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The West Midlands Police Sports & Wellbeing Association (“Club”) Safeguarding Policy
Part 1: Safeguarding Policy
The Club acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. The Club is committed to ensuring safeguarding practices reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice and local authority requirements.
The policy recognises that the welfare and interest of children and vulnerable adults are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability, or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, individuals:
the Club acknowledges that some children and vulnerable adults can be particularly vulnerable to abuse, and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare. As part of our safeguarding policy, the Club will:
Child: a person under the age of eighteen years.
Adult at risk: a person aged eighteen years or over who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is, or may be, unable to take care of, or unable to protect him or herself against abuse or neglect.
Safeguarding children: protecting children from abuse and/or neglect, preventing the impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that they grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
Safeguarding adults at risk: protecting adults from abuse and/or neglect. Enabling adults to maintain control over their lives and make informed choices without coercion. Empowering adults at risk, consulting them before acting, unless someone lacks the capacity to decide, or their mental health poses a risk to their own or someone else’s safety, in which case, always acting in his or her best interests.
This Policy is applicable to all staff, committee members, volunteers, club members and visitors.
All staff, committee members and volunteers will:
Advice, guidance, and support is available from our 3 Designated Safeguarding Leads
The Designated Safeguarding Leads shall always be the Club’s Chief Executive Officer, plus 2 senior personnel.
If there is a concern about a child or vulnerable adult the DSL should be informed immediately. If the DSL is not available, the concern should be taken to a member of the Club’s Management Committee. If there is an immediate risk to a child or vulnerable adult call 999.
Once the DSL or a member of the Club’s Management Committee has received a concern, they will decide on the appropriate action to be taken. Safeguarding and Child protection information will be dealt with, in a confidential manner. Staff will be informed of relevant details only when the DSL or a member of the Club’s Management Committee feels their having knowledge of a situation will improve their ability to support an individual child and/or family.
All records will be stored securely in a central place and stored in line with current data legislation and guidance. All records will be stored electronically, and all paper files will be disposed of confidentially once transferred. All records will be kept for a period of 7 years after the Club’s last contact with the child or vulnerable adult and their family.
Parents will be aware of information held on their children and kept up to date regarding any concerns or developments by the appropriate members of staff. Information will not be disclosed to the parent if that information would put the child at risk of significant harm.
The DSL and Members of the Club’s Management Committee must undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. Training should be updated every two years. In addition to this they will update their knowledge at regular intervals to keep up with any developments relevant to their role.
The Club will follow safer recruitment practices for the recruitment of all staff, Management Committee Members, and volunteers. This includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and relevant qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history, and ensuring the candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job.
It also includes undertaking interviews and appropriate checks including criminal record checks (WMP Professional Standards). Evidence of these checks must be recorded.
All staff will attend an in-house safeguarding awareness course. The in-house course will focus on understanding the principles of safeguarding, the indicators of abuse or neglect and the Club’s reporting procedures. Training to be included in all mandatory induction annual refresher training
We recognise the stressful and traumatic nature of safeguarding and child protection work. We will support staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the DSL and to seek further support as appropriate. We have a provision of a Health Assured confidential app for all employees and families.
There are circumstances when it is appropriate for staff to use reasonable force to safeguard children and young people. The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by staff that involves a degree of physical contact to control or restrain children. This can range from guiding a child to safety by the arm, to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a young person needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury. ‘Reasonable’ in these circumstances means ‘using no more force than is needed’. The use of force may involve either passive physical contact, such as standing between children or blocking a child’s path, or active physical contact such as leading a child by the arm out an area.
8 Breaches of the Safeguarding Policy
Breaches of this Policy and/or failure to comply with the outlined responsibilities may result in the following:
Actions taken by Members, parents or carers, staff, consultants, volunteers and or officials inside or outside of the Club that are seen to contradict this Policy may be considered a violation of this Policy.
Where an appeal is lodged in response to a safeguarding decision made by the Club, the individual should adhere to the Club’s appeal procedure.
Safeguarding children and adults at risk requires everyone to be committed to the highest possible standards of openness, integrity, and accountability. As a club, we are committed to encouraging and maintaining a culture where people feel able to raise a genuine safeguarding concern and are confident that it will be taken seriously.
What is whistle blowing?
In the context of safeguarding, “whistle blowing” is when someone raises a concern about the well-being of a child or an adult at risk. A whistle blower may be:
How to raise a concern about a child or an adult at risk at the club
If a child or an adult at risk is in immediate danger or risk of harm, the police should be contacted by calling 999.
Where a child or an adult at risk is not in immediate danger, any concerns about their well-being should be made without delay to the DSL. The DSL will either deal with the issue of concern and or pass the details of the concern on to the relevant local authority and or the police (where appropriate).
If, however, the whistle blower does not feel comfortable raising a concern with the DSL, the whistle blower should contact the local authority and or the police.
Information to include when raising a concern
The whistle blower should provide as much information as possible regarding the incident or circumstance which has given rise to the concern, including:
What happens next?
All concerns raised by a whistle blower about the well-being of a child or an adult at risk will be taken seriously and every effort will be made to deal with each concern fairly, quickly, and proportionately.
If the whistle blower does not believe that the concern has been dealt with appropriately by the DSL and wishes to speak to someone outside the Club, they should contact the local authority and or the police and or the NSPCC Whistleblowing advice line on 0800 028 0285