England Hockey has developed policies, procedures and systems to manage concerns or allegations of poor practice and abuse against young people.
City of Peterborough Hockey Club, with England Hockey, will always work in accordance with procedures as set out in the guidance.
The responsibility of The Hockey Family is to read, implement, monitor and evaluate the safeguarding policies, procedures and systems, so that in the event of a concern being raised a smooth process can be followed.
These reporting procedures are fully detailed in the England Hockey Reporting Procedures document.
A summary of these procedures are shown below.
RESPONDING TO CONCERNS
If a young person or adult has concerns, it is important that they are able to report them to someone at the club. It is therefore important that the club members know how to respond, and who will do this.
There are a number of reasons a person might need to report a concern:
- something a young person has said to you – a disclosure
- signs or suspicions of abuse
- allegations made against a member of staff or a volunteer
- allegations made about a parent, carer or someone not working within the sport
- a breach of the Code of Ethics and Behaviour
- observation of inappropriate behaviour
- anything which makes them uncomfortable based on inappropriate behaviour of an adult or changes in behaviour of a young person
- behaviour being contrary to England Hockey’s Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Hockey Policy and Procedures and Code of Ethics and Behaviour.
It is important to note that even if an incident occurs outside the hockey environment, it should still be reported to England Hockey if the adult or young person concerned is involved in hockey. This is in accordance with standard practice in sport.
- Stay calm
- Reassure the person reporting their concerns that they have done the right thing in telling you
- Keep an open mind
- Listen carefully to what is said and take them seriously
- Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others – do not promise to keep secrets
- Ask questions for clarification only, and at all times avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer. To help you to do this, try to ask questions starting with tell me about, explain to me, describe.
- Tell them what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared
- Report the incident to your Welfare Officer or England Hockey Ethics and Compliance Manager
- Record in writing what was said using the young person’s own words as soon as possible, using the England Hockey Safeguarding Referral Form
TAKING APPROPRIATE ACTION
Once a concern has been reported, it is important that appropriate action is taken. It will not be the club’s responsibility to decide if action needs to be taken, unless a child is at immediate risk of harm. It is, however, the club’s responsibility to report the concerns appropriately in accordance with England Hockey’s policies, procedures and systems.
It is acknowledged that taking appropriate action is never easy and the discovery that a member of a club or colleague may be acting inappropriately, bullying or abusing a child will raise concerns and emotional feelings for the person receiving the concern, and among other colleagues.
It is NOT the club’s responsibility to decide if a child is being abused or poor practice has occurred. Any concerns or allegations will be managed by England Hockey, with the club’s cooperation and assistance.
It IS your responsibility to report your concerns, not act on them.
Speak to your Welfare Officer or England Hockey Ethics and Compliance Manager who will:
- support you
- listen to you
- take all concerns seriously
- act immediately within hockey’s policies, procedures and systems
- advise you what actions you need to take (if required).
The Welfare Officer should be your first point of contact
Welfare Officers should not deal with issues in isolation, they should receive support in dealing with issues by other trusted people (will vary according to organisation)
Minimise the number of people that you share a concern with, only share information on a need to know basis
If in doubt – ask for advice from your organisation’s Welfare Officer or England Hockey (Ethics and Compliance Team)
Deal with incidents and concerns quickly – problems escalate when they don’t get addressed.
The club Welfare Officer is Sue Minto (pictured right).
She can be contacted as follows: