EKFC Policy Documents

Documents

Safeguarding Guidelines

Safeguards

The following safeguards are a combination of best practice and guidelines to support children and adults in a range of situations. Their purpose is to minimise risks that have been identified through previous experience and risk assessment. Not every situation can be prepared for, however, the following are circumstances which need an informed approach and common sense applied.

These include:

Behaviours

  • Managing Behaviour
  • Physical Contact
  • Sexual Activity

Children's Health

  • First Aid and Treatment of Injuries
  • Responding to Allergies

Celebration & Communication

  • Safe Use of Images of U18 Players
  • ICT& Social Media

Planning & Organisation

  • Adult to Child Ratios
  • Collection by Parents/Carers
  • Safe Use of Changing Facilities
  • Transporting Children
  • Trips Away from Home

Recognising that circumstances will always be different, these safeguards provide generic advice which can be applied as appropriately considered by the member of staff or volunteer who is responsible at a particular time or in preparation of a specific activity.

Behaviours

Managing Behaviour

From time to time members of staff and volunteers delivering football to children may be required to deal with a child's behaviour that they find challenging. 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 members of 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 or volunteer should attempt to respond to 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 player within that group. As part of a risk assessment, coaches should consider whether any members of the group have presented challenges in the past or are likely to present any difficulties in relation to the tasks involved, the other participants or the environment.

Where members of staff and 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 behaviour and to safeguard other members of the group and the members of staff and volunteers involved.

All those delivering activities to children should receive training on these guidelines and should be supported to address issues of 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.

Issues of behaviour and control should regularly be discussed with members of 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 or team. It is also helpful to ask them what the consequences of breaking the 'agreement' should be. Experience shows that they will tend to come up with a sensible and working 'agreement'. 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 'agreement' visible for reference during the activity.

Managing Behaviour

In dealing with children who display risk-taking or unacceptable behaviours, members of 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 members of staff and volunteers.
  • Use of individual 'contracts' or agreements for their future or continued participation.
  • Consequences e.g. missing an activity.

Adults and children shall never be permitted to use 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.

Members of 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 team. Whilst it would always be against the wishes of everyone involved in 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 not be able to continue participating.

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 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. Members of staff and 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.
  • Members of staff and 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 child and the nature of harm/damage they might cause.
  • All forms of 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.
  • Members of staff and volunteers should never employ physical interventions which are deemed to present an unreasonable risk to children or adults.
  • Members of staff and 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 member of staff and/or volunteers involved using the Concern Recording Form, reported to and passed to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer as soon as possible. In terms of wellbeing indicators, safety and any others in relation to the circumstances would be highlighted in terms of their behaviour risking their wellbeing.

A timely debrief for members of staff and 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 wellbeing of those involved has been addressed and ongoing support offered where necessary. Members of staff and 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, team or activity.

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 a player 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.

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. Members of staff and 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. manual assistance for a child with a physical disability.

Sexual Activity

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

Sexual activity between children involved in football is prohibited during team events, in facilities and social activities organised by the club. Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by a child may lead to the information being shared with the child's Named Person and may lead to reports being made to external agencies such as the police or social services.

Sexual interactions between adults and children (16+) involved in football raise serious issues given the power imbalance inherent in the relationship. Where a child is of the age of consent, the power of the adult over that child 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 child's career.

Sexual activity between adults and children (16+) involved in football is prohibited when the adult is in a position of trust or authority (coach, trainer, official) where they have signed the Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Children's Wellbeing. Inappropriate or criminal sexual behaviour committed by an adult will lead to suspension and disciplinary action in accordance with the appropriate Affiliated National Association Disciplinary Procedures, which in the case of criminal behaviour 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.

Celebration & Communication

Safe Use of Images of U18 Players

Photographs, films and video clips can be used to celebrate achievements, promote activities and keep people updated. Footage is also recorded for performance development and analysis 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.

  • East Kilbride FC 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.
  • East Kilbride FC 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 and in locations where the club FA has jurisdiction.

