If you are worried about how you or someone else is being treated by another young person or adult, there is someone you, your parents, carer or coach can talk to.
Starlight Synchro Welfare Officer: Hazel Barber
Contact: 07969 419611
The following policy and supporting documents are currently under review given new guidelines from British Ice Skating.
Child protection policy
The welfare of children is everyone's responsibility, particularly when it comes to protecting them from abuse. Children have a lot to gain from sport. Their natural sense of fun and spontaneity can blossom in a positive environment created by sports organisations. It provides an excellent opportunity for them to learn new skills, become more confident and maximise their own unique potential. This Policy, and any subsequent Procedures, is based on the following principles:
The welfare of children is the paramount concern.
All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
It is everyone's responsibility to report any concerns about abuse and the responsibility of the Social Work Department and the Police to conduct, where appropriate, a joint investigation.
All incidents of alleged poor practice, misconduct and abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
All personal data will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
This Policy and subsequent Procedures will be regularly monitored and reviewed:
In accordance with changes in legislation and guidance on the protection of children or any changes within Starlight Synchro Skating Club
Following any issues or concerns raised about the protection of children or vulnerable adults within Starlight Synchro Skating Club
At least annually.
Every adult has a responsibility to ensure the well-being and protection of children and young people from abuse. Abusive circumstances and incidents occur in many situations including home, school and sporting environments and perpetrators have been known at times to seek involvement with children and young people with the specific intention of causing them harm. Everyone, everywhere has a role to play in safeguarding the welfare of children and preventing them from being exposed to abuse.
This policy has been prepared for staff, volunteers, skaters and parents of the STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB and is intended to offer guidance on ensuring the welfare of its members.
This policy complements both National, local and NISA Guidance.
All sporting organisations which make provision for children and young people must 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 and poor practice will be investigated and responded to swiftly and appropriately
All staff (paid/unpaid) working in sport have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.
Policy statement / aims.
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB has a duty of care to safeguard all children and young people involved in the club from harm. All children and young people have a right to protection and the needs of vulnerable children need to be taken into account.
The STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB will ensure the safety and protection of all children and young people involved in the club by adhering to the Child Protection Policy adopted by the STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 16years of age (The Children Act Scotland 1995).
The aim of the STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice.
Good Practice Guidance
Good Practice for Starlight Synchro Skating Club
It is essential that consideration to Child Protection is given for all activities to ensure the risk of abuse is minimised for all children and young people involved in ice skating. Additionally, good practice guidance is there for the protection and safety of staff, volunteers and participants to avoid allegations of poor practice.
Failure to adhere to the following policy could place children and young people, coaches and the club/rink in a vulnerable position.
Development of a STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB Child Protection Policy
Recognition of National Ice Skating Association Child Protection Policy
Promotion of the STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB to all members and parents to show the club`s commitment to a safe environment and to ensure a standardised approach to activities is taken.
Promotion of an environment where all concerns can be raised, in an appropriate manner, without fear of victimization or reprisal
Establishing a system where complaints or concerns can be voiced and dealt with confidently, complying with NISA reporting guidelines.
Requesting written consent for participation, contact details, photography consent, medical information and an agreement to act in loco parentis in an emergency.
Keeping written records of any concerns raised, child protection related incidents and accidents and the outcomes of investigations.
Ensure that every effort is made to prevent situations where an adult is alone with a child/young person
Parental consent for all occasions where children /young people are staying away from home
Ensure that at least two responsible adults are present at training sessions
Ensure that risk assessments have been completed in respect of
locations/environments away from regular training venues.
Keeping parents and skaters fully informed of Child Protection Policy
Designating a person to deal with child protection and welfare issues and ensuring this person undergoes PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) disclosure and receives appropriate training.
Ensuring equal opportunities and anti-discrimination is promoted
Ensuring PVG disclosure of coaches, helpers and officials who will be with
children unsupervised by a member of the PVG Scheme.
Adopting the NISA guidelines on the control of the use of photographic and video equipment and monitor the use of photographic materials involving children and young people.
Promote an anti-bullying statement
Offering support to those who report concerns regarding child protection or
Good Practice for Staff/Volunteers/Officials of the club
All staff/volunteer and officials of the club should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote the welfare of children and young people and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive environment.
Always work in an open environment when working with children and young people (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations)
Always ensure that there is at least one other responsible adult present during training sessions
Care should be taken when providing manual support. Recognised/advised techniques should be used to avoid inappropriate contact. Contact should only be to develop/ improve technique and the coach should ask permission in advance. Where appropriate parental consent should be sought.
