St Gabriel’s Ladies Gaelic Football Club Child Safeguarding Policy Version 1 2021
Mission Statement and Vision
St Gabriel’s Ladies Football Club’s mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all our young people to enjoy Ladies Gaelic Football.
The aims of our club are to encourage all of our young people to develop and achieve their full potential in our games through enjoyment and self-discipline, to promote fair play with respect and equality for all, and to foster pride in our club and commitment to our community.
Our vision is that everybody has the opportunity to be welcomed to take part in our games and culture, to participate fully, to grow and develop, and to be inspired to keep a lifelong engagement with the GAA.
Beliefs and Values
We believe the following:
1. Our priority to ensure the welfare and safety of every child and young person who attends our service is paramount.
2. Our guiding principles and procedures to safeguard children and young people reflect national policy and legislation and we will review our guiding principles and child safeguarding procedures every two years.
3. All children and young people have an equal right to attend a service that respects them as individuals and encourages them to reach their potential, regardless of their background.
4. We are committed to upholding the rights of every child and young person who attends our service, including the rights to be kept safe and protected from harm, listened to and heard.
5. Our guiding principles apply to everyone in our organisation.
6. Workers/volunteers must conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of our organisation.
A Child Safeguarding Statement has been prepared in accordance with the legislative requirements contained in the Children First Act 2015, Children’s First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017), the Children (NI) Order 1995, Tusla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice and as required by our Association rules.
The club has the following procedures in place as part of our Safeguarding Policies:
· Procedures for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct by volunteers or employees against a child availing of our activities;
· Procedures for the safe recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers to work with children in our activities;
· Procedure for reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Statutory Authorities;
· Procedures for maintaining a list of the persons in the relevant service who are mandated;
· Procedure for appointing a Relevant Person;
All procedures/policies listed are available on request.
The Mandated Person/ Relevant person for the Club is:
Paula Prunty email@example.com
We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. Our club is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the accompanying child welfare safeguarding policies and procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while participating in our activities. This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed in April 2022 or as soon as practicable after there has been material change in any matter to which the statement refers.
A Safeguarding statement has been published on the club’s website and displayed in a prominent place on the premises.
The Safeguarding Statement has been provided to all volunteers, staff and any other persons involved with the service. It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and members of the public if requested.
1. It is the committee’s responsibility to ensure that club policies are adhered to by all members of the club whether they be committee members, team coaches, mentors, players or parents / guardians.
2. The Club Chairperson automatically assumes the role of DLP unless another person is chosen and ratified to undertake this role. The DLP should have a knowledge of categories and indicators of abuse, attend the DLP training workshop, and be familiar as required with the reporting procedures agreed by the Gaelic Games Associations. The DLP should record all concerns brought to their attention and the actions taken thereafter.
3. The DLP should be ratified on an annual basis by their Club and must avail of the Association’s DLP training. In St Gabriel’s LGFA the club secetary Joseph Lyons has been chosen and ratified to undertake this role for the season 2021/2022.
4. The appointed Club and County Designated Liaison Person (DLP) shall act as a resource, and is responsible for ensuring that reporting procedures within the Club/County are followed so that child welfare and protection concerns are referred promptly to the relevant statutory authority and to their own Association’s Mandated Person. They will naturally liaise with the Association’s Mandated Person as required on allegations of abuse.
5. It is the committee’s responsibility to respond to any issue of child welfare brought to its attention in accordance with Procedure for reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Statutory Authorities and to support the club child welfare officer/ Designated Liaison Officer in whatever actions need to be taken.
6. It will be the responsibility of the current club secretary to keep records of child first certificates and garda vetting confirmations.
