HSSC Child Protection Policy

HIGH SEAS SAILING CLUB CHILD PROTECTION – GOOD PRACTICE GUIDANCE FOR BOAT OWNERS / SKIPPERS / MEMBERS 1. Introduction The following Guidance should be read in conjunction with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Child Protection Policy and Guidelines, which can be found on both the High Seas Sailing Club (HSSC) and RYA websites. A paper copy will be made available upon request. The purpose of this guidance to assist boat owners/skippers/members of the HSSC to understand their individual responsibility to ensure the well-being of children and to protect them from harm, both on and off the water. There are several good reasons for doing this: · To protect children both on and off the water · To raise awareness amongst club members, so they know what to do if they are concerned about a child · To give practical common sense guidelines to members · To protect the club by demonstrating that we have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to provide a safe environment for children/young people and that we aim for best practice Although everyone has a role to play in ensuring that children are safe, in line with RYA recommendation, the HSSC Committee has decided the club would benefit by having a designated Child Protection Officer, so we can reassure members/parents; the club has actively embraced the recommendations of the RYA. To this end, the committee has approached Richard Marks, who has agreed to become the club’s designated Child Protection Officer. Richard is a senior social care manager and registered as a qualified social worker with the General Social Care Council. His contact details are as follows: E-mail: child.protection@hssc.org.uk 2. Role of the Designated Child Protection Officer The club’s designated Child Protection Officer is not required to be a committee member. Rather, Richard’s role will be to advice the committee and members on child protection issues, as required. If a boat owner/skipper or any member of HSSC has a concern of a child protection nature, the designated officer would: · Be the first point of contact of any concern or allegation, from a child or adult, ensuring that confidentiality is maintained in all cases. · Decide on the appropriate action to be taken, in line with the RYA Child Protection Policy and Guidelines and in conjunction with the Commodore. 3. Good Practice Guidance It is important that the HSSC develops a culture where both children and adults feel able to raise concerns, knowing that they will be taken seriously, treated confidentially and where appropriate, be acted upon. The HSSC does not employ paid or unpaid staff or volunteers. It is the boat owner/skipper’s individual decision to allow a child/young person on board as either a member of crew or as a guest. 4. Minimising Risk These common sense guidelines should be available to all members of HSSC: The boat owner/skipper should always ensure that the have the consent of the child/young person’s parent/carer prior to them joining the boat. If the passage includes an overnight stay on board, then the boat owner/skipper must ensure that the sleeping arrangements are appropriate to the child/young person’s needs and when ever possible, for the child/young person to have their own cabin. If the passage includes an overnight stay on land, then the boat owner/skipper must ensure that the sleeping arrangements are appropriate and the child/young person has their own room. You Should Never: · Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games · Allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form · Allow children/young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged, or use such language yourself when with children · Make sexually suggestive comments to a child/young person, even in fun · Fail to respond to an allegation made by a child/young person; you must always act · Do things of a personal nature that children/young people can do for themselves It may sometimes be necessary to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are very young or disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of both the child/young person (where possible) and their parents/carers. In an emergency situation that requires this type of help, parents should be fully informed. In such situations it is important to ensure that any adult person present is sensitive to the child/young person and undertakes personal care tasks with the utmost discretion. 5. Handling concerns, report or allegations A complaint, concern or allegation may come from a number of concerns i.e. the child, their parent/s, someone else within the club. It may involve the behaviour of a member of the club or something that has happened outside of the club, perhaps at home or at school. Children/young people may confide in adults they trust, in a place where they feel at ease. An allegation may range from mild verbal bullying to physical or sexual abuse. If you are concerned that a child/young person may being abused, it is not your responsibility to investigate further. It is your responsibility to act on your concerns and report this to the appropriate statutory authorities. In such circumstances, you may wish to discuss your concerns with the club’s designated Child Protection Officer. If you are unsure if you need to take the matter, then the club’s recommends you speak with the designated Child Protection Officer. 6. Handling an allegation from a child/young person Always: · Stay clam – ensure that the child/young person is safe and feels safe · Tell the child/young person that you are taking what s/he says seriously · Reassure the child/young person · Be careful about physical contact, it may be not what the child/young person wants · Be honest, explain that you will have to tell someone else to help stop the alleged abuse · Make a record of what the child/young person has said as soon as possible after the event Never: · Rush into actions that may be inappropriate · Make promise you cannot keep (e.g. you won’t tell anyone) · Ask more questions that are necessary for you to be sure you need to act · Take sole responsibility – consult someone else ideally the club’s designated Child Protection Officer or someone appropriate who you can trust) so that you can begin to protect the child/young person and gain support for yourself High Seas Sailing Club October 2007

Portsmouth Tides