As a sporting organisation, when making provision for children and young people we must ensure that:
Staff/volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.
The Community Basketball League has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in our activities from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. The Community Basketball League will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in our activities through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines detailed in this policy are adopted and implemented across our provision.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).
The aim of the Community Basketball League Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice:
Promoting Good Practice
Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to take.
Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, instructor, teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document.
When a child enters into one of the clubs activities having been subjected to child abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the child’s self-esteem. In such instances the CBL member-club activity organiser must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required support.
Good Practice Guidelines
All personnel involved with the Community Basketball League, inclusive of event staff, officials, club coaches and club officers should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote children’s welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.
Good practice means:
Practices to be avoided
The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the club or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a session:
Practices never to be sanctioned
The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:
N.B. It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents and the players involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.
Incidents that must be reported/recorded
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the appropriate officer and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed:
Use of photographic/filming equipment at sporting events
There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled sports people in vulnerable positions. All clubs should be vigilant and any concerns should be reported to the member-club’s Child Protection Officer and also the CBL Safeguarding lead .
Videoing as a coaching aid: there is no intention to prevent club coaches and teachers using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However, performers and their parents/carers should be made aware that this is part of the coaching programme and their consent obtained, and such films should be stored safely.
Similarly, the Community Basketball League have professional photographers and videographers capturing pictures and video at each CBL event, always in a positive and professional light and solely for the ongoing promotion of the league and the players, coaches and teams within. The league will always ask member-clubs for consent to record or photograph their club players and requires all participating clubs to have sought permission from parents/guardians of all players under 18 for their child to be recorded or photographed by the professionally appointed photographer(s) and videographer(s). Any parent or coach who identifies any child within their club as vulnerable or wishes for their child not to be photographed or recorded is required to inform the CBL Child Protection Officer and league commissioner immediately so the necessary steps can be taken to ensure the child in question is removed from all relevant media.
Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers
The Community Basketball League recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Pre-selection checks must included the following:
Interview and induction
All employees (and volunteers) will be required to undergo an interview carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees and volunteers should receive an induction, during which:
In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:
The Community Basketball League requires:
Responding to allegations or suspicions
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in the Community Basketball League, in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the appropriate authorities.
The Community Basketball League will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.
Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence and inform the disciplinary investigation, but all available information will be used to reach a decision.
Action if there are concerns
1. Concerns about poor practice:
2. Concerns about suspected abuse:
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:
Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser (or parents if the alleged abuser is a child).
Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).
Internal enquiries and suspension
Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse:
Allegations of previous abuse
Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a child or by a member of staff who is still currently working with children).
Where such an allegation is made, the club should follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police. This is because other children, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Protection of Children Act 1999.
Action if bullying is suspected
If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in ‘Responding to suspicions or allegations’ above.
Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in sport:
Action towards the bully(ies):
Concerns outside the immediate sporting environment (e.g. a parent or carer):
Information for social services or the police about suspected abuse
To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should include the following:
If you are worried about sharing concerns about abuse with a senior colleague, you can contact social services or the police direct, or the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or Childline on 0800 1111.
You can contact the following Child Protection Officers in confidence by emailing:
CBL Child Protection Officer: TRoper@london-basketball.com
Basketball England Child Protection Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org