Working together to safeguard children in sport
Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, in collaboration with Bradford Council, has written to sports clubs across the District (January, 2017) with information and guidance on the prevention of child abuse in sport.
Child abuse can be defined as any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm.
The letter (click here to view PDF copy) has been sent in the wake of high-profile historic child sex abuse allegations that have emerged at a national level. It focuses on a number of key areas:
- It offers advice as to where clubs can go to get the best support nationally depending upon the sports they offer. The Child Protection in Sport Unit website www.thecpsu.org.uk is run by the NSPCC and offers clubs a safeguarding self-assessment checklist so they can assess their current arrangements for safeguarding children and young people. Advice is also available from relevant umbrella organisations that cover specific sports or activity, such as the Football Association.
- It reminds clubs of who the key contacts are within the district should they need to raise a concern. The Bradford Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) manages allegations against adults working in a position of trust with children. The contact details for the LADO are 01274 434343 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- The letter also emphasises that should clubs have any immediate concerns about the safety or welfare of a child they must contact the Bradford Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01274 437500. Should they have concerns about equally important past or historical they should raise these with the police.
David Niven, Independent Chair of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Sports clubs offer young people fantastic opportunities, but it’s important that clubs have the right procedures in place to make sure children are as safe as possible. I want to make sure that sports clubs in our district know where they can get the best advice and support so that they can be confident they have up-to-date and robust safeguarding procedures in place.”
Coun Val Slater, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council and portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “We have some great sports clubs across the district, but the cases that have come to light nationally are a very timely reminder of how important it is that clubs have the right procedures in place and know where they can get the best advice if they have a concern. This letter is an important way of sharing best practice so that together we can make sure that children and young people are safe and that parents can have confidence when their child joins a sports club. Parents have a role to play too in asking the right questions to the club their child attends, such as how they recruit staff, what policies they have in place, and how staff are trained.”