Barking & Dagenham Local Safeguarding Children Board recognises and supports the opportunities that sports clubs offer to children across the Borough, providing ways for them to gain new skills, build confidence and improve their health through the enjoyment of sport. Sport also provides great benefits to adults in the community, and this includes those with physical disabilities and learning disabilities who may be accessing them with support. However, recent events reported in football have reminded us of the importance of keeping children and vulnerable adults safe whilst they are involved in these activities.
As a parent or carer, you will want to be sure that your child’s safety is the highest priority for any sports clubs that they may attend. You may find it is useful to ask them the following kinds of questions:
Can I see your safeguarding policy?
A good club should have up to date safeguarding procedures in place and be happy to provide/show you copies.
Who is your club Welfare Officer?
The club, irrespective of which sport it is, should have a designated Welfare Officer who is responsible for dealing with any safeguarding concerns that may arise.
Do you follow Safer Recruitment procedures?
Every organisation providing sporting activities to young people must ensure they have the correct recruitment processes in place which includes interviews, references and have undertaken the appropriate police checks for their volunteers and staff.
How do you promote the welfare of children and young people?
The club should be able to demonstrate how they actively promote safeguarding which includes listening and responding to the views of children and young people.
Please do not be afraid to ask questions – a good and professional organisation will already have procedures in place and will welcome the chance to demonstrate that they are providing a safe environment for your child.
You can find further information about safeguarding in your child’s particular sport in the following links:
- Athletics (external link)
- Cricket (external link)
- Football (external link)
- Gymnastics (external link)
- Netball (external link)
- Rugby League (external link)
- Rugby Union (external link)
- Swimming (external link)
- Tennis (external link)
- NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit Advice for Parents (external link)
If you have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child in any sport settings you can contact:
- Barking & Dagenham Children’s Care & Support on 0208 227 3811 or out of hours service on 0208 594 8356
- Metropolitan Police on 101 or in an emergency 999
- NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or online at nspcc.org.uk
- Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or online at childline.org.uk
Reviewed: November 2017