Best practice

BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES

Please note: this section will be under continual review in line with changes in legislation, technological advances, changes in coaching practices etc.

Sports organisations have a duty of care towards all children involved in activities. These good practiceguidelines help people take a common sense approach, setting out how staff/volunteers can keep children safe whilst ensuring best practice.

These guidelines provide practical guidance for those working and/or volunteering directly with children on practices to keep children safe and to promote a safe operating environment for the member of staff/volunteer. These guidelines compliment and should be read in conjunction with theCode of Conduct for Safeguarding Children in Rugby.

Breach of these guidelines may be dealt with under the club’s Performance Management, Disciplinary Procedure and/or Procedure for Responding to Concerns About a Child/Concerns About the Conduct of a Member of Staff or Volunteer*.

Children under the age of 16 years should not be placed in positions of sole responsibility in relation to other children. These guidelines apply to all children and young people under the age of 18 years. Common sense should be applied when considering the circumstances of older children and all children should have the opportunity to express their views on matters which affect them, should they wish to do so.

The following guidelines are therefore based on generally recognised good practice and common sense. Ultimately, most practical situations will require a judgment to be made about what is practicable and reasonable in the circumstances.

The current topics are:

·       Adult to child ratios

·       Physical Contact

·       First Aid/medical treatment

·       Sexual Activity

·       Managing Challenging Behaviour

·       Physical Intervention

·       Transporting Children

·       Collection by parents/carers

·       Trips away including overnight

·       IT/Social Media/Internet/Mobiles/Videos

·       Clubhouse and Changing Rooms

·       Volunteers under 18

·       Bullying

·       Partnership with parents template form

·       Welfare Plan for overnight trips away

ADULT TO CHILD RATIOS

The following ratios are recommended when delivering rugby practical activities

Age: 3 and over                    1:8

If all children are over 8  1:10

All activities should be planned to involve at least two adults, preferably one male and one female. As a general guide, the following factors will also be taken into consideration in deciding how many adults are required to safely supervise children:

  • The number of children involved in the activity.
  • The age, maturity and experience of the children.
  • Whether any of the group leaders or children has a learning or physical disability or special requirements.
  • Whether any of the children have challenging behaviour.
  • The particular hazards associated with the activity.
  • The particular hazards associated with the environment.
  • The level of qualification and experience of the leaders.
  • The programme of activities.

There may be other considerations which are specific to the environment in which the training/match is taking place, such as overnight stays and trips abroad.

PHYSICAL CONTACT

All forms of physical contact should respect and be sensitive to the needs and wishes of the child and should take place in a culture of dignity and respect for all children. Children should be encouraged to express their views on physical contact.

In the first instance, coaching techniques should be delivered by demonstration (either by the coach or an athlete who can display the technique being taught). Educational instruction should be clearly explained with a description of how it is proposed to handle or have contact with the child before doing so. This should be accompanied by asking if the child is comfortable. Manual support should be provided openly and must always be proportionate to the circumstances.

Rugby is a contact sport and the Are You Ready to Play Rugby policies, including Rugby Ready courses, age-band regulations and age-grade law variations, aim to reduce mis-matches in physical maturity and thereby reduce the incidence of injury. In general, large mismatches in ability and physical stature should be avoided and common sense exercised when supervising matches and training. Adults and children should not take part in contact training or matches together, even for the purposes of demonstration. Adults should not hold contact shields or pads for young players during training drills.

If it is necessary to help a child with personal tasks e.g. toileting or changing, the child and parents/carers should be encouraged to express a preference regarding the support and should be encouraged to speak out about methods of support with which they are uncomfortable. Staff/volunteers should work with parents/carers and children to develop practiced routines for personal care so that parents/carers and children know what to expect.

Do not take on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained e.g. coaching contact rugby techniques, or providing manual assistance for a child with a physical disability.

FIRST AID AND THE TREATMENT OF INJURIES

All staff/volunteers must ensure:

·       Where practicable all parents/carers of children under the age of 16 have completed a Partnership with Parents/Carers Form before their child participates in rugby.

·       There is a responsible adult with access to a working telephone for the purpose of calling emergency services and who has access to the address and emergency access information for the venue.

·       There is an accessible and well-resourced first aid kit at the venue.

·       They are aware of any pre-existing medical conditions, medicines being taken by participants or existing injuries and treatment required.

·       A Serious injury report form is completed if a child sustains a significant injury along with the details of any treatment given. Common sense should be applied when determining which injuries are significant.

·       Where possible, access to medical advice and/or assistance is available.

·       A child’s parents/carers are informed of any injury and action taken as soon as possible.

·       The circumstances in which any accidents occur are reviewed to avoid future repetitions.


SEXUAL ACTIVITY*

Within sport, as within other activities, sexual relationships do occur. It is important to address sexual activity both between children and young people and between adults and young people.

Sexual activity between children/young people involved in sport should be prohibited during team events, in sports facilities and social activities organised by the club. Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by a young person may/will lead to disciplinary action in accordance with the club Disciplinary Procedure and reports being made to external agencies such as the police or social services.

Sexual interactions between adults and young people (16+) involved in sport raise serious issues given the power imbalance inherent in the relationship. Where a young person is of the age of consent the power of the adult over that young person may influence their ability to genuinely consent to sexual activity. A coach or other adult in a position of authority may have significant power or influence over a young person’s career.

