Guildford Orienteers: Safeguarding Information and Guidelines.
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Extract from the British Orienteering Federation’s safeguarding publication, O-Safe - A Guide to Child Welfare:
“British Orienteering believes that the welfare of young people is everyone’s responsibility, particularly when it comes to protecting young people from abuse. However, it is important to remember that it is not the responsibility of those working in orienteering to determine if abuse has taken place, but it is their responsibility to act upon and report any concerns.”
Guildford Orienteers (GO) is committed to the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults (here referred to as young people) whilst under the supervision of GO at all times, within both the GO junior training group (GO Bananas) or at public events.
The club has adopted the British Orienteering Federation’s (BOF) safeguarding policy and good practice guidelines as published in the document: “O-Safe: A Guide to Safeguarding the Welfare of Children and Vulnerable Adults in Orienteering.” As a result, GO accepts the following responsibilities:
GO: Safeguarding Guidelines
1. GO safeguarding responsibilities
- To accept the moral and legal responsibility for implementing procedures to provide a duty of care for young people;
- To respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of young people;
- To recruit, train and supervise volunteers so as to adopt best practice to safeguard and protect young people from neglect and abuse, and themselves against safeguarding related allegations;
- To respond appropriately to any complaints about poor practice or allegations of neglect or abuse.
2. GO safeguarding guidelines
2.1 Orienteering Events
- Event organisers conduct risk assessments and have procedures for managing safety in public places;
- Event organisers track individuals to ensure that they are accounted for. There are procedures in place for finding and looking after lost individuals and for providing first aid;
- Orienteering course planners follow BOF rules and guidelines to provide courses with different levels of challenge to meet different needs;
- GO will make every effort to provide adequate shelter from extreme weather conditions; provide easy access to toilet facilities; and ensure the safety of young people at any GO organised event;
- GO volunteers will explain what physical and navigational skills are needed to complete a course and how to help with an individual need;
- GO will advise parents/carers on course suitability for young people. In order to meet safeguarding and insurance responsibilities GO may refuse to let a young person participate on a course if the parent/carer is considered to be taking an undue risk.
2.2 Volunteers and coaches
- All orienteering coaches used by GO will be registered with BOF and adhere to O-Safe;
- All volunteers who undertake official roles for GO will adhere to O-Safe and the GO Code of Conduct - Volunteers;
- GO will nominate a club member as the Child Welfare Officer with whom young people may discuss any safeguarding concerns;
- The Child Welfare Officer and GO juniors training group leaders will keep an Incident Record on digital file. For reference see Safeguarding Incident Report Form (see O-Safe Template 4).
- GO volunteers accept GO safeguarding responsibilities to ensure the safety of young people within the club environment. However, volunteers also need to be aware and respond accordingly to any safeguarding issues recognised to have occurred outside of the club environment. For further assistance, refer to O-Safe: A Guide to Child Welfare.
2.3 Adult:Child ratios
- At GO junior events there will be at least one male and one female volunteer, with one volunteer allocated to every five children;
- Children under 9 years of age should be accompanied at all times by parents/carers;
- With parental consent, children over 9 years of age will orienteer in pairs; as individuals; or be shadowed by experienced GO members who are known to the GO committee;
- A pair or team of young people without an adult volunteer should remain together for the duration of a race and only split up when in search of emergency support;
- During a race, if a team of young people plus volunteers needs to split up into smaller groups, then the volunteers should use their own judgement to spilt the group accordingly, ensuring that no single young person remains alone with a volunteer;
- Volunteers should avoid spending excessive amounts of time with any individual young person, unless absolutely necessary;
- Volunteers should work in pairs when supervising young people in toilets/changing rooms.
2.4 First Aid
- Parental Consent Forms (see O-Safe Template 5), providing permission for the administration of emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment, plus parent/carer contact details, should be obtained when:
- a young person becomes a member of GO - and recorded for future reference;
- before non-members participate at a GO organised event without parents/carers participating with the young person.
- A designated GO First Aider plus relevant equipment will be available at GO organised events;
- Where volunteers witness an injury they must report it as soon as possible to the parent/carer;
- If treatment needs to be administered, medical confidentiality and patient dignity will be maintained at all times:
- all treatment procedures are to be fully explained to the young person and their verbal consent obtained before treatment is provided;
- all treatment procedures should be 'open' i.e. the door remains open, parents/carer or an adult chaperone are invited to observe treatment procedures.
