Oxfordshire Hockey Association Welfare Information
England Hockey is the national governing body for the sport of hockey in England, with over 950 affiliated clubs. As part of its commitment to ensuring that young people are able to enjoy the sport of hockey, England Hockey has developed a Policy and guidance on Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Hockey. England Hockey views all those affiliated clubs as part of the Hockey Family and believes that all members of the Hockey Family have responsibilities to help protect young people. England Hockey has developed this Safeguarding and Protecting Young People policy to help ensure that this happens.
As an affiliated member of England Hockey England the Oxfordshire Hockey Association believes that all young people involved in hockey have a fundamental right to be protected so that they can enjoy the sport free from all forms of abuse and exploitation. It therefore seeks to help protect and promote the welfare of all young people in hockey by adopting the clear policies and guidance created by England Hockey for its affiliated clubs and associations and all others involved in the sport. These can be found on the England Hockey website, link below:
It is important to recognise that the policies, procedures and good practice relating to the safeguarding of young people in hockey need to be applied both in relation to activities for young people specifically and where young people may be involved within the adult game, for example, where players or umpires under 18 years of age are incorporated into adult team hockey.
General responsibilities identified by England Hockey for all those within hockey:
- Oxfordshire Hockey Association is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment for all young people involved in hockey. We accept responsibility to help safeguard the welfare of young people and protect them from harm.
- Every individual within the organisation has a role and must accept responsibility to help ensure the safety and welfare of young people.
- By providing opportunities for young people in hockey Oxfordshire Hockey Association has accepted that we are required to fulfil their duty of care, which means that we must do everything that can be reasonably expected of us to help safeguard and protect young people from any reasonably foreseeable harm.
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) are the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant organisations in each local area will cooperate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the locality. The core membership of LSCBs is set out in the Children Act 2004, and includes local authorities, health bodies, the police and others. The objective of LSCBs is to coordinate and to ensure the effectiveness of their member agencies in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. They also provide education and training opportunities at local level.
Oxfordshire’s Local Safeguarding Board website is www.oscb.org.uk and this contains local procedures and contact details for police and social care in the area. The OHA current welfare officer, Alison Chapman, is a member of this board.
Safeguarding means promoting the safety and welfare of young people. Safeguarding is a term used to incorporate good practice and is wider than “Child Protection”. Child protection is still an essential element of this policy and is about acting on concerns about a young person or individual.
Hockey Family includes all individuals, clubs, associations, and other organisations involved in any capacity in the game of hockey, whether or not they are members of England Hockey. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes all players and anyone working within hockey (in a paid or voluntary capacity, and whether as an employee or on a self-employed or other work basis) including all coaches, umpires, referees and other officials.
Young people includes any people under the age of 18.
Key Policies adopted and utilised by OHA:
- Recruitment, Selection and Retention of Persons with Access to Young People
- The Use of CRB Disclosures
- Taking and Use of Photographic and Recorded Images of Young People
- Supporting good practice guidance available in Section 3: Good Practice.
All affiliated clubs and associations must, in addition, adopt and implement their own:
- Safeguarding and Protecting Young People (or Child Protection) Policy which complies with the general principles set out in this general policy; and
- particular policies which comply with the policies and principles set out above, together with the supporting good practice guidance.
Everyone within the Hockey Family must also:
- abide by England Hockey’s Code of Ethics and Behaviour, which specifies conduct in relation to the safeguarding of young people within hockey, among other issues
- follow England Hockey reporting procedures where there are concerns relating to the safety or welfare of young people. Details are shown below.
General Safeguarding and Protecting Young People principles:
- the safety and welfare of young people is paramount
- all young people, regardless of age, ability, sex, race, religion or belief, ethnic origin, social status or sexual orientation have the right to be protected from harm
- the rights, dignity and worth of all young people should always be respected
- England Hockey wishes to promote a TELLING culture – everyone within hockey must therefore report all concerns in accordance with England Hockey reporting procedures
- it is the responsibility of child protection experts to determine whether or not abuse has taken place, but it is everyone’s responsibility in hockey to report concerns
- the roles and responsibilities of the statutory agencies in safeguarding young people must be recognised and the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards must be complied with
- any policy or procedure is only as effective as the ability and skill of those who operate it
- England Hockey is committed to encouraging, and everyone within hockey must recognise and regard as essential, the effective and safe recruitment of all individuals working with young people in hockey
- all those working in hockey, in a paid or voluntary capacity, must abide by England Hockey’s Code of Ethics and Behaviour.
England Hockey Policy on the Recruitment, Selection and Retention of Persons with Access to Young People. All clubs, associations and individuals are bound by this policy.
All adults who work with young people in hockey are in a position of trust which has been invested in them by parents, the sport and the young person. This relationship can be described as one in which the adult is in a position of power and influence by virtue of their position. As good practice, it is important that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that all individuals with access to young people in hockey, whether in a paid or unpaid capacity, are suitable and appropriate. This can help to ensure that hockey offers opportunities for young people in a safe and enjoyable environment.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the good practice guidance on safe recruitment and the Policy on the use of Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosures.
The Hockey Family’s obligations:
Everyone within the Hockey Family must act in accordance with the general principles in England Hockey’s Safeguarding Young People Policy and the principles set out in this policy for recruitment and retention of persons with access to young people.
In addition, all affiliated clubs and associations must adopt and implement their own recruitment and retention policy in accordance with:
- England Hockey’s Policy on Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Hockey
- England Hockey’s Policy on Recruitment, Selection and Retention of Persons with Access to Young People
- England Hockey’s Policy on the Use of CRB Disclosures
- the supporting good practice guidance in Section 3.
