Child Safeguarding Codes of Conduct
- This document describes the standards of behaviour expected when:
- Dealing with children.
- Coaching children, including when DBS Enhanced Certificates need to be held.
- Children use club premises.
- Contacting children via social media, handling their data, using their visual images
- Organising trips for children.
- An emergency occurs.
- Handling media on safeguarding matters.
- This document also defines how any breaches in these standards are to be handled.
- This document, which is specific to safeguarding children, should be read in conjunction with the CA Code of Conduct.
- This document is part of the CA Child Safeguarding Policy.
- In this document, the term "coach" includes CA-qualified coaches and any volunteer working with such a coach when working with children.
- The aim for all clubs should be to create a welcoming and supportive environment for both children and adults that will minimise opportunities for abuse and false allegations.
- Clubs have a responsibility to engage with the parents of child members. The first formal opportunity will be when children join as members. Parents must be asked to consent to their child taking part in club activities, to consent to photos/videos being taken and used in a range of circumstances, and to provide contacts and medical details. A template (T1) Parental Consent and Information Form on Joining is provided. Also available is a template (T2) Information for Children.
- Children may feel awkward and out of place in a sport largely played by older people. To address this, they should be:
Respected - seek their views, value their contribution.
Included - in conversations and club activities.
Supported - be reassured they are in a safe environment.
Encouraged - as they learn the game at their pace.
- All adult members should always:
- When children are at a club without their parent or Responsible Adult present, ensure a minimum of two adults are in the vicinity. In addition to safeguarding needs, this is a sensible precaution in the case of accidents and meets CA's insurance requirements. See also paras 17 to 21 below regarding online communication.
- Treat all children with equal respect.
- Allow children privacy when using shared changing facilities.
- Use the minimum force necessary if physical contact is required to prevent injury or danger to a child or other person.
- Avoid physical contact in other circumstances; coaching should be by demonstration only.
- Obtain parental consent before befriending or otherwise contacting them via social media.
- Any other contact with a child is only through their parent.
- Adult members should never:
- Denigrate a child's croquet abilities. Particular care is required in streaming commentaries, online texting and social media.
- Drive a child in their car (except in an emergency) without specific parental consent, unless the adult is the Responsible Adult, see also below for trips.
- Have favourites among the children.
- Engage in any physical or sexualised behaviour with a child.
- Use obscene or sexualised language.
- Allow children to engage in swearing, bullying or other unacceptable behaviour.
- Ignore any concerns or allegations expressed by a child.
Conduct by Coaches
- All coaches working with children, whether in a voluntary or paid role, are expected to apply all the CA's coaching standards.
- To meet the CA Safeguarding Policy when coaching children, in addition to the general conduct requirements for all adult members at paras 6 to 10 above, coaches are required to:
- Respect the right of parents to be involved, including ensuring that children's parents have the coaches' contact details. Conversely, coaches should ensure that they have the children's emergency contact details readily available.
- Ensure an adult/coach ratio on the lawn of no more than four children per adult, improving the ratio to take into account any additional needs e.g. communication, disability or challenging behaviour.
- Apply the guidelines in the section Conduct for Trip Organisers below. This includes obtaining parental consent for all trips to croquet events; the necessary templates (T3A) Letter to Parents for an Event, and (T3B) Parental Consent Form for an Event are provided.
- When using video recording equipment (including mobile phones, tablets, and similar devices) as a coaching aid, ensure that all images are appropriate and available to the parents or immediately deleted.
DBS Enhanced Certificates
- When children are coached "frequently, intensely or overnight", it is defined as a Regulated Activity. See Requirement for DBS Enhanced Certificates for full details.
- To coach children, whether in a regulated activity or not, all coaches should ensure they have the necessary DBS clearance for their role. See Requirement for DBS Enhanced Certificates for full details.
Children's Use of Club Premises
- The CA encourages children to use club premises; however, to achieve this safely requires some special measures:
- When a child is on club premises, they must be accompanied at all times by, at least, one adult.
- When a child is being coached together with other children, they must be accompanied by the coach and one other adult
- A child must not be given the responsibility for securing club premises.
- For the purposes of paras 15a and 15b above, the accompanying adult may be:
- Their parent (who solely from the perspective of this policy need not be a club member; however, local club rules will continue to apply).
- Another club member whom the parent has formally designated as their child's Responsible Adult while they are at the club.
Conduct when Contacting Children Online
- Various methods of online contact are standard practice for many clubs and children are likely to be well-versed in their use. It is expected that all communication with children will be open, transparent and appropriate.
- There are risks with online contact which include:
- Inappropriate access to, use or sharing of personal details (e.g. names, email addresses)
- Unwanted contact with children by adults with wrongful/questionable intent
- Being sent offensive or otherwise inappropriate material
- Sending offensive or otherwise inappropriate material
- Online bullying by peers
- Grooming for sexual abuse
- Direct contact and abuse
- For adults, risks include their communication with children being misinterpreted.