Sexual activity between adults and young people (16+) involved in the same sport should be prohibited when the adult is in a position of trust or authority (coach, trainer, official). Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by an adult should lead to suspension and disciplinary action in accordance with Scottish Rugby Disciplinary Procedures, which in the case of criminal action must include contacting the police.

Sexual activity between adults and children under the age of 16 is a criminal act and immediate action must be taken to report it to the police.

MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR

Staff/volunteers delivering activities to children may, from time to time be required to deal with a child’s challenging behaviour.

These guidelines aim to promote good practice which can help support children to manage their own behaviour. They suggest some strategies and sanctions which can be used and also identify unacceptable actions or interventions which must never be used by staff or volunteers.

These guidelines are based on the following principles:

  • The welfare of the child is the paramount consideration. 
  • A risk assessment should be completed for all activities which take into consideration the needs of all children involved in the activity.
  • Children must never be subject to any form of treatment that is harmful, abusive, humiliating or degrading and should always be able to maintain their respect and dignity.
  • No member of staff should attempt to respond to challenging behaviour by using techniques for which they have not been trained.

         Planning Activities

Good coaching practice requires planning sessions around the group as a whole but also involves taking into consideration the needs of each individual athlete within that group. As part of a risk assessment, coaches should consider whether any members of the group have been challenging in the past or are likely to present any difficulties in relation to the tasks involved, the other participants or the environment.

Where staff/volunteers identify any potential risks, strategies to manage those risks should be agreed in advance of the session, event or activity. The risk assessment should also identify the appropriate number of adults required to safely manage and support the session including being able to adequately respond to any challenging behaviour and to safeguard other members of the group and the staff/volunteers involved.

All those delivering activities to children should receive training on these guidelines and should be supported to address issues of challenging behaviour through regular supervision.

Agreeing Acceptable and Unacceptable Behaviours

Staff, volunteers, children and parents/carers should be involved in developing an agreed statement of what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. They should also agree upon the range of options which may be applied in response to unacceptable behaviour (e.g. dropped from the team for one game etc). This can be done at the start of the season, in advance of a trip away from home or as part of a welcome session at a residential camp.

Issues of behaviour and control should regularly be discussed with staff, volunteers, parents/carers and children in the context of rights and responsibilities. It is beneficial to ask children as a group to set out what behaviour they find acceptable and unacceptable within their group/team. It is also helpful to ask them what the consequences of breaking these rules should be. Experience shows that they will tend to come up with a sensible and working set of ‘rules’. If and when such a list is compiled, every member of the group can be asked to sign it, as can new members as they join. It can then be beneficial to have a copy of the ‘rules’ visible for reference during the activity.

Managing Challenging Behaviour

In dealing with children who display risk-taking or challenging behaviours, staff and volunteers might consider the following options:

  • Time out - from the activity, group or individual work.
  • Making up - the act or process of making amends.
  • Payback - the act of giving something back.
  • Behavioural reinforcement - rewards for good behaviour, consequences for negative behaviour.
  • Calming the situation - talking through with the child.
  • Increased supervision by staff/volunteers.
  • Use of individual ‘contracts’ or agreements for their future or continued participation.
  • Consequences e.g. missing an outing.

Adults and children shall never be permitted to use the any of the following as a means of managing a child’s behaviour:

  • Physical punishment or the threat of such.
  • The withdrawal of communication with the child. 
  • Being deprived of food, water or access to changing facilities or toilets.
  • Verbal intimidation, ridicule or humiliation.

Staff and volunteers should review the needs of any child on whom consequences are frequently imposed. This review should involve the child and parents/carers to ensure an informed decision is made about the child’s future or continued participation in the group or activity. Whilst it would always be against the wishes of everyone involved at the club, ultimately, if a child continues to present a high level of risk or danger to him or herself, or others, he or she may have to be barred from activity in the sport.

Physical Interventions

The use of physical interventions should always be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary in order to prevent a child injuring themselves, injuring others or causing serious damage to property. All forms of physical intervention shall form part of a broader approach to the management of challenging behaviour.

Physical contact to prevent something happening should always be the result of conscious decision-making and not a reaction. Before physically intervening, the member of staff or volunteer should ask themselves, ‘Is this the only option in order to manage the situation and ensure safety?’

The following must always be considered:

·       Contact should be avoided with buttocks, genitals and breasts. Staff/volunteers should never behave in a way which could be interpreted as sexual.

·       Any form of physical intervention should achieve an outcome that is in the best interests of the child whose behaviour is of immediate concern.

·       Staff/volunteers should consider the circumstances, the risks associated with employing physical intervention compared with the risks of not employing physical intervention.

·       The scale and nature of physical intervention must always be proportionate to the behaviour of the young person and the nature of harm/ damage they might cause.

·       Physical intervention should employ only a reasonable amount of force - the minimum force needed to avert injury to a person or serious damage to property – applied for the shortest period of time.

·       Staff/volunteers should never employ physical interventions which are deemed to present an unreasonable risk to children or staff/volunteers.

·       Staff/volunteers shall never use physical intervention as a form of punishment.

Any physical intervention used should be recorded as soon as possible after the incident by the staff/volunteers involved using the Significant Incident Form and passed to the Child Protection Officer as soon as possible. 

A timely debrief for staff/volunteers, the child and parents/carers should always take place following an incident where physical intervention has been used. This should include ensuring that the physical and emotional well-being of those involved has been addressed and ongoing support offered where necessary. Staff/volunteers, children and parents/carers should be given an opportunity to talk about what happened in a calm and safe environment.

