Safeguarding Children Board
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
Redcar & Cleveland
Safeguarding Children Board

Safeguarding in Sport

In light of recent media attention, we are aware that clubs from across all sports may have increased anxiety about child protection.

The councils advice to clubs with junior members would be to ensure you have:

  • A named contact for the co-ordination of child protection, with a role description, who has the relevant training.
  • A Child Protection Policy which reflects national guidelines, adopted by the Board/Executive/Management Committee.
  • A Code of Conduct for working with children and young people.
  • A variety of child protection training offered at appropriate levels for those working or volunteering with children and young people in sport.
  • A procedure for the recruitment and selection of those who work with children and young people.
  • A procedure for responding to concerns about the welfare or abuse of a child within or out with sport.
  • A disciplinary procedure for managing concerns and allegations of poor practice, misconduct and child abuse.
  • A procedure for reviewing the management of concerns about poor practice, misconduct and child abuse.

If somebody raises child protection concerns in relation to a coach and/or volunteer who is currently practicing, then you should follow your Responding to Concerns procedure.

If it is a historical allegation then you should follow the same procedure and signpost the individual to Cleveland Police on 101.

If you have a concern about a child's immediate safety then this should be passed on to Cleveland Police or Social Work.

Advice for parents and carers on child protection in sport

To date, much of the media's attention has centred on historic allegations. Most sports organisations now have far more robust child protection procedures in place. However, we would encourage all parents and carers to familiarise themselves with the child protection processes in place in the clubs their children attend.

Some key questions to ask are:

  • Does your club have a named contact for the co-ordination of child protection, with a role description, who has attended recommended training?
  • Does the club have a Child Protection Policy which reflects national guidelines, adopted by the Board/Executive/Management Committee?
  • Does the club have a Code of Conduct for working with children and young people?
  • Does the club offer a variety of child protection training at appropriate levels for those working or volunteering with children and young people in sport?
  • Does the club have a procedure for the recruitment and selection of those who work with children and young people?
  • Does the club have a procedure for responding to concerns about the welfare or abuse of a child within or out with sport?
  • Is the club affiliated to a national governing body? Does this governing body have a Lead Child Protection Officer?

If parents or carers have a child protection concern about a coach and/or volunteer who is currently practicing, or a concern about a child's immediate safety, then they should contact the club child protection officer and share their concerns with Cleveland Police on 101.

The above advice has been provided by the Safeguarding in Sport Service for  Children 1st, Scotland's National Children's Charity.

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