- To reduce these risks, parental consent must be obtained before any member may:
- contact a child by phone call, text or email (Parents should be offered the option of being copied in on all such contacts).
- Engage in online coaching or similar activity. Note: Although consent is not legally required for young people aged between 16 and 18, it is still recommended that parents are informed of the intention to send their child emails or texts. It is also good practice to obtain the consent of the 16-to-18-year-old.
Conduct to Protect Data
- Clubs are to protect children's personal data in line with the CA's Data Protection Policy, and to ensure it is only used in accordance with parent's permissions.
Conduct for Trip Organisers
- There will hopefully be opportunities for child members to play and/or receive coaching at another venue. These guidelines will help plan and run a successful trip.
- Establish the following, in discussion with the Local Safeguarding Officer:
- Reason for the trip.
- Date, times, venue.
- Cost and who will pay.
- Clothing, equipment, food or drink that may be required.
- What to expect at the event.
- Travel arrangements, including ensuring that the journey time is sufficient to allow for adequate comfort breaks to be taken and that they do not require a child to be transported alone by anyone other than their parents.
- In the event of an overnight journey - accommodation and meal arrangements.
- If any child is not accompanied by their parent, they need to be accompanied by someone who is designated as that child's Responsible Adult (Note: if the trip involves an overnight stay that person needs to hold a DBS Enhanced Certificate with child barring check), see Role of Responsible Adult.
- For each child travelling, contact their parent to:
- Brief them on the trip details.
- Provide them with contact details of the trip organiser, venue and drivers and, if required, the child's Responsible Adult.
- Establish if the child has any medical requirements (e.g. for travel sickness, other reasons) that might impact on the trip.
- Ask them to reinforce to their child the behaviour expected and the consequences of not following this.
- Ensure current parent contact details are known, together with emergency contact phone numbers.
- An exchange of emails is useful as a reminder to all parties to avoid misunderstandings and to inform other passengers that a child is travelling with them, while also serving as a written record.
- In the event of accommodation being required, it should be assessed prior to booking regarding its suitability with particular reference to sleeping, changing and toileting arrangements.
- A child should only share a room with their parent.
- On arrival, the accommodation's suitability should be confirmed and it should be checked that the child understands:
- Managing the room key
- Meal arrangements
- Schedule of activities
- Securing valuables
In an Emergency
- The following actions are suggested if an emergency arises:
- Call emergency services.
- Keep everyone safe.
- Inform the child's emergency contact.
- Consider whether there are safeguarding implications, and if so follow the process at Responding to Safeguarding Incidents and Concerns.
- Make a written record of everything as soon as possible.
- Do not speak to the press.
- On return, complete the club's accident/incident report form, and notify the LSO or National SO.
Conduct when Handling the Media on Safeguarding Matters
- Press enquiries on any topic are likely to come from a variety of sources and responding to each on an ad hoc local basis is a recipe for confusion. It is important that all responses on any child safeguarding issue (especially those relating to any individual case) are handled by a single person, namely the Executive Board member to whom the National Safeguarding Officer National SO reports.
- If an enquiry comes in:
- Take the contact details.
- Note the nature of the enquiry.
- Give an assurance that a response will be made in due course.
- Brief the National SO, or the relevant Executive Board member, at the earliest opportunity.
- Similarly, it is important not to respond on an ad hoc basis to tweets, Whats App messages or other contact via social media etc. on child safeguarding topics within croquet. The National SO or the relevant Executive Board member are to be briefed at the earliest opportunity.
Conduct when Photographing
- Photography, Video, and Live Streaming can all be excellent ways of celebrating and promoting croquet. Photos of people enjoying the sport can be great promotional tools, but when personal information is added to photographs, these images can be used to identify people and put their safety and privacy at risk. Photographs can also be adapted for inappropriate use.
- Images of children playing croquet should only convey best practice and positive aspects of croquet.
- When advised of an event, parents are told that their child may be photographed/filmed - see Template (T3B) Parental Consent Form for an Event. If they do not want their child's name associated with such images, they have to advise the event organiser. In such circumstances, it is the event organiser's responsibility to ensure that the parent's wishes in this respect are met.
- Unsupervised access to children or one-on-one photography or filming sessions, at the event or elsewhere, is not permitted. Indoor filming or photography of children should be limited to the public area of the pavilion/clubhouse unless express permission is obtained.
- A child's personal contact details (e.g., postal or email address, telephone numbers) should never be published. This applies even if parental permission has been given for their photograph to be used.
Breaches of Behaviour
- Any suspected or actual breach of these codes must be reported as a safeguarding concern, see Reporting Incidents and Concerns.
- Further action will depend on the nature and severity of the breach and may range from discussion through to disciplinary (see CA Code of Conduct) and possibly criminal action.