new friends and increase your social circle. Through a common interest in football friendships will form and relationships will develop between the children and young people. This may include intimate emotional relationships between children and/or young people. Often no harm comes from them, indeed they can be positive relationships. However, children and/or young people who suffer abuse can do so at the hands of other children and/or young people. Peer on peer abuse may include physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse. The Club takes harmful behaviour by children and/or young people towards other children and/or young people seriously. Any concerns about such conduct must be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and, if appropriate, reported to the police and local statutory services.
‘Positions of trust’ also apply to children and young people who have taken on a leadership role within football. If there is a concern that a young person has abused their position of trust or acted inappropriately towards another young person this will be responded to in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure.
The vast majority of adults involved in Club activities with children and young people participate with the aim of providing a fun and positive experience for those with whom they work. However, the club recognise that some people (though a minority) may use football as a way of gaining access to children and young people for inappropriate reasons, including sexual abuse. In order to gain access to children and young people, those who commit offences often first earn the trust of people surrounding the child or young person. This may include representatives of the child or young person, members of the club, coaches and volunteers, parents and carers and other children or young people. This process is referred to as ‘grooming’. This predatory behaviour is an offence and may be prosecuted separately to direct sexual abuse. Those who commit offences often portray themselves as caring and trustworthy individuals so they are freely entrusted with the care of children or young people. Once they have gained access to children or young people, they befriend them in order to break down any pre-existing barriers. As soon as a trusting friendship has been established, they manipulate and control children or young person into gratifying their sexual needs. It is important to recognise that this can occur over a very short or a very long period of time depending on the individual and the role they have, for example if a person is perceived by the child or young person as being able to influence their sporting career then the process can be very short indeed.
Some children or young people who have been sexually abused may not consider that they have been abused as a result of grooming and instead may think that they are in a ‘loving’ relationship with the adult. It is important to understand that grooming is part of the abuse and is a criminal offence. The Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005 addresses the predatory behaviour of those who “groom” children with the aim of abusing them, by introducing an offence of “grooming”. Any member of staff or volunteer must report any suspicions or allegations of grooming to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer in line with the Responding to Concerns Procedure.
|OPPORTUNISTIC OR SITUATIONAL BEHAVIOUR|
Not all people who abuse children and young people are predatory or go into a role with the intention of abusing children and young people. In some circumstances, the adult may take advantage of the opportunity through misuse of their position of trust and a lack of clear boundaries (“opportunistic behaviour”). Others may be in a situation where through working with a child or young person they start to feel an attraction (“situational behaviour”). For those whose behaviour is opportunistic or situational, they may have never previously considered abusing a child or young person or had a sexual attraction to children or young people and may be just as confused about their own behaviour, thoughts and feelings. This does not mean that their behaviour is any less concerning. The wellbeing and safety of the child or young person must always be the paramount consideration and all actions should be taken in their best interests. Any concerns of such behaviour must be responded to under the Responding to Concerns Procedure and reported to the police, if possible criminal behaviour.
In circumstances of opportunistic or situational behaviour the Appointment and Selection Procedure becomes less effective as a preventative measure and prevention planning becomes necessary as part of an on-going assessment to the safety of all children and young people involved in the activity or event.
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 and/or young people 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 or young person may lead to the information being shared with the child/young person’s Named Person and may lead to reports being made to external agencies such as the police or social services. Sexual activity between children and young people is unlawful if one or both are aged under 16.
Sexual interactions between adults and young people (aged 16 and over) involved in football while not illegal raise serious issues given the power imbalance inherent in the relationship. Where a young person is of the age of consent, the power of the adult over that young person may influence their ability to genuinely consent to sexual activity. Members of staff and/or volunteers in a position of authority may have significant power or influence over a young person’s career. Sexual activity between adults and young people (aged 16 and over) involved in football is prohibited when the adult is considered to be in a position of trust or authority (coach, official etc). Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by an adult will lead to suspension and disciplinary action in accordance with the club’s Disciplinary Procedures, which in the case of criminal behaviour must include contacting the police.
Sexual activity between adults and children or young people under the age of 16 is a criminal act and should be immediately reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and the police.
*All references and information provided on legislation listed above has been taken from ’10 Steps to Safeguard Children in Sport’ published online by the Safeguarding in Sport Service: www.children1st.org.uk/what-we-do/our-services/search-our-services/safeguarding-in-sport/10-steps-to-safeguard-children-in-sport
Travel to away games and trips away from home should be both safe and fun for children and young people. It should be a chance for all children and young people to grow in confidence, self-esteem and skills. Parents and carers will often worry when their children are away but careful planning and preparation should help to ease those worries and demonstrate that consideration has been given to the various needs of their children and the potential risks associated with trips away.