There should also be a discussion with the child and parents/carers about the child’s needs and continued safe participation in the group or activity.

TRANSPORTING CHILDREN

Where it is necessary to transport children, the following good practice is required:

  • Where parents/carers make arrangements for the transportation of children to and from the activity, it will be the responsibility of the parents/carers to satisfy themselves about the appropriateness and safety of the arrangements.
  • Where the clubmakes arrangements for the transportation of children the members of staff/volunteers involved will undertake a risk assessment of the transportation required. This will include an assessment of the following areas:

- Ensuring that all vehicles and drivers are correctly insured for the purpose.

- Ensuring the driver has a valid and appropriate license for the vehicle being used.

- All reasonable safety measures are available e.g. fitted, working seatbelts, booster seats where appropriate.

- An appropriate ratio of adults per child. 

- Ensuring drivers have adequate breaks.

  • When transporting children, wherever possible they should be in the back seat of the car for health and safety reasons.
  • Where practicable and planned, written parent/carer consent will be requested if staff/volunteers are required to transport children.

To safeguard the member of staff/volunteer the following good practice is required:

·       Agree a collection policy with parents/carers which will include a clear and shared understanding of arrangements for collection at the end of a session.

·       Always tell another member of staff/volunteer that you are transporting a child, give details of the route and the anticipated length of the journey.

·       Take all reasonable safety measures e.g. children in the back seat, seatbelts worn.

·       Where possible, have another adult accompany you on the journey.

·       Call ahead to inform the child’s parents/carers that you are giving them a lift and inform them when you expect to arrive.

COLLECTION BY PARENTS/CARERS

On some occasions, parents/carers can be late when picking their child up at the end of a session. It is not the responsibility of the club to transport children home on behalf of parents/carers who have been delayed. It is therefore important for the guidelines below to be followed:

- It is clear that while the club/session/training is running then leaders and coaches have a duty of care to the children that are in their charge. This is a principle of good practice and one, which we all should  sign up to.

- When the session has finished, obligations that we have under guidance, good practice and legislation still remain. We still have care and control of the child in the absence of a parent/carer or other responsible adult.

- To help avoid this situation occurring in the first place, here are some points to consider:

1.     Make sure that literature, application forms and consent forms;

_    Are clear about starting and finishing times of sessions.

_    Are clear about the expectations of parents/carers not to drop children off too early and collect children promptly when sessions finish.

_    Ask parents/carers whether they give consent for children to go home unaccompanied

_    Have a late collection telephone contact and number on Partnership with Parents/Carers Form.

2.     Where possible make sure that there is more than one adult/leader to lock up at the end of a session.

3.     Discuss and rehearse with members of staff/volunteers how to deal with being left alone with a child.  Put preventative measures in place (points 1 and 2) and draw up simple guidelines about how the situation should be dealt with if it arises. Although as a general rule we should not put ourselves in the position of being alone with a child there are exceptions and this situation is one of them. Remember the welfare of the child has to take precedence, so leaving children alone is not an option.

4.     That you have access to a record of the child’s address, contact telephone number and an alternative phone number e.g. of a grandparent or other responsible adult. You need this information to contact the adult responsible for the child and ask them to collect the child. If you are unable to contact anyone then you have to make a decision of whether to take the child home yourself (see point 5) or call the police (point 6)

5.     If you are left alone with a child then transparency is the key. Keep a record of your actions (use the guidelines above in Transporting Children re; good practice to safeguard member of staff/volunteer) and make sure that you inform the Scottish Rugby Child Protection Officer and parents/carers as soon as possible.

6.     When all else fails call the police.

TRIPS AWAY FROM HOME (INVOLVING OVERNIGHT STAYS)

1.              Designate a Child Protection Officer for the Trip

Those in charge of the group will be responsible for the safety and well being of children in their care. It is recommended that one of the group leaders co-ordinates the arrangements to safeguard the safety and welfare of children during the trip. The Child Protection Officer should ensure all practical arrangements have been addressed and act as the main contact for dealing with any concerns about the safety and welfare of children whilst away from home. A detailed itinerary will be prepared and copies provided to the designated contact for the club and parents/carers.

 2.             Risk Assessment

Potential area of risk should be identified at the planning stage through a risk assessment, which should be recorded in writing. Safeguards should be put in place to manage the risks, where appropriate. Risk assessment should be an on-going process throughout the trip as groups can often find themselves in unexpected situations despite the best laid plans!

3.              Travel Arrangements

Organisers must ensure there is adequate and relevant insurance cover (including travel and medical insurance). If the trip involves travel abroad, organisers shall ensure they are aware of local procedures for dealing with concerns about the welfare of children and are familiar with the details of the emergency services in the location of the visit. Children should be informed of any local customs.

(For more details see Guidelines on Transporting Children). 

4.              Adult to Child Ratios

All trips away should be planned to involve at least two adults, preferably one male and one female where possible. The guidelines on adult to child ratios, will inform an assessment of the numbers of adults required to safely supervise the group.

Those involved should be recruited and selected in accordance with the procedure for recruitment and selection of staff/volunteers in regulated work with children.

Group leaders should be familiar with and agree to abide by the club’s  Child Protection Policy, Procedures and Code of Conduct.

5.              Accommodation

Organisers should find out as much as possible about the accommodation and the surroundings at the planning stage. Where possible, an initial visit to the venue/accommodation should take place to help those organising the trip identify all practical issues and allow time to address them in advance, in consultation with children and parents/carers where appropriate.

