Internal enquiries and suspension
The Saizen Kai Karate Child Protection Officer will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.
Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the Saizen Kai Karate’s Disciplinary Committee will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision, particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, the Saizen Kai Karate’s Committee must reach a decision based upon the available information, which could suggest that on a balance of probability; it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.
Saizen Kai Karate - Child Protection Policy
Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse
+ Consideration should be given to the kind of support that children, parents and members of staff may need. Use of helplines, support groups and open meetings will maintain an open culture and help the healing process. The British Association for Counselling Directory is available from The British Association for Counselling, 1 Regent Place, Rugby CV21 2PJ, Tel: 01788 550899, Fax: 01788 562189, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet: www.bacp.co.uk
+ Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged perpetrator.
Allegations of previous abuse
Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (eg by an adult who was abused as a child or by a member of staff who is still currently working with children).
Where such an allegation is made, the club should follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police. This is because other children, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Protection of Children Act 1999.
If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in 'Responding to suspicions or allegations' above.
Action if bullying is suspected
Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in sport:
+ Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
+ Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns (It is believed that up to 12 children per year commit suicide as a result of bullying, so if anyone talks about or threatens suicide, seek professional help immediately). Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in authority.
+ Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe. Speak with the victim and the bully(ies) separately.
+ Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else.
+ Keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom, when).
+ Report any concerns to the Child Protection Officer or the school (wherever the bullying is occurring).
Action towards the bully(ies):
+ Talk with the bully(ies), explain the situation, and try to get the bully(ies) to understand the consequences of their behaviour. Seek an apology to the victim(s).
+ Inform the bully(ies)’s parents.
+ Insist on the return of 'borrowed' items and that the bully(ies) compensate the victim.
+ Provide support for the victim's coach.
+ Impose sanctions as necessary.
+ Encourage and support the bully(ies) to change behaviour.
+ Hold meetings with the families to report on progress.
+ Inform all organisation members of action taken.
+ Keep a written record of action taken.
3. Concerns outside the immediate sporting environment (eg a parent or carer):
+ 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.
4. Information for social services or the police about suspected abuse:
To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should include the following:
+ The child's name, age and date of birth of the child.
+ The child's home address and telephone number.
+ Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
+ The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.
+ Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
+ A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
+ Details of witnesses to the incidents.
+ The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
+ Have the parents been contacted?
+ If so, what has been said?
+ Has anyone else been consulted? If so, record details.
+ If the child was not the person who reported the incident, has the child been spoken to? If so, what was said?
+ Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.
+ Where possible referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded.
If you are worried about sharing concerns about abuse with a senior colleague, you can contact social services or the police direct, or the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or Childline on 0800 1111.
On behalf of Saizen Kai Karate we, the undersigned, will oversee the implementation of the Child Protection Policy and take all necessary steps to ensure it is adhered to.