This Practice Note sets out what is expected of members of staff and volunteers when travelling with children and young people as part of the football activities and should be read in conjunction with the Practice Note on Planning and Organisation.
|TRANSPORTATION OF CHILDREN|
Where it is necessary to transport children and/or young people it is important to consider the risks associated. The following provides information about the responsibilities of both the child’s parents/carers and the Club and sets out what is required when transporting children and young people.
|Responsibility of Parents/Carers|
|Parents/carers must complete the Consent Form declaring that they consent to their child being transported by persons representing the club|
Parents/carers should inform those travelling with their child of any issues their child may have e.g. travel sickness
|Ask appropriate questions about journey time, route etc. |
Make sure parents/carers are clear about the departure times and arrival time
Make sure an appropriate adult is present when the child or young person is collected and dropped
|REMEMBER: Where parents/carers make arrangements for the transportation of their children to and from the activity, outwith 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.|
|Responsibility of the Club|
|Check the driver(s) has a valid and appropriate licence for the vehicle being used e.g. D1 classification for driving minibuses |
Ensure that all vehicles and drivers are correctly insured for the purpose of the trip
Ensure that all vehicles are fit for purpose and have relevant breakdown cover
Check that all reasonable safety measures are available e.g. fitted, working seatbelts, booster seats where appropriate
Require children and/or young people wear seatbelts at all times and travel in the back seat for health and safety reasons
Make sure there is an appropriate ratio of adults per child. For further information on Adult to Child ratios see Practice Note – Planning and Organisation
Require drivers to have adequate breaks when driving long distance. Further information on the legal requirement on drivers in relation to appropriate breaks can be found at https://www.gov.uk/drivers-hours/gb-domestic-rules
|Make sure there are signed consent forms for all children and young people who are being transported|
Inform parents/carers that the club will be transporting their child, the reasons why and how long the journey will take
Tell the children and/ young people about the travel arrangements to make sure they are comfortable with the plans
Agree a collection policy with parents/carers which includes a clear and shared understanding of arrangements for collection at the end of a football activity
Have a point of contact and a working mobile phone in case of break down or any other issues enroute
When the transportation is not pre-planned, call ahead to inform the child’s parents/carers that you are giving them a lift and inform them of when you expect to arrive
|Travel alone with a child or young person. Staff should travel in pairs or, in exceptional circumstances, with more than one child in the car. If you require to transport a child due to an emergency situation and it is not possible for another adult to travel with you, tell another member of staff or volunteer that you are transporting a child or young person, give details of the route and the anticipated length of the journey|
|TRIPS AWAY FROM HOME (INCLUDING OVERNIGHT STAYS)|
Travelling to away fixtures, tournaments and residential stays are regular activities which may require detailed arrangements involving overnight stays. Even what may appear as the most straightforward trip will require some level of planning and coordination by the members of staff and/or volunteers involved to make sure that it is a safe and enjoyable experience.
The following information outlines a number of issues that members of staff and volunteers must take into consideration when travelling with children and young people. This guidance applies to all away trips including trips which involve overnight stays and travelling abroad.
Planning and preparation
|Who should travel with the team?|
|All trips away must be planned to involve at least two adults. For further information on appropriate Adult to Child ratios see Practice Note – Planning and Organisation |
Members of staff and/or volunteers travelling on the trip who have responsibility for the children and young people or who are in regulated work must be selected in accordance with the Appointment and Selection Procedure
A Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer should be designated for the trip and that person(s) must have undertaken appropriate training
|Everyone travelling should be familiar with and agree to abide by the Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy and have received appropriate training |
There should be a qualified first aider as part of the group with access to a full and up to date first aid box
Make sure the appropriate members of staff or volunteers have been selected for the trip e.g. if travelling with a male group of players, there should always be a male member of staff and vice versa
Designated Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer for the Trip
During the trip members of staff and/or volunteers will be responsible for the safety and wellbeing of children and/or young people in their care. It is essential that a member of staff or volunteer is designated as Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer (CWPO) to coordinate the arrangements to promote, support and safeguard the wellbeing of the children and/or young people during the trip. The CWPO will ensure all practical arrangements have been addressed and act as the main contact for dealing with any concerns about the safety and wellbeing of the children and/or young people whilst away from home. A detailed itinerary will be prepared and copies provided to the club’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and parents/carers, including the CWPO’s contact details during the trip. The CWPO should be familiar with contact details for the club’s Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer so that advice can be sought, if required.