The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the practical things which should be considered in advance about the arrangements for accommodation:

  • Location: central and remote locations both present different challenges.
  • Accommodation facility: health & safety of building confirmed by owners/providers.
  • Sleeping arrangements. These will enable suitable sharing in terms of age and gender and appropriately located staff/volunteer bedrooms for both supervision and ease of access in case of emergency. Parents/carers and children should be consulted in advance about arrangements for sharing where possible and appropriate.
  • Appropriate safeguards where others have access to the sleeping quarters.
  • Special access or adaptive aids required by group leaders or children.
  • Environmental factors.
  • Personal safety issues.

Exchange Visits/Hosting

Before departure, organisers should ensure there is a shared understanding of the standards expected during home stays between them, host organisation/families, parents/carers and children themselves. These standards should include arrangements for the supervision of children during the visit. 

Host families should be appropriately vetted (adults should be PVG Scheme members) where possible or equivalent police checks undertaken and references thoroughly checked. Organisers, parents/carers and children should all be provided with a copy of emergency contact numbers.

Children should be aware of who they should talk to if problems arise during the visit. Daily contact should be made with all children to ensure they are safe and well.

Residential at a Facility/Centre

Organisers should ensurethe facility is appropriately licensed and has adequate and relevant insurance cover in place. The facility should have a policy on the protection of children and Health and Safety. Adequate security arrangements should be in place and facility staff should have been appropriately vetted. Facility staff involved in the training or instruction of children must be appropriately qualified and trained.

Organisers should ensure there is adequate supervision of the group for the duration of the stay, particularly when the facility is being shared with other groups.

6.              Involving Parents/Carers

Where possible, a meeting should be held with parents/carers before departure to share information about the trip, answer their questions and make joint decisions about arrangements where appropriate. A Code of Conduct shall be agreed with children and parents/carers in advance of the trip along with sanctions for unacceptable behaviour.

Parents/carers must complete a Partnership with Parents/Carers Form and provide emergency contact details.

In the event of an emergency at home during the trip, parents/carers should be encouraged to make contact with the group leaders in the first instance so that arrangements can be put in to place to support the child on hearing any distressing news.

7.              During the Trip

Organisers must ensure arrangements are in place for the supervision and risk assessment of activities during free time. Children shall not be allowed to wander alone in unfamiliar places.

Group leaders should have clear roles and responsibilities for the duration of the trip. They must not be over familiar with or fraternise with children during the trip and remember that they are in a position of trust at all times. The use of alcohol and/or drugs or engaging in sexual relationships (between two young people) should not be condoned during the trip, even if the legislation relating to any of these behaviours is more lenient than in Scotland.

Group leaders should maintain an overview of the well being of all children during the trip. This can help to identify issues at an early stage and resolve them as quickly as possible. Children can participate in this process by, for example, taking turns to complete a daily diary about the trip. This can be an overt or discreet way for them to communicate things (both positive and negative) that they want you to know.

8.              After the Trip

Where appropriate, a de-brief will take place with all those involved in the trip, including children. This will provide an opportunity to reflect on what went well, not so well and what could have been done differently.Feedback will be used to inform future trips.

See Also Scottish Rugby Welfare Plan for Overnight Trips Template

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY (ICT) AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Technology advances extremely quickly, meaning ways in which we communicate and receive and absorb information are changing all the time. This provides a great opportunity for organisations to promote their activities and communicate easily with members. But it can also put children and young people at considerable risk, which is why safeguards must be put in place.

The following guidelines should be met:

  • Where possible, try to ensure that no one is excluded, e.g. young people who may not have access to a mobile phone/internet etc;
  • that written permission is sought from parents/carers for all children under 16 years;
  • that the need for the technology is clearly identified and its use is specific;
  • that it is the organisation who is communicating information – one-to-one interaction is strongly discouraged and safeguards should be in place and settings adjusted to prevent this happening;
  • children and young people should be briefed about the introduction of the technology. They should also be given information on how to keep themselves safe and who to report any concerns to
  • All concerns about the inappropriate use of technology will be dealt with in line with the club’s  Information Technology policy and/or Procedure for Responding to Concerns about a Child/Concerns About the Conduct of a Member of Staff or Volunteer. This may include the concerns being reported to the police.

Further advice is available from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) (see useful contacts).


1. COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY2

There are significant benefits to setting up social networking sites. Not only is it cheap, it’s one of the most direct forms of communication with young people. However, there are risks. Adults who seek to harm children have been known to use messaging to “groom” children. This area is now specifically addressed by the Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005.

For children and young people, the safeguarding risks of these technologies include:

  • inappropriate access to, use or sharing of personal details (e.g. names, email addresses);
  • unwanted contact with children by adults with wrongful/questionable intent;
  • being sent offensive or otherwise inappropriate material;
  • online bullying by peers;
  • grooming for sexual abuse;
  • direct contact and abuse.

For adults, risks involved include:

  • their communication with children being misinterpreted;
  • potential investigation (internal or by statutory agencies);
  • potential disciplinary action.

1.2 TEXT/EMAIL

Staff/volunteers must consider whether it is necessary to communicate with children via text and email. The general principle is that all communications with children should be open, transparent and appropriate. 

Good practice would include agreeing with children and parents/carers what kind of information will be communicated directly to children by text message. This information should only be “need to know” information such as the last minute cancellation of a training session.

