North Kildare Cricket Club - Child Protection

Child Protection

Child Protection

North Kildare CC has adopted a range of child protection policies and procedures to

ensure the provision of a safe, positive and nurturing environment where children can

develop and enhance their cricketing and social skills.

Substance Abuse

  • The use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco is discouraged as being incompatible with a healthy approach to sporting activity
  • Adults should act as role models for appropriate behaviour with regard to the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco
  • Use of any substance that is perceived to offer a short-cut to improved performances is discouraged completely
  • Coaches have a role to play in educating those in their care as to the short and long-term effects of proscribed drugs or of substances taken to enhance performance

Psychological Stress, Burnout and Dropout

Burnout may be defined as a process resulting from an activity that was once a

source of fun and satisfaction, but later becomes associated with physical and

psychological distress. Among the measures which North Kildare CC promotes to

reduce the incidence of stress and burnout are:

  • Listening and respecting the children’s views about participation
  • Encouraging the development of individual skills and effort
  • Ensuring that children enjoy the activities in which they are involved
  • Maximising the involvement of children by the use of full panel while at tournaments
  • Attaining an appropriate match between the individual child’s ability and the activity in which involved

What is Bullying?

Bullying can be defined as repeated aggression be it verbal, psychological or

physical conducted by an individual or group against others.

It is behaviour that is intentionally aggravating and intimidating and occurs mainly in

social environments such as schools, clubs and other organisations working with

children and young people.

Combating Bullying

The anti-bullying policy of North Kildare CC includes the following measures:

  • Ensures that all members follow the code of conduct, which promotes the

rights and dignity of each member;

  • Raises awareness of bullying as an unacceptable form of behaviour
  • Complaints procedure used if bullying occurs; if you have a concern raise it with your team manager/coach or at any time you can contact the Children’s Officer
  • Provides comprehensive supervision at all games and during the course of tours
  • Provides a supportive environment for victims of bullying
  • Obtains co-operation of parents / guardians to combat bullying

Child Abuse and Protection Procedures

North Kildare CC accepts that organisations, which include young people among its

members, are vulnerable to the occurrence of child abuse. Below are the procedures

for dealing with any welfare or protection issue that may arise. Child welfare and the

protection of young people are the concern of all adults at all times, irrespective of

their role within the organisation. Personnel appointed by North Kildare CC to oversee

child protection procedures are listed at the end of this document.

If there are grounds for concern about the safety or welfare of a young person you

should react to the concern. Persons unsure about whether or not certain behaviours

are abusive and therefore reportable, should contact the duty social worker in the

local health board or social services department where they will receive advice.

Grounds for concern include a specific indication from a child, a statement from a

person who witnessed abuse or an illness, injury or behaviour consistent with abuse.

A report may be made by any player / official /member of North Kildare CC but should be

passed on to the Designated Person or to the Children’s Officer who may in turn

have to pass the concern to the local Statutory Authorities. It is not the responsibility

of anyone working within North Kildare CC, in a paid or voluntary capacity, or those

working in affiliated organisations, to take responsibility or decide whether or not child

abuse is taking place. That is the job of the local statutory authorities. However, there

is a responsibility to protect children by assisting the appropriate agencies so that

they can then make enquiries and take any necessary action to protect the young

person.

Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse, 1998 (IRL)

The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998 provides immunity from

civil liability to persons who report child abuse reasonably and in good faithto the

Health Board or the Gardai (See 5.13.1 – ISC. Code). The act also covers the

offence of ‘false reporting’. The main provisions of the Act are:

1. The provision of immunity from civil liability to any person who reports child

abuse “reasonably and in good faith” to designated officers of Health Boards

or any member of An Garda Siochána;

2. The provision of significant protections for employees who report child abuse.

These protections cover all employees and all forms of discrimination up to

and including, dismissal;

3. The creation of a new offence of false reporting of child abuse where a

person makes a report of child abuse to the appropriate authorities “knowing

that statement to be false”. This is a new criminal offence designed to protect

innocent persons from malicious reports.

