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Child Safeguarding Guidelines

This page's content is specific to the Croquet Association and not to Croquet England. There is, or soon will be, a replacement for it relating to the new organisation.


  1. This document contains recommended guidelines on:
    1. Dealing with injuries or ill health.
    2. Avoiding bullying.
    3. Recognising child abuse.
    4. Managing challenging behaviour.
  2. It provides a link to the NSPCC.
  3. It also includes examples of how the policy will apply in a range of circumstances.
  4. This document is part of the CA Child Safeguarding Policy.

Dealing with Injuries or Ill Health

  1. If a child is injured or appears unwell:
    1. The extent of injury/nature of the illness should be ascertained.
    2. If apparently serious, the emergency services must be contacted.
    3. The parents must be informed at the earliest opportunity and their guidance sought on how to manage the situation.
    4. If the parent/carer cannot be contacted immediately, the child's medical information form must be consulted to check for allergies, medication etc.
    5. If the injury is apparently minor, then basic first aid may be administered if the child is unable to do this for themselves.
    6. Where practicable, only those with a current recognised First Aid qualification should treat injuries.
    7. No medication may be administered unless parental consent has been obtained.
    8. If possible, without compromising privacy and dignity, another person should be present.
    9. The club's incident/first-aid book should be completed.
    10. Review the situation to ascertain if future action is needed to prevent further occurrence, and whether there are any safeguarding aspects that should be reported Reporting Incidents and Concerns.

Avoiding Bullying

  1. Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else. It includes name-calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone.
  2. Bullying a child can happen anywhere - at the club, at home, at school, or online. It is usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child both physically and emotionally.
  3. Coaches should be particularly aware of the need to provide a supportive coaching environment, avoiding the use of their position of authority to bully children in their care.

Recognising Child Abuse

  1. What is Child Abuse? Child abuse is a term used to describe ways in which children are harmed, usually by adults but can be by peers, and includes the following:
    1. Physical Abuse
    2. Sexual Abuse
    3. Emotional Abuse
    4. Bullying and Cyberbullying
    5. Child Criminal Exploitation
    6. Online Abuse
    7. Child Sexual Exploitation
    8. Child Trafficking
    9. Domestic Abuse
    10. Female Genital Mutilation
    11. Non-recent Abuse.
  2. How to Recognise Child Abuse. It is not always easy to spot when children have been abused. However, some typical symptoms would include:
    1. Unexplained or suspicious injuries
    2. Sexually explicit language or actions
    3. A sudden change in behaviour
    4. The child describes an abusive act
    5. The child has a general distrust and avoidance of adults
    6. An unreasonable reaction to normal physical contact.

Although a child may be displaying some or all of these signs, it does not necessarily mean the child is being abused, just as an abused child may not show any of these symptoms.

  1. What to do when Child Abuse is suspected. When concerns arise about a child, the CA safeguarding procedure for responding to concerns about a child Responding to Safeguarding Incidents and Concerns should be followed.

Managing Challenging Behaviour

  1. While in our croquet environment, when enjoyment is key, the need to have to respond to a child's challenging behaviour should be very rare. Nonetheless, challenging behaviour could occur so these guidelines aim to encourage good practise should it do so.
  2. Challenging Behaviour Principles. When dealing with a child's challenging behaviour, the following principles should be applied:
    1. The wellbeing and safety of children and others is paramount.
    2. Responses must never include treatment that is harmful, humiliating or abusive.
    3. Physical chastisement should never be used.
    4. Physical intervention may only be used to prevent greater harm to the child or others and should be the minimum required to achieve this.
    5. Children should only be excluded in exceptional circumstances when ways of ameliorating the behaviour have been implemented.
    6. Occurrences of significant challenging behaviour should be documented and discussed with the parents, their child and the LSO.
    7. Support should be offered to those witnessing or affected by the incident.
    8. Discretion should be used when deciding how to respond to such incidents and should be commensurate with the behaviour - a quiet word may be sufficient to defuse the situation.
  3. Preventing Challenging Behaviour. The likelihood of challenging behaviour occurring can be minimised by:
    1. Ensuring parents, children, coaches and players are aware of the Code of Safeguarding Conduct and what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.
    2. Getting children and parents involved in writing a code of conduct for their sessions.
    3. If there is an occurence then exploring with parents and children any potential reasons, triggers or explanations e.g a medical condition.
    4. Agreeing with parents and children responses to be employed in the event of an occurrence.

Further Information

  1. The NSPCC website carries much useful information and should be referred to for more comprehensive information. They run a helpline for anyone who is worried about a child: Tel: 0808 800 5000 Email:

Safeguarding Examples

  1. Safeguarding imposes responsibilities on a range of people. Further, the complexity of events can result in those responsibilities apparently overlapping.
  2. The following examples illustrate how it is expected that the requirements of safeguarding will be met. The examples are followed by a paragraph that covers who is responsible for reporting any safeguarding incident.
  3. Example 1: In the Federation Shield, Club A plays Club B at a neutral venue - Club C. Club A selects a child as a team member.
    1. It is Club A's team captain (or the child's Responsible Adult) who takes the initiative.
    2. After liaison with the child's parent, Club A's team captain informs the rest of the team and Club B's team captain that his team has a child.
    3. Club A's team captain then contacts Club C to tell them of the presence of a child and to ensure necessary safeguarding measures are in place (e.g. changing rooms/toilets).
    4. There may be a few issues on which they need to consult the most relevant Welfare/Safeguarding Officer.
  4. Example 2: A National Junior get-together, for juniors, including children, from a range of clubs, is being arranged at neutral Club C, organised by Junior Programme.
    1. The coordinator of the Junior Programme holds the lead responsibility as the event organiser.
    2. Parents of children will be advised of the event using the Template (T3A) Letter to Parents.
    3. If they are not attending the event with their child, they will have appointed a Responsible Adult (see Role of Responsible Adult)
    4. At Club C, the event organiser is responsible for ensuring, in liaison with the Club Welfare/ Safeguarding Officer of the host club, that all safeguarding requirements, including the changing and toilet arrangements, are satisfied.
  5. Safeguarding Incident. In both the above examples, in the event of a safeguarding incident involving the child, the steps defined in Responding to Safeguarding Incidents and Concerns should be followed.