Permission

Children and their parents/carers will be informed that the child may, from time to time, be photographed or filmed whilst participating in football. 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

  • Written consent must be obtained from the child's parents/carers for children under 16 years old before any photography or filming takes place which can be captured on a Consent Form - U18 Players.
  • This consent will also be used for any accredited or professional photographers taking and using images of U18 players within the club.
  • 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 photographs/film would place the child at risk.
  • Young players 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

1. General

  • No unsupervised access or one-to-one photography or video sessions will be allowed unless this has been explicitly agreed with the child and their parents/carers.
  • All photographic/videoing equipment must be switched off prior to going into changing rooms.
  • No photographing or filming will be permitted in changing areas, bathrooms or sleeping areas.
  • All images and accompanying information will ensure only appropriate personal details are shared publicly.
  • When seeking to create action images try to focus on the activity rather than the individual.
  • When seeking celebration images try to take group images rather than individual images.
  • Ensure all those featured are appropriately dressed (a minimum of shirt and shorts).
  • Images will not be shared with external agencies unless express permission is obtained from the child and their parents/carers.

2. Taking Of Images

  • All players, parents/carers, club volunteer and members of staff should sign to agree that they will follow and enforce these guidelines.
  • During training, volunteers and members of staff will use East Kilbride FC equipment only for the purposes to taking photographs or video for player development or performance analysis. There should be no personal use of equipment, including mobile phones by anyone.
  • External agencies need permission from the club to take any images during the training environment.
  • For promotional, marketing or social networking use of images for club publications or online, members of staff will use club equipment only.
  • For both safety and safeguarding reasons, players should not use mobile phones, tablets or photographic/videoing equipment during training or at match/event activities.
  • Where images of U18 players are taken, agreement and arrangements can be in place for players and their parents/carers to be given copies but confirm not to upload any of these images or videos to their own or their child's social media or online platforms.
  • The club may seek publicity to positively promote football, and young players receiving endorsements or sponsorship may well welcome positive media coverage on a local, regional or national level. It is important for these players, their parents/carers and media representatives to be clear about appropriate arrangements and ground rules for interviews, filming and photo sessions.

3. Matches/Events

  • Any photography or videos taken should be restricted to immediate family members for private, non-commercial purposes and not put online on any personal social media or online platforms.
  • External agencies need permission from the club to take any images during the match/event activities.

4. Storage and Retention of Images:

  • The club will ensure that all negatives, copies of videos and digital photograph files are stored in a secure manner. These will not be kept for any longer than is necessary having regard to the purposes for which they were taken.
  • Images, negatives, copies of videos and digital photograph files will be reviewed at the end of each season to identify safe storage to restricted access archives or safe disposal of players' images.

5. Misuse of an Image:

  • At any time the use of an image or information attached to it appears inappropriate, report the misuse of an image to the club Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer using the appropriate Concern Recording Form as part of theResponding to Concerns about a Child Procedure.

Concerns

  • Anyone behaving in a way which could reasonably be viewed as inappropriate in relation to filming or photographing should be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer. They should be approached for an explanation. If a satisfactory explanation is not provided, the circumstances should be reported in line with the Responding to Concerns about the Conduct of an Adult Procedure.
  • Where appropriate, concerns should also be reported to the police.

ICT & Social Media

There are various ways in which we can celebrate and communicate using ICT and social media. Technology advances extremely quickly, meaning ways in which we communicate and receive and absorb information are changing all the time. Depending on the football activity that each child is involved with, the club may contact children and their parents/carers via text/email or possibly through social networking sites.

Our website hosts a range of information, photographs and videos which is available for all members of the public. However, misuse of ICT and social media can also put children at considerable risk. There are some adults who seek to harm children have been known to use messaging or areas online to "groom" children.

For children 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
  • 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. Text/Email

Members of staff and 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. 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/carer 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 16 and 17 years, it is still recommended that parents/carers are informed of the intention to send their child(ren) emails or texts.

The following good practice is therefore required:

  • All phone numbers/email addresses of children should be kept secure and confidential.
  • The number of people with access to children's details should be kept to a practical minimum.
  • Messages should never contain any offensive, abusive or inappropriate language. They should not be open to misinterpretation.

