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SCOTTISH BLIND GOLF SOCIETY

The driving force behind blind golfers in Scotland since 1982.

Child & Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy


Responsibilities

The Scottish Blind Golf Society will:

Principles

The welfare of children and vulnerable adults is everyone's responsibility, particularly when it comes to protecting them from abuse. Children and vulnerable adults have a lot to gain from sport. Their natural sense of fun and spontaneity can blossom in a positive environment created by sports organisations. It provides an excellent opportunity for them to learn new skills, become more confident and maximise their own unique potential. This Policy and these Procedures are based on the following principles:

Review

This Policy and these Procedures will be regularly monitored and reviewed:

1. Recruitment and Employment.

All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children and vulnerable adults. For all positions that require regular contact with children or vulnerable adults the following recruitment procedures must be completed.

1.1. ADVERTISING.

All forms of advertising used to recruit members for positions involving regular contact with children or vulnerable adults will include the following:

1.2. PRE APPLICATION INFORMATION.

Pre-application information for positions involving regular contact with children or vulnerable adults will be sent to applicants and will include:

1.3. APPLICATION AND SELF-DECLARATION.

All applicants will be requested to complete an application and self-declaration form. The purpose of the application form is to obtain relevant details from the applicant for the position. The purpose of the self-declaration form is to collect information on criminal behaviour that is relevant to the position e.g. criminal records or investigations. The self-declaration form is requested in a separate sealed envelope and is not opened until the applicant is selected for an interview. If the applicant is not selected the form is returned unopened to the applicant.

1.4. REFERENCES.

References will be sought as required. Where possible at least one of these references will be from an employer or a voluntary organisation where the position required working with children or vulnerable adults in any of the following capacities: employee; volunteer; or work experience. If the person has no experience of working with children or vulnerable adults, specific training requirements will be agreed before appointment.

1.5. CHECKS.

The Scottish Blind Golf Society is a registered Charity with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator . This will require the prospective position holder to complete and submit a Disclosure Scotland form. As recommended by Disclosure Scotland (Protecting the Vulnerable by Safer Recruitment, 2002) the following types of checks are to be requested for positions requiring contact with children and vulnerable adults:

1.6. INTERVIEW.

For positions that require regular contact with children or vulnerable adults, interviews will be carried out. An interview will include requests for additional information to support the application.

1.7. OFFER OF POSITION.

Once a decision has been made to appoint an individual, an offer letter will be presented to the applicant including the details of the position, any special requirements and the obligations e.g. agreement to the policies and procedures of the organisation, the probation period and responsibilities of the role. Confirmation of the position being accepted will require the offer letter to be formally accepted and agreed to in writing e.g. by the individual signing and dating their agreement on the offer letter and returning it to the organisation.

1.8. INDUCTION.

The induction process for the newly appointed member will include the following:

1.9. TRAINING.

Newly appointed members will complete the following training over an agreed period:

1.10. PROBATION.

Newly appointed members will complete an agreed period of probation on commencement of their role.

1.11. MONITORING AND PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL.

All members who have contact with children or vulnerable adults will be monitored and their performance appraised. This will provide an opportunity to evaluate progress, set new goals, identify training needs and address any concerns of poor practice.

2. Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

The code of conduct details the types of practice required by all members of The Scottish Blind Golf Society when in contact with children or vulnerable adults. The types of practice are categorised into good practice, practice to be avoided and practice never to be sanctioned. Suspicions or allegations of non-compliance of the code by a member will be dealt with through the Scottish Blind Golf Society's disciplinary procedures or through Responding to a Suspicion or Allegation of Abuse against a Member of The Scottish Blind Golf Society . (Section 6.5)

2.1. GOOD PRACTICE.

The Scottish Blind Golf Society supports and requires the following good practice by members when in contact with children and vulnerable adults:

FIRST AID AND TREATMENT OF INJURIES:

If, in your capacity as a member of The Scottish Blind Golf Society, a child or vulnerable adult requires first aid or any form of medical attention whilst in your care, then the following good practice must be followed:

FOR TAKING CHILDREN OR VULNERABLE ADULTS AWAY FROM HOME

If it is necessary to provide transport or take children or vulnerable adults away from home the following good practice must be followed:

Ensure, where possible, a male and female accompany mixed groups of children or vulnerable adults. These adults should be familiar with and agree to abide by the Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and Procedures of The Scottish Blind Golf Society.

Always plan and prepare a detailed programme of activities and ensure copies are available for other members and parents/guardians.

