14 Oldpark Terrace, Belfast BT14 6NN

Safeguarding Young People


North Belfast Harriers A.C.

Established 1896


Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy 2010

This Safeguarding policy is based on guidelines and legislation outlined in the

following documents:

· Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport, Sport Northern Ireland


· Children (NI) Order 1995.

· Our Duty to Care NI, DHSSPS 2007.

· Getting It Right, DHSSPS 2004.

· Cooperating to Safeguard Children DHSSPS 2003.

· Protection of Children And Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order Information Notes 1 3.

· Area Child Protection Committee – Regional Child Protection Policy 2005.

· Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (NI) Order 2007.

Date Agreed by Club Management Group ______________

Date for Review __________________


Safeguarding Children & Young

People Policy


We at North Belfast Harriers are committed to good practice which protects children from harm. Staff and volunteers accept and recognize their responsibility to provide an environment which promotes the safety of the child at all times. To achieve this we will:

· Develop an awareness of the issues which may lead to children being harmed.

· Create an open environment by identifying a ‘Designated person’ to whom the children can turn to if they need to talk.

· Adopt child centered and democratic coaching styles.

· Adopt Safeguarding guidelines through Codes of Conduct for members and all adults working at the club. Adult workers include coaches, parents and volunteers.

· Ensure careful recruitment, selection and management procedures. These procedures will include regular support and supervision is provided to staff/volunteers.

· Ensure complaints, grievance and disciplinary procedures are included in our constitution.

· Share information about concerns with children and parents and others who need to know.

· Provide information as required to the management committee.

· Ensure good and safe working/playing practices.

· Be involved in training made available through the various agencies and strengthen links with these agencies.

· Keep Safeguarding policies under regular review (every three years minimum).

· Have procedures relating specifically to bullying, away trips, transport and use of photography.

· Have an induction document available for parents, coaches and children clearly outlining their rights and responsibilities.



North Belfast Harriers

Date ____________________

The Children (Northern Ireland) Order (1995) is based on a clear and consistent

set of principles designed with the common aim of promoting the welfare of children.


Children have the right to be safe. All coaches should ensure that this fundamental principle takes precedence over all other considerations.

This policy applies to all those involved in North Belfast Harriers, coaches, administrators,

officials, volunteer drivers, parents and young people.


This club is committed to ensuring that equity is incorporated across all aspects of its development. In doing so it acknowledges and adopts the following Sport

Northern Ireland definition of sports equity:

“Sports equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognizing inequalities and taking steps to address them. It is about changing the culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society.”

· The club respects the rights, dignity and worth of every person and will treat everyone equally within the context of their sport, regardless of age, ability, gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexuality or social/economic status.

· The club is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy their sport in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse.

· All club members have a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behavior and promote equality of opportunity.

· The club will deal with any incidence of discriminatory behavior seriously, according to club disciplinary procedures.

To address the vulnerability of children with a disability coaches will seek guidance on working with children with a disability from external agencies, parents/guardians and the children themselves.


We at North Belfast Harriers will never promise to keep secrets. However, information of

a confidential nature will only be communicated on a “need to know” basis, with the welfare of the child paramount.

Considerations of confidentiality will not be allowed to override the rights of children or young members to be protected from harm.

A full Safeguarding policy statement is displayed and available within club premises for all interested parties to read.


Background knowledge in relation to child abuse, the general principles of

Safeguarding and the ability to recognize and respond to abuse are important issues.

Of primary concern for North Belfast Harriers is the issue of Safeguarding of our young members within the operation of the club. However, being cognizant of the indicators of abuse in respect of young members caused by others outside the club, are of an equal importance for the safety and well being of that child.

Cooperating to Safeguard Children 2003 formally recognizes four types of abuse:

1. Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the deliberate physical injury to a child, or the willful or neglectful failure to prevent physical injury or suffering. This may include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, confinement to a room or cot, or inappropriately giving drugs to control behavior.

2. Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone. Domestic violence, adult mental health problems and parental substance misuse may expose children to emotional abuse.

3. Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or nonpenetrative acts. They may include noncontact activities, such as involving children in looking at or the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

4. Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s physical, emotional and/or psychological needs, likely to result in significant harm. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate foods, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, failing to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment, lack of stimulation or lack of supervision. It may also include nonorganic failure to thrive (faltering growth).

In addition to these North Belfast Harriers recognizes that we have a responsibility to:

“protect children from bullying and to have policies and procedures in places to do so”

Cooperating to Safeguard Children DHSSPS, 2003

Coaches should challenge bullying in any form i.e. physical or emotional. Physical bulling can take the form of attacks, such as hitting, kicking, taking or damaging belongings. Emotional bullying may be a verbal assault, including name calling, insults, repeat teasing, sectarian/racist assaults, or it may take more indirect forms, such as spreading malicious gossip, rumors or excluding someone from a social group. Bullying is not an accepted behavior towards anyone at North Belfast Harriers be they child, coach, volunteer or parent. Anyone found to be bullying others will be dealt with seriously both in regards to the behavior exhibited and the reasons for the behavior. This club has an ant bullying policy in place.



The following is a list of some indicators of abuse, but it is not exhaustive:

· Unexplained bruising in soft tissue areas · Unexplained changes in behaviour becoming
· Repeated injuries withdrawn or aggressive
· Black eyes · Difficulty in making friends
· Injuries to the mouth · Distrustful of adults or excessive
· Torn or bloodstained clothing attachment to adults
· Burns or scalds · Sudden drop in performance
· Bites · Changes in attendance pattern
· Fractures · Inappropriate sexual awareness,
· Marks from implements behavior or language
· Inconsistent stories/excuses relating to injuries · Reluctance to remove clothing


· Record what has been said ASAP

· Remain sensitive and calm

· Reassure child that they

  • are safe
  • were right to tell
  • are not to blame
  • are being taken seriously

· Let child talk do not interview

· Listen and hear, give the person time to say what they want

· Ensure a positive experience

· Explain that you must tell, but will maintain confidentiality

· Tell child what will happen next

· Involve appropriate individuals immediately

· Stay calm

· Reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling and that it will be dealt with appropriately


· Question unless for clarification

· Make promises you cannot keep

· Rush into actions that may be inappropriate

· Make/pass a judgment on alleged abuser

· Take sole responsibility; consult the designated officer so you can begin to protect the child and gain support for yourself


The Designated persons within North Belfast Harriers are:

Kerry Coogan – 07934395885

Trisha Murray – 07980733647

John Burns is also the mental health officer

NAMED PERSON shall be made known to young members, coaches and parents

alike; as the designated person to whom concerns will be addressed. If the concern is about the designated person please report to Club Chairperson.

Guidelines for recording/dealing with incidents/accidents will be outlined later in this policy document


· Volunteers and coaches are carefully selected, trained and supervised. The office bearers of the club committee must vouch for new volunteers/coaches potential involvement and their participation must be ratified by the unanimous approval of executive group/remaining coaches.

· All new coaches/volunteers working with children or young people must complete the sports own application form which includes a self declaration section

· Individuals must complete and sign the Access NI Disclosure Certificate Application Form which gives permission to enable Athletics Northern Ireland to administer an Access NI check (proof of identity MUST be provided).

· Declaration of past convictions or cases pending and agreement to have an Access NI check completed, is of course a prerequisite to approval to coach/volunteer to work with young people.

· ALL volunteers/coaches must agree to abide by the club’s Safeguarding Policy and all are required to sign the Code of Conduct

· Any concerns or objections with regard to suitability of a coach should be submitted to the Governing Body designated person. These matters will be raised with the Governing Body case management committee with appropriate action taken including a formal response in writing to the concerned party if required. Clubs should not deal with concerns about a coach in isolation.


This club will:

· Ensure governing body approved coaching sessions for volunteers/coaches have been scheduled at the club and ALL participants are expected to qualify to at least level 1.

· When appointing volunteers/coaches consider their current or previous experience either playing or coaching Athletics.

· Education and training in the basics of Safeguarding will apply to all coaches/volunteers/management committee members working with the children or young members. North Belfast Harriers is committed to continuous updating and review of our current Safeguarding Policy.