2. Internet/Website

The club may post information, photographs and videos on our website which is available to all members of the public. In terms of publishing anything that includes a child, the following good practice should be followed:

Permission

  • Written parent/carer consent must be obtained for any child aged under 16 years old before publishing any information, photographs or videos of a child which can be captured on a Consent Form - U18 Players. 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 players 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 the club.
  • 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 website should be reported to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.

3. Social Networking Sites

Where the club allows mutual access to social networking sites:

Permission

  • Obtain written permission from parents/carers of under 16s which can be captured on a Consent Form - U18 Players 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 the club or football issues.

Concerns

  • Informal online "chat" with members around subjects outside football 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 Procedure and passed to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.

4. 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. Sites should be well monitored and any offending comments removed. A 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 for Safeguarding Children's Wellbeing.

5. 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 guidelines for Safe Use of Images of U18 Players 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 areas. No photographs or video footage should ever be permitted in such areas of personal privacy.

Children's Health

First Aid & The Treatment Of Injuries

All members of staff and volunteers must ensure:

  • Where practicable all parents/carers of children under the age of 16 have completed a Consent Form - U18 Players before their child participates in football.
  • 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.
  • Only those with a current, recognised First Aid qualification treat injuries. In more serious cases assistance should be obtained from a medically qualified professional as soon as possible.
  • A Concern Recording Form should be 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. The completed form should be passed to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer.
  • 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.

Children With Allergies

The club has a duty to be inclusive and to provide opportunities for children of all abilities and regardless of any medical conditions, disabilities or allergies which they may have. These guidelines focus on how members of staff and volunteers should respond to children with allergies, as they have a responsibility to ensure their wellbeing whilst they are attending their football activity. However, it is equally important that children with medical conditions or allergies are not unnecessarily excluded from taking part in activities with their peers and that reasonable steps are taken to accommodate their individual needs.

Parent/CarerResponsibility

When a child joins a football activity, parents/carers should:

  • Ensure they complete the Consent Form - U18 Players accurately and also take the time to talk to the member of staff or volunteer about the specific needs of their child and how to address and accommodate these needs.
  • Update the member of staff or volunteer of any change in circumstances.
  • Consider a medic alert bracelet/watch for their child.
  • Check the expiry date of adrenaline injectors and any medication regularly. An out-of-date injector may offer some protection, but this will be limited.
  • Ensure if the child has a 'rescue pack' that, if necessary, this is given to the member of staff or volunteer. This may include antihistamines for mild reactions, possibly an inhaler and may have two adrenaline injectors for more serious reactions e.g. anaphylaxis.

East Kilbride FC Responsibility

Members of staff and volunteers should:

  • Ensure the Consent Form - U18 Players for all children attending the football activity are available and up to date together with full details of the child allergies
  • Have a copy of the child's care plan for allergies and individual risk assessment
  • Communicate with parent/carer and child directly
  • Appropriately share the information (do the right people know?) with others involved in the football activity
  • Remember that Consent Form - U18 Players should always be stored confidentially but be accessible to members of staff and volunteers
  • Ensure correct storage and administration of medication
  • Record incidents or concerns on a Concern Recording Form and pass to the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer
  • Have their mobile phones charged and check they have a signal to allow calls to be made
  • Plan for additional supervision e.g. depending on child's allergies and environment

Planning & Organisation

Adult To Child Ratios

As a general guide, the following ratios are recommended:

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. 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 football activity.
  • The age, maturity and experience of the children.
  • Whether any of the members of staff, volunteers or children have a learning or physical disability or special requirements.
  • Whether any of the children have challenging behaviour.
  • The particular hazards associated with the football activity.
  • The particular hazards associated with the environment.
  • The level of qualification and experience of the members of staff and volunteers.
  • The programme of activities.

Collection By Parents/Carers

On some occasions, parents/carers can be late when picking their child up at the end of a football activity. 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 football activity is running then members of staff and volunteers have a duty of care to the children that are in their charge. This is a principle of good practice.
  • When the football activity 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 another responsible adult.