7. The Club AGM shall appoint a Children’s Officer. The person appointed shall be nominated by the outgoing Committee.
8. The role of the Club Children’s Officer shall be to assist in promoting a child and youth centered ethos in the Club. In their work the Club Children’s Officer shall be the link between the children/young people and the adults within the Club. They shall promote the Code of Behaviour (Underage) and assist in ensuring that breaches of the code are dealt with the provisions of the Code. They shall promote the Give Respect-Get Respect initiative, shall oversee the Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment and Child Safeguarding Statement process at club level and ensurethat all underage members complete annual membership forms. They must also ensure that coaches are vetted, that Safeguarding 1 workshops are completed and that all coaches working with children must have a minimum recognised coaching qualification and keep up-to-date records of the same. The Children’s Officer is obliged to report to/attend the Club Executive Committee and to report to AGM
Managers / Mentors/Coaches
The word coach below means manager/mentor/coach
All Coaches working with young people and children are required to be suitable for their chosen role(s), and should be appropriately trained, qualified and supported to fulfil such roles. All persons working or volunteering for such roles are required to:
• Undertake agreed vetting and background Police checks.
• Attend relevant Gaelic Games child safeguarding training
• Possess a coaching qualification relevant to their role as recognised by the LGFA
Coaches of adult teams, which includes any player under 18 years of age, must also undertake the vetting, child safeguarding training and coaching requirements
Copies of relevant documentation should be supplied to the club secretary.
There is an agreement between the Gaelic Games Associations (Handball, Rounders, Camogie, LGFA and GAA) that we each recognise each other’s vetting. Therefore if a coach has been vetted through the LGFA the vetting will suffice for the GAA and vice a versa.
Coaches shall abide by supervision ratios that recommend a ratio of one adult for 8 children under 12 years of age teams and a ratio of 1:10 for children over 12 years of age. While abiding by such ratios a coach must always be accompanied by at least one other suitably qualified adult at all times.
Coaches should maintain a child centred approach
· Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person.
· Treat each person equally regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.
· Be positive during coaching sessions, games and other activities so that underage players always eave with a sense of achievement and an increased level of self-esteem.
· Recognise the development needs and capacity of all underage players, regardless of their ability, by emphasising participation for all while avoiding excessive training and competition. Skills development and personal satisfaction should have priority over competition when working with underage players.
· Develop an understanding of relevant coaching methods and ensure that they have the appropriate level of coaching accreditation.
· Do not equate losing with failure and do not develop a preoccupation with medals and trophies. The level of improvement made by underage players is the best indicator of effective coaching.
Coaches should lead by example
· Never use foul language or provocative language/gestures to a player, opponent or match official.
· Only enter the field of play with the Referee’s permission.
· Encourage players to respect and accept the judgement of match officials.
· Promote Fair Play.
· Promote the RESPECT campaign.
· Do not smoke while working with underage players.
· Do not consume alcohol or non-prescribed drugs immediately prior to or while underage players are in your care.
· Encourage parents to become involved in your team and Club activities wherever possible.
Conduct of coaches when working with young people
· Develop an appropriate working relationship with children based on mutual trust and respect.
· Challenge Bullying in any form whether physical or emotional. Bullying is not acceptable behaviour be it from a young person, coach parent/guardian, spectator or match official.
· Don’t shout at or lecture payers or reprimand/ridicule them when they make a mistake. Children learn best through trial and error. Children and young people should not be afraid to risk error so as to learn.
· The use of any form of physical punishment is prohibited as is any form of physical response to misbehaviour, unless it is by way of restraint.
· Avoid incidents of horse play or role play or telling jokes etc. that could be misinterpreted.
· Never undertake any form of therapy or hypnosis, in the training of children.
Avoid compromising your role as a coach
Some activities may require coaches to come into physical contact with underage players in the course of their duties. However, coaches should;
· Avoid taking coaching sessions on your own.
· Only deliver one to one coaching, if deemed necessary, in a group setting.
· Avoid unnecessary physical contact with an underage player and never engage in inappropriate touching of a player.
· Be aware that any necessary contact should be determined by the age and development of the player and should only take place with the permission and understanding of the player and in an open environment in the context of developing a player’s skills and abilities.
