Club Safety Check
Here are the key points you should check out when choosing a sports or leisure group for your child. Remember, a well-run club will welcome questions about their activities and policies. They will know they have a responsibility to give this kind of information to anyone who leaves a child in their care.
- Recruitment of staff and volunteers: Have they all been selected through a proper recruitment process? This should include interviews, references and police checks for staff working for children.
- How well are staff and volunteers trained? In addition to sports skills, they should all have been trained in child protection and health and safety procedures.
- Supervision of staff and volunteers: There should be someone in charge to supervise staff and volunteers at all times.
- Health and safety: Make sure that there is a leader qualified in first aid and that there are: a first aid box, arrangements for drinks, and guidelines about dealing with injuries; also that the premises satisfy fire regulations.
- Your child's personal care needs: If your child needs help with using the toilet, feeding, or medication, ask about the procedures for personal care needs.
- Is the coach qualified? Your child's coach should have a recognised qualification that includes child protection training.
- What about arrangements for away fixtures and other events? The sports club or centre should inform you about the event arrangements, including transport to and from the venue. You should also be given information about the venue itself. If it is a long way from home, you should be given a contact number for use in emergencies.
- If your child or you have any worries, who can you talk to? The sports organisation should be prepared to listen and tell you what to do. They should have information about local or national services that can also offer advice and support if you are unhappy about the way you concern is dealt with.
- Does the organisation have a written code of behaviour? There should be a written code of behaviour showing what is required of staff, volunteers and participants. Avoid organisations that permit bullying, shouting, racism, sexism or any other kind of oppressive behaviour.
- Does the organisation have a child protection policy? Sports and leisure organisations should have a child protection policy, with a clear procedure for dealing with concerns about possible abuse. Parents and carers should be able to view the policy on request.
- What boundaries exist concerning club relationships? The club should have clear guidelines about physical contact and social activities between staff, volunteers, partipating children, and parents. Find out who in the club you can speak to if you have concerns about boundaries not being observed.