Where possible parents should be responsible for children and young people in changing rooms/toilets. If a group of children and young people require supervision then adults should work in pairs. When visiting the toilet, children should go in a group of 3 and all 3 should go into the toilet area with the child only being left alone when in the toilet cubicle.
Officials/Coaches should not share the same room with children and young people when away
Treat all participants equally, with respect and dignity
Always place the safety and welfare of the participants as the highest priority.
Behave in an exemplary manner and provide a role model for excellent behaviour.
Keep up to date with knowledge and technical skills
Do not exceed the level of your competence and qualifications
Respect the needs and wishes of the participants and do not exert them against their will.
Motivate participants through positive feedback and constructive criticism
Create a safe and enjoyable situation.
Do not take a child alone on a car journey except in unforeseen circumstances. Where these situations are unavoidable, they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of the senior coach and /or the child’s or young person’s parent. If transporting a child then prior consent should be obtained. Organise central pick-up and drop off points and make sure that routes and breaks (if necessary) are well planned.
Do not take a child or young person to your home
Always ensure that allegations made by a child or young person are investigated, recorded and acted upon.
Do not depart from the premises until you have supervised the safe dispersal of the children
Do not resort to bullying tactics or verbal abuse.
Guidance for Parents.
A good coach will develop a strong, trusting bond with his/her skaters. This is essential in a successful coach/skater relationship. However as a parent you have a responsibility to check that:
The STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB has a published Child Protection Policy which ensures that all young people are protected and kept safe from harm
Check in the first instance with the rink that the coach is qualified through an appropriate NISA qualification. If in doubt, further advice can be sought through NISA.
Ensure that you complete an STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB registration form that should include your contact details and any illnesses or disabilities that your child has.
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB has an anti-bullying policy
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB has codes of conduct for all members
including coaches, staff, volunteers, parents and skaters.
There is a designated person in place with a responsibility for Child Protection and young people and adults are aware that they can talk to them about concerns without fear of victimization or reprisal.
There are procedures in place for dealing with concerns, complaints and disciplinary issues.
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB have procedures in place for safe recruitment including PVG disclosures.
The coach has a qualification appropriate to the skaters’ performance level.
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB makes every effort to ensure that at least two responsible adults are present during training sessions. (The second adult may be a parent or a club official)
There is guidance in place regarding arrangements for travelling to events
Parents are not discouraged from watching or becoming involved
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB has an equity policy, which states that all young people have an equal right to be protected from harm and that discrimination is not tolerated.
Encourage your children to talk to you about their training and ensure that they know how to voice their concerns if they are not happy about situations that may arise.
Use of Photographs or Recorded images
There is a potential for inappropriate photographs or film footage of young sportspeople to be taken. STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB is vigilant in these matters and any concerns should be reported to a club official.
It is not the intention of STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB to prevent parents from taking pictures of their children but rather to ensure photographic practices are carefully monitored.
Videoing as a coaching aid: There is no intention to prevent STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB coaches using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However skaters and their parents/carers should be aware that this is a part of the coaching programme and their consent obtained and such films should be stored safely.
A photograph or image (website) of a child or young person should not be published without written consent and personal information of the individual, other than the name should not accompany the image.
Care must be taken to ensure that images of children who are subject to a court order are not published without permission
Simultaneous streaming of images onto a website should be avoided. The delayed streaming will provide an opportunity for editing inappropriate images. It is also recommended that an independent server is used to ensure images cannot be accessed, copied or downloaded.
Websites should be carefully monitored to eliminate the use of inappropriate images or improper text.
Any instance of the use of inappropriate images should be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Recruitment and Training of staff
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB recognises that anyone may have potential to abuse children in some way. Club officials are vigilant in ensuring that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children.
Any staff wishing to join STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB should complete an application form. The application from will elicit information about the applicants past and a self-disclosure about any criminal record.
Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information via Disclosure Scotland.
Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children. These references must be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact.
Evidence of identity( passport or driving license with photo)
Qualifications should be substantiated
All employees should receive an induction programme.
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB Child Protection Officer
Assist the STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB to put in place a Child Protection Policy
Be the first point of contact for club staff, children and young people and parents for any issue concerning the welfare of a child, poor practice or alleged abuse
Ensure all incidents are correctly reported and referred on in an appropriate, and timely, way in accordance with the policy.
Ensure all relevant club members have the opportunity to access appropriate child protection training.
Ensure that recruitment of staff is followed as per STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB policy and that staff have up to date criminal record disclosure.
Maintain local contact details for Social work including Out of Hours Duty, Police and Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk Child Protection Team.
Ensure codes of conducts are in place for members, staff, children and young people and parents.
