CHILD PROTECTION POLICY INCLUDING BEST PRACTICE
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Invincible Worldwide and Invincible HQ recognises that because coaches/volunteers are in regular and frequent contact with children they are particularly well placed to observe signs of abuse. Invincible HQ is therefore aware of the responsibilities which the coached/volunteers have with regard to the protection of children from abuse and from inadequate and inappropriate care.
Invincible HQ nominated Child Protection Welfare Officer (CPWO) is: Alan La
Alan La is the “designated person” which concerns must be shared with. All coaches/volunteers have been made aware of the above and realise that if they suspect any wrong doings towards any of the children connected to the club that they must bring it to the attention of the CPWO immediately.
Where coaches/volunteers see signs which cause them to have concerns they should seek information from the child with tact and sympathy. It is not however the responsibility of the coach/volunteer to investigate suspected abuse.
All records and witness statements relating to child protection concerns will be marked confidential and kept on the premises belonging to the CPWO.
CHILD PROTECTION PRINCIPLES
Principles on which Invincible HQ procedures are based:
1. Children have the right to protection
2. Everyone working with or in contact with children has a responsibility for their protection
3. Responsibility relating to concern for a child’s safety must be shared
4. Child protection depends on all coaches/volunteers and all agencies working together.
5. Child protection over-rides:
• Relationship with family
• Agency hierarchy and objectives
Invincible HQ’s responsibilities are determined by the following legislation:
• Police Act 1997
• Sex Offenders Act 1997
• Human Rights Act 1998
• Crime and Disorder Act 1998
• Children Act amended 1990
• Protection of Children Act 1999
• Sexual Offences Act revised 2000
• Youth Evidence and crime Evidence Act 1999
CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES
The procedures apply to ALL children and to abuse by anyone responsible for their care i.e. parents, baby sitters, professionals (e.g. care staff, teachers, coaches/volunteers).
Procedures MUST be followed in response to child abuse or suspicion of child abuse. Do not guarantee confidentiality to the child. Take what the child says very seriously.
Typical signs of abuse include:
• unexplained bruising or injuries
• sexually explicit language/actions
• sudden changes in behaviour e.g. withdrawn
• something a child has said
• a change observed over a long period of time
• loss of weight for no apparent reason
Remember these signs may not constitute abuse. If you have any concerns share them with the “designated person” – the CPWO.
CATEGORIES OF ABUSE
Physical abuse implies physically harmful action directed against a child; it is usually defined as any inflicted injury such as bruises, burns, head injuries, fractures, abdominal injuries or poisoning.
• Possible physical abuse in the martial arts includes:
• inappropriate training methods
• knowingly permitting those who are already injured or ill to train.
Emotional abuse includes a child being continually terrorised, berated or
• Possible emotional abuse in martial arts includes:
• frequently taunting, criticising, bullying or pressing children to attain standards that they are clearly not able to reach
• continuous criticism and lack of praise from the coach/parent
• pressure from the parent for their child to train against their wishes
Sexual abuse is defined as the involvement of dependant developmentally immature children and adolescents in sexual activities they do not truly comprehend, to which they are unable to give informed consent, or that violate the social taboos of family roles.
• Possible sexual abuse in martial arts includes:
• Inappropriate physical contact e.g. supporting, touching or inappropriate medical treatment
• Showing young people pornographic books, photography or videos.
Neglect can be a very insidious form of maltreatment, which can go on for a long time. It implies failure of the parents to act properly in safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of the child. It includes nutritional neglect, failure to provide medical care or to protect a child from physical and social danger.
Possible neglect in martial arts includes:
• Failure to ensure that the child is safe or to expose them to undue extremes of weather or risk or injury.
• Fail to meet the child’s basic physical needs for food and warm clothing.
• To constantly leave children alone or unsupervised.
• Emotional and verbal bullying are more common than physical violence.
Possible bullying in martial arts:
• Individuals ganging up against one individual and threatening them verbally or physically.
• A coach wanting to “win – at – all – costs” forcing participants to the limit.
• Young students threatening and stealing from fellow students.
HOW TO REPORT YOUR CONCERNS
Record what you saw or heard as soon after the event as possible.
Remember it is not your job to interrogate or try to find out as much information as possible. You are not qualified to do so, may cause greater upset to the victim and may put a legal case at risk. Write down the facts – exactly what the person said or precisely what you saw. Do not add any opinions about what you saw or heard.
Use the notes you have written down when you are reporting your concerns verbally, try to stay calm and unemotional.
Do not share the information with anyone else. You may need support yourself and you should discuss this with the person to whom you report your concerns.
If you feel that your concerns are not being dealt with satisfactorily, you should follow up by contacting another CPWO.
Report a Child Protection incident
Please submit a written form to report any Child Protection incidents you become aware of following the guidelines from the policy document above. All submissions will be treated in confidence and the only person who receives a copy of your submission is the Academies Welfare Officer.