1. Make sure that the club paperwork or communications:

  • Are clear about starting and finishing times of the football activity
  • Are clear about the expectations of parents/carers not to drop children off too early and collect children promptly when the football activity finishes
  • Ask parents/carers whether they give consent for children to go home unaccompanied (according to their age and stage)
  • Have a late collection telephone contact and number on Consent Form - U18 Players.

2. Where possible make sure that there is more than one member of staff or volunteer at the end of the football activity.

3. Members of staff and volunteers will know how to deal with being left alone with a child. Put preventative measures in place (points 1 and 2) and agree simple steps 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 wellbeing and best interests of the child are paramount and have to take precedence, so leaving children alone is not an option.

4. Members of staff and volunteers should 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 in Transporting Children and make sure that you inform the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and parents/carers as soon as possible.

6. When all else fails call the police.

Safe Use Of Changing Facilities

One of the areas where children are particularly vulnerable at football 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 and a balance should be struck depending on the situation. In general, it is better if one adult is not alone to supervise and extra vigilance may also be required if there is public access to the facility. 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 guidelines should be followed:

  • 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 activities 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.

Transporting Children

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

1. Where parents/carers make arrangements for the transportation of children to and from the activity, out with the knowledge of the club it will be the responsibility of the parents/carers to satisfy themselves about the appropriateness and safety of the arrangements.

2. Where the club makes arrangements for the transportation of children the members of staff or 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

3. Where transport arrangements are being made overseas, members of staff and volunteers will be aware of the risk assessment and plans in place for transporting the children, then able to inform parents/carers.

4. Where practicable and planned, written parent/carer consent will be requested or included within the Consent Form - U18 Players if members of staff and volunteers are required to transport children:

  • Agree a collection policy with parents/carers which will include a clear and shared understanding of arrangements for collection at the end of a football activity.
  • Always tell another member of staff or 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 of when you expect to arrive.

Trips Away From Home (Including Overnight Stays)

1. Designate a Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer for the Trip

Those in charge of the squad will be responsible for the safety and wellbeing of children in their care. It is essential that a member of staff designated as Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer coordinate the arrangements to safeguard the wellbeing of children during the trip. The Child Wellbeing and 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 wellbeing 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, including the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer contact details during the trip.

2. Risk Assessment

Potential areas 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 ongoing process throughout the trip as unexpected situations can happen!

3. Travel Arrangements

Members of staff and volunteers must ensure there is adequate and relevant insurance cover (including travel and medical insurance). If the trip involves travel overseas, organisers shall ensure they are aware of local procedures for dealing with concerns about the wellbeing 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 Transporting Children.

4. Adult to Child Ratios

All trips away should be planned to involve at least two adults. The guidelines on Adult to Child Ratios will inform an assessment of the numbers of adults required to safely supervise the squad. Where relevant those involved should be recruited and selected in accordance with the Appointment and Selection of Adults in Regulated Work with Children Procedure. Everyone travelling should be familiar with and agree to abide by the club's Child Wellbeing and Protection in Scottish Football Policies, Procedures and Safeguards.

5. Accommodation

Members of staff and volunteers should find out as much as possible about the accommodation and the surroundings at the planning stage to help 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 members of staff 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 the same areas of the accommodation can be accessed by others
  • Special access or adaptive aids required by members of staff or children.
  • Environmental factors
  • Personal safety issues

Exchange Visits / Hosting

Before departure, members of staff and volunteers should ensure there is a shared understanding of the standards expected during homestays 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. Members of staff, volunteers, 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

Members of staff and volunteers should ensure the facility is appropriately licensed and has adequate and relevant insurance cover in place. The facility should have policies on Child Wellbeing / Protection and Health & 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. Members of staff 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 Consent Form - U18 Players 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 Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer 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

Members of staff and volunteers 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. Members of staff and volunteers 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.

Members of staff should maintain an overview of the wellbeing 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. Children should also know who they can talk to, or speak directly with the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer if they have any worries or concerns while away from home.

8. After the Trip

Where appropriate, a debrief 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.

Please also see our downloads page where you can download copies of all our club policy documents

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