- Photographic material used in the public domain should avoid identifying young people;
- GO may wish to use some photographic material for use in newsletters or on the club website, in this case GO will inform the children and request permission from the parent/carer (see O-Safe Template 6);
- Permission will not be sought for team or group photographs of five or more children;
- GO recognises that participating families will want to take photographs for their own use, this is encouraged but in accordance with the GO safeguarding guidelines;
- Any person unrelated to the club who wishes to take photographs at an organised event should request permission from the event organiser (see O-Safe Template 7);
- If any individual is seen to be taking excessive photos of young people while under the supervision of GO, then a GO volunteer should use confidence and courage to challenge them, ask the individual who they are and if they have permission. If not, then why not and advise them on the correct permission protocols (O-Safe).
- If a GO parent/volunteer offers to transport young people either to or from an event, then details should be agreed between both parties beforehand;
- Forewarn parents/carers that in the event of delayed collection from an event, they should contact the GO junior lead volunteer asap. If contact is not made, then GO volunteers should check recorded contact details to investigate, and:
- wait with the young person at the agreed collection point with other volunteers - do not ask the young person to wait in a vehicle or at a venue alone with a volunteer;
- do not take the young person home to or to any other location;
- do not send the young person home with another adult without parental permission.
2.7 Parent/Carer Responsibilities
- When becoming a junior member of GO, parents/carers should complete a Parental Consent Form (see O-Safe Template 5) and Photographic Permissions Form (see O-Safe Template 6);
- Introduce young people to the GO Child Welfare Officer and make it clear that any safeguarding concerns they have can be discussed with this person;
- Instruct young people on safeguarding welfare issues as stated (see O-Safe Junior Welfare Card);
- Parents/carers of children under 9 years of age are required to accompany their child at all times;
- When newcomers attend a GO organised event (for instance, a “Come and Try It event”), parents are required to accompany all juniors at all times unless parental consent is provided to allow children to compete without parents - either in pairs or with a GO club volunteer shadowing them;
- Abide by the GO Code of Conduct - Parents/Carers and Young People.
3. GO Code of Conduct - Volunteers
- Comply with and promote O-Safe good practices;
- Treat all young people equally, and with respect and dignity;
- Make sport fun, enjoyable and promote fair play;
- Always put the welfare of young people first, before winning or achieving goals;
- Build balanced relationships based on mutual trust that empowers young people;
- Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism;
- Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of young people – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will;
- Always work in an open environment - make every effort to avoid private or unobserved situations;
- Keep up to date with technical skills and qualifications in the sport.
4. GO Code of Conduct - Parents/Carers and Young People
- Ensure that young people have suitable kit, equipment and refreshments;
- Compete within the rules of the club and British Orienteering (BOF)
- Remember young people learn best by example;
- Never ridicule or shout at a young person for making a mistake;
- To treat everyone equally with sensitivity and respect;
- Encourage young people always to play by the rules when having fun;
- Insist on fair and disciplined play and remember that effort is as important as victory; Treat the environment with care;
- Respect and value the volunteers/coaches/event officials;
- Raise any potential concerns or complaints immediately with the GO Child Welfare Officer.
5. Safeguarding Links
O-Safe – A Guide to Child Welfare - A 3-page document providing key information for everyone involved in the sport of orienteering. Published by BOF.
O-Safe – A Guide to Safeguarding the Welfare of Children & Vulnerable Adults - A 42-page comprehensive document containing BOF safeguarding policy and good practice guidelines. Published by BOF.
Find the O-Safe document along with general information at “About British Orienteering”: http://www.britishorienteering...
O-Safe – Forms - referred to by O-Safe and GO Safeguarding Guidelines documents. Find the forms online at:
- Template 4: Safeguarding Incident Report Form
- Template 5: Parental Consent Form
- Template 6: Parent Consent Form for using photographs
- Template 7: Permission Form for taking photographs at events
- O-Safe Junior Welfare Card - Welfare information card for parents/carers and young people
Call for advice:
British Orienteering Lead Child Welfare Officer: 01629 583 037. NSPCC: 0800 800 5000. ChildLine: 08001111.