In the first instance parent/carer consent must be obtained for all children under 16 years. Contact should always be made at the phone number/email address the parent has provided on the child’s behalf. Parents/carers should be offered the option to be copied in to any messages their child will be sent. Although consent is not legally required for young people aged between 16 and 18 it is still recommended that parents are informed of the intention to send their child(ren) emails or texts. It is also good practice to obtain the consent of the 16 to 18-year-old.

The following good practice is also required:

  • All phone numbers/email addresses of children and young people should be recorded and kept securely in a locked cabinet or password-protected electronic file or database;
  • The number of people with access to children and young people’s details should be kept to a practical minimum. A record should be kept of their numbers/addresses (preferably by the programme’s designated Child Protection Officer);
  • Messages should never contain any offensive, abusive or inappropriate language. They should not be open to misinterpretation;
  • The organisation should be clear that messages should be sent only to communicate details of meeting points, training, match details, competition results etc. The same message should be sent to every member of the group/team. One-to-one messaging arrangements between coaches/volunteers and children should be strongly discouraged.

1.3 INTERNET

The internet brings with it an opportunity for organisations to extend their community profile, advertise and communicate easily with their members. Sometimes this is done via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Thought should be given to content, tone and how sites or social networking sites and pages will be monitored. In terms of publishing information and pictures the following good practice should be noted:

Permission

·       Written parent/carer consent must be obtained for all children aged under 16 before publishing any information or pictures of a child. If the material is changed from the time of consent, the parents/carers must be informed and consent provided for the changes.

  • Special care must be taken in relation to vulnerable children e.g. child fleeing domestic violence or a child with a disability, and consideration given to whether publication would place the child at risk.
  • Young athletes who have a public profile as a result of their achievements are entitled to the same protection as all other children. In these cases, common sense is required when implementing these guidelines. All decisions should reflect the best interests of the child.

Use of Images and Information

  • Information published on the websites/social networking sites must never include personal information that could identify a child e.g. home address, email address, telephone number of a child. All contact must be directed to Scottish Rugby. Credit for achievements by a child should be restricted to first names e.g. Tracey was Player of the Year 2002.
  • Children must never be portrayed in a demeaning, tasteless or a provocative manner. Children should never be portrayed in a state of partial undress
  • Information about specific events or meetings e.g. coaching sessions must not be distributed to any individuals other than to those directly concerned.

Concerns

  • Any concerns or enquiries about publications or the internet should be reported to Scottish Rugby Lead officer for Child Protection. 

1.4 SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

The following is recommended if the organisation decides to allow mutual access between it and its members (including children):

Permission

  • Obtain written permission from parents/carers of under 16s to allow mutual interaction with the organisation profile. Make parents/carers aware of the profile’s existence, the site the child will be accessing and the restrictions of use for this preferred site.
  • An official agreement should be in place which states that access to members’ profiles are used only to pass on relevant information or to answer questions regarding organisation or sport issues. This agreement should also be incorporated into the Club Rules or Code of Conduct.
  • Set up a clubprofile rather than staff/volunteer profiles. This avoids access from members to individual’s profiles.
  • Keep the club profile on “private” - allowing only members access to it (the organisation can monitor this and accept or decline requests to join).

Concerns

  • Informal online “chat” with members around subjects outside the sport/activity should be immediately discouraged. Private matters or questions should also be discouraged. However, any disclosures should be removed from the site and dealt with in line with Responding to Concerns about a Child/Concerns About the Conduct of a Member of Staff/Volunteer.

1.5 INTERNET FORUMS

There has been an increase in the use and abuse of internet forums to target individuals or to engage contributors in debates which can cause upset and embarrassment to children and young people. Sites should be well monitored and any offending comments removed. A coach, member of staff or volunteer should refrain from being drawn into any debates concerning selection, performance or personalities – even where the subject of the discussion is anonymous. This could be considered a breach of the code of conduct or poor practice.

1.6 MOBILE PHONE CAMERAS/VIDEOS

There have already been a number of cases where children have been placed at risk as a result of the ability to discreetly record and transit images through mobile phones. There is also scope for humiliation and embarrassment if films or images are shared on popular websites such as YouTube. The use of mobile phones in this way can be very difficult to monitor.

The Procedure for the use of Photographs, Film and Video should be observed in relation to the use of mobile phones as cameras/videos. Particular care is required in areas where personal privacy is important e.g. changing rooms, bathrooms and sleeping quarters. No photographs or video footage should ever be permitted in such areas of personal privacy. 

PROCEDURE FOR THE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS, FILM AND VIDEO

Photos and video clips can be used to celebrate achievements, promote your activities and let people know that bit more about your team, club or sport. Footage is also recorded for performance development reasons. The aim of these guidelines is not to curb such activity but to ensure that children are protected from those who would seek to take or manipulate photos and video footage in a way that harms children or places them at risk of harm.

Some sports take place in areas where organisers have little or no control over the environment such. In these circumstances, organisers should take all reasonable steps to promote the safe use of photographing and filming and to respond to any concerns raised.

1.     PHOTOGRAPHS, FILM and VIDEO

Scope

  • The club  will take all reasonable steps to promote the safe use of photographing and filming at all events and activities with which it is associated.However, the club has no power to prevent individuals photographing or filming in public places.
  • The club reserves the right at all times to prohibit the use of photography, film or video at any event or activity with which it is associated.

Notification

  • Parents/carers and children will be informed they may, from time to time, be photographed or filmed whilst participating in rugby. This could be for one of the following reasons:

(i)              Video footage for performance development.

(ii)            Media coverage of an event or achievement.

