YogaBugs UK Ltd has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in YogaBugs classes from harm. All children have a right to protection and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. YogaBugs will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in classes through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).
This will be followed by all members of the organisation and followed and promoted by those in the position of leadership within the organisation who must ensure that:
- The welfare of the child is paramount
- All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs and / or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
- All staff (paid / unpaid) working in sport have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.
- Staff / volunteers are trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.
- All staff to maintain professional and appropriate relationships with children and parents in their care
The aim of this policy is to promote good practice:
- Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of YogaBugs.
- Allow all staff / volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
Promoting good practice
Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to take.
Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, instructor, teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document.
Good practice guidelines
All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote children’s welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.
Good practice means:
- Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets).
- Treating all young people / disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity.
- Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.
- Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with players (e.g. it is not appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them).
- Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process.
- Advocate relationships and communications between staff/children that are professional and appropriate as detailed in the Code of Conduct
- Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people.
- Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
- Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people and disabled adults – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.
- Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and / or other medical treatment.
- Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
Responding to allegations or suspicions
It is not the responsibility of anyone working for YogaBugs, in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the appropriate authorities.
YogaBugs will assure all staff / volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.
Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:
- A criminal investigation
- A child protection investigation
- A disciplinary or misconduct investigation.
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence and inform the disciplinary investigation, but all available information will be used to reach a decision.
Recognising and responding to Extremism and Radicalisation
It has become apparent that we must protect children who run the risk of becoming a victim of Radicalisation and subject to Extremist views.
The Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales, 2015 outlines:
‘Extremism’ is defined in the 2011 Prevent strategy as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas”
‘Radicalisation’ refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.
As an organisation we play a part in protecting children from this threat and where there is due need, to intervene. More details on the above mentioned government guidance and what to do in the event of a disclosure or if you have any concerns please visit the government website www.gov.uk.
We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
- Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- Adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- All staff will be recruited safely, ensuring that all checks are in place including an enhanced DBS check which is updated every three years and all references are checked before a staff member is allowed to work with children
- Sharing information about concerns involving parents and children appropriately
- Providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training
YogaBugs will commit to reviewing this policy and good practice annually