In the event of an emergency at home during the trip, parents/carers should be encouraged to make contact with the CWPO in the first instance so that arrangements can be put in to place to support the child on hearing any distressing news.
|How to involve the parent/carers and children and young people in the preparation and planning|
|For trips involving overnight stays meet with parents/carers before any trip, when possible, to explain the arrangements, itinerary and important contact details and address any concerns or questions|
Parents/carers must complete the Consent Form in advance of the trip. If appropriate, the young people should also complete the Consent Form
Give the children and young people and their parents/carers an information pack which includes: dates, what you are doing, where you are going, rules, kit list, recommended pocket money, medical care needs etc.
Provide the parents/carers with contact details in case of an emergency. This must include the contact details for the designated CWPO
|Work with the children and young people establish rules for the trip, including consequences for breaking the rules |
Children and young people should also know who they can talk to if they have any worries or concerns while away from home. All children and young people and their parents/carers should know who the designated CWPO will be for the trip and given the CWPO’s contact details
For trips abroad, children and/or young people should be informed of the local customs. Information can be found at on the UK Government website at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Ask the children and/or young people and their parents/carer to make you aware of any dietary requirements. This can include dietary requirements due to allergies or religious beliefs e.g. a child or young person may be observing Ramadan
|Members of staff and/or volunteers must ensure there is adequate and relevant insurance cover (including travel and medical insurance) |
Where possible, the whole squad should travel in identifiable clothing e.g. team tracksuit
If travelling abroad, check if you need visas and/or vaccinations Potential areas of risk should be identified through a risk assessment. Further information on risk assessments can be found in the Practice Note – Prevention Planning
Members of staff and/or volunteers should have clear roles and responsibilities for the duration of the trip
|Members of staff and/or volunteers should also familiarise themselves with the nearest hospital/A&E Department and if travelling abroad, the details of the emergency services in the location they visit e.g. what is the telephone number for the emergency services in that country?|
If the trip involves overseas organisers shall ensure they are aware of local procedures for dealing with concerns about the wellbeing of children and/or young people
Members of staff and/or volunteers must ensure arrangements are in place for the supervision and risk assessment of activities during free time
Members of staff and/or 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/young people and their 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:|
|Location: central and remote locations both present different challenges|
Accommodation facility: health & safety of building confirmed by owners/providers
Appropriate safeguards are in place for accommodation where the same areas can be accessed by others e.g. if staying in a hotel can other guests and hotel staff access this area? Special access or adaptive aids required by members of staff or volunteers or children or young people
Personal safety issues
For overnight stays, agree who is sharing with whom before you go. This will enable suitable sharing in terms of age and gender. Parents/carers and the children and young people should be consulted in advance about arrangements for sharing, where possible and appropriate, and there should be a certain amount of flexibility as friendships can change
Residential at a Facility / Centre
Members of staff and/or 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 and/or young people must be appropriately qualified and trained. Members of staff and/or volunteers 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.
During the trip
|Check all rooms e.g. are there the correct number of beds, is there any damage which needs to be reported etc. |
Ensure there is no access to alcohol in the rooms and that all rooms are non-smoking
Ensure movie access is appropriate or not available in the rooms
Ensure that everyone is aware of the fire exits and the emergency procedures
Ensure there is somewhere to store money or valuables
|Ideally all the bedrooms should be together, however if they are not ensure that members of staff and/or volunteers spread out e.g. if the group is over three floors, there should be at least one adult room on each floor |
Adults must never share a room alone with a child or young person
Have a meeting on arrival to review the programme and rule
|Best practice during the trip:|
|Hold daily group meetings and a staff meeting. They don’t need to be long but they do provide the opportunity to discuss any issues or problems and solve them before they grow |
During ‘free time’, children and/or young people must not be allowed to wander alone in unfamiliar places
A check should be carried out when leaving each place and arriving at the next venue/location to make sure everyone is present
Members of staff and/or volunteers should not enter the bedrooms of the children and young people unless in an emergency situation or in the interest of health and safety. If it is necessary to enter the rooms there should be at least two adults present and they should knock the door and say they are coming in before entering. Once in the room the door should remain open, if appropriate
|Members of staff and/or volunteers must not be over familiar with the children and/or young people 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 and/or volunteers should maintain an overview of the wellbeing of all children and/or young people during the trip. This can help to identify issues at an early stage and resolve them as quickly as possible. Children and/or young people 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 members of staff and/or volunteers to know
After the trip
Where possible, a debrief will take place with all those involved in the trip. Ask the children and/or young people and the staff and/or volunteers what they enjoyed and they would change. 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.