Attend when necessary any STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB committee meetings to advise on welfare issues.
Ensure confidentiality is maintained and information is only shared on a “need to know” basis.
Basic administration and record keeping
Child centred approach
Good communication skills
Confidence in referring issues to external agencies
Ability to ensure Policies are effectively implemented
Child Protection basic awareness
Recognition of Poor Practice, Bullying and Abuse of Position of Trust
All adults have a duty to respond to suspicions of abuse, inappropriate behaviour and poor practice. However it is not the responsibility of these adults to decide whether or not abuse has taken place. There is a responsibility to act on any concerns and STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB provides a confidential communication line through which concerns can be expressed. STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB also has a designated Child Protection Officer to whom concerns can be expressed in confidence.
Poor practice may be defined as any action or behaviour that contravenes the following:
Best Coaching practice as advocated through STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB and NISA policy.
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB Code of conduct
STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB Equity Policy
The accepted roles and responsibilities of STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB official
Racial Discrimination and Equity.
Although racism clearly causes harm it is not a category of abuse. However, it may be considered emotional abuse and recent legislation has made racism illegal. Equal treatment must be provided for all regardless of gender race or culture and we must endeavour to protect ethnic minority groups from racial harassment and discrimination.
Young People with a Disability
Young people with a disability or impairment may be vulnerable to abuse or poor practice, since they may not be suitably able to express their conditions or protect themselves or understand what is happening. STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB is vigilant in caring for these vulnerable young people.
Abuse and Neglect.
Somebody may abuse a child or young person by inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Children and young people may be abused within their own family, at school and sometimes in sporting environments. There is growing evidence to suggest that peer abuse is an increasing concern for young people.
There are many forms of abuse:
Physical abuse can be defined as physically hurting or injuring a child. In sporting terms physical abuse may also occur if performing enhancing drugs are used or when the nature and intensity of training exceeds the capacity of the child.
Sexual abuse is defined as “Any child may have been sexually abused when any person by design or neglect exploits the child, directly or indirectly, in any activity intended to lead to the sexual arousal or other...gratification of that person or other persons including organised networks. This definition holds whether or not there has been genital contact and whether or not the child....has initiated or consented to the behaviour”. (Protecting Children 2000.) In sporting terms this form of abuse can occur when there is inappropriate physical contact and where adults abuse their position of trust.
Emotional Abuse can be described as a persistent lack of love and affection and where children are constantly being shouted at or taunted, humiliated or ignored. In sporting terms emotional abuse can occur where children are subject to constant criticism, bullying or unrealistic pressure to perform to high expectations.
Neglect is essentially failing to meet the basic physical needs of a child and where a child may be left alone and unsupervised. I sporting terms this could occur if a coach fails to ensure children are safe or exposes them to undue cold or risk of injury.
It is important to recognise that in some cases it may not be the adult who is carrying out the bullying but another young person. Bullying can be defined as deliberate, hurtful behaviour in the form of physical, psychological or aggressive verbal conduct against another person.
Abuse a Position of Trust
It is essential that those who may be in a position of responsibility and trust recognise vulnerability and ensure that it is not exploited. The power and influence that an older member of staff has over someone attending an activity such as skating cannot be under estimated. If there is an additional competitive aspect to the activity and the older person is responsible for the young person`s success or failure to some extent, then the dependency of the younger member on the older will be increased. It is therefore vital that all coaches/ personnel recognise the responsibility they must exercise in ensuring that they do not abuse their position of trust.
A relationship of trust can be described as one in which one party in a position of power or influence over another by virtue of their position. A genuine relationship can start between two people within a relationship of trust but the relationship of trust must end before any sexual relationship develops.
Responding to Disclosure, Suspicions and Allegations
People within ice skating are ideally placed to recognise or receive concerns relating to the welfare of children and young people. Everyone has a responsibility to respond to these concerns whether they relate to a child`s home, family or involve incidents at STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB. If the STARLIGHT SYNCHRO SKATING CLUB Child Protection Officer is unavailable, NISA, Police or social work department should be contacted. Any delay may place a child at risk.
Useful Contact Information
To insure that information is as helpful as possible a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should if possible include the following:
Child`s name age and date of birth
Child`s home address and telephone number
Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of a third party
The nature of the allegation
Child Protection Officer
Contact: 07969 419611
Children and Families Social Services
Children and Families Social Services Stirling Council
8-10 Corn Exchange Road
Stirling FK8 2HU
Tel: 01786 471177 (Office Hours) Tel: 01786 470500 (out of hours)
Childline in Scotland
Stirling Youth Services
Tel: 07717 996 884