Safeguarding - Advice for Parents & Carers

Sport can and does have a very powerful and positive influence on children and young people however in light of  recent media coverage of allegations of child abuse in football , parents and carers from across all sports may have increased anxiety about child protection.  The vast majority of adults involved in youth sport are there with good intentions and are keen to promote the wellbeing and protection of children and young people. Coaches may often be the  people  who identify and act on concerns about a child’s wellbeing..  

To-date much of the media’s attention has centred around historic allegations. Most sports organisations now have far more robust child protection procedures in place, including systems by which they recruit coaches and volunteers.  However we would encourage all parents and carers to familiarise themselves with the child protection processes in place in the clubs their children attend.  

Some key questions to ask are:

  • Does your club have a named contact for the co-ordination of child protection, with a role description, who has attended recommended training?
  • Does the club have a Child Protection Policy which reflects national guidelines, adopted by the Board / Executive / Management Committee?
  • Does the club have a Code of Conduct for working with children and young people?
  • Does the club offer a variety of child protection training  at appropriate levels for those working or volunteering with children and young people in sport?
  • Does the club have a procedure for the recruitment and selection of those who work with children and young people, including access to PVG Scheme Membership checks?
  • Does the club have a procedure for responding to concerns about the welfare or abuse of a child- within or out with sport?
  • Is the club affiliated to a national governing body?  Does this governing body have a Lead Child Protection Officer?

If parents or carers have a child protection concern about a coach / volunteer who is currently practicing or a concern about a child’s immediate safety then they should contact the club child protection officer and share their concerns with Police Scotland on 101.