(iii)           Promotional purposes e.g. website or publication.

  • Materials promoting events will state, where relevant, that photography and filming will take place.
  • Those who have sought and obtained permission to photograph or film will be formally identifiable e.g. a badge or sticker will be issued, after production of the letter of approval and identification (Request for Permission to Use Camera and Video Equipmentand Notification to Applicant)
  • Information about what to do if concerned about photographing and filming will be available at all events.
  • Registration of intention to photograph will be required on the day. This enables tracking of the equipment and operator should concerns arise in the future.

Permission

·       Written consent must be obtained from the child’s parents/carers before any photography or filming takes place. 

  • Special care must be taken in relation to vulnerable children e.g. child fleeing domestic violence or a child with a disability, and consideration given to whether publication or use of the pictures/film would place the child at risk.
  • Young athletes who have a public profile as a result of their achievements are entitled to the same protection as all other children. In these cases, common sense is required when implementing these guidelines. All decisions should reflect the best interests of the child.
  • All actions by the club will be based on the best interests of the child.

Use of Images and Information

  • No unsupervised access or one-to-one sessions will be allowed unless this has been explicitly agreed with the child and parents/carers.
  • Children must never be portrayed in a demeaning, tasteless or a provocative manner. Children should never be portrayed in a state of partial undress
  • No photographing or filming will be permitted in changing areas.
  • All images and accompanying information will comply with theSafe in Care guidelines, where this is within the control of the club.
  • The clubwill ensure that all negatives, copies of videos and digital photograph files are stored in a secure place. These will not be kept for any longer than is necessary having regard to the purposes for which they were taken.
  • Images will not be shared with external agencies unless express permission is obtained from the child and parents/carers.

Concerns

  • Anyone behaving in a way which could reasonably be viewed as inappropriate in relation to filming or photographing should be reported to the person in charge on the day. They should be approached for an explanation. If a satisfactory explanation is not provided, the circumstances should be reported to the person in charge on the day or Scottish Rugby  Lead officer for Child Protection.
  • Where appropriate concerns should also be reported to the police.

CLUBHOUSES AND CHANGING ROOMS

One of the areas where children are particularly vulnerable at many sports facilities is the locker/changing/shower room. Limited changing facilities sometimes mean that people of all ages regularly need to change and shower during the same period.

To avoid possible misunderstandings and embarrassing situations, adults need to exercise care when in the changing room at the same time as children. However, bullying can be an issue where children are left unsupervised in locker rooms, and a balance should be struck depending on the situation. In general it is better if one adult is not alone to supervise in a locker room, and extra vigilance may also be required if there is public access to the venue. If, in an emergency, a male has to enter a female changing area, or vice versa, another adult of the opposite gender should accompany him or her.

The following advice may be useful:

  • Wherever possible, adults should avoid changing or showering at the same time as children.
  • Parents/carers need to be aware that on occasions, adults and children may need to share a changing facility.
  • It is recommended that particular attention is given to the supervision of children aged 10 and under in changing rooms. It is advisable for adults not to be alone with any such child under these circumstances.
  • If children are uncomfortable changing or showering in public, no pressure should be placed on them to do so.
  • While some organisations may be restricted to changing rooms for the purposes of team talks, if at all possible another area should be considered for this. If there are no other options, it is best practice to wait until all children are fully dressed.

VOLUNTEERS AGED 18 OR UNDER

There is no legal barrier to anyone aged 18 or under becoming a coach or volunteer with children or young people. If their remit falls into that of regulated work as per the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 then they should be subject to the same recruitment and selection procedures as other volunteers, including Scheme Record/Scheme Record Update (note that there is no lower age limit with regards to PVG Scheme Membership).

Anyone under 16 is defined as a child (under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995), and it is not recommended that they take up regulated work with children.

They can, however, be encouraged to help out and should be supervised by a more senior qualified coach or volunteer who has been appropriately vetted. In turn, the organisation has a responsibility to support the supervising coach.

Remember that young coaches or volunteers may come under different pressures (e.g. lack of respect from peers, closeness in age could lead to possible relationship) so regular supervision, training and extra support is recommended.

It is important that adult to child ratios are reassessed as a young volunteer may not be experienced/capable of overseeing a group of children and young people.

PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO BULLYING BEHAVIOUR

Bullying may be seen as particularly hurtful behaviour where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. It can be a ‘one-off’ occurrence or repeated over a period of time, and can take many forms including children being bullied by adults, their peers and in some cases by members of their families. Bullying can be difficult to identify because it often happens away from others and those who are bullied often do not tell anyone. Bullying is not always deliberate.

Examples of Bullying

  • Physical e.g. theft, hitting, kicking (in some cases, this might constitute an assault).
  • Verbal (including teasing) e.g. spreading rumours, threats or name-calling, ridicule or humiliation.
  • Emotional e.g. isolating a child from the activities or social acceptance of the peer group.
  • Cyberbullying e.g. sending insulting messages via text or emails; posting images or upsetting information on social networking sites or forums etc.
  • Using abusive or insulting behaviour in a manner which causes alarm or distress.
  • Prejudiced based – singling out children who are perceived as different due to, e.g.  race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, children who are asylum seekers, looked after children, young carers and so on.
  • Having belongings stolen or damaged.
  • Being targeted because of who the child is or who they are perceived to be.

