Dated October 2022
Review date October 2024
The Isle of Wight Island Games Association (IWIGA) has adopted this safeguarding policy and its associated procedures to:
- Protect all individuals that are part of Team IOW (athletes and personnel) in connection with Island Games Association (IGA), but in particular children and adults at risk, from any type of harm and/or abuse (see appendix 1) when they are engaged in activities connected to IGA during the Games Period (from leaving the Isle of Wight, the week of the Games and returning to the Isle of Wight).
- Ensure Team IOW understand their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
- Ensure IWIGA Safeguarding Officer, Team Welfare Officers and others know how to respond appropriately when concerns are raised about children or adults at risk or personnel.
- Provide IWIGA Safeguarding Officer, Team Welfare Officers and others with guidance on how they should behave if they suspect that a child or athlete/adult at risk may be experiencing, or be at risk from some form of harm, and how to respond to and report a safeguarding concern.
It is important to have a clear and consistent understanding of what certain terminology means and to ensure that the context is clearly defined. For the purposes of this policy, the following terms have the following meanings:
- Adult at Risk: any person, including athletes aged 18 years or over who is or may be unable to take care of themself or unable to protect themself against significant harm or serious exploitation, whether due to another having a position of trust over them, or due to physical or mental health or impairment, age, illness, circumstance (e.g., people encountering domestic violence, substance misusers and asylum seekers), or otherwise.
- Child: anyone, including young athletes, under the age of 18 years old.
- Child Protection: refers to protecting specific children who have been identified by relevant authorities as being at risk of significant harm and/or abuse. 5. Poor practice: refers to instances when the behaviour of an individual, though not abusive, falls below that which is acceptable in dealing with children or athletes/adults at risk
- Position of trust: A person (A) is in a ‘position of trust’ over another person (B) where (1) A is in contact with B, (2) A’s role carries an expectation of trust, and (3) A is in a position to exercise authority, power or control over B (as perceived by B).
- Safeguarding: ‘Safeguarding’ concerns all actions, practices, policies and procedures put in place to protect individuals and prevent and respond to harm and abuse.
The IWIGA is fully committed to protecting any individual associated with the Island Games – but in particular children and adults at risk – from all forms of harm and/or abuse, and to ensure appropriate action is taken if such harm occurs or is suspected. The IWIGA’s key safeguarding principles are as follows:
- The welfare of children and adults at risk is paramount.
- Sport should be an environment that is respectful, ethical, and free from all forms of non-accidental harm
- No child and adult at risk (or other individual) should experience abuse of any kind and all persons have a duty of care and a responsibility to promote the welfare of children and adults at risk and to keep them safe.
- Every child and adult at risk, regardless of age, ability or disability, gender, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, language, socioeconomic background or identity, or migration status has an equal right to protection from all forms of harm or abuse.
- Children from minority ethnic groups, children with disabilities and adults at risk have additional needs and may face additional barriers, so additional protective measures to safeguard them should be put in place.
- All of Team IOW are expected to understand their role and responsibilities, and to know how to respond when a safeguarding concern is raised.
As part of its approach to safeguarding, the IWIGA will:
- Ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns.
- Respond promptly to any safeguarding concerns
- Provide support to the individual/s who raises a concern or disclosure.
- Ensure that confidential, detailed, and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained
DEALING WITH CONCERNS
REPORTING A CONCERN
Any safeguarding concerns should be reported to the individual sport Team Welfare Officer and/or direct to the IWIGA Safeguarding Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
The IWIGA Safeguarding Officer will need to be presented with any information where there is reason to believe that someone involved with or connected to IGA/its activities has (1) harmed and/or presents a risk of harm to any children or athletes/adults at risk, or (2) engaged in poor practice.
IWlGA support those who wish to make a report and provide such guidance as might be necessary or desirable in relation to the making of a report, whether the person making the report is someone who is reporting conduct that has directly affected them, conduct that has (or might have) affected one or more others, or they are reporting a concern that someone presents a risk of harm (even if they are not aware of any specific conduct).
All safeguarding concerns and any discussions about a child or athlete/adult at risk’s welfare should be recorded accurately in writing (see Safeguarding Reporting Form appendix 2) whether or not further action is taken and should follow the Guide to Working Together to Safeguard Children (see this link)
It is important to remember that the information provided could be used as evidence should there be any formal investigation. When reporting a concern, the person making the report should:
- not seek to determine if the person has been abused or is otherwise at risk of harm (it is not the responsibility of the person making the report to do so);
- focus on facts rather than opinion, i.e., what exactly has been observed, seen, heard, or disclosed; and
- distinguish clearly between what the person making the report knows first-hand, and what they have been told by others.
RESPONDING TO REPORTS
The IWIGA’s Safeguarding Officer’s initial response to a safeguarding report will depend on the nature of the concern and its specific facts.
The IWIGA’s Safeguarding Officer’s will share information and work in partnership with local child protection and social care teams, local police and any other appropriate authorities/bodies, including the sport’s Governing Body, in accordance with their procedures, in order to enable them to carry out their duties to investigate concerns and protect children and athletes/adults at risk.
The amount of contact required between the maker of a report and those addressing the report will vary depending on the nature of the concern and its specific facts and whether further information or clarification is required.
