Karate Issues - Child Protection

All responsible clubs operate with child protection policies and with a designated Child Protection Officer. Here is a sample policy outlining some simple guidelines.

Child Protection Policy
Last agreed at Annual General Meeting (date)
Reviewed at (date)
Agreed at (date)

This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Act 1989; and in line with government publications:

  • "Working Together to Safeguard Children" 1999.
  • "Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families" 2000.
  • "What to do if You are Worried a Child is Being Abused" 2003.
  • "Safeguarding Children: Child Protection: Guidance about Child Protection Arrangements for the Education Service" 2004.
  • Local Area Child Protection Committee Procedures.

The Committee/Chief Instructor/Governing Body takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements within our club(s) to identify, assess, and support those children who are suffering harm.
We recognise that all adults, including temporary instructors, staff , volunteers and parents, have a full and active part to play in protecting our students from harm, and that the child’s welfare is our paramount concern.
All instructors believe that our clubs should provide a caring, positive safe and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child.

The aims of this policy are:

  • To support the child’s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence.
  • To provide an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, and feel confident, and know how to, approach adults if they are in difficulties believing they will be effectively listened to.
  • To raise the awareness of all instructors and staff of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.
  • To provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm, and ensure we, the club, contribute to assessments of need and support packages for those children.
  • To emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all instructors.
  • To develop a structured procedure within the clubs which will be followed by all instructors in the club in cases of suspected abuse.
  • To develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies, especially the police and social services and the Child Protection Officer of the National Governing Body of Karate.
  • To ensure that all adults within our clubs who have substantial access to children have been checked as to their suitability.

Our club procedures for safeguarding children will be in line with Local Authority policies and also the National Governing Body of Karate protection policies. This club will ensure that:

  • All members of the Committee understand and fulfil their responsibilities.
  • We have a designated instructor who acts as our Child Protection Liaison Officer.
  • We have an instructor who will act in the designated instructor's absence.
  • All instructors are provided with opportunities to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse.
  • All instructors are aware of how to respond to a student who discloses abuse.
  • All parents/carers are made aware of the responsibilities of instructors with regard to child protection procedures through publication of this club’s Child Protection Policy.
  • Our instructors will seek to ensure the suitability of adults working near children in our Dojo’s at any time.
  • Instructors organising activities for children are aware of this club’s Child Protection Guidelines and procedures.
  • Our instructors are checked for their suitability and have been cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau.
  • Any instructor found not suitable to work with children will be notified to the appropriate bodies.
  • Our procedures will be regularly reviewed and up-dated.
  • The name of the Designated Instructor for Child Protection, the Child Protection Liaison Officer, or CPLO will be clearly advertised in the club, with a statement explaining the club’s role in referring and monitoring cases of suspected abuse.
  • All new instructors will be given a copy of our child protection policy.

The Designated Instructor or CPLO is responsible for:

  • Referring a child if there are concerns about possible abuse, to the Local Authorities.
  • Keeping written records of concerns about a child even if there is no need to make an immediate referral.
  • Ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially and securely and are separate from students records.
  • Ensuring that an indication of further record-keeping is marked on the students records.
  • Liaising with other agencies and professionals.
  • Organising child protection training for all instructors.
  • Providing an annual report for the Committee/Chief Instructor detailing any changes to the policy and procedures; training undertaken by the CPLO, and by all instructors.

Supporting Children
We recognise that a child who is abused or witnesses violence may feel helpless and humiliated, and may blame themselves, and find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self worth.
We recognise that the club may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.
We accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn.
Our club will support all students by:

  • Encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness, through the syllabus as well as our relationships, whilst not condoning aggression or bullying.
  • Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the club.
  • Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.
  • Notifying the authorities as soon as there is a significant concern.

We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential.
The instructor or CPLO will disclose any information about a student to other members of staff on a need to know basis only.
All instructors must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children.
All instructors must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets, which might compromise the child’s safety or wellbeing.
We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Children’s Services with their parents /carers unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation. If in doubt, we will consult with the Local Authorities on this point.

Supporting Staff
We recognise that instructors working in the club who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm may find the situation stressful and upsetting.
We will support such instructors by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the CPLO as appropriate and to seek further support as appropriate.

Allegations against Instructors

  • All instructors should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child.
  • All instruction should be conducted in view of others.
  • All instructors should be aware of the Local Authority’s Guidance on Behaviour Issues.

We understand that a student may make an allegation against an instructor.
If such an allegation is made, the instructor receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Committee/Chief Instructor.
The Committee/Chief Instructor on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the Local Authorities.
If the allegation made to an instructor concerns the Chief Instructor the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Committee who will consult the Local Authorities without notifying the Chief Instructor first.

We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where instructors fail to do so.

  • All instructors should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the management of child protection, which may include the attitude or actions of colleagues.

Physical Intervention
Our policy on physical intervention by instructors acknowledges that instructors must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, when a child is endangering him/herself or others, and that at all times it must be the minimal controlled force necessary.
Such events should be recorded and signed by a witness where possible.
Instructors who are likely to need to use physical intervention will be appropriately trained.
We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.

Our policy on bullying is set out in a separate document and acknowledges that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. This includes homophobic and gender related bullying. Where bullying is reported it will be investigated fully.

Racist Incidents
Our policy on racist incidents is set out in a separate policy and acknowledges that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. Where racism is reported it will be investigated fully.

We recognise that the club plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our students by providing students with good lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection.
The club will therefore:

  • Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are always listened to.
  • Ensure that all children know there is an adult in the club whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
  • Include across the syllabus opportunities, which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn for help.

Health & Safety
Our Health & Safety policy, set out in a separate document, reflects the consideration we give to the protection of our students both physically within the club environment and when away from the club when undertaking competitions and training sessions.

NSPCC Helpline

NSPCC Asian Helpline

  • Bengali - 0800 096 7714
  • Gujurati - 0800 096 7715
  • Hindi - 0800 096 7716
  • Punjabi - 0800 096 7717
  • Urdu- 0800 096 7718
  • Asian/English - 0800 096 7719

Cymru/Wales Child Protection Helpline

  • Freephone: 0808 100 2524
  • Email: helplinecymru@nspcc.org.uk in English or Welsh
  • Textphone: Freephone - 0808 100 1033. This is for people with hearing difficulties.
  • Fax: 01248 361085
  • www.thinkuknow.co.uk has the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology. Find out what's good, what's not and what you can do about it.

  • www.ceop.gov.uk  The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is part of UK police and is dedicated to protecting children from sexual abuse wherever they may be. You can report abuse through their site, see below. But if you know about a child or young person who is in immediate danger, risk or you require an urgent response, you must call 999 or your local police.

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