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Child Protection Policy

Statement of Responsibility

Bridgwater and Albion Rugby Football Club and Bridgwater and Albion Rugby Football Club Youth Section (here after referred to as “the Club”) recognises the need to ensure that all young persons have a right to have all their human rights respected. The Club acknowledges its responsibilities towards all those young people who have cause to visit the Club or use the Clubs facilities either as members of the Club or visitors to the Club. It will do every thing possible to ensure protection of the physical and psychological health and safety of young persons The Club will also ensure that all young persons’ equity and diversity rights are respected. 

Introduction

This Child Protection Policy is written and prepared with the above statement in mind and as a means of giving guidance to all in respect of how to achieve the above by providing a secure and safe environment for all young persons to flourish and feel comfortable in. This Policy should be read in conjunction with comparable publications produced by the sport’s National Governing Body, the Rugby Football Union (“RFU”)

This Child Protection Policy will be applicable to any Child or Young Person who is a member of Bridgwater and Albion RFC Youth Section whilst on Club premises, or other places that the Club has responsibility for. It will apply to any Child or Young Persons who is a member of the Club whilst away from the Club but under supervision of Club personnel. The Policy will equally apply to any other Child or Young Persons whilst on Club premises from other clubs or visiting the Club (or any other places which the Club has responsibility for) and to any other Child or Young Person who is under supervision of Club personnel including volunteer coaches and helpers.

For the purpose of this Policy, a Child or Young Person is any one who is under the age of 18 years of age at the commencement of any rugby season (1st of September). 

The Club’s Child Welfare Officer

The Club will appoint a Child Welfare Officer to oversee and implement this policy. This will be an elected officer who will be nominated at the annual Youth Section AGM. The Club will determine that the nominated  person is suitable to the role, has an understanding of these issues and will endorse the nomination. The Club will ensure all relevant support and training is given to the Child Welfare Officer.

The appointed Child Welfare Officer will be responsible for the implementation of this Policy. It will be the Child Welfare Officer’s duty to ensure that this Policy is reviewed at the end of each rugby season and to recommended and implement any necessary changes. The Child Welfare Officer will be responsible to ensure action as outlined in this Policy is undertaken as and when necessary

Coaches / Team Managers

Each age group’s rugby will be supervised by a coach with a recognised RFU coaching qualification.  Each coach will have signed a document stating they have been provided with, have read, understood and agree to governed by the Club’s Code of Conduct for Coaches. 

Each age group / team will have a Manager responsible for the administration and non-coaching matters of the young persons in that group. This person will be over the age of 21 and will also have a good working knowledge of this Policy and will be the first person to be contacted if there are concerns about any young person in his age group / Team. 

Parents, Guardians and Carers

It is a condition of joining and playing at the club that the all parents, guardians or carers who have young persons as members of Bridgwater and Albion Rugby Football Club Junior Section supply all relevant information to Club Officials as required and is necessary for the Club to be able to adequately care and respond to the need of the individual.

Parents, guardians or carers will authorise Club Officials to act as “In-Loco parentis” when they are unable to or not present. They will have signed the relevant consents authorising Club Officials to act in the manner that Club Officials see fit for the health and safety of their children.

Parents, guardians or carers are encouraged to enjoy the hospitality of the Club whilst there and to respect and obey the relevant Codes of Conduct that will be displayed in the Club House, The Club Website and are  available to all. They will be expected to show exemplary behaviour on the side of the pitches or in the Clubhouse whilst young person are about. 

If any parent, guardian or carer has a compliant or concern in respect to child protection, they should ask for the complaints policy/procedure for general complaints about any aspect of the Club. They are encouraged to contact the appropriate age group / team manager in the first instance and then the designated Child Welfare Officer or Youth Section Chairman if the problem cannot be resolved by the former. If there is any cause for concern with a young person it will be the Age Group / Team Managers (or if deemed appropriate another Club Official) to contact the Parents, guardians or carers of that person to inform them of their concerns. This will be done as soon as practicable unless there is justifiable reason why such a course should not be undertaken.

Young Persons Under the Age of 18 years 

Any young person on Club Premises who is under 18 years of age is requested to conform to the 3 following standards of conduct. Further details can be found in the players code of conduct.
     Respect your self
     Respect other people
     Respect the club’s and other people’s property.

Visitors and others over 18 years 

All members and visitors to Bridgwater and Albion Rugby Club are asked to respect the contents of this policy in respect of Children and Young Persons and conduct them selves accordingly whilst Children and young persons are present. Whilst at Bridgwater and Albion all person as requested to conform to the Spectators Code of Conduct whilst the Club is engaged in providing facilities for Children and Young Persons.

Breaches or suspected breaches of this Policy

Where a breach of this policy is identified it will be reported immediately to the relevant age group / team Manager, or Child Welfare Officer or other Club Official for immediate action. Where the concerns are in relation to a specific named child or young person(s), the person receiving the complaint will inform the Clubs Child Welfare Officer immediately who will start to make enquiries and take the necessary action. All information and action taken and reasons for action taken will be recorded in written form, and will be may immediately available to any subsequent investigating body. 

If the concerns are in relation to the Child Welfare Officer him/herself or any other Club Official, the information will immediately be passed to the Chairman of the Youth Section or, if this is not appropriate, to the Club Chairman. 

Where the concerns are for a named adult who is believed or suspected of endangering the physical or mental health or safety of any child or young persons, then the Child Welfare Officer will ensure that all information and action taken and reasons for action taken will be recorded in written form and will be may immediately available to any subsequent investigating body. The Child Welfare Officer will at the earliest opportunity report the matter to relevant persons at Somerset Social Services for their consideration, advice and direction. 

Any breaches in this Policy that could amount to a criminal offence will be dealt with in the same way as any other criminal offences. Nothing in this Policy will negate responsibility to deal with criminal matters as such. 
In all dealing with breaches of this Policy, the Child Welfare Officer or other person dealing with the breach will adhere to the responsibilities set out above.

Confidentiality  

All information provided from any source to the Club for the purpose of complying with this Child Protection Policy will be kept confidential and will only be disclosed to a person who has a need to know this information to ensure the health and safety of the young person.

Any information disclosed about a child or young person held by the Club to other persons who do not fall with in these categories would only be done with the consent of a parent or guardian.