The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents new safeguarding challenges for all those working or volunteering with children. We will compile our latest information and resources for those in the sports sector here. We know these are uncertain times with all our usual activities and competitions cancelled as clubs try to find other ways to engage their young members.
Please click here to watch the Speak Out, Stay Safe, Virtual School Assembly with Ant and Dec and the NSPCC.
A leaflet has been published by the Department for Education providing information on keeping children safe in sports clubs and other extra-curricular activities. The guidance is designed to help out-of-school settings to create a safe environment for the children they work with. It lays out a minimum level of practice to reduce the risk of harm to children in clubs or community-led activities. The guidance can be used by organisations who have not yet put safeguarding and child protection measures in place as well as to check that existing procedures are consistent with best practice. The guidance is separated into four sections with basic requirements for large providers, small providers and volunteers or self-employed persons laid out at the beginning of each so you only need to read the subheadings relevant to your setting.
The Child Protection in Sport Unit have released safeguarding guidance for sports clubs and organisations taking part in remote coaching with their members. This information highlights online safety processes as well as advice for conducting remote training sessions. The information builds on the NSPCC’s safeguarding guidance for schools who have introduced remote teaching.
In response to the current restrictions, UK Coaching are offering a new online version of their existing training course Safeguarding and Protecting Children (SPC). The course, which is usually delivered as a face to face workshop, aims to raise awareness of the signs of abuse and provide learners with the tools needed to deal with issues sensitively, appropriately and effectively.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have made some temporary changes to their guidelines and processes to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. These include amendments to the ID checking guidelines for urgent standard and enhanced checks – and basic checks when submitted through a Responsible Organisation. DBS have also published a safeguarding factsheet for community volunteers to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time.
The pandemic and social distancing measures are placing a number of additional pressures on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. They may be experiencing increased feelings of anxiety, low mood or loneliness and some will need additional support at this time. If your club or activity is keeping in touch with members virtually you can start a conversation about this by signposting young people to specialist information. Such as, Childline’s online coronavirus advice or Young Minds’ coronavirus and mental health pages.
Demonstrate your club’s commitment to protecting young people’s mental health and wellbeing by adapting the text in this sample statement to support your existing policies.
As well as the everyday challenges that come with a pandemic, social distancing and self-isolation, the Coronavirus emergency has also given rise to important adult safeguarding considerations. Some people, particularly those that have care and support needs, are socially isolated, or live in residential/supported living environments, attending their local sports club/group and socialising with other members may be the only social outlet they have. They will undoubtedly be missing the contact and the social, physical and mental wellbeing benefits they are used to getting from their clubs and groups.
Helplines remain available
If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, you can speak to the NSPCC helpline about your concerns on 0808 800 5000 or email email@example.com
Please continue to recommend Childline to the young people in your clubs and activities on 0800 1111.
Are you aware of the useful advice and support for parents/carers on Coronavirus published by NSPCC?
Have you checked out Childline’s webpage on Coronavirus? It provides advice and support to children and young people during the lock down.
Do you know how to answer children’s questions on Coronavirus? The Children’s Commissioner has developed a children’s guide on coronavirus, which aims to answer children’s questions about Coronavirus.
Do you know how to talk to children about Coronovirus? Children 1st have published information on how to talk to children about Coronavirus and encourage them to open up about their worries.
Are you aware that Childnet International have lots of useful resources and tools that can be used to help ensure children are safe and happy online?
Are you aware that there are over 300,000 in the UK who pose a sexual threat to children? The National Crime Agency are highlighting concerns for children whilst staying at home during the Coronavirus lock down and urge parents to ensure their children are safe on-line.
Are you aware of the Anna Freud website? It provides lots of information on what we can do to ensure children and young people who may already be vulnerable or suffering from mental health difficulties are supported.
Have you heard of Kooth? This App is a free, safe, anonymous online counselling and emotional well-being platform, giving online support and advice to young people.
If a child is receiving support from a Child and Adolescence Mental Health Service team and is in crisis please contact them directly.
Are you aware that the Government has published guidance on Coronavirus: Support for Victims of Domestic Abuse?
Coronavirus Guidance: Vulnerable children & Young People (updated 1st April 2020)
Are you aware that the Government has updated it’s guidance on Coronavirus: vulnerable children and young people?
Are you aware that the Government has updated it’s guidance to schools?
Recently developed is information from TriX on the impact of Covid 19.
During the period of Coronavirus lock down, the HSSCP still has safeguarding children e-learning courses available.