Signs which mayraise concerns about bullying include:

  • hesitation or reluctance to attend training or activity
  • often last one picked for a team or group activity for no apparent reason, or being picked on when they think your back is turned
  • reluctance to go to certain places or work with a certain individual
  • clothing or personal possessions go missing or get damaged
  • bruising or other injuries
  • ‘losing’ pocket money repeatedly
  • becoming nervous and withdrawn
  • suddenly prone to lashing out at people, either physically or verbally, when normally quiet

When talking about bullying, it’s never helpful to label children and young people as ‘bullies’ or ‘victims’. Labels can stick for life and can isolate a child, rather than helping them to recover or change their behaviour. It is preferable to talk about someone displaying bullying behaviour rather than label them a ‘bully’ – behaviour can be changed with help and support.

Action to help children and young people on the receiving end of bullying behaviour:

  • Cultivate an ethos where there’s an anti-bullying culture – it is especially important that adults are good role models for children and young people.
  • Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
  • Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns. Help those being bullied to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in authority. Create an open environment.
  • Take all allegations seriously and take action to ensure the young person is safe. Speak with those being bullied and those displaying bullying behaviour separately.
  • Reassure the young person that you can be trusted and will help them, although you can’t promise to tell no-one else.
  • Keep records of what is said i.e. what happened, by whom and when.
  • In cases of cyberbullying advise young people who are being bullied by text, email etc to retain the communication or to print it out.
  • Report any concerns to the person in charge at the organisation where the bullying is occurring.

Support for children and young people involved in bullying behaviour:

  • Talk with the young person (or people), explain the situation and try to get them to understand the consequences of their behaviour.
  • In some cases it might be worth considering seeking an apology from those involved in bullying behaviour (for example where those on the receiving end wish reconciliation). Apologies are only of real value however, when they are genuine.
  • Be sensitive and use good judgement when it comes to informing parents/carers of those whose negative behaviour is impacting on others. Put the child at the centre – will telling the parents/carers result in more problems for the young person?
  • If appropriate, insist on the return of 'borrowed' items and compensation for the person/people being bullied.
  • Impose consequences as necessary, e.g. exclusion from the team until behaviour standards are improved. Sport offers good opportunities for this.
  • Encourage and support those displaying bullying behaviour to change this behaviour. Ask them to consider the impact their actions are having.
  • Keep a written record of action taken. 

What can your organisation do?

Creating an anti-bullying ethos is the best prevention. We should not underestimate the importance of the behaviour of adults as they are role models for children and young people.

Strategies and solutions do not come in ‘one size fits all’. Each case is unique and requires an individual response to the individual situation. What might work in one situation might not work in another. You might have to adopt different strategies before finding one that is effective.

It is also important to ask for help and support if you need it to deal with a bullying incident. The Useful Contacts list has more details but www.respectme.org.uk, ChildLine and ParentLine Scotland are useful contacts to know.


PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS/CARERS FORM – TEMPLATE

Scottish Rugbyvalues the involvement of children in our sport. We are committed to ensuring that all children have fun and stay safe whilst participating in rugbyTo help us fulfil our joint responsibilities for keeping children safe Scottish Rugbyhave good Practice Guidelines. These Guidelines tell you what you can expect from us when your child participates in rugby and details the information we need from you to help us keep your child safe.

We need you to complete this form at the start of every season and to let us know as soon as possible if any of the information changes. All information will be treated with sensitivity, respect and will only be shared with those who need to know.

Child’s Name:

Date of Birth:

Address:

Postcode:

Tel No:

Emergency Contact Name:

Relationship to Child:

Emergency Contact Tel No:

Late Collection Contact:

Relationship to Child:

Contact Tel No:

Name of GP:

Tel No of GP:

Address of GP:

Postcode:

A.    GENERAL & MEDICAL INFORMATION

Please complete the following details. If none, please state “none”.

  1. Does your child have a disability/medical condition that will affect their ability to take part in sport? If yes, please give details:
  1. Does your child take any medication?  If yes, please give details:
  1. Does your child have any existing injuries (include when injury sustained and treatment received)?  If yes, please give details:
  1. Does your child have any allergies, including allergies to medication? If yes, please give details:
  1. Is there any other relevant information which you would like us to know about your child?(e.g. access rights, disabilities, etc)

B.     CONSENT – MEDICAL TREATMENT

I consent / I do not consent (delete as appropriate) to my child receiving medical treatment, including anaesthetic, which the medical professionals present consider necessary.

C.     CONSENT – TRANSPORTATION OF CHILDREN

I consent / I do not consent (delete as appropriate) to my child being transported by persons representing [Scottish Rugby] individual members or affiliated clubs for the purposes of taking part in [sport].

I understand [Scottish Rugby] will ask any person using a private vehicle to declare that they are properly licensed and insured and, in the case of a person who cannot so declare, will not permit that individual to transport children.

D.    CONSENT - PHOTOGRAPHS AND PUBLICATIONS  (INCLUDING WEBSITE)

Your child may be photographed or filmed when participating in rugby.

I consent / I do not consent (delete as appropriate) for my child to be involved in photographing/filming and for information about my child to be used for the purposes stated in Scottish Rugby Guidelines.

E.     CONSENT – CONTACT INFORMATION

 Scottish Rugby may contact your child from time to time via email, text or social networking site.

I consent / I do not consent (delete as appropriate) for my child to be contacted via email, text or social networking site for the purposes stated in Scottish Rugby Safe Guidelines. I do / do not (delete as appropriate) wish to be copied in to these messages.

