Sport Northern Ireland recognises its moral duty and legal obligation to protect children and young people in sport through the creation and promotion of a safe environment which protects them from harm.
What to do if I have a concern
The vast majority of children enjoy their experience of sport in a safe and fun environment thanks to the volunteer leaders and parents supporting them. But if you have a concern about a child’s experience in sport you can seek advice from a number of different organisations depending on the nature of the concerns.
The options are:
Every Club working with under 18’s should have:
1. Adopted a Governing Body safeguarding/child protection policy.
2. Appointed a Designated Safeguarding Children Officer/ Child Welfare Officer/Safeguarding Officer and promoted their contact details to everyone in the club.
3. Codes of conduct/behaviour in place for your organisation.
4. Arranged safeguarding/ child protection training for your staff/volunteers working directly with children. Contact email@example.com for more information.
5. Reporting procedures for dealing with complaints or concerns regarding poor practice, abuse or neglect in relation to safeguarding children.
6. Safe recruitment procedures for your volunteers/staff including using AccessNI checks for those in regulated activity.
In Northern Ireland the Club Framework For Safeguarding Standards In Sport provides clubs with a self-assessment checklist document for sport but clubs should contact your Sport Governing Body for sport specific guidance.
Alternatively you can visit Sport NI Resource Section or contact the Child Protection in Sport Unit and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Parents/Carers – When selecting a club for your child you should:
1. Talk to your child to understand what they want from joining the club and continue to talk to them about how they are enjoying the activity.
2. Confirm if the volunteers/staff have been safely recruited including vetting checks.
3. Check does the club have a safeguarding policy that is accessible to you.
4. Know what the club will do if there is an accident, and they ask for your consent and emergency contact details.
5. Know who to talk to if you have a worry.
6. Check what safeguarding training the volunteers/staff have had.
For more information on how parents/carers can help keep their child safe and make sure the activity is fun visit the CPSU’s Parents Hub.