· As a coach always be punctual and properly attired.
· Ensure that all of your players are suitably and safely attired to play their chosen sport, e.g. mouth guards.
· Keep a record of attendance at training and at games by both players and coaches.
· Ensure that all dressing rooms and the general areas that are occupied by your players and other Club personnel, prior to, during or immediately following the completion of any match are kept clean and are not damaged in any way.
· In a dressing room situation, the coach may not enter until the players are fully changed Be accompanied by at least one other adult in underage team dressing rooms
· Set realistic – stretching but achievable – performance goals for your players and team.
· Rotate the team captaincy and the method used for selecting teams so that the same children are not always selected to the exclusion of others.
· Keep a record of any injuries and action subsequently taken. Ensure that another official referee/team mentor is present when a player is being attended to and can corroborate the relevant details.
· Make adequate provision for First Aid services.
· Don not encourage or permit players to play while injured.
· Be aware of any special medical or dietary requirements of player as indicated on the medical consent/registration forms or as informed by parents/guardians.
· With the expressed permission of parents/guardians be willing to keep necessary and emergency medication of players in a safe and accessible place for administration in accordance with the wishes of the parents/guardians.
· Do not administer medication or medical aid unless you are willing to do so and have received the necessary training to administer such aid.
· Use mobile phones, if deemed appropriate, only via a group text or email system for communicating with the parents/guardians of players. Any exception to this form of group texting can only be proceeded with following permission from parents/guardians.
· Do not communicate individually by text/email with underage players.
· Do not engage in communications with underage players via social network sites.
· Encourage parents/guardians to play an active role in organising and assisting various activities for your teams and your Club.
· If it is necessary to transport a child/young person in your car, ensure that they are seated in a rear seat with seat belts securely fastened.
· With the exception of their own child a coach should not transport a child alone, except in emergency or exceptional circumstances.
Parents/Guardians should encourage their child to:
· Always play by the rules.
· Improve their skills levels.
· Appreciate everybody on their team, regardless of ability.
· Maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle with regard to exercise, food, rest and play.
Garda Vetting for Parent Volunteers
Parents are encouraged to get involved in the club and parents are encouraged to undertake garda vetting and relevant children’s first and safeguarding training and coaching training to enable them to volunteer within the club.
Parents/Guardians should lead by example:
· Adopt a positive attitude to their children’s participation in our games.
· Respect officials’ decisions and encourage children to do likewise.
· Do not exert undue pressure on your child.
· Never admonish your own child or any other child for their standard of play.
· Be realistic in your expectations.
· Show approval for effort, not just results.
· Avoid asking a child or young person,‘How much did you score today?’ or ‘What did you win by? or What did you lose by?’ Ask them ‘Did they enjoy themselves?’
· Never embarrass a child or use sarcastic remarks towards a player.
· Applaud good play from all teams.
· Do not criticise playing performances. Identify how improvements may be made.
· Do not seek to unfairly affect a game or player.
· Do not enter the field of play unless specifically invited to do so by an official in charge.
· Complete and return the registration/permission and medical consent forms for their child’s participation in the Club.
· Read sign and abide by the player code of behaviour.
· Inform the coaches, and any other relevant Club personnel, of any changes in their child’s medical or dietary requirements prior to coaching sessions, games or other related activities.
· Ensure that their child punctually attends, coaching sessions, games or other related activities.
· Provide their child with adequate clothing and equipment as may be required for the playing of our games, including for example, gum shields etc.
· Ensure that the nutrition/hydration and hygiene needs of their child are met.
· Listen to what their child may have to say.
· Show approval whether the team wins, loses or draws a game.
· Never attempt to meet their own needs and aspirations for success and achievement through their children’s participation in games.
· Ensure their child has a safe transport to and from training and is collected punctually.
Parents/Guardians should assist the club by:
· Showing appreciation to volunteers, mentors and Club officials.
