Details and Content of Safeguarding Workshops
Sport Ireland recently changed the structure of Child Welfare & Protection (Code of Ethics) workshops for Clubs. The details of the three stages of training are outlined here as follows:
1. Safeguarding 1 - Child Welfare & Protection Basic Awareness Course
All Coaches, Children's Officers and Designated Liaison Persons (DLP) must first complete the 3 hour Child Welfare & Protection Basic Awareness Course. This course educates participants on the implementation of best practice in protecting the welfare of children involved in sport.
2. Safeguarding 2 - Club Children's Officer (C.C.O)
A person appointed to the Club Children's Officer position in a club must have completed safeguarding 1 (Child Welfare & Protection Basic Awareness workshop) and should complete the NEW Club Children's Officer 3 hour workshop. This course will help the Club Children's Officer to carry out the function of their role in the club and support the implementation of best practice in the club. Participants will also receive a Club Children's Officer Action Planning document as part of the training.
3. Safeguarding 3 - Designated Liaison Person(DLP)
A person appointed to the Designated Liaison Person position in a club must have completed the Child Welfare & Protection Basic Awareness Course and should complete the NEW Designated Liaison Person 3 hour workshop. A club may appoint the same person to both the CCO and DLP positions however best practice advises that they are kept as separate roles.
The third part of the ISC Child Welfare & Protection Training Programme is the Designated Liaison Person workshop.
Club Children's Officers
Club Children's Officers should be child centred in focus and have as the primary aim the establishment of a child centred ethos within the club. S/he is the link between the children and the adults in the club. S/he also takes responsibility for monitoring and reporting to the Club Management Committee on how club policy impacts on young people and Sports Leaders
Designated Liaison Person
Every club/organisation should designate a person to be responsible for dealing with any concerns about the protection of children. The Designated Liaison Person is responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse to TULSA Child and Family Agency or Social Services (NI) and/or An Garda Siochán / PSNI. It is recommended that this person is a senior club person. However, if there is difficulty identifying a separate individual to take this role, the Club Children's Officer can be appointed as Designated Liaison Person once the club/organisation is clear about the responsibilities of each role. The organisation's child protection policy and procedures should include the name and contact details of the Designated Liaison Person and the responsibilities attached to the role.
Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children's Sport
The Irish Sports Council and the Sports Council for Northern Ireland published a joint Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children's Sport in 2000. This major joint publication recognised the commitment of both Councils to ensure that young people are safeguarded in their participation in sport in the island of Ireland.
The Code has been adopted and implemented by governing bodies of sports, clubs, local sports partnerships and community/voluntary groups on an ongoing basis since 2000. It has been encouraging to see the common sense approach to the adoption of the code at grass roots level, which has resulted in protection for young people and leaders.
If young people are to stay involved in sport throughout their adult life, they need to be equipped with the fundamentals to remain involved with sport and physical activity. Equally we need to ensure that their early experiences are positive and enjoyable, irrespective of their ability, gender, social class, race, etc.
It is encouraging to see adults, both volunteers and professionals, contribute to these positive experiences by acting as role models in all dealings with young people. In particular the work of Children's Officers at club and national level is instrumental in implementing the Code. We need to build on this valuable work to ensure that all young people see sport and physical activity as an important and valuable aspect of their lives that they will sustain throughout their adulthood.
The review of the Code in 2005 ensures that the policies and procedures that we implement at all levels in sport are up-to-date and in line with relevant documents, current best practice and legislation throughout the island of Ireland.