Reporting Suspected or Disclosed Child Abuse

The following steps should be taken in reporting child abuse to the statutory

authorities:

(a) Observe and note dates, times, locations and contexts in which the incident

occurred or suspicion was aroused, together with any other relevant information

(b) Report the matter as soon as possible to the Designated Person with

responsibility for reporting abuse. If the Designated Person has reasonable

grounds for believing that the child has been abused or is at risk of abuse, s/he

will make a report to the health board/social services who have statutory

responsibility to investigate and assess suspected or actual child abuse

(c) In cases of emergency, where a child appears to be at immediate and serious

risk and the Designated Person is unable to contact a duty social worker, the

police authorities should be contacted. Under no circumstances should a child be

left in a dangerous situation pending intervention by the Statutory Authorities

(d) If the Designated Person is unsure whether reasonable grounds for concern exist

s/he can informally consult with the local health board/social services. S/he will be

advised whether or not the matter requires a formal report.

(e) A Designated Person reporting suspected or actual child abuse to the Statutory

Authorities will first inform the family of their intention to make such a report,

unless doing so would endanger the child or undermine an investigation

(f) In instances where North Kildare CC finds that it does not have reasonable grounds

for reporting a concern to the Statutory Authorities, the member who raised the

concern should be given a clear statement by the Designated Person of the

reasons why North Kildare CC is not taking action. The member should be advised

that if they remain concerned about the situation, they are free to consult with, or

report to, the Statutory Authorities

(g) It is best to report child abuse concerns by making personal contact with relevant

personnel in the Statutory Authorities and then to follow up in writing

Response to a Child Disclosing Abuse

(a) Advise the child that it is not possible that any information will be kept a secret

(b) Deal with allegation of abuse in sensitive manner by listening to and facilitating

the child to tell about the problem

(c) Stay calm

(d) Do not make any judgmental statement about the person against whom the

allegation is being made

(e)Use non-specific questions such as “Can you explain what you mean by that?”

Let the child tell the story in his/her own words

(f) Give the child a general indication of what will happen next such as informing

parents / guardians, health board or social services

Allegations against Sports Leaders

North Kildare CC has agreed procedures to be followed in cases of alleged child abuse

against Sports Leaders. If such an allegation is made against Sports Leader working

within North Kildare CC, two procedures should be followed:

? The reporting procedure in respect of suspected child abuse

? The procedure for dealing with the Sports Leader

The safety of the child making the allegation should be considered and the safety of

any other children who may be at risk. The club should take any necessary steps that

may be necessary to protect children in its care

The issue of confidentiality is important. Information is on a need to know basis and

the Sports Leader should be treated with respect and fairness.

Steps to be taken

? Advice to be sought from local duty social worker with regard to any action

necessary to protect the child who may be at risk

? Matter report to local statutory authorities by Designated Person

? The Chairman should privately inform the leader that (a) an allegation has

been made against him / her and (b) the nature of the allegation. He / she

should be afforded an opportunity to respond, and to be accompanied by

another adult.

? The leader should be asked to step aside pending the outcome of the

investigation. When a person is asked to step aside it should be made clear

that it is only a precautionary measure and will not prejudice any later

disciplinary proceedings.

? All persons involved in a child protection process (the child, his/her

parents/guardians, the alleged offender, his/her family, Sports Leaders)

should be afforded appropriate respect, fairness, support and confidentiality

at all stages of the procedure.

? The Executive Committee should be informed by the Designated Person that

the leader has been asked to stand aside

? The Executive will consider the outcome of the investigation and any

implications it might have. The fact that the alleged abuser has not been

prosecuted or been found guilty does not mean that they are appropriate to

work with young people in the future.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality should be maintained in respect of all issues and people involved in

cases of abuse, welfare or bad practice. It is important that the rights of both the child

and the person about whom the complaint has been made are protected.

The following points should be kept in mind:

? A guarantee of confidentiality or undertakings regarding secrecy cannot be

given, as the welfare of the child will supersede all other considerations

? All information should be treated in a careful and sensitive manner and should

be discussed only with those who need to know

? Information should be conveyed in a sensitive manner to the parents /

guardians of the child about whom there are concerns

? Giving information to others on a ‘need to know’ basis for the protection of a

child is not a breach of confidentiality

Anonymous Complaints

Anonymous complaints can be difficult to deal with but should not be ignored. In all

cases the safety and welfare of the child/children is paramount. Any such

complaints relating to inappropriate behaviour should be brought to the attention of

the Children’s Officer or the Designated Person. The information should be checked

out and handled in a confidential manner.

Rumours

Rumours should not be allowed to hang in the air. Any rumours relating to

inappropriate behaviour should be brought to the attention of the Designated Person

or the Children’s Officer and checked out without delay.

Disclosing Information to Others

Republic of Ireland

The Irish Sports Council recommends that best practice is to disclose the information

requested by a third party which is given in order to provide protection to a young

person now or in the future