2.2. PRACTICE TO BE AVOIDED.

In the context of your role within The Scottish Blind Golf Society, the following practice should be avoided:

Important Note: It may sometimes be necessary for members to do things of a personal nature for children or vulnerable adults, particularly if they are very young or vulnerable. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the child or vulnerable adult and where possible their parents/guardians. It is important to respect their views. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible, 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 or vulnerable adult to carry out particular activities. Do not take on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.

2.3. PRACTICES NEVER TO BE SANCTIONED.

In the context of your role within The Scottish Blind Golf Society, the following practices should never be sanctioned:

Important Note: In special cases sharing may be required for health and safety reasons or if the child is very young or particularly vulnerable. If so, explain why this is necessary to the child/vulnerable adult and their parent or guardian and seek their consent. Where possible ensure that at least two adults, preferably male and female are in the room.

2.4. REPORTING.

If members have concerns about an incident involving a child or vulnerable adult that seems untoward or unusual they must report their concerns as soon as possible. Parents should also be informed of the incident as soon as possible unless it is not in the child's or vulnerable adult's interests to tell them (refer to Section 7, Sharing Concerns with Parents, Guardians or Carers).

Report, record and inform if the following occur:

3. Identifying and managing bullying.

The lives of many people are made miserable by bullying. Victims of bullying can feel lonely, isolated and deeply unhappy. It can have a devastating effect on a child or vulnerable adult's self-esteem and destroy their self-confidence and concentration. They may become withdrawn and insecure, more cautious and less willing to take any sort of risk. They may feel it is somehow their fault or that there is something wrong with them and at worst cause depression and/or feelings of worthlessness that lead to suicide.

To ensure The Scottish Blind Golf Society creates an atmosphere where bullying of children and vulnerable adults is unacceptable and to help members manage bullying issues, guidelines for identifying and managing bullying have been developed.

4. Photographing, Videoing and Filming of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

There is evidence that some people have used sporting venues and activities as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of children and vulnerable adults. The following procedures have been developed to protect children and vulnerable adults.

The following is required for The Scottish Blind Golf Society activities or events where children or vulnerable adults are participating:

5. Children or vulnerable adults in publications or on the internet.

Sport websites and publications provide excellent opportunities to broadcast achievements of individuals to the world and to provide a showcase for the activities of young people or vulnerable adults. In some cases, however, displaying certain information about children and vulnerable adults could place them at risk. The following procedure must be followed to ensure The Scottish Blind Golf Society publications and information on the Internet does not place children and vulnerable adults at risk.

The Scottish Blind Golf Society publications and information on the Internet must adhere to the following:

Important Note: Any concerns or enquiries about publications or Internet information should be reported to the current Captain and the Secretary of the Scottish Blind Golf Society.

6. Responding to disclosures.

Information you receive about or from a child or vulnerable adult may fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Suspicion or allegation of misconduct against a member of The Scottish Blind Golf Society
  2. Suspicion or allegation of abuse against a member of The Scottish Blind Golf Society
  3. Suspicion or allegation of inappropriate behaviour against someone who is not a member
  4. Suspicion or allegation of abuse against someone who is not a member

It is not the responsibility of anyone from The Scottish Blind Golf Society to decide whether or not a child or vulnerable adult has been abused. It is however everyone's responsibility to report concerns.

It is very important that The Scottish Blind Golf Society members understand what is meant by the term "abuse". The different types of abuse are:

The definitions for the types of abuse and signs that may suggest abuse are detailed in Appendix A. It is very important that this appendix is read and understood.

6.1. HOW TO LISTEN TO A DISCLOSURE.

It is important to listen carefully to the information a child or vulnerable adult discloses. When listening to a disclosure the following good practice is required:

ACTIONS TO AVOID WHEN RECEIVING A DISCLOSURE.

6.2. RESPONDING TO A SUSPICION OR ALLEGATION OF INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR OR MISCONDUCT AGAINST SOMEONE WHO IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE SCOTTISH BLIND GOLF SOCIETY.

In the course of your role within The Scottish Blind Golf Society a child or vulnerable adult may disclose information to you about a person who is not a member that leads to a suspicion or allegation of inappropriate behaviour or misconduct. If the disclosure is about an incident that occurred during a Scottish Blind Golf Society event or activity:

6.3. RESPONDING TO A SUSPICION OR ALLEGATION OF INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR OR MISCONDUCT AGAINST A MEMBER OF THE SCOTTISH BLIND GOLF SOCIETY.

