CHILD SAFEGUARDING AT RICHMOND FC
Policy statement for Coaches and Managers and Parents
At Richmond we believe that all coaches, managers and parents should take responsibility for this sensitive issue, and this document is designed to help focus on the key issues involved.
Richmond maintains a clear policy in place on child protection, which is kept under constant review. It is based on the RFU’s own policy of Child Protection (available on their website at www.englandrugby.com Governance/Safeguarding)
It is the responsibility of every adult to ensure that the children can play the game of rugby in a safe and enjoyable environment. Child abuse is not limited to physical and/or sexual abuse. It also includes verbal abuse, and abuse by discrimination on the grounds of race, gender and even on ability. Coaches should be aware at all times of their responsibilities towards all children in their age group in these respects.
All coaches/managers at Richmond will be members of the club and will have completed DBS disclosure in accordance with the RFU guidelines. It is also the clubs policy that all coaches should attend RFU approved courses to the appropriate levels. In addition to improving the level of coaching available for Mini and Youth rugby, courses include an element of awareness of child protection issues.
Parents should be aware of the club’s policy on child protection. They have a vital rote to play in child protection. In particular, they should not leave their children unaccompanied at training sessions/matches. If this is not possible, they should make this clear to the coach/manager and leave a contact number in case of emergency. In certain circumstances it may be necessary and/or advisable to gain parents’ written consent for certain activities, e.g. if a film crew is shooting a coaching session. Parents are asked to co-operate with any such reasonable requests.
Parents will be presumed to have given their consent in respect of the following specific activities.
Injuries. Fully qualified sports physiotherapists are on duty at all times during training and matches at Richmond. If a child goes down injured on the pitch, it is likely that the first person to the child will be a coach, and parents are presumed to have given consent for the coach to take immediate appropriate action to deal with the injury. Parents watching from the touchline are encouraged to attend at the earliest opportunity.
Showers. Any Mini rugby player taking a shower after training or matches must be accompanied by their parent or guardian, or by another adult authorised by the parent or guardian to accompany the player. Youth players will be expected to shower after games, and their coaches and/or managers will supervise showers and changing rooms as part of their normal function.
The Club’s Website has now been upgraded so that it can offer individual sections the opportunity to post photos of matches, tournaments, social events, etc. This is obviously an excellent opportunity to involve all members of the section, but for the Minis and Juniors it does raise certain issues of Child Protection. We believe that most parents will be happy that pictures of their children are put on the site, but have put in place certain simple and common sense steps which we hope will meet with your approval. Only one person will be able to put photos on the site, and he will be solely responsible for the suitability of photos put on the site.
In particular no child will be identified by name in any way.
We work on the basis that all parents and guardians will be presumed to have given consent for photos of their child(ren) taken whilst taking part in official Richmond FC Mini/Junior activities to appear on the club website.
No child’s picture will be used on the website if their parent or guardian so requests.
Websites can be a positive way to communicate with children. However, there are risks associated with internet usage and all should be aware of the advice contained in the Cyber-Guidance section of the RFU’s Safeguarding Toolkit – click here to download the PDF
In particular please note it is recommended that coaches/club officials should adhere to the following guidelines:
When communicating by phone, speak to the parent of the child rather than the child
Avoid communicating with individual children by text or on line - it is inadvisable to communicate by email on a one to one basis with a child, copy the parents in on any response
When communicating club related information by email, use email groups comprising email addresses given by parents
Do not communicate with children through social networking sites such as Facebook and do not be ‘friends’ with a child
Any matter concerning Child Protection can be discussed in confidence with the CPO, or with the Chairman of Youth or Minis, or the Club Secretary, as appropriate. In the (hopefully unlikely) event of a serious incident occurring, there is a comprehensive incident report form available on the RFU website (Click here to download) which would form the basis of the club’s procedure.