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Saizen Kai

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Saizen Kai Karate - Child Protection Policy

At Saizen Kai Karate we will ensure that:

+ The welfare of the child is paramount.
+ All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse.
+ All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
+ All staff (paid/unpaid) working in sport have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.

Saizen Kai Karate Policy Statement:

Saizen Kai Karate has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in Karate from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account.
Saizen Kai Karate will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in karate through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by Saizen Kai Karate.

A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).

Policy aims

Promoting good practice

Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to take.

Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, instructor, teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document.

When a child enters the club having been subjected to child abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the child’s self-esteem. In such instances the club must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required support.

Good practice guidelines

All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.

Good practice means:

+ Always working in an open environment avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication.
+ Treating all young people/disabled adults equally with respect and dignity.
+ Always putting the welfare of each young person first.
+ Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with players (eg it is not appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them).
+ Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust and empowering children to share in decision making.
+ Making sport fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play.
+ Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines provided by the Coach Education Programme. If it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving, young people should always be consulted and their agreement gained. Some parents are becoming increasingly sensitive about manual support and their views should always be carefully considered.
+ Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance.
+ Involving parents/carers wherever possible. For example, encouraging them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms. If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents, teachers, coaches or officials work in pairs.
+ Ensuring that if mixed teams are taken away for the day or night, they should always be accompanied by a male and female member of staff. However, remember that same gender abuse can also occur.
+ Ensuring that at tournaments or residential events, adults should not enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms.
+ Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people.
+ Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
+ Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people and disabled adults – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.

Practices to be avoided

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If a case arises where these situations are unavoidable (eg the child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a session), it should be with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the club or the child’s parents.

Otherwise, avoid:

+ Spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.
+ Taking or dropping off a child to an event.

Practices never to be sanctioned

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

+ Engage in rough physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
+ Share a room with a child.
+ Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
+ Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
+ Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
+ Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
+ Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
+ Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults that they can do for themselves.
+ Invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised.

NB It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents and the players involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.

Incidents that must be reported/recorded

If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to another colleague and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed:
+ if you accidentally hurt a player
+ if he/she seems distressed in any manner
+ if a player appears to be sexually aroused by your actions
+ if a player misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.

Use of photographic/filming equipment at sporting events

There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled sportspeople in vulnerable positions. All clubs should be vigilant and any concerns should to be reported to the Child Protection Officer.

Video as a coaching aid: there is no intention to prevent club coaches and teachers using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However, performers and their parents/carers should be made aware that this is part of the coaching programme and such films should be stored safely.

Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers

Saizen Kai Karate recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children.

Pre-selection checks must included the following:

+ All volunteers/staff should complete an application form. The application form will elicit information about an applicant's past and a self-disclosure about any criminal record.
+ Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau.
+ Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children. These references must be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact.
+ Evidence of identity should be provided (eg passport or driving licence with photo).

Interview and induction

+ Analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to ensure their practice is likely to protect them from false allegations.
+ Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse.
+ Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person.
+ Work safely and effectively with children.

Saizen Kai Karate requires:

+ Coaching staff to attend a recognised 3-hour good practice and child protection awareness training workshop, to ensure their practice is exemplary and to facilitate the development of a positive culture towards good practice and child protection.
+ Non-coaching staff and volunteers to complete recognised awareness training on child protection.
+ Relevant personnel to receive advisory information outlining good practice and informing them about what to do if they have concerns about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person.
+ Relevant personnel to undergo national first aid training (where necessary).
+ Attendance of update training when necessary. Information about meeting training needs can be obtained from sports coach UK, the NSPCC and Sport England.

Responding to allegations or suspicions

It is not the responsibility of anyone working in Saizen Kai Karate in a paid or unpaid capacity, to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.

Saizen Kai Karate will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone who in good faith reports his/her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.

Action

1. Concerns about poor practice:

+ If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice, the Child Protection Officer will deal with it as a misconduct issue.
+ If the allegation is about poor practice by the Child Protection Officer, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the relevant officer who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings.

2. Concerns about suspected abuse:

+ Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the Child Protection Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
+ The Child Protection Officer will refer the allegation to the social services department which may involve the police, or go directly to the police if out-of-hours.
+ The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.
+ Child Protection Officer who will refer the allegation to social services.