If you receive a disclosure that leads to a suspicion or allegation of inappropriate behaviour or misconduct against a member:

Establishing the Basic Facts - If the basic facts support a suspicion or allegation of misconduct by a member, the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the Scottish Blind Golf Society’s Disciplinary Procedure.

6.4. RESPONDING TO A SUSPICION OR ALLEGATION OF ABUSE AGAINST SOMEONE WHO IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE SCOTTISH BLIND GOLF SOCIETY.

All allegations of abuse must be taken seriously. Although false allegations of abuse do occur, they are less than usual. If a child or vulnerable adult says or indicates that he/she is being abused or information is obtained which gives concern that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused, you must react as soon as possible that day in line with the following procedures.

On receiving information about a non-member that leads to a suspicion or allegation of abuse:

The information must, where known, include the following:

6.5. RESPONDING TO A SUSPICION OR ALLEGATION OF ABUSE AGAINST A MEMBER OF THE SCOTTISH BLIND GOLF SOCIETY:

The feelings caused by the discovery of potential abuse by a member will raise different issues, e.g. disbelief that a member would act in this way. It is not the responsibility of a member to take responsibility or to decide whether or not a child or vulnerable adult has been abused. However, as with allegations against non-members, it is the responsibility of the individual to act on any concerns.

Any information that raises concern about the behaviour of a member towards a child or vulnerable adult must be passed on as soon as possible that day, in accordance with these procedures. No member in receipt of such information shall keep that information to himself/ herself or attempt to deal with the matter on their own.

These Procedures aim to ensure that all suspicions and/or allegations of abuse against a member are taken seriously and are dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner. They must be read in conjunction with The Scottish Blind Golf Society's Disciplinary Procedures.

On receiving information about a member that leads to suspicion or allegation of abuse:

6.6. MAKING A REFERRAL IN CASES OF SUSPECTED AND/OR ALLEGED ABUSE.

If the basic facts support a suspicion or allegation of abuse:

Important Note: Reporting of the matter to the Police or Social Work Department must not be delayed by attempts to obtain more information. A Referral for Reporting Suspicions and/or Allegations of Abuse against a Member of The Scottish Blind Golf Society is completed as soon as possible that day. Where possible, a copy must be sent to the Police and Social Work Department within 24 hours.

Possible Outcomes following advice from Police - Where the initial enquiry reveals that there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a member has abused a child and/or vulnerable adult there will be an investigation. There are three types of investigation that can result:

  1. A disciplinary investigation
  2. A child protection investigation
  3. A criminal investigation

Following advice from the Police, disciplinary action may be taken in cases where a criminal investigation is ongoing provided sufficient information is available to enable a decision to be made and doing so does not jeopardise the criminal investigation.

6.7. MANAGING THE MEMBER AGAINST WHOM THE ALLEGATION HAS BEEN MADE.

Following advice from the Police, if the decision is made that the member against whom the allegation has been made is to be informed, the member should be told an allegation has been made which suggests abuse. It is essential to preserve evidence for any criminal proceedings while at the same time safeguarding the rights of the member.

6.8. SUSPENSION.

6.9. MANAGING FALSE OR MALICIOUS ALLEGATIONS.

Where after investigation, the allegation is found to be false or malicious the member will receive an account of the circumstances and/or investigation and a letter confirming the conclusion of the matter. The member involved may wish to seek legal advice. All records pertaining to the circumstances and investigation will be destroyed.

6.10. MANAGING ALLEGATIONS OF HISTORICAL ABUSE.

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event e.g. an adult who was abused as a child by a member who is still currently working with children. Where such an allegation is made the procedures for managing allegations of abuse, detailed in Sections 6.4 to 6.10, must be followed.

7. Sharing concerns with Parents, Guardians or Carers.

7.1. Where it is not abuse. There is always a commitment to work in partnership with parents/guardians/carers where there are concerns about a child/vulnerable adult. Therefore in most situations, not involving the possibility of the abuse of a child or vulnerable adult, it would be important to talk to parents/guardians/carers to help clarify any initial concerns.

For example, if a child or vulnerable adult seems withdrawn, he/she may have experienced an upset in the family, such as a parental separation, divorce or bereavement.

7.2. Allegations of Abuse. There are circumstances in which a child or vulnerable adult might be placed at even greater risk if concerns are shared e.g. where a parent/guardian/carer may be responsible for the abuse or not able to respond to the situation appropriately. In all cases of suspected or alleged abuse, advice and guidance must first be sought from the local Social Work Department or the Police as to who contacts the parents.


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