F.     CONSENT – SIGNATURE

1. I am aware of the Safe in Care Guidelines for rugby and agree to work in partnership with Scottish Rugbyto promote my child’s safe participation in rugby

2. I am aware of Scottish Rugby Code of Conduct and Child Protection Policy and Procedures.

3. I undertake to inform Scottish Rugby should any of the information contained in this form change.

Parent/Carer’s Signature:                                                                                                                          Date:                                                           

(Please state relationship to child if not parent)

Print Name:                                                                                                                                      


REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO USE CAMERA AND VIDEO EQUIPMENT - TEMPLATE

This form must be completed by individuals seeking permission to use camera or video equipment. 

Section A               To be Completed by the Applicant

Name:

Designation:

Address:

Postcode:

Venue/event:

Date:

Purpose:

I declare that the pictures/film(s) produced will not be altered in any way without prior written permission of the person(s) concerned. I understand that I may only use the pictures/film(s) for the purpose stated above. I have read and agree to abide by Scottish Rugby Guidelines and Child Protection Policy. 

Signature:                                                                                                                                           Date:                                                           

__________________________________________________________________

Section B                For Official Use Only

Application         APPROVED / REFUSED    (delete as appropriate)

Signed:

Date:

Print Name:

Designation:

Reason for refusal

Now complete “Notification to Applicant” form, and keep a copy of this form.

NOTIFICATION TO APPLICANT - TEMPLATE

Your application has been ACCEPTED / REFUSED (delete as appropriate) for use as follows:

Name:

Designation:

Venue/event:

Date:

Purpose:

 

Permission granted by:

Designation:

Signature:

Date:

NOTE: Proof of identity and this letter of approval must be produced on request at the event or activity to which it relates.

 

TEMPLATE WELFARE PLAN FOR OVERNIGHT TRIPS AWAY

AREA

 

DETAIL

NOTES/ACTION TAKEN

Trip title/details

Number and age of children involved.

Training camp/tour/match

  

Purpose of the trip

Competition, training, social, combination.

  

Parental Communication and Permission

Permissions should cover the following:

·       participation

·       Medical

·       Video/images

·       Transport

 
 

Event information

Travel/transport/collection arrangements

Welfare arrangements

·       destination and venue

·       detailed itinerary

·       Supervision arrangements

·       responding to concerns procedures

·       Player codes of conduct and sanctions

·       Staff codes of conduct – pg 5 SR CPP

·       Emergency procedures, home contact

Process for parent contacting coach and/or young person

 
 

Kit and equipment list

Costs

·       Payment schedule

·       Extra meals/ refreshments, Spending money

 
    

Welfare arrangements

 Designate a Child Protection Officer for the trip

·       Checked

·       Trained

·       Visible

·       Equipped

 
 

 Reporting procedures for concerns clear and visible

·       Two avenues for reporting minimum

 
 

Codes of conduct clear and visible

  
 

 Staffing

·       Checked

·       Trained

·       Codes of conduct

·       Aware of procedures for responding to concerns

·       Clear roles and responsibilities

·       Ratios 1:10 for age group 8+

 
 

 Emergency procedures/Medical cover

Injury and Illness

·       Checked

·       Trained

·       Player medical details including allergies

·       Reporting procedures agreed

·       Player home contact details

 

Venue/Accommodation

Directions

Telephone contact

Catering

Aware of requirements

Safe

Overnight supervision arrangements

Room Lists

·       special dietary requirements

·       Insured (liability and accident)

·       Suitable staff

·       Risk assessment

At least two adults to supervise any overnight stay

If younger children are to share with older, or children are to share with adults  arrangements should be discussed with the young people and their parents in advance. These young people should be made aware of who they would speak to if they had any worries or concerns.

 

Travel and transport

Journey times and stopping points

Risk assessment

Supervision

Suitability and accessibility

Good Practice used

·       appropriate ratio of adults:children

·       vehicles insured

·       driver licensed

·       safety measures available e.g. safety belts

·       Where practicable and planned, get written parental consent

·       Tell another member of staff that you are transporting a child/children. Give route details and expected length of journey.

·       Take all reasonable safety measures – seat belts etc

·       Where possible 2 adults minimum

 
 

Staff member giving a child a lift

·       Prior consent from parents

·       Keep parents informed of journey as appropriate – call ahead to say that you are giving a lift and expected journey time

 
 

Collection policy ( including late collection policy)

parents/carers to phone if  late collection likely

Alternative contact name or number

In cases of late collection, staff and volunteers should:

·       attempt to contact the child's parent

·       use the alternative contact name/number if necessary

·       wait with the child at the sport facility, with other staff/volunteers or parents present if possible

·       remind parents/carers of the policy for late collection.

In case of late collection, staff and volunteers should not:

·       take the child home or to any other location

·       send the child home with another person without permission from a parent or carer

·       ask the child to wait in a vehicle or sport facility with you alone

 

Arrival

Check basic setup

Collect

Communicate

·       two members of staff/volunteers

·       Rooms

·       Meals

·       Sporting venue

·       Phones, valuables

·       Medical info

Arrange group meetings.

·       Care and child protection procedures

·       Rules

·       codes of conduct

·       curfews

 

Changing rooms

Supervised

Private

·       two members of staff/volunteers.

·       Adults should not change or shower at the same time using the same facilities.

 

Free time

Supervision and risk assessment

·       Children should not be left to wander alone in unfamiliar places

·       Adults in charge should not be over-familiar and fraternise with children

Use of alcohol, drugs, sexual behaviour should not be condoned.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION