This policy makes provision for children and young people to
- The welfare of the child is paramount;
- All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender,
language, racial origin religious beliefs and/or sexual identity
have the right to protection from abuse;
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will
be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;
- Staff/volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of
abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred, however, all staff
(paid/unpaid) have a responsibility to report concerns to the
The Kennel Club has a duty of care to safeguard all
children involved in its licensed activities from harm. All
children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled
children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be
taken into account. The Kennel Club will ensure the safety and
protection of all children involved through adherence to the Child
Protection guidelines adopted by the Kennel Club.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children
The aim of the Kennel Club Child Protection Policy is to
promote good practice:
- Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and
protection whilst in its care;
- Allow all staff /volunteers to make informed and confident
responses to specific child protection issues.
Good practice guidelines
All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary
behaviour in order to promote the welfare of children and reduce
the likelihood of allegations being made. The following are common
sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.
Good practice means:
- Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or
unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no
- Treating all young people equally, and with respect and
- Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before
winning or achieving goals.
- Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with children (e.g.
it is not appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate
relationship with a child or to share a room with them).
- Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which
empowers children to share in the decision-making process.
- Making the events fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play.
- Being an excellent role model - this includes not smoking or
drinking alcohol in the company of young people.
- Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than
- Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young
people; avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing
them against their will.
- Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco
parentis, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid
and/or other medical treatment.
- Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with
the details of any treatment given.
- Requesting written parental consent if club officials are
required to transport young people in their cars.
Practices to be avoided
The following should be avoided except
in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are
unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and consent of
someone in charge in the club or the child's parents. For example,
a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent
fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a session:
- Avoid spending time alone with children away from others
The golden rule is safety in numbers - no adult should be in a one
to one situation with a child.
- Avoid while alone taking or dropping off a child to an event or
Practices never to be sanctioned
The following should never be
sanctioned. You should never:
- Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games,
- Share a room with a child
- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
- Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
- Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
- Reduce a child to tears as a form of control
- Fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a
- Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do
- Invite or allow children to stay with you at your home
Incidents that must be reported/recorded
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately
and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the
child are informed:
- If you accidentally hurt a child.
- If he/she seems distressed in any manner.
- If a child misunderstands or misinterprets something you have
Recruitment and training of staff and
The Kennel Club recognises that all reasonable steps must be
taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with
children. Preselection checks must include the following:
- All relevant volunteers/staff (those who will be working and
have direct involvement with children) should complete an
The application form will elicit information about an applicant's
past and a self disclosure about any criminal record.
- Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with
Interview and Induction
All employees and volunteers should receive an induction, during
- A check should be made that the application form has been
completed in full (including sections on criminal records and
- The job requirements and responsibilities should be
- Child protection procedures are explained
Responding to allegations or suspicions
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in the Kennel
Club in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not
child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to
act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer
or the appropriate authorities.
The Kennel Club will assure all staff/volunteers that it
will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports
his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a
Action if there are concerns
- Any suspicion that a child has been abused should be reported
to the Kennel Club who will take such steps as considered necessary
to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child
who may be at risk.
- The Kennel Club will refer the allegation to the social
services department who may involve the police.
- The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as
possible following advice from the social services department.
- The Kennel Club will deal with any media enquiries
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is
maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and
disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the
- The Event Organisers.
- The parents of the person who is alleged to have been
- The person making the allegation.
- Social services/police.
- Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged
abuser (or parents if the alleged abuser is a child).
Information should be stored in a secure place with limited
access to designated people, in line with data protection laws
(e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and
Internal Enquiries and Suspension
- The Kennel Club may make an immediate decision about
whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily
suspended pending further police and social services
- Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police
inquiries the Kennel Club will assess all individual cases to
decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and
how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult
decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to
uphold any action by the police. In such cases, the Kennel
Club must reach a decision based upon the available
information which could suggest that on a balance of probability,
it is more likely than not that the allegation is true.
The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance
Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse:
- Consideration should be given to the kind of support that
children, parents and members of staff may need.
- Allegations of previous abuse - Allegations of abuse may be
made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as
a child or by a member of staff who is still currently working with
Where such an allegation is made, the Kennel Club will follow the
procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social
services or the police. This is because other children, either
within or outside the sphere of activity, may be at risk from this
person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences
related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with
children. This is reinforced by the provisions of the Protection of
Children Act 1999.
Action if bullying is suspected
If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed
as set out in 'Responding to suspicions or allegations' above.
Action to help the victim and prevent bullying:
- Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
- Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns. Help
the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in
authority. Create an open environment.
- Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the
victim is safe. Speak with the victim and the bully(ies)
- Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them,
although you cannot promise to tell no one else.
- Keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom,
- Report any concerns to the Kennel Club.
Action towards the bully(ies):
- Talk with the bully(ies), explain the situation, and try to get
the bully (ies) to understand the consequences of their behaviour.
Seek an apology to the victim(s).
- Inform the bully's parents.
- Insist on the return of 'borrowed' items and that the
bully(ies) compensate the victim.
- Impose sanctions as necessary.
- Encourage and support the bully(ies) to change behaviour.
- Inform all organisation members of action taken.
- Keep a written record of action taken.
- Most 'low level' incidents will be dealt with at the time by
staff and volunteers. However, if the bullying is severe (e.g. a
serious assault), or if it persists despite efforts to deal with
it, incidents should be referred to the Kennel Club in "responding
to suspicions or allegations" above.
Concerns outside the immediate environment (e.g. a
parent or carer):
- Report your concerns to the Kennel Club, who should contact
social services or the police as soon as possible.
- Social Services will decide how to involve the
- Maintain confidentiality on a need to
know basis only.
Information for social services or the police about
To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a
detailed record should always be made at the time of the
disclosure/concern, which should include the following:
- The child's name, age and date of birth of the child.
- The child's home address and telephone number.
- Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their
own concerns or those of someone else.
- The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special
factors and other relevant information.
- Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or
- A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also
any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
- Details of witnesses to the incidents.
- The child's account, if it can be given, of what has happened
and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
- Have the parents been contacted?
- If so what has been said?
- Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details.
- If the child was not the person who reported the incident, has
the child been spoken to? If so what was said?
- Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.
- Where possible referral to the police or social services should
be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact
who took the referral should be recorded.
If you are worried about sharing concerns about abuse with a
senior colleague, you can contact social services or the police
direct, or the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or
Childline on 0800 1111.
This policy is adopted and adapted with the kind permission from
the sample policy provided by the NSPCC (Child Protection in Sport