The IWIGA Safeguarding Officer’s will seek to respond to any report as quickly as the circumstances require. The IWIGA’s Safeguarding Officer will always try to ensure that all parties know what procedure will be followed and what the expected timescales are, as well as any changes to those timescales and why. Wherever possible, the IWIGA’s Safeguarding Officer will also seek to agree to provide regular updates to the report maker and any other appropriate person(s), at such frequency and in such manner as requested by the report maker and any other appropriate person.
Whilst the welfare of children and adults at risk is paramount, the IWIGA recognises it also has a duty to those accused of harming others and/or who are suspected of posing a risk of such harm. Consideration will therefore be given in each case as to what level of support should be provided to such persons on a case-by-case basis.
LAWS AND REGULATIONS
As an organisation based in England, this policy has been developed in accordance with relevant legislation and statutory guidance applicable in England However, as an organisation working internationally, the IGA works across a range of legal and regulatory jurisdictions, and the national laws and regulations of a relevant territory will also be acknowledged and respected where possible.
APPENDIX 1: TYPES OF ABUSE
Please note all these types of abuse can happen outside the sport environment and it is important that, if an individual becomes aware of any, they are appropriately reported. Individuals can be subject to multiple forms of abuse at the same time
“Bullying (or Cyberbullying)” Unwanted, unwelcomed, repetitive, and intentional aggressive physical or verbal behaviour (which can be amongst peers) that can entail a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying can involve making threats, deliberately excluding someone, spreading rumours (whether founded or unfounded). Bullying is very different from a spirit of ‘camaraderie’.
“Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)” Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse in which a person(s), of any age takes advantage of a power imbalance to force or entice a child into engaging in sexual activity in return for something received by the child and/or those perpetrating or facilitating the abuse. As with other forms of child sexual abuse, the presence of perceived consent does not undermine the abusive nature of the act. Please remember a child cannot consent to its own exploitation. CSE can include both contact and non-contact sexual activity, in person or online.
“Complicity” This is when an individual or organisation authorises, causes, or knowingly assists, encourages, aids and incites, covers up, or is otherwise complicit in, any act or omission by any person involving a violation of this Policy.
“Emotional/Psychological Abuse” These are acts that deliberately harm a child, adult or adult at risk’s mental health. Emotional abuse is when adults deny children or adults at risk love or affection, or constantly threaten or humiliate them. It is the continual emotional abuse of a child, adult or adult at risk that causes severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development and adversely impacts on an adult or adult at risk. Some level of emotional abuse is often involved in different types of abuse so emotional/ psychological abuse may not be in isolation. Emotional abuse undermines a child, adult or adult at risk’s confidence and sense of self-worth.
“Financial abuse” Financial abuse is the use or misuse of finances to gain control over an individual current or future financial freedom and decision making. It restricts individual’s freedom and dignity; it is often part of a pattern of coercive control.
“Grooming” Manipulative behaviours used to coerce children, adult, or adult risk to agree to the abuse. Grooming can take place online or in-person and varies in timeframe (from a few minutes to taking place over years).
“Hazing” An arranged, usually team-based, form of bullying involving degrading and dangerous initiation of new (team) members.
“Inducement” This is when an individual or organisation solicits, instructs, persuades, or encourages any person to engage in conduct (whether by act or omission) involving a violation of this Policy.
“Modern Slavery” This is the exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain where a person is owned or controlled by another individual (employer/agent). Individuals subject to this form of abuse are treated as a commodity and have restrictions of freedoms. Modern Slavery can be linked to human trafficking.
“Neglect” Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child or adult at risk’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development (e.g. failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing). Neglect is also manifested in failure to protect a child or vulnerable adult from physical harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care givers) or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child or adults at risk basic emotional needs.
“Peer on peer abuse” This form of abuse refers to children and it occurs when there is any kind of physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse or coercive control exercised between children. It includes bullying, cyberbullying, sexual violence, harassment, and sexting. Please note that the behaviour in question is harmful to both children.
“Physical Abuse” this is when non-accidental harm occurs. A child or adult is hurt or injured by a child or an adult (by for example imposing forced routines, age inappropriate/physical inappropriate and/or inappropriate physical training, etc.). Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, biting, hitting, or punching. Imposing the consumption of doping substances is also considered abuse. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a form of physical abuse which is illegal in the UK. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child or adult at risk they are looking after.
“Sexual Abuse” Any conduct of sexual nature, whether through contact or penetrative or non-contact (e.g., voyeurism, exhibitionism), where consent is not obtained, consent is coerced or consent cannot be given. Sexual abuse can include kissing, touching the individual’s genitals or breasts, vaginal, anal intercourse, digital penetration, oral sex, exposures, sexting (sending sexual messages or pictures via mobile phone text or Apps), grooming (including online), sexual activity over the phone or online. Encouraging a child or adult at risk to look at pornographic material (e.g., video, pictures) is also considered sexual abuse.
“Sexual Harassment” Any verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which is unwelcome or unwanted, or where consent is coerced, manipulated or cannot be given. Sexual harassment disrespects the dignity of a person and creates an abusive and offensive environment. Sexual harassment can be classed as a form of sexual abuse.