Child Protection Policy

Edinburgh Kayak Club is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and vulnerable adults in its care. It recognises the responsibility to promote safe practice and to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse and exploitation. For the purposes of this policy and associated procedures a child is recognised as someone under the age of 18 (see appendix 1). Staff and volunteers will work together to embrace difference and diversity and respect the rights of children and young people. This document outlines Edinburgh Kayak Club’s commitment to protecting children.

These guidelines are based on the following principles:

The welfare of children is the primary concern.

All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, race, origin, socioeconomic status, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from all forms of harm and abuse.

Child protection is everyone’s responsibility.

Children have the right to express views on all matters which affect them, should they wish to do so.

Organisations shall work in partnership together with children and parents/carers to promote the welfare, health and development of children.

Edinburgh Kayak Club will:

Accept that it is our responsibility as a group to check that all adults in positions requiring disclosure checks have been appropriately vetted. Please see appendix 2.

Promote the health and welfare of children by providing opportunities for them to take part in kayaking and canoeing safely.

Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of children.

Promote and implement appropriate procedures to safeguard the well-being of children and protect them from abuse.

Recruit, train, support and supervise staff, members and volunteers to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children from abuse and to reduce risk to themselves.

Require staff, members and volunteers to adopt and abide by this Child Protection Policy and these procedures.

Respond to allegations of misconduct or abuse of children, in line with this Policy and these procedures as well as implementing, where appropriate, the relevant disciplinary and appeals procedures.

Observe guidelines issued by local Child Protection Committees for the protection of children.

Regularly monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Policy and these procedures.

We believe that every child, regardless of age has at all times and in all situations a right to feel safe and protected from any situation or practice that result in a children being physically or psychologically damaged.

All volunteers are encouraged to share concerns with the club’s Child Protection Officer. If the situation is clearly an urgent case, the child is too frightened to go home or we have serious doubts about a child’s safety, we will contact Social Work Services or Police immediately. It is important that all volunteers communicate concerns accurately. To this end, volunteers will follow the procedures below;

1. Upon the receipt of any information from a child or suspicions, it is necessary to make an accurate and detailed written record of what they have seen, heard or known, at that time the event occurs.

2. Share their concerns with the Child Protection Officer for the Club and agree what action to take.

3. Avoid asking any more questions than are necessary to clarify whether there is a concern. Always refer to the statutory services to undertake in depth investigation of any suspicions or allegations.

4. All volunteers will work within the SCA code of conduct and guidelines for volunteers found under child protection at www.canoescotland.com

If we have concerns, we must act. Please remember to record and report NOT investigate.

Child Protection Officer Edinburgh Kayak Club. Please contact Rachel Lawrie - safeguarding@edinburghkayak.com

General Child Protection Enquiries - 0131 200 2324 - socialcaredirect@edinburgh.gov.uk

Out of hours Social Work Emergency Service - 0800 731 6969

Review

This Policy and these Procedures will be reviewed:

 In accordance with changes in legislation and guidance on the protections of children or following any relevant changes within Edinburgh Kayak Club.

 Following any issues or concerns raised about the protection of children within Edinburgh Kayak Club.

 At least every three years.

Appendix 1

“In Scottish law a ‘child’ is generally defined as under 16 years of age, for the purposes of this guidance, a ‘child’ is defined as being under the age of 18 years. This is in accordance with legislation covering the recruitment of adults to work / volunteer with children and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.

Appendix 2

Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG)

Membership of the PVG Scheme:

If you are have been ‘appointed’ to the role (after 28th Feb 2011) then you should become a PVG scheme member/update. It is now irrelevant whether or not you have an enhanced disclosure.

Any new coach to the club counts as a new appointment and they should become a PVG scheme member / have a PVG scheme record update for the club.

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (“The PVG Scheme”) was introduced by the Scottish Government on 28 February 2011. The new law will apply to clubs, centres and others involved in the sport of canoeing. It will replace and improve upon the current disclosure arrangements (Protection of Scotland Children Act) for people who work with vulnerable groups, (vulnerable groups in this context includes children and young people). The scheme will be phased in over four years to allow time for the whole workforce (paid and unpaid) to join it. It is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland.

Sports and activities such as canoeing offer a great opportunity for people to get involved in physical activity, learn a new skill and meet new people. Not to mention the respite it offers parents and carers who rely on coaches and activity leaders to look after their loved ones that are left in their care. Sports coaches and leaders will be only too familiar with the need to have child protection policies and safe recruitment practices in place. Of course, the vast majority of people who work and volunteer with vulnerable groups are responsible and caring. But there are some who may choose to use their position of responsibility to do harm. Ensuring that children are protected from those who could cause them harm is a priority for us all. That’s why the Scottish Government is introducing the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme) which is a new membership scheme to replace and improve upon the current disclosure arrangements. People who work with vulnerable groups will join the PVG Scheme and anyone with a known history of harmful or abusive behaviour towards children or protected adults will not be able to become a PVG Scheme member which means they will not be able to work with one or both groups.

The PVG Scheme will continuously update its members’ records, adding any new criminal convictions and any information held by the police that they consider relevant to an individual’s role. This means that any new information indicating that a person may pose a risk can be acted upon promptly by Disclosure Scotland and by employers. As well as strengthening protection for vulnerable groups, the PVG Scheme will be quick and easy for people to use, reducing the need for people to complete a detailed application form every time a check is required.

Sports volunteers and organisations should be aware that the Central Registered Body in Scotland (CRBS) will process free PVG Scheme checks for volunteers working in the qualifying voluntary sector. CRBS also provides guidance, advice and support to help ensure that voluntary groups and organisations understand how the PVG Scheme will work and their legal obligations to it and to other child and adult protection legislation. This includes training sessions that can be delivered either face to face or online. So far over 1400 people from voluntary organisations across Scotland have received training on the PVG Scheme including individuals from the Scottish Canoe Association. Further information can be found at: Protecting Vulnerable Groups.

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Edinburgh Kayak Club 2017