Omaha Surf Life Saving Club. Child Protection Policy

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1 Omaha Surf Life Saving Club Child Protection Policy Everyone who participates in Omaha Surf Life Saving Club is entitled to do so in an enjoyable and safe environment. The Club is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young persons in its care. For the purpose of this policy the term child refers to all children and young persons 17 years and under. Policy Principles In implementing this policy we are committed to the following principles: 1. The welfare of the child is the primary concern 2. All children, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity should be able to participate in Surf Life Saving activities in a fun and safe environment 3. All reasonable steps will be taken to protect children from harm, discrimination and degrading treatment and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings 4. Child protection is everyone s responsibility 5. All club members will be made aware of the club Child Protection Policy Policy Objectives The aim of this policy is to promote good practice through: 1. Respecting and promoting the rights, wishes and feelings of children 2. Promoting and implementing appropriate procedures to safeguard the well-being of children and protect them from harm 3. Supporting members and volunteers to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect children from harm and to reduce the risk of allegations or complaints against themselves 4. Requiring children, members, staff and volunteers to adopt and abide by the Child Protection Policy and these procedures 5. Responding to any allegations of misconduct or harm to children in line with this policy and these procedures 6. Regularly monitoring and evaluating the implementation of this Policy and these procedures.

2 Promoting Good Practice The following guidelines are to help promote good practice and establish boundaries in a range of situations. Treat all young people equally and with respect and dignity Promote fairness Confront and deal with bullying Do not send children off to train alone and out of sight and supervision Ensure all physical contact with children is relevant and appropriate to the activity and seek consent from the child Involve parents/carers wherever possible Explain the purpose and obtain consent from parents/caregivers prior to filming or photographing children Request parental consent before transporting children in a vehicle Ensure you have parental consent to administer first aid if required Keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with details of treatment Do not engage in communication with a child on a one-on-one basis through social media, texting or , other than relevant coach/ athlete feedback or administration Avoid Situations where you are alone with the child: Avoid private or unobserved situations Avoid entering changing rooms. If you must enter, knock and announce yourself and try to have at least one other adult with you Avoid driving a child unaccompanied Always have another adult present when staying overnight anywhere with children Do not share a room with a child other than your own Coaches and Instructors All volunteer coaches and instructors should complete a Police Vetting Form. They should all be made aware of the Club s Child Protection Policy in order to: Ensure they are working safely and effectively with children Enable them to analyse their own behaviour and practices so as to minimise the risk of complaints or allegations Respond in a positive way to any concerns

3 Child Protection Advocates Two Child Protection Advocates will be appointed by the committee. The advocates will be responsible for managing child protection matters. Responding to Suspicions and Allegations Child abuse means the harming (whether physically, emotionally or sexually), ill treatment, abuse, neglect or deprivation of any child or young person. It is not the responsibility of staff or volunteers to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns they might have. If you become aware of possible abuse because you see it happen, see signs of abuse happening or someone reports it you should: Stay calm Reassure the child Listen, keep questions to a minimum Record the information on the Child Protection Referral Form Report the incident to the Child Protection Advocate Take immediate action if the child is unsafe Recording Information There is a Referral form in the Child Protection Folder in the Club House that you can use. If this is not possible you should try and include the following information: The child s name and age, address and telephone number Whether or not it is you expressing concern or it has been reported to you The nature of the allegation, including dates, times and other relevant information A description of any visible injury or indirect signs eg behavioural changes Details of witness to the incident The child s account, if possible Have the parents been contacted. If so, what was said Has anyone else been consulted. Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser. Record details.

4 Process for responding to suspected or disclosed harm Omaha Surf Life Saving Club expects its members and volunteers to discuss any concerns they may have about the welfare of a child immediately with the Child Protection Advocate. If there is any doubt, you must report the incident: it may be just one of a series of other incidences which together cause concern. If the child is in need of medical assistance: Seek medical assistance immediately, state the concern is Child Protection Record the incident Report to The Child Protection Advocate If the child is not in need of medical assistance, assess the risk. If non-urgent concern for the child exists: Report your concerns on the Referral Form Contact the Child Protection Advocate If urgent concern exists: Contact police immediately stating your concern is of a child protection nature Contact CYF: Ensure your Child Protection Advocate is informed immediately of your concerns and outcomes Document everything Respond Record Consult Monitor/Report

5 Club Responsibilities The Child Protection Advocate will discuss any referrals with the Judiciary Committee. If the concern is of a serious nature the concerns will be reported to the police. The Child Protection Advocate will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended from the club pending further enquiry. Irrespective of the findings of external organisations, the Judiciary Committee will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member or volunteer can be reinstated or should be disciplined. The welfare of our children should remain of paramount importance throughout. Confidentiality Every effort will be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. All information will be stored in a secure place with limited access. Policy Review The policy will be reviewed prior to the Annual Strategic Planning Meeting. A review will be held before this if there are any legislative changes or there are specific concerns that might warrant a policy change. Reviews will be carried out by the Child Protection Advocate and the Judiciary Committee and changes passed at the following committee meeting.

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