Should an Age-Grade Player be at risk of harm, it is the duty of those in a position of responsibility to take the necessary steps to minimise and/or help to remove the risk and to ensure that all procedures are undergone in accordance with statutory guidelines.
Child Protection Concerns
Harm is defined as the ill-treatment or the impairment of the health or development of a child. Whether is it significant is determined by the child’s health and development as compared to that which could reasonably be expected of a child of a similar age.
Categories of abuse are outlined in Children First (ROI) and Cooperating to Safeguard Children (NI). Adults working with young people are not expected to be experts in identifying abuse, however in order to fulfil our duty to care it is necessary to know how to forward a concern that meets reasonable grounds for concern (see Section 4 of the IRFU Safeguarding Policy) and how to respond to a child who raises a concern.
Sports Leaders should be aware of the sign and types of abuse with the following points being central to the success of this effort:
- Knowledge of the appropriate action and response to be taken
- Vigilance and avoidance of situations conductive to risk
- Open, trusting and cooperative relationships within the club and with parents / guardians and others concerned with children’s welfare
Reporting Concerns / Child Abuse
To establish if you have a concern that needs reporting read the ‘FAQs Concerns’ document below.
If you have a concern in relation to a child’s health or development that you think meets ‘reasonable grounds for concern’ follow the steps outlined in the ‘Concerns’ flowchart document below.
Remember the responsibility for the investigation of child abuse cases suspected or otherwise lies with the Statutory Authorities. Clubs or Branches should not carry out their own internal investigations into cases where child abuse is suspected.
Make contact with duty social workers in your local area:
Any person who knows or suspects that a child is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed has a duty to convey his/her concern to Statutory Authorities and/or IRFU.
Further information in relation to responding to concerns can be found by reading the ‘Dealing with Concern’s handout below.