Bullying is anything that is done with the intention of hurting or intimidating, frightening or upsetting another person. Bullying is not always physical but it results in distress to the victim. Instances of bullying can occur not only between young people but also from adults to young people.
Bullying can be:
persistently being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting, threatening gestures
pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
racial taunts or language, graffiti, gestures
unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality
name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
It should be noted that bullying may not only occur through face to face contact. Increasingly, bullying may occur through other forms of communication i.e. internet, e-mail and text messaging.
- Everyone within the Hockey Family should have an understanding of what bullying is and England Hockey’s Policy on Anti-Bullying.
- Bullying of any kind is not acceptable in hockey and should not be tolerated by anyone within the Hockey Family, in particular any organisation providing hockey opportunities for young people.
- England Hockey wishes to promote a TELLING culture and anyone who knows, or suspects that bullying is happening must take the matter seriously, and report it in line with England Hockey’s Reporting Procedures.
- Any incident or concern of bullying must be acted upon swiftly.
England Hockey Policy on the Taking and Use of Photographic and Recorded Images of Young People. All clubs, associations and individuals are bound by this policy.
England Hockey does not wish to prevent parents or other spectators being able to take legitimate photographs or recorded images.
The use of recorded images can also be a valuable coaching aid. However, England Hockey is committed to providing a safe environment for all young people under the age of 18 in hockey, and it is therefore committed to ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to protect young people from the inappropriate or uninformed use of their images in resources and media publications, on the internet, and elsewhere.
Photographic and recorded images can also be used as a means of identifying young people if accompanied by personal information. This has the potential to make a young person vulnerable to individuals seeking to ‘groom’ young people for abuse. Additionally, images can be used or adapted for inappropriate use. There is evidence of adapted sporting images being used on websites displaying images of child abuse.
The Hockey Family’s obligations
Everyone within the Hockey Family must act in accordance with the general principles in England Hockey’s Policy on Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Hockey and the principles set out in the Policy for Taking and Use of Photographic and Recorded Images of Young People.
In addition, all affiliated clubs and associations must adopt and implement their own policy relating to the taking and use of photographic and recorded images of young people in hockey, in accordance with:
- England Hockey’s Policy on Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Hockey
- England Hockey’s Policy for Taking and Use of Photographic and Recorded Images of Young People
- the supporting good practice guidance (Section 3).
Guidance and advice on reporting procedures for reporting concerns regarding child welfare.
The Government’s “Every Child Matters: Change for Children” strategy is supported by legislation, plans and guidance entitled “Working Together to Safeguard Children”, which sets out how individuals and organisations should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
England Hockey has developed policies, procedures and systems to manage concerns or allegations of poor practice and abuse against young people. England Hockey will always work in accordance with procedures as set out in the above guidance.
It is not the club’s responsibility to decide if a child is being abused or poor practice has occurred. Any concerns or allegations will be managed by England Hockey, with the club’s cooperation and assistance. However, all adults working within hockey have a duty of care to be vigilant and respond appropriately to suspicions of poor practice, abuse or bullying. It is your responsibility to report your concerns.
This section is divided into two parts:
Responding to concerns: If a young person or adult has concerns, it is important that they are able to report them to someone at the club. It is therefore important that the club know how to respond, and who will do this.
Taking Appropriate action: Once a concern has been reported, it is important that appropriate action is taken. It will not be the club’s responsibility to decide if action needs to be taken, unless a child is at immediate risk of harm. It is, however, the club’s responsibility to report the concerns appropriately in accordance with England Hockey’s policies, procedures and systems.
It is important that information regarding the concerns is recorded properly and promptly. To assist with this process, England Hockey has developed a Safeguarding Referral Form which outlines the information that is required.
As soon as possible after concerns have been reported to you, complete the Safeguarding Referral Form and contact your Club Welfare Officer. In their absence, contact England Hockey’s Lead Child Welfare Officer on 0870 126 2308 or e-mail email@example.com.
Who do you report the concerns to?
If the England Hockey Lead Child Welfare Officer is not available, and a child is at immediate risk or in danger, you must avoid delay and seek advice from your local authority Children Social Care Department (previously Social Services) or the Police.
You should report to the Local Authority Children’s Social Care Department (Social Services) or Police in the area that the child lives.
As soon as possible, inform England Hockey’s Lead Child Welfare Officer and explain the action taken to date.
For other situations, where a child is not at immediate risk or danger:
Working within Oxfordshire Hockey Association:
- you must report your concerns or any information received to the Association Welfare Officer, Alison Chapman (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will refer the matter to England Hockey Lead Child Welfare Officer.
Working in an affiliated club:
- you must report your concerns or any information received to the Club Welfare Officer, who will refer the matter to England Hockey Lead Child Welfare Officer.
Working in a school:
- you must inform the designated teacher, who will follow their reporting procedures. Also advise England Hockey’s Lead Child Welfare Officer for their information
- England Hockey and the school will work to safeguarding protocol and procedures that have been developed through the PE and School Sport (PESSCL) programme in such instances
If your concern is regarding the Welfare Officer, report directly to the England Hockey Lead Child Welfare Officer.
What happens next?
Statutory Agencies will follow procedures under The Children Acts 1989 & 2004, and Government Guidance “Every Child Matters: Change for Children” and “Working Together to Safeguard Children”.
Where a concern is reported to England Hockey and further action is required, England Hockey’s Lead Child Welfare Officer and England Hockey’s Case Management Group will follow the Safeguarding and Protecting Young People Complaints and Disciplinary Regulations.
At all times England Hockey will support and communicate with the Club Welfare Officer where required in the management of the situation.
In some circumstances it may be most appropriate for the matter to be handled at local level e.g. on matters relating to minor poor practice or bullying. If this is appropriate, suitable guidance will be given by the England Hockey Lead Child Welfare Officer.