· Safeguarding training should include:

  • Basic awareness of Safeguarding issues
  • Our club Safeguarding policies and procedures including our Code of Conduct

· Safeguarding training will be carefully selected to ensure it is sufficient. For instance a one hour training session is unlikely to be very useful. A minimum of three hours is required for basic awareness raising, and we will seek that training from a specific training provider with experience and knowledge of good practice in sport.

· Ensure that all new coaches have attended Safeguarding awareness workshop within six months of taking up their post. This opportunity should also be made available to parents and other volunteers to enable a culture of a child focused club to prevail.

· Ensure all staff and volunteers should receive induction, and training appropriate to their role. Training should be updated and reviewed regularly for new staff/volunteers and in line with changing legislation.


A Code of Conduct lets all our staff/volunteers in our club know what behavior is expected and what is unacceptable. It will also let all involved know what sanctions will be applied for noncompliance with the Code. A written Code of Conduct will be prominently displayed or communicated to everyone associated with our club. It will be applied consistently. This club has a Code of Conduct for coaches/volunteers and young people and a code of expectations for parents/guardians.


Travelling to away fixtures and residential are a regular event for this club. Trips may vary from short journeys across town to play another local team or involve more complicated arrangements involving overnight stays. But North Belfast Harriers is committed to ensuring that we follow certain standards to ensure the safety of our members.


North Belfast Harriers recognizes that it is good practice to set up a system of support and supervision of staff/volunteers. This will enable staff/volunteers to become more effective by identifying training needs and dealing quickly with difficulties. (For those with staff see staff handbook for further details on supervision). Volunteers will be offered regular opportunities to review their experiences at North Belfast Harriers and to identify any training or further support they require.


In the event of an accident, the following procedure will be carried out:

· Fill in two copies of the Accident Form

· Make contact with parents/guardians.

· One copy of form to incident book/folder.

· Forward one copy to designated person for record keeping/action required.

· Contact emergency services/GP if required.

· Record in detail all facts surrounding the accident, witnesses, etc.

· Sign off on any action required from senior management officer.


· Record all incidents reported or observed on an Incident Form

· Inform designated person ASAP.

· One copy to designated person within 24 hours.

· Ensure confidentiality only “need to know basis” (reference confidentiality statement).

· Inform parents, unless to do so may put the child at further risk.

· The designated person will be responsible for storing any report in a safe and secure environment.


This club is committed to ensure the safety of all members by completing a risk assessment for activities and endeavoring to provide first aid treatment for injury, accidents and cases of ill health during coaching sessions or at competitions.


NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000

PSNI Public Protection Unit 028 9065 0222 Ask for your local Public Protection Unit

Child line Free phone 0800 1111

Sport Northern Ireland 028 9038 1222

Child Protection in Sport Unit 028 9035 5756


It is important that there is a free flow of information between coaches/volunteers, children and parents, in terms of promotion of the club and what we aim to achieve in relation to your child. This club will insist that a parent/guardian consent form is completed for each under 18 year old member

Parents should know what we do and how we do it, and the coaches/designated person will always be on hand during, or after coaching sessions, for consultation or advice.

When appropriate, letters (or telephone contact) will be issued in relation to further information or specifics in respect of an event etc.

A regular review of club policies will take place through meetings with coaches/volunteers and feedback from children and parents. As a Club we have developed a plan for implementing our safeguarding procedures.

If you do not know who to turn to for advice or are worried about sharing your concerns with a senior colleague, you should contact the Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT) Gateway Team direct (or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000). At any stage during the process outlined on the previous page in the left hand column the issue can be referred externally either formally or informally for advice. Following the external (right column) outcome the matter may be referred back to the organization’s Disciplinary Committee.


The vast majority of people who work with children are well motivated and would never harm a child. Unfortunately a few do and it is essential that the organization creates a culture that makes staff/volunteers willing and comfortable to voice their concerns, particularly those about someone with whom they work or whom they know. Again, the organization’s Safeguarding procedures should be followed.

During an investigation, support should be given both to the individual who voices concerns and to the suspected abuser. Once the investigation is completed, the organization must decide what action, if any, is necessary to prevent a similar situation arising again.

As reviewed and approved at AGM 28th February 2016