· Attending training and games on a regular basis.
· Assisting in the organising of Club activities and events as requested.
· Respecting the rights, dignity and worth of every person and by treating each one equally regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.
Parents/Guardians have the right to:
· Know their child is safe and to make a complaint if they believe that their child’s safety is in any way compromised.
· Be informed of problems/concerns relating to their child by their team manager.
· Be informed if their child gets injured.
YOUNG PLAYERS should be entitled to:
· Be safe and feel safe.
· Have fun and experience a sense of enjoyment and fulfilment.
· Be treated with respect, dignity and sensitivity.
· Comment and make suggestions in a constructive manner.
· Be afforded appropriate confidentiality.
· Participate in games and competitions at levels with which they feel comfortable.
· Make their concerns known and have them dealt with in an appropriate manner.
· Be protected from abuse.
· Be listened to.
YOUNG PLAYERS should always:
· Play fairly, do their best and enjoy themselves.
· Respect fellow team members regardless of ability, ethnic origin, cultural background or religion.
· Support fellow team members regardless of whether they do well or not.
· Represent their team, their Club and their family with pride and dignity.
· Respect all coaches, mentors, officials and their opponents.
· Be gracious in defeat and modest in victory.
· Shake hands before and after a game, irrespective of the result.
· Ensure that their coach/mentor/manager is informed in advance if they are unavailable for training and games.
· Know that it is acceptable to talk to the Club or juvenile Section Children’s Officer with any concerns or questions they may have.
· Adhere to acceptable standards of behaviour.
· Tell somebody else if they or others have been harmed in any way.
· Take due care of Club equipment.
YOUNG PLAYERS should never:
· Cheat – always play by the rules.
· Shout at or argue with a game’s official, with their coach, their team mates or opponents and should never use violence.
· Use unfair or bullying tactics to gain advantage or isolate other players.
· Spread rumours.
· Tell lies about adults or other young people.
· Play or train if they feel unwell or are injured.
· Use unacceptable language or racial and/or sectarian references.
Guidelines for Photographic/Recorded Images
When parents/guardians register their children as a member of St Gabriel’s LGFA club they are granting their consent for the possible taking and publication of photographs and video footage of their children in the promotion of the club and the sport and the use of such imagery in line with the St Gabriel’s Guidelines outlined below.
· All children/young people featured in recordings must be appropriately dressed.
· The photograph or recording should focus on the activity rather than on a particular young person.
· No personal details relating to the young person should be revealed as accompanying materials to the photograph or recorded image.
· Clubs, coaches and volunteers are permitted to use video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid and as a means of recording special occasions. Where a recording will be published on the websites, social media or distributed to parents or children, this should be notified beforehand to the relevant children’s officer within the Section. If the club or relevant committee are unhappy with any of the material they are entitled to withdraw their consent and destroy the material involved.
· Parents and spectators taking photographs/recordings should be prepared to identify themselves if requested and state the purpose for their photography/filming. If Club Personnel are unhappy about any matter relating to such photography the person can be asked to stop immediately.
· Photography and the recording of images in a public place do not generally require explicit or prior consent. However if an event e.g. a game or training session is taking place, involving under age players, in a public, private or local authority venue, and if you are in charge of such an event you are obliged to request a person to stop taking photos if you feel that such action or photography may be inappropriate.
· Group and team photographs may be taken but it is not necessary to match a player’s name. The photograph may appear with the player's name recorded underneath but need not be in the order in which they appear in the photograph.
· It is recognised that on certain occasions individual young people may receive recognition and may be presented with an award. When this happens in the case of an under age player any such photography or recording of events that involves individual presentations should be discussed in advance of the event and agreement reached with the club, parents and the young person themselves, as to what is and what is not permitted.
· Any instances of the use of inappropriate images should be reported to the Section/Club’s Children’s Officer and/or Designated Person and also to the relevant statutory authorities as deemed appropriate.